It may come as a surprise that some of today’s watch brands have a significantly short history. Others, on the other hand, can trace their roots back generations. Here are fourteen of the world’s oldest watch businesses. All of them are loved and adored by many people. These are also known for being brands offering watches in the most expensive price range. Numerous celebrities, athletes, and political leaders have also seen sporting watch models from these companies. If you are not an old watch brand aficionado, you may not have heard of any of these. So, be ready to be educated!
Rolex is the world’s most well-known and identifiable watch company. They are also one of the oldest watch brands, ranking tenth on the chart. Rolex was established in London, England in 1905 and relocated to Geneva in 1919. This is a strong Swiss watch brand with estimated revenue of $5 billion to $8 billion annually and 4,000 employees. Its iconic “crown” logo is well-known all over the planet.
Yes, the Japanese watch company Seiko dates back to 1882, but it did not produce its first-timer before 1892 and its first timepiece since 1924. Seiko made headlines in 1969 when it introduced the first quartz watch in the world. They are now heavily interested in sports sponsorship agreements, which work to push them afloat.
3. Audemars Piguet
Jules Louis Audemars, 23-year-old at that time, and Edward Auguste Piguet, 21, established this watch company in 1875. Ever since representatives of the Audemars and Piquet families have been active in the business in various capacities. This durability has resulted in a level of product excellence that many other labels can only possibly match. AP is without a doubt one of the most recognizable of the oldest and largest watch brands.
Zenith SA is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer founded in 1865 in Le Locle, Neuchâtel, by Georges Favre-Jacot at the age of 22. Georges Favre-Jacot revitalized watch manufacturing by reunifying all the watchmaking occupations under one roof, thus concocting the very idea of a Manufacture, as per Zenith. They began with pocket chronographs and entered parent company LVMH in 2000.
Tissot was created in 1853 by Charles-Émile Tissot, another Swatch creation. Tissot and Omega merged in 1930, laying the groundwork for the SWATCH Group. They founded the SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère), which eventually morphed with ASUAG (holding grouping movement and part blank manufacturers) and SMH (Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries Ltd.) in 1983. SWATCH was founded in 1998 as a result of a collaboration of the finest Swiss watch brands.
Waltham Watches were first manufactured in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1850. Even though the Waltham plant was shut in 1957, the company founded a Swiss subsidiary in 1954 that still manufactures watches today. The manufacturing factory has now been transformed into chic residences in the Boston area. Following his Gettysburg address, Abe Lincoln was presented with a Waltham Watch.
Louis Brandt formed Omega as La Generale Watch Co. in 1848. Nevertheless, it wasn’t till after Brandt’s demise in 1903 that it became Omega when his young descendant Paul-Emilie Brandt took the helm. He fought hard to keep the store open and well, which resulted in the incorporation in 1930.
8. Patek Philippe
In 1839, this watchmaker established this top-class watch manufacturing business. The multi-time-zone “Complication” and the incredibly complicated “Calibre 89” were two of the most popular watches made. Patek Philippe continues to manufacture some of the world’s best timepieces and is a much-anticipated partner in Baselworld. Furthermore, Patek Philippe is increasingly successful and well-known among all generations in the current period. They’ve done an excellent job of remaining brilliantly important for such an outdated watch brand. Newer watch manufacturers find it difficult to cope with all of this.
Auguste Agassiz established the Saint-Imier watch company in 1832. He and his two co-founders designed pocket watches with crown-wheel escapements similar to those used by the Swiss watchmaking industry generally. In 1846, Agassiz became the company’s president, and he used his American contacts to dramatically increase the watches’ success worldwide. In 1983, the company was purchased by the Swatch Group.
10. Gallet & Co.
While this family’s involvement in craftsmanship dates back to the mid-1400s, it wasn’t till 1826 that Julien Gallet licensed the brand names. Today, the factory makes vintage pieces that use cutting-edge technology and design to keep the clock ticking.
The business was launched in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet and is known for creating the first timepiece in 1810. This is what distinguishes Breguet as being one of the oldest watchmakers. The company produced pieces for Marie Antoinette and Bonaparte. The Brown Family owns the company today, and it proceeds to manufacture fine watches. Breguet was purchased by the Swatch Company in 1999.
12. Vacheron Constantin
Vacheron Constantin is among the most excellent companies on this ranking of the world’s oldest watch brands. It was created in Geneva in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron, a master watchmaker. Approximately 265 years later, the watch brand is still ticking by remaining competitive and producing world-class masterpieces. Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest constantly running watch company.
13. Favre Leuba
Favre Leuba’s timepieces date back to 1737. This old watch brand has been passed down over eight generations of the same community. Its problems started in 1969 when low-cost quartz watches appeared on the market. The company’s iconic pieces have included Bivouac, an altimeter watch, and the Bathy, a diving watch. This ancient watch company is being resurrected and revived.
Blancpain tops the list oldest watch brand on the planet. Jehan-Jaques Blancpain established the company in 1735 and developed its reputation by making a small number of watches each year. The company went out of business for a while and is now operated by the Swiss watchmaker, the Swatch.
In A Nutshell
There are several competitors for the real oldest watch brands, with acquisitions, re-branding, dismantling, and brand-posturing all concerned. But, without a question, the histories of these fine Swiss watches ignite a fascination among enthusiasts who seek to maintain each of them preserved. Want to know where you can find these brands? You can check them out at The Watch Company!