Swiss Watches – Guide

There are more than 100 Swiss watch brands, each making a variety of ranges to match your style, technical requirements, functionalities and budget. Hence it is impossible to list every feature, every watch range issued by all respective companies on one page.

We want to tell you something interesting about each brand instead. Hopefully, this will not only give you an insight into the values, history and innovation but also will teach you something new and interesting.

If you take your time in learning about your future watch – you will enjoy wearing it 10 times more.

Analogue Smart WatchClassic WatchSwiss Watch

Frédérique Constant

FOUNDED in Geneva, PRICE: €490 – €4,000

Although relatively new watchmaker by Swiss standards, the company is one of the larger players in the luxury Swiss wristwatch market. With so many innovations under their belt, they are fully recognised Swiss watchmaker. In fact, they start leading the pack with their recent smartwatch design.


Frederique Constant is a family owned company, hence when they decided to acquire Alpina, a Swiss sports watch maker, other family members also chipped-in.

In this short time, the company has created many innovations. The Heart Beat movement, for example, proves their ability to deliver truly

innovative watchmaking. For me, the most impressive is their World Timer innovation. With a crown, one can adjust one of the 24 cities displayed at the top. This automatically synchronises the time.

Their latest innovation is, of course, “horological smartwatch” concept. Although they are not the first company to do it, Frederique Constant did it in their own way – integrating smartwatch features into a classic looking watch. Using a secondary analogue dial the watch gives feedback on set activity targets reached. Also with the support of an app a user can track their sleep patterns, running distances and speeds.

Innovations: runabout, own “Heart Beat” movement, silicon escapement wheel, a horological smartwatch.

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Picture credits to Frederique Constant.


Vacheron Constantin

FOUNDED IN: 1755 (by Jean-Marc Vacheron) Brand established in 1877 PRICE: €6,000 – €95,000

A solid Swiss watchmaker that is known for its custom-made watches. In additional to the usual customisation options with the case or external features it also modifies the movement itself. For those seeking even more unique watch, their team is capable of designing mechanical features too.


The company has made the worlds’ most complicated watch comprising of 891 components and driven by 17 complications. (As a comparison Rolex Calibre 1570 has 115 in its movement mechanism.) In order to fulfil it’s owners customisation requests it took 4 years and

20 craftsmen to complete.

Innovations: non-magnetic timepiece capable of withstanding magnetic fields.

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Parent company: Richemont International

Picture credits to Vacheron Constantin.


Ulysse Nardin

FOUNDED IN: 1864 (by Ulysse Nardin) PRICE: €2,700 – €165,000

The company, for most of its existence, was known for its sea connection. Anchor is part of its brand name on most of the watches. Therefore it is not surprising that there is a wide range of diving watches for men and women. As well as innovative instant time zone adjusters featured on most of their watches.


As a way of coming back to the marketplace after a bad period for the company, new owners shocked Swiss watchmakers and the world with the new design range ‘Freak’, which ‘lost’ key wrist watch features: dial, hands and crown.

Their latest watches show exceptional innovation including range called ‘The Stranger’. These watches play a melody called ‘Strangers in the Night’… mechanically (just like music box), hard to believe it until you see it (skip to 2:01)

Picture credits go to Ulysse Nardin.


Universal Geneve

FOUNDED IN: 1864 (Numa Emiles Descombes and Ulysse Georges Perret) Brand established in 1934 (Universal Watch) PRICE: €1,200 – €5,000
Well established watches which are especially popular in South East Asia. Renowned for its style and craftsmanship. From 2007 the company has taken a new approach in its watch design to ‘renew its style’ hence the noticeable difference in design between older and newer watches.


A. Carirelli Lattrapante (aviators chronograph) range was made exclusively for the Reggia Aeronautica Italiana (Royal Italian Airforce) between 1939 – 1945. Today these watches are still very popular in top

auctions fetching up to £65,000.
In general there is a big following on their vintage mechanical watches, especially the ones with the moon phase display.

Innovations: the first wrist worn chronograph (1917), own movements, world thinnest quartz calibre (1975).

Parent company: Stelux Holdings International

Picture credits go to Universal Geneve.

AltipanoPoloAltipano gold for ladies


Play a different game
FOUNDED IN: 1874 by (Gerges Eduard Piaget) Brand established in 1943 PRICE: €6,000 – €75,000

The company started as a mechanical movement maker which explains such a strong innovation in this field. Best known for ultra luxury Altiplano range of ultra slim wristwatches, but also produce skeleton, dual time zone, chronograph, tourbillon and of course jewellery watches.


The company celebrated their 140th anniversary by unveiling the record breaking thinnest mechanical watch Altiplano 38 mm 900P

Piaget owns the largest jewellery shop in Geneva, which, of course, then helps in making amazing main line and custom made jewellery watches

Innovations: ultra thin movements, retrogate movement, tourbillon skeleton movement, self winding movements, enamelling.
Parent company: Richemont International
Picture credits to Piaget.

Grand ChimeCalatrava Officers Case

Patek Philippe

You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely keep it for the next generation
FOUNDED IN: 1839 (Antoni Patek and Francizek Czapek) Brand established in 1851 PRICE: €9,000 – €200,000

It is considered to be one of the most prestigious watch brand by experts and high status following. Many of the past and present Queens and Kings are known to own these watches. Apart from that, the company is making all of its components in house and is known for its innovations.


In 2010 Patek Philippe wristwatch became the most expensive to be sold at auction. 1943 made chronograph watch fetched 5.5 million US


It’s one of the most complicated watches ever made “Calibre 89” holds 39 complications and 1728 unique parts. To name a few indicators on that watch: date of Easter, time of sunrise, equation of time, sidereal time, 2,800 star chart and is able to add a day to February for leap years while leaving out the extra day for every 100 year interval.

Innovations: silicon escapement wheel, perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, minute repeater.

Parent company: privately owned by a Stern family since 1932.

Picture credits go to Patek Philippe.

Auguste ReymondCotton ClubLady Elegance

Auguste Reymond

FOUNDED IN: 1898 (Auguste Reymond) PRICE: €600 – €6,500

Although initially known as quartz watch company, since 1991 (when Nitella SA took over the company) has gone back to making mechanical watches. It is becoming more and more popular, with success stories from Russian and Asian markets.

It is seen as a hidden gem by many watch experts. They still have family owned values, and all watches are hand assembled in Tramelan, Switzerland.


Auguste Reymond’s watches operating under ARSA and Unitas brands became very popular in actual trenches during the Second World War

due to its innovations in reliability, resistance to impact as well as waterproof qualities.

Innovations: Braille watches (still distributed under old name ARSA)

Parent company: Nitella SA

Picture credits go to Auguste Reymond.

DSDS Action Divers watchTitanium


Modern concept of sportiness
FOUNDED IN: 1888 (Alfred and Albert Kurth) Brand Established: 1939 PRICE: €250 – €3,000

Company has specifically tested their watches in mountain climbing, diving and skydiving to support their research and development in strength of their watches. This lead to achieving many engineering and technical innovations.


Company’s logo, a turtle, represents its passion on strength of their watches. The name Certina means “assured” and “certain” in Latin.

Now it is seen as one of the quality sports brands with strong

resistance to shocks, scratches and water. Maybe that is the reason why the company is quite popular in Scandinavia.

Since the very beginning it was a major player in watchmaking with “International Diamond Awards” and “Golden Rose” award under its belt.

Innovations: first to produce digital watch in 1969, unique Certina movement, DS (Double Security) feature and use of the advance materials like Titanium, sapphire glass, 316L high grade stainless steel.

Parent company: Chopard Group

Picture credits go to Certina.

Royal OakAudemars Piguet for womenAudemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet

Discover the exceptional
FOUNDED IN: 1875 (Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet) PRICE: €13,000 – €55,000

It is a brand famous for its creative freedom and design independence. And it covers not just the look but also a shape, texture and volume. Most recognisable range is definitely Royal Oak that is very distinctive in the watchmaking world.


Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Bulgari officially buy Audemars Piguet watches and rebrand them as their own.

It is considered to be one of the “big three” watchmakers, along with

Vacheron and Patek Philippe. All of their timepieces are still hand assembled in-house.

The company has also made a number of special edition and limited watches for celebrities and athletes. To name a few: Rubens Barrichello, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay-Z, Lionel Messi and etc.

Innovations: the smallest five minute repeater, world’s thinnest pocket-watch calibre, thinnest wristwatch, first self-winding Grande complication watch, minute repeater with three gongs and three hammers, direct-impulse escapement, use of carbon case and movement.

Parent company: still run by the same founding families

Picture credits go to Audemars Piguet.

Formula 1CarreraTAG Heuer

TAG Heuer

Won’t crack under pressure
FOUNDED IN: 1860 (Eduard Heuer) Brand Established: 1985 PRICE: €850 – €35,000

It is definitely one of the more popular and well known luxury watch companies out there. Differently from other Swiss watch companies who gain their association to a aviation and racing through sponsorship, they actually started as a company making dashboard timers not a wrist watch makers, since 1911. Majority of racers then started wearing Heuer in 1960’s because it was the main stop-watch and chronograph producer at that time.


Heuer watch was the first swiss made watch to be in space. John

Glenn wore one when he piloted the Mercury Atlas 6 spacecraft on the first US mission around the orbit of the earth.

The company changed its name from ‘Heuer’ to ‘TAG Heuer’ when TAG (Techniques d’Avant Garde) acquired Heuer in 1985. Interestingly, this is another association to a racing world, as TAG was making high-tech items as ceramic turbochargers for Formula One cars.

In addition to watches company licenses manufacturing of other accessories including cufflinks, bags, sunglasses and scarves.

Innovations: dashboard chronograph and timer, automatic chronograph, Pendulum concept, world’s fastest chronograph, Micrograph and Mikrotimer movement and many more.

Parent company: LVMH Moet Hennessy, Louis Vuitton

Picture credits go to TAG Heuer.

Carl F BuchererTravelTecScubaTec

Carl F. Bucherer

FOUNDED IN: 1888 (Carl Friedrich Bucherer) Brand Established: 1985 PRICE: €3,200 – €40,000

There is a good mix of classic watches for men and women, and selection of sports as well as diving watches. But the greatest thing about this company, at least for me, is an option to add additional features. So you can design a watch based on your personal requirements.


It is the only large Swiss watch company that is not listed in Wikipedia.

Without a doubt it is a well respected luxury watchmaker that uses jewellery in some of their watches and designs. Rich in history and still

run by the member of the founding family. Carl F. Butcherer can also boast in some great watch innovations that spun off from their investment in research and development unit in 2008.

Innovations: proprietary CFB A100 movement, Patravi EvoTec, big date and day indication, power reserve indicator, 3 times zones simultaneously, retrograde hours counter, perpetual calendar.

Parent company: unknown.

Picture credits go to Carl F. Bucherer.

Oris Depth GaugeOrisOris Depth Gouge with yellow strap


Purely mechanical Swiss watches
FOUNDED IN: 1904 (Paul Cattin and Georges Christian) Brand Established: 1985 PRICE: €800 – €4,000

I love the clarity – they only make mechanical watches. It is seen by many as a great first time mechanical watch and it is nice that all of their watches come with 3 year manufacturers warranty. Note though: they did make some quartz watches in the 1980’s, in case you are after a vintage piece.


Oris is based in Holstein, Switzerland for over 100 years. At one point the company was the largest recruiter in town.

Company has split it’s watches into four main categories: culture, diving, aviation and motorsports. As you can see from their marketing slogan you have no risk in buying a battery powered quartz watch.

Innovations: proprietary movements like 601 and 645 with automatic winding and power reserve.

Parent company: family run.

Picture credits go to Oris.

Pilots ChronographIWC AquatimerDa Vinci watch for women


IWC. Since 1868. And for as long as there are men
FOUNDED IN: 1868 (Florentine Ariosto Jones) PRICE: €3,500 – €235,000

Differently from other Swiss manufacturers who are based in French speaking west, IWC is based in north east, a German speaking side of Switzerland. That could partly explain their latest partnership with Mercedes racing team by developing Ingenieur line that uses titanium, ceramic, carbon and aluminide.


It has been keeping a record about every watch: materials used, year made, delivery date and name of authorised dealer since 1885. Hence if you came across a IWC watch that is more than 10 years old you can contact the company to provide you with a record about your watch.

IWC stands for International Watch Company. It’s founder Florentine was an american watch engineer based in the USA. Through its history the company had 6 different families running it before it became a corporate entity.

Overall this company has way too many innovations, watch lines and features to be covered here. But if there is a company that is worth knowing more about, it would this would be the one!

Innovations: titanium bracelets, first digital watch, IWC calibers, proprietary automatic and quartz controlled movements, moon phase display, built in compass, Da Vinci Chronograph, mechanical depth gauge.

Picture credits to IWC.
Parent Company: Richemont International SA

Tissot Touch Smart WatchTissot Couturier ChronographTissot


Swiss watches since 1853
FOUNDED in 1853 (Charles-Felicien and Charles-Emile Tissot) Although the brand was not established until 1957. PRICE: €150 – €6,000

The company is seen as a mid-range watch producer that is part of the world’s largest watch producer The Swatch Group. Therefore it is not surprising that it has a good range of classic, sports and casual watches with mechanical and quartz movements.


Tissot has T-Touch watches hold up to 25 functions like compass, barometer, altimeter and etc. which are controlled by touch. The great thing is – this technology was released in 1999, 8 years before first

iPhone and 16 years before the release of iWatch.

Tissot has been the official timekeeper for a very long list of sports ranges and events. They are still developing technologies to make tracking more accurate, for example, placing trackers on cyclists and etc. Its watch range is even longer hence it is not possible to list it here.

It’s the latest innovation with T-Touch technology is an impressive achievement. A watch has a touch control for at least six of the following features: altimeter, alarm, compass, timer, chrono, meteo, regata, tide, lap, split, thermo, dive, logbook – all controlled by touch. Impressively displayed by watch hands and/or electronic display. You can see it and have a go at interactive features here.

For the history lovers and collectors Tissot has briefly merged with Omega watch-making-family in 1930. Therefore their watches from that era are in high demand by the hardcore watch collectors.

Innovations: first anti magnetic watch, the first company to make watches out of plastic, stone (Alpine granite), pearl and wood; tactile “T-Touch” technology,

Picture credits to Tissot.

Omega Speedmaster watchOmega Speedmaster watch with leather strapOmega DeVille


The watch the world has learned to trust
FOUNDED IN: 1848 (Louis Brandt) PRICE: €700 – €8,000

Omega has been a main rival to Rolex since 1930’s and did overtake it on number of units sold in 1970’s, just before the “quartz crisis”.

Details are important, for example – most popular range “Speedmaster” comes in different variations, the look is similar and widely recognised but movement can be different.


“Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph” was the first watch on the moon with Apollo 11 mission. In 2007 Omega released 5957 units of commemorative “Speedmaster Professional Chronograph Moonwatch”.

The latest is Co-Axial chronograph movement seem to be considered as more reliable and hence comes with a 4 year warranty.

Innovations: tuning fork movements, Omega calibre, first tourbillon wristwatch calibre, Calibres 8500 and 8501 movements (among many others), perpetual chronographs.

Picture credits to Omega.



An Obsession with Perfection
FOUNDED IN: 1905 (Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis) PRICE: Price Range: £2,100 – £24,700 (excluding diamond inlay watches)

It is the largest single luxury brand that produces 2000 watches a day. Company has been a pioneer of innovations since the beginning and is considered as one of the main contributors of innovation in the watchmaking industry.


Rolex business initially was established in London. 14 years later it moved its operations to Switzerland to avoid high English war taxes at that time.

To support their water resistant watch capabilities Rolex has successfully passed it’s own test of putting specially built watch to the bottom of Mariana Trench.

Today, in addition to classic watches, the company has specific models suitable for the extremes of deep sea diving, mountain climbing and aviation.
Needless to say, this is the most recognisable luxury watchmaker worldwide. For some though, it is seen as the most counterfeit brand too. So if you own a Rolex, the most likely question you are likely to get is ‘is it a real Rolex?’

For those who want a genuine Rolex watch at the lower price there is an alternative. Tudor watch brand is actually made by Rolex, but instead of their own movement it uses more common ETA movement.

Before his death, one of its founders, Hans Wilsdorf has established a foundation and ensured that some of the company’s income would go to charity indefinitely.

Innovations: first waterproof wristwatch (1926), first wristwatch case waterproof to 100m, the first wristwatch with an automatic changing date on the dial, the first wristwatch to show to time zones at once, the first watchmaker to earn chronometer certification for a wristwatch, innovations crucial to quartz movement implementation in wristwatches.

Parent company: owned by a private trust.

Picture credits go to Rolex.

Swiss watch from ItalyAutomatic watch from PaneraiDiving watch from Panerai


Where ideas come to life
FOUNDED IN: 1860 (by Giovanni Panerai) PRICE: €2,500 – €12,000

The company was founded in Italy, Florence (where their head office is still located today). The watches, however, are made in Neuchatel, Switzerland using in-house and ETA movements.

The brand became popular when Sylvester Stallone wore Penerai Luminor in film ‘Daylight’, and then ordered a number of customised watches as presents for his friends.


Panerai was the official supplier of watches for the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) between 1938 and 1993.

Since 1997, when the company was acquired by Richemont, Penerai has been repositioned into a luxury watch segment. In a second hand market you will find a lot of watches branded Ferrari engineered by Penerai. Those watches were manufactured and sold between 2005 and 2010, but the 5 year agreement with the Ferrari was not renewed.

New watches today are all produced in limited numbers between 500 and 4000 units, each market with a unique serial number on the back. And you can choose from four main collections Radiomir, Radiomir 1940, Luminor and Luminor 1950.

Considering company’s history and values it is not surprising that all of their watches come in reliable waterproof casing and have a high quality luxury finish.

Innovations: waterproof case.

Parent company: Richemont S.A.

Picture credits go to Panerai.



British chic, Swiss excellence.
FOUNDED IN: 1884 (Leon Breitling) PRICE: €2,400 – €35,000

All models since 2000 include certified chronometers. As most of other luxury brands watches are orientated towards three categories: Diving (SuperOcean), Aviation (Navitimer) and Luxury (Breitling for Bentley).
They do take it a notch further it seems – the company sponsors number of aeronautical events and even has aerobatic two teams named after it.


Navitimer watches have built in slider which makes them suitable for calculating aircraft speed and measurement of fuel consumption. A useful feature for pilots should their onboard measurement tool fail.

Probably for that reason it is not surprising that Breitling has developed a first wrist watch with built in emergency beacon. It latest ‘Emergency II’ watch features Dual Emergency Beacon with a rechargeable battery.

It is also famous for its Breitling for Bentley watch range that is very popular with Bentley car owners.

Innovations: range of own movements (fully developed or modified from ETA), perpetual certified chronographs, built in emergency beacon, built in dual emergency beacon.

Picture credits to Breitling.



Timing for champions
FOUNDED IN: 1884 (Christian Ruefli-Flury) PRICE: €400 – €12,000

Famous, among other reasons, for its Delfin watch range. This family run company has also associated themselves with Powerboat Championship, WRC, Dakar Rally, Extreme Sailing Series by being official timekeeper and designing dedicated watches.

From the style perspective, you have the usual classic looking watches for men and women. But there is also something they call “spirit of Norway” which gives more rough (in a good way) look.


It’s logo represents the traditional hourglass

Innovations: first time-zone timepiece, world’s thinnest quartz movement with calendar (still unbeaten at 1.4 mm) , bell mechanism that sounds the time on wrist watches.

Picture credits go to Edox.

LogoGold and silver watchSports watchLongines watch for men


Elegance is an attitude
FOUNDED IN: 1832 (by Auguste Agassiz) PRICE: €600 – €7,000
The company has the oldest registered watch trademark. Best known for its ‘Aviators’ watch range, but also is recognised for its sports watches and chronographs.

It is also famous for its leading in-house research and innovations among the circles of Swiss watchmakers.


Longines have had timekeeping partnerships with most of the sports in many countries, but most interestingly it actually timed 31 Tour de France races.

So if you are after a specialised watch they have dedicated series for any sport you might need: skiing, diving, horse racing, racing, tennis and etc. It is not a rule, but I personally found the style very unique for sports watches – disguised in classic design trends.

Innovations: amongst many, introduced the first thermo-compensated quartz movement which set new accuracy standards at annual variation of +/- 12 seconds per year.

Parent company: The Swatch Group

Picture credits go to Longines.

LogoWatch with leather strapWatch with red strapWatch with blue strap

Raymond Weil

FOUNDED IN: 1976 (by Raymond Weil and his son in law Olivier Bernheim) PRICE: €600 – €5,000

The company started at the hardest times for Swiss watchmaking. They not only survived but now sell their watches worldwide.

It is one of the few remaining companies that are still in a full family control. It has great values as well as clever marketing e.g – if you own Raymond Weil you can join their exclusive club.


In luxury watchmaking industry, Raymond Weil was the first company to use location based social media Foursquare, first to use Facebook e-commerce and first to create an island on Second Life.

Recently they have been actively pursuing music celebrity endorsements through their partnership with Universal Music. “The Beatles” watch range and exclusive digital radio/playlist service to their watch users would be another examples of this partnership.

Innovations: interchangeable bracelet system, Two Time Zones complication

Parent company: privately owned.


Picture credits go to Raymond Weil.

LogoFranck MullerFranck Muller Platinum RotorFrank Muller watch

Franck Muller

Master of complications
FOUNDED IN: 1991 (by Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes) PRICE: 6,000 – £35,000 (not including custom made watches)

A very young brand in Swiss watchmaking standards. But it has won the hearts across the globe with retailers showcasing their watches in more than 100 countries.


The creator of the brand Franck Muller is still alive, unlike most of the other luxury Swiss watch brands. In fact, he is very much in the public eye with the exceptional annual launch events grand scale openings worldwide and etc.

Franck Muller watches mostly stand out because of its different looking face and body shape. The company is also renown for its in custom made watches for those looking to spend a little more. Definitely a fine example of traditional craftsmanship mixed with innovation and expressed in daring designs.

Innovations: design, watch case production methods.

Parent company: privately owned

Picture credits go to Franck Muller.

LogoClassic Mondaine watchMondaine Helvetica Smart WatchSwiss watch


Official Swiss Railway watch
FOUNDED IN: 1735 (by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain) PRICE: €150 – €650

A stand out watch due to it’s original design. Anyone that has been in Switzerland and some parts of Germany would recognise this design from those huge train station watches.

It is not just about design though. Swiss train stations rely not just on their watches, but also technology to keep the time in sync.


Mondaine has threatened to sue Apple for copying their watch design and using it on iPhones. Apple has settled out of court and ended up buying a licence for 17 million Euros.

Another range – Helvetica, is also following a well known design – Helvetica type face.
The latest addition is Helvetica Smart watch, which tracks movements and sport activity that can be displayed on a smartphone.

Innovations: design, chronograph, date function, dual time zones, world time.

Parent company: The Swatch Group

Picture credits go to Mondaine.

LogoChronograph watchSports watchWhite watch


FOUNDED IN: 1912 (by Walter Vogt) PRICE: €800 – €14,000

Probably the most famous for its Spacematic watch range which is designed to withstand extreme conditions and temperature changes.


Fortis is official wristwatch supplier for Russian Space Missions for the last 10 years. It also been confirmed as a watch provider for the first mission to Mars, called ‘Mars 500’.

Another interesting point is that many military squadrons worldwide have also selected this watch os their choice. To name a few: Swiss 11 Fighters, Hellenic Tigers from Greece, NATO forces in Germany and Thunder Tiger Aerobatic Team from Taiwan.

Innovations: first automatic watch, mechanical alarm, pressure resistant watch casing.

Parent company: privately held.

Picture credits go to Fortis.

LogoRado white watchSwiss ceramic watchSwiss watch from Rado


Rado. A different world
ESTABLISHED IN: 1917 (by brothers Fritz, Ernst, and Werner Schlup) Brand Established:1957 PRICE: €650 – €7,000

You have to touch these watched to understand. But once you do, you notice a difference from any main stream watch straight away. The secret? No metal – it is made from high grade ceramics.


Rado V10K watch is officially the hardest watch on Earth, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. In technical terms it’s Vickers hardness number is 10,000 achieved by their patented technology of transforming carbon into a nanocrystalline diamond.

This watchmaker specialises in high tech ceramics, from witch majority of their watches are made. The benefit of this material that it’s much lighter than metal. Also it can be produced to have different finish – shiny, matt and different shades of colours. Some watches are even sprayed with platinum, giving the look but not the weight. One word – futuristic.

Innovations: high-tech ceramic, use of high-tech diamond to provide scratch resistance, Ceramos, world’s first portable ceramic touch device Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch.

Picture credits to Rado.

Great night displayWhite SwatchAutomatic Swatch


FOUNDED IN: 1983 PRICE: €35 – €300

Swiss made watches don’t have to be expensive. You simply need to like different things about your watch. With Swatch it is not about engineering or precision, but more about colours and daring fashion statements.

Although not necessarily admired by most true watch connoisseurs, it is an innovative and daring company that has a huge following across the globe.


Swatch group fully owns a well respected and admired luxury watch brand – Omega.

Not many people know that the main business for Swatch is a production of watch parts and movements. Which they then sell on to many other brands worldwide. So, potentially you might own a Swatch even if the brand on your watch face is different.

Due to its sponsorship deals, daring and rule breaking design Swatch is now seen as a ‘very cool brand’ by non traditional, statement making sports crowd: BMX, surf, freestyle motocross, beach volleyball, mountain biking and etc.

In addition, if you are into sports Swatch has a good range of sports watches with really impressive functions, metal bodied watches with their “Irony Series”, thin and flat in their “Skin range” and even watches connected to the internet which can download stock quotes, news headlines, weather reports and etc in their “Paparazzi” series.
Their latest innovation Swatch Touch allows you to control your watch through touch sensitive zones instead of buttons.

It has to said that not all watches are Swiss made. And even parts of the ‘Swiss made’ Swatch watches are potentially not made in Switzerland. In order to keep costs company is complying with the regulation requirements but it only means that 50% of watch making costs originated in Switzerland.

Innovations: their own movement ETA which is used by many other mechanical watch makers, quartz movement, plastics, daring design.

Parent company: Montres Flik Flak SA, a subsidiary of Swatch Group

Picture credits to Swatch.

watchmaker LogoSwiss Chrono watchClassic range of Swiss Tudor watchesBlack Ceramic watch


Watch your style
FOUNDED IN: 1946 (Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis) PRICE: €1,200 – €3,300 (excluding diamond inlay range)

By many, this brand is recognised by its association with Rolex, since both brands are privately owned by the same company. But don’t be mistaken Tudor and Rolex are not the same or even similar. Tudor has its own style with a good range of classic, sports and even diving watches.


Tudor watches stopped selling their produce in the US market and could not be bought in any official stores there between 2004 and 2014.

Up to 2015 it was using ETA movements, but since then they are proudly 100% Swiss and in-house made.

Watch enthusiasts agree that this is a quality entry level watch. There is a choice of mechanical and automated movements. I personally like their take on making watch cases using ceramic instead of metal as well as their decision to use (quality handmade) fabric straps.

Innovations: their own movement (in mechanical watches produced after 2015), fabric strap, high tech injected ceramic in case production, titanium bracelet.

Parent company: privately owned by Hans Wilsdorf Foundation

Picture credits to Tudor.

LogoMovado ClassicMovadoMovado for men


Always in motion
FOUNDED IN: 1881 (by Achilles Ditesheim) PRICE: €450 – €3,000

Probably the easiest brand to recognise. Most of their watches will have a dot on top of the dial. Design originating from their ‘Museum’ watch.


Originally, a watch with the design of solitary dot at the 12 mark was made by another luxury watch brand – Vacherin and Constantin watches, and only later produced by Movado.

Although the company is based in the US, all watches are made in Switzerland. It is seen as a modern and contemporary art friendly…

company. A lot of design is done in cooperation with artists.

In 1983 the company was purchased by Gedalio Grinberg, a Cuban born jew, who escaped Marxism revolution by Fidel Castro, in 1960.

Movado means ‘always in motion’ in Esperanto. The language used to name quite a few other watches under their production: Bela (beautiful), Brila (brilliant), Belamodo (beautiful fasion), Linio (line), Fiera (fire).

Although the company is based in the US, all watches are made in Switzerland. It is seen as a modern and contemporary art friendly company. A lot of design is done in cooperation with artists.

Innovations: movement design suitable for curved watches, design innovations.

Parent company: Festina

Picture credits to Movado.

Dancing Diamonds range for womenChopard watch for menClassic Dancing Diamond with red strap


FOUNDED IN: 1860 (Louis Ulysse Chopard) PRICE: €700 – €45,000

Another solid name in a fine watchmaking from Switzerland. Probably the most recognisable / famous feature is coming from their Happy Diamonds range, where you have number of actual diamonds gently floating on the face of the watch.


In addition to watches and jewellery Chopard has become a fashion brand and now offers leather, silk, fragrances, gifts, eyewear, clocks and writing instruments.

Chopard seem to be going back to its roots. In 1996 they opened a research and development division which has produced number of

innovations (which in turn boosted their sales). And since 2008, they took another step by starting to make their own watch components, including the most important – mechanical movements. But do note that lower price range will still have a quartz movement inside.

Innovations: in addition to watches and jewellery Chopard has become a fashion brand and now offers leather, silk, fragrances, gifts, eyewear, clocks and writing instruments.

Parent company: Chopard Group

Picture credits to Chopard.

Zenith El Primeiro watchZenith watch for ladiesZenith


Follow your own star
FOUNDED IN: 1856 (Georges Favre-Jacot) PRICE: €3,500 – €18,000

Although probably not a first choice for many newbie watch admirers, it is a true luxury watch company that does not cut corners. Solid track of consistent in-house innovation as well as manufacturing of their own movements would be the most obvious proof.

In brutally simple terms we could potentially divide these watches into a classic look and their pilot range.


Zenith watches are not sold in the US due to copyright conflict with electronics company under the same name.

Pilot range has made it’s name due to easily recognisable oversized crown. ‘Under the hood’ this range has chronographs with an impressive frequency of 36,000 alternations per hour vs main stream of 28,800

Innovations: automatic El Primero chronograph, over 600 own movement variations, power reserve display, first gyroscopic module with constant horizontal escapement, “gravity control” system, in total 300 patents through the history of the company.

Parent company: LVMH Moet Hennessy

Picture credits to Zenith.

BlancpainBlancpain Day Night RetrogradeFifty Fathoms


There has never been a quartz Blancpain and there never will be
FOUNDED IN: 1735 (by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain) PRICE: €6,500 – €95,000
It is the world’s oldest watchmaking brand. Despite huge challenges in the history of watchmaking the company has never shifted away from mechanical watch production, even if it meant selling part of its assets at some point.


One of the most complicated mechanical watch “Blanckpain 1735” contains a tourbillon, minute repeater, perpetual calendar and split chrono. Production is limited to 30 pieces only, and… it takes a year to assemble. expand..

Today it is seen as one of the most respected “true” luxury mechanical watch makers, that makes all of its parts in-house. Sticking to the old traditions, each Blancpain watch is assembled by one watchmaker. Which these days is unusual even for the luxury Swiss watch companies.
One of the other interesting points to know would be their “Fifty Fathoms” watch range. (For my European readers – fathom is imperial depth measurement representing around 1.8m) Initially developed for underwater operations of the French navy, it later was also chosen by the US Navy. And interestingly, one of more sea famous users of this range was Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Innovations: the use of Karrusel movement in a wristwatch, set new standards for diving watches, the world’s thinnest movement, world’s smallest movement.

Parent company: The Swatch Group

Picture credits go to Blancpain.

Maurice LacroixMaurice Lacroix for ladiesPontos

Maurice Lacroix

Tomorrow’s classics.
FOUNDED: 1975 (by Desco watch manufacturer) PRICE: €450 – €6,000

To ensure the quality of their timepieces, Maurice Lacroix team (differently from many other Swiss watchmakers) builds their own watch casing and movements in-house since the 1980’s. Despite being a relatively young company, it has been recognised by many watch admirers.


In their most recent sponsorship campaign, Maurice Lacroix supported two Swiss kitesurfers in their ambition to be the first people to kitesurf the straight of Magellan. An impressive achievement considering icy conditions and a distance of 560 kilometres. expand..

From the corporate perspective, they have done rather well too. In order to expand they have acquired a number of companies, which in turn enhanced their research, development and manufacturing.

Pictures credited to Maurice Lacroix.


ESTABLISHED IN: 1980 (Carlo Crocco) PRICE: €1,550 – €65,000

A watch recognised by many just because of its oversized watch design. This relatively young company has already established itself in the luxury watch universe. After being taken over by LVMH in 2008 the company has signed a number of sponsorship deals with famous football clubs.


When Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone was attacked and had his Hublot watch stolen, the company used the story in its marketing campaign. Showing Bernie’s bruised face the following tagline was used: (click) “See what people will do for a Hublot”. expand..

Hublot also carved its space in diving watch market by testing their Oceanographic 4000 for water resistance up to 5000m.

A number of other sponsorship deals followed for Ferrari World Finals in 2011, was the official timekeeper of 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2011 and etc.

Innovations: first rubber strap in the history of watchmaking (following 3 years of research and development), WISeKey smart card which identifies counterfeit watches.

Parent Company: LVMH Moet Hennessy, Louis Vuitton S.A.

Pictures credited to Hublot.


Pioneers of watchmaking
ESTABLISHED IN: 1856 (Josef Girard and Urs Schild) PRICE: €550 – €6500

It is one of the Swiss watchmaking secrets. You probably have never heard of this company, but it has been a manufacturer of movements, and it’s parts since 1870. For example – ETA movement, used by many watchmakers, is based on Eterna design.


The company was owned by Porche designs between 1990 and 2011. Therefore it is safe to assume that internal mechanisms of their watches were supplied by Eterna. expand..

It is also famous for its slim watches with a curved face and sporty (sailing) KonTiki watch range – a classic since 1962.

Innovations: self-winding technology, automatic rotor, development of Eterna-Matic movement, the thinnest men’s watch with an automatic movement and a date window at 3.6 mm, thinnest quartz wristwatch at 0.98mm.

Parent company: International Volant Ltd, a subsidiary of China Haidan

Picture credits to Eterna.


Ebel, the Architects of Time
ESTABLISHED IN: 1911 (Eugene Blum and Alice Levy) PRICE: €900 – €4000

Ebel produces a mix of quartz and automatic movements and is quite strong in the high-end design watch market. It is considered to be an elegant classic with serious innovation under its case.

E Type chronograph is their latest achievement that was awarded with COSC certificate.


Name Ebel comes from names of the founding couple Eugene Blum et Levyexpand..

More famous watch range would be Beluga, that used diamonds and luxury metals in its design. In addition to its classic image, however, the company did release some more sporty looking watches. “Voyager” showed 24 different time zones at a glance and had a power reserve up to 40 hours. And there are also Sport Classic, Sportwave and Sportwave diver.

Innovations: pioneer in use of sports sponsorship as a marketing tool, own chronograph

Parent company: Movado

Picture credits to Ebel.

Planet solar adventure


Timing your own challenge
ESTABLISHED IN: 1947 (by Adolf Flury-Hug Candino) PRICE: €150 – €500

It is a watchmaker with a rich history. During the quartz revolution, the company switched to quartz movement watches. But since 2003 Roamer has returned to making their own mechanical watches. In total, the company has been making watch movements for over 65 years and been in existence for over 100.


Candino sponsored the first circumnavigation in a solar-powered boat – PlanetSolar. The boat carried 100 of Candino ‘PlanetSolar’ watches all the way around the world. expand..

Candino is a Swiss arm of Spanish company Festina, based in Barcelona. Despite that, these two brands are not comparable, as the former has a different movement. The company also has a great history of watchmaking and innovation. They were one of the pioneers in making their own electronic digital watches (1977), developed watches with moon phase indicator which is based on quartz technology, launched solar watch range and as well as impact-resistant sports watch range.

In general, Candino watches provide great value for money. You get a Swiss-made watch with scratch-resistant sapphire glass, signed crown, high-quality finish case and nice dial for a very competitive price. The only difference – it will a watch with quartz rather than a mechanical movement.

Innovations: ceramic watch, quartz moon phase indicator, digital watches, world’s smallest mechanical altimeter, new type protection of crowns.

Parent company: Festina

Picture credits to Candino.


ESTABLISHED IN: 1952 PRICE: €225 – €1000

It is a watchmaker with a rich history. During the quartz revolution, the company switched to quartz movement watches. But since 2003 Roamer has returned to making their own mechanical watches.

In total, the company has been making watch movements for over 65 years and been in existence for over 100.


Romer’s watertight watch case technology from Anfibio was adopted by many other leading brands including Omega, Citizen, Mido, Wyler, Breitling and IWC. expand..

It is another company that can offer an undeniable value for a Swiss-made quartz watch. Great choice of watches for men and women that comes with a 5 year guarantee.

Innovations: MST movement, simplifying servicing procedures, watertight watch case Anfibio.

Parent company: 50/50 The Swiss Watch Group and Chung Nam Corp

Picture credits to Roamer.


ESTABLISHED IN: 1933 PRICE: €500 – €300,000

Most famous for their innovations which uses slight variations in the temperature or atmospheric variations to extract energy which then powers their top of range watches.


It has a very unique three-dimensional movement – Gyrotourbillon, that is normally exposed on the face of their watches. To get the idea, here is a video worth watching.

Most famous innovations: three dimensional spherical Gyrotourbillon, Attos technology, power reserve indicator, cylindrical hairspring in wristwatch.

Picture credits to Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Want to try some of these watches on your wrist? We organize small, closed door events where you can try on as many luxury watches as your heart desires in a fun and relaxed environment