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IWC Pilot Double Chronograph IW3713 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Spitfire Doppel Chronograph IW3713
AU$ 10,964
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
590
UK
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex 18238 Day-Date 36 (super rare Grossular dial / LC 100)
AU$ 48,807
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
70
DE
Jaquet-Droz Petite Heure Minute J016933200 New Red gold 43mm Automatic
TOP
Jaquet-Droz Petite Heure Minute (Grande Date)
AU$ 14,336
Verified Dealer
16
AE
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 6090 Good Rose gold 33mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex "Oyster Perpetual" aka. Bombay. Full set 18K rosé gold
AU$ 19,059
Verified Dealer
165
NL
Rolex Pearlmaster 81208 New Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 34
AU$ 32,564
Verified Dealer
49
CH
Rolex Chronograph 6238 Very good Yellow gold 37mm Manual winding
TOP
Rolex Pre Daytona 6238 14k gold w certificate
AU$ 182,303
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
AU$ 24,550
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Ebel Wave 1216374 New
Ebel 1216374 Women's Wave Steel Bracelet Wristwatch
AU$ 1,840
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 2-Tone Champagne Dial 36mm Jubilee Watch 16013
AU$ 6,846
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
106
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 116000 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic Australia, Romsey
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36
AU$ 7,950
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116520 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Ref 116520 Black Dial NOS 2007 FULL STICKERS
AU$ 38,913
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
111
IT
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 522.32.40.20.04.001 New Steel 39.5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Olympic 2008 Beijing China 522.32.40.20.04.001
AU$ 43,718
Verified Dealer
716
US
Hublot Big Bang Unico 411.YT.1198.NR.ITI16 Very good Carbon 45mm Automatic
Hublot Big Bang Unico 411.YT.1198.NR.ITI16 Italia
AU$ 23,824
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
US
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti 361.CO.1110.LR.1906 New Ceramic 38mm Quartz
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti 38
AU$ 15,503
Verified Dealer
49
CH
Rolex Chronograph 6238 Very good Steel 36mm Manual winding
TOP
Rolex Pre Daytona 6238 from 1964
AU$ 69,606
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Rolex Submariner Date 116613LB Unworn Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$ 23,990
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5160R-001 Very good Rose gold 38mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar Retrogra...
AU$ 219,359
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1044
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 68240 Very good Steel 31mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust Midsize 31MM Blue Dial Smooth Bezel Oyster...
AU$ 6,298
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
106
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Datejust 126334 Wimbledon 2020 Unworn DJ41
AU$ 16,500
Verified Dealer
17
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Ghiera Verde NOS 2005 FULL STICKERS
AU$ 37,256
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
111
IT
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179179 New White gold 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust President Mother or Pearl 179179White Gold
AU$ 17,533
Verified Dealer
716
US
Rolex Datejust 16220 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust
AU$ 6,861
Verified Dealer
189
US
Breguet Classique 8788BR12986DD00 New Rose gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique 36
AU$ 26,360
Verified Dealer
49
CH
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960P-001 Very good Platinum 40.5mm Automatic Australia, NSW
TOP
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph
AU$ 60,000
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116503 Unworn Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 32,550
Verified Dealer
 
AU
IWC Portuguese Automatic IW500104 Very good Platinum 42mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Portugieser 7 Days ( Limited Edition ) Platinum
AU$ 35,632
Verified Dealer
40
NL
IWC Pilot Mark IW327015 New Steel 40mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Mark XVIII 40mm IW327015
AU$ 7,276
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
10
CY
Rolex Datejust 1603 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Datejust 1603 - B&P - Fresh Service - 1977
AU$ 6,500
Verified Dealer
17
AU
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm 301.CI.1770.RX Very good Ceramic 44mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Evolution Black Magic 301.CI.1770.RX
AU$ 13,093
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1044
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 1002 Very good Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
Rolex Oyster Perpetual COCA COLA in 18K Gelbgold UNPOLIERT
AU$ 11,290
Verified Dealer
155
DE
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 New Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex NOS STICKERED 2003 Rolex Submariner KERMIT Green FLAT 4...
AU$ 52,655
Verified Dealer
589
US
Breitling Galactic A7234853/BE50 New Steel 29mm Quartz
TOP
Breitling Galactic 29 sleekt
AU$ 6,972
Verified Dealer
49
CH
Breitling Superocean K10040 Very good Yellow gold Automatic Australia, Port Hacking
TOP
Breitling Superocean
AU$ 19,990
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Datejust 126333 New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Datejust
AU$ 23,000
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Rolex Explorer 214270 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer
AU$ 12,098
Verified Dealer
367
DE
Omega Speedmaster Day Date 3523.80.00 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Omega Speedmaster 39mm Day-Date Blue Dial Mens Watch 3523.80.00
AU$ 3,789
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
629
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.32.40.30.02.001 Very good Steel 39.7mm Manual winding Australia, Sydney
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Panda
AU$ 9,800
Verified Dealer
17
AU
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 43150/000P-9684 Very good Platinum 42mm Automatic
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine 43150/000P-9684
AU$ 46,739
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1044
US
Omega Constellation 14393 Very good Gold/Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Constellation Pie Pan Cal. 561 1962
AU$ 3,646
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
100
DE
IWC Big Pilot IW502617 Very good Rose gold 46mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Saint Exupery 46mm 18K Rose...
AU$ 38,758
Verified Dealer
589
US
Breguet Reine de Naples 9807ST/5W/J50 New Steel 32.7mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples
AU$ 16,278
Verified Dealer
49
CH
Rolex Cellini Dual Time 50529 Very good White gold 39mm Automatic Australia, Bondi Junction
TOP
Rolex Cellini Dual Time
AU$ 16,900
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116618LB Unworn Yellow gold 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$ 48,640
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25940SK.OO.D002CA.01 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
AU$ 20,473
Verified Dealer
60
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26400SO.OO.A054CA.01 Good Steel 44mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet ロイヤルオーク オフショア クロノグラフ 26400SO.OO.A054CA.01
AU$ 40,682
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1180
JP
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex GMT-Master II "Batman" 2018
AU$ 21,630
Verified Dealer
17
AU
IWC Portuguese Tourbillon IW5463-01 Very good White gold 43mm Manual winding
TOP
IWC Portugieser Tourbillon Hand-Wound IW5463-01
AU$ 40,887
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1044
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26315ST.OO.1256ST.02 Unworn Steel 38mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet 26315ST.OO.1256ST.02 Royal Oak Chronograph...
AU$ 43,740
Verified Dealer
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179159 Very good White gold 26mm Automatic
Rolex ladies 18k white gold President Maker: Rolex Model:...
AU$ 18,871
Verified Dealer
142
US
Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra-Thin 545.OX.2210.LR New Rose gold 45mm Manual winding
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion 42 ultra-thin
AU$ 23,258
Verified Dealer
49
CH
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26401RO.OO.A087CA.01 Very good Rose gold 44mm Automatic Australia, surfers paradise
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
AU$ 84,999
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 23,990
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Breitling 2212 Very good Steel 38mm Manual winding
TOP
Breitling Sprint Surfboard Dial Valjoux 7734 1968
AU$ 4,309
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
100
DE
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326138 Very good Yellow gold 42mm Automatic
Rolex スカイドゥエラー 326138
AU$ 41,638
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1180
JP
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Daytona Zenith Full Set U serial 1998 16520
AU$ 41,200
Verified Dealer
17
AU
Vacheron Constantin Harmony 7810S/000G-B050 Very good Rose gold 37mm Automatic
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time 7810S/000G-B050
AU$ 37,962
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1044
US
Rolex Datejust 116233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 36 Sapphire Blue Index Dial Fluted Bezel Box Books
AU$ 13,061
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
100
US
Rolex Datejust 126303 Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex WITH DIAMONDS - DIAMONDS EVERYWHERE
AU$ 46,811
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
562
US
Breguet Classique 5140BA/12/9W6 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique 40
AU$ 17,054
Verified Dealer
49
CH
TAG Heuer Link Calibre 6 wat2111.ba0950 Good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, BEDFORDALE
TOP
TAG Heuer Link Calibre 6
AU$ 2,050
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Air King 116900 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Air King
AU$ 11,995
Verified Dealer
 
AU
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01 CAR2A5A.FT6044 New Titanium 45,5mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skeleton
AU$ 13,192
Verified Dealer
1594
ES
Rolex Lady-Datejust 78274 Good Steel 31mm Automatic
Rolex デイトジャスト 78274
AU$ 7,208
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1180
JP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun IW389103 Unworn Ceramic 44.5mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
IWC Top Gun Mojave Desert Pilot Chronograph 2020
AU$ 16,500
Verified Dealer
17
AU

Swiss Watches: World-Renowned Timepieces

Swiss watches are synonymous with precision and luxury. The most well-known names in the business, with few exceptions, all hail from this Alpine country. Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Breitling all represent tradition and high quality.


Everything to Know About Swiss Watches in This Article

  • Buying advice for Swiss-made watches
  • Watches in different price ranges
  • Manufacturers, collections, and models
  • History of the Swiss watch industry

Which Swiss Watch Should I Buy?

If you want to buy a Swiss watch, you have a wide range of options. The right way to find out which watch is best for you is to ask yourself the following question: How much do I want to spend?

A new, brand-name Swiss watch with a mechanical movement can cost as little as 1,000 euros. You can find watches from manufacturers such as Chronoswiss, Maurice Lacroix, Oris, and Raymond Weil in this price range. Some series from these manufacturers are more expensive, however. For example, Raymond Weil's Nabucco chronograph costs around 3,000 euros new with a titanium case. TAG Heuer and Tissot also have a large selection of watches available for less than 5,000 euros.

Rolex and Omega are probably the most well-known representatives of Swiss luxury watches. The legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional is available in many different variations for less than 5,000 euros. The version closest to the original Moonwatch chronograph, which you can find under reference number 311.30.42.30.01.005, costs around 3,500 euros and has a stainless steel case. The material certainly influences the price, as cases made of precious metals are much more expensive than those made of stainless steel.

An Omega diving watch from the Seamaster collection with a gold case costs around 15,000 euros. The Rolex Submariner without a date display and a stainless steel case costs around 6,500 euros new. You should be prepared to spend at least 23,000 euros for a yellow gold Submariner, and 25,000 euros for a Rolex Daytona.

Patek Philippe's Nautilus is one of the most sought-after and expensive stainless steel sports watches from Switzerland. Without any complications, the women's version costs 20,000 euros, and the men's 25,000 euros. With a white gold or platinum case, the price jumps to 140,000 euros. The Calatrava, also from Patek Philippe, is the definition of a classic, elegant dress watch. New, the most popular version costs around 15,000 euros.

If you decide to go with a watch from Breguet or Blancpain, expect prices over 100,000 euros. Cases made of precious metals, diamond-set cases and straps, and intricate complications such a tourbillon increase the value of such watches. The newcomer Hublot also has some watches in this price range. The futuristic MP-05 LaFerrari watch usually costs 200,000 euros. The version with a sapphire glass case is over double the price, costing more than 400,000 euros.


Watches: Iconic Exports

Watches are a defining part of Switzerland's cultural image. They're more iconic than the banks and the cheese; only chocolate ranked "more Swiss" than watches according to a survey of participants from 15 different countries.

About 30 million watches leave the production halls of this little Alpine country every year. The variety amongst these watches is impressive. They range from traditional gold watches with complications such as a:

  • Moon phase display
  • Perpetual calendar
  • Minute repeater
  • Double chronograph

to diving and pilot's watches. Some of the Swiss companies even produce high-tech smartwatches. Many of these watches function as status symbols, ignoring their actual intended functions. Many diving watches from the Seamaster and Submariner collections will never go underwater, and only a small number of the pilot's watches sold by IWC or Breitling are actually worn in the cockpit. These watches work equally well as a tool watch or a luxury lifestyle object.

There are also mass market affordable watches, such as the famous quartz-powered Swatch with its bright and colorful plastic case. There are now mechanical versions with a simple 51-piece movement. The typical Swatch looks somewhat cheap and is not taken seriously by many watch fans, but certain models have sold at high prices as vintage watches. Furthermore, the Swatch is significantly responsible for helping the Swiss watch industry survive the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s and 80s. The Swatch watch, trendy and colorful, broke Swiss watches out of their conservative, stuffy image and attracted a new target audience. Above all, young people were attracted to this bright and simple watch.

However, luxury watches are what people think of when they think of Swiss watches. Switzerland leads the world in watch exports if you don't rank by number of timepieces. While only about 2% of watches sold worldwide come from Switzerland, they are worth 60% of the total value.

Many well-known brands with long watchmaking traditions belong to the Swatch Group (market share: 18%) or to luxury goods concerns like Richemont (market share: 16%) or Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH, market share: 5%). Rolex is the largest independent Swiss luxury watch manufacturer (market share: 12%). Their independent status greatly contributes to their outstanding reputation.


Overview of the Most Important Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers

Manufacturer Founding year Location of headquarters Parent group
Audemars Piguet 1875 Le Brassus Independent
Blancpain 1735 Le Brassus Swatch Group
Breguet 1775 L'Abbaye Swatch Group
Breitling 1884 Grenchen Independent
Chopard 1860 Geneva Independent
Hublot 1980 Nyon LVMH
IWC 1868 Schaffhausen Richemont
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1833 Le Sentier Richemont
Longines 1832 Saint-Imier Swatch Group
Omega 1848 Biel/Bienne Swatch Group
Patek Philippe 1851 Geneva Independent
Rolex 1905 Geneva Independent
TAG Heuer 1860 La Chaux-de-Fonds LVMH
Vacheron Constantin 1755 Plan-les-Ouates Richemont
Zenith 1865 Le Locle LVMH

Rolex

Rolex is number one amongst the large manufacturers. The Geneva-based manufacturer has been in business since 1905. Rolex produces some of the most famous and beloved watch models in the world, such as the Submariner, Daytona, and Datejust.

The Submariner is the definition of a diving watch, the Daytona is one of the most famous chronographs, and the Datejust embodies elegance. Rolex's pilot's watch is the Air King, and their GMT Master II displays a second time zone. With the invention of the perpetual rotor, Rolex significantly contributed to the breakthrough of the automatic watch in the 1930s. Every year, the manufacturer sells around 800,000 watches featuring their iconic five-point crown. Rolex doesn't publish any official sales numbers. However, since Rolex has their watches certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), we can calculate how many Rolex watches are produced based on the COSC's publications.


Omega

The most famous man to wear a Rolex is undoubtedly James Bond. He completes many of his missions with a Submariner on his wrist. However, the British secret agent switched to Omega, a member of the Swatch Group, in 1995. Omega plays a central role in the Swatch Group's company strategy, as they see the brand as a strong competitor for Rolex. Rolex isn't the only manufacturer with legendary watch models; Omega has their own to be proud of. The Seamaster is a diving watch collection that's been in production since 1948. The famous French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau wore a Seamaster. Another iconic Omega watch is the Speedmaster Professional. "Speedy," as it's nicknamed by fans, was the official NASA watch on the Apollo missions, making it the first watch on the Moon in 1969. The so-called Moonwatch is available today, almost unchanged from the original version, but now features a modern Co-Axial caliber and comes in many special limited editions. There's also the De Ville series, which showcases Omega's classic side.


International Watch Company (IWC)

IWC, based in Schaffhausen, also offers elegant Swiss watches, such as the Portugieser. They're even more famous for their pilot's watches, though; their Big Pilot watch and the Mark series are considered excellent pilot's watches. The Mark 11 was the official service watch of Royal Air Force pilots for decades.


Breitling

Breitling is a strong competitor for IWC in the realm of pilot's watches. Breitling's Navitimer is considered one of the most important pilot's watches. The watch, which was introduced in 1952, has a special slide rule function. It has two logarithmic scales on the dial which you can turn to perform various calculations, such as distance and fuel consumption. Breitling also offers powerful diving watches with their Superocean series and some versions of the Avenger. Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Breitling are all considered to be on the same level, thus Breitling also has a conservative, elegant line as well, the Transocean. Besides mechanical timepieces, Breitling also offers quartz watches with refined technology, such as the Emergency with an integrated distress beacon.


Patek Philippe

One rung higher on the luxury watch ladder is Patek Philippe. It's clear from the start that this manufacturer is a bit different: Most of their cases are made of solid gold. In the Swiss watch industry, steel cases are used around 50% of the time. Precious metals like gold and platinum are only used around 2% of the time. Patek's Calatrava collection is a symbol of the company and the epitome of a stylish dress watch. This watch collection debuted in 1932 and was inspired by the Bauhaus art movement. Patek Philippe's Nautilus also has a special position in their portfolio. It's a stainless steel sports watch waterproof to 120 m (12 bar) – all unusual qualities for a Patek watch. The company has a long history of watchmaking. The independent family business has existed under this name since 1851. Until 2009, Patek Philippe used the Geneva Seal as a symbol of high Swiss quality. Now, the company uses their own seal with even stricter standards.


Blancpain, Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre

Blancpain and Breguet have been in business even longer. Today, they're both members of the Swatch Group. Abraham-Louis Breguet founded his company in 1775. He's responsible for countless important watchmaking inventions, such as the tourbillon. Blancpain has been around since 1735. Their most famous series is the Fifty Fathoms diving watch. Brands such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Blancpain, are representative of the conservative values of the Swiss watch industry. This applies to Jaeger-LeCoultre as well. This manufacturer has been producing high-quality watches since 1833. Their Reverso is one of the most popular rectangular watches.


Hublot

Hublot takes an entirely different approach. This relatively new manufacturer plays the role of the rebel most excellently. One distinctive Hublot feature is their unusual, square-edged porthole design, which occasionally borders on the bizarre. Legibility isn't Hublot's main concern. Instead, they show a preference for the use of unusual materials such as ceramic or titanium. With their patented Magic Gold alloy, Hublot broke new ground. Magic Gold is an incredibly scratch-resistant alloy composed of gold and ceramic. Magic Gold comes quite close to the ideal, everlasting case material. Hublot was founded in 1980. In 2005, under new leadership, they introduced the Big Bang series. The Big Bang caused a sharp increase in sales, catapulting this Genevan manufacturer into the same league as other well-known Swiss brands. The somewhat calmer Hublot alternative to the Big Bang is the Classic Fusion.


Audemars Piguet

Hublot is not without precedent. Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, introduced in 1972, as well as their Royal Oak Offshore, inspired Hublot's designs. The wide bezel with visible screws was directly influenced by the Royal Oak.


TAG Heuer

When it comes to TAG Heuer, it's all about timing. They patented their first stopwatch mechanism in 1882. TAG Heuer has dedicated themselves to the art of racing ever since – it's not a coincidence that their most well-known series is called the Carrera. Even the rectangularMonaco is a legend amongst racing watches. The actor Steve McQueen wore a Monaco in the film Le Mans.


Tissot

Watches from TAG Heuer are in a moderate price range. This applies to Tissot as well. Aside from classic mechanical watches, Tissot offers modern quartz watches as well. The T-Touch Expert Solar is solar powered. It's a multi-function watch with background lighting, a second time zone display, chronograph function, timer, alarm, compass, barometer function, and many other extras. The watch has a titanium case and is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar). The T-Touch Expert Solar has features that only an electric-powered watch can offer. Such an array of functions is impossible for a mechanical watch, especially one that costs less than 1,000 euros.

Other manufacturers also combine Swiss quality with moderate prices, such as Longines, Raymond Weil, or Maurice Lacroix. These companies often use calibers from the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, which is also based in Switzerland. The Swiss company Sellita also offers movements that can be found in the watches of many famous manufacturers. Only a few brands produce their own calibers, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. !Zenith has some of the most important automatic chronograph movements in watch history. The fast-paced El Primero caused a stir when it was released in 1969; it even had a watch named after it.


Top 10 Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers According to Production Numbers

Manufacturer Number of watches produced per year
Rolex 800,000
Omega 700,000
Breitling 170,000
IWC 100,000
Chopard 80,000
Jaeger-LeCoultre 75,000
Patek Philippe 60,000
Hublot 40,000
Audemars Piguet 37,000
Zenith 35,000

Post-Quartz Crisis Revival

The Swiss watch industry began in the 18th century. Up until the second half of the 19th century, Switzerland was considered a place where it was easy to produce watches affordably. IWC, with roots in the United States, based their business model on this concept.

After many successful years, the industry suffered in the 1970s and 80s during the Quartz Crisis. Cheap, mass-produced quartz watches produced in Asia endangered traditional Swiss production. Some manufacturers disappeared forever and many workers lost their jobs. Yet surprisingly, Swiss watches later experienced a renaissance which has lasted to this day. The fascination with the technical genius that goes into mechanical watches enthralls watch lovers all over the world. Many manufacturers with longer histories are no longer independent, however. Merging with a large concern, such as the Swatch Group, Richemont, or LVMH, saved many of these manufacturers from going under.

Unexpected competition has popped up since then. The German town of Glashütte was trapped behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany until 1990. Watches have been produced in Glashütte since the mid-19th century, but they were far from being luxury watches when Germany was divided. Now, other manufacturers such as A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original have established themselves in Glashütte, making Glashütte watches true competition for Swiss manufacturers.


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