Rolex Smashes $11 Billion In Sales As Morgan Stanley Announce Top Swiss Watch Brand Rankings This Year
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Rolex Smashes $11 Billion In Sales As Morgan Stanley Announce Top Swiss Watch Brand Rankings This Year

Rolex Smashes $11 Billion In Sales As Morgan Stanley Announce Top Swiss Watch Brand Rankings This Year


While there may be dark forces at play on the global and socio-economic sphere combined with a continual cost of living crisis in the UK, it appears this hasn’t bothered Rolex nor its timekeeping juggernaut, making them the top brand on Morgan Stanley’s Swiss watch brand report. 


In Brief

  • With Watches and Wonders 2024 upon us in April, Morgan Stanley has wasted no time in unleashing their top 50 annual Swiss watch brand ranking report.
  • This table is based on units sold and overall revenue (DISCLAIMER: Estimates only with no concrete info forthcoming from any luxury brand).
  • It appears Rolex are top of the horological pops yet again with a 30% plus retail market share of the pie.
  • Registering 10.1 billion Swiss Francs in sales from 2023, the brand that Hans Wilsdorf built is up around 11% from the previous twelve months.
  • Among the hard hitters in the top 5, we see heavy weights including Omega, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Cartier with the latter ranking a respectable second according to Morgan Stanley.
  • Ranked 13th on the top Swiss watch brands report, Swatch sneaked their way back into the top 20 thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the Moonswatch.

Partnering with Swiss consultancy firm LuxeConsult, offering key insights into the current state of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex has once again delivered record breaking sales, producing 1.2+ million watches with a 30% total share of the retail sector. 

Cartier’s 8% share of the market pales into insignificance despite their 2nd position ranking since 2020. So how did the others fare? Were there any major shocks or was it just a storm in a horological teacup?

It’s time to find out who ranked where and which top Swiss watch brands were the cream of Morgan Stanley’s high performing crop. 


The Future Is Unpredictable At Times…Except For Rolex

Eyes down for a second. 

It’s the moment you have been waiting for. No thought not. We don’t need a dramatic pause to announce the best Swiss watch brand in this report…do we? 

Take back that drumroll and put it back in the cabinet as Rolex has risen to the top one more time in this look at the Morgan Stanley hot 50 list of the top Swiss watch brands from 2023. As Chandler Bing from Friends would have stoically proclaimed…

Could there have been anyone else? 

Morgan Stanley HQ - New York, Source: Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images


And to the tune of more than 11 billion dollars, or $17 billion in retail sales. That’s more than a 10% increase from 2022 as seen on the top Swiss watch brands of 2024, based on the latest report from Morgan Stanley and LuxeConsult. The Wilsdorf brand’s exclusivity, exquisite materials and constant desirability make their watches as popular as a VIP ticket to a Taylor Swift concert. 

Yes, that hot. 

This is especially true on the secondary market where many timepieces like the sought after Daytona and Submariner constantly go above retail prices, due of course to the old adage..little supply and overwhelming demand. This is precisely the reason why Chrono Hunter is the essential platform to buy a Rolex quickly without all the hassle or stress of never ending waitlists

With a staggering 30% market share, Rolex is quite simply a cut above the rest when it comes to any premium goods sector. In collaboration with Oliver R. Muller of LuxeConsult, who made it onto the Top 10 Swiss watch brands in 2023? 

The wait is over.

  1. Rolex
  2. Cartier
  3. Omega
  4. Audemars Piguet
  5. Patek Philippe
  6. Richard Mille
  7. Longines
  8. Vacheron Constantin
  9. Breitling
  10. Tissot

So who hasn’t cut the mustard? Who missed out this year and won’t be making the Oscar winning award speech? And who has slipped down the rankings quicker than a Zenith El Primero movement?

Surprisingly, IWC is out of the Top 10 Swiss watch brands of 2023 with a ranking of 11th in 2024. With a sharp fall of 13% in sales, this is in stark contrast to their improving performance from 2020-2022, rising from 10th to 8th spot. Has their stalwart the Portugieser lost its pzazz?

Now most of us within this profound community are fully aware that sales figures by these top luxury brands are as secretive as the MI5 (and perhaps the MI6!) But despite keeping their cards much close to their chest, or wrist, this joint report between LuxeConsult and Morgan Stanley reveals some startling figures…even though they are mere estimates. 

Considered the Billboard chart of luxury watches, this leading industry report takes into account a host of factors, incorporating sales, revenue, units sold and market share. Covering 2023 in its entirety, it’s the moment where every nerd holds their breath to find out which watch brands are the movers and shakers.

It gives us ordinary time lords a fascinating insight into how the industry is behaving amid socio-political factors that are set to rumble on throughout 2024.

More on that in a tick.


Going Against The Horological Grain

With nearly 17 million watches exported and 26.7 CHF of sales, this is certainly a Trumpism view of the industry, counteracting the cost of living crisis, war in Ukraine and plateauing of the retail market, driven by ongoing socio-economic issues.

A look back at the market share from 2022


There is no fake news here. In fact, 2023 has been a record year for timepiece sales dominated by the “Big” 4” companies, namely Pharell William’s favourite, Richard Mille, Rolex as well as Holy Trinity players Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe

Plus, it is reported that so-called waitlists just seem to keep on growing for these particular luxury brands as interest remains off the charts. 

Want to uncover everything you need to know about one such coveted model from the number 1 rated brand on Morgan Stanley’s report? Check out our must read guide to the Rolex Sky-Dweller Waitlist 2024

Amounting to a 43.9% share of the market, it seems COVID is but a distant memory according to Morgan Stanley and LuxeConsult’s industry report. And Rolex has outdone them all by staking claim to exceeding $11 billion in sales which is the first ever occurrence. Oh, and a 30.3% retail market share for good measure. 

Do we have a minute to crack open the champagne and scoff some smoked salmon canapes? One thing is for certain. We know they won’t be resting on their laurels anytime soon with Watches and Wonders 2024 just around the corner..


Moonswatch Madness

Swatch Make Surprising Appearance In Top 20 Swiss Watch Brands

Although their market share has been reduced in this particular report, a surprise newcomer, ranked 13th in the Morgan Stanley and LuxeConsult report is none other than the Swatch Group.

The original OG Mission To Moonshine Gold launched in March 2023. Source: Swatch Group

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Up nine positions, they may break into the top 10 in 2025 thanks to, you guessed it…The Moonswatch. Estimates put the number of units sold in 2023 at a whopping 2 million plus. And we no doubt attribute the brand with increasing sales of folding tents, gas stoves and coffee flasks with so many avid collectors queuing outside stores for hours on end. 

Want to discover some of the most popular Moonswatch releases of last year? How about perusing the following features;

Contributing to nearly three quarters of the brands total sales (73% to be exact!) Swatch has increased year on year sales by more than 60%. As a result, this represented the most significant augmentation among every participating member of the top 50 Swiss watch brands. 

With a no show appearance in the top 20 for the best part of six years, they have risen like a horological Phoenix from the Ashes to much acclaim with this highest selling collection of watches. Furthermore, we haven’t covered the impact of market share that Blancpain has made to Swatch Group’s ranking.

Continuing the runaway gravy train that was the Moonswatch, September 9th 2023 marked another resounding success when they introduced the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms. A nod to the original Fifty Fathoms from 1953 while trailblazing dive watches as we know them today, this all encompassing plastic filled timepiece boosted sales to the detriment of Blancpain.

Why is this the case? A quick glance at the top 20 Swiss watch brands that we shall review, unequivocally shows their disappearance from their previous ranking of 19th in 2022. Whether this relates to the underperforming Chinese sector or not, they may need to go back to the drawing or design board, moving ahead.


Runners & Riders: Top 20 Swiss Watch Brands 2024 Ranked By Morgan Stanley & LuxeConsult

If you want the full list in all its timekeeping glory, we unfurl below the definitive list of the top 20 Swiss watch brands by ranking with positions of the last three years since 2021. It makes for fascinating reading.


9 Key Points From The 2024 Morgan Stanley And LuxeConsult Report

If we take a further deep dive (that’s right, deeper than the Rolex Deepsea Challenge!) into what’s outlined in this report, it’s time to reveal other key highlights and points of interest;

  1. The Richemont Group delivered a mixed bag of results with Van Cleef & Arpels, A. Lange & Söhne and Vacheron Constantin seeing increased market share.
  2. Tissot is another surprise in this hitlist, moving up two places from 12th to 10th. This was largely in part down to the continual success of the PRX.
  3. Vacheron Constantin has officially become a member of the billionaires club with sales in excess of CHF 1 billion, increasing revenues by 18%
  4. Tudor drops not one but two spots in the rankings from 15th in 2022, down to 17th position in 2023. Their sales declined by an estimated 4% amid constant growth over the last few years. Black Bay 54 and 58 owners take note. 
  5. It’s not all doom and gloom concerning pretenders to the Rolex crown..or should that be coronet? With major revenue increases of 8%, Cartier (ranked second) has put more headspace between themselves and Omega, AP and Patek Philippe in 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
  6. 13 brands are responsible for three quarters of market share. On top of this, 25 out of 350 watch brands accumulated for a mindblowing 90% of total Swiss watch sales 
  7. Renowned luxury stalwart Hermès recorded excellent sales in 2023. Ranked 16th in the latest Top 50 Swiss watch brands report, their timekeeping division is fast becoming one of the sector’s most undervalued brands with a 23% revenue increase in 2023.
  8. Omega’s market share has taken a slight dent in the last twelve months by 0.3%, decreasing from 7.8% in 2022 to 7.5% in 2023. Perhaps the brand new 2024 Omega Speedmaster white dial, previously flexed by Daniel Craig could prove to be a horological hit this year?
  9. Longines have not fared too well either with total sales taking a tumble by 6%. This may be in part due to an over-reliant Chinese market which has still not recovered from post-pandemic effects.

Have The Indie Brands Time Finally Arrived?

The wheels on the bus may go round and round. But diversification is what makes the watch world tick.

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And independent brands are certainly making an impression in terms of market share, sales and brand awareness. Take FP Journe for example, rocked by many high profile clientele including movie icon Robert De Niro and John Mayer.

You might say they are jolly Goodfellas to own such a prestigious outfit.

And so say all of us.

This may be music to your ears, but the brand is still controlled by Chanel, owning a 20% stake in the business. But 2024 is most definitely the year of the indies. Presently, three so-called independents have made a name for themselves on the Top 50 Swiss watch brands;

Collectors are always on the lookout for the latest new brand, the go to timepiece or a brand with enough history and heritage to make their silicon hairsprings stand on end. It’s about the story, the craftsmanship and the lineage behind a company that makes them part with their hard earned moolah.

Forget about your best men’s watches under £5,000. We are talking bigger bucks, Jordan Belfort type bonuses, somewhere in the region of more than £40,000-£50,000. Those that are after a timepiece for their potential "one and done” collection. Or consumers or collectors searching for the  ultimate “made it” or grail watch.


What’s Our View?

Strategic strokes of genius by Hermes and Louis Vuitton, especially with the latter moving towards more manufactured calibres within their watches, might be a kick up the backside for some brands.

Nonetheless, this report demonstrates the rich are getting somewhat richer as per the market share results from not just Rolex but Cartier, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. Mind you, interest will be sky high to buy a Patek Philiipe, what with the most recent round of discontinued watches from Thierry Stern’s stable last month.

According to the Morgan Stanley document, the Submariner may have increased production and waitlists have softened ever so slightly. You could have fooled us. However, this does not necessarily mean others will be riding the coattails to success. Far from it. Faster growth equals more margin, added market share, resulting in greater profitability levels and sales.

Like the Premier League’s top 4 by revenue, featuring Manchester City and Liverpool, whose players also know a thing or two about rocking the finest watches here, they call these top watch brands the “Big 4” for a reason. 

For now, they truly are in a league of their own.



With not much movement in the 2024 rankings between Swiss outfits like Panerai, TAG Heuer and Hublot, there is very much a bigger gulf arising between the big boys and the somewhat smaller players. 

While Chopard clings on in 20th position for the second consecutive year, it is Swatch that have surprised all the odds. Part of the conglomerate that’s also home to Longines, Tissot, Breguet and of course Omega, we wouldn’t be surprised if the marketing boffins over there are cooking up the next follow up to the Moonswatch.

Could there be a Swatch Legend Diver or Seamaster Swatch on the horizon? One thing is for sure. No matter how much PR spin they put on their next release, they will never outperform the G-dfather of watches, Rolex. But what are we saying for 2025…a 32%-34% market share or above? The clock is surely ticking…

And if you want to avoid the potential pitfalls of overbearing waitlists, there’s only one platform out there. Revolutionising the market where you can buy a Rolex quickly at the most exceptional prices, Chrono Hunter will save you both time and money on your purchase or sale. 

Gentlemen, it’s time for our own big reveal…


Want to buy a watch  from the safest and most reliable platform in the market today? Looking to save money the smart way and enjoy the best prices paid when you sell a watch? Visit Chrono Hunter today and enjoy peerless service, quick turnaround and unrivalled brand expertise. 

Contact us here to find out why we are the go to site for all your buying and selling needs. Covering the most expensive luxury watch brands from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet to Omega, IWC and Vacheron Constantin, benefit from not one but multiple offers via our esteemed portfolio of luxury retailers. 

Be it purchase or sale, our trusted dealers are vying for your business, resulting in exceptional prices. Simply choose the offer that suits you best and conclude the transaction directly with the retailer.

Download our dedicated app, available on Android or Apple devices or simply enter the details of the watch you wish to buy or sell via our simple online form.


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Further Reading: 

Rolex - A Brand History

Cartier - A Brand History


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