Top 10 Oldest Watch Brands in the World

It may be surprising that some watch brands today have a relatively short history. There are others however that trace their history back centuries. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 oldest watch brands and a peek at what keeps them ticking.

oldest watch brand list

The Top 10 Oldest Watch Brands

Here are 10 of the oldest watch companies in the world. Many of them you know and love. Some you may never have heard of if you are not an old watch brand connoisseur. We started with the 10th oldest watch brand and we work our way down to the #1 oldest watch brand.

Let’s get started…

10. Rolex

This is the most famous and most recognizable watch brand in the world. They are also one of the oldest watch brands, ranking in at number 10 on our list. Rolex was founded in London in 1905 and moved to Geneva in 1919. This is a powerful Swiss watch brand that in 2012, posted sales of over $7 billion dollars, and has 2,800 employees. Its famous “crown” logo is known throughout the world.

3 Legendary Vintage Rolex Watches

oldest watch brands

VINTAGE ROLEX 6084 14KT GOLD CHAMPAGNE DIAL ON RED LEATHER STRAP

9. Seiko

Yes, Japanese watchmaker, Seiko traces its history to 1882, although it didn’t make its first clock until 1892 and its first watch until 1924. In 1969, Seiko made news by producing the world’s first quartz watch. Today they are actively involved in sports sponsorships which helps keep them ticking.

oldest watch company

SEIKO DX 6106-7729 GOLD PLATED GENTS VINTAGE WATCH

8. Audemars Piguet

In 1875, this watchmaker was founded by 23-year-old Jules Louis Audemars and 21-year-old Edward Auguste Piguet. Since then, there have been members of the Audemars and Piquet family involved in the company in some fashion. This longevity has led to a consistency of quality many other brands can only hope to emulate. AP is easily one of the most iconic of the oldest watch brands.

oldest watch brand

AUDEMARS PIGUET CLASSIC DAY-DATE MOONPHASE 18K YELLOW GOLD WATCH

7. Waltham

Waltham Watches were produced in Waltham, Massachusetts starting in 1850. The company set up a Swiss affiliate in 1954 that still produces watches today even though the Waltham factory was closed in 1957. The factory building has now been converted into stylish Boston area condos. Abe Lincoln was given a Waltham Watch after his Gettysburg address.

oldest watch companies

GOLD TONE WALTHAM POCKET WATCH

6. Patek Philippe

This watchmaker started this high-end watch producing company in 1839. Famous watches produced included the multi-time-zone “Complication” and the extremely intricate “Calibre 89”. Patek Philippe still produces some of the finest watches on the planet and is always an anticipated participant in Baselworld. Moreover, Patek Philippe is super popular and famous among all generations in the modern day. They’ve done a great job at staying superbly relevant for an old watch brand. It’s hard for newer watch brands to compete with this.

oldest watch in the world

PATEK PHILIPPE 18K YELLOW GOLD VINTAGE WATCH

5. Gallet & Co.

Although this family’s foray into watchmaking goes back into the mid-1400’s it wasn’t until 1826 that the company’s name was registered by Julien Gallet. Today, the company produces timepieces that use modern technology and style to keep it ticking along.

4. Breguet

Founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775, the company is credited with inventing the first wristwatch in 1810. This is a fact that makes Breguet one of the most special of the oldest watch brands. The company has created pieces owned by Marie Antoinette and Bonaparte. Today, the company is privately owned by the Brown Family, and continues to produce fine watches. [Update, Breguet was acquired by Swatch group in 1999]

oldest watchmaker

BREGUET NO 1773 YELLOW GOLD AUTOMATIC MENS WATCH 5157

3. Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin is one of the most well run businesses of on this famous oldest watch brand list. It was founded in Geneva in 1755, when Jean-Marc Vacheron, a master watchmaker, began his business. Almost 260 years later, the watchmaker keeps ticking by staying relevant and building world-class quality timepieces. Vacheron is the longest continuously operating watch company in the world.

oldest swiss watch brand

VACHERON CONSTANTIN 18K YELLOW GOLD AUTOMATIC VINTAGE WATCH

2. Favre Leuba

Favre Leuba watches go all the way back to 1737. This old watch brand stayed in the same family for eight generations. Its troubles began in 1969, when inexpensive quartz watches came on the scene. Classic watches from the company included the Bivouac, a watch with an altimeter, and the Bathy, which was a diving watch. This old watch brand is now being revived.

1. Blancpain

Blancpain is the OLDEST WATCH BRAND in the world. Founded by Jehan-Jaques Blancpain in 1735, the company built its success by producing a limited amount of watches per year. The company was out of business for a period of time and is now owned by watch giant Swatch.

oldest watch

BLANCPAIN SPLIT SECOND CHRONOGRAPH DIAMOND MOTHER OF PEARL DIAL WATCH

**Update**

Thanks to reader Frank, for adding Longines to this list! Now owned by Swatch Group (like luxury jeweler Harry Winston), Longines was founded by Auguste Agassiz in 1832, in Saint-Imier, Switzerland.

top 10 watch brands

LONGINES WHITE GOLD DIAMOND DIAL VINTAGE WATCH

RelatedSelling Your Old Watch

29 Responses to Top 10 Oldest Watch Brands in the World

  1. Frank Hamilton -

    April 30, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    According to what I can find out, Longines belongs on this list, founded in 1832.

  2. Raymond Lee Jewelers -

    May 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you, Frank! Updating this list!

  3. Erik S. -

    July 18, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Bulova is older (1875) and so is Omega (1848).
    It should be noted that these numbers are what they claim on their websites and not taken from any official sources.

  4. jim -

    August 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Add Tissot, 1853, Switzerland. Great luxury watches. Wearing one now.

  5. Tuukka Simonen -

    November 18, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Girard-Perregaux should be on the list. Origins dating back to 1791. Girard made about 2000 wrist watches in 1880’s, which made it the first commercial wrist watch manufacturer.

  6. nunyabeznes -

    December 4, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    JeanRichard 1681
    oldest continuing watch maker

  7. Richard -

    December 29, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Agree, tissot is 1853 pure swiss tradition, although its now a swatch brand

  8. Bry -

    February 12, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Zenith 1865

  9. Andrew -

    March 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Jaeger-LeCoultre 1833

    Still going strong.

  10. D. Boyko -

    March 14, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Ball……………1891

  11. Spencer -

    March 20, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Isn’t Perrelet 1777?

  12. Gerard -

    April 6, 2016 at 10:09 am

  13. Bima Adjie -

    June 14, 2016 at 10:18 am

    What about Jaquet Droz founded in 1738?

  14. Anon -

    July 15, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    JeanRichard is a revived brand, it was brought back to life by Girard Perregaux

  15. Thomas -

    October 23, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Hello can you pls add GRAHAM since 1695 and Vacheron Constantin 1755 thanks

  16. William -

    November 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Ingersoll was founded in 1895 wasn’t it?

  17. Dallas -

    November 27, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    You also can add Arnold & Son. Began in 1764

  18. Joan Philpot -

    January 21, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Who is Ruser & McCormick? I 2as given a watch with this name on the face…

  19. Richard Jensen -

    February 6, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Neither Blancpain, nor Favre Leuba, have continuous history. Both brands were revived after ceising manufacture. Besides the FL didn’t exist before 1792.
    That said, there are hundreds of Swiss brands older than Rolex. Chiefly Girard Perregaux, JLC, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling, Omega, Zenith etc.

  20. Hakim Solana -

    March 9, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Omega and Tissot should be on the list 1848 and 1853. Omega was the 1st Watch worn on the Moon, the Speedmaster Professional Model and Tissot the 2nd Watch on Mt. Everest, the T12 Model

  21. MOBO -

    April 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Tiffany & Co. 1847

  22. Marcus Evans -

    April 10, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Jules Jürgensen 1740

  23. MB -

    May 20, 2019 at 6:52 am

    so many missing –
    Breitling 1884
    IWC 1868
    Oris 1904
    Cartier 1904
    and lost of pre-1900 makers/brands…

  24. Antonis Korakakis -

    May 20, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Tissot 1853???

  25. anonymous -

    June 9, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Baume and Mercier Watches:1830, one of the first affordable lux watches

  26. Clay Warren -

    June 10, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Vulcain watch company 1858. And inventor of the alarm complication.

  27. Mauricio Figueroa Troncoso -

    June 23, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Certina 1888
    Alpina 1883??

  28. Rasmus -

    June 28, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Seiko created the first Quartz wristwatch, not first quartz watch.

  29. Roland -

    September 2, 2019 at 10:01 am

    With so many post mentioning SO many missing brands, you guys must realize now the list was tweeked to accommodate Rolex on it. Why simply not call it “most important brands”? And still it would be incorrect.

    I don’t mean to be rude but this article lacks serious research.

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