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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26470OR.OO.A002CR.01 Unworn Rose gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 42mm Rose Gold
Php 2,085,227
Free shipping
Professional dealer
465
US
Breitling C71356 Very good Gold/Steel Quartz
TOP
Breitling Cockpit Lady Galactic Diamond Dial C71356
Php 230,177
Free shipping
Professional dealer
465
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5327G-001 New White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5327G
Php 3,641,888
Free shipping
Professional dealer
465
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 7200/50G-010 Very good White gold 34mm
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava New York 2017 Edition 7200/50g-010...
Php 1,683,684
Professional dealer
306
US
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz WAZ111A.BA0875 Very good Steel 41mm Quartz The Philippines, Antipolo City
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Quartz
Php 48,000
Private Seller
PH
Longines HydroConquest L3.690.4.53.6 Very good Steel 41mm Quartz The Philippines, Tarlac
Longines HydroConquest
Php 33,752
Private Seller
PH
Omega Seamaster DeVille 165.002 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic The Philippines, Cainta
Omega Seamaster Deville
Php 57,434
Private Seller
PH
Breitling Chronomat Colt A17313101F1A1 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic The Philippines, 1012
Breitling Chronomat Colt
Php 110,000
Private Seller
PH
Omega Constellation Quartz 123.20.27.60.02.001 Very good Gold/Steel 27mm Quartz The Philippines, Quezon City
Omega Constellation Quartz
Php 136,276
Private Seller
PH
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M WAY201A.BA0927 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic The Philippines, Davao city
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M
Php 80,000
Private Seller
PH
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW370603 Good 39mm Automatic The Philippines, Pasig City
IWC Fliegerchronograph
Php 167,330
Private Seller
PH
Breitling A53605 Good Steel 41mm Quartz The Philippines, Quezon City
Breitling Chrono Shark Quartz
Php 77,300
Private Seller
PH
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01 CAR2A1Z.FT6044 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic The Philippines, Muntinlupa
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01
Php 220,000
Private Seller
PH
Omega Constellation Day-Date 396.1202 Very good Steel 35mm Quartz The Philippines, Talisay City
Omega Constellation Day-Date
Php 54,136
Private Seller
PH
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic The Philippines, METRO MANILA
Rolex Milgauss GV
Php 428,026
Private Seller
PH
Omega De Ville Prestige 424.20.37.20.02.001 Very good Gold/Steel 36.8mm Automatic The Philippines, PasigCity
Omega 4242037202002001
Php 184,946
Private Seller
PH
Omega De Ville Prestige 424.20.37.20.02.001 Very good Gold/Steel 36.8mm Automatic The Philippines, PasigCity
Omega De Ville Prestige
Php 184,890
Private Seller
PH
Breguet Classique Complications 5317BR/12/9V6 New Rose gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Tourbillon, rose gold, 5-days power-reserve...
Php 4,346,783
Professional dealer
55
CH
IWC Ingenieur AMG IW322703 Very good Titanium 42mm Automatic
IWC Ingenieur AMG Titan Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. IW322703
Php 170,166

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Breitling Super Avenger A1337011/A562 Very good Steel 48.4mm Automatic The Philippines, pangasinan
Breitling Super Avenger
Php 156,711
Private Seller
PH
Frederique Constant Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat FC-310WDHB3BD6B New Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Double Heart Beat Ladies Automatic...
Php 132,550
Free shipping
Professional dealer
66
FR
Vacheron Constantin Vacheron & Constantin Very good Yellow gold 27mm Manual winding
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Cal 1014 vintage 18K Gold 1973
Php 119,355
Professional dealer
124
HU
Piaget Polo S GOA41006 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Piaget Polo S Chronograph Automatic
Php 504,451
Professional dealer
80
US
Frederique Constant Manufacture Worldtimer FC-718WM4H6 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Worldtimer Automatic FC-718WM4H6
Php 101,382
Professional dealer
376
US
Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser 2050-131/03 Very good White gold 45mm Manual winding
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser 2050-131/03
Php 2,359,845
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1326
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 145.022 Good Steel 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Vintage Speedmaster Professional 145.022-68 ST Transitio...
Php 490,676
Professional dealer
14
CH
Breguet Classique 5140BA/12/9W6 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique, yellow gold, extra-thin automatic movement
Php 709,679
Professional dealer
55
CH
Vacheron Constantin Historiques 49003 Very good Yellow gold 38mm Automatic
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Chronograph 18K Gold Automatik...
Php 468,702

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Maurice Lacroix Pontos 68775 Good Steel 38mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Automatik Saphirglas Römisch
Php 29,555
Professional dealer
178
DE
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 585.NX.891L.NX.1204 Very good Titanium 33mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium Light Blue Bracelet Automatic...
Php 325,405
Free shipping
Professional dealer
861
NL
Chopard L.U.C 161934-5001 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard L.U.C. Lunar Twin
Php 770,667
Professional dealer
113
CH
Breguet Classique Complications 5317pt/12/9v6 Very good Platinum 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Complications Platinium Tourbillon
Php 4,328,777
Free shipping
Professional dealer
591
ES
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic FC-723NR3S6 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve Automatic FC-723NR3S6
Php 81,204
Professional dealer
376
US
Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa PFC124-0001401-B00002 New Rose gold 25.6mm Automatic
TOP
Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Kalparisma 18k Rose Gold Automatic...
Php 492,098
Professional dealer
854
US
Rolex Air King Precision 5500 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Air-King
Php 243,398
Professional dealer
14
CH
Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra-Thin 545.OX.2210.LR New Rose gold 45mm Manual winding
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion, ultra-thin, rose gold, manual wind...
Php 909,276
Professional dealer
55
CH
Rolex Milgauss 116400 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Milgauss Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
Php 403,024

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Eterna Kontiki 1291.78.51.1430 New Bronze 44mm Automatic
TOP
Eterna Kontiki Bronze Diver 44mm Limited 220/300
Php 200,616
Professional dealer
178
DE
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 511.CM.1110.VR.PIC12 Very good Ceramic 42mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Skull Bang Classic Fusion Limited Edition 100 Pieces -...
Php 397,053
Free shipping
Professional dealer
861
NL
Rolex Daytona 116508 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona - 116508 - Racing Dial - NOS MINT Stickers FULL...
Php 2,447,998
Professional dealer
596
IT
Vacheron Constantin Harmony 61201 Very good Yellow gold 23mm Quartz
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Harmony, Full Original Diamond Set, VC...
Php 1,124,397
Free shipping
Professional dealer
59
CH
Eberhard & Co. Tazio Nuvolari 31068 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Eberhard & Co. Tazio Nuvolari
Php 211,961
Professional dealer
96
ES
Girard Perregaux 8046 Very good Steel 32mm Automatic
TOP
Girard Perregaux Lady Chronograph Daimond - FULL SET -
Php 182,998
Professional dealer
231
PL
Tudor Black Bay 79220B Good Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Rose & Smiley full set
Php 179,637
Professional dealer
14
CH
Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra-Thin 515.NX.1270.LR New Titanium 45mm Manual winding
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion ultra-thin, 45mm, titanium, manual wind...
Php 426,916
Professional dealer
55
CH
Breitling Super Avenger A13370 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic
Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph Automatik Edelstahl...
Php 176,136

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 47192/000R-9352 New Rose gold 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Chrono
Php 1,725,185
Professional dealer
206
CH
Franck Muller Conquistador GPG 9900 SC DT GPG Very good Titanium 38,2mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Conquistador Titan - GPG 8900 SC DT
Php 283,610
Free shipping
Professional dealer
861
NL
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Q8102520 Unworn Rose gold 41.6mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time
Php 985,170
Professional dealer
32
BE
IWC Yacht Club 1811 Good White gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
IWC White Gold Blue Dial Yacht Club I
Php 317,138
Free shipping
Professional dealer
59
CH
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner "Hulk" UNWORN 2019
Php 1,451,834
Professional dealer
48
US
Longines La Grande Classique L4.684.4 Very good Steel 36.5mm Automatic
TOP
Longines Les Grande Classique Chronograph - FULL SET -
Php 94,790
Professional dealer
231
PL
Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945 90275-52-111-BA6A Unworn Rose gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Perpetual Calendar Equation...
Php 1,435,991
Professional dealer
14
CH
Breguet Héritage 5400BB/12/9V6 New White gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Héritage Chronograph, white gold,
Php 1,546,878
Professional dealer
55
CH
Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 A17320 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr...
Php 182,107

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970EP Very good Platinum 36mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph semi-gloss black...
Php 8,476,959
Free shipping
Professional dealer
27
UK
Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex 7880 Very good Steel 50mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex 36 x 50 mm- 7880 CC AT
Php 325,405
Free shipping
Professional dealer
861
NL
Baume & Mercier Capeland MOA10106 New Steel 44mm Automatic
Baume & Mercier Capeland
Php 250,771
Professional dealer
32
BE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (submodel) 250.5.11 Good Gold/Steel Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Date Mop
Php 200,700
Professional dealer
12
UK
Rolex Datejust 126300 New Steel 41mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 41mm Blue Roman Dial UNWORN 2020 New Style Card...
Php 501,990
Professional dealer
48
US
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5008 11B30 NABA New Steel 40.3mm Automatic
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MILSPEC 2020 Hodinkee Limited Edition...
Php 1,003,931
Professional dealer
34
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Batgirl 126710BLNR 2019 Box & Papers
Php 816,964
Professional dealer
 
US
Breitling NB0434E5/BE94 New Carbon 45mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Bentley GMT, chronograph, carbon case and dial,...
Php 798,389
Professional dealer
55
CH
Breitling Bentley Motors A25363 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic
Breitling Bentley Motors Chronograph Automatik Stahl Herren...
Php 241,814

Sold by Chrono24

DE

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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