The Holy Trinity of Watches is the holy trinity for the Swiss watch industry. These are the 3 most valuable watch brands in the world, so it’s worth knowing a little bit about them. The Big 3 Watch Brands are Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe Watches, and Vacheron Constantin. All three of which have been producing timepieces since the 18th century or before. Let’s take a look at what makes these big 3 watch brands so special in the world of watches.
1. Audemars Piguet Watches
First on the list of the Holy Trinity of Watches is Audemars Piguet. Although AP watches are the oldest among the Big Three, they’re still in business today and doing better than ever. They’ve had a lot of success with their classic pieces like the Royal Oak. The timepiece was first introduced to the world in 1972 as an ultra-modern watch that would appeal to younger consumers (and it did).
The brand continues to be seen as more modern than others. Because they continue to push new innovations no one else has attempted before. One example is the Jules Audemars Tourbillon Minute Repeater, released at Baselworld 2016. It costs $800,000. If you want something cheaper but equally impressive the brand is famous for its ultra-thin pieces like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Watch.
They’ve also seen some very successful collaboration watches with brands including Hermes and Ferrari. This has helped to cement the idea of them as the most modern watchmaker on this list. To make such a timepiece even more refined, there are lots of rubber straps for premium watches at HorusStraps.com to spruce up your watches.
2. Patek Philippe Watches
It’s known throughout the world as some of the best timepieces you can buy – regardless of price point or rarity (take that however you want). When people think about luxury watches they’re thinking about Patek Phillipe.
They were founded in 1851 by Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe, who joined forces after meeting at a trade show in Paris. It was the first company to introduce the concept of the chronograph, the world time watch, and the perpetual calendar. Since then they have continued their trend of innovation – with one example being the Calibre 89 which has 33 complications (fun fact: it takes five years to assemble).
Patek Philippe watches are known for other things as well. These include the level of finishing that goes into every single piece and craftsmanship you’ve never seen before. They’re also known for having this classic look to them, but still looking modern enough. So people don’t think your grandfather owns a Patek Phillipe on his wrist. This is probably why celebrities from Jay-Z to Oprah Winfrey own some beautiful pieces by Patek Philippe.
“Complications” – the term used to describe the watch’s extra features, are something that these guys specialize in. You could say that they’re the best at it because of their expertise and knowledge behind the scenes. It basically means things like having a chronograph (stopwatch) or even adding date displays on the dials. Which people don’t think is possible to do with the naked eye. And if you ever get bored playing around with all those functions, there’s always the chance to adjust your time zone while you sleep.
3. Vacheron Constantin Watches
Vacheron Constantin watches were also founded back in 1755 – so they’ve got some history as well. But what makes them different from other luxury brands is the fact that they only produce 500 watches a year and every single one of them is entirely made by hand. It takes about 90 hours to build the case alone, not even mentioning the dials or the mechanics inside the watch.
The most popular Vacheron Constantin watches: the Patrimony, the Complication and the Historiques. People love these timepieces as they are the epitome of the traditional Swiss watch.
Vacheron Constantin was an independent manufacturer until it joined the SSIH Group as a manufacture d’horlogerie in 1970. And since then we know them as the Richemont group. And just like AP & PP they still produce their own movements. But not nearly enough for all 500 timepieces per year.
They use ETA’s workhorse Caliber 2800/A2824 which has got 25 jewels and beats at 21,600 bph (beats per hour). This particular caliber features a hand-winding mechanism, approx 43 hours of power reserve. The time can be read off the dial using the subdial located at the 12 o’clock position. The case is made of 18K white gold, as well as the bracelet. The price for this marvel? A cool $41,600 USD.
All in all, Vacheron Constantin’s are definitely something you should check out if you’re into quality Swiss luxury watches.
Audemars Piguet vs Patek Philippe vs Vacheron Constantin
If comparing Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin watches, the first thing to remember is the price difference. Audemars Piguet watches are the most expensive, then Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin the least. The second key differentiator between these three brands has to do with their history. While it’s unclear what year exactly Audemars Piguet was founded, the company started making watch movements for other houses in 1875. Before creating its own timepieces by 1889 – so at around 14 years of existence.
Patek Philippe on the other hand was created back in 1851 as a family business that made complicated pocket watches. It took them until 1932 to actually enter the wristwatch market. However the company was the official timekeeper of the Olympics in 1932, so it’s not like they were just sitting on their hands.
Vacheron Constantin is the oldest out of the three by far as they are celebrating their 260th anniversary this year. They’ve been crafting fine watches since 1755! The brand has always focused on creating high-quality complicated movements. And it still holds the record for the world’s most complicated mechanical watch with 33 complications inside a pocket watch created back in 1887.
The Final Word
If you’re looking to purchase a new timepiece, it’s worth your while to do some research. A watch can be an investment that lasts for decades and with the right one, you’ll never have to worry about being late again. Take a look at this list of three iconic brands that are sure to last the test of time – Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe Watches, and Vacheron Constantin. Make sure you know what kind of watch is best for your lifestyle before making any decisions on which brand or model will work best for you.