Best Swiss Watches
Before we take a lot at some of the best Swiss watches, let’s consider what even qualifies a watch for being “Swiss”.
A watch is considered Swiss whose movement is encased in Switzerland and final control by the manufacturer is taken in Switzerland.
A watch is considered Swiss, according to the Swiss law if:
- its movement is Swiss and,
- its movement is cased up in Switzerland and;
- the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland
A watch movement is considered Swiss if:
- the movement has been assembled in Switzerland and,
- the movement has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland and;
- the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly.
If a watch movement is intended for export and will not be cased-up in Switzerland, but it otherwise meets the criteria to be considered a Swiss movement, the watch may say “Swiss Movement” but it may not say Swiss Made on the watch case or dial. A watch that says “Swiss Quartz” is considered to be a proper Swiss watch.
However, it is often improperly used by foreign manufacturers to merely indicate that the quartz movement is of Swiss origin.
Best Swiss Watches
The Swissness of a watch is mainly dependent on its reputation and the brand. Let’s take a look at some of the top brand Swiss watches.
Rolex Submariner Black Dial Ceramic Bezel Steel Mens Watch $8395
The Sub needs no intro, but the new Submariner is a better boat all around. First, the case redesign, claimed by father Rolex to be more sporty, but is actually a Deepsea lite. The new Sub case is beefier, bigger, and thus heavier and slightly thicker.
The bezel is gorgeous and it’s platinum coated ceramic is stunning in looks and performance. Its an obvious upgrade of the old scratch able Aluminum one.
The bracelet is almost straight off the Deepsea and delivers the most satisfying clunk when set down. The Sub is the definition of classic with many firsts. First waterproof watch. First rotating bezel. First crown shoulders.
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Leather Strap Chronograph $7749
Drawing its namesake from the classic Carrera Panamericana road race of 1950s, the TAG Heuer Men’s Grand Carrera Watch has many high end features, such as Swiss automatic movement, a titanium bezel, and a stainless steel case.
Its unique blue and black dial is protected by a sapphire crystal and features three subdials located at the three, six, and nine o’clock positions.
Additional dial features include baton hour markers and luminous hour hands. The unidirectional bezel that surrounds the dial features the tachymeter information.
Other quality features include a textured patent leather band that closes with a deployment clasp and water resistant to 330 feet (100 meters).
The small circular dial at the 6 o’clock position ticks the seconds off with precise timing. The rubber watch band is very comfortable and the clasp is easy to fasten and release.
Rolex Explorer II White Automatic Stainless Steel $7355
The Rolex Explorer is one of the most famous watches in the world.
Stainless steel case with a stainless steel oyster bracelet. Fixed stainless steel bezel with 24 hour markings. White dial with silver tone hands and dot hour markers. Minute markers are located around the outer rim. Dial Type is Analog and features luminescent hands and markers.
Date display appears at the 3 o’clock position. Automatic movement. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. It has a screw down crown and solid case back. Case diameter is 42 mm. Case thickness is 13 mm with a round case shape. Band width is 15 mm and a length of 7 inches with an oyster clasp. It is water resistant at 100 meters / 330 feet.
Functions include: date, hour, minute, second. Casual watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made.
This is one watch that is hard to obtain since only one is made each year.
Breitling Analog Display Swiss Automatic Silver $7328
Stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet. Bi-directional rotating stainless steel bezel. Metallica blue dial with silver-tone hands and stick hour markers. Minute markers and GMT scale. Tachymeter around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog.
Luminescent hands and markers. Date display between 4 and 5 o’clock positions. Chronograph – three sub-dials displaying: 60 second, 30 minute and 12 hour.
Automatic movement with 72 hour power reserve. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Screw locked crown. Solid case back. Case diameter: 44 mm. Case thickness: 16.9 mm. Round case shape. Band width: 22 mm. Fold over clasp with safety.
Water resistant at 200 meters / 660 feet. Functions: date, chronograph, GMT, second time zone, hour, minute, second. Luxury watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made.
Breitling Men’s Superocean Chronograph II Analog Display Swiss Automatic Silver $6250
Stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet. Unidirectional black ion-plated bezel. Black dial with blue accents, luminous hands and index hour markers. Minute markers. 1/100th second scale around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog.
Luminescent hands and markers. Date display at the 3 o’clock position. Chronograph – three sub-dials displaying: 60 second, 30 minute and 12 hour. Automatic movement. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Screw locked – two gaskets crown. Solid case back. Case diameter: 44 mm. Case thickness: 17.2 mm. Round case shape. Band width: 20 mm / 22 mm. Deployment clasp. Water resistant at 500 meters / 1650 feet. Functions: chronograph, date, hour, minute, second. Luxury watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made.
It has a dynamic dial with applied sloping numerals emphasizing the quarters (3, 6, 9, and 12) and subtle color plays against a black background. It houses a self winding chronometer certified movement. A safety valve serves to balance out differences in pressure inside and outside the case.
For those wishing to combine elegance with performances, Breitling also offers bezels with a rose gold ring – a colorful touch reflected by the hands.
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Chronograph $4700
An stainless steel exquisite timepiece, the TAG Heuer Men’s Grand Carrera Chronograph Watch is a classy and of the highest caliber. Its sophisticated demeanor begins with a 43mm stainless steel case and a fixed stainless steel bezel, featureing a tachymeter with black markers.
The right side of the watch features a guarded stainless steel screw down crown with two pushers. The circular black dial, protected by a scratch resistant sapphire crystal, offers luminous index hour markers and hands powered by Swiss automatic movement.
The dial also delivers a date display window at the 6 ‘o clock position and two chronograph sub-dials with 30-minute and 60-second displays. A stainless steel bracelet straps the watch to your wrist, while a hidden folding push button deployment clasp makes sure it stays there. The watch offers water resistance up to 330 feet (100 meters).
This TAG Heuer Grand Carrera automatic watch has a stainless steel case and bracelet. The automatic chronograph is the finest watch made in the TAG Heuer line. It is swiss chronometer certified, an accomplishment that only 3% of swiss watches can claim.
The watch also features a see through case back which allows the wearer to view inner workings of the watch.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Automatic Chronometer $4600
The Omega watch story begins in 1848, when founder Louis Brandt began hand assembling key-wound precision pocket watches from parts supplied by local craftsmen in the northwest corner of Switzerland. The Omega name didn’t appear until 1894, after Brandt passed away and his watchmaking legacy was taken over by his sons, Louis-Paul and Cesar Brandt.
Omega watches have long been associated with glamorous screen and sports stars. The Omega Seamaster is famous for being the watch of James Bond–as well as Pierce Brosnan, Nicole Kidman, tennis player Anna Kournikova, and swimmers Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe.
But Omega is more than just a fashionable piece of jewelry. In 1965, the Omega Speedmaster chronograph was “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” as the only wristwatch to have withstood all of the U.S. space agency’s severe tests, including passing grades for extreme shocks, vibrations, and temperatures ranging from -18 to +93 degrees Celsius.
The greatest moment in the Speedmaster’s history was undoubtedly 20 July 1969 at 02:56 GMT, when it recorded man’s first steps on the Moon’s surface as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
Omega is known today for its rigorous testing of new movements, cases, and bands. The Seamaster Planet Ocean from Omega delivers exceptional performance and great style, both above water and below.
The black dial displays luminous hands and markers for excellent visibility, even in low light conditions, a red tipped luminous seconds hand and seconds indexes, and a date display.
The dial is capped with a scratch proof sapphire crystal and framed by a unidirectional rotating steel bezel, in black, with minute markings and fluted edges for grip.
A handsome and durable steel link bracelet put the look over the top. This Omega watch features self winding Swiss automatic movement enhanced by Omega’s breakthrough co-axial escapement, a technology that ensures high precision and stable accuracy over long periods of use.
It is water resistant to a full 600 meters (or 2000 feet).
Breitling Avenger II Seawolf Analog Display Swiss Automatic $4325
Stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet. Unidirectional stainless steel bezel. Grey dial with luminous hands and Arabic hour markers. 1/100th second scale appears around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog. Date display at the 3 o’clock position.
Automatic movement with a 40 hour power reserve. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Screw locked crown. Case diameter: 45 mm. Round case shape. Deployment clasp. Water resistant at 3000 meters / 10000 feet. Functions: date, hour, minute, second. Luxury watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made.
Although TAG Heuer and Rolex are most commonly associated with superb quality Swiss watches, I have to say I am quite impressed with the Omega Seamaster. Rolex has an impeccable reputation and sophisticated look.
When looking for a watch, you want one that performs exceptionally. You expect your time piece to last and withstand day to day wear. So if it came down to making a decision the tie breaker would probably be appearance. The winner would be the Rolex Submariner. It is stylish enough to wear dressed up, dressed down, working out or walking in the park.
That being said, I still would have to say the Omega Seamaster has left an impression on me. The only wristwatch to have withstood all of the U.S. space agency’s severe tests, including passing grades for extreme shocks, vibrations, and temperatures ranging from -18 to +93 degrees Celsius.
How can you not be impressed by that? I would choose the Seamaster as the overall best.