Holy Trinity Watches – The Big 3 Watch Brands

Three of Switzerland’s biggest watch manufacturers make up the holy trinity of watches. This includes luxury Swiss watch brands:

  1. Audemars Piguet
  2. Patek Philippe
  3. Vacheron Constantin

Sometimes you might hear them referred to as the big three as well.

Read on to learn what makes these brands so special, and why they are referred to as holy trinity watches.

1. Audemars Piguet

The logo of the watch brand Audemars Piguet
Founded: 1875
Founders: Jules Louis Audemars & Edward Auguste Piguet
Location: Le Brassus in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland

Founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875. Audemars Piguet is still a family run business. One of the few big luxury watch brands not owned by a watch group. Both families have had generations involved in the running of the watchmaker.

The brand is a favorite among pro athletes. Celebrity fans have included Serena Williams, Lionel Messi, and Michael Schumacher.

To learn more about their history and timepieces. If you’re in Switzerland, you can book a visit to the Audemars Piguet museum. Located in Le Chenit, Switzerland.

Reasons why Audemars Piguet is in the holy trinity of watches:

  • In 1892, Audemars Piguet produced the first minute repeater movement for a watch.
  • They produced the first skeleton watch in 1934.
  • Audemars Piguet released the world’s first luxury sports watch. With the Royal Oak collection.
  • This collection kickstarted a new market in luxury sports watches with steel bracelets. With the Royal Oak collection still around today.
  • The watchmaker has created some of the thinnest watches in the world from 1986 to now. Releasing the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar. Which is the Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.
Four watches from the Royal Oak collection from holy trinity watch brand; Audemars Piguet.
Royal Oak collection

Audemars Piguet never stops innovating and creating new masterpieces. Deserving a place as one of the holy trinity of watches.

2. Patek Philippe

Logo of watch brand Patek Philippe
Founded: 1839
Founders: Antoine Norbert de Patek & François Czapek
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

The Stern family have owned Patek Philippe since 1932. With Henri Stern as the President of Patek Philippe from 1958. Then Philippe Stern took the presidency, and his son, Thierry Stern now is the head.

The Stern family has promised to keep Patek Philippe in the Stern family. Making the brand one of the remaining few family run watchmakers, and a brand who is not owned by a watch group. To the delight of their loyal fans.

They’ve been a favorite with many big names from the past. Including; Pablo Picasso, JFK, and even Queen Victoria.

To learn more about Patek Philippe. You should make a visit to the Patek Philippe watch museum in Geneva. It is the largest collection of Patek Philippe timepieces in the world.

Reasons why Patek Philippe is in the holy trinity of watches:

  • Patek Philippe created the first Swiss wristwatch. It was a timepiece made for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.
  • They’ve been a leader in ladies watches. Even producing the first complicated ladies wristwatch in 1916.
  • Patek Philippe created the world’s first perpetual calendar wristwatch in 1925.
  • They created the first electronic clock in 1956.
  • Their time precision record for a mechanical watch is still unbeaten since 1962. Achieving it with a tourbillon movement.
  • Patek Philippe holds the title for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction. Their Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010, sold for CHF 31 million in Geneva, in 2019.
The most expensive watch ever sold at auction

Patek Philippe is one of the most beloved, and expensive, watch brands in the world. Deserving a place as one of the holy trinity watches.

3. Vacheron Constantin

Logo for watch brand Vacheron Constantin
Founded: 1755
Founder: Jean-Marc Vacheron
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Started by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755. The brand was renames Vacheron Constantin. When the great grandson of the founder, watchmaker Jacques Barthélémi Vacheron. Paired with business, François Constantin, in.

Today, the Richemont Group owns Vacheron Constantin. The Richemont Group is one of the world’s largest watch groups.

Vacheron Constantin is still a favorite brand among European royalty. With Queen Elizabeth II owning a collection of Vacheron Constantin timepieces.

Reasons why Vacheron Constantin is in the holy trinity of watches:

  • Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest uninterrupted watch manufacturer. Making watches and their movements since 1755.
  • They created the first watch complication in 1790.
  • In 1884, Vacheron Constantin created the first perpetual calendar movement.
  • In 1955, the manufacturer produced the Calibre 1003. And it was the world’s thinnest manual winding movement at the time.
  • The company also created the world’s most complicated watch in 2015. The Reference 57260 contains a mind melting 57 complications.
  • Vacheron Constantin are famous for crafting one off timepieces for their clients. With their made to measure service.

Vacheron Constantin is one of the world’s oldest watch brands. Never stopping manufacturing of luxury watches since 1775. Ensuring their place in the holy trinity of watchmaking.

To Sum Up

Audamer Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin are members of the big three. These three Swiss watchmakers make up the holy trinity of watchmaking.

Are all magnificent in their own way. Their timepieces continue shaping the history of watchmaking. Both in Switzerland and around the world today.

Learn more about Switzerland and their famous watch brands.