From Family names to Genies, from Watch Designs to Caliber names. From locations & Quotes. Here’s the origin of 20 Luxury watch brands names & logos.
Le Coultre is the Surname of the inventor & founder Antoine Le Coultre, which started the first workshop in 1833.
The family business remained strong & growing under the leadership of Antoine’s son Elie Le Coultre & then grandson Jacques-David LeCoultre.
In 1903, a friendship between Jacques-David LeCoultre & the Paris based watchmaker Edmond Jaeger started after Edmond challenge to Swiss manufactures to develop the ultra thin movement Edmond invented. After years of collaboration, in 1937 the brand name change from “LeCoultre” to Jaeger LeCoultre.
Read our article on the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso watch story.
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The famous winged Hourglass logo, Longines was Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz.
Longines name came from the name of the location where the initial factory of Longines was built in a place called Es Longines (which translates to ‘Long Meadows’) in Saint-Imier Switzerland.
The Factory was built in 1867 by Agassiz’s nephew Ernest Francillon after taking over the family business & rebranded the name to Longines.
Founded in 1848, The brand name initially was called Louis Brandt & Frère (Louis Brandt & Brother). The sons of the Founder Louis Brandt, Louis-Paul Brandt & Cesar Brandt.
OMEGA name was born in 1894 when the Brandt brothers introduced to the world a new watch caliber designed by Francois Chevillat that was hugely successful thanks to its simplicity of replacing any component of the movement without modification by any watchmaker in the world, which set a new standard in the watchmaking industry.
The Brandt brothers renamed their company OMEGA after the success of the OMEGA Caliber. They chose this name as OMEGA ( Ω ) is the last letter in the Greek alphabet, which translates to ‘Great End’ or the ‘ultimate accomplishment’.
Florence, Italy 1860. The Italian watchmaker Giovanni Panerai opens his shop & the first watchmaking school in the city.
The Brand has been specialized in the diving watches for the Italian military, although it’s an Italian however it’s a Swiss made watch.
The company’s logo represents “O” and “P” the initials of the company name Officine Panerai ( Panerai Workshop ) Also the two arrows have a symbolic meaning that the brand manufactures underwater products and landing aid systems.
“For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the TUDOR watch company.” – H. Wilsdorf
The sister company of Rolex, Created by Rolex’s founder Hans Wilsdorf in 1926. Rolex is famous for its royal look with its Crown logo, so the name Tudor which from what I read is a name of an English royal family, really suits the Rolex legacy.
The Tudor logo currently is a shield, but also the brand is famous with its rose logo Inscribed within a shield which symbolized the invincible union of strength, the watch’s robustness with grace & the beauty of its lines.
The name SEIKO In Japanese means exquisite, minute or success. A great name that have several interesting meaning & here’s how it started:
The story of Seiko began in 1881. Founder Kintaro Hattori opened a shop selling and repairing watches and clocks in central Tokyo. Just eleven years later in 1892, he established the ‘Seikosha‘ (sha means House) factory.
Heuer is the name of the founder Edouard Heuer & the brand name originally was HEUER.
In 1985, a group called Techniques d’Avant Garde ( TAG ) acquired the company & rebranded to TAG Heuer.
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Famously known by the Art of Fusion, for adding several different materials in their watches like Gold & Rubber.
Hublot is a french word that means Porthole, which inspired the founder Carlo Cocco to design the Hublot watch based on the Porthole design.
The oldest watch manufacturer in continuous operation since it was founded in 1755. Founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron, his watches held his name Jean-Marc Vacheron until 1819 when his grandson Jacques Barthélémi Vacheron officially partnered with the businessman François Constantin to be called Vacheron Et Constantin
The Maltese Cross logo of the brand came 61 years after the partnership in 1880, which was inspired by a design of a former movement component mounted on the barrel cover to secure the most constant force from the spring to achieve a better rate.
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Georges Favre-Jacot Founded Zenith in 1865 & Zenith refers to the highest point reached by a heavenly body in the sky, symbolizing the heights of excellence to which the brand with the guiding star has been aspiring ever since.
The brand holds the name of its creator, watchmaker Ulysse Nardin. The brand logo of a ship anchor illustrated the watchmaker passion for marine navigations, By the 1870s, over 50 navies and international shipping companies were equipped with Ulysse Nardin marine deck chronometers, providing sailors instruments for accuracy and efficiency across trades and continents.
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IWC stands for International Watch Company, a simple english brand name among the Swiss brands that are often challenging to pronounce.
That’s because it was founded by a watchmaker from Boston Massachusetts Florentine Ariosto Jones & his goal was to sell in the American Market & Schaffhausen refers to the town in Switzerland where IWC is based.
The brand name AUDEMARS PIGUET was formed when the two founders, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet established their business in 1875.
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The new brand that invaded the luxury world of watches with a new contemporary approach to horology, founded in 2001 by Richard Mille
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The oldest watch brand in the world! Blancpain was established in 1735 by the watchmaker Jehan-Jacques Blancpain.
Read our article on the story of the oldest watch brand in the world.
Patek Philippe logo represents the Cross of Calatrava which became the brand’s official symbol in 1887. The Order of Calatrava was a Spanish military order that originated in the 12th century. Patek Philippe has a line in their collection under the name Calatrava.
The brand was founded by Jean Antoine Norbert de Patek & Adrien Philippe in 1839.
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Swiss watchmaker and a businessman, Léon Breitling founded the watch manufacturing company Breitling in Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 1884.
The winged anchored logo represents their range in Nautical & Aviation range of timepieces.
A father & his son, gold case-fitter Charles-Félicien Tissot & his son Charles-Émile a watchmaker founded Tissot in 1853 in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Abraham-Louis Breguet started his watchmaking apprenticeship in Paris & in 1775 he opens his first workshop in the Ile de la Cité in Paris.
Finally, the most famous, recognized & appreciated brand in the world. There are several stories where did the brand name originate from but according to ROLEX, Hans Wilsdorf the founder wanted an easy, short & easily pronounced name by all languages which also looked neat when printed on a watch dial.
Hans Wilsdorf said:
“I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave me some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.”
Read our article on the three most expensive auctioned Rolex watches.