Swiss Watches up to 3,000 € Which Swiss Watch Should I Buy?
Swiss Watches starting at 10,000 €
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TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S PT6008-SS002-332 Neu OVP
1,599 
Seller
Uhren-Schiesl
443
DE
TOP
Chopard Happy Diamonds "Happy Sun
6,000 
Seller
Pawn Shop La Casa de los Empeños s.L
68
ES
TOP
Rolex Datejust | Steel & Gold Champagne Dial | 16233
3,979 
Seller
Freddie Keeble Watches & Diamonds
 
UK
TOP
Tudor North Flag -Full Set 07/2016-
2,600 
Seller
KronologY
64
FR
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster Chronograph
4,450 
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
863
NL
Omega Speedmaster "Mitsukoshi" Moonwatch
3,950 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
TOP
Rolex Diamond Daytona 7.50 Carats Ref.116518
19,667 
Seller
Sky Diamond
74
US
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Everose Rainbow 116595RBOW-0002
415,758 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Rado Sintra Medium Super Jubile
1,999 
Seller
Juwelier & Meisteruhrmacher Thomas
35
AT
TOP
Tudor Pelagos LHD NEW
3,550 
Seller
Tempo Prezioso Bologna
 
IT
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Hammerhead Shark Diver Deep Dive (Limited Edition)
10,300 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
135
LV
TOP
Rolex LADY DATEJUST EDELSTAHL 18K GOLD GELBGOLD DAMENUHR
2,890 
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
288
DE
Omega Constellation C Date
950 
Seller
Harri Asunta
9
FI
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Diver Black Sea
3,700 
Seller
Chronopassion
107
EE
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36
4,190 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Platinum...
38,396 
Seller
Sky Diamond
74
US
Hublot Novelties Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph...
131,084 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion
11,099 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph
6,380 
Seller
GARCÍA JOYEROS
26
ES
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Annual Calendar Monaco 2017 (Limited...
8,900 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
135
LV
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Medium Midsize 18K GOLD GELBGOLD
11,990 
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
288
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Jumbo date with box
2,900 
Seller
Harri Asunta
9
FI
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 2017
6,420 
Free shipping
Seller
Watchesnorte SL
169
ES
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
4,590 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
TOP
Breitling Old Navitimer II Blue Face Two Tone
4,827 
Seller
Sky Diamond
74
US
Rolex Day-Date 228206 Platinum Ice Blue Arabic Dial
65,646 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Longines Conquest Heritage
3,050 
Seller
Alejandro Blanco
16
ES
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Small Seconde MP6907-SS001-112
1,095 
Seller
Uhrenhandel.de Internationale Handelsgesellschaft GmbH & Co.KG
170
DE
TOP
Blancpain Chronograph Flyback Grande Date Ladies
24,200 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
135
LV
TOP
Rolex Datejust Medium Mid Size 31mm Automatic Damenuhr
2,990 
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
288
DE
TOP
Chopard Mille Miglia Chrono Edition V JackyIckx limited edition
5,750 
Seller
Carrerabayern.de, Luxusuhren
128
DE
Omega Speedmaster MK40 Day-Date Schumacher
2,300 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master World Geographic
6,690 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
TOP
Franck Muller Biretro Chronographe Cintrée Curvex MASTER OF...
5,346 
Seller
Sky Diamond
74
US
Rolex Deepsea 116660 Steel
8,857 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde MP6508-SS001...
2,699 
Seller
Uhren-Schiesl
443
DE
TOP
Omega Constellation Double Eagle
4,970 
Seller
Alejandro Blanco
16
ES
TOP
Chopard Mille Miglia GMT 42 mm
3,099 
Seller
Uhrencenter Berlin
470
DE
TOP
Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust 17000 Tritium Black Roman Dial
3,295 
Seller
T&N "Glücksschmiede" GmbH
819
DE
TOP
Rolex Milgauss-Top Zustand-FULLSET-LC100-aus 2010
5,390 
Seller
A&K Watches Gmbh & Co. KG
58
DE
Longines HydroConquest 41mm Automatic FULLSET
750 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12
4,590 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Diamonds Ladies Watch
6,973 
Seller
Sky Diamond
74
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked...
75,858 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Date Ladies Watch LC1113-PVY21-...
1,199 
Seller
Uhren-Schiesl
443
DE
TOP
Rolex Day-Date
22,349 
Seller
National Gold & Diamond Center
 
US
TOP
Rolex Daytona seriale P like new (con raro bollino dorato ).
27,900 
Seller
CORTI GIOIELLI
8
IT
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (Full set)...
10,400 
Seller
Zurich Watches
9
ES
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 115200
4,800 
Seller
rigodoro snc
51
IT
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M
1,200 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera
5,890 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
6,950 
Seller
Pawn Shop La Casa de los Empeños s.L
68
ES
Hublot Big Bang Unico King Gold Ceramic Bracelet 411.OM.1180.OM
28,905 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II EVEROSEGOLD / STEEL NEW 126711CHNR ''ROOT...
14,950 
Seller
Filipucci Juweliers
481
NL
TOP
Rolex Rare 1999 "Coke" GMT Master SEL Oyster Band - 16700 w/ Box
8,935 
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
245
US
TOP
Rolex Daytona seriale W full set Patrizzi con Exspertise
54,999 
Seller
CORTI GIOIELLI
8
IT
Omega Seamaster 300 165.024-64
4,350 
Seller
Chrono Finland
63
FI
TOP
Zenith ElPrimero Stratos Flyback Chronograph
4,995 
Seller
T&N "Glücksschmiede" GmbH
819
DE
Oris Artelier Worldtimer
795 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
Rolex Daytona
16,900 
Seller
Ranneaika
 
FI
Rolex Datejust II
5,600 
Seller
Gellot Oy Ltd
 
FI
Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium Diamonds 511.NX.1171.LR.1104
9,378 
Seller
Premium Watches
14
FI
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II EVEROSEGOLD NEW 126715CHNR
34,500 
Seller
Filipucci Juweliers
481
NL
TOP
Ebel Wave Discovery Stahl/ Gold, 40mm 183913
1,190 
Seller
Fine-Used-Watches
71
DE
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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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