Look out Switzerland, Germany, and Japan, because the top Australian watch brands have arrived and they’re packing some serious heat. One might say Australian watches are part of a recent wave of Australian made products that among other things encapsulate our beloved continent’s ongoing love affair with form and function.
Accordingly, the best Australian watches for men go as big on durability as they do fashion. Like a true Aussie with the world at his fingertips, these timepieces are ready for any type of action in any terrain. Meanwhile, the industry is definitely taking notice and the words “Made in Australia” have boldly entered the world stage.
Read on for a list of the 15 Best Australian Watch Brands to see what’s popping up from down under.
1. Melbourne Watch Company
Acclaimed, elegant, precise, sturdy and stunning are just a few words to describe the timepieces offered by top Australian made watch brand Melbourne Watch Company (aka MWC). It’s then no wonder that the brand has experienced meteoric success since crowdfunding helped them launch their first watch, Flinders, in 2013.
Put simply, these are wristwatches Australians should be truly proud to own. Each one is named after a notable Melbourne locale and made with premium materials like high-grade 316L stainless steel and scratch-resistant crystal sapphire. Under the hood is trusty Japanese movement. Pair all that with brilliant designs and a completely reasonable price point and you’re looking at a formidable contender with worldwide appeal. Their Portsea chronometer is already the stuff of legend. Australian watches don’t come more refined.
Founder: Sujain Krishnan
Address: 6/458 Swanston St, Carlton VIC 3053
Hours: Thur-Fri 10am-5pm
Phone: (03) 8598 1220
This Australian watch company may have a name that sounds Swiss in origin, but that’s no mistake. Founded by Christophe Hoppe, top Aussie watch brand Bausele has no shame in admitting the Swiss are true masters of the form. Hence, Bausele represents “an Australian watch with a Swiss heart”. Specifically, that means coupling the finest in Swiss mechanics with a signature Australian aesthetic. Driving home the Aussie themes are a distinct hollow crown and the inclusion of a native element in every model. Whether that Aussie element is ancient Opal, beach sand, or Red Earth from the Outback, there’s simply no mistaking where this watch came from.
Founder: Christophe Hoppe
Address: 75 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
Phone: 1800 291 108
3. BUNDA Fine Jewels
Legendary Sydney jeweller Ben Bunda spent years meeting with horologists around the world and attending Baselworld before finally taking the plunge himself. He partnered with Bausele’s Christophe Hoppe and emerged with a limited edition masterpiece.
Made in Switzerland and designed in Australia, the Bunda Watch employs essentially every tenant of a desirable timepiece. It’s a self-winding automatic luxury sport home run. Adorned with eye-catching jewels and alluring colour, Bunda creates men’s watches Australia should stop and appreciate. A native Opal inset in the crown reminds you where this beauty was born and a choice of either black rubber or leather strap adds a soft touch of customisation.
Founder: Ben Bunda
Located in: The Strand Arcade
Address: 501/412-414 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-5pm
Phone: (02) 8265 1300
Sydney watchmaker Nicholas Hacko might reside over the self-proclaimed ‘world’s smallest watch brand’, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be one of the best. His motives are slightly competitive in spirit and meant to address if not undermine preconceived notions of foreign superiority. And while Rebelde watches do use a Swiss-made mechanism along with presumably imported materials like surgical grade stainless steel, titanium or solid gold, they’re designed, assembled and adjusted in Australia with the engraving to prove it.
Like the best Australian products, each timepiece is supremely durable and stylish. And should they need a tune-up, Hacko is happy to abide. Such commitment to quality and service has earned Rebelde a broad and diligent following among collectors. Furthermore, a mere passing glimpse at Hacko’s watches will tell you they’re one of a kind.
Founder: Nicholas Hacko
Located in: Culwulla Chambers
Address: Culwulla Chambers, 67 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000?
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Phone: (02) 9232 0500
5. Creux Automatiq
With designs inspired by luxury vehicles, modern architecture and classic Swiss watchmaking alike, top Aussie watch brand Creux Automatiq is the epitome of street style. The company was financed by Dane Rumble, who’s background in everything from music to jewellery logically extends itself to the world of horology. Models like The Ghost, which pairs a skeletonised date wheel with traditional high-end materials and a bold case aesthetic, allows the watch’s inner workings to shine as art while turning your wrist into moving eye candy. Australian men’s watches don’t get any sexier.
Founder: Dane Rumble
Address: Shop 4B/50 Macleay St, Elizabeth Bay NSW 2011
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
6. Nicholas Hacko Fine Watches
Laying claim to the first and only watch fully manufactured in Australia is a pretty huge statement. Nicholas Hacko knows a thing or two about watches, it’s literally in his blood. When large Swiss brands restricted the supply of spare parts to Australian watchmakers, they single handily destroyed the livelihood of many independent watchmakers. In an act of rebellion against this, Nick decided that he would prove to the Large Swiss brands that Australian watchmakers were smart, young and willing to invest. He decided to build his own watch. The result? One of the best watch brands in Australia.
Founder: Nicholas Hacko
Located in: Culwulla Chambers
Address: suite 403 level 4/67 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Phone: (02) 9232 0500
7. PANZERA Watches
PANZERA is an Australian watch brand established in 2009 that specialises in the production of classically designed automatic watches. While traditional in guise, the watches are enhanced with a unique contemporary feel, a style that they refer to as “modern vintage”.
Located in: The Cooperage
Address: 56 Bowman St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Phone: (02) 9064 3821
One of the best Australian watch brands is also one of its oldest. Family-owned ADINA mastered horology decades ago (in 1971 to be exact). Nowadays, they move 40,000 units a year, using parts from five different countries beforehand finishing each piece in Brisbane.
Founder: Robert ‘Bob’ Menzies
Year Established: 1971
Price: starts at $153.64 AUD
9. Haigh & Hastings
Nothing says “Australia” more than a beautiful timepiece built for action. Duly up to the task was Aussie watch brand Haigh & Hastings. The Perth-based company experienced an early boost after the release of their stellar M2 Diver watch. With features like Japanese mechanical movement, a 316L stainless steel case, scratch-resistant crystal sapphire, and a screw-down crown, the M2 was an instant classic.
Other models were directly inspired by Australia’s respective arenas of aviation and racing. Meanwhile, a slew of interchangeable rubber dive straps fortified the bond between the wearer and worn. Unfortunately, the company recently went into receivership. On the plus side, that makes these spectacular Australian mechanical watches all the more rare and collectible.
Founder: Matt Sears and Simon Haigh
Year Established: 2013
Price: starts at $249 AUD
JDRT stands for Joel Davis and Rhys Thomas, the company’s founders. And these two Bondi Beach mates want to put the power in your hands. To accomplish such a lofty goal, they provide the premium basics like Japanese Miyota movement, scratch-resistant sapphire glass and water resistance up to 100 metres. The rest is essentially up to you. That means going to their website and choosing from among five watch faces and up to eighteen bands. Perfect for those looking for customised watches in Australia.
Naturally, they also have pre-made models ready to go for those not seeking such an enhanced tailored experience. Most recently they’ve added The Bondi Rose Collection and The Black Collection to their portfolio. Both these unisex ranges include a date function (new territory for the brand), updated Citizen GM10 movement, and stunning modern colour.
Founder: Joel Davis and Rhys Thomas
Year Established: October 1, 2013
Price: starts at $129 AUD
Hailing from Canberra, top Aussie watch brand Erroyl bridges the gap between luxury and affordability, one remarkable piece at a time. Their automatic watches exude timeless elegance and all sorts of classic vibes while brilliant little details emerge whenever you look a little closer. Erroyl enjoys a strong following at home and abroad and with good reason. Popular sellers like the Heritage Collection offer refined minimalist beauty brimming with subtle complexity. Australian-made watches don’t get much classier.
Founder: Wes Knight
Year Established: 2014
Price: starts at $350 AUD
12. Bow & Stern
Aussie watchmakers Bow & Stern are all about celebrating Australia’s favourite pastime: hanging out by the ocean. Their timepieces are reflective of the laidback feel and focus on practicality that comes with a life spend on, or by, water. Hand-assembled and highly customisable thanks to the interchangeable straps, Bow & Stern’s watches are a high-quality option for those wanting a piece of Australian horology that won’t look too overboard, or break the bank.
Founder: Bianca, Vaness, Adam
Year Established: 2014
Price: starts at $179.99 AUD
13. The 5TH
The 5TH is a contemporary Melbourne-based watch company that offers a timeless design produced in small, limited runs. They focus on quality and details, with timeless pieces that are guided as an accessory for any occasion. The brand believes a watch should elevate the wearer’s image now, and for the time to come. If you’re looking for a quality minimalist watch in a budget, this is an Australian watch brand to check out.
14. The Horse
Powered by an analogue quartz movement, The Horse’s collection of men’s watches carefully balance bold and understated aesthetics to deliver a timeless leather design that ages with you to tell your story. Designed in their studio in Sydney, their watches honour unembellished natural materials and classic design. If you’re looking for a minimalist Australian watch brand that isn’t marked by heavy detailing The Horse is one to check out.
15. Orange Watch Company
OWC produces a small number of high-quality luxury timepieces. They offer pieces directly to the client without the retailer/dealer margin. The brand is driven obsession, abiding by the mantra that “Less is More,” their products are competent, clean, fit for purpose, overly engineered and inspired by divine order. CNC execution is juxtaposed with hand assembly and human testing. They focus on engineering rather than fashion, quality above price and traditional values over marketing. OWC watches evolve and respond to engineering and technological developments, their components are individually designed and made to order with no generic off-the-shelf parts insight.
Are Adina Watches Any Good?
Adina is the Aboriginal word for 'very good', and the brand remains one of Australia's oldest watch makers. They utilise parts from five different countries beforehand finishing each piece in Brisbane.
Where are Melbourne watches made?
While Melbourne Watch Company sources some parts from overseas, it assembles every piece by hand right here in Australia.
What are the best Aussie watch brands?
Some of the best Australian-based watch brands are Melbourne Watch Company, ADINA, Bausele, JDRT, Creux Automatiq, Bow & Stern, Rebelde, and others.