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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.02 Unworn Rose gold 41mm Automatic
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Chocolate Dial Frosted...
£73,300
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Professional dealer
505
US
Breitling Navitimer A17395F41G1P2 New Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer Automatic 35 A17395F41G1P2
£2,619
Professional dealer
420
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Céramique Red
£12,324
Professional dealer
262
FR
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight M79030N-0001 New Steel 39mm Automatic
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Tudor Black Bay Fifty-eight 79030N Unworn New April 2021 Full...
£3,213
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ES
Breguet Classique 5967 Very good White gold 41mm Manual winding
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Breguet Classique 18K (0,750) Weissgold Handaufzug Herrenuhr...
£8,116

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Chopard Mille Miglia 16/8459 Good Steel 44mm Automatic
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Chopard Mille Miglia GT XL Automatic Chronograph 8459
£2,544
Professional dealer
258
US
Rolex Oyster Precision 6694 Good Steel 34mm Manual winding
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Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694 Stainless Steel Vintage1978...
£2,430
Professional dealer
65
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69174 Very good Steel 26mm Automatic
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Rolex Ladies Datejust Pink Ruby Diamond 18k White Gold &...
£3,754
Professional dealer
150
US
Omega Genève 166.041 Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
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Omega Geneve Automatic Date Two Tone Black & Brown Dial Men's...
£811
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Professional dealer
356
US
Patek Philippe Travel Time 5524G-001 Very good White gold 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Patek Philippe Pilot Travel Time
£31,850
Professional dealer
11
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller D-Blue 116660
£13,750
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Professional dealer
783
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hayling Island
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Rolex 2019 GMT-Master II "Batman" -116710BLNR
£13,750
Professional dealer
33
UK
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N-0001 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 79030N Box Unworn
£2,700
Professional dealer
 
UK
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime AB0510 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime Automatik Stahl...
£4,208

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DE
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 1625 Good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
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Rolex Datejust Thunderbird 36mm 18k/Steel Vintage 1625- Just...
£3,171
Professional dealer
258
US
Omega Constellation Double Eagle 12113000 Unworn Gold/Steel Quartz United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation 12113000 Perpetual ST & 18K Full Omega...
£3,250
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68
UK
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5205G-001 Very good White gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, SW3 1NX
Patek Philippe Complications Annual Calendar White gold - Ref:...
£25,961
Professional dealer
 
UK
Rolex Day-Date 40 228239 New White gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Day-Date 40 Olive Dial 60th Anniversary
£34,650
Professional dealer
77
UK
Omega Constellation 168.005 Fair Gold/Steel 34.0mm Automatic
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Omega Constellation Cal. 564
£1,207
Professional dealer
12
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400OR.OO.D088CR.01 Very good Rose gold 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold 15400OR.OO.D088CR.01
£33,000
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Professional dealer
783
UK
Rolex Datejust II 126334 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Glasgow
Rolex Datejust II 41MM UNWORN APRIL 2021 - Blue Dial Stainless...
£9,350
Professional dealer
5
UK
Tudor Black Bay 79230G Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Tudor Black Bay Harrods 79230G Box Unworn
£3,875
Professional dealer
 
UK
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 263.33 Very good Steel 42.5mm Automatic
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Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Ref....
£3,301

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Chopard Mille Miglia 168459-3022 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
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Chopard Mille Miglia GT XL SPEED BLACK Limited Edition DLC ON...
£2,867
Professional dealer
258
US
Omega Constellation Ladies 123.20.35.20.02.005 Unworn Gold/Steel 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation 18K Red Gold 123.20.35.20.02.005 2018...
£3,999
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Professional dealer
68
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 126613lb New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, SW3 1NX
Rolex Submariner Date Oyster Steel and Yellow Gold - ref...
£15,200
Professional dealer
 
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712G-001 Very good White gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712G UK-Supplied
£61,500
Professional dealer
77
UK
Rolex Daytona 116523 Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex 116523 Cosmograph Daytona Gold & Steel - Box &...
£16,995
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Professional dealer
235
UK
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938 Unworn Yellow gold 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Sky-Dweller Yellow Gold 326938
£40,950
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783
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Glasgow
Rolex Submariner Date 41 MM UNWORN 2021 126610LN
£11,950
Professional dealer
5
UK
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326235 Unworn Rose gold Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow Cheshire
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller Rose Gold Rhodium Dial 42mm...
£36,500
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Professional dealer
142
UK
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur 1183-310 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
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Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. 1183-310
£3,741

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Richard Mille RM 010 RM010 Very good Rose gold 48mm Automatic United Kingdom, Newcastle Upon Tyne
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Richard Mille RM010 Full Set
£130,000
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Professional dealer
71
UK
Omega Constellation Quartz 1272.30.00 Very good Gold/Steel Quartz United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation 1272.30 25.5mm Mid Size Ladies 18kt &...
£1,399
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Professional dealer
68
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116655 Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, SW3 1NX
Rolex Yacht Master Ever Rose - ref 116655
£20,850
Professional dealer
 
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R-001 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711R Rose Gold Unworn
£130,000
Professional dealer
77
UK
Rolex Daytona 116509 White gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex 116509 Cosmograph Daytona 'White Gold' - Box &...
£31,500
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Professional dealer
235
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16622 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Yacht-Master 16622
£7,950
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Professional dealer
783
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
Rolex 16710 GMT Master II – 1996
£9,250
Professional dealer
240
UK
Omega Constellation Double Eagle 121.62.41.50.01.001 Very good Rose gold 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow
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Omega Constellation Double Eagle Serviced by Omega in 2020
£8,850
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Professional dealer
436
UK
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Décentrique GMT PT6118 Very good Steel 42.5mm Automatic
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Maurice Lacroix Pontos GMT Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Ref....
£1,805

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711R Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Newcastle Upon Tyne
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Patek Philippe 5711/1R-001
£115,000
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Professional dealer
71
UK
Omega Constellation Quartz 123.20.24.60.55.004 Very good Gold/Steel 24mm Quartz United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation Diamond Dial 18kt Gold & Steel 123.20.24.6...
£2,699
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Professional dealer
68
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR New Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, SW3 1NX
Rolex GMT Master II Oystersteel and Everose gold - ref...
£17,000
Professional dealer
 
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 New Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin "Jumbo" Unworn
£75,000
Professional dealer
77
UK
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex 116500LN Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom - 5 Year Warranty
£28,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
235
UK
Chopard Your Hour 10/6805 Very good White gold 24mm Quartz United Kingdom, London
TOP
Chopard Your Hour White Gold Mother of Pearl Dial Diamond Set...
£9,500
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Professional dealer
783
UK
Rolex Explorer 114270 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
Rolex 114270 Explorer – 2007 – Full Set
£6,750
Professional dealer
240
UK
Rolex Air King Precision 14000 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Scarborough
Rolex Air-King
£4,450
Free shipping
Professional dealer
7
UK
Zenith Elite 17.0125.680 Very good Yellow gold 37mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith Elite 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Datum Herrenuhr Ref....
£3,556

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Richard Mille RM 035 RM35-01 Very good Carbon 49.94mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Newcastle Upon Tyne
TOP
Richard Mille Rafael Nadal Rm 2019 service 2016 papers
Price on request
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Professional dealer
71
UK
Omega Constellation Quartz 123.20.24.60.02.001 Unworn Gold/Steel 24mm Quartz United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation 18kt Red Gold & Steel Silver Dial 123.20.2...
£2,299
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Professional dealer
68
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, SW3 1NX
Rolex GMT Master II - REF 116710BLNR
£15,377
Professional dealer
 
UK
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970EJ Very good Yellow gold United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970J Complete Set
£84,500
Professional dealer
77
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15450SR.00.1256SR.01 Gold/Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Audemars Piguet 15450SR.00.1256SR.01 Royal Oak 37mm Steel...
£31,995
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Professional dealer
235
UK
IWC Pilot Worldtimer IW326201 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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IWC Pilot's Watch Worldtimer IW326201
£4,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
783
UK
Universal Genève Compax 881101/02 Very good Steel 36mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Universal Genève 881101/02 Evil Clapton Tri-Compax | SS...
£17,250
Free shipping
Professional dealer
29
UK
Rolex Datejust II 126334-0025 Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Glasgow
Rolex Datejust II 41MM Stainless Steel Azzurro Blue Dial
£9,450
Professional dealer
5
UK
Breitling Duograph B15047 Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Duograph Chronograph Stahl / Gold Automatik Herrenuh...
£2,632

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Blancpain L-Evolution R85F-1103-53B Unworn Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow Cheshire
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Blancpain L-EVOLUTION R CHRONOGRAPH FLYBACK GRANDE DATE
£8,995
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Professional dealer
142
UK
Omega Constellation Ladies 123.20.35.20.02.004 Very good Gold/Steel 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation Automatic Co-Axial Cal 2500 Gold Claws...
£2,699
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Professional dealer
68
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 116613LB New Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, SW3 1NX
Rolex Submariner Date Oyster Steel and Yellow Gold - ref 116613LB
£15,500
Professional dealer
 
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-001 New Steel 40.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar Discontinued
£86,500
Professional dealer
77
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300 Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex 124300 Oyster Perpetual 41 Yellow Dial - Rolex 5 Year...
£11,500
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Professional dealer
235
UK

Swiss Watches: World-Renowned Timepieces

Swiss watches are synonymous with precision and luxury. The most well-known names in the business, with few exceptions, all hail from this Alpine country. Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Breitling all represent tradition and high quality.


This page contains information about:


Everything to Know About Swiss Watches in This Article

  • Buying advice for Swiss-made watches
  • Watches in different price ranges
  • Manufacturers, collections, and models
  • History of the Swiss watch industry

Which Swiss Watch Should I Buy?

If you want to buy a Swiss watch, you have a wide range of options. The right way to find out which watch is best for you is to ask yourself the following question: How much do I want to spend?

A new, brand-name Swiss watch with a mechanical movement can cost as little as 1,000 euros. You can find watches from manufacturers such as Chronoswiss, Maurice Lacroix, Oris, and Raymond Weil in this price range. Some series from these manufacturers are more expensive, however. For example, Raymond Weil's Nabucco chronograph costs around 3,000 euros new with a titanium case. TAG Heuer and Tissot also have a large selection of watches available for less than 5,000 euros.

Rolex and Omega are probably the most well-known representatives of Swiss luxury watches. The legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional is available in many different variations for less than 5,000 euros. The version closest to the original Moonwatch chronograph, which you can find under reference number 311.30.42.30.01.005, costs around 3,500 euros and has a stainless steel case. The material certainly influences the price, as cases made of precious metals are much more expensive than those made of stainless steel.

An Omega diving watch from the Seamaster collection with a gold case costs around 15,000 euros. The Rolex Submariner without a date display and a stainless steel case costs around 6,500 euros new. You should be prepared to spend at least 23,000 euros for a yellow gold Submariner, and 25,000 euros for a Rolex Daytona.

Patek Philippe's Nautilus is one of the most sought-after and expensive stainless steel sports watches from Switzerland. Without any complications, the women's version costs 20,000 euros, and the men's 25,000 euros. With a white gold or platinum case, the price jumps to 140,000 euros. The Calatrava, also from Patek Philippe, is the definition of a classic, elegant dress watch. New, the most popular version costs around 15,000 euros.

If you decide to go with a watch from Breguet or Blancpain, expect prices over 100,000 euros. Cases made of precious metals, diamond-set cases and straps, and intricate complications such a tourbillon increase the value of such watches. The newcomer Hublot also has some watches in this price range. The futuristic MP-05 LaFerrari watch usually costs 200,000 euros. The version with a sapphire glass case is over double the price, costing more than 400,000 euros.


Watches: Iconic Exports

Watches are a defining part of Switzerland's cultural image. They're more iconic than the banks and the cheese; only chocolate ranked "more Swiss" than watches according to a survey of participants from 15 different countries.

About 30 million watches leave the production halls of this little Alpine country every year. The variety amongst these watches is impressive. They range from traditional gold watches with complications such as a:

  • Moon phase display
  • Perpetual calendar
  • Minute repeater
  • Double chronograph

to diving and pilot's watches. Some of the Swiss companies even produce high-tech smartwatches. Many of these watches function as status symbols, ignoring their actual intended functions. Many diving watches from the Seamaster and Submariner collections will never go underwater, and only a small number of the pilot's watches sold by IWC or Breitling are actually worn in the cockpit. These watches work equally well as a tool watch or a luxury lifestyle object.

There are also mass market affordable watches, such as the famous quartz-powered Swatch with its bright and colorful plastic case. There are now mechanical versions with a simple 51-piece movement. The typical Swatch looks somewhat cheap and is not taken seriously by many watch fans, but certain models have sold at high prices as vintage watches. Furthermore, the Swatch is significantly responsible for helping the Swiss watch industry survive the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s and 80s. The Swatch watch, trendy and colorful, broke Swiss watches out of their conservative, stuffy image and attracted a new target audience. Above all, young people were attracted to this bright and simple watch.

However, luxury watches are what people think of when they think of Swiss watches. Switzerland leads the world in watch exports if you don't rank by number of timepieces. While only about 2% of watches sold worldwide come from Switzerland, they are worth 60% of the total value.

Many well-known brands with long watchmaking traditions belong to the Swatch Group (market share: 18%) or to luxury goods concerns like Richemont (market share: 16%) or Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH, market share: 5%). Rolex is the largest independent Swiss luxury watch manufacturer (market share: 12%). Their independent status greatly contributes to their outstanding reputation.


Overview of the Most Important Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers

Manufacturer Founding year Location of headquarters Parent group
Audemars Piguet 1875 Le Brassus Independent
Blancpain 1735 Le Brassus Swatch Group
Breguet 1775 L'Abbaye Swatch Group
Breitling 1884 Grenchen Independent
Chopard 1860 Geneva Independent
Hublot 1980 Nyon LVMH
IWC 1868 Schaffhausen Richemont
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1833 Le Sentier Richemont
Longines 1832 Saint-Imier Swatch Group
Omega 1848 Biel/Bienne Swatch Group
Patek Philippe 1851 Geneva Independent
Rolex 1905 Geneva Independent
TAG Heuer 1860 La Chaux-de-Fonds LVMH
Vacheron Constantin 1755 Plan-les-Ouates Richemont
Zenith 1865 Le Locle LVMH

Rolex

Rolex is number one amongst the large manufacturers. The Geneva-based manufacturer has been in business since 1905. Rolex produces some of the most famous and beloved watch models in the world, such as the Submariner, Daytona, and Datejust.

The Submariner is the definition of a diving watch, the Daytona is one of the most famous chronographs, and the Datejust embodies elegance. Rolex's pilot's watch is the Air King, and their GMT Master II displays a second time zone. With the invention of the perpetual rotor, Rolex significantly contributed to the breakthrough of the automatic watch in the 1930s. Every year, the manufacturer sells around 800,000 watches featuring their iconic five-point crown. Rolex doesn't publish any official sales numbers. However, since Rolex has their watches certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), we can calculate how many Rolex watches are produced based on the COSC's publications.


Omega

The most famous man to wear a Rolex is undoubtedly James Bond. He completes many of his missions with a Submariner on his wrist. However, the British secret agent switched to Omega, a member of the Swatch Group, in 1995. Omega plays a central role in the Swatch Group's company strategy, as they see the brand as a strong competitor for Rolex. Rolex isn't the only manufacturer with legendary watch models; Omega has their own to be proud of. The Seamaster is a diving watch collection that's been in production since 1948. The famous French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau wore a Seamaster. Another iconic Omega watch is the Speedmaster Professional. "Speedy," as it's nicknamed by fans, was the official NASA watch on the Apollo missions, making it the first watch on the Moon in 1969. The so-called Moonwatch is available today, almost unchanged from the original version, but now features a modern Co-Axial caliber and comes in many special limited editions. There's also the De Ville series, which showcases Omega's classic side.


International Watch Company (IWC)

IWC, based in Schaffhausen, also offers elegant Swiss watches, such as the Portugieser. They're even more famous for their pilot's watches, though; their Big Pilot watch and the Mark series are considered excellent pilot's watches. The Mark 11 was the official service watch of Royal Air Force pilots for decades.


Breitling

Breitling is a strong competitor for IWC in the realm of pilot's watches. Breitling's Navitimer is considered one of the most important pilot's watches. The watch, which was introduced in 1952, has a special slide rule function. It has two logarithmic scales on the dial which you can turn to perform various calculations, such as distance and fuel consumption. Breitling also offers powerful diving watches with their Superocean series and some versions of the Avenger. Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Breitling are all considered to be on the same level, thus Breitling also has a conservative, elegant line as well, the Transocean. Besides mechanical timepieces, Breitling also offers quartz watches with refined technology, such as the Emergency with an integrated distress beacon.


Patek Philippe

One rung higher on the luxury watch ladder is Patek Philippe. It's clear from the start that this manufacturer is a bit different: Most of their cases are made of solid gold. In the Swiss watch industry, steel cases are used around 50% of the time. Precious metals like gold and platinum are only used around 2% of the time. Patek's Calatrava collection is a symbol of the company and the epitome of a stylish dress watch. This watch collection debuted in 1932 and was inspired by the Bauhaus art movement. Patek Philippe's Nautilus also has a special position in their portfolio. It's a stainless steel sports watch waterproof to 120 m (12 bar) – all unusual qualities for a Patek watch. The company has a long history of watchmaking. The independent family business has existed under this name since 1851. Until 2009, Patek Philippe used the Geneva Seal as a symbol of high Swiss quality. Now, the company uses their own seal with even stricter standards.


Blancpain, Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre

Blancpain and Breguet have been in business even longer. Today, they're both members of the Swatch Group. Abraham-Louis Breguet founded his company in 1775. He's responsible for countless important watchmaking inventions, such as the tourbillon. Blancpain has been around since 1735. Their most famous series is the Fifty Fathoms diving watch. Brands such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Blancpain, are representative of the conservative values of the Swiss watch industry. This applies to Jaeger-LeCoultre as well. This manufacturer has been producing high-quality watches since 1833. Their Reverso is one of the most popular rectangular watches.


Hublot

Hublot takes an entirely different approach. This relatively new manufacturer plays the role of the rebel most excellently. One distinctive Hublot feature is their unusual, square-edged porthole design, which occasionally borders on the bizarre. Legibility isn't Hublot's main concern. Instead, they show a preference for the use of unusual materials such as ceramic or titanium. With their patented Magic Gold alloy, Hublot broke new ground. Magic Gold is an incredibly scratch-resistant alloy composed of gold and ceramic. Magic Gold comes quite close to the ideal, everlasting case material. Hublot was founded in 1980. In 2005, under new leadership, they introduced the Big Bang series. The Big Bang caused a sharp increase in sales, catapulting this Genevan manufacturer into the same league as other well-known Swiss brands. The somewhat calmer Hublot alternative to the Big Bang is the Classic Fusion.


Audemars Piguet

Hublot is not without precedent. Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, introduced in 1972, as well as their Royal Oak Offshore, inspired Hublot's designs. The wide bezel with visible screws was directly influenced by the Royal Oak.


TAG Heuer

When it comes to TAG Heuer, it's all about timing. They patented their first stopwatch mechanism in 1882. TAG Heuer has dedicated themselves to the art of racing ever since – it's not a coincidence that their most well-known series is called the Carrera. Even the rectangularMonaco is a legend amongst racing watches. The actor Steve McQueen wore a Monaco in the film Le Mans.


Tissot

Watches from TAG Heuer are in a moderate price range. This applies to Tissot as well. Aside from classic mechanical watches, Tissot offers modern quartz watches as well. The T-Touch Expert Solar is solar powered. It's a multi-function watch with background lighting, a second time zone display, chronograph function, timer, alarm, compass, barometer function, and many other extras. The watch has a titanium case and is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar). The T-Touch Expert Solar has features that only an electric-powered watch can offer. Such an array of functions is impossible for a mechanical watch, especially one that costs less than 1,000 euros.

Other manufacturers also combine Swiss quality with moderate prices, such as Longines, Raymond Weil, or Maurice Lacroix. These companies often use calibers from the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, which is also based in Switzerland. The Swiss company Sellita also offers movements that can be found in the watches of many famous manufacturers. Only a few brands produce their own calibers, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. !Zenith has some of the most important automatic chronograph movements in watch history. The fast-paced El Primero caused a stir when it was released in 1969; it even had a watch named after it.


Top 10 Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers According to Production Numbers

Manufacturer Number of watches produced per year
Rolex 800,000
Omega 700,000
Breitling 170,000
IWC 100,000
Chopard 80,000
Jaeger-LeCoultre 75,000
Patek Philippe 60,000
Hublot 40,000
Audemars Piguet 37,000
Zenith 35,000

Post-Quartz Crisis Revival

The Swiss watch industry began in the 18th century. Up until the second half of the 19th century, Switzerland was considered a place where it was easy to produce watches affordably. IWC, with roots in the United States, based their business model on this concept.

After many successful years, the industry suffered in the 1970s and 80s during the Quartz Crisis. Cheap, mass-produced quartz watches produced in Asia endangered traditional Swiss production. Some manufacturers disappeared forever and many workers lost their jobs. Yet surprisingly, Swiss watches later experienced a renaissance which has lasted to this day. The fascination with the technical genius that goes into mechanical watches enthralls watch lovers all over the world. Many manufacturers with longer histories are no longer independent, however. Merging with a large concern, such as the Swatch Group, Richemont, or LVMH, saved many of these manufacturers from going under.

Unexpected competition has popped up since then. The German town of Glashütte was trapped behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany until 1990. Watches have been produced in Glashütte since the mid-19th century, but they were far from being luxury watches when Germany was divided. Now, other manufacturers such as A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original have established themselves in Glashütte, making Glashütte watches true competition for Swiss manufacturers.