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Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 16710T
AU$ 13,998
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
229
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228235 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 SUNDUST DIAL
AU$ 47,998
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
229
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Ceramic Bezel White Dial 116500LN
AU$ 36,670
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
229
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400st.oo.1220st.01 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Black Dial Men's Watch - 15400ST.OO....
AU$ 34,901
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
229
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV New Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Date (Hulk) 116610LV
AU$ 23,232
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.22.42.20.01.002 Unworn Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic
Omega Seamaster 210.22.42.20.01.002
AU$ 7,087
Verified Dealer
2066
MC
Rolex Datejust 178288 New Yellow gold 31mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 31, new, closing down sale - off. pr.: 37.700 CHF
AU$ 36,769
Verified Dealer
30
CH
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Q1368470 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic Australia, sydney
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon
AU$ 8,000
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona Z serial full set
AU$ 27,196
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
9
CH
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AU$ 9,367
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
154
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 116713LN Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-MASTER2 (GMTマスター2)
AU$ 19,251
Verified Dealer
 
JP
Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz 19018 Good Yellow gold 36mm Quartz
Rolex Oysterquarz Daydate
AU$ 11,867
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW377714 Good Steel 43mm Automatic Australia, north sydney
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph
AU$ 5,000
Private Seller
 
AU
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5159G-001 Very good White gold 38mm Automatic
Patek Philippe Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar 5159G-001
AU$ 82,529
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
674
US
IWC Pilot Mark IW327009 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's IW327009
AU$ 5,357
Verified Dealer
2066
MC
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179384 New Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust 26, new, closing down sale, o.p.: 16.700 CHF
AU$ 15,007
Verified Dealer
30
CH
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Ultra Thin Q1358420 Good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, sydney
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Ultra Thin
AU$ 5,500
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116509 New White gold 40mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona MOP diamonds
AU$ 59,171
Verified Dealer
 
ES
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex 1680 Submariner 1680 SS BOX & PAPERS Circa 1974 (33574)
AU$ 24,928
Verified Dealer
396
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II 'Coke'
AU$ 15,783
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
10
US
Breitling Superocean Héritage A 37320 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
Breitling Superocean Heritage 38
AU$ 3,873
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
775
DE
Breitling Colt GMT A32350 Very good Steel 40.5mm Automatic
Breitling Colt GMT Black Dial Complete Box & Papers
AU$ 3,363
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
229
US
Rolex Datejust 116234 Good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex ロレックス ROLEX デイトジャスト 116234 自動巻 K18WGxSS製 ネイビー ランダム 腕時計...
AU$ 9,330
Verified Dealer
21
JP
TAG Heuer Carrera CBK2110.BA0715 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TAG Heuer Carrera CBK2110.BA0715
AU$ 4,368
Verified Dealer
2066
MC
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime RB0510U4/BB63 New Rose gold 46mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chrono Unitime, closing downsale, o.p.:...
AU$ 24,012
Verified Dealer
30
CH
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116655 Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic Australia, sydney
Rolex Yacht-Master 40
AU$ 32,000
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hometime Q1628420 Good Steel
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hometime
AU$ 6,638
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Datejust 126200 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex 126200 Datejust Blue Stick Dial / Jubilee Bracelet (33505)
AU$ 10,694
Verified Dealer
396
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase 304.23.44.52.06.001 Unworn Gold/Steel Automatic
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase
AU$ 14,010
Verified Dealer
72
CZ
Rolex Datejust 126300 Unworn Steel Automatic
Rolex Datejust, Ref. 126300, Wimbledon , 11/19, LC 100
AU$ 12,848
Verified Dealer
84
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36 128238 New Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 36
AU$ 114,566
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Rolex Explorer II 216570-0001 Good Steel 42mm Automatic
Rolex Explorer II White 42mm 216570 Pre-Owned 2017
AU$ 12,899
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
24
US
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona Zenith Chronograph Stainless Steel 16520 - W5816
AU$ 47,367
Verified Dealer
280
UK
Breguet Tradition 7067br/g1/9w6 New Rose gold 40mm Manual winding
TOP
Breguet Tradition 40, new, closing sale - official price:...
AU$ 33,017
Verified Dealer
30
CH
Rolex Cellini Date 50515 Very good Rose gold 39mm Automatic Australia, sydney
Rolex Cellini Date
AU$ 16,500
Verified Dealer
 
AU
IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW356806 Good Steel 44mm Automatic
IWC アクアタイマー 2000 IW356806
AU$ 4,476
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
360
JP
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II "Batman" 126710BLNR // New full set 2019
AU$ 28,514
Verified Dealer
19
FR
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 25,900
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR Batman Stainless Steel Blue Black
AU$ 23,280
Verified Dealer
137
UK
Patek Philippe Gondolo 5124G-001 New White gold 33.4mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Gondolo
AU$ 34,370
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Patek Philippe Chronograph 7150/250r-001 New Rose gold 38mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Complications
AU$ 86,990
Verified Dealer
200
HK
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea Stainless Steel 126660 - W6171
AU$ 23,683
Verified Dealer
280
UK
Breguet Marine 8827ST/59/586 New Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Marine, new, closing down sale, official price: 19.000...
AU$ 17,258
Verified Dealer
30
CH
Rolex Submariner Date 16610V Good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, sydney
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$ 19,500
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Ulysse Nardin Caprice 136-91AC/691 Very good
Ulysse Nardin Caprice 18k Rose Gold & Diamonds Ladies Watch...
AU$ 16,816
Verified Dealer
183
US
Breitling Chronomat 41 CB014012/G713/378C Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
Breitling Chronomat 41 CB014012
AU$ 12,403
Verified Dealer
269
DE
Breitling Navitimer Heritage A13324121G1X1 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Glen Waverley
TOP
Breitling NAVITIMER CHRONOGRAPH 41
AU$ 5,950
Private Seller
 
AU
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15300ST.OO.1220ST.01 Good Steel 39mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 39mm Steel 15300STOO1220...
AU$ 26,403
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
749
US
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16623 Very good 40mm
Rolex - Men's Gold & Stainless 40mm YachtMaster Champagne...
AU$ 13,939
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 5270P-001 New Platinum 41mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
AU$ 219,038
Verified Dealer
200
HK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Stainless Steel 116710LN - W6664
AU$ 20,722
Verified Dealer
280
UK
Breguet Classique 5287BR/129/ZU New Rose gold 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Chrono., new, closing down sale - o.p.:...
AU$ 37,519
Verified Dealer
30
CH
Patek Philippe Complications (submodel) 4968G-001 Very good White gold 33.3mm Manual winding Australia, sydney
Patek Philippe Complications
AU$ 57,500
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 541.CM.7170.LR Very good Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Hublot Classic Fusion 42mm Ceramic - Chronograph - With Box...
AU$ 11,043
Verified Dealer
1122
DE
Rolex Daytona 116520 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Ref 116520 Black Dial NOS 2007 Serial Z
AU$ 37,382
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
100
IT
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 CV2A84.FC6394 Very good Titanium 43mm Automatic Australia, kENSINGTON
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16
AU$ 4,560
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116528 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona Quadrante Paul Newman 40mm In Oro Giallo 18kt...
AU$ 47,386
Verified Dealer
100
IT
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16628 Very good 40mm
Rolex 16628 Men's 40mm YachtMaster
AU$ 24,707
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26401RO.OO.A002CA.02 New Rose gold 44mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
AU$ 61,906
Verified Dealer
200
HK
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Stainless Steel 126710BLRO - W6705
AU$ 30,591
Verified Dealer
280
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179179 New White gold 26mm Manual winding
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust 26, new, closing down sale - o.p.: 24.900 CHF
AU$ 18,759
Verified Dealer
30
CH
IWC Portuguese Chronograph IW371401 Good Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, sydney
IWC Portuguese Chronograph
AU$ 6,500
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Tudor Black Bay 79220B Steel 41mm Automatic
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Automatic Watch 79220B
AU$ 3,977
Verified Dealer
51
CA
Rolex Milgauss 116400 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Milgauss Green Stainless Steel
AU$ 10,030
Verified Dealer
 
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.