Much like tailors and cars, a man tends to be loyal not just to his trusty wristwatch, but also the brand that’s on the dial. For first-time buyers, choosing one of these brands to begin your love affair can be a daunting decision. In a recent post, I discussed the importance of the timepiece and its significance to a man’s character. In this post, I want to briefly discuss the Top 10 Watch Brands that will not only offer you a sense of achievement upon acquisition but also gain a nod of respect from a seasoned watch enthusiast.
Top 10 Watch Brands For First Time Buyers
Obviously, we couldn’t publish a Top 10 Watch Brands For First Time Buyers without the mention of Seiko. Seiko is a formidable challenger to the Swiss-dominated watch industry, from their foundation level pieces right up to their Grand Seiko brand. Starting with a low-price, high-versatility piece, the SEIKO 5 SNK809K2 is a simple and affordable mechanical watch that can match most occasions. It can be found on Amazon for $164 AUD.
UNDONE Watches offer an excellent range of customisable watch options that hold their own against the old world manufacturers. The business has two overarching collections: Aqua (which is code for dive watch) and Urban. Preference depends on the individual and all the company’s watches are highly customisable. UNDONE’s asking price is about $485 AUD per piece and can be found on their website.
Tissot has remained relevant, and excelled in the mid-range market for decades, by building quality, aesthetically pleasing and value driven products. The brand has sported the title of official timekeeper for sports such as the NBA, cycling, fencing, and even NASCAR. Named after the town the brand was founded in back in 1853, the Le Locle Powermatic 80, features an 80-hour power reserve and represents an admirable start to your watch collecting days. Check out the Tissot website for your nearest retailer.
If you want to be a real watch man, you’ll need a dive watch. Like Seiko, Orient is a Japanese watchmaker that has made a huge splash in the market, supplying well built and ridiculously well-priced watches. The Ray II is the bulkiest, most masculine addition to this list and its stainless steel base and high threshold for adventure make for a reliable timepiece at $228 AUD on Amazon.
Well before Daniel Wellington and the minimal watch trend, over 150 years ago in fact, Junghans began its journey in Schramberg, Germany. According to the company: ‘Our watches are consciously understated, preferring to underscore the attitude and personality of the wearer.’ And thus Junghans’ strength can be found in its simplicity. This excellent simplicity is exemplified with the Form C Chronoscope Quartz, going for a respectable $700AUD on Iguana Sell.
Another 19th Century Swiss veteran, Alpina is considered to be one of the most underrated brands on the market. Their reputation for building accurate, handsome and reliable sports watches has won the brand many a fan. Neither the highest altitudes or deepest depths do little to sway Alpina’s performance and the Startimer Pilot is a welcome entry to this prestigious brand at $1,250. The collection is available online through 8th Avenue Watch Co.
Farer combines British design with traditional Swiss mechanics. Farer’s watches are commonly named after famous explorers and thus make for excellent active watches complimenting traditional engineering with modern, colourful accents. The brand has just launched its first mechanical Chronograph which sits at USD$1950, however, the sporty Hopewell also makes a bright statement and is available via the Farer website for roughly $1,600 AUD.
MeisterSinger, whose preview TVG attended in 2017, is perhaps the best-known manufacturer of single-handed watches in the world – an approach they believe is ‘a relaxed perception of time.’ The Meistersinger No 01 represents simplicity personified (no unnecessary hands included) and acts as the perfect first dress watch. 8th Avenue Watch Co. sells the piece for $1,900 AUD.
Founded in 1961 by the late Helmut Sinn, Sinn is one of the most respected tool watch manufacturers on the market today. Known for their hardwearing tegimented steel cases and contemporary designs, Sinn’s watches are honestly priced and built to last, making them the perfect choice for your first significant everyday watch. Check out the Sinn 556 I B, a contemporary sports-watch ready for any outfit or occasion.
At the top end of our Top 10 Watch Brands list, trusted for 185 years, and one of the most recognised names in watchmaking, Longines is devoted to tradition and excellence. The company offers a wide variety of watches that start from roughly $1000 and have made waves in recent years with their retro reissues like Legend Diver and Avigation Big Eye. Their latest offering, the Skin Diver is a significant purchase at $3,450, but one that comes with significant pedigree.
For Australian dealers head to their website.
Venturing into the world of watches can be a daunting journey. But steady investment in any of the Top 10 Watch Brands above will birth a lifetime of positive timepiece experiences.