Any informed watch enthusiast knows that there are companies producing quality products all around the globe. Still, almost every luxury timepiece brand is based in Switzerland, which has been a horology hub for hundreds of years. So, if you’re in the market for a truly remarkable product, going with Swiss watch brands is an excellent choice.
Below, I choose five of my favorite Swiss watch brands and give a brief explanation for why that company is worth your consideration. The criteria I used to pick them is more art than science. The list is not solely based on the quality of the watches, their value, or the heritage of each company. Instead, it is a wonderful mix of all of those factors. I hope you enjoy it!
The fact of the matter is, that in the watch world, Rolex is king. Since their inception over 100 years ago, they have continuously broken records and busted through barriers. One of the most notable examples is when they created the first waterproof watch ever and proved its ability by having a famous swimmer cross the English Channel wearing it.
Another achievement that comes to mind is when they created a watch that can withstand the insane pressure of going to the very bottom of the ocean. As expected, that timepiece functioned perfectly.
While there are many excellent brands out there, Rolex continues to be the most recognizable and sought after Swiss watch brands. It is the favorite of CEOs, actors, and rappers, but it isn’t all hype and celebrity endorsements. Instead, they take meticulous care in every product they create, and the quality of the final product is undeniable. If you want to get one for yourself, you might have to be patient, as their most popular models often have one or two-year waitlists.
Omega has a reputation as Rolex’s little brother, but it is a company that has a variety of accomplishments of its own. Perhaps the best of all of them is outfitting the first astronauts who went to the moon. That might be my favorite piece of horological trivia, and Omega will always have it in their back pocket. Just like most of the brands on this list, this company has been around for over a century and has been revolutionizing the watch market throughout.
My favorite thing about Omega is how much value they deliver at their price point. No, these pieces do not beat out the likes of Rolex or Patek Philippe, but in my opinion, they come very close. A watch collector with an endless budget can purchase the best of the best, but many of us would prefer 90% of the watch for half the price. That is precisely what Omega provides.
This brand is one of the oldest out there. Patek Philippe was founded in 1839 and has specialized in creating luxury timepieces ever since.
One of the more charming things about this company is that it is family owned. That is in contrast to most other brands, which are either large corporations themselves or part of even larger conglomerates. Throughout its history, Patek Philippe has amassed numerous achievements and made a variety of technological leaps.
As far as the products themselves go, many horological experts consider Patek Philippe watches to be the best in the world. That doesn’t just mean the best value, or the best in their price range, though. It means that if you put a Patek head to head with any timepiece, it would win. Now, that is just an opinion, but it is the opinion of many prominent people who know their way around watches.
The one hesitation I have in putting Audemars Piguet on this list is their somewhat small catalog.
While they have some alternatives, nearly every watch they sell is a Royal Oak or an offshoot of that iconic piece. Still, their popularity is undeniable, and they absolutely deserve a spot on this list. Additionally, the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 collection is about to expand its offerings considerably, which should make the company even more alluring going forward.
The last brand on this list is International Watch Company, better known as IWC. IWC sometimes flies under the radar, but produces amazing products at a fair price. To be honest, this final spot was the toughest to pick. The first four felt absolutely right, while number 5 was a toss-up between a variety of brands. Still, IWC is definitely deserving of their inclusion, and are an excellent option for those of you who want to spend a bit less money on your wrist companion.
The truth is that you can’t go wrong with any Swiss watch brands. Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and IWC all have fantastic reputations and are sure to wow you with their products. Perhaps the hardest part of this article, though, was leaving out so many other great companies. So, let’s do a quick honorable mentions list: Longines, Breitling, Tissot, TAG Heuer, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and Oris. You really can’t go wrong with any of these options, so if you want to spend a bit less or go in a different direction, don’t hesitate to check any of these brands out.