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The 21 Best Swiss Watch Brands

    The Swiss watch industry is known for its high-quality timepieces. From luxury brands such as Tag Heuer or Omega to mid-range models from Tissot, these watches are considered some of the finest in the world.

    The Swiss watch industry has a long history dating back to the 17th century. Today, Switzerland remains one of the leading manufacturers of luxury watches.

    In fact, they are considered the gold standard of timepieces. They are also known for their ability to innovate and create new technologies. A Swiss watch is defined by its high level of craftsmanship and innovation. This is why they are often called the ‘watchmakers’ of the world.

    However, the price tag often makes them out of reach for most consumers. If you want to get into the Swiss watch game without breaking the bank, check out our top picks below.

    Tag Heuer

    TAG Heuer is known for making luxury watches. But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, the Swiss watchmaker was originally called Heuer & Co., founded in 1860. And they weren’t even into cars.

    In 1926, TAG bought out fellow Swiss watchmaker Rado and renamed itself, TAG Heuer. From there, they began producing mechanical chronographs, and eventually diversified into other products such as cameras and automobiles.

    Today, TAG Heuer produces over 50 different models. Their watches are sold around the world, including in the United States, where they are distributed exclusively by Fossil Group.

    IWC

    The International Watch Company was founded in 1868 by Robert Aickman, a watchmaker from New York City. He wanted to make high-quality watches at affordable prices, hence the name “International.” In 1869, he opened his factory in Schaffhausen.

    In the beginning, the brand focused mostly on mechanical watches. But over time, they expanded into quartz movements and later digital ones. Today, IWC offers everything from classic watches like the Pilot to modern chronographs like the Quicksilver QE II.

    Breitling

    The Swiss watchmaker Breitling traces its roots back to 1884 in Saint- Imier, Switzerland. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf, he had a dream of creating a high-quality pocket watch. He partnered up with his brother-in-law, Paul Rudolph, and together they created the brand. Their first product was the “Hans Wilsdorf Pocket Watch,” which became known as the “Rudolph.” In 1899, the brothers-in-law parted ways and Hans Wilsdorf continued to develop the brand.

    In 1914, the company introduced the first automatic chronograph, called the Breitling Superocean. This was followed by the Breitling Navitimer, a chronograph with a rotating bezel, in 1929. In 1933, Breitling launched the first aviation model, the Breitling Air King.

    Today, Breitling produces a variety of products, including luxury watches, aviation instruments, dive watches, sports watches, and dress watches. They continue to innovate and push the boundaries of horology.

    Rolex

    The Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex boasts over 400 patents, which makes it unique among watchmakers. In fact, the company says it holds more than 400 patents worldwide, including ones related to materials, design, manufacturing processes, and mechanisms. This means that their watches are truly unlike anything else you’ll find on the market today.

    They’re known for being able to withstand extreme conditions like water resistance and temperature fluctuations. Their watches are also designed to be waterproof up to 30 meters underwater, making them ideal for diving. And because of their high-quality materials, they’re actually able to retain their value better than many of their competitors.

    In addition to their impressive durability, Rolex also offers a wide variety of models. You’ll find everything from dress watches to sports watches and dive watches, each with its own style and purpose.

    Zenith

    The French brand Zenith is one of those rare watches that have been around since the very beginning of horological history. Founded in 1865, it is one of the oldest watchmaking companies still operating today. And while many know Zenith for its high-quality mechanical watches, it actually produces much more than just watches. In fact, Zenith is arguably the world leader in the manufacture of quartz movement watches, thanks to their pioneering work in the field.

    And while Rolex is synonymous with luxury and status, Zenith is often associated with reliability and durability. This is because Zenith has been producing quality watches for over 150 years, and continues to do so to this day.

    Today, Zenith is still led by Jean-Claude Biver, whose passion for excellence has helped the company maintain its position as a leading manufacturer of both mechanical and quartz watches.

    Omega

    The name “Omega” is derived from Greek mythology. The word Omega meant “the end,” “last,” or “final.” This makes sense because the logo looks like the number 8. In 1848, Englishman Richard Hamilton designed the original OMEGA symbol, based on the eight points of the compass.

    Today, OMEGA is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury goods. They are known for their precision and innovation in mechanical movements and the quality of their craftsmanship.

    OMEGA is owned by the Swatch Group, a Swiss multinational corporation headquartered in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.

    Longines

    The Longines name dates back to 1878 when the watchmaking company was founded by Charles Longines. In 1882, he opened his first shop in Paris. He wanted to create watches that could withstand the rigors of riding horses.

    Today, Longines is still producing high-quality timepieces, but they’ve expanded into different areas like luxury cars, jewelry, and even fashion accessories. They are also a part of some major sporting events such as cycling, sailing, tennis, and golf.

    Patek Philippe

    The Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe is known worldwide for its luxury watches. And while it’s true that many people think about Rolex when thinking about high-end watches, it’s important to remember that Patek Philippe is just as reputable and well-known. In fact, Patek is arguably even better known than Rolex because of its long history and reputation.

    In 1839, brothers Adrien and Jean-Marc Philippe founded the brand. Their goal was simple: make pocket watches that were both beautiful and reliable. Over the next century, the brand grew into what we know today as Patek Philippe.

    Today, Patek continues to produce some of the best watches in the world. From the Nautilus to the Calatrava, Patek produces some of the most coveted and collectible wristwatches in the world.

    Tissot

    The Swiss brand Tissot is celebrating 150 years since it began making watches in Le Locle. Founded in 1853, the brand is known worldwide for its high-quality, reliable mechanical watches.

    The brand is owned by Swatch Group, one of the world’s leading luxury goods companies, and offers both men’s and women’s collections. In addition to the traditional collection, Tissot now offers watches designed especially for sports enthusiasts, including GPS watches and smartwatches.

    Glycine

    Founded in 1914, Glycine was highly favored by military and commercial aircraft pilots in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, it was even used by NASA to test the space suits worn during the Apollo missions.

    Nowadays, the brand is still owned by the original founder, Jean-Jacques Grosjean. He passed away in 1996, but his daughter continues to run the company today. The brand offers three collections: Classic, Sport, and Pilot. Each collection features different models with unique designs and materials.

    Classic watches include the Pilot Chronograph, Pilot Tourbillon, and Pilot Datejust. These models are made out of stainless steel and feature a black dial with white hands and markers. They retail for around $1,500.

    Sports watches include the Pilot Sports Automatic, Pilot Sports Quartz, and Pilot Sports Manual. These models are made of yellow gold and feature a blue dial with red hands and markers. They cost around $2,200.

    Mondaine

    The Swiss watchmaker known for its iconic railway clocks is getting into fashion. And it’s doing it with style. Mondaine launched the M-Watch collection earlier this month, with watches priced under $1,500. They’re designed to appeal to both men and women and include everything from dressy chronographs to sportier analog models.

    There are four lines within the collection, each with a different aesthetic. The most basic is called M-Core, which features stainless steel cases and black dials. M-Sport includes a red and white color scheme, while the M-Classic adds diamonds to the mix. Finally, M-Fashion is the priciest option, with a variety of colors and materials.

    Oris

    Based in the postcard-wearable Swiss village of Höllstätt, Oris was founded over a century ago by Hans Wilsdorf. A watchmaker by trade, he produced his first wristwatch in 1905.

    Over the next few decades, the company grew into one of Switzerland’s most successful luxury brands, producing some of the finest watches in the world. Today, Oris continues to build both beautiful and affordable watches, making it a favorite among collectors around the globe.

    The brand prides itself on being able to produce high-quality watches for less money than many competitors. This philosophy has led to a loyal following of customers who love their watches enough to wear them every day.

    Victorinox

    Victorinox watches are a classic choice for soldiers around the globe. They’re reliable, durable, and easy to use. If you’ve ever worn one while doing field exercises, you know what I’m talking about. But what sets them apart from others is the fact that they come from the same company that manufactures Swiss Army knives.

    The brand is known for making quality products that are both functional and fashionable. Their watches are no different. Though some people might think that they look like something out of the mid-20th century, they actually date back to the early 1900s. In fact, they were originally designed to help track the movements of horses during races.

    Today, there are three main models of Victorinox watches. There’s the Classic model, the Mini model, and the Tourbillon model. Each one has its advantages over the others, though it does depend on how much money you want to spend.

    Jaeger-LeCoultre

    The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer is one of the most prestigious names in the industry. Their watches are considered some of the best in the world. But what makes Jaeger-LeCoultre different from others is the fact that they’ve always had a strong connection with sport. In particular, hunting. And while they don’t make guns, they do make a range of watches.

    They’re known for complex horologic achievements, like an irreplicable clock that uses temperature to keep it running. They’re also known for making some of the most complicated mechanical movements ever seen, such as the Calibre 1887, which takes up to 30 hours to wind itself.

    While not all of their inventions were practical, the brand is still regarded as a veritable experimental laboratory. For example, the Tourbillon de L’Eau Perdue, which is a perpetual calendar water-powered watch, was designed in the early 20th century.

    If you love that old-world charm, you’ll probably find a timepiece or three in Jaeger LeCoultre’s collection you love.

    Piaget

    The Altiplano isn’t just the world’s thinnest movement; it’s also one of the most exclusive watches you’ll find anywhere. Piaget produces fewer than 2,500 models each year, making it one of the rarest brands in the industry. And while the Altiplano isn’t technically a “timepiece,” it does feature some of the most intricate components found in a watch.

    For example, the Altiplano uses a manual winding mechanism that requires the wearer to wind the watch himself. This is done by rotating a crown located at the 12 o’clock position. To do this, the wearer must push down on the crown which rotates counterclockwise. Once wound, the crown returns to its original position.

    The Altiplano’s case features a sapphire crystal cover that protects the internal workings of the movement. The dial itself is protected by a scratch-resistant acrylic glass shield. A white gold band completes the look.

    Baume et Mercier

    The brand was founded in 1830 in Switzerland’s Jura region. It wasn’t long before it became well known for its complicated mechanisms, including chronograph movements. In 1872, it began making simple watches, too, and over the next few decades, gained recognition for its innovative designs and technical prowess. By the 1930s, it had become one of the leading watchmakers in the world.

    Today, Baume et Mercier still makes some of the finest watches around and maintains a reputation for producing reliable timekeepers at affordable prices. Its watches continue to win numerous prizes and accolades, such as the prestigious “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve,” or the Geneva Watch Fair prize.

    Van Cleef & Arpels

    The Swiss watchmaker has been around since 1906. Its name came about because it was founded by brothers Jean-Louis and Louis Vacheron, whose father had worked for the French crown. Today, the renowned brand is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.

    They’re known for their distinctive diamond-studded “Crown”. And even though there are over 2,500 different models, the design hasn’t changed much over time.

    But despite the conservative style, the brand does take risks with some of its collections. For example, instead of just making a limited edition of one model, they produce hundreds of variations of each piece.

    And while you might think that a watchmaker needs to stick to what works, the opposite is true. In fact, the most successful ones experiment and try out new materials, like titanium.

    Blancpain

    The Swiss watchmaker Blancpain was founded in 1735. It is one of the oldest watch brands in the world — the company survived both World Wars without losing a single employee.

    Second, it’s a survivor because it invented the world’s first automatic watch. In fact, Blancpain was the first brand to introduce a self-winding movement. But the company didn’t stop there. They went on to develop the world’s first automatic chronograph. And they did so again with the introduction of the first tourbillon wristwatch.

    In addition to being a pioneer in horology, Blancpain is also well known for creating some of the finest watches in the world. Their craftsmanship is second to none.

    Breguet

    Breguet is one of those brands that evoke feelings of luxury and elegance. This Swiss watchmaker has been around since 1775 and is still going strong today. It’s known for producing high-quality watches that are both beautiful and practical. They’re known for their complicated movements, which are often referred to as “complications.” These complications include things like perpetual calendars, moon phases, chronographs, etc.

    But what makes Breguet watches special is that they’re all very accurate. Their accuracy is due to their movements being entirely mechanical. There are no batteries inside of them. All of the power needed comes from the movement itself. Some people think of these watches as being complicated, but really, they’re just extremely well designed.

    Vacheron Constantin

    The Swiss watch industry has been around since the 1700s, but it wasn’t until 1868 that a man named Louis Brandt began making watches for himself. He became successful enough to open his own workshop and make watches for others. 

    In 1875 he opened up a shop in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and called his brand “Vacheron.” This name stuck. Over the next three decades, the brand grew into one of the most respected names in horology. Today, Vacheron Constantin is owned by Richemont, the world leader in luxury goods. 

    Audemars Piguet

    In 1875, Louis-Gabriel Audemars founded his eponymous watchmaking firm in Paris. In 1924 he invented the first skeleton watch, and it became the most popular model among athletes. His watches were worn by many famous people including Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, and George Bernard Shaw. The brand grew steadily throughout the 20th century, becoming one of the three major Swiss luxury brands along with Omega and Patek Philippe.

    The brand continued to innovate, introducing the first minute-repeater movement and the first ever wristwatch to feature a self-winding mechanism. It also developed a reputation for making high-end watches for men and women alike. Today, Audemars Piglet continues to produce some of the finest mechanical movements in the industry, while also continuing to push boundaries with innovative design concepts such as the “Citadel,” a titanium case that features a sapphire crystal face.

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