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Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Deepsea Oystersteel Black Dial 126660
13 272 
Verified Dealer
UK
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 3343-126-7/91 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time Automatic Silver Dial Stainless Steel...
5 460 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
267
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 1500 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
4 138 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
267
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26401RO.OO.A002CA.02 New Rose gold 44mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Brand-New
39 000 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
90
ES
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good 36mm
Rolex DayDate
11 859 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Hublot King Power 703.OM.6912.HR.FMC12 Very good Rose gold 48mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot King Power Rose Gold F1 Great Britain Limited Edition
23 900 
Verified Dealer
1317
NL
IWC Portofino Chronograph IW391022 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
IWC Portofino Automatic Chronograph IW3910-22 - MINT, COMPLETE
3 909 
Verified Dealer
10
US
Rolex Daytona 16528 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Zenith 16528 Black Dial A Serial
24 500 
Verified Dealer
214
IT
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller "Deep Blue" 116660
13 565 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
719
US
Tudor Prince Date 74033 Very good Gold/Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Prince Date 34mm 74033 Gold & Steel Black
1 259 
Verified Dealer
24
JP
Rolex Air King Precision 14000 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King 34 Ref. 14000
3 750 
Verified Dealer
420
NL
Richard Mille RM 011 RM11-03 New Rose gold 44.50mm Automatic
Richard Mille RM11-03 Rose Gold Titanium
204 166 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
24
US
Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Phases de Lune LC6068-SS001-331 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Phase de Lune Calendar Automatique LC6068
1 360 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex Datejust 116203 Very good 36mm
Rolex - 18kt Gold & SS 36mm Mens DateJust Silver Diamond Dial...
9 794 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex Cellini 6692 Very good White gold 24.5mm Quartz
TOP
Rolex Cellini White Gold
5 650 
Verified Dealer
1317
NL
Rolex Yacht-Master 16628 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master Yellow Gold 16628
17 950 
Verified Dealer
715
NL
Jaeger-LeCoultre Q1768470 Very good Steel 46.3mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph
6 380 
Verified Dealer
37
ES
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934
22 026 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
719
US
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Explorer II
6 000 
Verified Dealer
246
IT
Hublot Big Bang Jeans 301.SX.2710.NR.JEANS Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Jeans 44mm Edelstahl Chronograph Automatik...
7 790 
Verified Dealer
546
DE
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968A-001 New Steel 42.2mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968a Chronograph Stainless Steel New...
83 500 
Verified Dealer
142
IT
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S PT6018-SS001-330-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph Automatik Rubber PT6018
1 795 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Tudor Black Bay 79220 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. 79220 Edelstahl
2 260 
Verified Dealer
2179
DE
Rolex Daytona 116506 New Platinum 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
70 990 
Verified Dealer
185
DE
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 Very good White gold 46.2mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 White Gold
14 500 
Verified Dealer
715
NL
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase 304.93.44.52.99.001 New Platinum 44.2mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Moonphase Chronograph 44,25 mm...
44 600 
Verified Dealer
5921
DE
Rolex Day-Date 1807 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 1807 Linen Sigma Dial 18k Gold Bark - Service...
11 499 
Verified Dealer
284
DE
Rolex Daytona 16523 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Zenith Inverted 6 SERVICED
12 300 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight M79030N-0001 New Steel 39mm Automatic Finland, Oulu
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
3 800 
Verified Dealer
 
FI
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Stahl black Patrizzi Tritium Dial Zenith...
23 499 
Verified Dealer
584
DE
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Extreme PT6028-ALB11-331 New Aluminum 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Extreme Automatik Chronograph PT6028
1 999 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Fortis Flieger 595.10.46.1 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Fortis Fliegeruhr Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Flieger...
640 
Verified Dealer
2179
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116718 LN GR New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT Master II
33 670 
Verified Dealer
185
DE
Hublot Big Bang 320.UI.440.RX Very good 44mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang Limited Edition 320.UI.440.RX
14 950 
Verified Dealer
715
NL
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Blue MOP Diamond Sapphire Fluted 36mm-Quickset
4 094 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Tudor Prince Date 79280 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Prince Date Chronograph 79280 ROLEX 1997 Tritium Panda
4 899 
Verified Dealer
284
DE
Tudor Black Bay 79220R Very good Steel 41mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Tudor Black Bay Red ETA SERVICED 2018
3 190 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Rolex Datejust II 126331 Very good Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust II 41mm Two Tone Rose Jubilee Choco Dial
10 575 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
29
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 16713 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT Master II 16713 Tigerauge Oysterband S-Serie...
10 999 
Verified Dealer
584
DE
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece MP6348-SS001-12E Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Masterchrono Automatik Day Date...
1 850 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm 301-W Very good Ceramic 44.5mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Evolution Chronograph Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
7 360 
Verified Dealer
2179
DE
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164A-001 New Steel 40.8mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time (2019)
57 500 
Verified Dealer
185
DE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A-001 New Steel 40.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar
59 500 
Verified Dealer
715
NL
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust White MOP Sapphire Dial Diamond Bezel 36mm-Quic...
4 925 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Breitling Transocean Chronograph UB015212/Q594 Unworn Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chronograph 43MM Stahl Roségold - Bronze...
4 888 
Verified Dealer
284
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi SERVICED 2020
12 300 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
IWC Portofino Automatic IW356303 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Portofino 39mm Automatic Date Ref; IW 356303
2 250 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
563
NL
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 177200 Very good Steel 31mm Automatic
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 Ref. 177200
3 850 
Verified Dealer
420
NL
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S PT6018-SS002-331-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph Automatik PT6018
1 895 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36 118238 Very good 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day-date 36 18k Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. 118238
17 650 
Verified Dealer
2179
DE
Rolex Datejust II 116333 Very good Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust II WIMBLEDON VERY GOOD CONDITIONS CARD ITALIA
9 799 
Verified Dealer
100
IT
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lady 26048SK Very good Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Lady Offshore Chrono Diamonds 26048SK
17 950 
Verified Dealer
715
NL
Rolex Lady-Datejust 6917 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust Purple Diamond Dial Lugs Bezel 26mm Oyster
3 245 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Rolex Day-Date 18349 Very good White gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 18349A MINT / UNPOLISHED all original Diamonds...
14 999 
Verified Dealer
284
DE
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Rolex Explorer II
6 290 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Girard Perregaux Richeville 2710 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Girard Perregaux Richeville 39mm Chronograph Automatic - GP...
1 900 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
563
NL
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5320G-001 New White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
66 840 
Verified Dealer
185
DE
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S PT6018-SS001-331-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph Automatik PT6018
1 795 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
IWC Portuguese Chronograph 3714 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Portugieser Chronograph Stahl Automatik Herrenuhr 3714
4 830 
Verified Dealer
2179
DE
Breitling Transocean Unitime Pilot AB0510U6/BC26/159A New Steel 46mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Transocean Unitime Pilot
7 100 
Verified Dealer
1424
ES
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Rail dial Full set
29 500 
Verified Dealer
10
NL
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust White MOP Ruby Dial Fluted Bezel-Quickset
4 403 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Breitling Navitimer 01 (46 MM) RB0127121G1P1 New Rose gold 46mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer 01 B01 Chronograph 46MM 18k Rosegold -...
13 999 
Verified Dealer
284
DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26022BC.OO.D002CR.01 Very good White gold 39mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph SERVICED 2020 COMPLETE
22 900 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
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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.