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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 310.20.42.50.01.001 New Steel 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th...
£9,883
Verified Dealer
146
IT
Richard Mille RM 030 RM 030 Steel 50mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Richard Mille RM 030 Titanium Automatic Self-Winding Watch
£94,995
Verified Dealer
116
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 matte black bezel perfect full set...
Price on request
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
177
FR
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 16600 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600
£7,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
604
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust White MOP Diamond Dial Fluted Bezel-Quickset
£4,245
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion 525.OX.0180.LR Automatic
Hublot ウブロ HUBLOT クラシックフュージョン アエロ クロノ キングゴールド 525.OX.0180.LR...
£17,475
Verified Dealer
67
JP
Omega Seamaster DeVille 136.020 Good Steel 34mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega 1962s Seamaster Winding Deville Date Cross Hair Vintage...
£852
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
123
US
IWC Big Pilot IW500912 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic United Kingdom, HAYES
TOP
IWC Big Pilot 7 days Box/Papers
£6,300
Verified Dealer
38
UK
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 16263 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Men's Rolex Turnograph Watch 16263
£4,613
Verified Dealer
222
US
Raymond Weil Freelancer 2720-ST-20001 Very good Steel
TOP
Raymond Weil Freelancer Automatic Day Date Man's Watch...
£620
Verified Dealer
258
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) - Meters First - 2019 Rolex Service
£11,995
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Tissot T-Complication T0704051641100 Unworn Steel 43mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Tissot T-Complication Squelette - Unworn - Full Set
£992
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Explorer II 40 Black Dial Red Hand Steel Mens Watch...
£7,745
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
662
US
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 Pink MOP Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel 36mm
£6,113
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea Dweller 1665 Double Red Mark V unpolished
£31,230
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603 Very good Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Rolex Sea-Dweller
£14,559
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Rolex Lady-Datejust 279136RBR Very good Platinum 28mm Automatic
Rolex レディ デイトジャスト 28 279136RBR
£33,251
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1329
JP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic Q1422521 Unworn Rose gold 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, LE1 6DN
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic
£14,950
Verified Dealer
67
UK
Breitling Superocean Héritage UB2030121B1S1 New Gold/Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage II B20 Automatic 44
£3,996
Verified Dealer
931
UK
Omega 2937 Good Steel 36mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Vintage Oversize - 2937-4 - Fully Serivced
£1,395
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Breitling Colt Automatic A1738811/BD44/173A Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Breitling Colt Automatic A1738811
£1,837
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 115200 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
Rolex Date Black Dial Oyster Bracelet Steel Mens Watch 115200...
£4,256
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
662
US
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 White MOP Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel...
£4,826
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR Batman New May 2019
£17,912
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Breitling Bentley Motors A25362 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Breitling Bentley Motors
£3,996
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 521.CM.2707.NR.ITI18 Very good Ceramic 45mm Automatic
Hublot クラシックフュージョン クロノグラフ イタリアインディペンデント セラミック ピンストライプ ...
£8,719
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1329
JP
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Daytona 'Zenith' T Series
£19,750
Verified Dealer
113
UK
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix 4600E/000A-B487 New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Self-Winding 40 mm
£9,755
Verified Dealer
931
UK
Omega 188.0002 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Speedsonic F300hz 188.0002 - Serviced
£2,200
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1024 Good Gold/Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Automatic Ref. 1024
£2,204
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Breitling Superocean Héritage 46 A17320 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 Black Dial Steel Mens Watch...
£2,473
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
662
US
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 Red Vignette Diamond Dial Diamond Lugs...
£5,345
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
Rolex Explorer II 1655 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 1655 Freccione 1973 full set
£33,986
Verified Dealer
9
MC
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 17 CV2111-0 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TAG Heuer Carrera
£2,204
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm 301.SX.1170.RX Good Steel 44mm Automatic
Hublot ビッグバン スチール 301.SX.1170.RX
£5,911
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1329
JP
IWC Portuguese Automatic IW500701 Unworn Rose gold 42.3mm Automatic United Kingdom, LE1 6DN
TOP
IWC Portuguese Automatic
£14,000
Verified Dealer
67
UK
TAG Heuer Carrera Lady WBG1351.FC6418 Very good Rose gold 36mm Quartz United Kingdom, London
TAG Heuer Carrera Quartz 18K Rose Gold
£1,850
Verified Dealer
UK
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 145.012 Very good Steel 42mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Speedmaster - 145.012-67 - Extract - Fully Serviced
£7,845
Verified Dealer
53
UK
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz WAZ1119.FT8023 Unworn Steel 41mm Quartz United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Alec Monopoly WAZ 1119 - Unworn
£1,745
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Breitling Super Avenger A13370 Very good Steel 48.4mm Automatic
Breitling Aeromarine Super Avenger White Dial Rubber Strap...
£2,706
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
662
US
Piaget Polo S G0A44001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Piaget Polo S Limited Edition 42 mm
£8,956
Verified Dealer
931
UK
Rolex Daytona 6265/8 Very good Yellow gold 37mm Manual winding
TOP
Rolex Daytona 6265/8 18k gold 1984
£114,818
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 321.53.42.50.01.001 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 1957 Co-Axial Chronograph
£9,415
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Breitling Galactic Unitime WB3510U4/BD94 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic
Breitling ギャラクティック ユニタイム スリークT WB3510U4/BD94
£3,325
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1329
JP
Rolex Daytona 116506 New Platinum 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Daytona Platinum Ice-Blue/Hindu-Arabic Dial 116506
£99,995
Verified Dealer
116
UK
Maurice Lacroix Eliros EL1118-PVP01-610-1 New United Kingdom, Rugeley
Maurice Lacroix EL1118-PVP01-610-1 Eliros Green Strap Wristwatch
£607
Verified Dealer
8
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5508 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) - 5508 James Bond, Gilt Tropical Dial
£24,495
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.10.39.60.06.001 Very good Steel 38.5mm Quartz United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Quartz 38.5mm
£1,745
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Rolex Daytona 116505 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, LONDON
Rolex Daytona Rose Gold Chocolate Baton Dial Unworn
£34,320
Verified Dealer
26
UK
IWC Pilot Mark IW327010 New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII Edition Le Petit Prince
£3,766
Verified Dealer
931
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner 5513 Gilt Glossy 1966 Rolex warranty
£44,090
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Oris Big Crown ProPilot 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC Unworn Titanium 44mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Oxford
Oris Crown Propilot X Calibre 115 Big
£4,593
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Rolex Air King Precision 14000 Good Steel 34mm Automatic
Rolex エアキング 14000
£2,586
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1329
JP
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Stainless Steel Watch Black Dial 116710LN...
£11,495
Verified Dealer
116
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, St Albans Hertfordshire
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36mm ref:16233 18k yellow gold champagne dial
£3,999
Verified Dealer
101
UK
Omega 2475 Very good Steel 37mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Ref. 2475 - Jumbo - 37mm - Serviced + Extract
£4,495
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Omega Speedmaster Day Date 3220.50.00 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Day Date Automatic- 3220.50 - Box/Papers
£2,204
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Maurice Lacroix AIKON AI6008-SS001-331-1 New Steel 42mm United Kingdom, Rugeley
Maurice Lacroix AI6008-SS001-331-1 Men's Aikon Automatic...
£1,418
Verified Dealer
8
UK
Oris Williams F1 01 774 7725 8794-Set RS New Titanium 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Oris Williams Fw41 Limited Edition
£3,307
Verified Dealer
931
UK
Tudor Prince Date 79260 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Prince Date 79260
£6,338
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph 1502-151-3C/92 Very good Rose gold 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph
£13,319
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Tudor Glamour Double Date 57000 Good Steel 42mm Automatic
Tudor グラマー ダブルデイト 57000
£1,670
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1329
JP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.D315CR.01 Unworn Rose gold 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
£31,999
Verified Dealer
14
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Stainless Steel Black Dial Black/Blue...
£13,995
Verified Dealer
116
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.


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.


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