A nice watch looks good on the wrist and goes well with a wide variety of outfits. A true luxury timepiece not only looks good, it also shows that a serious level of sophistication, thoughtfulness, and knowledge went into your decision making.
If you’re going to splash some serious dough on a luxury watch, you’ll want to do your research. Sure, you can go to your nearest Tourneau (or even Amazon nowadays) and pick up a Rolex Submariner. You’ll get a high quality watch that maintains value better than most watches on the market. However, you’ll also be joining the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who are wearing the same watch, or one of the many replicas and similar looking watches.
But if you want to dig deeper, consider taking a look at some of the offerings from these four underrated luxury watchmakers.
1. Jaeger LeCoultre
Founded in 1833, Jaeger LeCoultre has been on the forefront of watchmaking innovation almost since its founding. While firmly considered part of the top tier (‘haute-horlogerie’) of watchmakers, we would argue they belong closer to the very top, having produced some of the movements for makers as prestigious as Patek Philippe. Jaeger LeCoultre, or JLC for short, is a watch brand that few outside of watch enthusiasts will know by name, but many will recognize as being something special.
2. Glashutte Original
Named for the famous German watchmaking town where Glashutte Original watches are built, this watchmaker, along with it’s more well known relative, A Lange and Sohne, are the cream of the crop of German watchmaking. Serious watch aficionados will recognize the iconic off center dial of their well known models, near flawless design, and impeccable attention to detail. Even those who have never heard of the brand will immediately recognize you’re wearing something exquisite on your wrist.
Zenith, like JLC, is a brand that has consistently punched above its weight, providing movements for some of the most famous watches on the market (The Rolex Daytona, in the case of Zenith) while developing a robust collection of their own. With a Zenith watch, you get a high quality product with a rich history and intriguing designs at a reasonable price in the scheme of haute-horlogerie. Of course, there are also offerings going for over $100,000, such as the Defy Zero G Swizz Beatz pictured above.
4. Grand Seiko
No underrated watchmaker list is complete without Grand Seiko. Known to most as a maker of $100 watches, Seiko actually has a line of high end mechanical movement timepieces that rival some of the best offerings from Switzerland and Germany in terms of quality, design, and finish. That line, Grand Seiko, has earned the respect of watch fanatics across the globe. No one is going to confuse a Grand Seiko with a $120 Seiko quartz watch.
Any talk of overrated or underrated when it comes to luxury watch brands is of course, subjective by nature. However, hopefully, in your search for a luxury timepiece, you won’t only be drawn to the big well known names and consider some of the less popular, but no less impressive offerings by makers such as those in this article. Happy Hunting.
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