Originally Posted by plot
I've been a regular lurker in this thread for quite a while and I must say the knowledge presented in many people's posts is astounding and so incredibly interesting. This is by far my most frequented thread on SF.
I do have a question for those more knowledgeable on the subject though; I'm aware VC, AP and PP are regarded as the 'Big Three', however having seen ALS' watches I'm curious why it isn't included in this grouping of prestige watch companies. Is ALS regarded as higher or lower on the totem pole than the Big Three? And on the same note, I notice that Breguet is rarely discussed in this thread. Where do they stand among these four other watch companies?
Welcome to the thread. Don't get too hung up on the phrase "The Big Three." There are several really great watches from other brands, in particular AL&S.
I agree largely with what Stitchy has said, and in addition to AL&S being shut down for many years, I was always under the impression that the Big Three was a term coined to describe the top SWISS brands. There were lots of watch companies and small watch makers all over Switzerland in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the quality of the watches, technical innovations, and maybe on some level history of producing top products, led to the belief that the the 3 Swiss Companies producing the very best watches back in the early 20th Century were PP, AP, and VC.
I think Breguet makes some very nice watches, but at times their quality and innovations have been a bit lacking compared to PP, AP and VC. AL&S by many might be considerd a notch above Patek, AP, and VC in terms if finish and quality...but they are German not Swiss, and there were long periods in the 20th century when they were not competitive with the so called Big Three.