5 of the best Spanish watch brands 5 of the best Spanish watch brands

5 of the best Spanish watch brands

Fergus Nash

Spain is a kingdom known for its wealth of culture, food, and favourable climates, however it’s not particularly known for its watchmaking. In fact, Wikipedia lists 442 names on their “List of watchmakers” with horological significance, and there’s only one Spaniard amongst them. While specific towns in Switzerland and Germany became legendary from the 1700s through to today for their watch industries, that spark just never took off in Spain. That said, here are five of the best Spanish watch brands who escape the shadow of their European cousins.

Pita Barcelona

Pita Barcelona Sol Y Luna
Pita Barcelona Sol Y Luna

Founded by Aniceto Pita in 2005, Pita Barcelona is a small, family business with international significance. With Aniceto focusing on watchmaking and his son Daniel co-designing and managing the business, the pair create high-end watches brimming with ingenuity. For example, the Oceana dive watch that’s water resistant to 5,000 metres thanks to a case with no crown, and the time setting done via magnetic gear connection. There’s also the Carousel “slow-motion” tourbillon, where the entire movement is spun once every 12 hours, or the vibrant Sol Y Luna with a decorative sun and moon displaying the day’s progression. If you don’t need any of the fancy complications, then there’s the Minimal which still features their signature no-crown design for a simple and elegant wearing experience. To top it all off, the prices are surprisingly affordable for hand-made watches that are essentially bespoke. If you’re looking for a luxury watch with fresh, Spanish attitude, look no further than Pita.

Atelier de Chronométrie

Atelier de Chronometrie AdC8

Even though their first watch wasn’t released until 2016, it only took four years for Atelier de Chronométrie to be nominated for a GPHG award. That’s a staggering feat for any company, let alone a small team creating one-off watches in Barcelona. Their designs are inspired mostly by the early wristwatches of the 1940s, and watches like the AdC8 definitely carry an air of Patek Philippe about them. Their dedication to the world of vintage extends to their movements, typically using old calibres such as the Venus 179 or the Omega 266 as an ébauche. This year, they’ve launched their first completely in-house movement known as the M284. In true antique style, it features a three-quarter plate, beats at a slow 18,000 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 38 hours.

Raúl Pagès

Raul Pages RP1

While Raúl Pagès is based in Switzerland, this inventive watchmaker does cling to his Spanish heritage. Having developed his skills as a restorer for the likes of Patek Philippe, he set himself free with his own brand and went about reinventing the wheel, so to speak. The Régulateur à Détente RP1 made plenty of waves when it was released in 2022, as it resurrected the detent escapement which has been overshadowed by the lever escapement since the mid 18th century. This isn’t just a novelty though, as the detent escapement has always been considered highly accurate, but just more vulnerable to shocks than the lever escapement. Now, with modern technology, the likes of Raúl Pagès are showing that there’s still room for development in this craft which spans centuries. The design of the dial shouldn’t be ignored either, with quite an eye-catching display of separate hour, minute, and seconds dials.

Tempore Lux

Tempore Lux Racing One

Even though they’re the youngest brand on this list, Tempore Lux hold themselves to some of the highest standards. All of their watches are assembled in Mallorca by Miguel A. Martinez, who runs S’Hora des Rellotge. It’s a certified service centre for Swatch Group brands, and all Tempore Lux watches to be assembled there are subject to individual quality testing and regulation. For microbrand prices, it’s an incredibly upmarket service to receive. Their first of two watches is the Ocean 200, which is a fairly generic albeit well-proportioned diver. Its main appeal comes from its vibrant colour options in green, red, or yellow with matching bezels, as well as the STP1-11 automatic movement. Their second watch is far more thrilling, with a brushed, squared-off cushion case and complimentary bi-compax subdials. The Racing One Chrono backs up its detailed design with a Seagull ST1901 movement, offering a column-wheel chronograph experience for an attainable price.


Festina Retro Watch
Image courtesy of Ben’s Watch Club.

It’s debatable whether or not Festina can truly be considered a Spanish watch brand, but they’re enough of a powerhouse to deserve a spot on this list. Festina were founded in 1902 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, however their headquarters moved to Barcelona in the 1930s. After a few ownership changes, the brand eventually was acquired by the Spanish businessman Miguel Rodríguez in 1984. Combining it with his previously-owned Lotus brand, the Festina Group came into being. Today, Festina Group incorporates watch brands such as Lotus, Jaguar, and Perrelet, but more importantly owns the movement manufactures of Soprod and Manufacture Horlogere de la Vallée de Joux (MHVJ). Festina were also once a prominent sponsorship name for le Tour de France, but that concluded when the Festina team were unfortunately exposed in a doping scandal. Festina watches themselves are mostly Swiss-made even if the headquarters is still in Barcelona, with a dominating global presence.