In Style + Design

Dial Up The Details: Six Of Australia’s Most Exquisite Watch Brands

Watchmaking’s lineage goes back to the 15th Century when wealthy men decided they just couldn’t leave the house until they had a miniaturised clock attached to their person.

Fast forward a few hundred years and the watch market has since exploded. Alongside exquisite handmade mechanical timepieces now sit thousands of affordable powered variants catering to every conceivable niche.

Over the past four decades, Australia, a country not traditionally known for its watchmaking prowess, has born more than just one brand, finding a local client base eager to wear a watch with an Aussie tick-tocking lilt.

While some of these brands make just a handful of units a year and cost thousands of dollars, others make a many few more and set you back just a few hundred. Here we chart a few of our favourite Australian watch brands.

Creux Automatiq

Founded in 2015 by Dane Rumble, Creux takes its cue from the Avant Garde Swiss watchmaking the company’s founding director so loves.

With a focus on high-quality pieces that favour skeletonised styles, Creux bridges “Australian design”  and “Swiss production” says Rumble. “We strive to produce high quality, precision sports timepieces that are built to last a lifetime.” Prices for a Diamondback CA-06 or CA-07 model start around $2500.

Melbourne Watch Co.

Combining traditional watch aesthetics with modern manufacturing process, Melbourne Watch Co. has built a business on the rising popularity of dress watches. Both aspirational and affordable these mechanical watches inspired by home aims at customers who enjoying owning several watches, mixing and matching them to different occasions and outfits.

“MWC aims to create pieces that draw on classic watch styles, but with a modern twist,” explains Managing Director Sujain Krishnan. Having originally launched online, the brand has since opened a physical space reminiscent of a traditional tailor to enable customers to try before they buy. There are five styles to choose from and prices start from $475.

Adina

As one of the oldest Australian watch brands, Adina has been operating since 1971. Inspired by the outdoors, the brand seeks to provide its customers with an affordable and stylish timepiece that is designed with the Aussie lifestyle in mind.

“From unassuming workshops where our watchmakers hand build each timepiece to our dynamic father and son figurehead, we are a company founded on integrity and dependability,” says General Manager Grant Menzies.

“Forging into the future, Adina Watches continue to set the standard in design… while remaining true to our Australian roots.”

Bausele

Founded by French-born Christophe Hoppe in 2011, Bausele seeks to unite two things; great watches and Australiana. Bausele watches are thus distinct for two reasons; first their hollow oversized crowns have become a somewhat trademark that nods to the Swiss way of doing things, whilst the tiny pieces of Australian earth contained within each piece have become the brand’s unique selling point.

Every model that rolls off the line contains a piece of the country; sand from the Kimberley, coal from Newcastle or coral from a reef. “It gives that extra emotional element, it’s exceptional,” says Hoppe.

“We also have a watch that has a piece of ceramic tile from the Sydney Opera House in the crown, so you keep a bit of the Opera House with you wherever you go. I couldn’t think of a more iconic place in Australia.” Prices start from $495.

Nicholas Hacko

australian watch brands

Image: Nicholas Hacko / supplied

Nicholas Hacko’s namesake brand is unique in that all their watch components are made and assembled in Australia. His latest creation, the NH2 is demonstrative of his commitment to doing things his own way. “The NH2 is the world’s first watch with main components crafted from Timascus, a tricomposite super light titanium alloy,” he says. “The NH2 is is handcrafted and hand assembled.”

Owing to the nature of the making process, each order takes around three months to be delivered to a customer. Prices for the NH2 start from $8,800.

The Fifth

Founded in 2014 by Alex McBride and inspired by a watch left to him by his grandfather, The Fifth came around just as Instagram really began to evolve as a retail force. Their online store opens for just one day a month, the 5th. As of September 2019, the brand now boasts Swiss made watches.

“We’re here to bridge that gap through our relationships and commitment to producing Swiss Made Watches for individuals that appreciate quality craftsmanship.” McBride says.

“We have been working on this project for more than a year now which culminates with us launching on Kickstarter to reach new customers and bring quality watches to more people than ever before.” Price start at $200.

(Lead images: Creux Automatiq / supplied) 

Published 01 November, 2019