Swiss Watches

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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There's German sports cars, French wine, Italian leather, Belgian chocolate, and, of course, Swiss watches. Why some countries manage to dominate certain industries, not just for years but for generations, can be puzzling. Perhaps there's some innate quality about the citizens of said countries that manages to shine through no matter what. Or perhaps come countries are just the lucky beneficiaries of geography, politics, climate, or luck. It's hard to tell.

Whatever the case may be, Swiss watches have earned a reputation for the finest engineering, style, and craftsmanship in the world. Even a cursory look at the watch houses that got their starts or eventually thrived in Geneva, the Jura Mountains, or St-Imier reveals an astounding list. Vacheron Constantin, Baume et Mercier, and Piaget are just a sampling of the legendary watchmakers to hail from the region. And the list goes on, and on, and on...

Great Swiss Watches

Manufacturers such as Omega, Patek Philippe, Tag Heurer, and Sigma continue to stand out among the great Swiss watchmakers. There's Audemars Piguet, Breguet, and Girard-Perregaux, all of whom have made not only important aesthetic contributions to the world of Swiss watches, but mechanical inroads as well. Many of these houses pioneered new escapement or mainspring technologies, experimented with new forms of oscillating weights, or developed new types of casing.

Most people don't rank Swiss luxury watches high up on their list of pressing needs. Nevertheless, there continues to be a wave of amateur horologists and garden variety collectors who take an interest in the finer points of Swiss watch design. Whether you're searching for your own watch accessories, shopping for a loved one, or just curious about the industry's history, the world of Swiss timekeeping is a fine place to start.


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