Swiss Made Watches

Swiss made’ is a term that is applied to some of the world’s most well-crafted and reliable products. But, what does it mean when it comes to watches? The term applies primarily to the movement behind the construction of the timepiece. It is also a legal standard. ‘Swiss made’ watches are afforded the title under law. These laws were codified in 1971 and revised in 1995 in (you guessed it) – the nation of Switzerland.

A watch is determined to be ‘Swiss made’ by law only if it meets a specific set of conditions. The first is that the movement is of Swiss origins (movement refers to the mechanics behind the watch keeping time), the second is that this movement is encased on a location within the borders of the nation of Switzerland, and the third is that the manufacturer carries out the final inspection on the watch within this same mother-land.

Why Buy a Swiss Watch

So, that’s what defines a watch as ‘Swiss made’. But, the question remains as to why a ‘Swiss made’ watch is perceived to be far superior and more desirable in comparison to all other watches on the market. You have only to think of the brands Rolex and Omega to know that the ‘Swiss made’ stamp precedes all else. But, what are the concrete reasons for this?

  1. The first reason why ‘Swiss made’ watches are better quality is because of the standard of their mechanism.  Metal gears are used. They are made by hand and can be serviced – meaning that you can use a ‘Swiss made’ watch for an entire lifetime – or, several! The components and link pins are made with stronger materials. Standard watches are generally made with plastic parts that can’t compare.
  2. A second big reason why ‘Swiss made’ watches have such a good reputation is that are almost always made with 316L surgical steel. This is a high grade, metallurgically strong steel that has a greater resistant to corrosives – both of industrial and biological origin. This means that ‘Swiss made’ watches are the least likely to tarnish and are less susceptible to wear and tear. They are also hypo-allergenic – perfect for people who have allergies to inferior alloys.
  3. Another big calling card of the ‘Swiss made’ timepiece is they are usually made with sapphire crystal as their ‘face’. Hence, they are encased in a material with an extreme hardness (a 9 on the Mohs scale).  This makes a ‘Swiss made’ watch incredibly scratch resistant. In fact, they shouldn’t scratch under most regular conditions – even if you take a car key to them. In contrast, standard non ‘Swiss made’ watches use only a hardened mineral crystal which is much cheaper and much softer. So, you get what you pay for.

That’s why ‘Swiss made’ watches are popular heirlooms and hand-me-downs. They stand the test of time – pardon the pun!

If you are looking for a ‘Swiss made’ watch you might like to check out some items for auction online. Visit Lloyds Auctions for a range of mens & womens watches along with some luxury timepieces going under the hammer.

Matt Kalinski

Head Of Valuations

Qualifications & Affiliations

American Society of Appraisers Candidate Member

Certified Practicing Valuer AVAA


Matt has been in the valuations space for many years and has extensive experience in the space across an abundance of various industries. He now leads the valuations teams for Lloyds Auctions with a passion for encouraging his team to set and achieve high goals and produce great results for the company whilst growing the team’s skills starting with a great culture and team mindset.