While "high-end" apparently remains an ambiguous term, "fine watchmaking brand" isn't.
"White Paper On Fine Watchmaking Identifies 64 Brands That Measure Up ... For Now"
From "the White Paper Digest's" preface:
What does the expression ‘Fine Watchmaking’ entail? A question had been raised on many occasions in the past with no clear response based on supported arguments brought forward. Too obscure, often weak, the expression “Fine Watchmaking” had lost its lustre and meaning. A situation that drove the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie to attempt to bring answers by drawing the contours of its world of knowledge and know-how.
From the very beginning, in 2005, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) appointed a Cultural Council made of reputable individuals, independent from watch brands.
Its main mission? Discuss and debate to build the foundations on which Fine Watchmaking will build upon. After 3 years of work and multiple considerations and consultations conducted by these experts, the White Paper of Fine Watchmaking was born. A new reference, the White Paper offers a definition of Fine Watchmaking, complete and indisputable, as well as a definition of its Perimeter: the list of stakeholders of Fine Watchmaking.
These definitions come at an important time to defend and promote Fine Watchmaking. They offer the public at large the opportunity to better understand the mechanisms ruling the pinnacle of the art of horology, the White Paper aims to prevail as the rightful guide, a guarantee of authenticity and legitimacy for professionals, collector and amateurs alike.
For the full version of "White Paper," click here. (It downloads as a PDF.)
(Off Topic: Maybe WUS should rename this forum "Fine Watches" and cite the FHH's white paper as the basis for determining what makes qualify for discussion here?)