Top 10 Swiss Watch Brands – Overview of the Swiss Watch Industry
The top 10 Swiss watch brands enjoy an unparalleled reputation in the world watchmaking and craftsmanship for over a century. Switzerland exported over $19 billion worth of top Swiss watch brands in the year 2017. The top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world are forecasted to maintain a CAGR of over 4% for the next five years as the exports of watch brands in Switzerland has recovered to a growing trend since 2016 after eight years of declining export revenues. The top 10 Swiss watch brands offer an excellent mechanism, designs, and accuracy and many best swiss watch brands are handcrafted. The Swiss watch industry is the third largest exporting market for the economy after machines and chemicals and the top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world have always found great demand across the globe. Presently, there are 570 watch brands in Switzerland.
The largest growing segment for the top 10 Swiss watch brands is the bimetal and steel variety while the Swiss watches made from precious metal is also gaining traction at a slower pace. It is estimated that the top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world produce more than 25 million timepieces every year to be exported to various parts of the world. The largest market for the top Swiss watch brands in China accounting for almost half of the exports, followed by Europe (34%) and America (14%). The watch brands made in Switzerland have a global appeal and ranked as one of the top collectible luxury items across the world. Although there are many best affordable swiss watch brands available in the market, the top 10 Swiss watch brands are among the most expensive ones compared to watches made in the US, Japan, and China.
Top 10 Swiss Watch Brands
Rolex is ranked at first for the top 10 Swiss watch brands and was listed in the Top 100 powerful global brands by Forbes in 2016. Rolex, one of the best watch brands made in Switzerland was founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in 1905 in London, the UK before moving base to Switzerland in 1919. It is estimated that Rolex, one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world manufactures almost 2,000 units per day and is one of the most famed watch brands in Switzerland that they are regarded as a status symbol across the globe. Rolex employs more than 2,800 professionals across its all four manufacturing facilities and makes the best affordable swiss watch under the brand name of Tudor.
Annual Sales Revenue: $4.9 billion
Ownership: Wilsdorf Foundation
Headquarters: Rue François-Dussaud 3-5-7, 1211 Geneva 26, Geneva, Switzerland
Omega is one of best Swiss watch brand for almost a century and is also the official time device for the Olympic games for more than 85 years. Omega, one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world was initially founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt as La Generale Watch Co and later rebranded to Omega in 1903. Omega is among the best watch brands in Switzerland producing over 300,000 watches annually and has more than 1,200 employees.
Annual Sales Revenue: $1.9 billion
Ownership: The Swatch Group Ltd
Headquarters: Seevorstadt 6, P.O. Box 2501 Biel / Bienne, Switzerland
Patek Philippe is regarded as among the most luxurious watch brands made in Switzerland and is sold at more than 400 retail outlets across the globe. Patek Philippe was founded by Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe in 1851 and is one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands fetching astronomical prices at auctions all over the world for wristwatches and antique pocket watches. Patek Philippe is among the most prestigious watch brands in Switzerland and makes over 50,000 watches annually and employs more than 2,000 professionals.
Annual Sales Revenue: $1.4 billion
Ownership: Patek Philippe & Co
Headquarters: Rue du Rhône 41 Geneva, 1204, Switzerland
Chopard is a top 10 Swiss watch brand that also manufactures exquisite jewelry products. Chopard, a prestigious top Swiss watch brand was established in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard at Sonvilier, Switzerland. Chopard is one of the most renowned watch brands in Switzerland and is specialized in making ladies wristwatches and pocket watches. Chopard, the best Swiss watch brand has more than 2,000 employees globally with around 900 of them working within Switzerland.
Annual Sales Revenue: $985 million
Ownership: LE PETIT-FILS DE L.-U. CHOPARD & Cie S.A
Headquarters: Rue de Veyrot, 8, C.P.85, 1217 Meyrin 2, Switzerland
Audemars Piguet is another leading top 10 Swiss brands in the world and is regarded as a prestigious timepiece among watch collectors. Audemars Piguet, the best Swiss watch brand was established in 1875 by Edward Auguste Piguet and Jules Louis Audemars at Vallée de Joux, Switzerland. The most notable watch brands in Switzerland made by Audemars Piguet is the Royal Oak and Haute Joaillerie. Audemars Piguet has more than 1500 employees across the globe and is regarded as one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands for more than a hundred years.
Annual Sales Revenue: $950 million
Ownership: Audemars Piguet Holding SA
Headquarters: Route De France 16, Le Brassus, 1348, Switzerland
IWC is a globally acclaimed watch brand made in Switzerland and is a pioneer in the Swiss watch industry. IWC, one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world was incorporated in 1868 by Florentine Ariosto Jones at Schaffhausen, Switzerland. IWC, a leading watch brands in Switzerland makes almost 75,000 watches every year and has almost 650 employees working for this top 10 Swiss watch brands.
Annual Sales Revenue: $875 million
Ownership: Compagnie Financière Richemont SA
Headquarters: Baumgartenstrasse 15, Schaffhausen, 8201, Switzerland
Breitling is the best Swiss watch brand and is well known for high precision chronometers made for aircraft pilots. Breitling was founded by Leon Breitling in 1884 at Saint-Imier, Bernese Jura. Breitling, one of the top Swiss watch brands uses a high amount of technology and precision in making one of the most advanced watch brands made in Switzerland. Breitling also owns a lab called Chronométrie, in La Chaux-de-Fonds for an extensive R&D on chronographs. Breitling has over 1,400 employees working across the globe.
Annual Sales Revenue: $800 million
Ownership: CVC Capital Partners
Headquarters: Schlachthausstrasse 2, P.O. Box 1132, Grenchen, 2540, Switzerland
8. TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer is another top 10 Swiss watch brands and is regarded a stylish wristwatch very popular for their Formula One racing series. TAG Heuer was established by Edouard Heuer in 1960 at Saint-Imier, Switzerland. TAG Heuer, one of the top Swiss watch brands has two Swiss watchmaking facilities in the country at La Chaux-de-Fonds and Cornol. TAG Heuer produces around 700,000 watches every year and has more than 1,600 professionals employed all over the world.
Annual Sales Revenue: $450 million
Ownership: LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE)
Headquarters: 6A Rue Louis-Joseph Chevrolet, 2300 La Chaux De Fonds, Switzerland
Longines is another of the luxury watch brands in Switzerland and features as one of the top 10 Swiss watch brands. Longines was founded by 1832 by Auguste Agassiz and the company logo of the winged hourglass is the longest unchanged and active trademark registered in the world. Longines is rated highly on the list of top Swiss watch brands and has more than 350 professionals working for this best Swiss watch brand making the best affordable Swiss watch across the globe.
Annual Sales Revenue: $85 million
Ownership: The Swatch Group Ltd
Headquarters: Les Longines, CH-2610 Saint-Imier, Switzerland
Tissot one of the best watch brands in Switzerland making the best affordable Swiss watch for over a century. Tissot is among the top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world and was founded in 1853 by Charles-Félicien Tissot and Charles-Émile Tissot at Le Locle, Switzerland. Tissot is the best Swiss watch brand and was the first watch brands made in Switzerland to introduce dual time zones and anti-magnetic timepieces. Tissot is sold in over 150 countries and has more than 300 employees across the globe.
Annual Sales Revenue: $35 million
Ownership: The Swatch Group Ltd
Headquarters: Chemin des Tourelles 17, 2400 Le Locle, Switzerland
Future Direction of the Top 10 Swiss Watch Brands
There is intense competition among the top 10 Swiss watch brands as most of them have robust expertise in watchmaking and are most authentic manufacturers of the timepiece in terms of accuracy and precision. The top Swiss watch brands collectively provide employment to more than 60,000 professionals and export almost 95% of all watch brands made in Switzerland. It is estimated that the Swiss watch industry accounts for only 2% of the total production of wrist watches globally but still comprise almost 55% of the annual revenue generated worldwide from the sale of wristwatches. The top 10 Swiss watch brands in the world are also adopting new technologies by launching smartwatches to counter the challenges by Apple and Android smartwatches. Also, the Swiss watch industry is one of the largest industries in Switzerland and is forecasted to keep growing in the next five years as demand for high end top Swiss watch brands is bound to rise due to increasing levels of disposable income across the globe.