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Top Polish Watch Brands You Should Know in 2023

Polpora-Zawiska-Polish-Watch-Brands-Profile

Poland! Famous for … (Google intensifies) … ceramics and pottery – apparently. Despite my poor education regarding Poland, you surely wouldn’t think about watches and Poland in the same sentence. But maybe you should? Watch collectors around the world look for new and interesting watches ranging from everyday use to luxury timepieces. The watchmaking industry is certainly packed to the brim with exceptional watches, so let’s see what Poland has to offer to combat Swiss precision. 

Polish Watch History

Doing research on Polish watch history is a lot more difficult than I anticipated. Unlike that of Swiss Watch Brands or French Watch Brand history, there isn’t a lot to cover. A quick hit of knowledge for you – Antoni Norbert Patek (yes, creator of Patek Philippe) was actually born in Poland back in 1877. Today, the Polish market is peppered with various microbrands ranging from traditional watchmaking to those that go so far from the vintage look that it looks like something out of Blade Runner

5 Best Polish Watch Brands

G.Gerlach

We kick off with a young microbrand called G.Gerlach, named after a Polish industrialist who manufactured optic and measuring equipment in the 1800s. A couple of Polish watch enthusiasts came together and decided to start producing watches that offer a classic design that they themselves would actually wear. Over the last couple of years, the company has grown substantially to offer various different options. 

Perhaps the most daring of the designs they offer is the Kosmonauta, a digital offering that is very similar to the Hamilton PSR. Designed to harken back to the futuristic designs of the 70s and 80s, the Kosmonauta resembles the watch worn by the first Polish man in space, Mirosław Hermaszewski.

G.Gerlach Kosmonauta - Polish Watch Brands Article
G.Gerlach KosmonautaSource

As the website reads, the watch he wore was incredibly expensive, and while the initial beauty was something to behold, the initial battery life was rather poor. This modern iteration features a 40mm steel case offering 100m of water resistance housing a battery that’ll last two years – a massive improvement on the original. This is really living up to the 70s and 80s ideas and offers a unique wearing experience combined with high-quality watchmaking. 

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the m/s Piłsudski – chronograf, a rather intriguing dress piece. Starting at the bezel, we have a somewhat fluted bezel matched with either a Milanese bracelet or nothing at all – better have a few leather options at home.

G.Gerlach m/s Piłsudski – chronograf  - Polish Watch Brands Article
G.Gerlach m/s Piłsudski – chronografSource

In terms of quality, reviews claim this offering to be rather good for the price. Inside the railroad outer perimeter, we have large black hour indices displayed with blued steel hands. Two symmetrical subregisters are displayed at three and nine o’clock without cutting into the hour indices – NICE. The movement within is the Seagull ST1902, a hand-wound movement based on the Venus calibre 175. Perhaps not the most trusted of movements that’ll have countless hours of power reserve, but it’ll do the job. 

Overall, G.Gerlach is one of the leading microbrands in the Polish market, not only offering some classic designs based on vintage watches but also a few that fit with ‘modern technology’. 

Xicorr

How young can a watch brand be? The watch industry loves to base the importance of a watch brand on how long they’ve been around, but since Xicorr introduced their first watch in 2012, they have been making waves in the Polish watch industry. The younglings are on the road to producing high-quality pieces that are also eye-catching and powered by mechanical movements. It’s also worth noting that the website states that the company is now known as Xicorr PSA.

Without a doubt, the most famous model they offer is the FSO M20. The name is in reference to the very first car that was built in Warsaw, Poland, the FSO M20. It was based on a Soviet model called the GAZ-M20, and not only the name of the watch is based on the FSO M20.

The design of the watch is based on the original shape and look of the clock and speedometer that was in the vehicle. There are plenty of different options available, all with polished surfaces and excellent condition. Within the case sits the Seagull ST2130 movement, allowing for a 41-hour power reserve. 

Xicorr FSO M20.21 - Polish Watch Brands Article
Xicorr FSO M20.21 – Source

Another offering that’s inspired by the Polish automotive industry is the Syrena Sport, a lovely little chronograph priced at around $1,500. Piston-shaped chronograph pushers, a steep rehaut similar to a car speedometer, and some lovely panda and reverse-panda options are available. This surely has that luxury watch look, and besides, the movement is a good comparison against other mechanical watches.

Xicorr Syrena Sport SLr - Polish Watch Brands Article
Xicorr Syrena Sport SLr Source

This brand doesn’t seem to do marketing the best, and perhaps they should. They might be a small watch manufacturer, but they are doing some pretty interesting stuff. 

Chronos-Art

Firstly, good luck finding any information on this brand. You’d need a small team of experts to get a firm grasp of who or what they are. We had to revert to Facebook to get a sliver of information. A family-owned company that provides a level of service that is on par with some other well-known brands.

Without a real website to look at (for some reason, it just doesn’t work), we have to stick to the Facebook offering(s). The watches don’t seem to have names, but the one your attention is immediately drawn to this exquisite offering featuring two chapter rings with a small seconds within the larger chapter ring. This is set on a textured dial coming in either a lovely light lime, deep blue, or even diamond set. 

Classic Blue Azure or Black DLC with 14K golden rings and black diamonds - Polish Watch Brands Article
Classic Blue Azure or Black DLC with 14K golden rings and black diamonds – Source

There are some other offerings as well, like the “Black Noble“, which is your classic large dress piece with an oversized onion crown. This also comes in a white dial variation, both with what seems to be a stainless steel case. 

Black Noble - Polish Watch Brands Article
Black Noble – Source

Again, the information on this company is extremely limited. 

Polpora

Polpora has been in production since 2006 and offers some extremely classic options. They also stand proudly as one of the few Polish watchmakers that assemble all their offerings in Poland. 

Their first automatic offering came with the Zawisza Czarny, named after the Zawisza Czarny of Garbów, “a symbol of unmovable courage and honour, undefeated in numerous tournaments, a symbol of chivalric virtues and a great diplomat.“.

A deep black dial that takes up all the real estate of the watch because of a thin bezel, paired with two sub-registers, but more importantly, displaying the Zawisza Czarny of Garbów, of Sulima coat of arms. The yellow and red coat of arms at the six o’clock position creates a polarizing look, and the date techniques used pair beautifully with the overall look. A nice but easily lost touch is the skeletonized hands, created in a lance style. We have the SW295-1 to thank for the functionality, the first Swiss movement on the list, and visible through the sapphire case back. Perhaps the 50m of water resistance isn’t all that great, but, it’s not bad either. 

Polpora Zawisza Czarny - Polish Watch Brands Article
Polpora Zawisza Czarny – Source

The GMT is a watch that is perhaps the most usable in the modern world. I personally prefer divers or fliegers, but just because 90% of my clients work in EST, I would want a GMT because I would actually end up using it. The Polpora Globtroter is their GMT, offered with a black dial and bright orange inner chapter ring displaying a 24-hour display. A large 42mm diameter is easier to wear thanks to a tight lug-to-lug measurement.

The movement in charge is the tried and tested Sellita SW330-1 Special, displaying the second time zone and the date at the 3 o’clock position. While these were limited, it is unclear if they are limited per year or overall. This is perhaps my favorite Polish offering. A carbon-style dial and a striking (therefore legible) 24-hour display, what’s not to love? The watch case design is also unique, and can certainly hang as a wild card with some luxury watches. 

Polpora Globtroter - Polish Watch Brands Article
Polpora Globtroter – Source

Polpora is perhaps the leading Polish watch brand. They produce fine watches with the right tools and can (should) be seen as a force to be reconned with. 

Vratislavia Conceptum

Last on the list is perhaps one that takes modern design to the extreme and offers a watch series that definitely isn’t seen as ‘classic’. Actually, I’m just kidding; they stick very close to the ‘bones’ of classic offerings but change the meat and flesh to create something unique, fresh, and new.

This independent watchmaker has been in the business for more than 12 years at this point and has built up quite a brand name for itself. While parts of the watches might come from other areas of the world, they are adamant that all the design and manufacturing takes place in Poland. This does matter if you’re trying to matter in the watchmaking scene. 

Let’s take a look at one of their newest offerings, which is only available on pre-order right now. The RETROSPORT.02 is a 40 mm watch, which is to some the most perfect of all the watches, and is limited to merely 100 pieces. A subtle combination of steel matched with black PVD creates a unique look, one that you might expect from a limited edition.

No thorough polishing operation here, no no, the entire watch features a brushed finish, fitting with this ‘midnight military’ vibe you get from the watch. Behind the sapphire glass sits a black dial taking inspiration from car speedometers, and to the right sits a huge crown. As far as I can tell, this is the dress offering for what many call a ‘military watch’ – if there ever was a dress military option. Within the 100m waterproof case is the Seiko Automatic NH35 movement, perhaps one of the most trusted, and equipped with a 41-hour power reserve. 

Vratislavia Conceptum RETROSPORT.02 - Polish Watch Brands Article
Vratislavia Conceptum RETROSPORT.02Source

Let’s shift gears to another offering, the KLINGERT 1797. This was the first diver they ever produced and boy does it come with some quirky design attributes. Firstly, you get various dial options, one of which is a sunburst olive green (think Rolex olive) with an orange minute track. I cannot imagine who came up with this combination, but it somehow works.

The scripture reading depth (which is 200m) also features a mermaid, which I believe is a nice and quirky touch. What’s interesting is this doesn’t have crown guards, telling me this was meant for a desk diver and not a real diver. Regardless, the bracelet is eerily similar to a jubilee bracelet, but it just looks the business. Even the hands are unique! Sometimes going against the grain can bite you in the arse, this time, we have something new and it works. 

Vratislavia Conceptum KLINGERT 1797 - Polish Watch Brands Article
Vratislavia Conceptum KLINGERT 1797Source

Vratislavia Conceptum (say that five times fast) offers some unique pieces and combinations of attributes you just won’t find anywhere else. I like that a lot, they are eager to try new things and see what works. I think their site needs a lot of work, a full service if you will, but other than this it’s a brand worth taking a look at! 

In Closing

With such a wide range of offerings, how does one even choose the perfect wrist watch from Poland? Well, while the offerings are plenty unless you really like another design, then Vratislavia Conceptum and Polpora is where you’ll end up. These companies offer something exceptional in the price range and are not afraid to push the envelope on design and ergonomics.

There are some other offerings to take a look at, particularly the gorgeous offerings from Chronos-Art, but the others are good ‘starter’ watches. Polish history regarding watches is a rather brief one, so we need to support these brands every way we can with something as simple as following their social media account so they build themselves to be even bigger and perhaps a worthy adversary for smaller brands that have been a great success story such as Baltic. Just make sure to have a look at the movement within and what you’re paying; sometimes, beauty is only skin deep after all… 

If you have enjoyed this article, you might want to check out our other featured articles that explore other countries and their unique horological offerings:

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