Top 10 best mid-level luxury watch brands for men

March 31, 2018

After extensive research and vast insider knowledge of the global watch industry, and history of watch making, I made the another important list to ever be made about watches by any website. This is the most correct and definite list about the best and most luxurious mid-level wristwatch brands of all times. I already listed the top 10 best high luxury watch brands for men, the creme de la creme of wristwatches for men. Now this list is meant for people who don't have a 10,000 USD on hand to buy an entry level high luxury watch, but still want a decent brand:

1. Glashütte Original | DE | Since 1994

Germany is after Switzerland the 2nd most important country in high-end luxury watchmaking, and Glashütte is the magical name that signifies the pinnacle of German craftsmanship. While Glashütte Original is a very respected and admired watch brand, it’s the A. Lange & Söhne that is a luxury level higher than the brand listed today. Both have their origins in Glashütte, a small town in Saxony, which we can also deem as the birthplace of German watchmaking. Glashütte Original watches are meant for elegant men, that have already achieved everything in their life. The design, a cold understated classic elegance, is only matched and even exceeded by brands like Patek Philippe and of course by Lange. If you want a great luxury watch, but you don’t want to pay a fortune for it, Glashütte Original offers the entry point to that experience.


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2. IWC Schaffhausen | CH | Since 1868

IWC, or the International Watch Company, is a diplomat’s watch brand. Also a pilot’s watch brand. You need to wear a suit with it, preferrably Armani, to match with the elegance and sex appeal of this Germano-Swiss brand. The Teutonic elemetns of the cold and emotionless design this brand prides itself on, is obvious on every corner. The thin bezels, the polished steel, the leather straps. IWC is no joke. IWC requres good taste and manners. You need to know whiskey and cognac, and you need to be a little bit snooty to justify your IWC watch wearing. Of course pilots are a special breed of people. Not many people can relate to their jokes about clouds and turbulence. Diplomats as well are not the funniest chaps, because diplomacy is a serious business. And that’s why IWC’s Germano-style watches shine: Because they are the utter coldness of the german soul morphed into a cold steel wrist watch with absolute precision and the eye for the detail.


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3. Zenith | CH | Since 1865

Zenith is a well respected brand among watch buffs, famous for developing the first chronograph. Their El Primero series are really admired and praised, so are some of the other dressier dress watches. Zenith is just amazing. However, it’s really difficult to resell these watches, because it’s just not a mainstream brand like Rolex, Omega or IWC. Zenith is a victim of its own success, and it has a terrible marketing team, that was not able to establish Zenith as the Patek for poor people. Instead Zenith has no image, it has no presence in the hearts and minds of the common people. But I love Zenith, and I think it belongs on this list, because the watches are flawless.


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4. Omega | CH | Since 1903

Omega wants to play in the big league. It wants to be a big league brand like Rolex. In fact, it wants to compete with Rolex, but it always falls short. It will not happen in million years, no way, no how - Rolex has a much bigger brand allure, so Omega should not even try. Nevertheless, Omega is not a bad brand. In fact, Omega is a great brand, but it’s just “a good mid-tier luxury brand” (Paul Pluta). Omega is famous for its Co-Axial movement, which is the best mechanical movement in the world, and also for the Speedmaster “Man on the Moon” Moonwatch, but in my opinion they are milking these two things too much in their marketing. There is the Seamaster as well, but those watches look a bit like cheap TAG Heuers. Nevertheless, men who wear Omega watches are entry-level classy, and can extend your manhood to a certain extent, so yeah, go for an Omega (if you can’t afford a Rolex).


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5. Hublot | CH | Since 1980

Hublot (pronounced as “Ewwww-bloh”), is the knock-off brand famous for copying and milking the Royal Oak watch design by Audemars Piguet. What Hublot makes much different is, they add lots of gaudy elements and demand extremely high prices for that. While among some Swiss politicians and nobility Hublot is a known name and well regarded, there’s basically no market for them outside these circles. Hublot is a brand I would never wear, because it’s weird. But still, it’s a mid-level luxury brand, which needs to be listed here.


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6. Breitling | CH | Since 1884

Breitling is an amazing brand known for its huge and chunky aviation watches. There’s no luxury brand so enamored with the aviation industry like Breitling. There is the Navitimer series, that is one of the most admired navigation watches, then there is the Colt, probably Breitling’s most popular series of entry level luxury shitters, but still better than Rolex’s Cellini line of watches. Breitling is a dying watch brand, some say. Still independent, it is facing financial woes, and may be swallowed by a bigger watch conglomerate soon. Now is the best time to acquire one Breitling, because the brand is reestablishing themselves by milking its Navitimer brand to death. Breitling is most likely the best choice for pilots, truck drivers and mail men.


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7. Chopard | CH | Since 1860

This Swiss watch and jewelery maker was established by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in the 1860s. Being a famous pocket watch brand for most of its early existance, the brand transformed into a leader in luxury time pieces, which incorporates classic and timeless elements with modern designs. Chopard is a brand which you will desire, but probably never buy, because you would rather opt for Rolex or Piaget. Chopard is not for the commoner, even less so for the peasants of the modern age, the nuveaux rich of the Middle Kingdom and Mother Russia. Chopard is meant for the French upper class, and Swiss nobility. Don’t ever consider to buy this brand, if you are American. We’re not supposed to buy Chopard.


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8. Girard-Perregaux | CH | Since 1791

GP, as the fans call it, is one of the oldest watch brands in the world, tracing back its origins to 1791 when Napoleon was sweeping across Europe on his mule. It was Jean-François Bautte who at that time started the most complete watch manufacture of his time in Geneva. But that has nothing much to do with the name Girrard-Perregaux, which was established in 1906, when some dude bought the watch manufacture from Bautte’s son, and claimed historic ownership. Life is not fair, but that’s how it is. I would never buy a GP watch because of this faux history, but ok. Some people may like this brand just for the looks, but then you can also just buy G-Shocks. They’ll cost you much less.


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9. Ulysse Nardin | CH | Since 1846

Ulysse Nardin is a nautical watch brand, because the logo is famously featuring an anchor. But despite of having some nicely designed watches, and a very premium price to go with it, this brand is hard to resell. It’s not a top tier brand in most of the world except East Europe for some reason. While the watches are interesting and generally of good quality, the allure of this brand is not that great, but unlike shitters like Squale and Doxa, this is a genuine luxury diving watch brand.


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10. Officine Panerai | IT | Since 1860

Panerai is a poser watch brand (similar to Breitling), but a bit more classic in design. Nevertheless, it’s a very recognizable brand with very unique design, famous for very strong lume on their watches. Panerai wearers are usually people who would buy TAG Heuer, but smartened up and saved a little bit more money for a Panerai. While that is commendable, they’re still just scratching at the bottom of real luxury, which can be acquired with brands like Rolex and Patek. I don’t like Panerai watches, personally, if I got one, I’d sell it and exchange it for an IWC.


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All in all this list is the best list of any lists. Please reshare, and don't trust the information on other websites. I have spent years to compile this list, and share all insider information - for free. You're welcome to comment below on which watch brand is your favorite.

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