While it’s true that the majority of buyers in the world have their sights set on Swiss watch brands, it’s also true that the advent of the web has helped many small players, so-called micro brands, establish loyal followings.
Indeed, the internet has allowed bootstrapped brands to hit the ground running. Armed with the free marketing platforms of social media as well as direct access to consumers, many Australian watch brands are emerging with attractive timepieces.
In this article, we present to you the most popular watch brands straight out of ‘Straya. Before jumping right in to our favorites, though, we must preface as we have done in previous country-specific watch articles.
Nevertheless, the brands on our list still demonstrate initiative and perseverance. If that doesn’t make for a captivating story as inspiration for a timepiece, we don’t know what does.
Best Australian Watch Brands
As we mentioned, the following Australian made watches can’t boast 100% Made in Australia status. Yet, one of them is breaking ground by acquiring the precise machinery required to do so.
Similarly, others are constantly innovating in their own paths with new designs, materials, and complications. Whichever the specific brand, all are collectively forging ahead and putting Australian watchmaking on the map.
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1. Melbourne Watch Company
The Melbourne Watch Company has operated from its eponymous city since 2013. Touting the honest mission of creating accessible timepieces of the highest quality, the Aussie brand has gone from Kickstarter beginnings to respected online micro brand.
After initial bouts of success, the brand set out to establish local watchmaking operations. Having done this has allowed them to complete critical watch manufacture steps completely in-house.
It has been proven time and time again that when design and assembly is brought in-house, higher quality timepieces are made. As a result, customers are more satisfied with their acquisitions, bringing them back for more.
Thereupon, the same customers are highly like to share their story with their friends, further increasing sales. A positive feedback loop is created, taking small brands to greater and greater heights.
This has certainly been the case with Melbourne Watch Company, and has allowed them to create their latest offering, the Portsea Collection. Boasting classic styling, various complication options, and lustrous ceramic dials, the Portsea is a beautiful example of the potential behind Australian watchmakers.
2. Nick Hacko & The Rebelde Watch
A third generation watchmaker, Nicholas Hacko, created his own brand out of financial necessity. While he had spent his life repairing high-end timepieces in Australia, Swiss brands cut off the supply of parts required for repairs around 2012.
It was then that Hacko decided to branch off on his own. After many trials and tribulations while sourcing components and deciding on manufacturers, the Rebelde watch came to life in 2013.
His first timepiece was robust, reliable and repairable, not simply an accessory worn for looks. Most importantly, this achievement allowed Nick to break free from the Swiss giants grips.
The growth of the brand brought new challenges, namely the time intensive nature of sourcing watch parts. As before, Nick Hacko would take this obstacle head on, acquiring the specialized machinery for making his own components.
The watch industry has smiled upon Nick Hacko’s efforts, and his brand of timepieces continue to grow today. Although it’s not openly stated on the website, it’s only logical that the components made by Hacko will make their way into other domestic brands.
Similarly, brands yet to be founded will also be able to rely on him for parts, and in doing so make their own strides in advancing the world of watchmakers in Australia.
Bausele watches put forth an interesting proposition with their timepieces. All contain Swiss movements, scratch-resistant sapphire crystals, and are plated in gold or a black coating.
There’s another detail to Bausele watches, and it lies within their hollow crowns. Different models contain different elements in this void. For example, their OceanMoon model includes sand from Australian beaches.
Bausele is also able to innovate in the complication department. The same OceanMoon watch possesses a unique Tide and Moon phase indicator, which we’ve never seen before. Likewise, they’re proponents of sustainability with their recycled plastic straps, available on every model.
Finally, we consider their materials research. Bausele boasts their own material, Bauselite, which they created in conjunction with South Australia’s Flinders University. While the proprietary composition is not public, it does make public the brand’s innovative spirit, which has led us to place it at #3 on our list of the best Australian made watches.
4. Haigh and Hastings
Haigh & Hastings were founded in 2013 and launched their first watch, the M2 diver, in 2014. Their mission, creating high-quality timepieces for everyday use, has been rather successful.
This fact is true not only in Australia, but also in the UK and US. Their watches have appealed to those in the military and sporting spaces, as well as those looking for colorful wristwatches.
The brand has also partnered with rugby, hockey, and ice hockey teams as well as individual sports ambassadors. We can certainly understand why they’ve garnered so much attention – their model lines extend through dress and sports styles, and boast attractive and colorful designs.
Undoubtedly, Haigh and Hastings will continue to expand, and with their growth, we hope to see ever more exciting Australian timepieces.
Adina was created in 1971 by Australian watchmaker Bob Menzies with the goal of producing watches that could handle the “Australian lifestyle”. As has been the case with all the brands on our list, Bob was forced to look outside the continent for components for his watches.
Even when he acquired them, Bob labored over the design and craft of his first timepieces. His determination would eventually lead him to success, with modern production numbers topping 40,000 pieces a year.
You may not have heard about Adina, though, as they retail mostly in Australia. Yet, their success is undeniable. Their principles of dependable construction and superior technology has led Australians to trust in the brand for all occasions.
From their fashion examples, to their sports models and dress watches, all have experienced success. Their wide price range has also helped in this regard, as they offer timepieces from 100-1100AUD.
Our current favorite, the Adina Polocrosse Limited Edition, boasts a marine-grade steel construction, automatic movement, handsome blue dial, and date complication. All of these features can be had for a little more than 750USD, and we think that’s quite a deal.
More Guides & Articles
It’s no mystery that the Australian watch brands presented here show many signs of young watch brands. But as we’ve mentioned, they show all the signs of progress, onward and upwards, towards a bright future.
Of course, we couldn’t include every single Aussie watch out there. Are there any we may have missed? Let us know in the comments.
If you’re hungry for more watch content, check out the links below:
- Girard-Perregaux Brand Guide
- YouTube Watch Videos & Reviews
- The Best Italian Watch Brands Available Today!
- Bespoke Unit Watch Homepage
"I had never heard of Australian watch companies before reading this article. By the looks of the brands on this list, they truly deserve more recognition!"Rating: 5.0★★★★★