The History of the Swiss Watch

September 18th, 2018

While many people love the idea of purchasing Swiss watches, very few individuals know the actual history behind them. Of course, the quality and distinct appearance of the Swiss watch makes it a ready choice any day.

Yet, it’s great that you know the stories and facts that made this timepiece a remarkable name in the watchmaking industry.

Swiss Watch

How Switzerland Became the Watchmaking Base

The watchmaking companies in Switzerland are popular for their original equipment, ancient watchmaking techniques, and emphasis on decorative quality watches. Top watch brands such as Chopard and Patek Philippe have their roots in the Swiss grounds and their watches continue to be carefully handcrafted by expert watchmakers.

Just as the best cars are associated with the Germans, most original watches are traced to the Swiss. First, the Germans made portable clocks in the 1500s which could be carried around or attached to the wearer’s outfit. They were responsible for the balance spring and initial horological successes.

Next, Geneva adopted the watch business and began to make watches of impressive designs. In the 18th century, the mechanical movement was invented by men including James Cox.

It was the arrival of Abraham-Louis Breguet, a Swiss, on the watchmaking scene that brought fame to Switzerland’s watch industry. His innovations include the tourbillon, the balance spring (flat surface), and the para-chute.

Because the Swiss relied on smaller centers, they could produce more timepieces than other European brands. Their etablissage system enabled them to produce up to two million watches in the later part of the 19th century. Swiss Watch

Brands that Sprung During this Period

The growth of the Swiss watchmaking world led to the arrival of leading watchmakers such as:

  • Longines (1832)
  •  The International Watch Company (IWC Schaffhausen), founded by Florentine A. Jones, an American from Boston
  •  Patek Philippe
  • Vacheron Constantin
  •  Swatch (1980s by Swiss-Lebanese Nicolas G. Hayek)
  • Frederique Constant
  • swiss watches

And many more!

Features of the Original Swiss Watch

Many of the first set of watches from Switzerland combined artistic designs with exceptional craftsmanship. Next to the Germans, the Swiss were known to build timepieces with excellent mechanism. The Swatch Company brought the ETA movements which are often discussed during Swiss movement vs. Japanese movement debates.

Again, traditional practices of the Swiss watchmakers make Swiss watches luxury pieces with:

  • High-quality
  • Precision
  • Longevity
  • Reliability
  • Expensiveness

The History of the Swiss Watch

All of these factors are what make Swiss-Made watches the common interest for watch lovers. Even though the Grand Seiko and Citizen watches also produce mid-end classic pieces, the reputation of the Swiss remains at the peak.

When you think of a real watch, the first thing that should come to mind is the Swiss watch. And this is related to the original watch parts used during the manufacturing process. Little wonder, watches with the “Swiss-Made” label often cost a lot.


With this explanation of the history of the Swiss watch, we believe that you now understand why Swiss luxury watches are treated with awe.

While some watchmakers now devise means to produce fake Swiss watches and mislead watch collectors, we at focus on designing only authentic watches which can last a lifetime.

Visit our store: now to make your purchase.

September 18th, 2018|Tags: , , |