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TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar
S$ 97,386
Verified Dealer
633
NL
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava Tonneau 3579
S$ 11,598
Verified Dealer
9
FR
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Les Metiers d`Arts Skeleton Perpetual...
S$ 46,540
Verified Dealer
RU
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 4700/54 ceramic dial
S$ 22,191
Verified Dealer
9
IT
Omega Speedmaster Tokyo Olympics 2020 Green Gold
S$ 13,500
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Rolex Datejust II 126300 Rhodium Dial
S$ 10,052
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
ES
Richard Mille RM 52-01 Brown Sapphire Skull
S$ 3,570,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A Blue
S$ 100,101
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex サブマリーナ 5513
S$ 16,381
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Rolex Daytona 16523
S$ 43,847
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
UK
Rolex Air King
S$ 8,505
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
705
DE
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01
S$ 10,160
Verified Dealer
78
IT
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Black Dial
S$ 20,103
Verified Dealer
641
MC
Omega Seamaster 1948 70th Anniversary Small Seconds Unworn Set
S$ 8,850
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Patek Philippe Complications World Time 5110G
S$ 32,320
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
81
ES
TOP
Breitling Navitimer Chronograph Premier Stahl Automatik
S$ 2,290
Verified Dealer
123
SG
Rolex Explorer II Polar White 216570
S$ 12,859
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex サブマリーナ 5512
S$ 19,942
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Richard Mille RM 035-02 Rafael Nadal Automatic Quartz TZP
S$ 266,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Omega Seamaster Co-Axial Chronometer
S$ 4,098
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
705
DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 41mm Steel Black Dial on...
S$ 31,970
Verified Dealer
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Automatic
S$ 4,741
Verified Dealer
78
IT
IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Like New Full Service May 2019
S$ 26,900
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Rolex Daytona 116520 Full Set
S$ 27,681
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
81
ES
TOP
Breitling Aerospace Evo Night Mission Black Dial Titanium
S$ 3,850
Verified Dealer
123
SG
Rolex Submariner Date Green Hulk 116610LV
S$ 20,436
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex GMTマスター 16750
S$ 17,069
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Rolex Submariner Date
S$ 15,697
Verified Dealer
22
SE
Piaget Damenuhr Polo
S$ 6,495
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
705
DE
Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang - Chronograph - With Box And Papers...
S$ 20,722
Verified Dealer
641
MC
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M
S$ 1,693
Verified Dealer
78
IT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy...
S$ 12,500
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Tudor Black Bay "State of Qatar" with Box and Papers
S$ 11,624
Verified Dealer
230
UK
TOP
Zenith El Primero A787
S$ 4,000
Private Seller
 
SG
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 15407
S$ 120,955
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
IWC ダ・ヴィンチ クロノグラフ IW376402
S$ 17,691
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Tudor Heritage Black Bay GMT 79830RB
S$ 6,604
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
631
US
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116598RBOW Yellow Gold Rainbow
S$ 355,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Omega Speedmaster 329.32.44.51.06.001
S$ 7,887
Verified Dealer
1833
MC
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Automatic 43mm
S$ 2,709
Verified Dealer
78
IT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph Cermet Complete 2015
S$ 12,800
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean with Box and Papers
S$ 5,002
Verified Dealer
230
UK
Rolex Daytona ´´reserviert´´
S$ 40,207
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
DE
Rolex Datejust 41mm Wimbledon Dial Fluted Bezel 126334
S$ 14,807
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex エクスプローラー II 16550
S$ 12,820
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Price on request
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 116610LN
S$ 16,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
TOP
Breitling Galactic 44
S$ 2,950
Verified Dealer
123
SG
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Calibre 16 Automatik Chronograph 43mm
S$ 4,234
Verified Dealer
78
IT
Hublot Big Bang Unico WBC Yellow Gold Like New Aug 2019 Set
S$ 38,800
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Zenith Sporto Jumbo Vintage 1960
S$ 928
Verified Dealer
43
PL
Rolex Daytona 6264 Gold Paul Newman
S$ 1,159,816
Verified Dealer
1833
MC
Rolex Submariner No Date 114060
S$ 12,511
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex サブマリーナ 5513
S$ 21,936
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Date
S$ 3,474
Verified Dealer
US
Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson Asia Limited 50 pieces
S$ 322,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Tudor Black Shield with Box and Papers
S$ 5,181
Verified Dealer
230
UK
TAG Heuer Formula 1
S$ 1,412
Verified Dealer
78
IT
Omega Trilogy Speedmaster Like New March 2018 Set
S$ 9,500
Verified Dealer
9
SG
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm
S$ 27,111
Verified Dealer
 
US
Breitling Avenger V17311101B1W1
S$ 4,949
Verified Dealer
1833
MC
Rolex Submariner Date Two-Tone Black 116613LN
S$ 18,768
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Patek Philippe アクアノート 5066A-001
S$ 30,511
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
264
JP
Rolex Lady-Datejust
S$ 3,267
Verified Dealer
US
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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.