There’s no denying that Switzerland is considered the hub of the most refined watch brands in the world. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Longines… just to name a few.
However, these come at hefty price tags, sometimes reaching even 7 figures. As sad as it sounds, most of us are unlikely to ever be able to meet them.
As soon as the prices of the best of the best are discovered, many people beginning their journey as watch enthusiasts wrongfully give up on the idea of owning a Swiss-made timepiece and move on to less impressive and not as reliable alternatives.
And that’s not the way to go!
Although not marketed as aggressively and not on the same page in terms of precision and luxury status, there’s an impressive list of affordable Swiss-made watches that many newbies miss out on.
With today’s access to online marketplaces and the ever-developing e-commerce sector, gone are the days when you were limited just to a handful of Swiss watchmaking moguls. Below you can find 5 popular Swiss watch brands that are a great (and affordable) way to kick-start your journey!
Tissot is a reasonably priced Swiss watchmaker that is a sponsor of the NBA and MotoGP. They’re in charge of keeping track of both.
The Swatch Group owns a number of different brands, including Tissot.
Their timepieces bear the logos of the sporting organizations with which they are affiliated. Nowadays, Tissot is introducing NBA-inspired chronograph watches. Tissot also produces a fantastic T-Race line of chronographs designed specifically for racing drivers.
Last but not least, they have a wide collection of automatic diving watches, with several of those having an 80-hour power reserve! That’s a total of three days of hassle-free work even when not worn.
Alpina has been manufacturing watches since 1883, when its founders set out to create rugged timepieces for individuals who enjoyed being outside.
Today’s timepieces are built to withstand the elements. Tough, shock-resistant, anti-magnetic watches constructed of stainless steel with a high level of water resistance.
Alpinists have 130 years of expertise designing high-quality Swiss sports watches nowadays. Adventurers, divers, pilots, and sportsmen all love Alpina watches.
Their watches are also reasonably priced, so you should be able to locate one that fits into your budget. Especially if you choose one of their Swiss quartz watches, which are more inexpensive.
Since 1914, Glycine has been producing timepieces in Bienne, Switzerland.
Glycine now provides exceptional value at an affordable price.
Glycine is a Swiss watchmaker that was one of the first to specialize in pilot watches. In 1953, Glycine created the Airman line to fulfill the needs of pilots who desired more than simply a regular watch.
Since then, it has continued its tradition with a variety of aviation-themed models ranging from world clocks to collector’s pieces created specifically for military members.
Glycine is a budget-friendly Swiss watch brand that is ideal for regular travelers. People who require a watch that can track various time zones at the same time.
Oris is a Swiss watchmaker based in Hölstein, Switzerland, that has been in business since 1904.
They are extremely cost-effective. With Swiss-made timepieces that are well-built and strong, they are easily comparable to mid-tier premium Swiss watchmakers.
Many watch collectors choose the Oris Aquis line from this Swiss watchmaker.
In their 2020 commercial, you can see their Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400. This automated movement was designed in-house and has a power reserve of up to 5 days which is quite a rarity when it comes to automatic watch models.
It is, however, not a super-cheap Swiss watch brand. With that said, an Oris Aquis is a fantastic entry-level Swiss diving watch.
Mathey-Tissot is not the same as Tissot, despite the similarity in name. It’s quite understandable to believe otherwise!
Despite not being as well-known as Tissot nowadays, Mathey-Tissot has a lengthy history. The brand was founded in 1886 in Less Ponts de Martel, a town in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Edmond Mathey-Tissot, a local watchmaker, started the company.
Wristwatches were not the company’s bread and butter initially. Instead, it focused on what are known as “repeater” watches and pocket timepieces. The production of one of the earliest chronograph watches propelled Mathey-Tissot to stardom.
Mathey-Tissot was one of the most popular watchmakers in the United States during its heyday. Elvis Pressley, for example, was a strong supporter of the Swiss brand’s excellence.
Because Mathey-Tissot watches aren’t widely distributed anymore (and hence aren’t as popular), many people lose out on one of the cheapest Swiss watch brands.