Festina Watches – Where Quality Meets Value

Festina watches

Festina Watches

Festina watches aren’t that well known in the USA or UK, despite being one of Europes best-selling watch brands. So who are they and are Festina watches any good?

Festina watches orignated in Switzerland and offer robust watches with a few ranges including a sporty-looking “Chrono Bike” collection, a Swiss Made collection and a Divers collection.

In this article, we’ll attempt to uncover their history and talk about why this watch brand deserve to be a lot more well-known than it is.

Festina F20544/3 Men's Green Chrono Bike 2021 Watch

The History of Festina Watches

Festina watches were started in 1902 in Switzerland. Festina now has their headquarters in Spain but have a production centre in Switzerland as well as offices and distribution centres all over Europe.

Festina also owns the Jaguar, Kronaby watch brands as well as luxury watches Candino and Perrelet. The brand was bought in 1984 by the Lotus watch brand owner, entrepreneur Miguel Rodriguez. They bought the Jaguar watch brand in 1990.

The name Festina is derived from the Latin words, “Festina Lenta” meaning, “make haste, slowly” – a phrase said to have originated from Augustus Ceasar.

In 2016 Gerard Butler became their brand ambassador.

Are Festina Watches Any Good?

Festina regularly appear on the best affordable watch lists compiled by watch enthusiasts. They are well built, rugged and have great desgins with ample features. The are somewhat of a fashion brand sitting alongside Fossil, Diesel, Armani.

The Watch Blog says, in their review of Festina, “they’re well built with good quality parts and offer some decent value for money. Overall I’d say Festina are a very good brand that you can trust.”

Festina Men's Chrono Watch F16488/3 With Steel Strap

The Festina Collections

Festina make a number of collections including their Chrono Bike range, including a selection of Divers watches. They also have a Swiss-Made range, an Automatic range and a, new, Titanium range.

The Chrono Bike Collection

festina mens chronograph watch

Festina have been heavily involved in the timekeeping for competitive cycling sport for a long time. They were official sponsor and timekeeper of the Tour de France from 1992 until 2016. They also had their own cycling team

They still have a strong affinity with the biking world – both the Tour de France and the Tour of Britain. At the beginning of the biking season each year, Festina release a new collection of chronograph watches, with one Special Edition watch. This collection is now much-anticpated by collectors. 

Festina 'The Originals collection' Men's Quartz Watch with Black Dial Chronograph Display and Black Rubber strap F20330/5

They are known for their rugged, sporty chronography watches that not only look great but are also highly functional and offer great value for money.  Chunky but not too big, beautifully made with lots of features for a young, sporty look which exudes class and “well-made” at the same time.

With bright colours and both rubber straps and steel bracelets they look really impressive.

Divers Models

Festina Analogue Quartz F20378/3

Part of the sporty range that Festina offer is their watches suitable for diving.  With a water resistance of 200-metres, a screw-down crown, stainless steel bracelets as well as rubber straps and with three sub-dials, as well as a date function, these watches offer plenty of features.

The Swiss-Made Range

Festina F20005/2 Men's White Swiss Made Watch

The Swiss heritage that Festina is proud to have been part of since 1902 shines through in their Swiss Made range.

Their automatic watches are a joy to look at, with the sweeping second hand, it’s a thing of beauty. 

They also can boast of being excellent value for money – there aren’t many Swiss-made watches you can purchase for £125.

The Automatic Range

The precision needed to make automatic watches is something that Festina does so well – top-class components, excellent quality of build and incredible value for money. 

With the beautiful sweeping second hand, and precision timing and no need for battery replacements there are something wonderful about wearing a mechanical watch.

Available in more classic styles as well as a range of skeleton models, the difficult part is choosing which one.

The Ladies Range

Festina watches also have a good collection of ladies watches, including boyfriend watches and more elegant pieces – including many with crystals – called their “Mademoiselle” range.

They also offer an automatic range for ladies which includes an automatic skeleton selection.

Festina F20487/1 Ladies Silver Automatic Watch

To Summarise

If you’re looking for an extremely well-made, good-looking watch, for a man or a lady, with plenty of variety in the range to choose from, you could do a lot worse than look at Festina.

It puzzles us as to why they aren’t as well known as they perhaps should be. Regularly on the list of the top 100 watches, they are a well-kept secret in the USA and UK market.


Robert CRAIG November 9, 2023 - 11:11 am

Hello Denise, I trust you are well.
With respect you need to read around review sites such as “Trust Pilot” who have no financial involvement with Festina. You will find a consistent theme where guarantees are ignored by Festina with the same lame excuse “your watch must have been shocked/abused”. And when repairs are done they may or may not be successful.
I find I am in that same category …. a few months ago my wife bought me a ChronoBike. It fell off our dining table and stopped working (about 1.1m fall ! ). The repair lady gave exactly the same excuse “Festina say your watch was shocked” …. this is a sports watch and should be built to withstand some rough treatment.
I’ve had a Victorinox sports for years with no problems doing triathlons, or by sports do Festina mean chess or cards??
I am now contemplating whether I shall be wasting my money trying to get my watch fixed, maybe better to throw it away and never consider or recommend Festina again.
Your very disappointed,

linework portrait of Denise
Denise November 9, 2023 - 1:21 pm

I’m genuinely sorry to read this and I hope it gets resolved for you, in a satisfactory way. Please let us know. We have not had this experience with Festina repairs in all the time we’ve dealt with them, although I am not downplaying your issue.


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