The 10 Best Australian Watch Brands in 2024
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The 10 Best Australian Watch Brands in 2024

When you think of Australia, watches are probably not the first images that come to your mind. Kangaroos, boomerangs, Hugh Jackman, and Nicole Kidman, maybe, but not watches. However, much like Great Britain, France,, and our own United States, Australia in the 21st Century has given rise to a creative and ambitious generation of watch aficionados-turned-entrepreneurs that are eager to establish home-grown watchmaking in the Land Down Under. While a full-fledged horological industry in Australia is still quite a way from becoming reality — unlike those aforementioned nations, it has little watchmaking history to speak of, and outsourced parts and even manufacturing are still the norm — these 10 Australia-based watch brands are making timepieces worthy of enthusiasts’ attention.

Melbourne Watch Co.

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia

Founder: Sujain Krishnan

Notable models: Melbourne, Flinders, Portsea, Fitzroy

Melbourne Watch Company started out as a crowd-funded venture in 2013, a passion project for founder, former IT consultant and self-trained watchmaker Sujain Krishnan. It attained early success with its first timepiece, the Flinders Automatic, a business-casual steel watch named for a central train hub in the founder’s home city of Melbourne and sporting a dial inspired by that station’s clock. The brand has expanded its offerings in the decade-plus since, now offering no less than seven collections, all taking their names and some aesthetic cues from famous locations in the eponymous Australian city. Melbourne Watch Co. (MWC for short) designs its watches at its Australian HQ and manufactures them offshore with an assortment of movement options, quartz and mechanical, from reliable providers like Japan’s Miyota and Switzerland’s Ronda. Among the brand’s highlights are the Portsea, a modern take on a classical deck watch with analog calendar displays; the Carlton, with a ‘60s-look cushion case and a Swiss quartz chronograph movement; the Fitzroy, a dive watch with a distinctive wave-pattern dial; and the classically elegant Melbourne series, which includes day-date and GMT models, all with Swiss automatic movements and radiating textures on the dials. 

Visit them here: https://www.melbournewatch.com.au/

Bausele

Founded: 2011

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Founder: Christopher Hoppe

Notable models: Oceanmoon, Field Good, and Endless Sunrise collections

From the name, you might think that Bausele is a Swiss microbrand based in the former watch-industry trade show capital of Basel. You’d be right about the Swiss part, but way off on the home base. “Bausele” is an abbreviation of “Beyond Australian Elements,” and refers to the unique design sense that Swiss watchmaking entrepreneur Christopher Hoppe, who moved to Sydney with his Australian wife and founded the brand in 2011, brings to the table with this Swiss-made, Australian-designed microbrand. Bausele’s flagship collection is the OceanMoon series of professional grade dive watches, outfitted with 200-meter water resistant steel anti magnetic cases on straps made of recycled ocean waste and containing Swiss automatic calibers. Among those “Australian elements” are the cases’ hollow glass crowns through which you can glimpse an actual living element of Australia — red earth from the Outback, sand  — which allow the watch’s owner to literally carry a piece of Australia with them anywhere in the world. Bausele is the official watch of the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force as well as several military corps and even the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Vist them here: https://www.bausele.com/

Nicholas Hacko

Founded: 2011

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Founder: Nicholas & Josh Hacko

Notable models: Mark 1, Mark 2, NH Series

Sydney-based Nicholas Hacko was an independent watchmaker and repairer of Swiss watches in 2011, when most of the large Swiss brands restricted access to spare parts from its factories, essentially ending the business of independent watch repair in Australia. Despite entreaties to the Swiss firms by Hacko and his son, Josh, these companies refused to budge from their strict monopolies on watch servicing. Hacko’s defiant response was to make his own watch, with his own independently sourced parts, in his own Australian workshop. That watch, the 0/9 (because only nine pieces were made) proved to be a hit and ushered in other variations on that original piece, all in limited series, over the next few years, all with imported components. Profits from that series set up the next step, which was manufacturing the parts themselves in Australia as well as assembling the watches there. Hacko has been advancing his eponymous brand in terms of mechanics ever since, buying tools and machinery from watchmaking countries like Switzerland, Japan, and Germany, and even building the proprietary NHW caliber on the base of a Swiss-made ETA/Unitas 6498. The first watches labeled “Made in Australia,” the NH series, made their debut in 2018 and these remain the pinnacle of the brand’s offerings today.  

Visit them here: https://www.nicholashacko.com.au/

Panzera

Founded: 2009

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Founder: Roger Cooper, Andrew Herman

Notable models: Classivo, Aquamarine, Flieger, Time Master

Established in 2009 in Sydney by founding partners Roger Cooper and Andrew Herman, Panzera is one of the older Australian watch brands on this list, kicking off its collection with the partners’ version of a Flieger-style pilot’s watch. That watch ushered in the “land, sea, air” theme that still drives Panzera’s modern portfolio, which includes motorsport-style automatics and quartz chronographs in the Time Master family, robust water-resistant diver styles in the Aquamarines, and aviator-inspired GMTs in the flagship Flieger line. Panzera watches are all designed in Australia and manufactured either in-country or in a dedicated workshop in Switzerland, with parts sourced from Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Italy; the brand offers several models that earn the coveted “Swiss made” certification. 

Visit them here: https://panzerawatches.com/

Adina

Founded: 1971

Headquarters: Woollangabba, Australia

Founder: Bob Menzies

Notable models: Amphibian, Country Master, Kensington, Oceaneer

Described by Brisbane’s Courier Mail as “Australia’s only home-grown” watchmaking company, Adina has been in business since 1971, headquartered in the Brisbane suburb of Woollangabba. Founder Bob Menzies and his son Grant head up a small team that includes five watchmakers, one clockmaker, and four apprentices, producing 30,000 “artisan” watches per year — as well as wall and desk clocks, alarm clocks, and grandfather clocks — selling them at more than 300 retailers throughout Australia and New Zealand. Outfitted mostly with Swiss-quartz Ronda movements, along with a handful of automatics in the higher-end models, Adina watches run the gamut from sporty (the 200-meter water-resistant Amphibian dive watches and tachymeter-equipped Oceaneers) to dressy (the elegant Kensington, with Roman numeral dials and wristwatch as well as pocket watch options) to rugged everyday utilitarian (the field-watch-style Country Master, which Adina touts as Australia’s “quintessential tough work watch”). 

Visit them here: https://www.adinawatches.com.au/

Bow & Stern

Photo: The Coolector

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Cronulla, Australia

Founders: Bianca, Vanessa, Adam (surnames unavailable)

Notable models: Baltic, Havana

The three founders of Bow & Stern — a fashion model, a professional athlete and a business-school entrepreneur — all grew up near beaches on Australia’s East Coast, in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla, and brought their love of the ocean to the nautical-named watch brand they launched in 2014. The names of the models also reflect the maritime theme, like the Baltic, with matte-black steel case and black dial, which evokes the inky depths of its namesake sea, and the Havana, whose silver-tone case and white dial calls to mind the sun-soaked beaches of Cuba’s capital. The parts for the watches are sourced from overseas, including Swiss-made Ronda quartz movements, and the timepieces are assembled in a factory in Hong Kong. The designs are minimalist, with three-handed displays on 10 different dial types, all distinguished by an anchor at the 6 o’clock position. 

Visit them here: https://www.facebook.com/bowandstern.official/

Erroyl

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Canberra, Australia

Founder: Wes Knight

Notable models: Heritage, Regent, Duke

Another Australian watch brand born from a Kickstarter campaign, Erroyl started making its timepieces in 2014, initially focusing on timeless, elegant dress watches with classical details like polished Roman numeral markers, dauphine hands, and finely textured guilloché on the dials. Distinguishing Erroyl from most other watchmakers on this list is the company’s dedication to using automatic movements in its watches; its founder, Wes Knight, fell in love with automatic watches in his late teens when he acquired his first Seiko Kinetic. Knight says that classical Bauhaus design plays a large role in the development of Erroyl watches, along with elements from timepieces made in the modern era in Germany’s Glashütte region — which may explain the microbrand’s growing fan base in Germany as well as in other countries including the U.S., Canada, and its native Australia. Japanese-made Miyota calibers animate many of the models, primarily the minimalist Heritage series and the two-register, analog-calendar Regent (including a handsome “reverse panda” dial). The Duke, with guilloché dials and steel bracelets, is the first Erroyl collection equipped with Swiss-made automatic movements, specifically the ETA 2824-2.

Visit them here: https://www.erroyl.com/

JDRT

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Bondi Beach, Australia

Founder: Joel Davis, Rhys Thomas

Notable models: Matte Black, Matte Rose Gold, White Silver

Making watches since 2013, JDRT takes its name from the initials of its founders, Joel Davis and Rhys Thomas. Like most of the companies featured here, JDRT watches use many materials and components sourced from abroad — like the scratch-resistant sapphire crystals from Switzerland and the quartz Miyota movements from Japan — but are hand-assembled in the Bondi Beach suburb of Sydney, where Davis and Thomas both grew up. The company also keeps it simple in terms of styles: all the models on its website feature the same understated three-handed aesthetic, with round cases, narrow bezels, plain dials with thin baton hands and indexes, and a splash of color provided by the red seconds hand. Differing only in the choice of dial color (black, white, gold), the finishing on their steel cases (matte black, rose gold, silver) and in their array of colorful silicone straps, the watches use Miyota movements from Citizen and all come packaged in 100-percent recyclable materials.

Visit them here: https://www.jdrt.com/

The 5TH

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia

Founder: Alex McBride

Notable models: Paris, London, Milan, Swiss Made

“The Fifth” was originally a lifestyle blog managed by Melbourne-based entrepreneur Alex McBride, a proponent of what he terms the “well designed life.” The first watch in the offshoot “The 5TH” brand launched in 2015, selling out in under an hour and setting the foundation for the brand, which is built on its series of limited editions, most of which take their name and design cues from some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. In keeping with its name, the company releases a new style  on the 5th of every month. The New York collection, defined by its architectural lines, arrived in 2016, followed by the Bilbao collection, with a tactile mesh strap inspired by Frank Gehry’s distinct Guggenheim design, in 2017. Paris, London, Milan, and Tokyo also lent their names and spirits to collections. Founder Alex McBride’s trip to Switzerland led to the Swiss-modernist-styled Geneva collection in 2020 and the brand’s first Swiss Made watches, with either quartz Ronda calibers or automatic STP movements (from the Fossil Group) beating at their heart.

Visit them here: https://www.the5th.co/ 

The Horse

Founded: 2009

Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Founders: Scott & Amy Hawks

Notable models: The Original, The Mini Original, The Dress Watch

Husband-and-wife team Scott and Amy Hawks created The Horse as a leather footwear brand in 2009, expanding into (and eventually becoming even better known for) fashionable leather handbags and timepieces. Today, the Hawkses and their small team lead a small team out of a studio in Sydney, producing an array of goods that also includes wallets, backpacks, and other accessories. The watches, designed in the same studio and offering, as you’d expect from a stylish accessories brand, multiple colorways and material finishes, are manufactured in the Shenzhen industrial area of China, in a specialized factory with 25 years’ experience. The leather straps, chiefly from Italy and other European sources, are from premium hides, tanned using environmental protocols, and dyed to achieve an array of tones. Mostly featuring classically simple three-handed dials, The Horse watches are outfitted with quartz movements from Japan.

Visit them here: https://www.thehorse.com.au/

4 Comments

Join the Conversation

DS
Dirk S.

What about Second Hour (https://www.secondhour.com.au/)?

RF
Rob F.

This post causes your site to lose credibility. Is Teddy even paying attention to what is being posted here?? Is Bow and Stern even in business??

JS
Jared S.

This was very unlike Teddy’s usual blog posts. All subpar-quality fashion brand watches. I wouldn’t wear a single one of these brands. At least put Melbourne Watch Co. on the list!

AF
Alexander F.

@ Jared S.
Melbourne Watch Co. was the first on the list. Did you even read the article?

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