France is home to several well-known watch companies. France is well-known for its high-end products.
And we can’t envision a French watchmaker being any poorer at their skill than their Swiss or German rivals if they put in an equal degree of effort and use the same high-quality materials.
We’ve compiled a list of several of the finest French-made watches and French wrist manufacturers presently available. These are well-made, high-quality items that earn a place in your closet and on your wrists. Some are even more cost-effective than others. We’re confident you’ll find one that appeals to you.
Since 1973, the Pequignet line has retained its phenomenal popularity by emulating a specific representation of the “French touch” over the world, a delicate combination of refinement and simplicity.
The brand, which was founded in Morteau in 1973, has kept its original structure, albeit it has been expanded, and extensive renovations have been required for the construction of a fine manufacturing laboratory and state-of-the-art fabrication workshops.
Pequignet is always inventing to improve its manufacturing motion and supply it with the greatest timepieces complexities. Their purpose is to assure their growth and independence in France and abroad. They are driven by a desire to create beautiful timepieces at a decent cost.
Their watches start from just $200 and go all the way up to the range of $22,500.
Dodane is mainly remembered for its pilot wristwatch, the Type 21 flyback chronograph, which was created in the 1950s for the French Ministry of Defense.
Headquartered in Besançon, the company still produces the Type 21 as a re-issue/homage, as well as a contemporary Type 23 developed for the French Air Force with genuine onboard Chrono equipment for airplanes. Swiss Dubois Depraz’s automated mechanisms are used in most of their chronograph timepieces.
Dodane is a French company that discreetly specializes in one type of military-focused wristwatch, and that lends it a level of authenticity that’s difficult to match.
Dodane is a high-end watch brand with most of its watches having their starting price at $2,150 and going all the way up to $15,500.
The brand’s bright and smooth unique aesthetic, as well as its brief, but engaging history, are the most compelling qualities of ZRC as a brand.
When the industry was rocked by the so-called quartz crisis, several watch brands went out of business, just like ZRC.
The rebirth of ZRC didn’t arrive until the last decade, when the present frenzy to resurrect ancient archive models started, in 2014 to be specific. Although the geometric and angular forms of the casing may not give the sense of impending comfort at first glance, these reservations are rapidly removed once it is worn.
Their watches start approximately from the range of $750 and go all the way up to $13,000 so there’s something for everyone.
Fugue is a labor of love headed by Leopoldo Celi, who was born with the gene for amassing timepieces. He chose to make a new wristwatch from scratch after failing to find a good match for his wrist.
Three years of scientific research went into defining a signature style influenced by timeless vintage inspirations, as well as selecting the best partners to ensure a firm dedication to craftsmanship. The goal of the company, which was founded in Paris, is to integrate watchmaking with modern ideals and to teach people about the art of timekeeping.
The word “Fugue” alludes to their current relationship with time and its ambiguous character. It’s also a tribute to taking a vacation from our hectic daily lives.
Yema is a French watchmaker with headquarters in Besançon.
Although some may mistake Yema with the same-named Philippine custard candies, they reflect among the best value-for-money timepieces available beyond the Swiss and Japanese markets.
Yema watches are mostly in the premium category, however, there are some affordable models to be found as well. As a result, they could be a fantastic alternative if you’re trying to enter the Entry Level luxury watch sector, but wouldn’t want to spend an extortionate amount for what hangs on your wrist.
Yema has a nice selection of pretty cool antique designs, and with the current craze of the 50s/60s designs in watches, they are doing so much better.
The price range of most of their watches varies between $300 and $2,800.
For those unfamiliar with Baltic, the microbrand is located in France and was launched by Etienne Malec in 2017.
The brand specializes in vintage-inspired timepieces that are developed and built in France to the greatest manufacturing requirements. All of their watch components are made in three distinct locations: Specialized manufacturers in Hong Kong provide the casing covering parts and motions. All of the straps are manufactured and made in France. The rest of their accouterments are Italian-made.
Their watches are usually inexpensive as compared to other high-end brands; hence you can get your hands on most of their products at price points between $650 and $1200.
Merci is a renowned, unconventional, must-visit Paris store focused on design and leisure that was established in 2009 by Marie-France Cohen.
On your next vacation to France, this is most likely the wristwatch you should get as a memento. The company produces apparel, fine jewelry, and household products, as well as basic, beautiful timepieces with a field/military aesthetic and a few small stylistic deviations.
Merci watches are built with high-quality components and come with quartz or manual operation Swiss mechanical movement. The best part is that they’re cheaply valued and have that specific architectural refinement that the French are known for.
Most of their watches are priced between $250 and $500.
The creation of Serica was based on a simple idea: to manufacture one-of-a-kind timepieces that are both robust and elegant.
We want watches that we can proudly wear wherever we go in life and that will last a lifetime. Serica is the name of a distant province that was formerly known as the final commercial point on the fabled and perilous Silk Road. Simply defined, for the great adventurers of the 14th century, it was the end of the known globe.
Before being dispatched to you, each watch is built, confirmed, and tested by expert watchmakers. It’s still the most effective approach to keeping love alive. Serica was only made official late last year as a company that will deliver a well-designed and durable timepiece.
Best of all, and in keeping with the brand’s promise of being reasonable, the best-selling model, Serica W.W.W, is available at $540.
Louis-François Cartier, a renowned jeweler, created Cartier in Paris in 1847.
His grandchildren, Pierre, Louis, and Jacques, would catapult the brand to international fame, establishing storefronts in Paris, London, and New York. The well-known company is constantly investing in the aesthetics, practicality, and technological developments of its timepieces.
Many Cartier timepieces keep their worth, and some will be considerably more on the secondhand marketplace than when they were first bought. Cartier watches used to be made with very distinctive brand mechanisms and had very lovely and high-quality timepieces.
Cartier produces some of the costliest luxury timepieces on the market. Their watch price starts from $2600 and goes all the way up to $400,000.
Breguet was established in Paris by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775. It is one of the world’s oldest premium watch companies.
Breguet was raised in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, but spent the majority of his working life in Paris. As a result, the Breguet brand’s beginnings should be deemed Swiss and French. Breguet is a premium watch, clocks, and jewelry company established in Paris in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet.
It has been a division of the Swiss Swatch Group since 1999. When it comes to brand evaluations, Breguet is thought to be superior in the Swiss luxury watch ladder than, for instance, Rolex. Breguet often employs highly complex in-house movements that are housed in classic cases.
Since it is a high-end brand selling expensive timepieces, nearly all of their wrist watches are priced above $2000, so if you plan to buy from them, expect to splurge a little.
11. Cyril Brivet-Naudot
This relatively young watchmaker is based in Brittany, far from Switzerland or the French watchmaking sector, where he creates his watches totally by hand.
His first opus, the Eccentricity, was already a spectacular work of horological genius when it was presented two years ago, with beautiful workmanship and extraordinary features. His exquisitely produced timepieces stand out due to their unique design.
Reservoir is a Paris-based firm that manufactures timepieces in Switzerland, drawing influence from a variety of motorsport, maritime, and aviation themes while uniquely translating them.
Reservoir was formed in Paris in 2015 by Francois Moreau, a former investment banker, and it was evident from the start that the business sought to stand out.
A single hand, displaying a backward minute display intended to simulate a dial in a vehicle, aircraft, or submarine, is the central concept of all the timepieces. Reservoir’s philosophy combines a truly successful combination of past and present: something that many watchmakers talk about, but only a few do well together.
Since it is also one of the high-end brands, their price starts approximately from $1900 and goes all the way up to $7200.
13. Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross is a comparatively recent French-Swiss Luxury Watch company, having been formed in 1993 by Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo.
The fact that they are Swiss-made is the primary thing to mention. Swiss mechanisms are also used. These are predominantly ETA and Sellita calibres that have been altered. The aim to create timepieces that are utilitarian instruments is at the core of the business.
Since its inception, the company has provided experts and aficionados alike with practical and trustworthy watches. Bell & Ross take their motivation from the heritage of aircraft and the wartime standards that go with it, accomplishing a technological or visual feat each time to create a high-quality instrument.
The pricing of a Bell and Ross watch may vary depending on the kind and edition you choose to buy, but the bulk of them will cost between $2000 and $9000. The majority of the other manufacturers are in a similar price range.
You can learn about the brand in more detail by reading our Bell & Ross review.
Brice Jaunet set out in 2012 to build a watch company that expressed his character, opinions, and studies. The founder sought to make a watch that was both elegant and inexpensive.
Jaunet formally launched a new premium French watch brand called “Briston” in 2012. He always stated that the company made polished, sporty, yet stylish timepieces for both men and women. Briston is a new and fascinating French watch business that creates unique and cheap timepieces.
The smart-casual attractiveness of the timepieces is highlighted by their unusual square casings. A former employee of Cartier, Baume & Mercier, Raymond Weil, and Zenith, the company is the creation of a wristwatch industry veteran.
Their watches generally fall between the price range of $160 and $1,400.
Clément Meynier, a retired CERN engineer, launched the company in 2018. It has sold timepieces to over 3,500 watch collectors so far.
Meynier, a resident of the Jura Mountains on the Franco-Swiss boundary, launched the Depancel watch company in 2018. Depancel, which was founded only a few years previously, is motivated by a love for vintage French automobiles.
Depancel has departed from conventional watchmaking procedures by putting its audience at the center of the artistic thinking, instead of producing products that fulfill its followers’ wants and aspirations. The inventions are offered to the audience once they have been designed and developed and tested before production begins.
Most of their watches start from just $330 and will go up to the range of $1,050.
Phenomen is a timepiece brand based in France that represents daring, performance, and modernism.
They set out to create inspirational watches that reflected a traditional Gallic flare, a drive for precision, and a love for high-performance vehicle design.
Born from the realm of conceptual automobiles and propelled by cutting-edge mechanics, each component from their PH-01 line pays homage to driver’s timepieces, reminding you that you are the pilot in this daily fight against the clock. The exterior of a watch involves as much labor as the body of an automobile at Phenomen.
Their timepieces are created to be mobile objects that appeal to the eye and provide a fresh experience each time they are worn.
17. L. Leroy
In the corridors of the Palais Royal in Paris, Charles-Basile Leroy built the inaugural Leroy boutique in 1785.
The brand’s legacy extended into the twentieth century, and it is currently undergoing a rebirth. Since 2004, the Festina Group has operated Leroy. The historic watch company has benefited from a unique inheritance that has been passed down from century to century.
The brand, which has positioned itself as the benchmark for French luxury watchmaking, now focuses on scientific, naval, commercial, and sports timepieces, making significant breakthroughs in each of these areas.
The watch prices range from $650 to as much as $54,000.
18. Auffret Paris
For the past eight years, Auffret has made Paris his working headquarters.
In 2018, Auffret’s sample watch was recognized in the F.P. Journe as well as FHH Young Talents competitions, prompting him to relocate to Paris and open his studio, where he began work on the Tourbillon à Paris.
It was prepared for general distribution with a subscription model by July 2019 and is currently competing in the Chronometry division of the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The “tourbillon à Paris” watch was influenced by accurate scorekeepers and chronometers from the second half of the eighteenth century.
The Tourbillon à Paris Souscription costs €108,000 (about $122,000) before taxation, so you can see that their products will be a little on the higher end, so if you are looking for something affordable, they are not just the right brand for you.
19. March LAB
March LA.B’s developers have naturally teamed with prominent experts in the watch-making business to emphasize the exceptional accuracy of their creations.
March LA.B’s self-winding mechanical mechanisms were formerly Japanese for manufacturing and economic considerations. High-quality, dependable calibers made in France but imported from Japan.
Then, at the end of 2021, the winds began to turn. They shifted on the correct track. Trying to lift the canvas and establish a route for Besançon, France. The March LA.B watches are meticulously coupled with a range of exotic and authentic leather straps once they’ve been manufactured. Leather straps that exemplify distinction and legacy are the outcome of this expertise.
Their cheapest watches will come priced at $250 while the most expensive models can set you back $2,100.
20. Michel Herbelin
Michel Herbelin did not identify his first wristwatch “IMPEC” by accident in 1947. He wanted to make his vision and objective evident: to develop exquisite watches that function flawlessly, in other terms, “impeccable” Made in France timepieces.
Michel Herbelin timepieces are one of the world’s most fashionable and opulent items, and they are an incredible asset to any wristwatch collection. In the world of watchmaking, Michel Herbelin is a name synonymous with excellence.
The Michel Herbelin headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Charquemont, in the Haut-Doubs region of France, near the Swiss border. It’s a little town with a long history of watchmaking. The high-quality and exquisite design of the brand, along with unrivaled precision, produce an enticing timepiece.
A genuine Michel Herbelin watch can cost as little as $30 and as much as $3,400. The price you pay will be decided on the type of watch you select to purchase.
21. B.R.M. Alain Silberstein
The French watchmaker Alain Silberstein is well recognized for his quirky, eye-catching, and distinctive creations.
The case back of this group of 14 timepieces is inscribed with “Bicentenaire de la Revolution Francaise 1789 1989” to celebrate the French revolution. These timepieces were designed to commemorate the French Revolution’s 200th anniversary, which occurred in 1789.
Each watch has a distinct “concept,” ranging from “Musica Rock” to “Amore” to “Liberte,” the notion upon which the French Revolution was founded. All of the timepieces include the inscription ‘Fabriquée en France,’ which is a trademark of Alain Silberstein’s and anything he takes great pride in.
Their products are priced between $550 and $87,000.
22. Awake Watches
Two young French businessmen claim to have created the world’s most environmentally friendly wristwatch, and after seeing what they’ve created, you’ll probably approve.
The Awake Watch is created completely of environmentally derived components, making it not only stunning to look at but also amazingly adaptable for every occasion, whether you’ve been trekking in the weather or holding an essential conference.
Awake delivers luxury-brand quality at an affordable price point, thanks to its long-lasting construction and use of environmentally sourced materials. Perhaps most intriguing is the watch’s solar-powered operation, which eliminates the need for a battery and eliminates waste and repair. “In basic terms: it’s perpetual energy on your wrist,” says the inventor. “Three hours of wear on your wrist (indoors or outdoors) is sufficient to provide 6 months of charge.”
The prices start from $143 and barely exceed $250 so this is a relatively cheaper brand as compared to most other producing watches of nearly the same quality and efficiency.
Dior was one of the first big fashion businesses to exhibit attention to proper timepieces, which is unsurprising. It made its first step into this arena in 1968, when it debuted a series of Bulova-made women’s timepieces.
Dior is well-known since it is one of the most coveted and recognizable brands in the world. The quality and reputation of these companies are frequently overlooked, yet Dior ensures that each Dior watch released is different from any other. To take leverage of the creativity provided by its couture division, Dior continues to develop watches in its Boulevard Montaigne Studio in Paris; these designs are then realized in La-Chaux-de-Fonds.
Since Dior is a well-known global brand, their watches start from approximately $600 and go all the way up to $50,000.
In 1987, the Haute Couture house established by Gabrielle Chanel in the early twentieth century debuted its first watch line.
The octagonal design of the Premiere watch, influenced by Place Vendôme as well as the N°5 perfume cabochon closure, maintained faithful to Chanel’s essence.
They’re stylish and well-made timepieces. If people buy these, they’re good enough to justify the money. Chanel watches have everything to provide, including the more conservative Boyfriend watch and items with more traditional watchmaking abilities like hand-painted displays and chronographs, however, they are most recognized for their sporty-luxe ceramic J12 design.
Most of their watches are priced above the range of $4000.
25. Yonger & Bresson
Yonger & Bresson, a trademark of Montres Ambre S.A. in France, was formed in 1975 and produces watches in Morteau, France, 10 kilometres from the Swiss border.
Yonger & Bresson is freshening up their look with a new Kickstarter-funded watch. They first opened their doors in 1974, but it’s only now that they’re reopening.
The fact that they’re a member of the identical group as another well-known French brand, Yema, may help you experience more at ease with the brand. The Yonger & Bresson Le Singulier is a well-rounded and fascinating watch that blends high-end aesthetics with all-important usability.
Their watches start selling from just $100 so you can get your hands on them without having to splurge a lot.
In 1896, the company introduced the Lip stopwatch. Lip became the company’s brand name after that.
Each year, the brand produces about 2,500 pieces. In 1952, the business introduced the “Electronic,” the first electronic watch. In comparison to very expensive Swiss timepieces, some vintage lips are very inexpensive and of good quality. The motions are well-crafted and well-designed.
In comparison to Swiss timepieces, the spare parts are quite inexpensive. Some Dauphine, Hymalaya, and Nautic varieties are in high demand.
The pricing of these watches varies greatly – the cheapest are available at around $30 while the most elaborate models approach the $10,000 mark.