Have you ever wondered why people always talk about Swiss brands when it comes to timepieces?
It’s because of their high reputation for precision and complication as long as the long history of each brand.
“Swiss Made” isn’t a simple label for the origin of a product, but a sought-after approval for high quality that is worldwide recognized. Public image is also a factor that makes watch manufactures different from each other.
If you’re looking for a timekeeper with high quality for years to come and sophisticated designs, don’t ever pass a watch brand from Switzerland.
The following list is the top 16 best Swiss watch brands that you’ll need to know.
Best Swiss Watch Brands Voted by Watch Connoisseurs
#1 Patek Philippe
Owned by the Stern family since 1932, Patek Philippe is one of the few manufactures that remains family-owned. It is now renowned as the finest watchmakers in the world and produces some of the most expensive watches of all time.
Precision and pedigree – my two favorite words when it comes to Patek Philippe. The watchmaking process takes up many lifetimes and skills of artistry to produce the best gestures and signature styles for each masterpiece. Patek Philippe watches are made to be passed down the generations.
Due to its high value, the demand for a Patek has never died down. The small production with a high price makes it so exclusive and limited to possess a timepiece of Patek Philippe.
A big R and crown logo? Rolex! Believe me, it’s the most popular reaction when someone peeks either of these two signature labels on your wristwatch. Among these brands listed in the top 15 best Swiss watch brands, Rolex deserves the best one with its reputation and high quality. Possessing a crown logo is representative of a high-status symbol. As for proofs, most of the Rolex owners are distinguished musicians, actors, and artists.
Rolex seems never tired of coming up with new inventions and patents to improve quality. It’s a trailblazer of producing waterproof and dustproof watch, which is later replicated by many brands. Not to mention the brand’s recognition value and history, its only focus on placing reliability and improving quality makes it remarkable even to the present day.
There are not many options when it comes to Rolex watch designs. As the brand has always been royal to pillar watches, it is hard for some people who are thriving for a wristwatch with a modern and innovative look.
#3 Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet – the second name in “Holy Trinity” of Swiss watch brands to be on this list. The brand is well-respected for not only its delegate look but also precision and complex mechanism.
It’s never exaggerating to say that Audemars Piguet is the symbol of exquisite and avant-garde timekeepers. The prestige of Audemars Piguet is widely respected among watch collectors and horological connoisseur.
While its competitor – Patek Philippe remains family-owned, the brand, in turn, is independent manufacture. It gives it more chance to experiment with different styles and materials. First started with the octagonal shapes in its contemporary designs, the brand then leaped to the first luxury steel sports watch in 1972 – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.
The resale price is usually low for watch brands that are not internationally acclaimed by society like Rolex. So, if you consider reselling your Audemars Piguet wristwatch, think twice!
“James Bond’s choice” is what first comes to a movie buff’s mind when it comes to Omega watch. Founded in 1848, this Swiss watch brand has been associated with military and spy figures thanks to its heritage and milestone. Royal Flying Corps, a military unit, equips their soldiers with Omega timepieces. This brand is also an official partner of NASA. It is more evident when the Omega Speedmaster was the first wristwatch chosen to be on the Apollo II flying to the moon.
Regarding design, its watch shape represents a sporty elegance of the modern gentleman’s timepiece. Never before has any brand acclaimed by watch experts or has caught public eyes with every collection coming out. Omega is undoubtedly a phenomenon in the watch industry.
Along with manufacturing high-quality wristwatches, Omega needs to take customer service into consideration. A guaranteed return service should be the first to be on the list. No one would ever expect to wait two months for a watch with battery failure to return, especially when it’s from one of the most luxurious brands in the world.
#5 Jaeger- LeCoultre
JLC deserves to be “the watchmaker’s watchmaker”. Since it was founded in 1833, JLC has never failed to prove itself to be the most innovative Swiss watch brand.
This luxury watchmaker always impresses the industry with its genuine devotion to perfection. It has created many notable innovations and unique clarity in a continuous and never-ending process. Most of which are new patents and movement inventions. The brand even provided movements to other top-notch brands. Among those are Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. One of the most noticeable achievements is the JLC Atmos Clock. It is the first watch to use variations in temperature to control the ticking. The movement is very complicated, making it impossible for any brands trying to replicate.
Complex detailing and exquisite have turned JCL to be the target of most prominent watchmakers. At the same time, they make it so exclusive to buy. A long wait up to months is expected if you want to possess a JCL timepiece.
Established as an American manufacturer but IWC has its origin back in Switzerland. Apart from most of the producers of Swiss watches, IWC is the only manufacturer located in the East of Switzerland.
The brand specializes in creating premium Swiss watches with high quality and respect for protecting the environment. Famous for pilot’s watch with the best quality, IWC invented the latest modern technology, named Pellanton winding system, which operates the winding of their watches more effectively.
IWC Portugieser is one of the most reputational timepieces of this brand. Invented when two Portuguese traders asked for a timepiece with a pocket watch’s precision, this time, the watch was manufactured with a larger design than usual. Not only popular with the major of watch enthusiasts, but this version also created a trend of wristwatches with the bigger-size.
#7 Baume & Mercier
If you have a great interest in watches, you must have known how to call this brand. Surprisingly, it will be quickly corrected by watches geeks if you pronounce it as Baume and Mercier, believe me! This Swiss watch brand is not as common as Rolex, however, its impressive popularity and pedigree make it able to compete with any other brands mentioned here.
Baume & Mercier was rewarded with the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark in 1919, whereas, many of their products, with artistic designs, received reputational international awards.
If you are looking for an elegant watch, Baume & Mercier Hampton, the collection with the vintage-looking is a good idea! Derived from the history of the company, these creative watches caught the attention of the major of watches geeks by their special decoration and unique look. And I believe that this masterpiece will impress you, for sure!
Though the brand is on the point of growing bigger, its company seems to be in flux. Lack of characters for a luxury brand that focuses on appealing design is not really preferable.
#8 Van Cleef & Arpels
Known as the only Swiss watch manufacturer listed here among the top 15 best Swiss watch brands offering unique and luxury timekeepers, Van Cleef & Arpels has been widely popular with their artistic-looking timepieces. These impressive watches, with exquisite designs, are believed to be worthy to display in art museums. Floral and fauna designs have been the representatives of its product lines in the industry. They had also decided to start out under a jewelry brand.
This brand’s most famous watch is the one with a unique dial, named Lady Arpels Planetarium. One remarkable point of this beautiful watch is that planets are made of stones, creating the magnificence of this timepiece. Van Cleef & Arpels is also well known to be pioneering many horological technologies and artistically inspired designs.
As the design is mostly inclined to female customers, the brand is not widely known between males, who occupy the biggest purchases for a watch.
#9 TAG Heuer
If you are a big fan of sports, you must have heard about this brand. TAG Heuer, with its reputation for timing numerous sports events, gained more popularity after being the timekeeper of Olympic events during the 1920s.
For the first time, their dashboard stopwatch for cars called Autavia succeeded to make a connection between them and automobile racing. Carrera, the next collection, the popular models of Tag Heuer, was inspired by their passion at motorsports and as a consequence, the Porsche Formula E team choose them as their timing cooperator.
Besides these two famous products, TAG Heuer Monaco is highly-appreciated as the first automatic stopwatch with a square-cased shape. It was made for the Monaco Grand Prix and with the delicate design. This watch is one of the brand marks of this brand.
One thing the brand should take into consideration is the control of counterfeit. Same as Rolex, the more popular the brand is in public eyes, the more often counterfeit issues could happen.
#10 Vacheron Constantin
One of “Big Three” out of the top 15 best Swiss watch brands, Vacheron Constantin has a big number of loyal customers. Blancpain is the oldest and biggest watch brand that has survived with many generations. However, Vacheron Constantin is known as the brand of the Swiss watch with a long-lasting history.
Spending 250 years on making watches, this brand has created numerous kinds of products, some of the most sophisticated timepiece in the world. For example, Reference 57260, a pocket watch of them, was regarded as the hardest watch to replicate. The most famous watch of this brand is Vacheron Constantin Patrimony. This collection with a minimalistic shape, derived from the models of Vacheron Constantin in the 1950s. What makes Vacheron Constantin watch so exclusive is its focus on every detail. The company utilizes precious metals and stones chosen by the inhouse artisan.
There is nothing to consider about the brand’s prestige in the watch community. However, its wristwatches don’t reach the maximum resale value compared to the high complication.
After three decades of concentrating on the creation of pocket watches, the founder of Piaget’s son took over the company and started producing wristwatches.
The brand is the pioneer of ultra-thin movements. It named itself in the world record for the thinnest automatic movement. Planet Altiplano Ultra-thin has recently held the title of the thinnest hand watch in the world. Do you still wonder how thin it is? Here’s the answer! It is measured that the total width of the watch face and case is 2mm. Impressing, isn’t it? If you are keen on watches with thin designs, Piaget is a good choice! Why don’t you try it on?
The size of Piaget’s watch is relatively big, especially for female customers. Those with a small wrist should carefully consider if you intend to buy yourself a Piaget.
You are looking for a luxury watch? Here is what you need to find out! Breitling is the Swiss luxury watch brand focusing on aviation timepieces. However, with the passion for science and sports, the founder of this brand, Leon Breitling changed his concentration on chronographs and timers.
After taking over the business, his son decided to make the pilot’s watches and successfully, they were very popular. Their technologies are designed mostly for aviation watches, which are used by British Royal Airforce for their pilots, for example. Breitling is well respected by watch geeks because of not only the rich details on the watch dials but also its character based on sporty-archaic inspire. What makes the brand stand out among other luxury brands is the COSC certificate – the highest designation for a Swiss watch brand.
As Breitling places its main focus on producing aviation watches with high precision and multifunction, it limits its selection to those who are fond of blingy models.
Zenith is one of the companies that manufacture all its movements by themselves. It is the front runner of the first automatic chronograph movement in the world. El-primero, the first fully integrated and automatic stopwatch, made by Zenith, is the only one which can measure the one-tenth of a second.
Zenith is admired by other brands due to its great accuracy and precision That is the reason why they borrow Zenith’s movement to operate their models. The most famous example is Rolex with its Daytona collection powered by El-Primero calibers.
Although Zenith is considered an innovative drive in the industry, their watches are expected to be waterproof instead of being water-resistant only. This technique has become more and more popular among watch customers. Based on what Zenith has contributed so far to the horological technology, I believe we can hope for its water-resistant wristwatch selection shortly.
Have you ever wonder who made the history of horologic? If yes, you will be surprised by the answer! Abraham-Louis Breguet, the founder of Breguet, is one of the most important factors. Thanks to him, now you can use a watch without winding it now and then. Fascinating, right?
Breguet is his watch brand and it gains reputation by creating the first wristwatch as well as the first self-winding watch, called Perpetuelle.
Thanks to its prestige and high complication, the brand is loved by the royals such as King George II, Napoleon, and Queen Victoria. Breguet is the perfect combination of innovation, technology, and creativity, bringing it a unique charm that you definitely can’t find anywhere else. It is more evident with the Breguet Marie- Antoinette. Known as the Queen, it is the famous pocket watch of this brand in the world!
The second to last piece to complete this excellent Swiss timekeeper puzzle is the oldest surviving watch brand – Blancpain. In about two decades, it will be celebrating the 300th anniversary.
The brand places its sole focus on timepieces with mechanical movement. Other competitors are chasing after the Quartz Crisis with mass production of a wristwatch with digital display. Meanwhile, Blancpain still impresses the watch community with back-to-back innovations from royal to model classics. The most remarkable example to be mentioned here is its Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms watch. It is equipped with the automatic tourbillon and calendar with a power reserve within 8 days. This innovation had never been recorded in any product before.
Blancpain watches are pretty fragile, resulting in poor resale value on the market in comparison with other brands such as Rolex and Omega. Despite its efforts on cooperating its product line with more model choices, the brand still processes major production of classic watches. This is not preferable for people who want to have a Blancpain with high quality and a modern look.
Founded in 1853 in the watchmaking town of Le Locle, Switzerland by the father and son duo Charles- Felicien Tissot and Charles-Emile Tissot, Tissot has stood the test of time. Whereas other watch manufactures were forced out of business for failing to adapt to improved technology, Tissot has made a point of always looking to the future. It has successfully made adjustments that have kept it relevant for over 150 years.
Tissot was the first to create non-magnetic watches, and Tissot was instrumental in starting watchmaking schools. They introduced modern and sought after designs at every point in their history – whether it was a custom pocket watch for Czar Nicholas II of Russia, or colorful wristwatches for 1960’s hippies. They mastered the art of marketing, backed up with a quality product, and the Tissot brand is known and trusted worldwide.
In the 1980’s Tissot again had to pivot to address the new quartz crystal watch technology. Tissot became part of the swatch group led by Nicholas Hayek.
TIssot still makes quality pocket watches, along with a plethora of beautiful wristwatches. They are make precision time measurement equipment. They are the official timekeepers of a wide variety of professional sports leagues and teams.
It is undeniable that Swiss watch brands are now very popular with watch geeks, which creates its long-lasting reputation and loyal customers. If you are looking for a premium watch with modern functions and exquisite designs, the top 16 best Swiss watch brands listed here is the best advice for you!
Hopefully, after reading this article, you may decide on your favorite watch! And I strongly believe that your choice will exceed your expectations!