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Tudor Glamour Double Date 57100-0018 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Burlingame
TOP
Tudor Glamour Double-Date Stainless Steel Automatic Black...
$2,879
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4130
US
Zenith 03.A384.400/21.C815 New Steel 37mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Zenith 03.A384.400/21.C815 - 03.A384.400/21.C815
$6,630
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4130
US
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 1625 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
TOP
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 1625 Cal. 1575 Champagne 1972...
$5,550
Professional dealer
153
US
Hublot Classic Fusion 520.CM.7170.CM Unworn Ceramic 45mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic Black Ceramic Blue Dial Watch...
$12,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
338
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Westchester
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Glossy Gilt Dial
$35,000
Professional dealer
7
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex 2021 Day-Date 40 NEW Silver Roman Dial President 228238
$38,995
Professional dealer
515
US
Rolex GMT-Master 16753 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Coral Gables
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master 1675/3 Eye of the Tiger - Nipple Dial - Ghost...
$13,989
Professional dealer
95
US
Rolex Day-Date 36 128238 New Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 36
$35,500
Professional dealer
32
US
Rolex Datejust 16234 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex DateJust 36 Original Rare Silver Jubilee Diamond Box...
$6,891
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Breitling Transocean Chronograph AB015212/G724/154A Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Manassas
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chronograph B01 Full Set
$5,489
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Air King Precision 14000M New Steel 34mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex Air-King, unworn, still in plastic, full kit
$5,345
Professional dealer
47
US
Hublot Big Bang Aero Bang 311.SM.1170.GR Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Frisco
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Aero
$10,295
Professional dealer
17
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938 New Yellow gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller Champagne 18K Gold New Style Card/Box/Papers...
$52,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
164
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.30.42.30.01.006 New Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, Virginia, Williamsburg
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch - Sapphire - 2021 - Omega Warranty
$6,150
Professional dealer
600
US
Rolex Datejust 126300-0015 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex 2021 Datejust 41 White Roman Dial Oyster NEW 126300
$8,975
Professional dealer
515
US
Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126610LN Submariner Date Stainless Steel Automatic New 41mm
$14,280
Professional dealer
85
US
Rolex Datejust 126231 New Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Datejust
$15,500
Professional dealer
32
US
Rolex Day-Date 36 18038 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Day Date President 18K Box Booklets Green Vignette VVS...
$17,461
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15500ST.OO.1220ST.02 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Steel 41mm Slate Grey Dial
$38,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
85
US
Rolex Explorer 1016 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex "Pumpkin" Explorer 1016, 100% Original
$24,642
Professional dealer
47
US
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 402.QU.0113.WR Very good Carbon 45mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Frisco
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Unico Special Edition Carbon Fiber Ferrari
$16,985
Professional dealer
17
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 2021 Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA James Cameron Deep Blue...
$16,749
Free shipping
Professional dealer
164
US
TAG Heuer Carrera CBN2A1B.BA0643 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Oradell
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph - Calibre Heuer 02 - Black
$4,275
Professional dealer
600
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR New Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex 2021 Everose GMT Master II Rootbeer NEW 126711 CHNR
$20,495
Professional dealer
515
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126600 Red Sea-Dweller 43mm 50th Anniversary Steel MK2
$15,200
Professional dealer
85
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 278274 New Steel 31mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust
$11,000
Professional dealer
32
US
Rolex Datejust 16013 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 36 Datejust Box Booklets Black Leather Onyx Dial...
$6,291
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 42mm Stainless Steel White Index Dial
$22,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
85
US
Frederique Constant Manufacture FC-760DG4H9 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Frederique Constant Solid 18k Rose Gold Manufacture Flyback...
$7,445
Professional dealer
47
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre 146.8.83 Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, Texas, Frisco
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Geographic Men's Watch...
$7,425
Professional dealer
17
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.90.42.20.01.001 New Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Omega 2021 Seamaster Diver 300M Titanium James Bond 007 No...
$10,250
Free shipping
Professional dealer
164
US
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph IW379503 Good Bronze 44mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
IWC : Aquatimer Chronograph Expedition Charles Darwin :...
$5,980
Professional dealer
762
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 25860ST.OO.1110ST.04 Very good Steel 39mm Chronograph United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
$35,500
Professional dealer
13
US
Rolex Submariner Date 126613lb Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126613LB Submariner Date 41mm Blue Dial Two Tone 41MM
$17,888
Professional dealer
85
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 124200 New Steel 34mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34
$6,500
Professional dealer
32
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Date 6517 Very good Steel 26mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Women's Datejust Steel Pink Mother Of Pearl Diamond Dial...
$3,562
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 24.2040.400/27.R797 Very good Aluminum 42mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Oradell
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster - Black - 42mm- 36000 VpH
$5,250
Professional dealer
600
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 212.30.41.20.01.001 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Omega Seamaster MINT 007 Bond Automatic — Complete Set
$4,845
Professional dealer
47
US
IWC Big Pilot IW500901 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Frisco
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Men's Black Watch IW500901 Box and Papers
$8,345
Professional dealer
17
US
Hublot Super B 1926.1 Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Hublot Super B Flyback Chronograph Rubber Box/Papers/Card B...
$5,249
Free shipping
Professional dealer
164
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (submodel) Q3288120 New Steel 40.1mm Quartz United States of America, Florida, Boca Raton
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso One
$5,295
Free shipping
Professional dealer
88
US
Breitling Top Time A23310121G1X1 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
TOP
Breitling Top Time Limited Edition Chronograph
$4,670
Professional dealer
13
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326235 Unworn Rose gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 326235 Sky-Dweller Rose Gold Rhodium/Gray Dial Oysterflex
$45,888
Professional dealer
85
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Submariner Vintage Stainless Steel Feet First Ref. 5513
$18,000
Professional dealer
14
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust 26 Box Booklets Factory Silver Jubilee Diamond...
$5,871
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970 J Unworn Yellow gold 36mm Manual winding United States of America, New York, Westchester
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
$105,000
Professional dealer
7
US
Breitling Bentley Flying B A28362 Very good Steel 38.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Breitling Bentley Flying B, Serviced by Breitling in 2021
$4,142
Professional dealer
47
US
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 51.2080.400/69.C494 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Chronograph Automatic Silver...
$6,829
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4130
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 New Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA Black Box/Papers/Card 126660
$14,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
164
US
Omega 3523.80.00 Good Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois, Hanover Park
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Day Date Triple Calendar BLUE 39mm...
$2,750
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
TOP
Rolex Milgauss Blue Dial 116400GV
$10,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
178
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126334 Stainless Steel White Roman Jubilee Band
$11,500
Professional dealer
85
US
Vacheron Constantin Historiques 37150 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Manual winding United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Date Calendar 18K...
$15,800
Professional dealer
14
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 6917 69173 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust 26 Box Papers Original Champagne Diamond 18K/SS...
$5,331
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5800/1A-001 Very good Steel 38.4mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Westchester County
Patek Philippe Nautilus
$104,225
Professional dealer
7
US
Ball Engineer II Magneto S NM3022C-N1CJ-BK Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Ball Engineer II Magneto S
$2,020
Professional dealer
47
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 New White gold 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 Stainless Steel Fluted / Jubilee / Dark...
$11,979
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4130
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW395001 Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Chronograph 2020 Box/Papers IW395001
$9,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
164
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 232.92.42.21.03.001 Good Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois, Hanover Park
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 42mm Blue titanium ceramic...
$4,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
TOP
Rolex Milgauss Black Dial "Green Crystal" 116400GV
$9,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
178
US
Rolex Submariner Date 126613LN Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126613LN Submariner Date 41mm Black Dial Two Tone 41MM
$16,888
Professional dealer
85
US
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Pembroke Pines
TOP
Rolex Datejust men’s steel gold Pie Pan silver dial jubilee ...
$4,990
Professional dealer
72
US
Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz 17013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Quartz United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz 36 Champagne Index Diamond And...
$4,891
Free shipping
Professional dealer
17
US
Rolex Milgauss 1019 Very good Steel 38.5mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Westchester County
Rolex Milgauss
$41,585
Professional dealer
7
US

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.


This page contains information about:


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.