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Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey 565.NX.7071.LR New Titanium 38mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic Grey Dial Titanium Men's Watch...
C$ 6,562
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1717
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust Purple Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel-Quickset
C$ 5,745
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
24
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26470BA.OO.1000BA.01 Unworn Yellow gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
C$ 89,130
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface 270.8.54 Very good Steel 26mm Manual winding
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface GMT Day & Night 270.8.54
C$ 8,920
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
US
Tudor Submariner 94010 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Submariner 9401/0 Snowflake Dial 94010
C$ 6,655
Verified Dealer
50
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Q1368420 New Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon - 1368420
C$ 9,818
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
291
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26470OR.OO.1000OR.01 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Rose Gold 42 MM
C$ 70,243
Verified Dealer
1310
NL
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN 2019 NEW
C$ 15,110
Verified Dealer
224
US
Rolex Air King 116900 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Air King NEW 116900 2018
C$ 9,186
Verified Dealer
32
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO New White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 18k WG Meteorite Dial 2019 [Full Stickers]
C$ 70,019
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
83
US
TAG Heuer Monaco CW211A New Steel 38mm Automatic
TAG Heuer Monaco
C$ 6,590
Verified Dealer
 
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.92.44.30.01.001 New Ceramic 44.25mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch "Dark Side of the Moon" Apollo 8
C$ 10,251
Verified Dealer
44
SE
Patek Philippe World Time 5131G New White gold 39.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe World Time with gold 100% new full set
C$ 155,274
Verified Dealer
40
CH
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH 03.2040.400/21.C496 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH
C$ 5,856
Verified Dealer
50
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 220.10.41.21.03.001 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Aqua Terra 8900 Blue Master CoAxial - Omega 5 Year Warranty
C$ 5,824
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
291
US
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good 36mm
Rolex President Men's 36mm President
C$ 19,903
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex Datejust 126333 New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41mm Steel and 18kt Yellow Gold Black Diamond Dial
C$ 18,372
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Ulysse Nardin El Toro / Black Toro 3713-260-3/BLACK New Titanium 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Executive Skeleton X 42mm 3713-260-3/BLACK
C$ 15,709
Verified Dealer
32
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR-0001 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 18k Everose 2019 [Unworn/Stickers]
C$ 47,254
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
83
US
Hublot King Power 701.NQ.0137.GR.SPO14 Very good Titanium 48mm Automatic
Hublot King Power special one
C$ 19,304
Verified Dealer
 
US
Chopard Happy Sport 278582-6005 New Gold/Steel 36mm Quartz
Chopard Happy Sport
C$ 8,227
Verified Dealer
258
IT
Girard Perregaux Laureato 81010-11-231-11A New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Girard Perregaux Laureato 42mm Grey Dial New 2019
C$ 11,303
Verified Dealer
44
SE
Rolex Daytona 116515LN Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic
Rolex 116515LN Cosmograph Daytona Ceramic 18K Everose Gold /...
C$ 43,267
Verified Dealer
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 220.12.41.21.01.001 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Aqua Terra 8900 Black Strap Omega 5 Year Warranty
C$ 5,691
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
291
US
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Milgauss
C$ 10,869
Verified Dealer
244
IT
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41mm 126334 Stainless Steel Jubilee Blue Roman...
C$ 13,712
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V/110A-B128 New Steel 41mm Automatic
Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V/110A-B128
C$ 24,629
Verified Dealer
81
US
Rolex GMT-Master 16700 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master 16700 40 MM steel full set serviced
C$ 13,309
Verified Dealer
67
IT
Rolex GMT-Master II 16713 Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II
C$ 13,113
Verified Dealer
 
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 18.2430.679/27.C721 New Rose gold 45mm Automatic
Zenith PILOT Type 20 Cohiba
C$ 22,643
Verified Dealer
258
IT
Breitling Navitimer AB0910371B1X1 New Steel 41mm Chronograph
TOP
Breitling Navitimer 806 1959 Re-Edition New 2019
C$ 10,384
Verified Dealer
44
SE
Rolex Oyster Precision 6426 Very good Steel 34mm Manual winding
TOP
Rolex Oyster Precision Edelstahl Handaufzug Service 12/2019
C$ 3,682
Verified Dealer
457
DE
TAG Heuer Monaco CAW211R.FC6401 New Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco - Gulf - Special Edition
C$ 5,824
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
291
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 50th Year Anniversary 126600
C$ 18,438
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
87
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Green Date Hulk
C$ 21,034
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5067A-001 Very good Steel 35.6mm Quartz
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce 5067A-001
C$ 29,222
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
718
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.42.20.06.001 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M
C$ 5,377
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
182
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16613 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Date
C$ 14,045
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116689 Very good White gold 44mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116689
C$ 35,491
Verified Dealer
77
CZ
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 16570 serviced full set
C$ 10,056
Verified Dealer
67
IT
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 7811 Very good Yellow gold 33mm Manual winding
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Superflat 18K Gold Gelbgold...
C$ 5,457
Verified Dealer
457
DE
Fortis Flieger 597.10.141.1 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Canada, Montreal
Fortis Flieger
C$ 2,200
Verified Dealer
22
CA
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 226659 New White gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master 42mm 18k White Gold Ceramic Bezel On...
C$ 42,069
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
87
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001
C$ 105,837
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook R32500305 New Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook Limited Edition - Box & Papers 2019
C$ 2,076
Verified Dealer
261
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.30.40.20.03.001 Unworn Steel 39.5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
C$ 5,896
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
182
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26400SO.OO.A335CA.01 New Steel 44mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
C$ 56,580
Verified Dealer
 
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.42.20.03.001 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.42.20.03.001
C$ 5,698
Verified Dealer
77
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Date 6517 Very good Yellow gold 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Date 26 mm gold 18 kt serviced
C$ 3,845
Verified Dealer
67
IT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Calendar 273.8.84 Very good Steel 30mm Manual winding
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Calendar box & papers 2016
C$ 10,417
Verified Dealer
49
UK
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex 126334 Datejust 41 Grey Roman Wimbledon Jubilee Stainless
C$ 13,379
Verified Dealer
49
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 42mm White Dial 326934
C$ 23,098
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
87
US
Rolex Datejust II 126331 New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust II 126331
C$ 15,310
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5146J-001 New Yellow gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Complication Annual Calendar 5146J-001 New 2019
C$ 50,131
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
380
ES
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 220.10.41.21.02.001 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
C$ 5,417
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
182
US
Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 15350ST.OO.D002CR.01 New Steel 47mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101
C$ 20,635
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5146 Good White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe 5146 Annual Calendar White Gold Automatic Mens...
C$ 66,558
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
US
Vacheron Constantin 222 Good Steel 24mm Quartz
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Jumbo 222 Geneve quartz 24 mm steel serviced
C$ 4,732
Verified Dealer
67
IT
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm 301.SX.1170.RX.1104 New Steel 44mm Automatic
Hublot Big Bang Steel Diamonds
C$ 21,073
Verified Dealer
914
BE
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex 116610 LN Submariner Date Black Ceramic 40mm UNWORN
C$ 14,578
Verified Dealer
49
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR New Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Everose Gold & Steel Watch 126711CHNR
C$ 23,163
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
87
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A-001 Unworn Steel 40.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Stainless Steel 5726A-001
C$ 79,744
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Breitling A45340211G1X3 New Steel 40mm Automatic
Breitling PREMIER AUTOMATIC DAY & DATE 40
C$ 3,987
Verified Dealer
258
IT
Rolex Cellini Date 50519 New White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Cellini Date
C$ 20,301
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
182
US
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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.