Here’s The FULL List of Top Swatch Group Brands (+Their Origins)
The Swatch Group has come a long way from the two nearly bankrupt companies that founded it in the ‘80s. Today it’s one of the world’s largest watchmaking conglomerates, with a diverse range of brands under its umbrella.
From the luxury watch brands like Breguet and Omega to the affordable fashion watches of Swatch, the group has something for everyone. It is not too dissimilar to major automotive companies like Toyota, Ford, and Volkswagen, which have their budget, mid-level, and premium brands.
However, with so many brands, it can be challenging to know which ones stand out above the rest. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top Swatch Group brands and consider what makes them unique. We’ll delve into the history and heritage of each brand, their most popular models, and what sets them apart from their competitors.
We’ll start with the budget brand Swatch, followed by the iconic Omega brand, with its rich history in space exploration and sport. We’ll further consider brands like Blancpain, a brand known for its innovative complications and elegant designs. We’ll also explore Tissot and Hamilton’s more affordable yet stylish watches, among others.
About Swatch Group
Swatch Group is a Swiss conglomerate that is one of the world’s largest watchmaking companies. Founded in 1983, the company is headquartered in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, and owns a diverse range of watch brands that cater to various price points and styles. Today they have over 30,000 employees in 40 countries.
The company’s purpose is to provide quality watches to a global market. The Swatch Group is also committed to innovation and research, and development, with a focus on creating cutting-edge timepieces that push the boundaries of traditional watchmaking.
One of the most significant assets of the Swatch Group is ETA SA, one of the largest movement manufacturers in the world. ETA produces high-quality movements for many of the group’s brands and other watchmakers worldwide. With over 8,000 employees, ETA is a critical component of the Swiss watchmaking industry, and its movements are renowned for their precision and reliability.
History of the Swatch Group
The Swatch Group’s rich and fascinating history began in the early 1980s. In 1983, the Swiss watch industry was facing a crisis due to the influx of inexpensive quartz watches from Japan, which put traditional Swiss watchmakers out of business.
Nicolas G. Hayek, a Swiss engineer and businessman saw an opportunity to revive the industry by creating a new type of watch that would be affordable, stylish, and made with high-quality Swiss craftsmanship. Hayek founded Swatch Group in 1983, and the company’s first product was the Swatch watch, a colorful, plastic timepiece that was both affordable and fashionable.
The Swatch watch became an instant sensation and helped to revitalize the Swiss watch industry. In the following years, Swatch Group continued to innovate and acquire other watch brands, including Omega in 1985 and Blancpain in 1992.
In 1998, Swatch Group acquired Breguet, one of the oldest and most prestigious watch brands in the world. Breguet was founded in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet, and it has a rich history of innovation and elegance.
The brand’s watches are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Another notable acquisition by Swatch Group was Tissot, joining the group in 1983. Tissot is known for its high-quality watches at affordable prices, making it a popular choice for both casual and serious watch enthusiasts.
Hamilton is another brand that joined Swatch Group in 1974. Hamilton was founded in the United States in 1892 and had a long history of producing high-quality watches for pilots, soldiers, and adventurers. Today, Hamilton continues to create stylish and durable watches that are popular among watch enthusiasts and adventurers alike.
The history of the Swatch Group is one of innovation, craftsmanship, and a commitment to revitalizing the Swiss watch industry. The group’s diverse range of brands and its focus on quality and affordability have made it a leader in the watchmaking world.
Best Brands of Swatch Group
Let’s delve into the history, features, and popular models of each brand.
The Swatch brand is one of the most well-known and recognizable watch brands in the world. Founded in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek as part of the Swatch Group, the brand’s name is a combination of “second” and “watch,” reflecting its focus on creating affordable yet high-quality watches.
One of the brand’s most significant achievements was its role in reviving the Swiss watch industry in the 1980s, which had been struggling due to the rise of Japanese quartz watches. The Swatch watch, which was colorful, affordable, and made with Swiss craftsmanship, became an instant success and helped to restore confidence in the industry.
Over the years, Swatch has created many iconic collections, including the Originals, which featured bold, colorful designs, and the Skin collection, known for its ultra-thin and lightweight watches. The brand has also collaborated with numerous artists and designers, resulting in unique and creative collections such as the Swatch X You and the Swatch Art Special series.
Today, Swatch continues to offer a wide range of watches, from classic designs to playful and quirky styles. Its commitment to affordability and quality has made it a popular choice for casual wear and a collectible item for watch enthusiasts. With its unique designs and rich history, the Swatch brand remains an important part of the watchmaking world.
Omega is a luxury watch brand that has been at the forefront of the watchmaking industry for over 170 years. Founded in Switzerland in 1848, Omega has a rich history of innovation, precision, and durability. The brand’s watches have been used in many important events, including space exploration and the Olympics.
One of the brand’s most notable achievements was its involvement in the space race of the 1960s. Omega was chosen by NASA as the official watch for its astronauts, and the Omega Speedmaster became the first watch to be worn on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
Throughout its history, Omega has released many iconic collections, including the Seamaster, first introduced in 1948 and a symbol of the brand’s commitment to water-resistant watches. The Constellation collection, first released in 1952, is known for its refined elegance and timeless design.
In recent years, Omega has also introduced innovative new collections, such as the Planet Ocean, which features watches with advanced dive features, and the Globemaster, which boasts a unique design and a high level of accuracy.
Overall, Omega’s commitment to quality, precision, and innovation has made it one of the most respected and sought-after watch brands in the world. Its iconic collections and historic achievements have cemented its place in watchmaking history.
Longines is a luxury watch brand that was founded in Switzerland in 1832. The brand has a long and rich history of producing high-quality, elegant timepieces. Longines is known for its classic and timeless designs, which have made it a favorite among watch enthusiasts for over 180 years.
One of the brand’s most notable achievements was the development of the first chronograph movement in 1878, which many other watchmakers quickly adopted. Longines has also been involved in many important sporting events, including the Olympic Games and Formula One racing, and has been the official timekeeper for numerous events over the years.
Longines has released many iconic collections throughout its history, including the Conquest, first introduced in 1954 and a symbol of the brand’s commitment to precision and durability. The Master collection, first released in 2005, is known for its elegant and sophisticated design, while the HydroConquest collection, first introduced in 2007, is a modern and sporty line of watches.
Overall, Longines is a brand known for its timeless design, precision, and durability. Its commitment to quality has made it a favorite among watch enthusiasts for over 180 years. Its iconic collections and historic achievements have cemented its place in the world of luxury watchmaking.
Tissot is a Swiss watch brand that has been producing high-quality timepieces for over 160 years. Founded in 1853, Tissot has a rich history of innovation and precision, making it one of the most respected brands in the watchmaking industry.
One of the brand’s most notable achievements was the production of the first mass-produced pocket watch with two time zones in 1853. Tissot was also the first watch brand to produce watches made of plastic, stone, and wood.
Tissot has released many iconic collections throughout its history, including the T-Touch, first introduced in 1999 and one of the first touchscreen watches in the world. The T-Classic collection, first introduced in 1996, is known for its elegant and classic designs, while the T-Sport collection offers a range of sporty watches with advanced features.
In recent years, Tissot has continued to innovate, releasing new collections such as the T-Complication collection, which features watches with intricate complications, and the T-Lady collection, which offers a range of elegant watches for women.
Overall, Tissot’s commitment to quality, precision, and innovation has made it one of the world’s most respected and sought-after watch brands. Its iconic collections and historic achievements have cemented its place in luxury watchmaking.
Hamilton is a Swiss-American watch brand that has been producing high-quality timepieces for over 100 years. Founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Hamilton has a rich history of producing watches for aviation, military, and cinema.
During World War II, Hamilton became the primary supplier of timepieces for the U.S. military, producing watches that pilots and navigators used. In the 1950s, Hamilton began to produce watches for Hollywood films, which further cemented its reputation as a brand associated with aviation and adventure.
Hamilton has released many iconic collections throughout its history, including the Khaki Field collection, which offers a range of durable and functional watches inspired by military timepieces. The Ventura collection, first introduced in 1957, featured a unique triangular case and was famously worn by Elvis Presley in the film “Blue Hawaii.”
In recent years, Hamilton has continued to innovate, releasing new collections such as the Intra-Matic collection, which offers a range of vintage-inspired watches with a modern twist, and the Jazzmaster collection, which features elegant and sophisticated timepieces.
Overall, Hamilton’s commitment to quality, innovation, and adventure has made it a favorite among watch enthusiasts for over a century. Its iconic collections and historic achievements have cemented its place in the world of luxury watchmaking.
Breguet is a Swiss luxury watch brand founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in Paris in 1775. Breguet’s legacy as a watchmaker has been upheld by the company for over two centuries, and it is known for producing technologically advanced and aesthetically beautiful timepieces.
Abraham-Louis Breguet is credited with inventing many horological complications still used in watches today, including the tourbillon, the gong spring, and the Breguet overcoil. Breguet watches were favored by European royalty and aristocrats, and the brand’s list of notable clients includes Napoleon Bonaparte, Marie Antoinette, and Queen Victoria.
Breguet has released many iconic collections throughout its history, including the Classique collection, which offers a range of elegant and traditional timepieces, and the Marine collection, which features watches inspired by the brand’s connections to the maritime world. The Reine de Naples collection, first introduced in 2002, pays tribute to the world’s first wristwatch, commissioned by Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, in 1810.
Overall, Breguet’s commitment to innovation and elegance has made it one of the most respected and sought-after watch brands in the world. It’s historic achievements and iconic collections have cemented its place in the world of luxury watchmaking.
Blancpain is a Swiss luxury watch brand founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain. It is known for its expertise in mechanical watchmaking, including developing the world’s smallest movement and creating the first automatic wristwatch.
Blancpain has released many iconic collections throughout its history, including the Fifty Fathoms collection developed in 1953 for the French Navy’s elite diving unit. The Villeret collection, named after the village where Blancpain was founded, features classic and elegant timepieces that showcase the brand’s traditional craftsmanship.
Blancpain has also made significant contributions to the world of watchmaking, including the development of the first moon phase watch in 1983, which displayed the phases of the moon with a high degree of accuracy. The brand has also been at the forefront of the revival of traditional artisanal crafts such as enamel painting, engraving, and skeletonization.
Overall, Blancpain’s commitment to technical innovation and traditional craftsmanship has made it one of the most respected and sought-after watch brands in the world. Its iconic collections and historic achievements have cemented its place in the world of luxury watchmaking.
Glashütte Original is a luxury watch brand based in the German town of Glashütte, known for its precision and high-quality craftsmanship. The brand traces its roots back to the 19th century when watchmaking began to flourish in the region.
It was founded in 1994 as part of the revitalization of the German watchmaking industry after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Glashütte Original’s watchmaking expertise is based on the long-standing tradition of precision engineering and craftsmanship in Glashütte.
The brand is known for its high-quality mechanical movements, which are developed and manufactured in-house. One of Glashütte Original’s most iconic collections is the Senator line, which includes both simple and complicated timepieces.
The Pano collection features watches with asymmetrical dials, and the Vintage collection pays homage to the brand’s heritage with classic designs and details. In recent years, Glashütte Original has also established itself as a leader in the development of innovative technologies, including a silicon balance spring and a new, high-performance escapement system.
Overall, Glashütte Original’s commitment to quality and innovation has made it a respected and sought-after watch brand among collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Harry Winston is a luxury watch and jewelry brand named after its founder, who was known as the “King of Diamonds.” Established in 1932 in New York City, Harry Winston quickly gained a reputation for its exquisite and unique diamond designs.
The brand entered the world of watchmaking in the 1980s and has since become known for its high-end, complex timepieces. Harry Winston’s watch collections are crafted with the same level of precision and attention to detail as its jewelry.
One of Harry Winston’s most iconic collections is the Ocean line, which includes sporty and dressy timepieces. The Midnight collection features elegant dress watches with intricate complications, while the Histoire de Tourbillon line showcases the brand’s expertise in creating complex movements.
In recent years, Harry Winston has also focused on creating timepieces with innovative materials, such as Zalium, a zirconium-based alloy used in some of its sportier models. Overall, Harry Winston’s dedication to both craftsmanship and design has made it a sought-after brand among collectors and those seeking unique, high-end watches.
10. Jaquet Droz
Jaquet Droz is a luxury watch brand known for its artistic, intricate timepieces. The brand was founded by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1738 in Switzerland and quickly gained a reputation for its exceptional craftsmanship and innovative designs.
One of Jaquet Droz’s most notable achievements was the creation of the automaton, a mechanical device that simulates human or animal movements. The brand’s founder was particularly famous for his automata, designed to perform complex movements and even write messages.
Jaquet Droz’s watch collections often incorporate elements of this automaton heritage, such as intricate and detailed dials with unique animations. The brand’s iconic collections include the Grande Seconde, which features a large subdial for the seconds hand, and the Lady 8, which incorporates a figure-eight shape into the design.
Jaquet Droz also offers timepieces with complex complications, such as perpetual calendars and minute repeaters, as well as unique materials like ivory and enamel. Overall, Jaquet Droz’s dedication to craftsmanship and creativity has made it a respected and sought-after brand in the world of luxury watches.
Mido is a Swiss watch brand known for its combination of classic and contemporary designs. Founded in 1918 by Georges Schaeren, Mido has been producing timepieces for over a century, with a focus on high-quality craftsmanship and functionality.
Mido’s watch collections often feature sleek, minimalist designs with simple dials and clean lines. The brand’s iconic collections include the Baroncelli, inspired by Italian neoclassical architecture, and the Commander, a vintage-inspired collection that pays homage to Mido’s past while incorporating modern technology.
In recent years, Mido has also developed timepieces with features such as chronographs and GMT functions, further expanding its range of offerings. Overall, Mido’s dedication to both style and functionality has made it a respected and reliable brand in the world of watches.
Rado is a Swiss luxury watchmaker founded in 1917. The brand is known for its innovative use of materials, including ceramic, which has become one of its signature materials. In 1962, Rado introduced the world’s first scratch-resistant watch, the DiaStar, made from hard metal and sapphire crystal.
The brand has since continued to push boundaries in terms of materials and technology, earning a reputation for being one of the most innovative watch brands in the industry. One of Rado’s most iconic collections is the Ceramica, which features watches made entirely from high-tech ceramic.
Another notable collection is the True Thinline, which is ultra-thin and lightweight, thanks to its use of high-tech ceramic. In recent years, Rado has also introduced the Captain Cook collection, which pays tribute to a vintage Rado diving watch from the 1960s.
This collection has been updated with modern materials and technology while retaining the classic design elements that made the original such a hit. Overall, Rado’s commitment to innovation and high-quality materials has made it a favorite among watch enthusiasts and collectors.
Certina is a Swiss watch brand that has been producing timepieces for over 130 years. Established in 1888, Certina quickly gained a reputation for its high-quality watches with exceptional accuracy and durability. Over the years, Certina has continued to innovate, making a name for itself as a brand that produces robust and reliable watches for sport and adventure enthusiasts.
One of Certina’s most notable achievements is its incorporation of the DS (Double Security) concept into its watches in the 1960s. This innovative design involved the use of various shock-absorbing materials and construction techniques to enhance the durability and water resistance of the watches.
Certina has several iconic collections that have contributed to the brand’s reputation for producing high-quality watches. The DS Action collection is a series of watches designed for diving and other water-based activities.
In contrast, the DS Podium collection offers timepieces with a sporty and elegant design suitable for everyday wear. The Heritage collection is also a popular series featuring vintage-inspired designs that pay homage to the brand’s history.
14. Union Glashütte
Union Glashütte is a Swiss-German luxury watch brand known for its elegant designs and precise timekeeping. Founded in 1893 in the town of Glashütte, Germany, Union Glashütte has been a part of the Swatch Group since 1983.
The brand prides itself on its technical expertise and attention to detail, as well as its commitment to creating beautiful and functional timepieces. Over the years, Union Glashütte has released several iconic collections, including the Belisar, the Noramis, and the Viro Date.
These collections feature a range of styles, from classic dress watches to sporty chronographs, and are known for their high-quality materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and excellent performance. Union Glashütte is also known for its use of in-house movements, designed and manufactured in the brand’s facilities in Switzerland and Germany.
In recent years, Union Glashütte has continued to innovate and push the boundaries of watchmaking while staying true to its heritage and tradition of excellence. With its combination of style, precision, and technical expertise, Union Glashütte is a brand that appeals to watch enthusiasts and collectors alike.
15. Léon Hatot
Léon Hatot is a Swiss watch brand that was founded in 1924 by Léon Hatot, who was a famous jeweler, watchmaker, and inventor. The brand’s philosophy is to blend technology and design to create watches that embody elegance and precision.
The brand’s early focus was on producing high-quality pocket watches, but it quickly expanded into wristwatches. Over the years, the brand has won numerous awards for its exceptional designs and technological innovations.
Léon Hatot has had several iconic collections throughout the years, including the La Déesse collection, which was inspired by the famous French sculpture “Winged Victory of Samothrace.” Another iconic collection is the Nanette collection, which was designed for women and featured elegant and delicate timepieces. Léon Hatot’s watches are highly sought after by collectors and are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and timeless design.
The Swatch Group encompasses a wide variety of watch brands with distinct styles and histories. From budget brands like Swatch to the luxury timepieces of Breguet and Blancpain and the iconic Omega, there’s a watch for every taste, budget, and need. If one of these Swatch Group brands has tickled your fancy, consider contacting the watch experts at Exquisite Timepieces for help researching and purchasing your next timepiece.
About Exquisite Timepieces
Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.