France has a rich watch making history, and has many world renowned watch brands.
From the beautiful luxury watchmaker, Cartier. To super cool, sporty watch brands like PHENOMEN, and RESERVOIR.
In this blog post we have picked only the best French watch brands out now. From affordable to budget busting.
There will be a French watch brand for every collector on this list.
Best French Watch Brands
- Cyril Brivet-Naudot
- Bell & Ross
- L. Leroy
- Auffret Paris
- March LA.B
- Michel Herbelin
- Dodane 1857
Keep scrolling to see which of these French watch brands will be your new favorite.
One of the most famous jewelry and watch brands is the French brand, Cartier.
They’re the epitome of French chic and of luxury.
They were the watch brand that brought the Santos collection watch to the world in 1911. Meaning Cartier brought the world’s first men’s wristwatch.
Cartier still carries the Santos De Cartier collection to this day. They also still carry their infamous Tank collection too. With it’s trademark rectangular case. Check out our guide to the best Cartier Tank collections.
Ebay is a great place to discover vintage Cartier.
While on Watch Shopping you will find many new, yet discounted, Cartier watches.
Breguet is to some the epitome of French watchmaking. Created by Abraham-Louis Breguet. He was a Parisian watchmaker who even made watches for the court of Marie Antoinette!
He is also the man who created the world’s first Tourbillon.
His brand is seen as royalty in the watchmaking world. And still creates luxurious timepieces in France, that still are recognizable for their Breguet features.
If you’re ever in Paris, you should visit their flagship boutique to learn more about the house of Breguet.
3. Cyril Brivet-Naudot
Cyril Brivet-Naudot is a young French watchmaker. Who many say is walking in the stops of Louis-Abraham Breguet. Probably one of the best compliments you can receive as a French watchmaker.
His timepieces are works of art. He makes them all made by hand too. Just like the House of Breguet did in the past. So no two Cyril Brivet-Naudot watches are ever the same.
He is the grandson and great-grandson of watchmakers. He is driven to keep the art of traditional watchmaking alive. He does not want to see the knowledge of this craft lost due to the increasing use of machinery in production.
You can read more about Cyril’s philosophy, and learn more about his handmade watches too, on his website.
Created in 1948 by French watchmaking pioneer, Henry Louis Belmont. Yema is a French watch brand that is a luxury high performer.
The clientele of a Yema watch are explorers. The brand has collaborated with the French Space Agency in the past. Equipping their astronauts with Yema watches.
Their Zero G Collection is available. They’re military grade timepieces.
Their Yema Heritage Diving Collection can withstand 990 feet of water resistance. While their Yema Heritage Chronograph Collection has taken inspiration from the 60s car racing. Bringing them back into the present day.
Another French designed watch, but with Swiss made engineering. Is the French watch brand RESERVOIR.
They call themselves ‘The Swiss Watch Industry in the French Way’.
This Paris brand is inspired by the past. Military aviation, submarines, and old racing cars. And these inspirations are clear to see in their designs.
Their watches are unusual in the way they display the time. Take a look at the video above to see their watches in action! Very cool.
A favorite watch among racing car professionals, divers, explorers, and those who need a super high performing watch. See their luxury watch collection on their site.
The French independent watchmaker, Baltic, wants to offer timeless pieces at a fair price.
They’re super transparent with their manufacturing. Which is refreshing. Using Hong Kong manufactures for movements and case parts. Then the watches are manufactured, and assembled in France.
From toolwatches, to chronographs, and three-hand timepieces. They have a large watch collection. So plenty affordable, well made timepieces to choose from.
Pequignet is a luxurious watch brand. They’re made in the Jura mountains. They’re another Rench designed brand. Who are made with Swiss-Franco ingenuity.
Each of their timepieces are assembled by hand. And many of their pieces incorporate the exclusively French Calibre, known as the Calibre Royal.
Their Rue Royale watch received rave reviews. Winning ‘Watch of the Year’ in the Netherlands, Japan, and Belgium.
Their pieces are timeless, and offer the wearer plenty of French sophistication.
8. Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross are a Paris based watch brand. That uses Swiss movements, and produces some premium innovative timepieces.
Their BR 03-92 Diver range is great quality, and not ridiculously priced.
However, the same can’t be said for their BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire. Selling for half a million dollars! The most expensive watch the brand has ever produced.
Then there is the BR 03-92 HUD. Which is one of their more creative, novelty watches. It has everything that a fighter pilot might need featured on their display. Very cool timepiece.
The French watch brand Briston, make sporty yet trendy watches for men and women.
They have a unique case shape, with a square outline. And a big range of dive watches. Along with travel watches, featuring Swiss made movements. And sports watches of course.
Their Streamliner Skeleton Collection stands out. It’s a great selection of skeleton watches.
Depancel is a French watch brand that is all about making their timepieces high quality. While also keeping them costing less than €1,000.
They like to say their watches are ‘Japanese movement, a French know-how’. They get their movements from Japan. Using the Japanese Miyota 9120 calibers. And assemble them in their French workshop in Besançon.
Plus their straps are made in France, and are scratch resistant. So very durable.
What is very cool about this brand. Is that they create their collections based on the feedback from their customers.
PHENOMEN is a very slick French watch brand.
Their watches are designed and assembled in their workshop based in Besançon. Which is the hub for watchmaking in France.
They’re a unique timepiece. Using the also unique PHENOMEN PH-010 calibre. The watches offer a clear view of the time, in a digital format.
Their whole PHENOMEN Collection appears like watches that have the look of a supercar engine. They’ve designed these watches for drivers. So that when you’re driving you can easily read the time.
It is an attention grabbing timepiece. Expect people to stop and admire it on your wrist.
A French watch brand founded in 2017. So FUGUE is a very new watch company.
The word ‘fugue’ means ‘escape’ in French. It’s a reference to how time always feels like it is escaping us.
This watchmaker takes inspiration from the vintage aesthetic. Plus they are Swiss made timepieces. Designed in France, handmade in their Swiss workshop.
Most of their timepieces can have their case change without tools. You can also change the FUGUE straps too, no tools needed.
Their full collection of their watches and accessories is on their website.
13. Auffret Paris
Théo Auffret is a new French independent watchmaker that you need to look out for.
He has apprenticed for many leading French watchmakers, including Jean-Baptiste Viot. He also has worked in Switzerland too. He now has his own workshop in Paris.
His inspiration comes from the golden age of chronometry, in London and Paris.
On the Auffret Paris site he displays his creations. The Prototype and the Subscription Series are gorgeous timepieces. And true testaments to the past.
Remember this new talent and watch this space. Check out his Instagram to see the latest from his collections.
14. L. Leroy
This watch brand claims no direct family link. But this was a brand who many watchmakers were linked to. You can discover the history of the House of Leroy on their website.
This French watch brand has been around since 1785. Since the Age of Enlightenment and the time of Marie Antoinette.
L. Leroy manufactures their timepieces in their own manufacturing facility in Switzerland.
Their site showcases their Limited Series Collection. These are unique, luxurious timepieces. While their Marine Collection includes their chronograph.
15. March LA.B
March LA.B are a French watch brand who are also inspired by the Los Angeles lifestyle.
French heritage, with LA aesthetic sounds like a weird mix. Yet this brand makes it work.
They’re a low range luxury brand, yet still incorporate many affordable pieces in their collection. Like their SEVENTY Electrics 36 mm. The difference is this watch is assembled in Asia with a quartz movement.
While their luxury pieces include Swiss-Franco engineering. Like their AM69 Tiger Eye 36 mm.
Merci is a French brand that isn’t just about watches. They make a wide array of products, from bath to fashion to watches.
Merci are an affordable watch brand. They keep the price down by sticking to quartz movements from Seiko. Which are reliable and precise.
Many of their watches have a vintage look to them which is popular now. Like their Field Watch, with the ever popular pull through watch straps. Making most of Merci’s pieces super customizable.
They’ve created a mechanical watch, which is about double the price of their regular collection. The LMM-H01 Merci X Hodinkee. The piece still keeps with their minimalist and clean style.
17. Michel Herbelin
Michel Herbelin is one of the leading French watch brands right now. They’re still a family run watch company. Owned and run by the Herbelin family.
The brand has been around since it was founded in 1947, by Michel Herbelin himself. They still have a studio in Charquemont, in France.
Michel Herbelin’s ladies watches are especially popular around the world. Offering a collection of really beautiful dress watch timepieces usually under €1,000.
Then their Newport range is especially popular for men and women. You can check out their entire Newport collection on their online store.
The French watch brand B.R.M. believe ‘From the excellence of the details that performance is born’. And a lot of detail goes into their watches. With all the key tasks done by hand.
Bernard Richards is the brains behind this luxury watch brand. With their high performance workshops based in Paris.
The French company doesn’t do mass production. Only producing about 2,000 watches each year. They do have second-hand watches available on their website.
The watch brand only produces chronographs. With a golf collection available. They’re a brand for sportsmen and women.
19. Dodane 1857
Dodane 1857 is a French watch brand and manufacturer that has been around since 1857.
The watch company was involved in making onboard chronographs for aircraft in WWI. And from then Dodane has remained a military manufacturer, specializing in military onboard chronographs to this day.
Their chronographs are still available on the Dodane online store.
Their timepieces are simply named by Type. With the fly-back options available, as well as dial night vision too. To make your watch have that fighter jet look.
To Sum Up
France has some of the most prestigious and innovative watch brands in the world. Want to find more watch brands from around the world?
Then check out other watch brand guides. To find the best watchmaker Switzerland, America, Italy, and more.