Alternatives to the “Holy Trinity” of Watchmaking

If you are part of the online watch collecting community, you have no doubt seen this topic before.
The “Holy Trinity” of watch brands get talked about in many forums and online videos.
The holy trinity brands are Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

All these brands are awesome and they make some of the finest watches in the world, but I don’t completely agree with this version of the holy trinity.

Here are the 3 brands which I would choose as my personal holy trinity.

Patek Philippe

Yes, I kept Patek Philippe (obviously).
Patek is probably the most respected, most collectable and most hyped watch brand in the world.
Everyone wants to own a Patek at some stage in their lives.

Patek Philippe was founded in 1851 by Polish watchmaker Antoni Patek and French watchmaker Adrien Philippe.

Patek Philippe holds many auction records including these:

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was made in 1933 for the prominent banker Henry Graves, Jr.. The ultra-complicated pocketwatch (having 24 functions) was the result of Graves’ friendly horological competition with James Ward Packard. After Graves’ death, the watch was auctioned at Sotheby’s in December 1999 for US$11 million to Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani of the Qatari royal family, at that time the most expensive timepiece ever sold. Most recently, the watch sold at Sotheby’s Geneva Auction on November 11, 2014 for a record breaking US$24 million.

On May 10, 2010, a Patek Philippe wristwatch became the most expensive wristwatch to be sold at auction when purchased by a Swiss museum, through Christie’s in Geneva, for 6.26 million Swiss francs (US$5.5 million). The chronograph wristwatch, made of yellow gold, has a perpetual calendar and moonphase display, and was produced in 1943.

[henry graves supercomplication] The Henry Graves Supercomplication which sold for US$24 million.
The Henry Graves Supercomplication which sold for US$24 million.
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime. The most complicated wristwatch in the world
The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime. The most complicated wristwatch in the world

Here is a video showing how the Grandmaster chime is made

A. Lange & Söhne

A. Lange & Söhne is a German brand based in the town of Glashütte (near Dresden).
They were founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange.

In 1948, the post-war Soviet administration expropriated the company’s property, and the Lange brand ceased to exist. However, in December 1990, following the collapse of the East German government, the founder’s great-grandson, Walter Lange, together with watch industry executive Günter Blümlein, restored the company with the assistance of several Swiss watch manufacturers, including IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. The refounded Lange, again operating from Glashütte, presented its first range of wrist watches in 1994.

In my opinion, their watches have some of the best finishing in the world.
The movements get engraved and decorated by hand. A. Lange & Söhne decorates all their watches with the same amount of care and precision. Most other watch brands will spend a lot more time decorating their expensive watches while the more affordable watches don’t get the same amount of decoration.

The Lange 1. One of the most iconic watches from A. Lange & Söhne
The Lange 1. One of the most iconic watches from A. Lange & Söhne
The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph.
The A. Lange & Söhne Datograph.
The movement of the Datograph
The movement of the Datograph

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger-LeCoultre was founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833.
Their most iconic watch is definitely the Reverso. I have spoken about the Reverso before.
http://ticktalk.co.za/2016/09/20/square-watches/

Over the years, they have produced movements for many other watch brands. They produce everything from beautiful dress watches, mechanical alarm watches up to the most complicated grand complications including Gyrotourbillons, Minute Repeaters and Perpetual Calendars.

Jaeger-LeCoultre watch containing a Gyrotourbillon
Jaeger-LeCoultre watch containing a Gyrotourbillon
A Vintage Memovox Alarm
A Vintage Memovox Alarm
Reverso
Reverso with it’s reversible case
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