Like in many industries, many of the major companies in the watch industry are owned by a few big companies. But who owns who? It’s time to find out who really makes the watches you know and love— let’s take a look at where our favorite watches originate from.
The name “Swatch” may conjure to mind colorful, budget-friendly watches but the Swatch group owns a huge number of brands, including the major luxury brand Omega. This Switzerland-based group is the largest watch company in the world. They have a diverse roster of brands, with everything from the lower end children’s brand Flik Flak to the ultra luxurious timepieces of Breguet. Harry Winston is the newest brand to be acquired by Swatch Group— they bought the luxury brand in 2013.
Their brands: Breguet, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz, Omega, Léon Hatot, Longines, Rado, Union Glashütte, Tissot, Calvin Klein, Balmain, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Swatch, Flik Flak
Richemont Group is another Switzerland-based powerhouse. They primarily deal in luxury watches, like Piaget and Baume & Mercier. Their star brand is Cartier, which ranks as the second luxury watch brand in the world, after only Rolex.
Their brands: Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubuis, Piaget, IWC Schaffhausen, Officine Panerai, Ralph Lauren, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, Dunhill
LVMH, which takes its letters from their brands “Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy,” is not specifically a watch group. This Paris-based conglomerate is a larger blanket group, the largest luxury-goods group in the world. They have many liquor, cosmetics, fashion, and watch brands under their umbrella. The newest addition to LVMH is Bulgari, which they acquired in 2013.
Their watch brands: TAG Heuer, Bulgari, Hublot, Zenith, Dior, Fred, Chaumet, Louis Vuitton
This US-based company operates out of Paramus, New Jersey. The Movado group leads the pack in more affordable luxury and fashion watches, including their namesake, Movado.
Their brands: Ebel, Concord, Movado, ESQ by Movado, Coach, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Scuderia Ferrari
The Seiko Group is another large corporation that deals in much more than watches. Their watch business is called Seiko Watch Corp., which uses only watch components made by Seiko Group companies. In watches, the group is primarily known for their massively successful Seiko brand.
Their brands: Seiko, Grand Seiko, Credor, Pulsar, Lorus, Alba, Orient