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10 Luxury Brands that are Mispronounced

When people (mainly Indians) discuss luxury watch brands from countries like Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, they are often bluffing on the pronunciation–but the native accent of the country of origin matters if accuracy is your goal!

Here is a guide on how to correctly pronounce popular names in the world of luxury watches.

1. Breitling

This is a Swiss watch company, but it’s pronounced as though it were German. It is not Bright-ling, it is BREIT-ling. It’s the same throat r, it’s not a frontal r.

2. Cartier

Even though their first watch was named “Santos,” after Alberto Santos-Dumont, Cartier are probably most well-known for the Tank Watch and the variations of it. The design for the tank watch was inspired by the Renault tanks from the Western Front of World War I. In the US, many people pronounce it Car-di-yey; they change the t to a d and make it longer in the end, but it is actually Cahr-tyeh. The r again comes from the back of the throat, not the front, and the t is a little harder. Overall, it’s a little shorter than Car-di-yey; it’s Cahr-TYEH.

3. Hublot

Established in 1980, this watchmaker is now owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy–the French luxury conglomerate. The brand name directly translates to “porthole” in English. It’s pronounced Oo-bloh. So, the h is silent, the typical French way, and it’s pronounced very quickly. The h, as well as the t, are silent.

4. Longines

This Swiss watchmaker was founded in 1832. Counterfeiting was an issue for Longines as early as the 1880s, and so they came up with the winged hourglass logo, which they trademarked in 1889. Today, it is the oldest unchanged, still active trademark in the world. The name is pronounced Lohn-zheen. The important part is that it’s rather short and quick.

5. Montblanc

The brand name refers to the highest mountain in Europe (in France), and even though they’re originally famous for fountain pens, they’ve also started introducing luxury watches. Interestingly, despite its French-sounding name, it is actually a German brand that is now part of the Richemont Group. So, how is it pronounced? Not Mont-blank or Mont-blong. It is pronounced Mohn-blohn. It means “white mountain” translated to English.

6. Omega

The Omega brand is from Beil in Switzerland, and the German pronunciation would be Oh-MEH-gah. However, it’s more French, so it’s OH-meh-gah. The English might say Oh-MAY-guh, but that’s wrong. You can see that the e is slightly longer, and it’s a very French sound.

7. Patek Philippe

This Swiss luxury watch brand was founded in 1839, and the most expensive watch ever sold at auction was a Patek Philipe, for $31 million in 2019. Today, the brand is considered to be one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world, part of the “Big Three,” or the so-called “Holy Trinity,” with Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. It is pronounced Pah-TEK Fih-LEEP. Again, shorter overall in the syllables.

8. Richard Mille

This Swiss watch wasn’t established until 2001, but their watches are very bold and very expensive. It’s pronounced the French way, REE-shar MEEL. It’s not pronounced Ri-shar Miyeh, or Richard Mill. It’s very soft, gentle, and French.

9. Rolex

Rolex is probably the most well-recognized luxury watch brand in the world. The brand was established in England by the German, Hans Wilsdorf. At that time, most watch brands would simply use the family name of the founder, but Hans Wilsdorf had the foresight of creating a brand that was easily pronounceable around the world.

10. TAG Heuer

Partially founded in 1860, TAG stands for Techniques d’Avant Garde. Heuer, on the other hand, was a different company (which bore its founder’s last name), and those companies merged together in 1985. It’s pronounced in a very German way: TAHG HOY-eh(r). The eu in German is always an oy.

Correctly pronouncing luxury brands can help you confidently converse about them, and may also help you when purchasing. Just give these brands a little practice, and you’ll sound like a luxury watch connoisseur in no time!

Shoutout to Unsplash for the pictures.

Until next time.

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