Why Are Swiss Watches So Special?
Fine watches are as Swiss as cowbells, chocolate and neutrality. But why do the words “Swiss Made” on a dial mean so much to us?
Two decades into the 21st century and with the world’s labour markets reshaped by globalisation, there isn’t much that you can’t make just as well, and more cheaply, elsewhere. It’s notable, then, at a time when the production of everything from T-shirts to tech has been shipped overseas, that Switzerland, a country with one of the highest cost-of-living indexes in the world, is still the undisputed king of mechanical watchmaking.
It goes without saying, of course, that mechanical watches are not quite the same as tees or smartphones. They are luxury goods, and customers will always be happy to pay a premium if they know they’re buying the best. But how did Switzerland earn that reputation in the first place? To give a little context, we’ve made a short animation explaining how the side-hustle of a few dairy farmers in the Jura Mountains evolved, over centuries, into the modern Swiss watch industry.
Baume & Mercier Classima Quartz 42mm Stainless Steel and Croc-Effect Leather Watch
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN IW377714 Pilot's Le Petit Prince Edition Chronograph 43mm Stainless Steel and Leather Watch, Ref. No. IW377714
Montblanc Heritage Automatic Day-Date 39mm Stainless Steel and Alligator Watch, Ref. No. 119947
TAG Heuer Carrera Automatic 41mm Steel Watch, Ref. No. WAR201C.BA0723
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar 18-Karat Rose Gold and Alligator Watch, Ref. No. JLQ1368420
Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm 18-Karat Rose Gold and Alligator Watch, Ref. No. G0A38131