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Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 542.ox.1181.lr.1704 New Rose gold Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic Black Dial Diamonds 18kt Rose...
$22,099
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
3189
US
Omega De Ville Prestige 424.10.40.20.02.002 New Steel 39.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial 39.5 mm Automatic Silver Dial...
$2,749
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
3189
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 220.12.41.21.02.003 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Golf Edition Co-Axial Master...
$3,879
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
3189
US
IWC Portofino Automatic IW356523 New Steel 40.0mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
IWC Portofino Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch - IW356523
$3,669
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
3189
US
Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
Rolex Submariner 41 Date - Box/Papers/Card 126610LN - New/Unworn
$14,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 6000G Very good White gold 37mm Automatic United States of America, New Hampshire
TOP
Patek Philippe 18k white gold Calatrava Maker: Model:...
$18,000
Verified Dealer
161
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.10.39.60.06.001 Unworn Steel 38.5mm Quartz United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, Like-New, 2 Year Warranty
$2,331
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex Day-Date II 218235 Very good Rose gold 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex Day-Date II 41mm Presidential Rose Gold, Chocolate ...
$45,750
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V41SCDTACBL New Rose gold Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Franck Muller V41 Sc Dt Ac Bl Franck Muller Vanguard Rose Gold
$15,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
135
US
Breguet Marine 5817ST/12/5V8 New Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Breguet Marine Big Date 5817st/12/5v8
$14,500
Verified Dealer
222
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
$98,500
Verified Dealer
5
US
IWC Big Pilot IW502703 Very good White gold 46mm Automatic United States of America, Alabama, Orlando
IWC Big Pilot 18K White Gold Le Petit Prince Calendar Watch
$31,963
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 145.022 69 ST Very good Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
Omega : Speedmaster 'Straight Line' Chronograph: 145.022 69 ST...
$17,940
Verified Dealer
653
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 Rhodium Diamond - Jubilee - 08/2020 -...
$12,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A Very good Steel 40.5mm Automatic United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Patek Philippe stainless steel Nautilus Maker: Rolex Model:...
$55,000
Verified Dealer
161
US
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M CAY111B.BA0927 New Steel 43mm Quartz United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Chronograph
$1,864
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex GMT-Master II "Batgirl" 126710BLNR 2019
$15,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V 45 CC DT YACHT AC BL Unworn Steel Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting V45 Diamonds aftermarket
$9,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
135
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Q1752440 Very good Rose gold 41.5mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Q1752440
$12,800
Verified Dealer
222
US
Patek Philippe Chronograph 1463 Very good Yellow gold 35.5mm Manual winding United States of America, New York, Armonk
Patek Philippe Chronograph
$133,000
Verified Dealer
5
US
Rolex Milgauss 116400 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
TOP
Rolex Milgauss Black Dial
$7,800
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
5
US
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 3343-126/92 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Ohio, Mason
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time Manufacture 42mm 3343-126/92 Black...
$3,599
Verified Dealer
1165
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph IW387903 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph Box/Papers/Card 2020 IW387903
$4,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Rolex stainless steel vintage 1977 Submariner Maker: Rolex...
$11,000
Verified Dealer
161
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Brown Nipple Dial Root Beer
$12,742
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex Submariner Date Hulk 116610LV DISCONTINUED GREEN DIAL
$19,550
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5067A-001 Unworn Steel 35.6mm Quartz United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Patek Philippe Ladies Aquanaut Stainless Steel 35.6mm ref....
$28,000
Verified Dealer
31
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5065J-001 Very good Yellow gold 38mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5065J-001
$58,000
Verified Dealer
222
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Westchester
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Glossy Gilt Dial
$31,000
Verified Dealer
5
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326933 Unworn Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 42mm 18k Yellow Gold & Stainless Steel...
$20,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
5
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 4820 Very good Yellow gold 25mm Quartz United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
Patek Philippe : Ladies Calatrava 'Tiffany' : 4820 : 18k...
$11,650
Verified Dealer
653
US
Jaquet-Droz Grande Seconde J007010240 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
Jaquet-Droz Grande Seconde Quantieme Box/Papers/Card
$5,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331ST Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New Hampshire
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak stainless steel Chronograph Maker: ...
$35,000
Verified Dealer
161
US
Rolex Oyster Precision 6694 Very good Steel 34mm Manual winding United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex 6694 Oysterdate Precision — 1 Year Warranty
$2,842
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex Submariner Date Hulk 116610LV DISCONTINUED GREEN DIAL &...
$18,750
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Daytona 6263 Very good Steel 37mm Manual winding United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Rolex Vintage Oyster Daytona Chronograph 6263 "Red" Steel
$75,000
Verified Dealer
31
US
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 4936G-001 Very good White gold 37mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Patek Philippe Complications Annual Calendar 4936G
$29,500
Verified Dealer
222
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 145.022 - 69 ST Very good Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, New York, Westchester
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
$8,500
Verified Dealer
5
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41mm Navy Blue Index Jubilee 126334
$11,685
Verified Dealer
771
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 124300 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex 124300 Green Dial Novelty 2020 Oyster Perpetual 41 new...
$10,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
67
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 212.32.41.20.04.001 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Commander's Watch James Bond 007...
$5,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Breitling Navitimer 806 Very good Steel 40mm Manual winding United States of America, New Hampshire
TOP
Breitling stainless steel vintage 1960's Navitimer Chronograph...
$6,800
Verified Dealer
161
US
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz WAU1113.BA0858 Very good Steel 42mmmm Quartz United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
TAG Heuer Formula 1
$742
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex Submariner Date Hulk 116610LV DISCONTINUED Green Bezel...
$19,150
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Rolex Daytona Ceramic Bezel Black Dial Stainless Steel 40mm...
$26,600
Verified Dealer
31
US
Hublot King Power 703.CI.1129.NR.USB12 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Hublot King Power Usain Bolt 703.CI.1129.NR.USB12
$13,700
Verified Dealer
222
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 570G Very good White gold 35.5mm Manual winding United States of America, New York, Westchester
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref 570
$35,500
Verified Dealer
5
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.10.42.21.03.004 New Steel Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Golf Edition
$4,770
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603 Very good Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Two toned 126603
$17,499
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
67
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 New White gold 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 Blue Index - Jubilee - October 2020 -...
$11,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Patek Philippe Complications (submodel) 5015J Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Patek Philippe 18k yellow gold Moonphase Power Reserve Maker: ...
$22,000
Verified Dealer
161
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179174 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex Datejust, Rolex Diamonds, Rolex Warranty
$6,249
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 SD43 Red Letter ( 2 bands )
$15,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16618 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Rolex Submariner Date Blue Dial Yellow Gold 40mm ref. 16618
$25,500
Verified Dealer
31
US
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 86020/000R-9239 New Red gold 42.5mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Bi-Retrograde Day & Date...
$35,500
Verified Dealer
222
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.30.42.30.01.005 Unworn Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, New Jersey, Englewood
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch - 311.30.42.30.01.005
$4,500
Verified Dealer
18
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.30.42.30.99.002 New Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Omega Moonwatch Apollo17 311.30.42.30.99.002 Limited Edition...
$6,135
Verified Dealer
771
US
Rolex Day-Date II 218238 Very good Yellow gold 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex 218238 Day-Date II Matt Black Dial Yellow Gold
$42,499
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
67
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603 New Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, Beverly Hills
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller - September 2020 - New Style Card/Box/Papers...
$17,250
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
89
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, New Hampshire
TOP
Rolex stainless steel Sky-Dweller 9001 Maker: Rolex Model:...
$19,500
Verified Dealer
161
US
Breitling Navitimer A26322 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Breitling 43mm 125th Anniversary Navitimer
$4,442
Verified Dealer
13
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, West Palm Beach
Rolex Submariner Date Hulk 116610LV DISCONTINUED Green Bezel...
$17,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116655 Unworn Rose gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 EverRose Gold 40mm ref. 116655
$26,500
Verified Dealer
31
US
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 86020/000G-9508 New White gold 42.5mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Bi-Retrograde Day & Date...
$35,500
Verified Dealer
222
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.


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