Exploring Watches of Switzerland

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Country Profile

Population: 8 Million
Official Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh
Capital: Berne
Largest City: Zurich
Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

About Switzerland

Switzerland is a small country in the Swiss Alps, which consists of 26 states (cantons), in this federal republic. Despite its relatively small size, it is one of the richest countries in the world today. It still has some of the most beautiful country scenery in the world.

Modern day Switzerland also has one of the most capitalistic economies in the world. The Swiss job market is very flexible and the unemployment rate is very low, considering its neighboring countries.

Switzerland is known for more than just its neutrality, and culture, it has been one of the earliest designers and producer of the famous Swiss precision clock makers, in the middle of the 16th Century. Today it manufactures watches such as TAG Heuer, Omega, Dunhill, Tourneau, Enigma, Aquaswiss, Concord, Invicta, and many other popular Swiss watches.


Switzerland has been known for its precision timepieces. However, a ban from wearing jewels began in 1541, and the jewel crafters in Geneva were forced to find a new craft, so they developed watch making.

Since the Swiss clock industry has been in Geneva from the very beginning, the watchmakers formed the Watchmakers Guild of Geneva in 1601. In 1770, the perpetual watch was invented by Abraham Perrelet. This watch was the forerunner to the self-winding watch.

Exploring Watches of Switzerland

1842 brought about the invention of the pendant winding watch by Adrien Philippe, whose company developed watches with the perpetual calendar, the fly-back hand, and chronographs. The beginning of the 20th century saw the beginning of the mass production of watches by Frederic Ingold and Georges Lechot.

Then in 1926, self-winding watches were being produced in Grenchen. Where, in 1952, the first electrical watches were introduced. The round shape wristwatches soon became very popular and by 1960 were accepted as the general shape of wristwatches.

Exploring Watches of Switzerland

The first Quartz wristwatch was developed in 1967, by The (CEH), the Centre Electronisque Horloger Company in Neuchatel. Since then CEH have developed the LED and LCD Watches, such as the Swiss watch, called the Swatch, and later they developed a quartz wristwatch that doesn’t use a battery.

Although during the 1970’s and 1980’s Switzerland and the Swiss watch making community suffered a major upheaval as the technological advances in Japan and other parts of the world were developing better time pieces.

Modern Market

The Swiss watch industry today is Switzerland’s third largest exporter. Swiss watches and other Swiss timepieces can be found in every country, all around the world. Switzerland has made it possible for people of all classes to be able to afford one or more of their Swiss made watches.

Exploring Watches of Switzerland

Anyone can now afford to own a genuine Swiss made watch of some kind. However, the old adage that says, “You get what you pay for, still holds true. After 30 years of disappointments, Swiss watches and timepieces are recovering.

During the last 5 years Switzerland has again taken the lead in the most successful watch making industries, even breaking many of the countries own records in Swiss watch making. Owning a Swiss watch is now very popular once again, and now with some of the most beautiful designs in history, and the famous Swiss precision, anyone would be proud.

By S.Shiflett