The “Holy Trinity” or “Big Three” in watchmaking refers to the Swiss brands with the highest craftsmanship and mechanical prowess: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. While there are many respectable luxury brands on the market, including Omega, Rolex, Richard Mille, and many more, the Holy Trinity brands best represent the high art of watchmaking and are considered the most respected and established names in horology. Read on to discover why these brands are so renowned.

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What Is A Holy Trinity Watch?

Watches in the ultra-exclusive Holy Trinity aren’t just the oldest or most expensive. They’re held to a higher standard because they utilize only the finest materials available and demonstrate impossibly precise finishing details, outwardly and on the movements powering each watch. We owe many of the industry's most recognizable watch designs and trailblazing innovations to the three brands within the Holy Trinity.

Why Is Rolex Not Part Of The Holy Trinity?

But what about Rolex? It’s easily one of the most recognized luxury brands worldwide and has recently surpassed $10 billion in sales globally. The brand also boasts such noteworthy accomplishments as the waterproof Oyster case, self-winding Perpetual movement, and the first mechanical wristwatch to feature an automatically changing date display. So why isn’t it a part of the Holy Trinity? Rolex is much more approachable than Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. The company is celebrated for its precision and high style. Still, it serves a greater purpose as a maker of practical luxury watches such as dive watches, GMTs, and elegant, go-anywhere dress watches.

Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet has made incredible strides in watchmaking since it was founded in 1875. The brand is credited with developing the first jumping-hour watch, the first skeleton watch, and one of the thinnest movements, measuring just 1.64mm thick when it was created in the 1940s. Audemars Piguet is more well-known for the Royal Oak, one of the first luxury sports watches. Today, the iconic timepiece with its porthole-inspired case, integrated bracelet, and “Tapisserie” pattern dial remains an emblem of haute horlogerie.

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Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe, the master of calibers, is known for its collection of classically shaped watches and the engines driving them. The brand produces what is widely considered some of the most sophisticated movements in the industry, featuring complications such as a world time display, weekly calendar, and Perpetual calendar. Each proprietary movement is housed within an exquisite case, ranging from the oblong Ellipse to the round Calatrava and Royal Oak-esq octagonal Nautilus. Founded in 1839, the brand is also credited with many watchmaking advancements, such as the first Swiss wristwatch, the first wristwatch with a split-seconds chronograph, and the first wristwatch with a Perpetual calendar.

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Vacheron Constantin

When it comes to a Swiss watchmaker with provenance, Vacheron Constantin is second to none, not even Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet. The company, founded in 1755, is among the oldest in the game and was the first to develop a watch with an additional complication and an anti-magnetic watch. The brand’s emblem, the distinctive Maltese cross, is a part of each watch’s DNA, whether it be the shape of the lugs or bezel or a tiny, applied logo on the dial. Some of the brand’s notable collections include the Fiftysix (an homage to vintage ref. 6073) and the Overseas, described by the brand as the “perfect daily companion.”

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The Top 15 Luxury Watch Brands Not Included in the Holy Trinity







Tag Heuer

A Lange & Söhne






How to Use Your Luxury Watch to Secure a Loan

Holy Trinity watches are among the most valuable in the world and require a serious and dedicated lender to provide the fairest watch loan. One that knows and appreciates how much they are worth and can properly store them during the loan terms. That lender is Qollateral, the nation’s premier secured lender.

Our skilled and compassionate watch appraisers boast years of combined experience and are prepared to provide the most competitive loan offers on the secondary market. Additionally, Qollateral is bonded and licensed by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs and is fully insured by Lloyd’s of London. All assets under Qollateral’s care are 100% secure and are stored in a monitored, high-tech vault within the international gem tower. You can obtain a watch loan with confidence when you choose Qollateral.

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