Swiss watchmaking is legendary around the world. Swiss watch brands produce some of the best watches on the planet.
Choosing just ten Swiss watch brands to include on this list was a challenge.
Yet, in no particular order, we picked out the top 10 Swiss watch brands we think deserve a spot on the best of Swiss watchmaking list.
Swiss Watch Brands
- Patek Philippe
- Jaeger leCoultre
- Ulysse Nardin
- Vacheron Constantin
- Audemars Piguet
- TAG Heuer
Founded: 1912 Founder: Hans Wilsdorf Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Rolex is probably the most well-known watch brand right now.
Rolex has shaped the luxury Swiss watchmaking industry with many timepieces. Such as these world firsts:
- DateJust – The world’s first watch that displays the date. Released in 1945.
- Submariner – World’s first commercial dive watch. Released in 1953. Learn more about the Sub.
- GMT Master – The first pilot’s watch to indicate 2 different time zones. Released in 1955.
- Sea-Dweller – The first dive watch that could work up to 1,000 meters. Released in 1967.
To this day, Rolex is innovative and pushes the boundaries of watchmaking. And have helped shape the watch industry into what it is today.
Ask anyone on the street to think of a watch brand, and its likely Rolex will come to mind. Rolex is seen as a status symbol by many. Making people either love or hate the brand.
Learn more about what makes Rolex so special in our blog post on the top defining moments of Rolex.
2. Patek Philippe
Founded: 1839 Founders: Antoine Norbert de Patek & François Czapek Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Patek Philippe is one of the most world-renowned luxury watch brands. And has a place as one of the holy trinity watchmakers.
Patek Philippe holds the title for creating the first Swiss wristwatch in 1868.
The scarcity of their watches is one of the reasons why they are so expensive and sought after. With only around 60,000 timepieces made each year.
That might be a reason why they are some of the most expensive watches in the world. With one of their Grandmaster Chime timepieces auctioning for an eye-watering $31 million dollars in 2019.
To see these rare timepieces in person, you should try to visit the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. It has the largest collection of Patek Philippe timepieces in the world.
3. Jaeger leCoultre
Founded: 1833 Founder: Antoine LeCoultre Location: Le Sentier, Switzerland
The luxury watchmaker’s Reverso collection is considered their best collection yet. Many hail these timepieces as one of the best dress watches. With its art deco and androgynous aesthetic, it’s aged very well.
Made for Polo players in the 1930s. The dial can be hidden by reversing the case. Keeping it safe from the mallet wacks in a Polo match.
Since 1929, Jaeger leCoultre has held the record for creating the world’s smallest movement. Yet, the watch brand has created over 1,000 watch movements and patents to date.
Jaeger leCoultre was bought by the Swiss Richemont Group in 2000. Richemont is one of the largest watch groups in the world.
4. Ulysse Nardin
Founded: 1846 Founder: Ulysse Nardi Location: Le Locle, Switzerland
Ulysse Nardin is a Swiss watchmaker that likes to make a statement with their creations.
This luxury Swiss watch brand specializes in marine wrist chronometers.
Yet, the brand does also offer some artistic watches too. You can find them in their Classico Collection. But please be warned you might see some raunchy pieces in their Manara range.
The brand also releases a number of limited editions. Many keep with their nautical focus.
Their Marine Mega Yacht timepiece is a striking piece. Only 30 were made. Making it one of their rare and sought-after limited edition pieces.
Ulysse Nardin is owned by the French watch group; the Kering Group.
5. Vacheron Constantin
Founded: 1755 Founder: Jean-Marc Vacheron Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Swiss brand Vacheron Constantin is the world’s longest-running uninterrupted watch manufacturer. Its timepieces are considered as some of the holy trinity watches.
The brand created the world’s first watch complication all the way back in 1790. Since then, the brand has continued to lead the world of watchmaking. It is the oldest watch brand in Geneva.
This brand is very much about exclusivity. And no more so than with their made-to-measure watchmaking service. These exclusive pieces are referred to as Les Cabinotiers.
Their Overseas Collection stands out. It’s a range that suits the luxe world traveler. Their Overseas World Time watch can display an astounding 37 time zones!
Their most affordable timepiece to date is in their Patrimony.
Vacheron Constantin is owned by Switzerland’s second-largest watch group. That is the Richemont Group.
Founded: 1926 Founder: Hans Wilsdorf Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Tudor is the sister brand of Rolex. Both are still run by the private family trust; the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation.
Tudor watches are more affordable compared to Rolex. Yet, their timepieces do not make sacrifices in terms of quality. Tool watches are the area in which they shine.
Releasing their first chronograph in 1970. The Swiss brand still features chronographs heavily in their ranges. Check out their latest chronographs on their site.
Tudor watches play on their sportiness in their ad campaigns. With the All Blacks rugby team, and David Beckham featuring in them.
Their Black Bay collection is one of their most popular collections to date.
7. Audemars Piguet
Founded: 1875 Founders: Jules Louis Audemars & Edward Auguste Piguet Location: Le Brassus in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland
Audemars Piguet is one of the all-star Swiss brands. It even has a place as one of the holy trinity of watchmaking.
Their Royal Oak collection, released in 1972, is their most famous range of watches. Due to it having such a lasting impact on the watchmaking industry.
The reason being is that the Royal Oak range was the world’s first luxury sports watch. Launching a new style of timepiece that is one of the most popular today. With the luxury sports watch now being a must-have watched.
Plus this watchmaker was the first to create a skeleton watch. A design that is super popular in today’s market.
Audemars Piguet is still owned by the Audemars and Piguet families. They still run the family business.
Founded: 1865 Founders: Georges Favre-Jacot Location: Le Locle, Switzerland
This luxury Swiss watchmaker specializes in creating super precise mechanical chronographs.
The El Primero caliber was released by Zenith in 1969. It was one of the first high-frequency automatic chronograph movements. This is what boosted Zenith’s standing in Swiss watchmaking.
Their El Primero movement was even used in Rolex watches. In their Daytona Chronograph from 1988 to 2000.
Many of their watches are still powered by the El Primero movement.
Zenith is owned by one of the biggest watch groups. That is the French LVMH Group.
Founded: 1903 Founders: Louis Brandt Location: Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
Omega is the Swiss watch brand that has gone as far as the moon. With the help of Buzz Aldrin and NASA. This watchmaker was the first watch to ever make it to the moon.
The Omega Speedmaster made the history books by being the first watch on the moon. The Moon Watch is still a super popular Omega watch today.
Learn more about the many watches that made it to space so far.
Omega’s dive watches also have celebrity status. As they were made more famous due to them being worn in the 007 films. With James Bond wearing an Omega Seamaster for all occasions from 1995.
They even set a new world record with an Omega Seamaster watch. In 2019, the watch completed a dive into the Mariana Trench. Beating the last record by 12 meters.
If you’re an Omega fan then you’re in luck. As they have one of the coolest watch museums in the world. Located in their hometown of Biel/Bienne, in Switzerland.
Omega is currently owned by the Swiss Swatch Group. The largest watch group in the world.
10. TAG Heuer
Founded: 1860 Founder: Edouard Heuer Location: Saint-Imier, Switzerland
This brand is the Swiss watch brand for formula one. Thanks to their precise timekeeping, ensuring every second of a race is captured.
Their collections are mostly inspired by racing. Like the Formula 1 Collection, and the Aquaracer Range. Tool and sports watches are the brand’s specialty.
Their Monaco watch collection is their most legendary and prestigious collection to date.
TAG Heuer released a range of smartwatches in 2015. Named TAG Heuer Connected. This was an unusual and bold move compared to the other Swiss watch brands on this list.
TAG Heuer is now owned by one of the world’s largest watch groups. That is the LVMH Group.
This last entry might be controversial for a lot of watch enthusiasts. As TAG Heuer is hated by many watch collectors, why not learn why.
To Sum Up
Switzerland still remains the leader in luxury watchmaking.
But check out our full guide on all the top watch brands from around the world.