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Top 10 British Watch Brands in 2024 for Worthy Collection

British watchmaking has a long history of producing high-end timepieces.
May 28, 2024

The Swiss watch industry might be the pinnacle of the watchmaking industry but Great Britain also has a long legacy when it comes to high-quality timepieces. There are a lot of renowned British watch brands to note if you're looking for alternatives to Swiss watches. 

England was an undisputed leader in watches throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the 20th century brought the decline of the British Empire as well as British watchmaking. 

In fact, this empire has made several outstanding innovations, such as the development of lever escapement (1755) by Thomas Mudge and marine chronometer (1759) by John Harrison.

With the fall of British watchmaking, nations like Switzerland, Germany, and the United States stepped in with modern mass-production techniques. But the 21st century brought back the legacy of British watchmaking, establishing new brands and resurrecting the old ones.

Here, we explore some of the best British watch brands, highlighting their heritage, craftsmanship, and notable models. Let's check this out!

1. Bremont

The first British watch brand you should be paying attention to is Bremont. Founded in 2002 by brothers Nick and Giles English, Bremont has quickly become a symbol of British engineering excellence.

Bremont watches are characterized by their robust construction and stylish design. The brand has a strong connection to aviation, with many of its watches inspired by vintage aircraft and military timepieces. Bremont is also notable for its efforts to bring watchmaking back to Britain, establishing a significant manufacturing presence in Henley-on-Thames.

Notable Models:

  • Bremont ALT1-P: A pilot's chronograph that combines functionality with classic design.
  • Bremont Supermarine S500: A dive watch with a vintage aesthetic and modern capabilities.

2. Christopher Ward

Established in 2004 by Mike France, Peter Ellis, and Chris Ward, Christopher Ward has revolutionized the watch industry with its direct-to-consumer model. The brand's mission is to create high-quality Swiss-made watches at affordable prices, eliminating the traditional retail markup by selling directly to customers online.

Christopher Ward is known for its transparency and commitment to quality. The brand has developed several in-house movements, including the acclaimed Calibre SH21, which offers a 120-hour power reserve. Christopher Ward also emphasizes customer engagement, offering a 60-day free returns policy and a five-year warranty on all their watches.

Notable Models:

  • C60 Trident Pro 600: A versatile dive watch known for its exceptional value and performance.
  • C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve: A dress watch that features an in-house movement with a power reserve indicator.

3. Roger W. Smith

You could get the best British micro-brand watches from Roger W. Smith if you're into independent watchmakers. Roger W. Smith is one of the most esteemed independent watchmakers in the world. An apprentice of the legendary George Daniels, Smith is dedicated to the art of traditional British watchmaking. 

His watches are entirely handcrafted on the Isle of Man, with every component made in-house, including the movements. Smith's timepieces are characterized by their exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each watch takes many months to complete, with intricate finishing and hand-engraved elements.

Notable Models:

  • Series 1: A classic dress watch with a minimalist design and impeccable craftsmanship.
  • Series 2: Known for its intricate dial and movement, showcasing Smith's mastery of horology.

Read also: Top 5 Microbrand Dive Watches for Exclusivity and Uniqueness

4. Arnold & Son

With roots dating back to 1764, Arnold & Son has a rich legacy in precision watchmaking. Founded by John Arnold, a pioneering British watchmaker who developed the marine chronometer, the brand played a crucial role in the history of navigation and timekeeping.

Today, Arnold & Son continues to innovate, producing high-end timepieces that blend traditional craftsmanship with modern technology. This British watch brand is known for its unique complications, sophisticated designs, and in-house movements.

Notable Models:

  • Nebula: A skeletonized watch that offers a stunning view of its intricate movement.
  • Perpetual Moon: Features one of the largest moonphase apertures available, highlighting the brand's attention to detail.  

5. Fears Watch Company

Founded in 1846 and relaunched in 2016, Fears is one of the oldest British watch brands. Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, the great-great-great-grandson of the original founder, revived the brand with a commitment to preserving its heritage while adapting to modern tastes.

Fears watches are known for their elegant, timeless designs and high-quality craftsmanship. The brand focuses on creating versatile, everyday watches that combine classic aesthetics with contemporary functionality. 

Notable Models:

  • Fears Brunswick: A contemporary reimagining of a classic design, featuring a cushion-shaped case and clean dial.
  • Fears Redcliff Date: A sleek, everyday watch that balances tradition and modernity.

6. Garrick

Garrick is a relatively new brand, established in 2014 by David Brailsford and Simon Michlmayr, but it has quickly garnered a reputation for its handmade timepieces that celebrate British watchmaking heritage. 

The brand is dedicated to producing watches that are meticulously crafted using traditional techniques. Garrick's watches are characterized by their bespoke nature, with many elements handmade and finished in-house. 

Notable Models:

  • Regulator: Features a distinctive dial layout and showcases Garrick's craftsmanship.
  • S1: A bespoke timepiece that offers customization options, allowing owners to create a truly unique watch.

Read also: Gnomon's Pick: The 5 Most Underrated Watches You Should Know

7. Schofield

Founded by Giles Ellis in 2011, Schofield is known for its bold designs and robust construction. The brand takes inspiration from British coastal life and maritime themes, producing watches that are both stylish and durable.

Schofield's watches are known for their distinctive aesthetics and attention to detail. The brand offers a range of models that cater to different tastes, from rugged tool watches to elegant dress watches.

Notable Models:

  • Signalman: Inspired by lighthouses, this watch features a distinctive design and reliable performance. 
  • Beater: A rugged, everyday watch that is built to withstand the elements. 

8. Farer

Farer is a young, dynamic British watch brand that focuses on adventure and exploration. Founded in 2015, the brand is known for its vibrant colors and vintage-inspired designs. Farer's watches are characterized by their distinctive aesthetics, combining bold colors with classic design elements. 

The brand offers a range of models, from dive watches to chronographs, all featuring high-quality Swiss movements. If you’re looking for affordable British watch brands, Farer is an excellent choice.

Notable Models:

  • Endurance: A chronograph designed for adventurers, featuring a durable build and striking color scheme. 
  • Lander: A GMT watch that combines functionality with a bold aesthetic.

9. Vertex

Revived in 2016 by Don Cochrane, the great-grandson of the original founder, Vertex has a storied history dating back to 1916. The brand is famed for its military watches, having supplied the British Ministry of Defence during World War II.

The modern collection draws inspiration from the original designs, combining classic aesthetics with modern technology. Vertex is dedicated to producing high-quality, reliable timepieces that honor their legacy.

Notable Models:

  • M100: A modern reissue of the original Vertex military watch, maintaining the robust and functional design.
  • MP45: A mono-pusher chronograph that pays homage to Vertex's military heritage.

10. Harold Pinchbeck

With a lineage tracing back to the 18th century, Harold Pinchbeck is synonymous with traditional British watchmaking. The brand prides itself on bespoke craftsmanship and personalized service, offering a range of classic and elegant timepieces.

The brand offers a bespoke service, allowing customers to create personalized watches tailored to their preferences. Harold Pinchbeck also emphasizes British craftsmanship, with many components sourced from local suppliers.

Notable Models:

  • Pinchbeck Hornby: A classic dress watch with an understated elegance.
  • Pinchbeck Pure: A minimalist timepiece that focuses on simplicity and refinement.


The British watchmaking industry is thriving, blending tradition with modern innovation. Each of these British watch brands brings something unique to the table, from the meticulous craftsmanship of Roger W. Smith to the adventurous spirit of Farer. 

The legacy of British craftsmanship is reviving, allowing watch enthusiasts to enjoy high-end timepieces that cater to every taste and style.

Read also: 7 Top German Watch Brands: The Legacy of Precise Engineering

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