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A Guide To Swiss Watches | The Watch Hut

Published: 20-09-2017

Fred Constant Watches

In the world of watchmaking, 'Swiss Made' is a sign that your timepiece has been crafted by the crème de la crème of craftsmen and women. And there's a demand for this prestigious stamp - according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Switzerland exported 25.4 million watches in 2016, worth a total of £14bn.

The likes of Victorinox Swiss Army and Movado produce some magnificently crafted watches that can be snapped up for less than £500, while Alpina and Tissot offer some fantastic mid-range pieces. At the higher end of the price spectrum, brands such as Ball and Maurice Lacroix ensure collectors get their money's worth with their meticulous attention to detail.

We've outlined everything you need to know about what makes a Swiss watch so special, and selected some of our favourite designs from each rung of the price spectrum to help fire your imagination.

What's all the fuss about 'Swiss made' and 'Swiss movement'?

Not just anyone can use the 'Swiss' label - there are different requirements that brands must adhere to before they can call a watch 'Swiss':

  • For Swiss made watches:
  • At least 60% of manufacturing value must be generated in Switzerland
  • Watch movement must be made and assembled in Switzerland
  • Watch mechanics must be built and tested in Switzerland
  • The entire watch must be 'cased up' in Switzerland
  • The manufacturer's final inspection must be done in Switzerland
  • For Swiss movement watches:
  • At least 60% of manufacturing value must be generated in Switzerland
  • The watch's movement must be assembled and inspected in Switzerland

The main defining factor for Swiss watches is how many of the watch's parts are made in Switzerland, and where the watch is assembled. If the movement and mechanics are Swiss, but the manufacturer doesn't fully assemble the watch in Switzerland, they can't put 'Swiss made' on the case or dial, according to Swiss law.

Some watches may say 'Swiss quartz'. This means that, while the quartz movement has been made in Switzerland, the watch might not meet criteria to be a real 'Swiss watch'.

Budget friendly Swiss watches

Victorinox Swiss Army Watch

If it's good enough for the Swiss Army, it's good enough for us! Water-resistant up to 200m and constructed from tough, stainless steel, this Victorinox Swiss Army Professional Diver watch (£495) is a handsome vision, and features everything you need to inspect the secrets of the ocean.

With luminous markers to ensure visibility in the murkiest of depths, it's finished with a thick rubber strap and a striking red hand, to make a sophisticated statement above and below the surface.

Tissot PRC200 watch

When it comes to design, this elegant ladies' watch (£345) from Tissot makes the best of the old and the new. Roman numerals give the piece a timeless appeal, while the rose gold finish is refreshingly modern. Featuring a chronograph and tachymeter, it's ideal for sporty ladies who love to look stylish, finished with a versatile chocolate brown leather strap that works with virtually every outfit.

Mid-range Swiss watches

Alpina Horological Smartwatch

When it comes to the fine art of Swiss watchmaking, Geneva-based Alpina have more than 130 years under their belt. The men's horological smartwatch (£1,030) cleverly combines old-school Swiss craftmanship with the best of Silicon Valley technology to create a watch with brains and beauty in equal measure.

At first glance this watch may look like a handsome sports watch, but syncing it with your smartphone unlocks a wealth of additional activity tracking features, including calorie burn and sleep cycle monitoring.

Raymond Weil noemia Watch

Boasting no less than 62 genuine diamonds, this pretty gold plated Noemia watch (£1,595) from Raymond Weil oozes class.

The face has a dreamy, pearly finish, and is completed with a mother of pearl dial. It's a delicate and feminine watch that will look stunning at special occasions, with enduring style that is sure to stand the test of time.

Luxury Swiss watches

Ball Hyrdocarbon Nedu Watch

When it comes to luxury, Ball don't mess about. The men's Hydrocarbon Nedu Chronometer Titanium Automatic Chronograph watch (£3,580) is one seriously good-looking piece, crafted from the toughest, premium materials and loaded with specialty features.

21 gas tubes on the markers ensure optimum visibility in dark and murky waters, and the oversized rotating bezel is easily accessed, no matter where you are. It's a truly breath-taking example of Swiss craftsmanship.

ladies maurice lacroix les classiques watch

This gorgeous Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques watch (£2,555) is encrusted with genuine diamonds on the hour markers and around the outer casing. It features a delicate silver metal bracelet, making it a classically feminine watch that is sure to be the ultimate accessory for memorable occasions across the decades.

If you're looking to invest in a watch that will last a lifetime, a carefully selected Swiss Made timepiece is an excellent choice. Super precise and made from premium materials, it's an investment that can be treasured for years and passed down the generations.