The phrase “German engineering” has reached a cult status in our society. That phrase gives us the assurance of durability, strength, and uncompromising performance. We witness German engineering excellence mostly in the automobile sector, but you can trust any German piece of tech.
Swiss watches have been sitting on the throne in the watch industry for centuries. However, the German watch industry is slowly challenging the king since the revolution after WWII.
You can find a plethora of watches from the German makers that will shock with remarkable build quality and ingenious design philosophy. You can find both the solid “workhorse” watches for your daily needs and premium class luxury watches from this industry.
So, let’s go through brand by brand to find out more about the best German watch brands. While discussing, I’d also touch on German watch brands review briefly.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
17 Top German Watch Brands of 2020
Let’s start with the brand with the most glorifying history – A. Lange & Söhne. This German luxury watch brand boasts of the 175 years of experience.
Back in 1845, a German craftsman, Ferdinand Adolph Lange started a small shop in the small town of Glashütte. His two sons, Richard and Emil worked as the main workforce.
The father-and-sons trio soon became famous for crafting high quality pocket watches. Thus, the legacy continued.
After WWI, the company saw the uprise of the wristwatches. They soon pivoted towards making wristwatches as they saw the world favoring the wristwatches over the older pocket watches.
A. Lange & Söhne ushered to success during the WWII. B-Uhr, the official watch for the German Luftwaffe, is perhaps the most well-known watch in history. A. Lange & Söhne was one of the five suppliers of these watches.
However, the company went through a dark period after the WWII. This dark phase continued till 1989 (fall of Berlin wall). Walter Lange, the great grandson of the founder, rekindled the spark again. Since 1989, A. Lange & Söhne has established itself again as a top-tier German watchmaker.
Archimede is relatively a new player in the German watchmaking industry. Officially the brand emerged in 2003, but this family-own company has been making watches since 1924. Their goal is to offer high quality mechanical watches to mass people.
To achieve that goal Archimede has priced all of their watches strategically. Most of their watches are priced around $1,000 to $3,000.
Okay, I understand that such pricing doesn’t seem very “cheap” either. But you need to understand that we’re taking a look at the German luxury watches. After checking all the brands, $1,000 price point would seem quite cheap to you!
What are best watches from Archimede?
Bethge & Söhne is another German family-owned watchmaking company. In 1939, just before the beginning of WWII, Richard Bethge and Emilie Bethge, the husband-wife duo founded the company.
Just like A. Lange & Söhne, this company also supplied watches for the pilots of Luftwaffe.
Right now, Bethge & Söhne specializes in making high-quality divers, sports, and dress watches. However, their diver and sports watches are heavily criticized for following the Rolex Submariners’ same design trend.
If you want to see some of their most creative collection, you should take a look at their Meteor collection.
German watches have always been praised heavily for the creative designs. Many high-profile brands have gifted the industry with creative and unique designs.
To me, Botta Design holds the crown for creating most beautiful watches. Their watches feel more like a piece of art than a watch!
Botta Design will definitely come to top three to four brands in this category.
Botta Design’s most notable creation is the UNO collection. This minimal masterpiece comes with only one hand! They also claim that UNO is the first one-hand watch of the modern era.
Another interesting feature of their design philosophy is that you can find automatic, quartz, and titanium build for every design. So, you will not have to sacrifice while going for your favorite choice of movement.
Chronoswiss is a bit different from all the German watches.
This Munich-born watch company changed their base of operation from Germany to Switzerland. Despite that tactical shift of strategy, people still regard them as a German watch brand.
The core philosophy of Chronoswiss is to maintain a balance between traditional and modern design principles. Also, keep in mind that Chronoswiss watches don’t come cheap, all of their watches have hefty price tags.
Very few brands can compete against Damasko in the durability and performance department. Their watches have reached a cult status for being the “most indestructible” watch in the world!
Sorry to say, but in front of Damasko, G-Shock looks like a child!
Their watches feature case made of ice-hardened stainless steel. Then, the link bracelet is made of grade-5 titanium.
Damasko also passes the strict NATO military standard. 9g (9 times the gravitational force) acceleration, -40°C to +54°C temperature fluctuations, or even 12,000 meters of altitude can’t pose any harm to these watches!
Because of having these traits, Damasko watches are the official watch of the Eurofighter pilots.
Damasko is the testament of ruggedness of German engineering.
Europe is the heaven for the creative watchmakers, or should I say – watch-craftsman! You can find a lot of microbrands settled up in a small shop in the streets of Europe.
Daniel Malchert is also microbrand but it’s far from your average microbrand. To his admirers, Daniel Malchert is a magician with the watches. His watchmaking gifts are hereditary in the family.
His family has been in this business since 1919!
Daniel Malchert mainly designed one single masterpiece, SCHLOSSBERG that looks like a piece of art. However, you should know that he is the official service provider of Omega, Longines, Tissot, Rado, Mido, Hamilton, Certina, and NOMOS Glashütte.
I think that speaks of his caliber and credibility!
Germany is a land of luxury watch brands. When it comes to luxury brands, Glashütte Original is a name that is sure to come.
The Senator Collection, Pano Collection, and Spezialist Collection are quite known the premium design and elegance.
Their Spezialist Collection SeaQ is the most affordable and popular watch of the entire lot. The suggested MSRP is about $11,000, making Rolex somewhat a cheap option!
Senator Chronometer Tourbillon costs about $172,000!
So, Glashütte Original is not the average joe of the German watchmaking industry. Some watch experts suggest that Glashütte Original sits among the best watch brands in the world!
Do you want to own a truly unique watch that’s just made for you and no one else? In that case, Jochen Benzinger is the name that you’re looking for!
Jochen Benzinger specializes in crafting custom-made watches.
What’s best part?
The overall crafting, from A to Z, is hand-made. Apart from the custom designs, you can also choose a watch from their regular models. These regular models would cost from $10,000 to $25,000.
However, the price would change based on your demand and preferences.
Junghans is one of the oldest names in the German watch industry. The start of the company dates back to 1861. Later, visionary designer Max Bill elevated the brand image to a new status in the 1950s.
Currently, Junghans is one of the largest watchmaking companies in Germany. You can find a fine blend of vintage and modern minimalism in their collection.
German watch industry has no shortages of luxury brands and premium craftsmanship. However, finding a budget watch from a German watchmaker, on the other hand, is quite hard.
From that perspective, Junkers could be a great option. German aircraft legend, Hugo Junkers founded the brand in 1895. You can find great looking Aviator and Bauhaus-style watches from their collection.
The best part?
You’ll not have to break the bank!
Laco belongs to the big-five watch manufacturers of Germany. Yes, Laco was supplied the B-Uhr watches to the German Luftwaffe in the WWII.
Laco still has those iconic B-Uhr watches in its collection now. They are a specialized brand that focuses only on designing pilot/aviator watches.
Laco pilot watch “Frankfurt GMT,” received a red dot award for excellence in design in 2020. If you’re an aviator watch fan, Laco might have the best-looking watches for you in their collection.
Laco is not the only German brand that won the red dot design award 2020. MeisterSinger Astroscope also won the same award along with the German Design Award 2021!
The single-hand watch design and a perfect balance of vintage and modern design in all of their watches make MeisterSinger unique.
Montblanc is perhaps he most common name of the German watch industry. However, Montblanc is more famous for their pens and writing experience. After all, Montblanc is the creator of some of the most expensive pens in the world.
You can find the same mark of aristocracy in their watches. However, compared to their $730,000 fountain pens, Montblanc watches seem dirt cheap!
Like I said earlier, Europe is a heaven for the boutiques and microbrands. Schäuble & Söhne is another famed watchmaker founded in 1924.
The tourbillon models showcase the strength of craftsmanship and creativity of Schäuble & Söhne. Everybody loves Schäuble & Söhne for the assurance of having a complete hand-made masterpiece.
The “Carl” Regulator Tourbillon is the crown of their collection priced at $23,600. If it seems a tad too much, you can find regular watches like “Carl” Pilot Watch that comes at the $2,000 price tag.
Stowa is another German classic brand. This brand has a history of having a strong presence in the market despite the ups and downs.
After the rigorous start in 1927, Stowa watches instantly became a hit among the common Germans. In the aftermath of WWII, the whole manufacturing facility got demolished. Stowa took quick action and relocated their operation and store again.
Wempe Jewelers is one of the older family-owned German companies. The company specializes in jewelry and watches, and one of the biggest luxury retail shops in Germany.
Yes, you can find Original Wempe Jewelers watches like Chronometerwerke and Zeitmeister. But the company also is the official retailer of luxury watch brands. Wempe Jewelers boast of their ties with Rolex and Patek Philippe.
What does that mean?
It means that you can find original Rolex and Patek Philippe watches in their stores. At the same time, Wempe is also responsible for the maintenance duties of these watches.
Apart from Rolex and Patek Philippe, Wempe Jewelers also sell and maintain A. Lange and Söhne, Rado, Montblanc, Breguet, Breitling, Junghans, Longines, Tag Huer, and many more.
That was a long list, wasn’t it? Germany is a proud land of manufacturers and creators and there is no shortage of world-class watch brands here.
If you look closely, the best German watch brands don’t prefer cutting down the watches’ prices to compete with the other brands. Rather they try their heart and soul to create and offer the best of the best.
The German watch industry also goes neck and neck with the Swiss watch industry and wins in many battles.
However, if you truly want to experience the height of German engineering, you’ll have to spend quite the money.
If you have any questions regarding the best German watch brands, let me know in the comment section. Also, if you want me to review any particular German watch or brand, just write it down!