The Swiss Watch Primer

For many centuries, Switzerland has been Swiss made dive watch   home to the world’s maximum prolific luxurious watchmakers. Manufacturers like Patek Philippe, Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and extra all come from Switzerland, and they all have one element in common: superlative craftsmanship and layout. Simply proudly owning a Swiss Made watch is comparable to having a club in a rustic club or elitist society. It’s a coveted jewel worn at the hands of the arena’s maximum a hit ladies and men who put on it as a badge of honor the manner a veteran wears his medals. Even watch groups from out of doors Switzerland draw on the era and innovation of the Swiss producers buying their moves and cases and relishing at any possibility for affiliation. More and greater, agencies are drawing on the less coveted identify of “Swiss Movt” as a stepping stone to the world of Haute Horology. Even manufacturers carried in stores like Walmart and Target capitalize on the “Swiss Movt” moniker in hopes of attracting searching for what you offer. Of all of the timepieces produced around the sector, it’s additionally the Swiss watches that are the maximum counterfeited with the ability to accumulate a faux Rolex on line for only a couple hundred dollars or less. Outdoor flea markets, shopping malls, and peddlers hawk cheap Swiss fakes to any unsuspecting client who will shell out $50 wondering they got a steal – no pun supposed. And lamentably, this counterfeit scheme is being supported through the hundreds of men and women who can’t find the money for a real Swiss Made timepiece but are content sporting a forgery in hopes people around them would possibly believe it’s real.

In this article, we’re going to recognition on the Swiss watch enterprise and discover why it’s so revered, what makes an eye fixed Swiss made and a number of the very best watchmakers in Geneva and the encircling regions.

Swiss Made marking on an eye
Swiss Made marking on a watch

What is a Swiss Made Watch?
The coveted marking “Swiss Made” discovered at the dial of most Swiss watches is the reputable identifier of a truly astounding timepiece. Any watch that legitimately bears the Swiss Made label indicates that the motion changed into manufactured, cased and inspected by using the manufacturer in Switzerland. In addition, at the least 50% of all of the watch additives have to be made, assembled and inspected in Switzerland. Also, the motion ought to now not exceed 50mm in diameter and 12mm in thickness. As the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry places it, “Two words which, mixed with famend manufacturers, guarantee the first-class desire for the purchaser searching for a excessive-price timepiece.”

For distinct statistics about the topic, you can read the Verordnung über die Benützung des Schweizer Namens für Uhren in German, Italian or French, which defines, while an eye may be marked as Swiss Made, and while it can not.

Swiss Movt Does Not Mean Much
So one might ask, what does that other, lesser acknowledged time period “Swiss Movt” imply?

The reality is that watches with the label “Swiss Movt” should now not be construed as being Swiss Made. Watches made round the arena in mass production are often categorised as consisting of all it manner is that the movement changed into built in Switzerland. Granted this will be very positive as Swiss moves are, in maximum cases, some distance superior to that of Chinese or maybe Japanese actions. However, the remainder of the watch can be manufactured, assembled and inspected everywhere else in the global.

The Swiss Movt moniker is one which holds little weight among horologists as even less expensive Walmart watches are frequently labeled as such. A perfect instance is my 12-year antique son who bought a look ahead to under $20 from Walmart and become very excited to reveal me the Swiss markings on it. I wish he doesn’t study this newsletter due to the fact I haven’t had the heart to inform him the fact about what it truly method.

Unfortunately, no matter his age, this is a not unusual problem for plenty people. They falsely believe that the Swiss Movt identifier way similar to Swiss Made and, consequently, anticipate that the watch they’re getting is on par with some other Swiss Made timepiece. When the watch subsequently breaks or malfunctions, they anticipate that every one watches from Switzerland are as fragile.

A Swiss Watch movement
A Swiss Watch movement

The History of Swiss Made Watches
Around the 16th century, watchmakers began to take flight in Geneve whilst jewels had been banned in the course of the united states of america and which will make a residing, goldsmiths had to turn to growing timepieces. Within one hundred years, the popularity of those Swiss watchmakers became revered in the course of a great deal of Europe and the industry paved way for brand spanking new creations. In the heart of the Jura Mountains, a goldsmith named Daniel Jeanrichard applied the division of labor to this new watch enterprise. Thanks to his efforts, the Swiss watchmakers controlled to supply 60,000 timepieces for exportation around the world. By the latter part of the 1700s, headaches have been advanced along with the date, automated actions, and the flyback hand. As production persisted to develop via the 19th and twentieth centuries, the pleasant of the Swiss timepieces positioned Switzerland at the forefront of the enterprise. As the primary international war ended, wristwatches began to be delivered. At the time, referred to as trench watches, those new readable timepieces allowed the Swiss watch industry to develop all over again. Today, Swiss watchmakers had been chargeable for the boom and improvement of the luxurious watch industry and stay the maximum credited and revered production homes around the world.

The ‘Swiss Made’ Laws
The time period Swiss Made has been round for the reason that late 19th century, but it’s no longer the handiest time period used. In fact, vintage watches were regularly classified with simply “Swiss” on their dials and some used Swiss spelling inclusive of “Suisse”, “produit suisse”, “fabriqué en Suisse”, “qualité suisse”.

Today, Swiss regulation allows local watchmakers to label their timepieces as Swiss Made furnished they have met a totally stringent set of guidelines and rules. Despite the regulation being amended usually, the guidelines have remained strict through the years. However, it must be stated that a number of the older timepieces categorized Swiss Made might not meet the current felony requirements of the industry.

Frederique Constant Swiss Made watch
Frederique Constant Swiss Made watch

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The legal guidelines, acknowledged in Switzerland as “Ordonnance réglant l’utilisation du nom « Suisse » pour les montres” or Verordnung vom 23 Dezember 1971 über die Benützung des Schweizer Namens für Uhren (Ordinance regulating using the name “Swiss” on watches), defines an eye fixed by the dimensions of the motion inner it, which is used to differentiate it from a clock. In order for an eye fixed to be categorized as Swiss Made, the complete movement is made in Switzerland, the motion is encased in Switzerland and the producer incorporates out the final inspection of the timepiece in Switzerland. For the movement itself to be taken into consideration Made in Switzerland, it must be assembled in united states, inspected in united states and as a minimum 50% of its components general cost should had been manufactured in Switzerland with out taking into account the cost of meeting. If the motion is considered Swiss Made however it’s synthetic for the reason of export and can be cased outdoor Switzerland, the watch can handiest be classified Swiss Movt and may not be referred to as Swiss Made. Another not unusual time period used is Swiss Quartz, which is used to become aware of a watch with a quartz motion. While it legally have to be described as a Swiss Made watch, it’s far all too frequently improperly utilized by foreign producers as a way to skirt around the law when the watch only qualifies as “Swiss Movt” and not “Swiss Made”.

Often the Swiss Made guidelines are referred to as the 50% rule. Unfortunately, many trust that the regulation desires to be updated as they accept as true with its too lenient and drives down the price and status of watches which can be produced through the super Swiss producers in-house. The very great Swiss Made watches tend to be the ones made completely in-house from concept to finishing touch, but, there are very few that do this.

Lax Laws Create Buyer Beware
While lots of the larger Swiss Made producers might in no way do it, there are a handful of Swiss watchmakers that have these days outsourced the paintings for their watches, handiest finishing the bare minimal requirements to acquire the Swiss Made marking. While maximum of them will in no way admit publicly to it, Swiss watchmaker Mondaine has spoken out and even admitted that they use overseas dials and cases for their watches if you want to mitigate prices. While the laws have been amended to boom transparency, there are still some Swiss organizations that skirt around it to store money while their customers only cares approximately the branding in the back of the name.

Poorly made counterfeit watch
Poorly made counterfeit watch

Finding the Swiss Made Markings
Unlike Japanese and Chinese moves that tend to location their marking on the caseback, the Swiss Made emblem is typically determined at the six o’clock role on the face. The words are nearly always in clear capitalized letters, curved along the bottom of the watch and every so often break up among the half-hour indicator. It’s crucial to be aware that those markings are easily counterfeited, so one ought to by no means depend upon the Swiss Made moniker as a method to discover an actual timepiece. There are many other steps watchmakers take to pick out their real watches, however, in latest years a few counterfeits have emerge as so desirable which you’d must genuinely open up the watch to clearly see the difference with an untrained eye.

Click here to Learn More About Watches
ETA Movements
While a handful of Swiss watchmakers creates in-residence actions for his or her timepieces, the ETA is nicely regarded because the predominant manufacturer of actions in Switzerland. Owned by using the Swatch Group, the ETA manufactures quartz watches similarly to each hand-wound and automatic-winding mechanical ébauches and moves. Their market share is so massive in Switzerland that they’ve been investigated severa times for the size in their monopoly. ETA movements were utilized by some of the large watchmakers. For a real aficionado, they may try and discover watches without industrially produced actions and alternatively ones that use in-house movements. However, hundreds of thousands of Swiss Made watches made every yr will use an ETA motion.

A watchmaker or repair guy in action, viewing very intently a swiss watch.
A watchmaker or repair guy in action, viewing very intently a Swiss watch.

COSC Movements
COSC is an acronym for the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, which is liable for certifying the accuracy and precision of the top Swiss Made timepieces. Only three% of all Swiss watches are COSC certified, and the ones that include that designation are often pretty fashionable by creditors. Of path, the designation isn’t the ‘give up-all-be-all’ certifier that the watch is properly made, however for the ones searching for a look ahead to professional or recreational pursuit, having that designation is a clear indicator that you can count on the timepiece to feature within the most intense factors. When you’re relying on a dive watch to let you realize when your oxygen is strolling low, it helps to have the reliability of a COSC chronometer to ensure you don’t need to fear approximately fake readings under water. Similarly, for pilots who rely upon their timepiece at the same time as flying, a COSC watch is in reality obligatory in the aviation industry as it’s a assure of accuracy.

IWC watch from Switzerland
IWC watch from Switzerland

List of Swiss Watch Manufacturers
88 Rue du Rhone
A. Favre & Fils
Allgemeine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie
Arcadia Watches
Armand Nicolet
Audemars Piguet
Baume et Mercier
Bedat & Co
Ernest Borel
Breitling SA
Cecil Purnell
Century Time Gems
Certina Kurth Frères
Christian Jacques
Cyma Watches
Daniel Roth
De Grisogono
Roger Dubuis
Eberhard & Co.
Endura Watch Factory
Era Watch Company
Frédérique Constant
Gallet & Co.
Romain Gauthier
General Watch Co
Gérald Genta
Greubel Forsey
Grovana Watch
International Watch Company (IWC)
F. P. Journe
Maitres du Temps
Manufacture Modules Technologies (MMT)
Maurice Lacroix
Richard Mille
Franck Muller
Ollech & Wajs
Omega SA
Parmigiani Fleurier
Patek Philippe
Abraham-Louis Perrelet
Piaget SA
Raymond Weil
Rotary Watches
Sandoz watches
Sowind Group
The Swatch Group
Swiss Military Watch
TAG Heuer
Ulysse Nardin
Universal Genève
Vacheron Constantin
Waltham International
West End Watch Co.
Zeno-Watch Basel
Zodiac Watches
Showing 1 to ninety of ninety entries
Our Favorite Swiss Watchmakers
Audemars Piguet
Baume et Mercier
Bedat & Co
Breitling SA
Frederique Constant
Greubel Forsey
International Watch Company (IWC)
Showing 1 to 12 of 22 entriesPreviousNext
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The Cost of a Swiss Made Watch
The fee of a Swiss Made timepiece can range dramatically based on its motion, materials and logo name. The preferred rule of thumb for a luxurious watch is to spend over $3000 on it as the ones much less than that have a tendency to be fairly subpar in nice. However, there are clearly exceptions to each rule. Swiss Made watches generally variety in charge from under $1000 upwards of tens of millions for a grand hassle by means of one of the excellent watchmakers. For those seeking out a truely stunning Swiss Made timepiece, I recommend beginning at around the $16,000 mark and moving upwards into the $a hundred,000 range. Of route, no longer anyone has the price range for a luxurious timepiece, and so there’s not anything incorrect with spending less money. If you are in the marketplace for a low priced watch, be sure to study our guide at the very high-quality inexpensive timepieces.

Intended totally as a primer to introduce you to the sector we so often communicate of, this is virtually a glimpse of what it means to be diagnosed as a Swiss Made watch. Be certain to study our different watch guides and stay tuned for destiny articles on the very first-class that the arena of horology has to provide.

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June thirteen, 2015 at 5:49 PM
I actually have a Gruen of unknown age this is labeled Swiss Made in two locations; underneath the 12 and on the again. I realize not anything about it however it’s far a dress watch and looks extremely good. Does all of us have statistics about Gruen watches? I realize they not do commercial enterprise and became questioning if they could qualify these days as Swiss Made beneath the new requirements.

Park Jacob Weatherbysays:
June 15, 2015 at 11:24 AM
Thanks a lot for a clearly informative an insightful article on Swiss watches I presently do no longer personal one but after studying this text I feel genuinely extra knowledgeable about buying a Swiss watch.

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