Know Your Brand
We all wear brands. Every day we make decisions as to what to buy based on the way in which companies present themselves to us. Maybe we see the Greek symbol of Omega or the crown of Rolex and it evokes a response and instils certain knowledge of what we should expect. Ultimately these brands get place in a hierarchy that we build inside our minds. We like some more than others, perhaps because they mean something to us. However it’s often the case that we base our response on instinct and can’t really explain why we prefer one over another.
Following is a list of brand information for some of the leading purveyors of modern timepieces. We hope this well reintroduce you to the brands you love and allow you to better understand those that you don’t.
TAG Heuer is a brand that needs no introduction, but it’s much more fun for us if we give it one anyway. Famed for their refined manufacture of Swiss timepieces, TAG Heuer exhibits an array of skilfully wrought designs that give testimony to the seasoned artisans who lead modern horology. Founded by Edouard Heuer in the idyllic village of St-Imier, Switzerland, the company now known as TAG Heuer has been constantly pushing conceptual boundaries, ever since their very first tick, way back in 1860.
Emporio Armani is one of those modern names that once (in the 90s) dropped like a stone through the surface of the fashion industry and has been spreading ripples ever since. This stylish brand has long been etched onto a variety of timepieces, all of which are invariably sleek and unique. Due to this, Watchtag has arranged an Armani collection tailored for men and women alike and tagged with competitive prices. Utilising the perpetual balance of modern engineering and classic styling, Armani has clearly mastered the marriage of casual design with a sophisticated movement. When you see our refined selection of Armani watches you’ll surely agree.
Recognised all over the world, Cartier is an elegant purveyor of luxury timepieces styled in the cultural wellspring of Paris, France. The company has been linked to a fascinating history, namely the influential transition from pocket watches to the modern customary wristwatch. The iconic esteem that surrounds this brand is irresistible. That’s why we offer over 50 styles of authentic Cartier timepieces, including the famous Santos range, available at unbeatable prices. In fact, we’re so confident you’ll love your Cartier purchases that we also offer a full money back guarantee to ensure your peace of mind.
Founded in the free-spirited Netherlands, TW Steel is a bold and robust brand distinguished by their ability to break the mould and surprise their customers. This unique manufacturer has acquired a soaring reputation since its birth, in 2005, rapidly becoming a sponsor for the Renault F1 team in just 5 years. Suffice it to say that it was a very easy decision when we decided to arrange our own selection of stand-out TW Steel timepieces.
In 1882 the innovative son of a watchmaker, Ariste Calame, set up a workshop that specialised in producing luxury watches. Over time Calame became obsessed with leaving his fingerprints on the clay of horology by creating the most precise watch ever made. The fruit of his labour was a characterful pocket watch that became the first Zodiac. Ever since those early days, when Calame first started working in a cluttered little workshop, his dynasty has flourished and been responsible for crafting some of the finest timepieces in all of Switzerland.
Picture New York City – it is 1872, steamboats chug across a misty millpond, the Great East River Bridge towers over sprawled ranks of huddled houses, connecting New York and Brooklyn. There are no cranes that wheel through the sky, no scaffolding paced by unharnessed builders and certainly no skyscrapers. Into this scene arrives a 16-year-old immigrant from Switzerland who starts working for his brother-in-law selling fine Swiss watches. His name is Albert Wittnauer and despite his humble beginnings he goes on to embody the American dream, founding a luxury watch company, Wittnauer, which will one day be prized by city trendsetters, tastemakers and innovators around the world.
Like all great oaks Chopard was once a humble acorn. In 1860 the company began in the verdant hideaway of Sonvilier, Switzerland. It was founded by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, a young craftsman who set out in a small workshop and devised a variety of timepieces notable for their precision and reliability. These designs then swept across Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia. In 1937 the company headquarters were moved to Geneva, which is often referred to as the capital of Haute Horlogerie and thereby considered to be the zenith of fine watchmaking. By 1943, Paul Chopard, Louis’s grandson stepped out to take the helm. Pursuing the time-honoured family tradition, Paul continued to marry design creativity with cutting edge movements, exhibiting the excellence of the artisans that made Chopard one of the leading brands in the industry today.
Concord is a lesser-known watch company founded in 1908 in Biel, Switzerland. They were one of the first watch manufacturers to emblazon their watches with gemstones. Generally speaking their bold timepieces were mechanically tailored to appeal to an American audience. In 1979 Concord achieved a breakthrough by creating a sleek timepiece called the Delirium Watch. This watch was just 1.98 mm thick and therefore the thinnest timepiece made hitherto. By 2007 the company was still running strong, celebrating the highly touted launch of the bold C1 Worldtimer Watch and the rubber-coated C1 Gravity Tourbillion. Today they continue to excite their customers with innovative and audacious designs.
The stylish US designer Calvin Klein has achieved worldwide appreciation by lending his name to an array of exceptional products. Today Calvin Klein Inc. is recognised as one of the world’s leading fashion design and marketing studios. In 1997 they produced their first Calvin Klein watch, evincing a philosophy that still survives today and also providing another elegant example of a subtle and sexy product. Each timepiece provides a different aesthetic, enhanced by the slow shaping of refined lines and characterised by a Swiss-assured quality, suited for both men and women alike.
A famous watch manufacturer founded in Tokyo, Casio has long been celebrated for their oversized and durable timepieces. Many of their stand-out creations feature LCD and analogue functions and operate by receiving daily radio signals from an atomic clock. One of the most famous Casio watches was the G-Shock, an exceptionally shock resistant design that can be seen on video receiving blows from hammers and emerging undamaged. In 1983 G-Shock also created the DW-5600C, a smooth sports model watch, which is still coveted by collectors. In the late 80s they earned further acclaim with a selection of digital watches and, occasionally, in-built games, designed to withstand extreme temperatures and to take any unwanted impact like a heavyweight boxer.
Accutron are known for crafting fine timepieces on behalf of the New York watch manufacturer, Bulova, famed for their marriage of European craftsmanship and American innovation. That’s not even to mention their use of superior mechanical and quartz movements, reminiscent of the Space Age and Bulova’s historic partnership with NASA. Something unique about the Accutron movement is the fact it offers no tick, but instead the movement is powered by an electronic tuning fork.
One of the original pioneers of the wristwatch chronograph, this complication has come to define Breitling, a high-end Swiss watchmaker known for masterfully crafting timepieces using meticulously arranged components. In fact, the sleek and complicated Breitling design was primarily created for aviation purposes. You can always distinguish a Breitling by the fact it’s built to be streamlined and never has any unnecessary extras that would overcomplicate the aesthetic.
Founded in 1930, the timeless watch company Citizen has been favoured for the multi-cultural excellence that makes their designs unique. Focusing on the importance of creativity, Citizen conveys the refined craftsmanship of a true manufacture d’horlogerie. The design process integrates a selection of fine, individual components integral to the movement. In the end each finished timepiece conveys the artisan’s approach, as well as Citizen’s internal commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new possibilities.
It is impossible to mistaken the metallic sheen of a Dior watch for that of any other timepiece. These elegant time-pieces have been displayed by such radiant and talented icons as Marion Cotillard and Natalie Portman. In 1946 Dior came into the spotlight with the creation of their first couture house. They’ve been leading high-end fashion ever since and their move into luxury watches is no exception. The elegant fingerprints of Dior are manifest from sketch to finished piece and the intricate, practised craftsmanship leads to a matchless final product.
Tommy Hilfiger watches offer round-the-clock style and entry to the mind of one of the world’s leading designers. Hilfiger is internationally recognised for their classic American designs and smooth styling. Founded in 1985, the marriage of aesthetic and cutting-edge functionality has become a trademark of the Hilfiger brand, something which can be traced through all of their understated timepieces.
Since 1989 the Swiss Army watch company has been crafting refined, robust and resilient watches – remember those three R’s. Over the years Swiss Army has struck a fine balance between performance and timeless style. Suffice it to say that the final timepieces are finely tuned, having survived a series of rigorous quality assurance tests. Expectations are always high when Swiss Army are involved, just look at the success of their compact knives. The quality is unquestionable too and fittingly tailored to endure the great outdoors.
Born of humble origins, Tissot was founded in the quaint mountain city of Le Locle, which is one of the cradles of Swiss horology. Back in 1853, when Tissot first started crafting stylish pocket watches, they were a respected manufacturer dedicated to pushing the envelope. In fact one of their first breakthroughs was the first pocket watch to feature multiple time zones. Mostly they specialised in luxurious pendant and complication watches specifically designed for the United States. Steeped in rich history, interspersed with flashes of genius, Tissot has continued to develop the latest precision technology, whilst also sponsoring various sport occasions, like the Davis Cup, as well as a number of top Formula One teams.
You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of the American DKNY range, which isn’t to say that their timepieces are of inferior quality to any of the better known brands, it’s just they haven’t had their time in the sun. For those who don’t know, DKNY is the elegant brainchild of designer and fashionista Donna Karan. Expect beautiful silver bracelets and sophisticated chronograph watches with leather straps. They also offer a popular selection of minimalist timepieces designed to balance comfort with luxe, inspired by the high-flying spirit of New York.
Rotary is a critically acclaimed brand that specialises in classic timepieces. The company was founded in 1895 by Moise Dreyfuss in the Swiss mountain city of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Years later Rotary was taken over by Robert Dreyfuss and eventually it transpired that Rotary was the oldest family-owned purveyor of Swiss watches. The timeless elegance of Rotary has served them well throughout the years, as well as their signature attention to detail and top-down insistence on a personal service.
Dolce & Gabbana has flourished for decades under the vigilant watch of Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Throughout the years their luxury timepieces have been celebrated as some of the finest precision watches in the history of horology. Unsurprisingly the expert purveyors of high-fashion had turned their designers to watches with effortless rigour, insight and flair. The products they released then soared in popularity, notable for their slender styling and subtle touches of femininity.
Before Lady Liberty’s torch was lifted into the air and before the Eiffel Tower looked over the wide Moveable Feast, when horse hooves clopped on the stone-paved roads of inner New York, there was Bulova – or, to be more precise, there was the young inventor, Joseph Bulova. In 1870, having immigrated to America from Bohemia, Mr Bulova decided to open a high-end jewellery store on Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan. He named the store ‘J. Bulova’ and was soon being inundated with demand for his artistry. 140 years later Bulova is still in demand for their unique designs and advanced movements. In fact their reputation has soared to such an extent that they recently became the official timekeeper of Manchester United.
An innovative purveyor of fine Italian watches, Diesel is an international company that also offers an extensive collection of refined products, from jeans to cologne. The company was created in 1978 and has enjoyed exponential growth ever since, becoming a fashion pioneer that, among other things, has offered a cheaper denim alternative to the overpriced jeans of the luxury market. But, as we mentioned, Diesel is much more than just a clothes company. Their bold and innovative timepieces have had an enduring impact on modern horology, offering unique designs and stylish watch faces crowded with arrays of helpful subdials and neat apertures.
Guccio Gucci founded his eponymous Italian couture house in Florence in 1921. Throughout it’s long life, 94 years to be precise, the company has provided some of the world’s most refined and stunning items for discerning men and women. Today the company conveys contemporary glamour with ranges of ready-to-wear handbags, leatherwear, footwear, eyewear, timepieces and cologne. Every single Gucci piece invariably possesses a certain artisanal quality. Match this with Gucci’s record of global philanthropy, their various foundations and partnerships with the likes of UNICEF, etc…, and you’ve got yourself a fairly unbeatable brand. One of the preeminent luxury fashion brands, in fact, which has long been revered as an impeccable purveyor of high-end jewellery. Their signature eye for detail and refined Italian craftsmanship is evident in all of their works and, particularly, their elegant timepieces.
Founded in 1984 the Fossil brand has grown for a quarter of a century and remained loyal to American vintage styling all the while. The company now boasts an esteemed multi-brand portfolio and is counted amongst the top most publicly traded companies in the US. Safe in the knowledge you’ve chosen the right brand, you can dig up your own unique skeleton design with our refined selection of Fossil timepieces, offering an assortment of different calibre items to suit everyone.
Marc Ecko, the New Jersey born fashion designer, is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and artist who founded the eponymous watch company: Marc Ecko. Interestingly he first started out in business as a graffiti artist, spraying his masterpieces over handmade T-shirts modelled by such influential icons as filmmaker Spike Lee. Years later Ecko then turned his sophisticated urban talent to hip-hop, designing a casual clothing line sported by Mobb Deep, Eminem and the like – oh, yeah, and he also oversaw the creation of an excellent collection of watches too.
Adding a touch of luxury to your everyday, Michele provides a glimmering showcase replete with refined Swiss movements and gleaming mother-of-pearl dials. What you’ll find therein is an array of designs blended with the Michele philosophy, which applies timeless elegance to contemporary fashion. In keeping with this, Michele timepieces are subtly styled with classic and feminine details that set them apart from their competition. They also often feature the signature addition of interchangeable watch straps. Couple this with their usage of materials from around the world and their staple selection of diamond and gold casings and you’ve got a brand that empowers every individual woman with a timepiece that is at once both unique and personal.
Guess is an upscale American brand and retailer famous for their glamorous and urban designs. Their timepieces often feature intricate monogramming, brown leather straps, denim bands and rose gold detailing to achieve a decorative yet casual look. There are countless variations of Guess designs, some with animal print dials and others with oversized styling and pastel colouration. Indeed this is one of the most recognised fashion brands in the world, spirited with American flare and pizazz, as well as a touch of European finesse, tailored for men and women alike.
Invicta has been propelled by centuries of innovation and has risen to a great height since its humble launch in Chiasso, Switzerland. Expect expertly crafted mechanical and automatic timepieces, built to last in extreme conditions, like the signature Ocean Ghost professional dive watch. Invicta also brought us the brazen Lupah Collection replete with colourful urban designs and a range of different models. They are seasoned masters of case complications, displaying the advanced expertise and diverse designs that distinguish the Swiss-born Invicta trademark.
Born in the crowded borough of Brooklyn, Kenneth Cole is an entrepreneurial designer famed for his high-end shoes and clothing lines. The story behind his breakthrough, in September 1982, is as absurd as it is genius. In a bid to showcase his new collection, during the competitive market week at the lavish Hilton Hotel in New York, Cole renamed his company ‘Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and parked a borrowed truck two blocks from the Hilton. He slipped through various legal loopholes and escaped the high cost of a New York showroom. In the end they managed to sweep prospective buyers off the street and catch the tail-end of one of the biggest months on the fashion calendar. It was through this manoeuvre that Kenneth Cole cemented his name – and with it his brand – in the foundations of the high-end market.
Like the rest of the Kenneth Cole collection their timepieces are of invariably high quality, with genuine leather straps and sophisticated casing and dial designs.
Based in New York, Michael Kors has made his mark as a bold designer of casual and classic American sportswear. For those who knew him his success in the fashion industry came as no surprise. Inspired by his mother, a famous model and actress, Kors was immediately drawn to the world of glamour and style. At the age of five he helped to redesign his mother’s wedding dress for her second marriage. Then he started out in business designing and selling clothes from his parents’ basement, which he called the Iron Butterfly. Many years later his company has inevitably prospered, offering a refined selection of luxury jewellery, footwear, colognes and, of course, watches too. However a lot of watch enthusiasts seem to turn their noses up at Michael Kors pieces. In an industry predicated upon the power of a name, his has been nonsensically lumped into an ill-written list of uncool castaways. Don’t let that put you off, though, these designs were skilfully wrought by artisans who know horology like birds know the sky.
Founded in the Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Movado is the nurtured brainchild of Gedalio Grinberg, a Cuban-born Jew who escaped Fidel Castro’s Marxist Revolution in 1960. Passed down to his son Efraim, Movado is respected today as a purveyor of artistic designs with unique, minimalist watch faces. Perhaps their best known timepiece is Nathan Horwitt’s dark and broody ‘Museum Watch’, made in 1947. In our opinion this was the most meticulously designed and elegantly simple timepieces created by Movado. The model remains as a symbol of innovation that still displays the heights horology can reach.
Founded in New York, in 1983, by Taiwanese designer David Chu, Nautica is a water-inspired apparel brand specialising in men’s sportswear. Such is their affinity with the ocean that every single one of their timepieces evidences a deep understanding of maritime technology. Even the brand name Nautica is derived from the Latin word ‘Nauticus’ for naval. The spinnaker logo is also used as a symbol for adventure, marking each individual piece as a promotion of the seaborne lifestyle.
When it comes to innovative watchmaking Omega is a brand that casts a long shadow. The company has evolved into a giant since its inception in 1848, supported by ambassadors like George Clooney and Michael Phelps. Perhaps their most notable feat is the fact an Omega Speedmaster was the first watch to land on the moon, carried on the wrist of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Over the years Omega’s heritage has mostly revolved around the zenith of sports timekeeping. The company has always led from the front, supporting pioneers on journeys around the world and into space, advocating worthy organisations and keeping one of the world’s most iconic characters, the invincible spy himself, James Bond, on time.
Puma has made its own stamp on horology with an array of colourful timepieces and a range of durable designs. A lot of the Puma collection features a combination of smooth digital and analogue watches made with athletics in mind and yet usually still tailored to match an elegant suit or evening attire.
Another pioneering Swiss company, Rado was the first watch manufacturer to venture into scratchproof technology. High-tech ceramic materials have played a pivotal role in Rado’s success, proving them to be a versatile creator of unique designs, replete with shimmering metal and matt finishes in a variety of colours. The use of ceramic material developed until 1993 when Ceramos, a platinum-coloured ceramic and metal composite, was introduced. The designs were wrought with optimal properties, such as the ability to adjust to the wearer’s skin temperature and acquire a unique allure. Rado then started to use Ceramos, a plasma high-tech ceramic with a metallic brilliance, and gained a worldwide reputation, due to the patented techniques they used, as well as their scratch resistant, robust hardmetal casings and coloured diamonds. The company has been awarded numerous international design awards and even found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, where a Rado watch was named the hardest in the history of horology, namely the sleek, black V10K Men’s Quartz Watch.
Esteemed masters of precision and class, Raymond Weil are counted within a limited ring of Swiss watchmakers that keep the business in family hands. Raymond Weil also keeps music at its heart and arranges partnerships with major venues, intertwining the fluidity of music with the effortless aesthetics of high-end timepiece. Take their Special Edition Sinatra timepieces, for example, a tribute to the master of Big Band music, or their partnership with guitar manufacturer Gibson, which led to automatic and quartz movement timepieces with sub-dials resembling knobs and pickup selectors.
The internationally acclaimed watchmaker, Seiko, received its name from the Japanese word for ‘exquisite’ and, in case you wondered why, that’s probably due to the quality of their collection. Over the years Seiko has earned a lasting reputation for their unique watches, clocks and electronic devices. The company was established in 1881 and celebrated for their subversive take on modern horology. They also created the futuristic Astron wristwatch, which is the world’s first ‘quartz clock’, based on the rudimentary quartz crystal oscillator.
This is one for those nostalgic types who enjoy a retro kind of style. Transporting their wearers back to the early 80s, these Swiss made watches celebrate diversity and free-spirited watch lovers with their colourful, plastic designs. They are both affordable and trendy, without sacrificing anything in terms of quality. Swatch are also famous for having been worn by extreme sports participants in everything from motocross to surfing.
Timex is an iconic watch manufacturer with a rich American heritage and over a century and a half of industry experience. Founded way back in 1854, Timex survives on a traditional style of innovation, creating luxury timepieces that are stylish, long lasting and efficient. In fact they subtly combine a high-end Italian aesthetic with reliable German engineering. The result is a diverse selection of watches that convey a certain nostalgic appeal. In addition, Timex is also a maker of an array of sports-orientated timepieces, particularly their Timex Ironman Collection, which is ideally suited for the active and health conscious individual.