Amalgamating functionality with exquisite style: Swiss watches for men and women are a desirable luxury product to own. Not only can a Swiss manufactured wristwatch add the perfect finishing touches to a well-dressed look, but it can also serve a functional and practical purpose on the wrist. There has been a surge in Swiss watches as investment pieces over the last couple of decades, with many selling in the preowned market for higher than their original retail price.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best Swiss watches available right now. From the oldest Swiss watch brands to the inventors of the Royal Oak (the first steel sports watch), to a watch brand that created the first timepiece to land on the moon, these watches have been cherry-picked as all-time favorites from a huge portfolio of famous luxury watch brands. This list is full of watch brands that are recognized globally for their pioneering work in precision timekeeping. Let’s begin.
View The Best Swiss Watch Below
1. Rolex Datejust 36
Of course, Rolex had to make our top spot. Rolex is the number #1 most recognized watch brand in the entire world, and it’s no surprise as to why. Rolex’s portfolio comprises a mix of rugged tool watches and elegant classic dress watches. The Datejust is a dress watch built from supreme materials manufactured in-house at Rolex.
This Rolex Datejust 36 features a cyclops lens over the date feature, surrounded by a stainless steel case and a fluted 18ct white gold bezel. There are so many designs to choose from when it comes to the Datejust collection, but we feel this model is the perfect mix of elegance, functionality, and that instantly recognizable Rolex style.
+ Black Roman numeral dial with cyclops date
+ Steel Jubilee bracelet
+ COSC Superlative Chronometer Certified movement
+ 18ct white gold fluted bezel
+ Cyclops date feature at 3
Why We Like It – This Rolex Datejust is powered by one of the brand’s most reliable and widely used calibers – the 3135, complete with a 48-hour power reserve.
2. Patek Philippe Calatrava
This 18k white gold Patek Philippe Calatrava watch is the ultimate status symbol, symbolizing the beauty of the round dress watch. Embodying quintessential Swiss watch manufacture, Patek Philippe watches are crafted from supreme materials and equipped with state-of-the-art movements made in-house by authentic Patek Philippe experts.
The black dial of this Swiss watch is delicately armored with faceted hands, a sweeping second hand, and a crisp date aperture at 3 o’clock. The elements promote simple timekeeping inside a traditionally-styled watch. At the heart of the watch is the Caliber 324 S C, which provides a useful 45-hour power reserve when fully wound.
+ 30-meter water-resistant 18k white gold case
+ Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass caseback
+ Caliber 324 S C – 28,800 vibrations per hour
+ Black lacquered dial with white gold appliques
+ Traditional black leather strap for ultimate comfort
Why We Like It – You can catch a glimpse of Patek Philippe’s peerlessly performing movement through a glass exhibition lens attached to the back of this Swiss watch.
3. Tissot Everytime Swiss Automatic
As its namesake suggests, this is a Swiss watch for every day and every occasion. The Tissot Everytime has classic undertones, making it the best watch for creating a simple and minimalist look when paired with smart attire. Its three-hand design features a silver dial with a date aperture at 3 o’clock.
A 30-meter water-resistant steel case spanning 40mm in diameter keeps the Swissmatic movement safe from moisture, heat, shock, and debris damage. If you like keeping your style pared-down, this understated Tissot model is among some of the best watches currently out there on the market.
+ 40mm stainless steel case
+ Minimalist three-handed design
+ Date feature at 3 o’clock
+ Anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass caseback
+ Embossed cow leather strap
Why We Like It – With its black leather strap designed to look like alligator leather and an opportunity to observe a Swiss movement through its caseback, this Tissot watch deserves a place in every enthusiast’s collection.
4. TAG Heuer Formula 1
Exclusive to the Formula 1 collection, this sporty chronograph joins our list of the best Swiss watches as it signifies everything special to TAG Heuer’s relationship with the car racing industry. It’s perfect for you if you’re a motorsport fan, or even if you like collecting chronograph watches especially.
This sporty TAG Heuer Formula 1 timepiece is made by the brand who created the iconic TAG Heuer Carrera, and features a striking blue dial that is sure to get you noticed whatever you decide to wear it to. Chronograph dials provide you with 1/10th of a second, minutes, and hour features. They can also be used in conjunction with a robust steel tachymeter bezel. This luxury watch completes any outfit with its stylish stainless steel bracelet completed in a fine brushed finish.
+ Blue chronograph dial with date
+ Luminous hands and indexes
+ Rugged steel bracelet for elevating a smart suit
+ Powered by a quartz movement
+ 200-meter water resistance
Why We Like It – This TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch goes to show that not all the best watches have to house an automatic movement at their heart.
5. Longines Master Collection
Packed with innovative features, this Longines watch shows off all the manufacturer’s skills in fine Haute Horlogerie. Its white dial acts as the perfect backdrop to features like a moon phase display, chronograph hours, minutes and seconds, the day and the date. It also features a 24-hour sub-counter, enabling you to keep track of a second time zone when hopping from one country to another.
The perfect companion for sport, leisure, socializing, and travel. You need only combine its classic brown leather strap with a smart suit to feel dapper. Longines remains one of the most recognized watch brands out there. Their timepieces are associated with reliability and elegance first and foremost.
+ Functions: chronograph/day/date/moonphase/24 hour
+ Powered by self-winding Caliber L687
+ 54-hour power reserve
+ 40mm steel case – 30-meter water resistance
+ Transparent sapphire glass case
Why We Like It – You can view the intricate arrangement and seamless performance of this Longines movement through a crisp sapphire-backed case.
6. Zenith El Primero Original Automatic
Zenith’s El primero watch is a flagship timepiece. The brand tailored their very own in-house manufactured movement for these watches. The different colored chronograph sub-counters are a signature look for these wristwatches.
Dressed against a silver-colored background and with a striking red-coated central chronograph second hand, you can use the chronograph functions simultaneously with the tachymeter scale to record distance based on speed or speed based on travel time. A supple brown alligator leather strap will add the finishing touches to a smart outfit before you leave the house each day.
+ 38mm steel case
+ Powered by the El Primero 400 movement – 50-hour power reserve
+ Silver sunray patterned dial with date feature
+ Chronograph features and tachymeter scale
+ 100-meter water resistance
Why We Like It – The blue, black, and grey contrasting colors of the chronograph counters showcased in this El Primero watch convey a subtle retro-inspired look.
7. Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Black Bay watches from the prestigious brand, Tudor is highly sought-after in the watch market. This instantly recognizable model sits on the wrist with a confident 41mm steel case, equipped with a black anodized aluminum bezel.
It promises a 200-meter water-resistant capability and a unidirectional rotating bezel that will allow you to keep track of your dive time while underwater. Other features, like a screw-down crown, screw-down case back, and a luminous dial, will equip you with the perfect sporty, diver’s watch for all sorts of outdoor challenges.
+ Powered by the automatic MT5602 Caliber
+ 41mm steel case with black anodized aluminum bezel
+ Black dial with luminous markers
+ 200-meter water resistance
+ Anti-glare sapphire glass lens
Why We Like It – Despite its bold diving aesthetic, this watch is adorned with elegant rose gold indexes that enhance a luxurious finish on the wrist.
8. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
The satin-brushed black ceramic bezel of this Blancpain watch frames Liquidmetal markers that stand out against a dramatic black face. It’s the ultimate Swiss watch for you if you’re a frequent diver or if you tend to take part in a lot of water sports.
The brand has fitted the watch with the Caliber 1315, which sits inside a robust 300-meter water-resistant steel case. It provides a breath-taking 120-hour power reserve. Completed on a black sail canvas strap, this Blancpain watch makes a statement on the wrist, whether you’re spending a day in the office or exploring the deep dark depths of the ocean.
+ 300-meter water-resistant steel case
+ Black dial with Liquidmetal hour markers
+ Unidirectional rotating bezel
+ Powered by an automatic movement
+ Date feature at 4 o’clock
Why We Like It – An anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire glass lens equipped to the surface of this watch makes it perfect for reading the time at a glance.
9. Vacheron-Constantin Patrimony
If you like your wristwatches to communicate the epitome of luxury and style, this Vacheron Constantin watch is the perfect addition to your collection. The brand has crafted the case from 18k pink gold, and it features an elegant black dial with three rose gold hands along with delicate stick indexes for the hour markers.
Aside from being powered by an incredibly precise movement – the Caliber 2450 Q6 – you can see a set of components arranged by precision through the back of its case. The watch movement’s effortless performance is put on show through a sapphire glass exhibition case back.
+ Powered by automatic movement – 40-hour power reserve
+ Simple three-handed dial design
+ 18k pink gold case
+ Comfortable black alligator strap with ardillon buckle
+ Transparent caseback
Why We Like It – You can dress up or dress down when wearing this Vacheron Constantin watch. The Patrimony collection is full of unapologetically beautiful timepieces for every occasion
10. Omega Speedmaster Racing Automatic
This Speedmaster watch by Omega is powered by a Co-Axial Escapement. It requires an additional escape wheel to provide greater mechanical efficiency. Omega’s recognizable Speedmaster aesthetic is celebrated through a black chronograph dial with a tachymeter scale built into the bezel.
The watch delivers a 52-hour power reserve and features the brand’s anti-reflective sapphire crystal lens for quick referencing of the time, It also offers a 100-meter water-resistant case. This 40mm Omega Speedmaster watch combines functionality with a statement-making design.
+ Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass lens
+ “Clous de Paris” patterned chronograph dials/date feature
+ Powered by the Co-Axial caliber 3330
+ 100-meter water-resistant case
+ Robust stainless steel case with folding clasp
Why We Like It – The Speedmaster is the most highly coveted model from Omega, celebrating the brand’s pioneering work in manufacturing watches for land, sea, and space.
Swiss Watches Buyer’s Guide
What is a Swiss watch?
Swiss watches are synonyms for quality and luxury. Incorporating standards of excellence in their designs, you’re unlikely to find a watch made anywhere else in the world that offers the same level of craftsmanship as a Swiss watch. Factors that define a Swiss watch include (but are not confined to):
- A watch entirely manufactured in Switzerland
- A watch that is powered by a Swiss-made movement
- A watch whose costs are 60% based in Switzerland
- A watch that has been quality assessed and inspected in Switzerland
To understand what makes a Swiss watch so expensive, it’s important to first look at what a Swiss watch is and how these timepieces came to be such a niche instrument to collect. Switzerland wasn’t put on the map for having any involvement in timekeeping or watchmaking until the 19th Century – long after Germany made the first portable clock.
France and England were already part of this status quo by then. Switzerland started off making cheap alternatives to wristwatches developed by other countries in Europe until a few watchmakers were noticed for their skills. This small few grew and grew until the country came to be recognized for quality over quantity.
Swiss watch brands like Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe are some of the first and oldest in the industry. They also make up what is known as the Holy Trinity within Haute Horlogerie – prized for their exceptionally high standards in traditional watch manufacture.
During the 1970s, the quartz crises occurred. Quartz movements could be cheaply churned out at a rate of knots, and once people realized that these alternatives were more affordable, the Swiss watch industry struggled greatly. Many brands, including Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, had to start selling their small parts and materials as their businesses collapsed.
Despite the difficulty experienced for decades, as well as the American market chiseling a large chunk out of the watch industry, and the aftermath of World War II, some brands were lucky to revive themselves once the quartz crisis was over. Traditional watch collectors once again yearned for the beauty and impeccable craftsmanship of a classic watch on their wrists and began investing their money in Swiss brands again.
Why are Swiss watches so expensive?
So, what makes a Swiss watch so irresistible, you ask? Well, pretty much everything that makes them so expensive too! Swiss watches are more than just a tool for tracking the minutes of the day with. Some of the world’s most famous Swiss watch brands have hundreds of years of expertise and success to look back on.
You pay for this experience in a watch’s price label. But whether you’re planning on wearing a luxury timepiece on your wrist your whole life or hoping to pass it down the family line to generations to come, one thing is for sure – a quality Swiss watch is made to last an entire lifetime.
Where a TAG Heuer watch will cost you less than an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, what really makes a Swiss watch so special is personal to you. Are you invested in a brand’s manufacturing values? Do you wear a Rolex watch as a status symbol because you like the attention it attracts? Or does the history of the Omega Speedmaster watch charm you?
One of the main reasons why a Swiss watch is such a popular choice is down to its rich history. The art of watchmaking is refined by a manufacturer over centuries and unfortunately, the authentic skill involved in developing a beautiful traditional wristwatch has become extinct in many parts of the world.
A small area of Switzerland however, keeps the art of watchmaking alive, making the methodology of watch manufacturing even more exclusive and sought after. Swiss-made watches are also hand-assembled. Many are crafted from materials that have been developed in-house, and the intricately crafted movements guarantee the best level of accuracy and reliability.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, for example, features golden screws in its case design. Omega, on the other hand, powers its timepieces with the Co-Axial escapement for guaranteeing better mechanical efficiency.
The TAG Heuer Carrera collection of wristwatches is inspired by motorsport racing, with watch dials taking on the look of dashboards and colorful aesthetics that mirror the adrenaline and energy experienced at the side of the race track. Alternatively, the Black Bay watch collection by Tudor takes full advantage of the original design concepts used to make Rolex watches, gearing them towards professional and amateur divers.
The metal gears and internal mechanisms of a Swiss watch are, more often than not, designed and developed entirely in-house, so if you’re looking to buy a luxury watch that feels, looks, and performs exquisitely, a Swiss watch is the perfect self-indulgent treat.
Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Omega, and Vacheron Constantin are just a few Swiss watch brands that have patented their own innovations. Corrosion-resistant, shock-resistant, anti-magnetic, and scratch-resistant materials promise longevity on the wrist, enabling you to put your watch through one extreme condition after another without compromising on performance.
Are Swiss watches worth the money?
It’s incredibly difficult to draw the line between a watch that’s reasonably priced and one that’s unachievable. That’s because some watch enthusiasts will pay serious amounts of money for a Swiss watch, so one collector’s opinion on whether a watch is expensive will differ from another. Many hardcore watch collectors believe that you get what you pay for.
An extra few thousand dollars can mean the difference between a timepiece powered by a modified Swiss movement and an 18k perpetual calendar watch powered by an incredibly intricate in-house made engine.
The idea of investing in a watch for some people is about choosing a watch that A) can be handed down the family line and B) keeps its value within the second-hand market. For other watch enthusiasts, buying a watch is all about searching high and low to get your hands on a vintage classic, or a unique timepiece that appeals to you because it’s not so mainstream.
What features should I look for in a Swiss watch?
Made with the utmost professionalism and the highest level of craftsmanship, there are lots of advantages to owning a Swiss watch, and the internet is always a great place to search for watches by brand. You can easily find a style that you like, but it’s always a good idea to do some thorough research before you part with your money.
Generally speaking, Switzerland watches have a premium price tag, reflecting materials that will protect the center of a watch throughout years of prolonged use and wear-and-tear. They also tend to have sapphire crystal glass lenses, integrated with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant properties. This offers an advantage over the alternative, cheaper materials used by fashion watch brands because the glass will enable you to reference the time at a quick glance.
Many models feature an exhibition caseback crafted from the same material. The window on the caseback grants an exclusive view into a mechanical movement in motion – that is, of course, if the watch is automatic or hand-wound as opposed to quartz powered.
The case of a Swiss watch can be crafted from various materials. Stainless steel is still widely used and, surprising to some, is the choice of material for luxury sport watch collectors. Audemars Piguet created the first stainless steel sports watch with the Royal Oak. Models like the Nautilus and Aquanaut remain some of the most desirable luxury wristwatches of all time. Other case materials include 18k white, rose or yellow gold, platinum, titanium, and ceramic.
The quality of a watch is not just confined to the case itself, however. You’re also paying for a quality mechanical movement or a Swiss-made quartz movement. One brand that specializes equally in automatic and quartz movements is TAG Heuer. Sporty wristwatches from the Formula 1 collection are sometimes powered by a quartz movement, whereas the Carrera collection celebrates some of the brand’s most reliable automatic engines.
Whereas IWC Schaffhausen has specialized in creating soft iron inner cases to protect their movements, Omega has focussed on creating anti-magnetic housing for movements that power the Seamaster line. No matter which Swiss watch brands you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something unique about how your favorite brand manufactures its watches.
Every brand has a different method of manufacture, just like each brand has its own style. From traditional timepieces like Patek Philippe’s elegant Calatrava watch and Zenith’s El Primero watch to bona fide diving watches like Tudor’s bold and masculine Black Bay watch, our guide to the best Swiss wristwatches has hopefully given you some helpful tips. Hopefully, you will find the very best watch to suit your personality and lifestyle.