Who says your watch has to be from Switzerland, Germany, or Japan to be stylish and high-quality? Believe it or not, you can get a high-quality watch from Australian watch brands. They’re fairly new, but they’re giving a lot of the big brands a run for their money.
Men’s watches are as durable as they are fashionable and since Aussies have some of the roughest terrain known to man, the watches are certainly built for it. The words “Made in Australia” have made themselves known and are taking the world by storm.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top 10 best Australian watch brands:
- Nicholas Hacko Fine Watches – Best Hand Made Watches
- PANZERA – Best Classicly Designed Watches
- Melbourne Watch Company – Most Precise Watches
- BAUSELE – Best Themed Watches
- Orange Watch Company – Best High-Quality Luxury Watches
- The 5th – Best Limited Edition Selection
- Creux Automatiq – Most Unique Watches
- Erroyl – Best Affordable High-Quality Watches
- Haigh & Hastings – Most Fashionable Watches
- JDRT – Best Brand with Antimicrobial Bands
Top 10 Best Australian Watch Brands
1.Nicholas Hacko Fine Watches – Best Hand Made Watch
In 2011, there weren’t any independent watch repair companies in Australia. This meant that nobody could get their watch fixed and would need to buy a replacement. This was a huge downfall for independent watchmakers as their livelihood was essentially destroyed overnight. Nicholas Hacko contacted a Swiss company to ask for spare parts and they told him he was too dumb and unwilling to invest in the equipment.
In this turn of events, Nicholas decided he would build his own watch to prove to the larger Swiss companies that he did have what it takes. He created the 0/9 watch and received more than 100 orders the same day he put it online. Since then, he has created multiple watches and collections at prices that are affordable for just about everybody.
One of their most popular watches is the NH2. The NH2 is unique in pattern and color. It’s a three-part titanium composite that combines Grade 2, 3, and 5 titanium through a vacuum forging process. This process creates a non-homogenous laminate. The chamfers are hand-polished in anglage and the holes for the jewels are rounded by hand. These watches are all crafted by hand, so there are only 50 released each year.
2.PANZERA – Best Classicly Designed Watches
PANZERA was established in 2009 in Australia by two founding partners from Sydney. They were inspired to take a spin on vintage-style watches and turn them into contemporary pieces. They feel that they can capture the soul of vintage watches and bring contemporary features defined by the size, dial, case materials, and modern-day functions of the piece.
PANZERA watches are fully designed in Australia from parts that stem from Germany, Japan, Italy, or Switzerland, depending on the watch collection. Each of their watches is assembled by watchmakers who are subject to five days of thorough industry testing.
One of our favorite Men’s watches is the Viper S MK9. This watch is from the Time Master 42 automatic motorsport watch collection. The watch features a 42mm case made from 316L stainless steel. It has a dial in midnight black with luminous hands and index markers and an attractive date function. Additionally, it has 40 hours of power reserve and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
The Aquamarine 38 is an attractive women’s watch specifically crafted for small wrist sizes. It features a beautiful quartz MIYOTA-Japan movement with a date function and 3-year battery life. The case has a 38mm diameter crafted from 316L surgical grade stainless steel. It is beautifully paired with a soft genuine Italian cow leather strap.
3.Melbourne Watch Company – Most Precise Watches
The Melbourne Watch Company was introduced in 2013 as an online watch company. They relied on the power of the online watch community to help launch their product through crowdfunding. Since then they have established a wide range of designs that are available in a showroom so you can relax and view their collections.
The team is passionate about horology and knows how intricate the designs can be. One of their beliefs is that their team’s hands-on approach allows them to provide the quality and satisfaction that the customers need at every stage of service.
Their most popular men’s watch is the Chelsea. It’s a vintage dive-style watch designed with comfort in mind. It features a beautiful vintage dial and sapphire bezel. The Chelsea features a rugged textured dial with a Swiss NewLite lumed steel indices and hands. The movement is powered by the Miyota Cal. 9015 (Japan) high-beat auto mechanical parts and is covered with a premium sapphire crystal glass to prevent scratching.
Their most popular women’s watch is the Portsea in rose gold. This is a classic marine-style watch with clean white dials and Arabic numbers enclosed by railroad minute markers. It features an elegant multi-layered dial with a molded ceramic main disc. It’s powered by the Miyota Cal. 9122 triple calendars automatic movement with month, date, and day functions. As with the Chelsea, it has sapphire crystal glass over the dial to prevent scratching under most circumstances.
4.Bausele – Best Themed Watch
Bausele began in 2011 in Sydney, Australia by Christopher Hoppe. He had a great corporate jo after moving to Sydney, but he soon realized that he was missing an Australian watch brand that he could trust. He gave up his job and began designing watches based on the Australian lifestyle he loved.
By 2015, Bausele was the first and only brand from Australia to be exhibited at Baselworld, which is the largest watch and jewelry fair on the planet. In 2016, the company collaborated with the Sydney Opera House to produce their first watch ever to exist. In 2020, they were chosen to create the first official watch to mark the Royal Australian Air Force Centenary in 2021. Unfortunately, such highly praised watches aren’t cheap. Their watches cost upwards of $1,200 AUD or more.
We looked through their collection and found the Royal Australian Air Force Centenary 2021 Airfield Hercules watch. This is actually one of their most affordable watches. It was designed in collaboration with the Air Force to revive the revolutionary official issue watches from the 1940s and 50s. It features a 316L surgical-grade stainless steel case with a sapphire crystal. The metal dial is set in beige with super-luminova coated indexes and hands. This magnificent piece only costs $499 AUD.
5.Orange Watch Company – Best High-Quality Luxury Watch
The Orange Watch Company was born out of passion, obsession compulsion, and frustration by Daniel Fock. Daniel was the son of Dutch immigrants who grew up in the United States, Singapore, and Australia. He planted his Dutch roots in Orange, a rural centre famous for watches and cool climates.
He has created some of the most bespoke small production runs of watches. He has become known as the “Time Lord of Orange”. The Orange Watch Company is a small team of eager, introverted eccentrics who want to bring passion, spirit, and more to the world of modern watchmaking.
One of their most unique watches is the WT-1884 or “World Timer”. It’s kind of their spin-off of the mechanical Time Zone Traveller Watch. It is a beautifully crafted timepiece with a steel bezel and has multiple time zones right on the bezel. The sword hands make the watch easy to read and the dial is dark black with a SuperLumiNova feature. There is no date on this watch, but it is water-resistant to 30 atm.
6.The 5TH – Best Limited Edition Selection
The 5TH was established by Alex McBride in 2004. He grew up with two architects and had been sucked into the great world of design from an early age. When he inherited his grandfather’s watch, he then realized how powerful a watch can be. His grandfather had built a successful business from scratch and was greatly admired by Alex. It was then that Alex decided to share his passion with the world.
Their designs are created in limited runs. On the 5th of each month, new styles are released. Over the last 6 years, their new releases generally sell out on the first day. This is what makes their company so unique. They use unique engravings on the casebacks and since they’re limited edition, it gives the wearer the opportunity to be just 1 of 250 people to own that specific watch.
We’ve looked through the whole catalog of the watches they have available right now. One of their most unique timepieces that we thought was wonderfully designed is the Jet Black. This watch is actually crafted in Switzerland and inspired by the 1960s. It features a beautiful sapphire crystal, hand-painted indices, black sector dial, and their signature 5-sided crown.
As far as women’s watches go, the White Rose is stunning. This is another Swiss-built watch. This watch is another that is inspired by the 1960s. It has a gorgeous white lacquered finish and the notorious Swiss Made markings. The case has a polished steel domed bezel and belly case. As with the other watch, it features a five-sided crown. It’s water-resistant up to 5 atm and is wonderfully complemented by a white Italian leather strap.
7.Creux Automatiq – Most Unique Watch
Designer Dane Rumble lead a two-year research adventure to Switzerland. They went there because Switzerland makes some of the best watches in the world. When they traveled there, they learned everything they needed to know about materials, components, movement, and case manufacturing that make a high-quality timepiece.
Their name came from Rumble when he was hiking through the Creux du Van canyon range in the Swiss region of Le Soliat. This is also where their first timepiece came from. It was called “The Ghose Ca-01” due to its skeletonized design. This is now the signature for the Creux Automatiq brand.
Full disclosure; this watch isn’t cheap. The Ghost V3 Roux is part of their signature line.
The Ghost V3 Roux is limited to 70 pieces worldwide, so it’s on preorder. It features a stunning scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, double coated with a special anti-glare system. There is no seconds’ hand, rather, the entire wheel rotates on a clear wheel with a ghost-like effect. Additionally, there is a skeleton date-view window at the 6’oclock position. It also features a Swiss-made CA S24-SK8 automatic movement. Not only is this watch elegant, but also masculine.
8.Erroyl – Most Affordable High-Quality Watch
Erroyl was established in 2014 in Canberra, Australia. They were set out to manufacture a watch that was both elegant and refined while remaining affordable and accessible. They’re one of the few watch companies that bring high-quality timepieces to the public that are affordable and fit the budget of just about anybody.
Since 2014, they have sold their watches to people in over 50 countries on their website. They are also recognized as a microbrand and have amazing industry credibility. Additionally, they have been featured in multiple watch magazines and blogs. They currently have four collections, two of which feature the ETA 2824-2 watch movement, which is the best in the industry.
Our favorite Erroyl watch is the Regent Luna. It’s just one of four models in the triple complication Regent Collection. It features a stunning multi-textured dial and an Italian crazy horse leather strap. Inside of the watch is a Japanese Miyota Cal. 9122 automatic movement that makes it tick. The fully polished stainless steel case holds intricate ion-plated blued dauphine hands under a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal covering.
9.Haigh & Hastings – Most Fashionable
Haigh & Hastings was founded by Matt Sears and Simon Haigh in 2013. Their inspiration came from a line from T. E. Lawrence’s 1922 literary masterpiece Seven Pillars. In 2014, the brand launched its first model, the M2 Diver Automatic. They conducted a soft launch and used the tagline “Timepieces for Dangerous Men.” They received such a huge response from this from the military, sporting and charitable spaces, and more.
The brand now has a massive following as well as a handful of product lines that receive both media and financial attention. Their watches are crafted with their local hard work, adventure, and love of the outdoors and sea in mind while remaining boardroom-worthy. One aspect that was taken into consideration was that men are adding more color to their dress code, which is why they have 243 watch strap variants available for purchase.
We took a look at some of the men’s watches and found the AR24 Chronograph to be one of the most popular and affordable. It’s a stylish chronograph that can be worn in both the office and out on the town. It features a Miyota JS06 quartz movement and a sapphire crystal that encases the components within the 316L stainless steel case. It’s water resistance up to 50 atm and comes with an elegant Bonetto Cinturini Italian rubber strap with a black and red stitch. This attractive watch only costs a mere $99.95.
If you’re in the market for a more feminine watch, check out the Reef Break Aqua. This vibrant and elegant watch is one of the most fashionable sport watches they make. It’s perfect for those who are looking for a durable timepiece that fits their unique lifestyle. It features a Miyota JS05 movement and a mineral covering over a steel and aluminum case. It’s water-resistant up to 100 atm and has a double layer Matt Black Dian & hard wearing 2 tone silicone strap. This watch is also just $99.95.
10. JDRT – Best Brand With Antimicrobial Bands
JDRT was founded in 2013 as a conversation between Rhys and Joel. They wanted to begin a side project of making watches, which turned into endless night ideation sessions. This then turned into a mission to make watches with only the best materials. All of their watches are made in Bondi Beach using only materials that are sourced and assembled in Australia and around the world.
All of their watches are pressure tested to 10 atmospheres so that every watch that is worn can be trusted for use no matter where you are. They use both Swiss and Japanese movements for their internal mechanism and they are all computer designed. They also use scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass sources from Switzerland because they are the most durable and high-quality materials used. All of these materials put together make for a durable watch that is sure to last a lifetime.
Their Silver White/Slate watch is a wonderful option for those who have an office job but are also adventurous. It features an elegant 40mm stainless steel case and caseback. Its internal mechanism is a Japanese Miyota/Citizen Quartz GM10 movement under a hardened sapphire crystal glass. It’s water-resistant up to 10atm and has a 20mm antimicrobial/antiallergenic strap width. Additionally, there are several band colors that you can choose from.
If you want a women’s watch, check out the Matte Rose Gold/Tan Silicone watch. This beautiful watch also features the Japanese Miyota/Citizen Quartz GM10 movement under a hardened sapphire crystal scratch-resistant glass. All moving parts are encased in a stainless steel case and caseback pared with an antimicrobial/antiallergenic silicone band.
Other Watch Brands
As you can see, there are several Australian watch brands that bring high-quality timepieces to the table. There’s no clear brand that we recognize as the best as they all have different features and qualities that make each one unique.
However, a brand that stood out the most to us is the Haigh & Hastings brand because their timepieces are meant to withstand rugged terrain while also being boardroom-worthy. It’s your call as to which brand would suit you best given your lifestyle and preferences.