When speaking about quality and exceptional timepieces, Swiss brands are among the first choices. However, you should not ignore Germany’s watchmaking industry. The nation has long been well-known for its advanced craftsmanship.
Germany’s horology dates back to the 16th century, even longer than Switzerland’s. Today, German watchmakers have made their names in the competitive timepiece market. Let’s find out the list of 20 best German watch brands that impress our demanding horophiles!
- How Is The Quality Of German Watches?
- List of 20 best German watch brands
- The Bottom Line
How Is The Quality Of German Watches?
German watchmakers are well known for their sturdy craftsmanship, attention to detail, technical prowess, and brilliant design. Despite various prices and models, their products are outstanding in terms of functionality and quality. Although Swiss brands gain a well-established reputation, Germany’s watches are considered the strongest rivals that will give Swiss watches a run for their money.
List of 20 best German watch brands
A. Lange & Söhne
This brand is one of the oldest watchmakers in Germany and in the world. Besides the high-end quality, their unique designs of oversized date window set them apart from other luxury watchmaking brands.
As a top-tier and leading watchmaking manufacturer, the company has introduced a variety of high-quality watches. Each of them displays their exceptional looks and technical workings.
For the sake of ultimate timekeeping distinction, the process of making an A. Lange & Söhne’s watch requires extreme precision and patience. After assembling and checking a movement, the workers will take it apart for cleaning, then finish by putting the parts together again.
Speaking of the best German watch brands for aviation, everyone may think of Sinn first. Established by the pilot Hemet Sinn in 1961, Sinn has made its name of one of the leading aviation watchmakers. The company is also famous for its modern-looking casual timepieces and dress watch lines.
At first, Sinn watches were sold directly to customers without an intermediary, hence minimizing their costs. This strategy helped them to reinforce their position in the watchmaking industry. Over the years, its supreme quality and capability have been trusted by many professionals. Until now, their mission-timer models remain the sought-after timepieces of astronauts and police officers.
Bethge & Söhne
Bethge & Söhne is one of the most well-known family-owned watch manufacturers in Germany. Launched in 1939, the company soon placed its position as one of the significant major dials and watch manufacturers. In the present day, the company is still a worldwide market leader in manufacturing dials and the restoration of old, antique dials.
During the 1960s, Bethge & Söhne established the brand’s reputation in the aviation watchmaking field. Today, it maintains its position as one of the best German pilot watchmakers. Besides, the company has expanded its product lines to meet modern demand, such as dress watches, diver’s watches, and sports watches.
Junghans is one of the world’s largest and oldest watch manufacturers. At first, the company produced only wall clocks. During the 1900s, they also owned the biggest clock factory in Germany. In the 1950s, the brand’s reputation became widespread when its high-quality wristwatches went along with the unique minimalist designs.
Junghans also gained many outstanding achievements in the brand’s history. They pioneered in adding Lume to watches, helping wearers to read the numbers clearly in the dark. The brand owns a variety of amazing product lines, such as mechanical chronographs, radio-controlled, and solar-powered watches.
Archimede was officially launched in 2003. Though it is quite “young” compared to other brands, its founder, Karl Ickler, is a 90-year-old expert in watchcase manufacturing. Today, the legendary Ickler cases are one of the best features of Archimede’s products.
The Germany-based company offers automatic, chronograph, and hand-wound watches are equipped with ETA movements. Their products are multifunctional for different purposes: diving, pilot, sports, and dress. Especially, the pilot timepieces from Archimede are among one of the highly valued watches.
While having an affordable price, Archimede watches also feature a stable quality and impressive design. All the products are custom-made, without depending on external manufacturers.
MeisterSinger is a relatively new name in the watchmaking market, yet the brand is on the rise in the last two decades.
The company focuses on making high-end mechanical timepieces. Featured a minimalist yet elegant look, the device matches really well with its single hour hand design. Besides, each of their watches is punctiliously made with accurate movements. If you are used to it, you can read the precise time correctly.
You may think that this brand is from Switzerland due to the “Swiss” in its name. Actually, the company originated in Munchen, Germany, in 1983. Their first product lines included mechanical wristwatches and pocket watches. During its development, many of its luxury watches have earned a global reputation.
A distinct feature of Chronoswiss is its elegant onion-style crown. Throughout decades, their crown, lug, knurled bezel, and dial typography do not change much. The timepieces of today still own an elegant and first-class look.
Junkers has a long history dating back to 1895. Today, it is one of the notable brands for aviation watch manufacturing. Founded by Professor Hugo Junkers, who is a German aircraft pioneer, the company focuses on high-quality watches at a mid-range price.
Among other watchmakers in the market, Junkers set itself apart with the standard Bauhaus design and domed glass. What’s more, the company produces a wide range of automatic and quartz watches. It should be convenient for you to choose your preferred movement from these options.
Founded in 1893 by Johannes Dürrstein, Union Glashütte set the goal of manufacturing highly precise watches at affordable prices. One interesting thing about its origin is the Glashütte town. It is home to the German watchmaking industry, with many famous luxury brands gathering here.
To minimize the cost while retaining the quality, the brand avoided using gold cases. Despite that, their timepieces were still appreciated due to their highly-complicated craftsmanship.
Union Glashutte product lines vary from casual mechanical timepieces to luxury watches. Their chronograph collections are also remarkable, showcasing the brand’s proficiency in horology.
Stowa has been a well-established German watch brand since 1927. At first, the company was widely known for its pocketwatches and wristwatches. In fact, Stowa developed its Bauhaus watches even earlier than the Junghans brand. Until World War II, Stowa made a name for itself due to the original ‘Flieger’ watches, used by Luftwaffe pilots.
These days, Stowa is not just about Bauhaus and pilot watches. They have developed a variety of modern styles, such as dress watches and divers. All of them used automatic movements and featured vintage and contemporary design.
The best thing about the Stowa of today is its nifty customization. That means you can add personal engravings on parts of your watch, like on the rotor, the case, or the wheel.
Launched by Konrad Damasko in 1994, the company is now one of the renowned pilot watch manufacturers. Speaking of history, its founder used to supply high-performance applications and materials for the aerospace industry. He even provided hard watch cases for Sinn. That’s why the Damasko watches are highly recognized for their incredibly sturdy nitrogen-enriched case.
Besides the exceptional durability, the watches stand out with their military-inspired designs. Today, Damasko primarily manufacture pilot watches, available with both GMT and chronograph features. One of the brand’s products – the DC56 model – is the official watch used by Eurofighter test pilots.
While commonly known for their high-end goods, Montblanc also creates several world’s luxury watches. Even though the company originated in Germany, they did not produce timepieces in the country. Their products were based on the Swiss technique. No wonder why the brand’s watches showcase the meticulous craftsmanship, the best watchmaking technology, and innovative designs.
Today, Montblanc continues to maintain the traditional values of watchmaking while enhancing their technical prowess. Their timepieces display a variety of overwhelming advantages, such as general performance accuracy control, assembly control, winding performance, and more. Recently, Montblanc has been releasing many high-end smartwatches.
Glashütte Original is one of the major names of the German watchmaking industry. Despite its establishment in 1994, the brand has its long history back to the 1800s. Today, it is one of the admirable watch brands in the world with its high-end German-made watches.
Glashutte Original prided itself on being one of the German watch brands producing their unique in-house movements. Their products are highly recognized in terms of craftsmanship and artistry. They are even in the same class with some important Swiss watch brands.
Following the motto of precision, legibility, and reliability since 1869, Mühle Glashütte has always been dedicated to their high-end timepieces. The brand’s founder, Robert Mühle, used to be a supplier of precision measuring instruments for other watch manufacturers.
Back in the 1990s, the company specialized in nautical instruments and marine chronometers. Their first wristwatch line was launched in 1996. Today, the brand has released many outstanding wristwatch collections, which are greatly valued worldwide for their impeccable precision.
NOMOS Glashütte is one the German watchmakers that rose to fame after the country’s reunification, manufacturing both hand-wound, automatic and mechanical watches. NOMOS is also among few German watch companies that produce their own in-house movements.
The brand’s timepieces adopt the Bauhaus style, featuring its highly legible and straightforward design. Furthermore, the brand’s typical look includes a thin case and a 2-hand dial. For an affordable watch, you can look nowhere but a high-quality NOMOS’.
Botta Design focuses its business on manufacturing minimalist-look timepieces. It is easy to see the extreme elegance in each of their works, presenting only the quintessential details and elements.
The company is also one of the most successful brands with the best single-handed watches. Their wristwatch models were among the best innovations of the modern era, handling the one-hand principle swiftly. Today, their UNO models remains a sought-after one-hand watch.
Dating back to 1822, Kienzle Uhren is regarded as the oldest German watchmaker. During the late 1960s, the brand gained prominence among major German watch companies, due to their contributions in the development of car clocks and quartz watches.
Throughout the 2000s, the company business faced many ups and downs. Yet they soon reformed their success by coming up with three new watch collections, served for different price segments. At present, the company aims to extend as a mid-sized lifestyle brand with core areas of watches and clocks.
Laco has a watchmaking history of nearly 100 years. The company was founded in Pforzheim, one of Germany’s well-known jewelry-making regions.
Throughout the years, Laco gains success in producing high-quality pilot watches. There are a large number of aviation timepieces in the market today, yet Laco remains one of the most favorite selections. Every year, the brand released different pilot models with a variety of movements, dials, “can condition,” and case sizes. Their watches feature a classic look with high functionality, and more importantly, at an affordable price.
Daniel Malchert, a horological master, founded his namesake brand just a decade ago. After years with NOMOS Glashütte, he developed his workshop in his hometown, Quedlinburg. Now, the company does not only manufacture their own watches, but they are also a reliable service provider, who are in collaboration with Omega, Tissot, Longines, and more.
Speaking of the brand’s products, the Schlossberg model is the most renowned. It is a combination of skillful craftsmanship, the best German microbands ever, and innovative design, making it a masterpiece of watchmaking craft.
If you want to enjoy the masterful German artisanship, then Jochen Benzinger is one of your first go-to choices. Regarded as a master engraver of German watchmakers, Jochen Benzinger displays extraordinary precision in every of his timepiece.
The house prioritizes quality over quantity. The brand is committed to showing attention to detail, making it an exceptional advantage. Every single product is a result of meticulous manual craft. It is treated like a valuable work of art with high sophistication, making it stand out as an utterly refined timepiece that every watch lover would seek after.
The Bottom Line
So far, we have been through our top pick of 20 best German watch brands. Germany’s watchmaking industry has been developed for a long time in their history. Today, many of them become high-end luxury brands. Though not every brand is famous globally, it can’t deny that German watches owning world-class quality.
If you want to give these Germany watch brands a try, we hope that our list can help you somehow. We believe that their quality and functionality will not disappoint any timepiece enthusiasts!