Has the Rolex on your boss’ wrist caught your eye and you can’t stop thinking about it? It might be time that you considered investing in Swiss watches.
How do you feel about the word ‘timepiece’? If it makes you cringe a little, maybe that’s what has put you off of investing. Who in their right mind uses the word ‘timepiece’ when they could just call it a watch? It’s just watch-snobbery, isn’t it?
If you’re really thinking about buying a luxury watch, you should be looking toward the Swiss watch market. When genuine, they are almost always worth the price tag. The craftsmanship is on a level with that Ferrari put into their supercars.
The question you might be asking yourself is whether you want something that isn’t digital in our smartwatch age?
A mechanical movement is a truly beautiful thing to see. It also sounds great. It has around one hundred small components lovingly put together with precision. Often made of brass or steel. The polish varies, depending on the required level of shine. It’s wonderful to see these timepieces still being hand-built, even today.
Mainsprings, ticking balance-wheel escapements and gear-trains are pretty commonly seen in watches made all over the world but the Swiss stand head and shoulders above them all for quality and accuracy.
Just as when you’re looking for a car, a holiday, a home, a bottle of whiskey… Everything comes in different ranges for different budgets. The same thing applies to watches. If you spend everything you can afford, you won’t live to regret it.
Whatever amount that is, if you pour those dollars into a Swiss watch, you’ll inevitably get what you pay for.
Watch collectors will turn their nose up at this range but pay no mind. $500 is the start of the ‘luxury’ category and will afford you a decent timepiece.
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a sin to own a Swiss quartz that is battery-powered rather than spring.
It relies on the vibration of the quartz crystal inside the movement which generates the ‘tick’. It’s actually more precise than a mechanical balance wheel that oscillates at a given speed. It’ll lose up to 10 seconds in a year maximum.
If this is your budget range, check out our review on Bulova watches. There’s also Certina, who are great for offering a level of water-resistance. Finally, Mondaine, if you’re into Japanese quartz specifically.
If you’ve just been given a juicy bonus at work and you want to invest it, this is a great position to be in to invest in a Swiss watch.
At this range, you’ll definitely get a Swiss-made mechanical watch that offers the signature ‘tick’ noise. Here you start seeing exhibition cases that give you a glimpse into the workings of the watch.
An auto mechanical movement is commonplace at this price range. It features a rotor that moves with the natural movement of your wrist. This energy is what keeps the barrel wound tightly. The winding spring then passes energy to the gear-train, where the second, minute and hour hands are attached.
A manual wind movement is quite popular these days. The removal of the rotor means a better view of the movements where there is an exhibition case.
At this price point things can get pretty intense. It’s a lot of money and you want to get this right.
Do a lot of reading here. Take your time. Figure out what you want from your timepiece. Actually speak to specialists if you want. Why not? Don’t you want to know a lot about what you’re spending your money on?
A lot of Swiss brands here are classics. There aren’t many mistakes you can make in this range. Tudor spill over into this price range, and you should also look at Omega and the lower-end of the Rolex range.
If you like the idea of the exhibition look at the $5,000 mark, check out our article on skeleton watches.
$5,000 and over
Here you’re going to rub shoulders with serious collectors. We graduate from standard automatic mechanical movement, we see movements that are made in-house by the brands themselves.
Here, the polish, finish and general materials used to make the watch are insanely lux.
Here we’re talking upper-range Rolex and Zenith.
What kinds are there?
There are categories of Swiss watch. The most obvious is the leather strap watch for the office, where there’s usually a silver or white dial. This is the classic look. Take this $196 Tissot as a prime example.
You might think you have no need for a chronograph until you want you to do something simple like time your egg as it boils. Using your watch for this is still more convenient than using your phone.
This Victorinox is under $100 and oozes class.
The rugged one that does it all
If you like a more retro look then you should find something in monochrome with a black dial. Leather straps make that vintage look. If you have some money to spend, then this $2,625 Heritage Ranger from Tudor will be right up your street.
The dive watch
A water-resistant watch is something of a signature of Swiss watchmakers. You can pick up some very fine dive timepieces. Some people aren’t even into diving, but these watches look so good they just can’t resist anyway. The INOX Diver ($405) from Victorinox demonstrates why that might be.
The sports watch
If you’re not a diver but still like a sporty look, go for either a metal bracelet or rubber wristband. Again we look to Victorinox for the Maverick ($450).
The formal dress watch
Nothing says ‘class’ quite like a Cartier Tank. It wouldn’t be fair to leave you with just that, so head to our article here for a review of this collection.