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Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16622 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master New With Stickers
9 990 
Professional dealer
ES
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5227G Unworn White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5227G "Tiffany & Co" 5227G-010
38 575 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
US
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage AL-727LNN4H6 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph
1 690 
Professional dealer
262
FR
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326935 Unworn Rose gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller Rose Gold Slate Dial 326935
56 328 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
783
UK
Breguet Classique 5967 Very good White gold 41mm Manual winding
TOP
Breguet Classique 18K (0,750) Weissgold Handaufzug Herrenuhr...
9 220 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept 26560IO.OO.D002CA.01.A New
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept
160 000 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz 19048 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Quartz
TOP
Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz Diamond Dial LC100 MINT CONDITION...
29 852 
Professional dealer
218
DE
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 124300 Red 2021 “UNWORN”
11 700 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
18
NL
Tudor Submariner 7928 Good Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Tudor Submariner
9 000 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26400AU.OO.A002CA.01 Good Carbon 44mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Forged Carbon and Ceramic...
24 700 
Professional dealer
39
FI
TAG Heuer Monaco CBL2116.FC6497 New Steel Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco Green - CBL2116.FC6497 - Limited 500 - Neuheit
8 799 
Professional dealer
644
DE
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2298.80.00 Very good Steel 41.5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Professional 300 Mt Titanium Excellent...
3 150 
Professional dealer
154
IT
Breitling AVI 765 Good Steel 41mm Manual winding
TOP
Breitling AVI 765 vingate from 1950
8 950 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
28
CH
Chopard Happy Sport 277472-5002 Very good Yellow gold 34.5mm Quartz
TOP
Chopard Happy Sport 18K (0,750) Gold Diamanten Damenuhr Ref....
6 550 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5905P-010 New Platinum 42mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe 5905P-010 Annual Calendar Chronograph New full...
67 000 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Tudor Hydronaut 25000 Unworn Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor NOS from June 2021 Hydronaut 1200 Rare Silver Dial...
3 995 
Professional dealer
218
DE
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 124060 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner No Date 41 mm Edelstahl Ref. 124060
12 350 
Professional dealer
662
DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver 15701ST.OO.D002CA.01 Good Steel Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Boutique Scuba Edition
16 500 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A-001 Very good Steel 40.5mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph 5980/1a with Extract and...
105 000 
Professional dealer
39
FI
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 310.63.42.50.01.001 New Rose gold Automatic
TOP
Omega Moonwatch Professional SEDNA-GOLD - 310.63.42.50.01.001...
24 999 
Professional dealer
644
DE
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 145.022 - 69 ST Very good Steel 42mm Manual winding Finland, Imatra
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Pre-Moon SERVICED 2018
8 290 
Professional dealer
46
FI
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26195ST.OO.D101CR.01 Very good Chronograph
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
19 950 
Professional dealer
1546
NL
IWC Ingenieur Automatic IW322404 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Ingenieur Carbon Performance Keramik / Titan Automatik...
9 840 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170J-001 New Yellow gold 39mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe 5170-J Chronograph new full set
46 500 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 16600 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 M Serial LC200 Box + Papers Mint...
12 499 
Professional dealer
218
DE
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Edelstahl Keramik weißes Zifferblatt 116500LN
35 850 
Professional dealer
662
DE
Oris Aquis Date 01 400 7763 4135-07 8 24 09PEB Very good Steel 43.5mm Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400
2 390 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 145.022 - 69 ST Good Steel 42mm Manual winding Finland, Helsinki
Omega Speedmaster 145.022-69 Pre-Moon Pulsometer
9 990 
Professional dealer
39
FI
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.44.51.03.002 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster DIVER 300M America's Cup - Neuheit - BE FIRST
9 770 
Professional dealer
644
DE
Rolex Submariner Date 16800 Fair Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, HELSINKI
Rolex Submariner Date 40mm 16800 1984
8 250 
Professional dealer
227
FI
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 3870.50.31 Very good Steel 42mm Manual winding Finland, Imatra
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch ”Gemini 4” SERVICED 2019
6 490 
Professional dealer
46
FI
Breitling Colt Automatic A17388 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Colt 44 Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Ref. A17388 Full Set
2 570 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5975J-001 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5975J-001 limited edition new full...
68 000 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Breitling Montbrillant Datora A2133012/Q509 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Montbrillant Datora Chronograph Automatic A21330 B & P
4 100 
Professional dealer
143
SI
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.30.42.30.01.006 New Steel 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42 mm...
5 136 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
21
HK
Zenith El Primero Espada 03.2170.4650/01.m2170 New Steel Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Zenith El Primero Espada
4 990 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver 15701ST.OO.D002CA.02 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Scuba, Mint and AP Serviced
19 900 
Professional dealer
39
FI
Rolex Datejust 126234-0011 New Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Blue Dial Diamond Datejust 36 - 126234 - HAMMER
12 399 
Professional dealer
644
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre E855 Fair Steel 37mm Automatic Finland, HELSINKI
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox 37mm Automatic 1967
2 250 
Professional dealer
227
FI
Tudor Black Bay Dark 79230DK Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Automatik Dark 79230DK Lederband
3 300 
Professional dealer
662
DE
Ulysse Nardin 8156-111 Unworn Red gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Classico 18K Roségold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
6 250 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Gondolo 5135P-001 New Platinum 51mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Calendario platinum 950 Diams new full set...
37 000 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Chopard Superfast 168542-3001 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard Classic Racing Superfast Split Second DLC Limited Edition
7 750 
Professional dealer
1967
NL
TAG Heuer Autavia CBE2110.FC8226 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
TAG Heuer Autavia 02 UNWORN
3 850 
Professional dealer
46
FI
Breguet Marine 5827BB/12/5ZU Very good White gold 42mm Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Breguet Marine Chronograph
16 500 
Professional dealer
26
FI
TAG Heuer Carrera CAR5A90.FC6415 New Ceramic 45mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
TAG Heuer Carrera Tourbillon Chronograph Ceramic
12 450 
Professional dealer
39
FI
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.32.43.21.04.001 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M 43,5 MM America's Cup -...
7 799 
Professional dealer
644
DE
IWC 853 Good Gold/Steel 35mm Automatic Finland, HELSINKI
IWC Vintage 35mm Automatic Caliber 853 Movement 1960s
1 590 
Professional dealer
227
FI
Rolex Datejust 126334 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust
10 500 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
68
PT
IWC Portofino Automatic IW458105 Unworn Red gold 37mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Portofino 18K (0,750) Roségold Automatik Damenuhr Ref...
9 050 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-001 New White gold 39mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe 5170G-001 Chronograph new full set
57 500 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Franck Muller Vanguard V45 SC DT TT NR BR NR New Titanium 44mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Brushed Titanium Case Black Dial Balck...
5 301 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
21
HK
Rolex Datejust 126234 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Rolex Datejust 36 Blue
8 890 
Professional dealer
46
FI
Zenith Elite Ultra Thin 03.2010.681/01.c493 New Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Zenith Elite Ultra Thin
3 990 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Rolex Explorer 214270 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
Rolex Explorer 1 ref 214270 Mk2
9 690 
Professional dealer
39
FI
Rolex Submariner Date 126613LN New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Black Dial 41mm - 126613LN - HOT HOT HOT
16 499 
Professional dealer
644
DE
Rolex Daytona 16528 Good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic Finland, HELSINKI
Rolex Daytona Zenith 18k 16528 1995 Original inverted six...
32 500 
Professional dealer
227
FI
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 16600 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000, 16600, box and papers, New Service,...
10 399 
Professional dealer
799
DE
Chronoswiss Lunar CH7521R Very good Yellow gold 38mm Automatic
TOP
Chronoswiss Lunar 18K Gold Chronograph Automatik Herrenuhr...
10 150 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet 14486 Very good Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet 14486ST extremely rare
29 500 
Professional dealer
129
CH
Ball Engineer Master II Diver DM3020A-SAJ-BK New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Ball Engineer Master II Diver
1 703 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
143
JP
Oris Chronoris 01 733 7737 4053-07 8 19 01 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Oris Chronoris Date 01 39mm Heritage
1 490 
Professional dealer
46
FI
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.10.43.22.01.001 Good Steel 43mm Automatic Finland, Jyväskylä
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Gmt
4 450 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 5000-0130-B52A New Ceramic Automatic Finland, Helsinki
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, NEW AND UNWORN
9 790 
Professional dealer
39
FI

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.