Luxury Watches & Timepieces
A. Lange & Sohne was founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in the town of Glashütte near Dresden. Lange watches are mechanical rather than quartz & are made of gold or platinum. Lange movements are developed, manufactured & assembled in-house. Lange developed the "double split chronograph" that can time two events for up to 30 minutes & the innovative fusee winding system.
Audemars Piguet the 23-year-old Jules Audemars met Edward-August Piguet in 1875 then only 21, at Vallée de Joux, working in their favorite field of watch manufacturing. In 1928 the company created the first skeleton watch in the world. Together with Jaeger LeCoultre they designed the thinnest automatic movement which included a 21 carat gold rotor placed in the center.
Blancpain was founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jaques Blancpain. The company has never produced quartz watches & states it never will. Famous for being the creator of one of the most complicated mechanical watches ever made (the Blancpain 1735) a true grand complication (tourbillon, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, split chrono) a limited edition of 30 pieces with production of just 1 per year.
Breguet was founded by Abraham Louis Breguet in Paris in 1775 & is most notable for developing the tourbillon. Breguet watches are often easily recognized for their coin-edge cases, guilloché dials & blue pomme hands. Notable Breguet customers: Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tsar Alexander I, George Washington, Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leo Tolstoy & Victor Hugo.
Girard Perregaux traces its origins to 1791. The current name however, didn't appear until 1854 when watchmaker Constant Girard married Marie Perregaux. Well known for the “Tourbillon Under Three Gold Bridges” or Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts d'Or. The company can claim true manufacturing status since it produces the vast majority of the movements used within their timepieces.
Glashutte is a German watchmaking company founded in 1994 by the privatisation of VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe which was an East German conglomerate formed in 1951 from various watch companies based in Glashütte of which A. Lange & Söhne was one. Glashutte is one of the few watchmakers who use their own movements & they have 10 proprietary movement innovations to their credit.
IWC Schaffhausen AKA the International Watch Co., is a high-end manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. In 1868 an American engineer & watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841-1916) founded IWC with the intention of combining the craftsmanship of the Swiss with modern engineering technology from the U.S. to manufacture movements & watch parts for American markets.
Jaeger LeCoultre In 1833 Antoine LeCoultre (1803-1881) founded a small workshop which would become Jaeger-LeCoultre. In 1844 LeCoultre measured the micron (μ) for the first time & created the world's most precise measuring instrument; capable of measuring in thousandths of a millimeter. In 1847 he created a revolutionary system that eliminated the need for keys to rewind and set watches.
Patek Philippe Antoni Patek started making pocket watches in 1839 in Geneva along with fellow Polish migrant Franciszek Czapek. They separated in 1844 & in 1845 Patek joined with the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe, inventor of the keyless winding mechanism & in 1851 Patek Philippe was founded. They pioneered the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph & minute repeater.
Rolex is the largest luxury watch brand & produces about 2,000 watches per day. In 1905 Hans Wilsdorf & his brother-in-law Alfred Davis founded "Wilsdorf and Davis" in London. In 1908 they moved to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland & registered the "Rolex" name. Innovations - 1st waterproof watch case; 1st to put dates on dials; 1st watch to show two timezones; & 1st to earn chronometer certification for a watch.
Ulysse Nardin founded the company in 1846 in Le Locle, Switzerland & was best known for manufacturing marine chronometers. Notable complications include the GMT± Perpetual that combines a perpetual calendar with the GMT± complication (one-press buttons that adjust the hour hand back & forth for international travellers) & the Freak which is a tourbillon watch with no hands or crown.
Vacheron Constantin was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron. First company to standardize movements into Calibers. Invented the pantographic to engrave small watch parts & dials. Created the first nonmagnetic timepiece which included a complete lever assortment (balance wheel, balance spring & lever shaft made of palladium, lever arms in bronze & escape wheel in gold.