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7 Underrated Watch Brands That Deserve More Attention

A few days ago story on Instagram asking you who you thought were the most underrated watch brands today. You had the option to select from either Girard-Perregaux, Blancpain and Breguet, or you had the choice to name your own underrated watch brand. The answers are in, with 53% of you believing that Breguet was the most underrated watch brand, with Girard-Perregaux coming in second with 23% and Blancpain following close by with 18% of the votes.

Interestingly though, 6% of the votes went to the "other" section, which enabled you to type in a watch brand that you personally thought was underrated. There was a large variety of watch brands that popped up, but the following had the highest number of mentions: Ulysse Nardin, Piaget, Glashütte Original and Zenith.

Let's take a closer look at those watch brands, along with some data procured from Google Trends with respect to the popularity of the keyword being searched in the last 12 months (Within the following parameters: Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term).


Since its inception in 1775, Breguet's prominence atop the peak of high horology has been all but undisputed. You name it, Breguet has done it. And while the maison's technical prowess has always been in the spotlight, Breguet's capacity to create visceral masterpieces is as impressive as it is varied. Breguet knows no bounds when it comes to true high end watchmaking, paired with meticulous finishing and an almost inimitable aesthetic. It's a wonder why the maison itself doesn't have more mention as deserving as it is.


Girard-Perregaux came in second with less than half the votes of Breguet. From the Laureato to the 1966 collection, from its iconic Bridges to the Vintage 1945 collection and everything in between, Girard-Perregaux walks the walk and talks the talk, but for some reason doesn't get the reception it so deserves. I liken Girard-Perregaux to be a true house of haute horlogerie with all of the quality you would come to expect from a manufacturer of that stature. One of the most underrated watchmakers around, period.


Blancpain is the world's oldest active watchmaker, producing timepieces since 1735. Its provenance is virtually unmatched, and while its history is defined, its distinguished place in modern horology is somewhat under appreciated. A large portion of the votes went to Blancpain, and I would definitely agree that, alongside the aforementioned watch brands, the maison of Blancpain is criminally underrated. They amount of quality, variance and sheer horological innovation within the maison's proverbial four walls is tantamount to that of Willy Wonka's highly secretive but utterly delectable chocolate (And assorted candies) factory. It seems that a certain John Mayer would also agree, too.

Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin is by far one of the coolest, most pioneering and most against-the-grain watchmakers around. Everything they do is cool. Especially the Freak. One of my all time favourite watches, in any of its variations, is the Freak. When we talk stand out watchmakers, pioneering watchmakers, innovative watchmakers and watchmakers that have a penchant for the absurd, Ulysse Nardin always springs to mind. A highly, highly underrated watchmaker whose horological might continues to be elevated year in, year out.


Something for everyone. That's what comes to mind when I think of Piaget. And thinness. Ridiculous thinness (In the best way possible). From the Polo to the Altiplano, from the Limelight Gala to the Possession, all the way to the haute horlogerie and haute joaillerie, Piaget has an offering for every collecting level. So, it's a wonder why Piaget continues to be pushed out of the limelight, despite its many super positive attributes. Which leaves me scratching my head as to why Piaget remains as underrated a watch brand as it is.

Glashütte Original

Distinguished, storied and well versed, Glashütte Original, like Piaget, offers something for everyone in its very deep catalogue. Yet it remains a truly underrated watchmaker, even amongst some of the other more esteemed brands on this list. It's a shame, because it is in the metal where Glashütte Original's timepieces truly come to life, where you need to touch and feel the watches themselves to really appreciate the workmanship behind them. One of those IYKYK underrated watch brands.


I was surprised to Zenith included, given how popular that brand had become in the last half decade. With releases like the Chronomaster Sport, the Chronomaster Open, the Chronomaster Revival and the assortment of brilliant DEFY references, in my opinion Zenith had come leaps and bounds over the last few years. I only included it in this list of underrated watchmakers given how many times it was mentioned in the story poll.


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