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Richard Mille RM 011 1st Singapore Grand Prix F1 Night Watch...
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011 1st Singapore Grand Prix F1 Night Watch...
$137,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
Richard Mille RM 010
TOP
Richard Mille RM 010
$92,699
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
Richard Mille RM 028 Automatic  Titanium  Diver's Watch
TOP
Richard Mille RM 028 Automatic Titanium Diver's Watch
$59,999
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
96
US
Ulysse Nardin Ulysse 1    Rose Gold
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Ulysse 1 Rose Gold
$8,300
Seller
Trade Watches
57
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO  "PEPSI"
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO "PEPSI"
$17,749
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 - Fully Serviced
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 - Fully Serviced
$2,425
Seller
The Swiss Vault
 
CA
Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex 18k yellow gold
TOP
Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex 18k yellow gold
$3,975
Free shipping
Seller
Daniele Trissi
31
US
Rolex DAY-DATE 40mm 18K Yellow Gold President Diamond Dial ...
TOP
Rolex DAY-DATE 40mm 18K Yellow Gold President Diamond Dial ...
$31,999
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
96
US
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 50th Anniversary 311.30.42.30.01.001
Auction
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 50th Anniversary 311.30.42.30.01.001

$4,501

Current bid

Ends in:

1d 17h 24m 54s

Auction over

Breitling Colt M1338810/BF01
TOP
Breitling Colt M1338810/BF01
$2,965
Free shipping
Seller
Precision Watches
71
US
Patek Philippe : Worldtime 5130 :  5130R-018 :  18k rose gold
TOP
Patek Philippe : Worldtime 5130 : 5130R-018 : 18k rose gold
$34,200
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
282
US
Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary '57 311.10.39.30.01.001
Auction
Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary '57 311.10.39.30.01.001

$5,830

Current bid

Ends in:

1d 17h 30m 54s

Auction over

Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR NEW
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR NEW
$36,899
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Richard Mille RM 016
TOP
Richard Mille RM 016
$58,799
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Limited Edition IW501005
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Bronze Limited Edition IW501005
$10,975
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
224
US
Breguet Classique 5140BB 18k white gold
TOP
Breguet Classique 5140BB 18k white gold
$13,100
Free shipping
Seller
Daniele Trissi
31
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
$14,800
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex Men's Steel 40mm Submariner Date Black Dial Bezel Box Books
TOP
Rolex Men's Steel 40mm Submariner Date Black Dial Bezel Box Books
$7,369
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Breitling Transocean Unitime Pilot AB0510U6/BC26-159A
TOP
Breitling Transocean Unitime Pilot AB0510U6/BC26-159A
$5,395
Free shipping
Seller
Precision Watches
71
US
Omega Speedmaster Gemini IV 40th anniversary 3565.80.00
Auction
Omega Speedmaster Gemini IV 40th anniversary 3565.80.00

$8,079

Opening bid

Ends in:

1d 17h 40m 54s

Auction over

Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary '57 311.10.39.30.01.001
Auction
Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary '57 311.10.39.30.01.001

$6,002

Current bid

Ends in:

1d 17h 44m 54s

Auction over

Rolex Day-Date 40 228238 NEW
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238 NEW
$28,500
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Summer Edition
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Summer Edition
$57,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
Omega Speedmaster - First Omega In Space - Factory Warranty  -...
TOP
Omega Speedmaster - First Omega In Space - Factory Warranty -...
$3,695
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
147
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26320OR.OO.1220OR.01
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26320OR.OO.1220OR.01
$48,500
Seller
Material Good
 
US
Patek Philippe Neptune
Patek Philippe Neptune
$16,900
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex Men's Day-Date 36mm Morellis President Blue Roman Dial...
TOP
Rolex Men's Day-Date 36mm Morellis President Blue Roman Dial...
$9,987
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Breitling Superocean 44 C1739112/BA77
TOP
Breitling Superocean 44 C1739112/BA77
$4,495
Free shipping
Seller
Precision Watches
71
US
Patek Philippe 3900/001 Nautilus Mid Size Quartz SS Blue Dial...
Patek Philippe 3900/001 Nautilus Mid Size Quartz SS Blue Dial...
$18,500
Seller
European Watch Company
184
US
Rolex Yacht Master II 116688 18k Yellow Gold Oyster 44mm...
TOP
Rolex Yacht Master II 116688 18k Yellow Gold Oyster 44mm...
$36,799
Seller
Diamonds East International
54
US
Rolex Daytona 116518LN  (NEW)
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116518LN (NEW)
$26,350
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Omega Planet Ocean 42mm Titanium - Blue - Unworn Condition
TOP
Omega Planet Ocean 42mm Titanium - Blue - Unworn Condition
$4,775
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
147
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26170ST.OO.D101...
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26170ST.OO.D101...
$18,000
Seller
Material Good
 
US
Patek Philippe Twenty~4
Patek Philippe Twenty~4
$27,500
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex Men's Rhodium Datejust 36mm Silver Dial Boxes Books 16264
TOP
Rolex Men's Rhodium Datejust 36mm Silver Dial Boxes Books 16264
$5,638
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe Calatrava
$21,500
Seller
Watch Expo
 
US
Omega 311.32.42.30.04.003 Speedmaster Professional Apollo XIII...
Omega 311.32.42.30.04.003 Speedmaster Professional Apollo XIII...
$24,500
Seller
European Watch Company
184
US
Rolex Explorer II 216570 Steel White Dial Gmt Date Oyster 42mm...
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 216570 Steel White Dial Gmt Date Oyster 42mm...
$7,499
Seller
Diamonds East International
54
US
Rolex Yacht-Master II NEW HANDS (NEW)
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master II NEW HANDS (NEW)
$35,500
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Richard Mille RM 011-03
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011-03
$217,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon - Factory Warranty - NEW
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon - Factory Warranty - NEW
$7,575
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
147
US
Richard Mille RM 67-01 Extra Flat
Richard Mille RM 67-01 Extra Flat
$112,000
Seller
Material Good
 
US
IWC Split Second Der Doppelchronograph
IWC Split Second Der Doppelchronograph
$32,000
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex Submariner Date Boxes Papers Blue Dial Bezel SS/18kt Gold
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Boxes Papers Blue Dial Bezel SS/18kt Gold
$8,488
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
$16,950
Seller
Watch Expo
 
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Iced Out Full Diamonds
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Iced Out Full Diamonds
$35,500
Seller
Glore Jewelry
8
US
Blancpain 5015-1130-52 Fifty Fathoms Automatic SS / Kevlar...
Blancpain 5015-1130-52 Fifty Fathoms Automatic SS / Kevlar...
$9,400
Seller
European Watch Company
184
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 Green Roman Dial 228235
Rolex Day-Date 40 Green Roman Dial 228235
$30,100
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Breguet Marine Big Date 39mm
Breguet Marine Big Date 39mm
$7,250
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
32
US
Omega Speedmaster  Moonwatch - Hesalite - Factory Warranty - NEW
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch - Hesalite - Factory Warranty - NEW
$3,950
Seller
Watch Exchange Co.
147
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time  26120OR.OO.D002CR.01
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time 26120OR.OO.D002CR.01
$27,500
Seller
Material Good
 
US
Breguet Type XXI  Transatlantique Flyback in Rose Gold
Breguet Type XXI Transatlantique Flyback in Rose Gold
$17,000
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex Men's Datejust 36mm White MOP Diamond Dial Boxes Books
TOP
Rolex Men's Datejust 36mm White MOP Diamond Dial Boxes Books
$5,712
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Patek Philippe Nautilus
$52,500
Seller
Watch Expo
 
US
Rolex President Day-date 228238 18k Yellow Gold Silver Motif...
TOP
Rolex President Day-date 228238 18k Yellow Gold Silver Motif...
$29,799
Seller
Diamonds East International
54
US
Rolex Datejust 41 Rhodium Index Dial Oyster Bracelet 126300 NEW
Rolex Datejust 41 Rhodium Index Dial Oyster Bracelet 126300 NEW
$6,895
Seller
Kara's Watches
176
US
Rolex GMT-Master II "BATMAN" 2018
Rolex GMT-Master II "BATMAN" 2018
$12,650
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
59
US
Vacheron Constantin Malte Perpetual Calendar Platinum Chrono
Vacheron Constantin Malte Perpetual Calendar Platinum Chrono
$95,000
Seller
Beverly Hills Watch Company
32
US
Breitling 7806 Vintage Navitimer SS Circa 1973 (28651)
Breitling 7806 Vintage Navitimer SS Circa 1973 (28651)
$3,950
Seller
European Watch Company
184
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700 "Jumbo" in steel
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700 "Jumbo" in steel
$88,500
Seller
Material Good
 
US
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Rose Gold
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Rose Gold
$52,000
Seller
VALOBRA Jewelry & Antiques
 
US
Rolex MidSize President 31mm Factory Diamond Dial Box Books 68278
TOP
Rolex MidSize President 31mm Factory Diamond Dial Box Books 68278
$11,581
Free shipping
Seller
Mt. Vernon Specialties
13
US
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Swiss Watches: World-Renowned Timepieces

Swiss watches are synonymous with precision and luxury. The most well-known names in the business, with few exceptions, all hail from this Alpine country. Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Breitling all represent tradition and high quality.

Everything to Know About Swiss Watches in This Article

  • Buying advice for Swiss-made watches
  • Watches in different price ranges
  • Manufacturers, collections, and models
  • History of the Swiss watch industry

Which Swiss Watch Should I Buy?

If you want to buy a Swiss watch, you have a wide range of options. The right way to find out which watch is best for you is to ask yourself the following question: How much do I want to spend?

A new, brand-name Swiss watch with a mechanical movement can cost as little as 1,000 euros. You can find watches from manufacturers such as Chronoswiss, Maurice Lacroix, Oris, and Raymond Weil in this price range. Some series from these manufacturers are more expensive, however. For example, Raymond Weil's Nabucco chronograph costs around 3,000 euros new with a titanium case. TAG Heuer and Tissot also have a large selection of watches available for less than 5,000 euros.

Rolex and Omega are probably the most well-known representatives of Swiss luxury watches. The legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional is available in many different variations for less than 5,000 euros. The version closest to the original Moonwatch chronograph, which you can find under reference number 311.30.42.30.01.005, costs around 3,500 euros and has a stainless steel case. The material certainly influences the price, as cases made of precious metals are much more expensive than those made of stainless steel.

An Omega diving watch from the Seamaster collection with a gold case costs around 15,000 euros. The Rolex Submariner without a date display and a stainless steel case costs around 6,500 euros new. You should be prepared to spend at least 23,000 euros for a yellow gold Submariner, and 25,000 euros for a Rolex Daytona.

Patek Philippe's Nautilus is one of the most sought-after and expensive stainless steel sports watches from Switzerland. Without any complications, the women's version costs 20,000 euros, and the men's 25,000 euros. With a white gold or platinum case, the price jumps to 140,000 euros. The Calatrava, also from Patek Philippe, is the definition of a classic, elegant dress watch. New, the most popular version costs around 15,000 euros.

If you decide to go with a watch from Breguet or Blancpain, expect prices over 100,000 euros. Cases made of precious metals, diamond-set cases and straps, and intricate complications such a tourbillon increase the value of such watches. The newcomer Hublot also has some watches in this price range. The futuristic MP-05 LaFerrari watch usually costs 200,000 euros. The version with a sapphire glass case is over double the price, costing more than 400,000 euros.

Watches: Iconic Exports

Watches are a defining part of Switzerland's cultural image. They're more iconic than the banks and the cheese; only chocolate ranked "more Swiss" than watches according to a survey of participants from 15 different countries.

About 30 million watches leave the production halls of this little Alpine country every year. The variety amongst these watches is impressive. They range from traditional gold watches with complications such as a:

  • Moon phase display
  • Perpetual calendar
  • Minute repeater
  • Double chronograph

to diving and pilot's watches. Some of the Swiss companies even produce high-tech smartwatches. Many of these watches function as status symbols, ignoring their actual intended functions. Many diving watches from the Seamaster and Submariner collections will never go underwater, and only a small number of the pilot's watches sold by IWC or Breitling are actually worn in the cockpit. These watches work equally well as a tool watch or a luxury lifestyle object.

There are also mass market affordable watches, such as the famous quartz-powered Swatch with its bright and colorful plastic case. There are now mechanical versions with a simple 51-piece movement. The typical Swatch looks somewhat cheap and is not taken seriously by many watch fans, but certain models have sold at high prices as vintage watches. Furthermore, the Swatch is significantly responsible for helping the Swiss watch industry survive the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s and 80s. The Swatch watch, trendy and colorful, broke Swiss watches out of their conservative, stuffy image and attracted a new target audience. Above all, young people were attracted to this bright and simple watch.

However, luxury watches are what people think of when they think of Swiss watches. Switzerland leads the world in watch exports if you don't rank by number of timepieces. While only about 2% of watches sold worldwide come from Switzerland, they are worth 60% of the total value.

Many well-known brands with long watchmaking traditions belong to the Swatch Group (market share: 18%) or to luxury goods concerns like Richemont (market share: 16%) or Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH, market share: 5%). Rolex is the largest independent Swiss luxury watch manufacturer (market share: 12%). Their independent status greatly contributes to their outstanding reputation.

Overview of the Most Important Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers

Manufacturer Founding year Location of headquarters Parent group
Audemars Piguet 1875 Le Brassus Independent
Blancpain 1735 Le Brassus Swatch Group
Breguet 1775 L'Abbaye Swatch Group
Breitling 1884 Grenchen Independent
Chopard 1860 Geneva Independent
Hublot 1980 Nyon LVMH
IWC 1868 Schaffhausen Richemont
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1833 Le Sentier Richemont
Longines 1832 Saint-Imier Swatch Group
Omega 1848 Biel/Bienne Swatch Group
Patek Philippe 1851 Geneva Independent
Rolex 1905 Geneva Independent
TAG Heuer 1860 La Chaux-de-Fonds LVMH
Vacheron Constantin 1755 Plan-les-Ouates Richemont
Zenith 1865 Le Locle LVMH

Rolex

Rolex is number one amongst the large manufacturers. The Geneva-based manufacturer has been in business since 1905. Rolex produces some of the most famous and beloved watch models in the world, such as the Submariner, Daytona, and Datejust.

The Submariner is the definition of a diving watch, the Daytona is one of the most famous chronographs, and the Datejust embodies elegance. Rolex's pilot's watch is the Air King, and their GMT Master II displays a second time zone. With the invention of the perpetual rotor, Rolex significantly contributed to the breakthrough of the automatic watch in the 1930s. Every year, the manufacturer sells around 800,000 watches featuring their iconic five-point crown. Rolex doesn't publish any official sales numbers. However, since Rolex has their watches certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), we can calculate how many Rolex watches are produced based on the COSC's publications.

Omega

The most famous man to wear a Rolex is undoubtedly James Bond. He completes many of his missions with a Submariner on his wrist. However, the British secret agent switched to Omega, a member of the Swatch Group, in 1995. Omega plays a central role in the Swatch Group's company strategy, as they see the brand as a strong competitor for Rolex. Rolex isn't the only manufacturer with legendary watch models; Omega has their own to be proud of. The Seamaster is a diving watch collection that's been in production since 1948. The famous French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau wore a Seamaster. Another iconic Omega watch is the Speedmaster Professional. "Speedy," as it's nicknamed by fans, was the official NASA watch on the Apollo missions, making it the first watch on the Moon in 1969. The so-called Moonwatch is available today, almost unchanged from the original version, but now features a modern Co-Axial caliber and comes in many special limited editions. There's also the De Ville series, which showcases Omega's classic side.

International Watch Company (IWC)

IWC, based in Schaffhausen, also offers elegant Swiss watches, such as the Portugieser. They're even more famous for their pilot's watches, though; their Big Pilot watch and the Mark series are considered excellent pilot's watches. The Mark 11 was the official service watch of Royal Air Force pilots for decades.

Breitling

Breitling is a strong competitor for IWC in the realm of pilot's watches. Breitling's Navitimer is considered one of the most important pilot's watches. The watch, which was introduced in 1952, has a special slide rule function. It has two logarithmic scales on the dial which you can turn to perform various calculations, such as distance and fuel consumption. Breitling also offers powerful diving watches with their Superocean series and some versions of the Avenger. Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Breitling are all considered to be on the same level, thus Breitling also has a conservative, elegant line as well, the Transocean. Besides mechanical timepieces, Breitling also offers quartz watches with refined technology, such as the Emergency with an integrated distress beacon.

Patek Philippe

One rung higher on the luxury watch ladder is Patek Philippe. It's clear from the start that this manufacturer is a bit different: Most of their cases are made of solid gold. In the Swiss watch industry, steel cases are used around 50% of the time. Precious metals like gold and platinum are only used around 2% of the time. Patek's Calatrava collection is a symbol of the company and the epitome of a stylish dress watch. This watch collection debuted in 1932 and was inspired by the Bauhaus art movement. Patek Philippe's Nautilus also has a special position in their portfolio. It's a stainless steel sports watch waterproof to 120 m (12 bar) – all unusual qualities for a Patek watch. The company has a long history of watchmaking. The independent family business has existed under this name since 1851. Until 2009, Patek Philippe used the Geneva Seal as a symbol of high Swiss quality. Now, the company uses their own seal with even stricter standards.

Blancpain, Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre

Blancpain and Breguet have been in business even longer. Today, they're both members of the Swatch Group. Abraham-Louis Breguet founded his company in 1775. He's responsible for countless important watchmaking inventions, such as the tourbillon. Blancpain has been around since 1735. Their most famous series is the Fifty Fathoms diving watch. Brands such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Blancpain, are representative of the conservative values of the Swiss watch industry. This applies to Jaeger-LeCoultre as well. This manufacturer has been producing high-quality watches since 1833. Their Reverso is one of the most popular rectangular watches.

Hublot

Hublot takes an entirely different approach. This relatively new manufacturer plays the role of the rebel most excellently. One distinctive Hublot feature is their unusual, square-edged porthole design, which occasionally borders on the bizarre. Legibility isn't Hublot's main concern. Instead, they show a preference for the use of unusual materials such as ceramic or titanium. With their patented Magic Gold alloy, Hublot broke new ground. Magic Gold is an incredibly scratch-resistant alloy composed of gold and ceramic. Magic Gold comes quite close to the ideal, everlasting case material. Hublot was founded in 1980. In 2005, under new leadership, they introduced the Big Bang series. The Big Bang caused a sharp increase in sales, catapulting this Genevan manufacturer into the same league as other well-known Swiss brands. The somewhat calmer Hublot alternative to the Big Bang is the Classic Fusion.

Audemars Piguet

Hublot is not without precedent. Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, introduced in 1972, as well as their Royal Oak Offshore, inspired Hublot's designs. The wide bezel with visible screws was directly influenced by the Royal Oak.

TAG Heuer

When it comes to TAG Heuer, it's all about timing. They patented their first stopwatch mechanism in 1882. TAG Heuer has dedicated themselves to the art of racing ever since – it's not a coincidence that their most well-known series is called the Carrera. Even the rectangularMonaco is a legend amongst racing watches. The actor Steve McQueen wore a Monaco in the film Le Mans.

Tissot

Watches from TAG Heuer are in a moderate price range. This applies to Tissot as well. Aside from classic mechanical watches, Tissot offers modern quartz watches as well. The T-Touch Expert Solar is solar powered. It's a multi-function watch with background lighting, a second time zone display, chronograph function, timer, alarm, compass, barometer function, and many other extras. The watch has a titanium case and is waterproof to 100 m (10 bar). The T-Touch Expert Solar has features that only an electric-powered watch can offer. Such an array of functions is impossible for a mechanical watch, especially one that costs less than 1,000 euros.

Other manufacturers also combine Swiss quality with moderate prices, such as Longines, Raymond Weil, or Maurice Lacroix. These companies often use calibers from the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, which is also based in Switzerland. The Swiss company Sellita also offers movements that can be found in the watches of many famous manufacturers. Only a few brands produce their own calibers, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. !Zenith has some of the most important automatic chronograph movements in watch history. The fast-paced El Primero caused a stir when it was released in 1969; it even had a watch named after it.

Top 10 Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers According to Production Numbers

Manufacturer Number of watches produced per year
Rolex 800,000
Omega 700,000
Breitling 170,000
IWC 100,000
Chopard 80,000
Jaeger-LeCoultre 75,000
Patek Philippe 60,000
Hublot 40,000
Audemars Piguet 37,000
Zenith 35,000

Post-Quartz Crisis Revival

The Swiss watch industry began in the 18th century. Up until the second half of the 19th century, Switzerland was considered a place where it was easy to produce watches affordably. IWC, with roots in the United States, based their business model on this concept.

After many successful years, the industry suffered in the 1970s and 80s during the Quartz Crisis. Cheap, mass-produced quartz watches produced in Asia endangered traditional Swiss production. Some manufacturers disappeared forever and many workers lost their jobs. Yet surprisingly, Swiss watches later experienced a renaissance which has lasted to this day. The fascination with the technical genius that goes into mechanical watches enthralls watch lovers all over the world. Many manufacturers with longer histories are no longer independent, however. Merging with a large concern, such as the Swatch Group, Richemont, or LVMH, saved many of these manufacturers from going under.

Unexpected competition has popped up since then. The German town of Glashütte was trapped behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany until 1990. Watches have been produced in Glashütte since the mid-19th century, but they were far from being luxury watches when Germany was divided. Now, other manufacturers such as A. Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original have established themselves in Glashütte, making Glashütte watches true competition for Swiss manufacturers.

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