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Patek Philippe World Time 5230R-001 Unworn Rose gold 38.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe World Time Complications New
AU$ 60,294
Verified Dealer
108
ES
Patek Philippe Gondolo 5024/1J-001 Very good Yellow gold 38mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe Gondolo
AU$ 20,159
Verified Dealer
84
CZ
Zenith A3736 Very good Steel 40mm Manual winding
TOP
Zenith subsea black panda ultra rare
AU$ 18,051
Verified Dealer
43
NL
Rolex Day-Date 36 118139 New White gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex 118139 Day-Date 36
AU$ 35,487
Verified Dealer
19
HK
Rolex Datejust 126300 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Datejust 41 Blue Jan 2020 UNWORN
AU$ 12,600
Verified Dealer
9
AU
Rolex Datejust 16238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Lapis Lazuli 16238
AU$ 40,315
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
504
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR-001 Very good Gold/Steel 40.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus
AU$ 130,389
Verified Dealer
44
US
Rolex Pearlmaster 81208 New Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 34
AU$ 37,830
Verified Dealer
45
CH
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Ceramic Bezel White Dial 116500LN
AU$ 37,636
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
116
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR-001 Unworn Gold/Steel 40.5mm Automatic
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR Unworn
AU$ 132,638
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
102
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970E Very good Platinum 36mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar Chronogr...
AU$ 200,643
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
822
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 CV2A12 Good Steel 43mm Automatic Australia, Melbourne
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16
AU$ 2,500
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Daytona 4/16 APH dial
AU$ 39,000
Verified Dealer
9
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 16713LN Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II from 2001 B+P NEW ROLEX SERVICE
AU$ 23,366
Verified Dealer
806
NL
Breguet Classique Complications 5335br/42/9w6 Unworn Rose gold Manual winding
TOP
Breguet Classique Complications
AU$ 104,545
Verified Dealer
44
US
Breguet Classique Complications 5317BR/12/9V6 New Rose gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Tourbillon 39
AU$ 131,496
Verified Dealer
45
CH
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3919J Very good Yellow gold 33mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava 18 K Yellow Gold Manual
AU$ 13,561
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
205
RO
Universal Genève Universal Geneve Unworn White gold 15mm Manual winding
TOP
Universal Genève 14K (0.585) White Gold Large Diamonds (CT WT...
AU$ 3,170
Verified Dealer
34
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5522A-001 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot's "York" Limited Edition 5522A-001
AU$ 71,843
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
822
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea D-Blue UNWORN 2019
AU$ 28,934
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
101
UK
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
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26470IO.OO.A006CA.01 Unworn Titanium 42mm Automatic Australia, Naremburn
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph GHOST mint
AU$ 38,500
Verified Dealer
9
AU
Vacheron Constantin 6413 Very good Rose gold Manual winding
TOP
Vacheron Constantin 6413
AU$ 5,498
Verified Dealer
182
IT
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116681 Very good Gold/Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116681 & Box 2014 Rose Gold
AU$ 30,238
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
415
ES
Hublot King Power 771.CI.1170.RX New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot King Power 48
AU$ 29,398
Verified Dealer
45
CH
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 3346-126/91 New Rose gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time Automatic Silver Sunray Dial Folding...
AU$ 14,854
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
500
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3919 Unworn Yellow gold 33mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava
AU$ 12,827
Verified Dealer
28
DE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980R-001 Very good Rose gold 40.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph 5980R-001
AU$ 128,716
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
822
US
Patek Philippe Gondolo 5111J-001 Very good Yellow gold 30mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe Gondolo 5111J-001 Full Service by Patek Sept...
AU$ 24,799
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
101
UK
H.Moser & Cie. Henry Double Hairspring 5324-0201 Very good White gold 38.2mm Manual winding Australia, Trigg
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. Swiss Alps Midnight Blue Dial
AU$ 25,500
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Lady-Datejust 279165 New Rose gold 28mm Automatic Australia, Naremburn
Rolex Lady-Datejust ALL OFFERS CONSIDERED
AU$ 33,000
Verified Dealer
9
AU
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5976/1G New White gold 44mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 40 Anniversary Sealed
Price on request
Verified Dealer
182
IT
Rolex Datejust 116233 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 Black MOP Custom Diamond Wach 116233
AU$ 26,764
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
460
US
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti 341.SL.5190.LR.1901 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti 41
AU$ 31,130
Verified Dealer
45
CH
H.Moser & Cie. Endeavour 1341-0500 New Titanium 40.80mm Manual winding
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar, Titanium, Black Dial
AU$ 38,272
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
500
US
Hublot Big Bang 465.SE.2010.RW.1204 New Steel 39mm Automatic
Hublot Big Bang One Click
AU$ 17,139
Verified Dealer
459
IT
Rolex Day-Date II 218206 Very good Platinum 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day-Date II 218206
AU$ 68,498
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
822
US
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Black Bay GMT Pepsi M79830RB Leather UNWORN
AU$ 6,926
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
101
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179174 Good 26mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
AU$ 7,429
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Explorer II 1655 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Explorer II
AU$ 34,320
Verified Dealer
9
AU
TAG Heuer Monaco CAW211R.FC6401 New Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco
AU$ 7,697
Verified Dealer
182
IT
Rolex Bubble Back 6084 Fair Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Bubble Back 6084 Bubbleback Oyster Perpetual
AU$ 4,511
Verified Dealer
46
US
Breguet Classique 8788BR/29/986 DD00 New Rose gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique 36
AU$ 34,592
Verified Dealer
45
CH
Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Manufacture 329-10 New Platinum 43mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Manufacture 43mm - Limited Edition
AU$ 50,148
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
500
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 44mm w/ 25.83 CTs DIAMONDS White Dial
AU$ 66,825
Verified Dealer
36
US
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-001 Very good White gold 39mm Manual winding
TOP
Patek Philippe Complications Chronograph 5170G-001
AU$ 81,880
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
822
US
Breguet Classique 5327ba/1e/9v6 Very good Yellow gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Perpetual Calendar
AU$ 62,859
Verified Dealer
66
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A-001 Very good Steel 40.5mm Automatic Australia, 2904
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus
AU$ 89,750
Private Seller
 
AU
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01 Very good Rose gold 41mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
AU$ 96,000
Verified Dealer
9
AU
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3710 New Steel
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3710 Sealed
AU$ 155,774
Verified Dealer
182
IT
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5212A-001 New Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, SYDNEY
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava Weekly Calendar
AU$ 67,500
Verified Dealer
11
AU
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti 361.CO.1110.LR.1906 New Ceramic 38mm Quartz
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti 38
AU$ 19,010
Verified Dealer
45
CH
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB Good Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Surfers Paradise QLD
Tudor Black Bay GMT
AU$ 4,790
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.32.42.30.04.001 Very good Steel 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch - Full Set - Alaska
AU$ 23,458
Verified Dealer
175
DE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001
AU$ 113,661
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
822
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69178 Very good Yellow gold 26mm
TOP
Rolex Ladies 18K Gold President- Green Vignette Diamond Dial -...
AU$ 11,032
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
185
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 116713LN Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$ 18,500
Private Seller
 
AU
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo 2019 unworn
AU$ 62,500
Verified Dealer
AU
Tudor Black Bay GMT M79830RB New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Black Bay GMT
AU$ 6,964
Verified Dealer
182
IT
Rolex Daytona 116515ln New Rose gold 40mm Automatic Australia, SYDNEY
TOP
Rolex Daytona Rose Gold Chocolate Oysterflex
AU$ 49,990
Verified Dealer
11
AU
Rolex Datejust 116188 New Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36
AU$ 32,861
Verified Dealer
45
CH
Tudor Black Bay M79230R-0012 New Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Surfers Paradise QLD
Tudor Black Bay
AU$ 4,199
Verified Dealer
 
AU
Tudor Submariner 9411/0 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Submariner Snowflake
AU$ 18,597
Verified Dealer
204
UK
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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.


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