watches

The Finest Australian Watchmakers

Switzerland may have a reputation as the birthplace of the world’s most luxurious watches, but Australia is quickly catching up. If you’re on the hunt for a new timepiece, why not try a local brand?

These are the Australian artisans carrying on the time-honoured tradition (no pun intended) of watchmaking.

Bausele Sydney Opera House watches
Source: Sydney Opera House

Bausele

Don’t be fooled by the the Swiss-sounding name: Bausele is an Australian brand through and through.

Designed and made locally at an Adelaide facility in collaboration with Flinders University, each watch features a small piece of Australia in its crown. Whether it’s sand from Bondi, red earth from the Kimberley or a fragment of opal from Coober Pedy, you’ll always be connected to the land wherever you go.

Some of the patriotically-named watches include Noosa and Terra Australis. The brand has also collaborated with the Sydney Opera House to release a strictly limited-edition watch adorned with the famous sails. Bausele has been named the official watch of Sydney Opera House and the Australian Army Intelligence Corp.

The company was started by Christophe Hoppe in 2011 and caters to both men and women with its elegant creations. Its premium watches are crafted using Swiss mechanisms, surrounded by gold-plated stainless steel and sapphire crystal.

Go for one of their classic-look timepieces, or try a brightly-hued configuration to add a pop of colour to any outfit.

Nicholas Hacko watches
Source: Executive Style

Nicholas Hacko

Boutique watch brand Nicholas Hacko, also known as Rebelde, proudly declares itself Australia’s first and only watch component manufacturer. The small team of craftsmen designs, assembles and manufactures beautifully classic watches from its workshop in Brookvale, Sydney.

The eponymous Nicholas Hacko is a third-generation watchmaker, utilising traditional techniques passed down through the generations from his Yugoslavian predecessors. Now the ambitious founder wants to foster the art of watchmaking in Australia.

The independent company has been fighting the mass production of corporate watch giants since 2013, one hand-crafted timepiece at a time. With only 545 watches made to date, you’ll be sure that your purchase is one of a kind.

Using state-of-the-art equipment sourced from Germany, Switzerland and Japan, the brand produces 10% of its watch components right here in Australia. The watches are designed to last a lifetime, constructed from high-quality stainless steel, titanium and gold.

A standout is the J Yellow Gold model, a luxurious $13,980 timepiece with an 18-karat gold case and sapphire crystal glass.

Creux Automatiq Ghost watches
Source: Zaeger

Creux Automatiq

Creux Automatiq was born when New Zealander Dan Rumble made the leap from crafting jewellery to watchmaking. The designer proved his mettle at Sydney-based Culet Jewellery before pursuing his dream of creating a luxury watch that is both powerful and affordable.

The luxe sports watch brand was launched in 2016 after two years of meticulous research in the home of watchmaking: Switzerland. In fact, the company’s namesake is Switzerland’s beautiful Creux du Van canyon range.

Using Australian design paired with Swiss expertise, Creux Automatiq crafts a range of Swiss-made watches in ultramodern styles. The timepieces are known for their distinctive look, including a bevelled case and eclipse crown protectors. The sleek exteriors are composed of brushed and polished stainless steel.

The company currently offers two main collections. The Ghost series draws inspiration from the curves of modern luxury vehicles with its range of slick, skeletonised watches. Meanwhile, the Diamondback series pays homage to nature with its rattlesnake-inspired watches, mimicking the reptile’s unique scale pattern on the bracelets.

By Jennifer Luu