Five Australian Watch Companies To Look Out For!

by Sameera Gamage

Watch brands are starting to rise in Australia, so we rounded up five of them to showcase what the Australian Market has to offer up!

The Australian watch market is on the rise. When we think of watch brands, our minds immediately go to Switzerland, Europe and Japan. What this means for the Australian market is that there is ample room for local watch brands to establish themselves and make themselves known on the global market.

The major European and Asian brands have made headway with innovation and 21st-century designs, paving the way for up-and-coming brands in Australia to learn and incorporate into their own timepieces.

The watchmaking production process at Panzera Watches.

Manufacturing a timepiece can be an incredibly difficult process, especially in the field of Mechanical Engineering. Getting the extremely low tolerances correct, alongside the finishing techniques and the knowledge required to create reliable and accurate movements and then marrying them all together to create a product the consumer will love, while also competing with many established brands, is certainly a daunting challenge.

In saying that, some Australian brands have done very well since starting out and have even started to create a name for themselves internationally. While there are quite a few Australian brands, some of the stand-out ones are outlined below, showcasing sleek and refined styling, elegant three-handers to the more sporty and colourful!

Adina Watches

Starting off the list is possibly the oldest watch brand in Australia. Adina Watches was founded in 1971 by Australian watchmaker and current managing director Robert ‘Bob’ Menzies. This Brisbane-based watchmaker’s vision is to create timepieces that are capable of withstanding the harsh environments and weather that Australia has to offer.

Adina Watchmaker with founder Bob Menzies (right).

After months travelling the world sourcing premium components and advanced technology, Bob returned home to begin assembling his first watch collection. In a small storeroom in his family home, he designed and crafted each watch by hand, painstakingly ensuring the quality through an ever-fixed eyeglass.

Adina Watches
Adina Watches Oceaneer

2023 was a major year for Adina Watches. The watchmaker, with its 52-year legacy, achieved an impressive feat at the 2023 Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Business Awards. Adina Watches was crowned both the Business Chamber Queensland’s “Small Business of the Year” and the Optus Platinum Award for “Business of the Year”.

If you want to see more of Adina Watches, click here!

Nicholas Hacko

Nicholas Hacko, the watchmaker, started it as an act of defiance against the major Swiss manufacturers. Back in 2011, the major Swiss brands decided to restrict the supply of spare parts to independent Australian watchmakers and keep everything in-house.

Nicholas Hacko NH 55 Timascus dials

Nicholas, the founder, asked the Swiss giants what it would take to gain access to said parts and, if training were required, would fly to Switzerland to complete what was necessary. With this still not being enough to change the Swiss manufacturers’ minds, Nicholas set out to create his own timepiece.

Nichalos Hacko’s first watch, called the “0/9” in it’s infancy, was a statement- “you say we can’t repair watches, well here- we built one”. the 0/9 was a put-together watch, utilising off-the-shelf components limited to nine pieces. He posted this first watch series on his email newsletter, and that afternoon received more than 100 orders.

Nicholas Hacko
Open case back view of the Nicholas Hacko NH 55 Timascus.

Nicholas Hacko is also one of the few Australian brands to experiment with different materials on the timepieces. In 2019, the team at the Watch Manufacture saw potential in the use of Timascus as a watch material, with the ensuing results being quite extraordinary. No two watches are alike, with each Timascus billet being hand forged, resulting in a unique and non-replicable grain through the material. 

If you want to check out Nicholas Hacko’s collection, click here!

Melbourne Watch Co.

Inspired by the charm of Melbourne, this Australian watch manufacturer, established in 2013, was founded with the goal of creating high-quality luxury timepieces. Melbourne Watch Co. is a popular Australian brand known for its elegant and sleek designs, bringing affordable luxury to the local Australian market.

Melbourne Watch Co. Craftsmanship

The very first timepiece was unveiled by Melbourne Watch Co. (the Flinders Automatic) through crowdfunding. After its initial release, the reaction from the public was overwhelmingly positive, which spurred the brand to create a wider range of timepieces. Since the brand’s beginning, they have created 10 elegant timepieces

Melbourne Watch Co. Portsea

One notable timepiece from the Melbourne Watch Co. collection is the Portsea. Available in a range of dial colours and case materials, the Portsea stands out from the rest for its classic elegant styling, easy-to-read dial, automatic movement and the triple calendar function. Under $1000, the Portsea offers a lot of value for money!

If you want to see more of the Melbourne Watch Co. collection, click here!

HZ Watches

Through the skilful work of a Melbourne local, Matthew Zillman, HZ Watches was created from a love for quartz watches. Oftentimes, quartz watches are overlooked due to aesthetics and how much you have to pay for them, especially compared to automatic timepieces. Zillman saw these issues and decided to create his own collection of timepieces, bringing the love back to quartz.

HZ Watches HZ.01

Many of the HZ watches revolved around the 32,768 frequency number. This number is related to exactly how the quartz movement works. Many highly accurate automatic frequencies range between 3Hz (21,600 VpH) and 4Hz (28,800 VpH), with some pushing to 5Hz as well (If you want to learn more about the movement frequency, please click here!). However, most quartz timepieces sit at 32,768 VpH, as this is the exact frequency quartz crystals vibrate to, which in turn delivers a high level of accuracy on the movement.

HZ Watches HZ.01

Watch Advice recently had the opportunity to do a full in-depth review (please click here) of the HZ Watches HZ.01, in which the team were pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail on the dial, considering it’s sitting at under $400 AUD.

To see more of the HZ Watches range, please click here!


Established in Sydney in 2009 by two founding partners, Andrew Herman and Roger Cooper, Panzera brings the best from the past and the present with their “modern vintage” style timepieces. Panzera has unique designs and styling, combining the best of Australian ingenuity and Swiss precision.

Panzera Aquamarine

Panzera’s collection of timepieces ranges from marine, classic, and motorsport to pilot watches, offering a wide range of aesthetic styling. Some of the designs, such as the Aquamarine models, have taken inspiration from Panerai’s Luminor and Radiomir lines, with the cushion style case and 45mm sizing.

Most of the watches in the Panzera collection sit in the 43-45mm case size, giving plenty of wrist presence for those who don’t mind large timepieces. The timepieces are also highly customisable, with a range of strap colours and case materials available for almost all the models in Panzera’s current collection.

Panzera Aquamarine wrist shot.

We had the chance to do an in-depth review of the Panzera Aquamarine (back in its early launch days). The details and finishing of the Aquamarine were what you’d expect from a high-level luxury brand. If you would like to read the review, please click here!

To see the rest of Panzera’s collection of timepieces, please click here!

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