Switzerland is rightly called the watchmaking capital of the world. Many of the world’s most prestigious and famous watch brands are assembled or created in Switzerland. “Swiss Made” watches have held a high place in delivering quality, innovation and horological prowess. But it’s not just the Swiss who hold the monopoly of creating horological masterpieces. The art of fine watchmaking is spread across the globe, and today we bring you a list of the top 5 non-Swiss watch brands you need to know.

NOMOS Glashütte – Germany

This Glashütte based watch brand is one of the most innovative companies in the world. Founded by Roland Schwertner in 1990, NOMOS Glashütte is Germany’s largest manufacturer of mechanical timepieces. One of the most notable features about NOMOS Glashütte is that all of its watches and the movement inside are developed and produced in its manufacture, on-site in Glashütte.

In terms of its design and aesthetics, the Bauhaus design style deeply inspires the timepieces developed by NOMOS Glashütte with instantly recognizable dials. Simple, minimalistic and highly innovative, the extensive collection of watches from NOMOS Glashütte aims to offer well-designed timepieces at a price to fit any budget.

For more information, visit here.

Seiko/Grand Seiko – Japan

When Kintarō Hattori opened the door of its watch and jewellery shop called “K. Hattori” in Tokyo back in 1881, little did he know that it would become one of the biggest luxury watch companies outside Europe. Additionally, Seiko, which means “exquisite”, developed the world’s first quartz watch – the Seiko Quartz Astron in 1969 and watchmaking was changed completely.

 
 
 
 
 
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Not limiting itself to quartz pieces, Seiko launched Grand Seiko in 1960 (which became a separate brand in 2017), dedicated to high-quality mechanical watchmaking. Since then, Grand Seiko has slowly made an impression with its incredibly made and technologically superior timepieces. Characteristically Japanese, Seiko and Grand Seiko are clearly among the most popular non-Swiss watch brands.

For more information, visit here.

Bremont – Britain

This British brand is a relatively young brand with its humble beginnings dating back to 2002. Despite its rather short history, Bremont is an award-winning company that produces beautifully engineered chronometers at its headquarters in Henley on the Thames in England.

 
 
 
 
 
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Deeply inspired by the military, Bremont was founded by two brothers, Nick and Giles English, who were pilots and shared a  love for restoring mechanical timepieces. They started the company to pay tribute to their late father, a former Royal Air Force pilot. However, the brand’s name comes from a Frenchman – a farmer named Antoine Bremont who had given refuge to the brothers when they had made an emergency landing on his property due to bad weather and a faulty engine.

 
 
 
 
 
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The Bremont brand offers an exclusive range of beautifully crafted pilot’s watches that are immensely precise, reliable and durable. Hand built and available in limited numbers, Bremont has created a niche for itself with specially designed pieces that appeal to those who share the same passion and DNA as the brand itself.

For more information, visit here.

Ressence – Belgium

Offering an entirely new way of reading time is the watches from Belgium watch brand Ressence. The name combines the French words ‘renaissance’ and ‘essence’. These words represent what the company stands for – to express time in the purest way possible.

 
 
 
 
 
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This motto lies at the heart of their product, which features discs instead of hands to showcase the continuous movement of time. Unconventional but highly innovative, the timepieces offered by Ressence push boundaries and have been extremely well-received by watch lovers and collectors alike.

 
 
 
 
 
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Founded in 2010 by Benoît Mintiens (who earlier worked as an industrial designer), the brand has quickly made a name for itself for its hyper-scientific and technologically advanced DNA. From their crownless case-backs to their E-crown automated setting technology, Ressence has introduced a newfound freshness in watchmaking. It has led to the brand winning numerous awards like the Horological Revelation Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneva.

For more information, visit here.

Panerai – Italy

Before we move on, let me clear the air first. While Panerai watches are made in Switzerland, their history and design DNA are firmly rooted in their hometown Florence, deeming the brand to be Italian first before anything else.

 
 
 
 
 
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The story of Panerai began in 1860 when Giovanni Panerai opened a watch shop in Florence, Italy. By the 1900s, the company had started making timepieces for the Royal Italian Navy. Since then, the Italian brand has made a name for itself for creating a range of large, legible and military-inspired timepieces. From its flagship Luminor and Radiomir collection, Panerai’s watch roster has increased incredibly. Its product scope now includes a range of timepieces featuring new materials, horological complications, case sizes, and sustainability efforts.

For more information, visit here.

Header Image Courtesy: Nomos Glashütte and Bremont