Swiss watchmaking needs no introduction. Swiss watchmakers, such as Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, and several others are known worldwide. Swiss watches are stylish accessories that have a huge clientele across the globe. They add a touch of opulence and luxury to one’s personality.
Every watch collector swears by them as they exude unmatched craftsmanship, outstanding mechanic refinement, accurate functionality, and exquisite designs. More reasons for Swiss watches being so expensive are high-quality components, innovation in watch movements, high production time, exclusivity, and strong branding. Many may not know that these watches are the “only true reference” in the watchmaking domain.
There are several Swiss watch brands on the market, and pinpointing one brand as the best is challenging. Here, we have a list of some top Swiss watch brands.
The first on our list of Swiss-made watch brands is Rolex, a name familiar to most of us. The story of Rolex started in 1905. Hans Wilsdorf made the first waterproof watch named Oyster, and that’s how the foundation stone for this revolutionary brand was laid.
Rolex is the royal king of luxury watches, whose crown logo has been worn by countless historical and contemporary figures. Rolex watches are tested for extreme conditions and undergo several drop tests to ensure that it survives the test of time.
You have to be a watch lover to invest in Rolex watches. The reputation of the company is backed by unmatched quality. New Rolex models can sell for more than their MSR in the market, and vintage Rolex is the subject of the most active and passionate watch collections.
Company Started: 1905
Unique Features of Rolex Watches: Attention to detail, tested under extreme conditions, unique design, and style.
The Swiss watch brand Ulysse Nardin is known for its quality parameters, then Ulysse Nardin is one of the best choices you have. The watches are quite popular amongst Hollywood stars and corporate figures. If you are a diver or someone who loves water sports, then Ulysse Nardin has a 300 m/1,000 ft resistance, thus making it one of the best luxuries watch manufacturers for lovers of scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling.
Company Started: 1846
Unique Feature: Innovative design, perfect to wear even during water sports like diving.
This luxury brand company was established in 1839 and continues to abide by the Genevan watchmaking artistry. Patek Philippe is regarded as one of the most prestigious and collectible watch brands, like Rolex. This brand is associated with manufacturing some of the most expensive watches, like Philippe Grandmaster Chime was sold for $31.19M in 2019, thus making this brand one of the leading luxury watch manufacturers.
This watch brand is part of the holy trinity of watchmaking along with Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet. Their collection of watches is fantastic. The historic brand is known for its highly refined, complicated timepieces, which frequently sell for exorbitant prices at auction.
Some popular watches have a black dial and have automatic movement. If you are a watch lover, then you will love them even at the high prices at which they are available.
Company Started: 1839
Unique Feature: Innovative design, dedicated R&D Team, extremely expensive
Although it is a French brand, now it is owned by the Swiss Richemont Group. Cartier is best known for its jewelry, but it is also one of its most historical watch designers. The French firm was the first to introduce a wristwatch. It still produces some of the best watch models today, and so it makes to the list of the best Swiss watch brands. The use of the word elegant when discussing Cartier is warranted by the often-formal style of the brand. The watch collection and the variety they offer are the best.
Company Started: 1847
Unique Feature: Elegant watches with timeless charm
Omega is yet another top Swiss watch brand. It is known for competing with Rolex for the “King of Swiss Watch brands”. It has a long list of partnerships from the Moon Landings, James Bond, and Sir Peter Blake to Orbis (NGO) and the Official Olympic timekeeper. These partners exude their values and have immense respect for each other.
Besides, these watches are also used by the US military, Royal Flying Corps, and other military organizations. Moonwatch Professional Watches alone would have been enough to establish this brand. However, there are many other classics, including dive and dress watches and more chronographs. So, if you are looking for the best Swiss watch brands, you can explore this brand.
Company Started: 1903
Unique Feature: First watch on the moon, quartz movement, complex mechanical movements
IWC, or International Watch Company, was established in 1868. When it comes to watches engineered for aviators, navigators, or even as a mark of style, IWC watches fit perfectly. These watches have the best technology and quality that assures you the best performance. Each watch made by IWC is handmade professionally by an individual watchmaker. They dexterously work to bring together all the components to create masterpieces.
Company Started: 1868
Unique Feature: Attractive design, unique look, and elegance
Jaeger-LeCoultre has a record of notable models but is best recognized for the Reverso watch. This brand was established in 1833. A watch with a unique reversible case was first introduced for polo players in 1931. The company is also referred to as JLC; the company produced a variety of mid-level products. Luxury for high-end, intricate horology and ultra-thin watches for daily wear.
Company Started: 1833
Unique Feature: Known as watchmakers of watchmakers, supplies calibers to some prominent watchmakers like Patek Philippe
The company was established in 1860. TAG Heuer, which is also known only as Heuer until the year 1985. It has a solid connection to motorsports and chronograph watches. Thus, the brand is the most affordable and youth-oriented parent company- LVMH’s watch designers.
But it also makes its own in-house movements and some high-end pieces. Its current collection includes vintage watches for collectors and more modern watches for first-time buyers.
Company Started: 1860
Unique Feature: It blends the modern features while maintaining the vintage appeal.
This is yet another old Swiss watch brand that was established in 1865. The El Primero of Zenith is automatic, and the chronograph movement is widely recognized. It currently has an extensive range of modern and historically inspired watch models.
Its Pilot watches are among high-end collections and the company’s best-selling products. Some of their watches have precious stones too. These watches can also be spotted in movies also like James Bond.
Company Started: 1865
Unique Feature: Integrates all aspects of unique watchmaking under one roof
The brand was started in 1860. Panerai designs large, heavy watches with a master retro military look. It does exceptionally well in most subtle variations. It did its pragmatic beginnings as a supplier of the Italian navy. The brand is now focused on high-end watches with in-house movements. The company also makes aviation watches.
Company Started: 1860
Unique Feature: Attractive design, unique look, and elegance.
Breitling has a long history of manufacturing chronographs and pilot watches. These watches are known for their bold size, brutal military attitude, and rugged use. By following the industry’s current trends, many of the brand-new releases have focused on re-releasing older models of the watches. The company is known for its class, elegant design, and technology. Some of its watch models easily fit in the budget, such as Breitling Colt Automatic, Breitling Superocean II, Breitling Superocean Heritage II, Breitling Aerospace Evo, and Breitling Avenger II GMT. So, it can be said that this is one of the affordable Swiss watch brands. With Breitling, you can enjoy wearing luxury Swiss watches without splurging too much money.
Company Started: 1884
Unique Feature: Known for making chronographs and pilot watches
The brand was established in 1926 by Rolex (parent company). Many of its watch components are manufactured in Rolex factories. Tudor is known for providing some of the best value in the luxury watch world. At low prices, the brand offers excellent fit and finish, in-house movements, and an irresistible link to the Rolex image. There are many Tudor watches that are quite similar to Rolex.
Company Started: 1926
Unique Feature: Sister brand of Rolex
The brand was established in 1875. Audemars Piguet is one of the most prestigious names in the watch industry, specializing in high-end, meticulously crafted in-house movements and good horology i.e. the finest of high watchmaking. Royal Oak and luxury sports watches have become like the Swiss brand.
Company Started: 1875
Unique Feature: Royal Oak and luxury appeal
Baume & Mercier
The brand was established in 1830 and the brand was started by brothers, Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume. These watches are known for their exclusive design and classic appeal. Initially, the brand was known for chronographs and grand complication models. The brand is known for innovatively designed wristwatches.
Company Started: 1868
Unique Feature: Amazing designs and innovation
It is one of the oldest Swiss watch brands established in 1892. Despite being Swiss-owned since 1970, Hamilton is proud of its American roots. It ceased its American manufacturing in 1969. Hamilton has a significant history, and today it offers a wide range of collections at luxury watch price points. The brand is now owned by Swatch Group.
The brand is also known for its association with Hollywood. In many films, its timepieces have been shown. Hamilton watches are also known for their entry line prices for Swiss watches, thus making it one of the best and leading affordable Swiss watch brands.
Company Started: 1892
Unique Feature: Entry-level pricing for Swiss watches, used in over 500 Hollywood movies
Some popular Swiss Watch brands, each known for something unique, have been discussed in this article. Every watch lover or collector has his or her liking or preference when it comes to buying and wearing watches. So, declaring one Swiss watch brand as the best won’t be fair to the other brands. Moreover, many Swiss-made watch brands are not on the above list, such as Tissot, Blancpain, Roger Dubuis, Edouard Heuer, and Jaeger LeCoultre.