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Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronographe A133131A1G1W1 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling SUPEROCEAN HERITAGE II CHRONOGRAPH 44 Ocean Conservancy
$6,474
Verified Dealer
457
DE
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime AB0510U4/BB62 New Steel Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime 46mm - AB0510U4/BB6
$5,939
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
2323
US
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield 42000CR-0001 New Ceramic 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Black Dial Black Rubber Men's...
$3,589
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
2323
US
Omega De Ville Hour Vision 433.33.41.21.03.001 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Omega De Ville Hour Vision Co-Axial Master Chronometer 41 mm...
$5,099
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
2323
US
IWC Portuguese Chronograph IW390405 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Portuguese Chronograph Flyback Pink Gold
$14,719
Verified Dealer
17
CA
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.30.42.30.01.005 New Steel 42mm Manual winding United States of America, Florida
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch New 2020
$3,890
Verified Dealer
62
SE
Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Pembroke Pines
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Reduced automatic chronograph
$1,899
Verified Dealer
 
US
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH 03.2040.400/69.C494 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Oradell
TOP
Zenith El Primero - Chronomaster - 42mm - 36'000 VpH
$5,695
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15500ST.OO.1220ST.03 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding 41mm Steel Black Dial
$24,775
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
163
US
Rolex Daytona 116515ln New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Daytona
$31,299
Verified Dealer
23
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116500LN NEW 2019
$21,999
Verified Dealer
15
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400ST.OO.1220ST.02 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Arlington
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm White Dial K Serial [Unworn/Sea...
$27,995
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
113
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01 Unworn Rose gold 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph - 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01
$57,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
7
US
Rolex Milgauss 116400 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Troy
TOP
Rolex Milgauss ~full set ~Mint condition
$7,395
Verified Dealer
27
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.32.42.20.04.001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Florida
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M White Dial Rubber
$3,699
Verified Dealer
62
SE
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Pembroke Pines
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 steel gold no holes
$4,990
Verified Dealer
 
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 - 2020 - Omega Warranty
$5,195
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
Rolex Datejust 16203 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Plantation
TOP
Rolex Datejust
$5,995
Verified Dealer
21
US
Rolex Daytona 116520 New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Daytona
$25,500
Verified Dealer
23
US
Richard Mille RM 011 RM011 Midnight Fire Very good Carbon Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011 Midnight Fire
$173,000
Verified Dealer
15
US
Rolex Datejust II 116334 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Arlington
TOP
Rolex Datejust II Blue Roman NOS [Unworn/Full Stickers]
$9,995
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
113
US
Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph 5930G-010 Unworn White gold 39.5mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph - 5930G-010
$54,300
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
7
US
Breguet Marine 5817ST/12/5V8 New Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Breguet Marine Big Date 5817st/12/5v8
$13,900
Verified Dealer
135
US
Rolex Datejust 1603 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust "Bamboo bezel" 1603
$5,566
Verified Dealer
14
FR
Breitling Superocean Chronograph Steelfish A13341C3/BD19 Good Steel Automatic United States of America, Tennesse, Franklin
TOP
Breitling Superocean Chronograph Steelfish
$3,330
Verified Dealer
10
US
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph IW387901 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Oradell
TOP
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph - IW387901 / 387901
$5,650
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
Baume & Mercier Clifton M0A10057 Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Connecticut, Danbury
TOP
Baume & Mercier Clifton
$2,400
Verified Dealer
35
US
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 226659 New White gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master 42
$30,275
Verified Dealer
23
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26180OR.OO.D101CR.01 Very good Rose gold Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ginza Limited...
$39,000
Verified Dealer
15
US
Rolex Datejust 126300 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Debary
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 Blue Index Dial Oyster Bracelet 126300 NEW
$7,945
Verified Dealer
411
US
Hublot 521.OX.7180.LR Very good Rose gold 45mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey - 521.OX.7180.LR
$16,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
7
US
Audemars Piguet Millenary 26150ST.OO.D084CU.01 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Audemars Piguet Millenary Maserati 26150ST.OO.D084CU.01
$8,500
Verified Dealer
135
US
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 511.CO.1780.RX Good Ceramic 45mm Automatic United States of America, Ohio, Mason
TOP
Hublot Fusion Ceramic King 18k Rose Gold 45mm 511.CO.1780.RX
$5,699
Verified Dealer
922
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 116713LN Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Complete 2018 B&P
$12,149
Verified Dealer
288
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.42.20.03.001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Williamsburg
TOP
Omega Seamaster 300M - 42mm - Blue Wave Dial - Omega 5yr Warranty
$4,250
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz CA1212-1 Good Steel 36mm Quartz United States of America, Nevada, Las Vegas
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz
$518
Verified Dealer
7
US
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Tudor Black Bay GMT
$4,250
Verified Dealer
23
US
Richard Mille RM 63 RM63-01 New Rose gold Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Richard Mille RM63-01
$90,000
Verified Dealer
15
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326139 Very good White gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller White Gold Leather Band 326139 Pre-Owned 2014
$25,445
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
230
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN New Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona - New Partial Stickers 2019 - LC EU -
$25,444
Verified Dealer
31
IT
Blancpain Villeret 1185-1127-55 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Blancpain Villeret Chronograph 1185-1127-55
$4,800
Verified Dealer
135
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.93.44.51.99.001 Good Ceramic 44mm Automatic United States of America, Ohio, Mason
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon GSOM 311.93.44.51.99.001
$6,999
Verified Dealer
922
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238 Black Motif 2018
$28,499
Verified Dealer
288
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.30.44.21.01.002 New Steel 43.5mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Oradell
TOP
Omega Planet Ocean 8900 43.5mm Orange - 5 Year Omega Warranty
$4,975
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
Rolex Datejust 126300 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 126300 White Roman Dial Oyster NEW
$7,495
Verified Dealer
411
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326135 New Rose gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Massapequa
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller
$33,500
Verified Dealer
23
US
Richard Mille RM 033 New Rose gold 45.7mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Richard Mille RM033
$70,000
Verified Dealer
15
US
Rolex Datejust 126333 Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41mm Champagne Diamond Jubilee Gold Steel 126333
$13,199
Verified Dealer
68
US
Breitling Navitimer World A24322 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic United States of America, Kentucky, Lexington
TOP
Breitling Navitimer World 46mm GMT
$4,025
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
19
US
Breguet Classique 5207BB/12/9V6 Very good White gold 39mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Aventura
Breguet Classique Retrograde Seconds 5207BB/12/9V6
$11,500
Verified Dealer
135
US
Breitling Avenger II A1338111/BC32-170A Good Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Ohio, Mason
TOP
Breitling Avenger II Chronograph Black 43mm Steel A13381
$2,699
Verified Dealer
922
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228235 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 228235 Green Anniversary NEW 2020
$35,699
Verified Dealer
288
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW377714 New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Williamsburg
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph - Petit Prince Blue - 377714
$4,850
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm Blue and Red Pepsi Jubilee Bracelet
$17,495
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
49
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 CAR2015.FC6321 Good Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Nevada, Las Vegas
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887
$8,218
Verified Dealer
7
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph 26550AU.OO.A002CA.01 Very good Carbon 44mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
$145,000
Verified Dealer
15
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 126660 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea D blue 2020 James Cameron 126660
$14,999
Verified Dealer
68
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26480TI.OO.A027CA.01 New Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Manhattan
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
$27,500
Verified Dealer
10
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
135
US
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time 3343-126/91 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Ohio, Mason
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Dual Time Manufacture 42mm 3343-126/91 Steel...
$3,549
Verified Dealer
922
US
Rolex Daytona 116508 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Totowa
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116508 (NEW) 2019 FULL STICKERS
$33,399
Verified Dealer
288
US
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5015-12B40-O52A New Titanium 45mm Automatic United States of America, New Jersey, Oradell
TOP
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms - 45mm - Titanium - Blue - New / 2020
$11,975
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
367
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 15407OR.OO.1220OR.01 New Rose gold 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openwork 41mm...
$127,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
49
US
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang 601.CI.1190.LR.BLF16 Good Ceramic 45mm Automatic United States of America, Nevada, Las Vegas
Hublot BRUCE LEE BE WATER - SPIRIT OF BIG BANG 45mm
$26,999
Verified 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.


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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