Which Country Makes the Best Watches?

Watches are timepieces that used to be a necessity. Now, with the advent of phones that have built-in clocks, most of the watches today are seen as an accessory. There are also gear watches that used by certain professionals and hobbyists, such as diver’s watches and sports watches. Despite the high technology today, the production of watches still exists. Plus, there are professional watchmakers who still regard the making of these timepieces as works of art as well as products of science just like in the olden days.

If we’re on the lookout for an excellent watch, there might be certain places to get it. While most people don’t have the option of traveling just to buy a watch, we can make our decision based on the place where the watch hails from. So which country produces the best watches in the world? For the most part, it would be a toss-up between the two nations that dominate the wristwatches market: Switzerland and Japan. There might be other countries producing quality watches, but it’s worth just checking out what the top two options have to offer:


When it comes to Switzerland, you conjure up images of the Alps, chocolates, and of course, watches. Why is Switzerland regarded as a country that produces the top quality watches in the world? We think that the reason behind this is that watchmaking is considered an established industry in that part of the world.

Most Swiss people see watchmaking as more of a family tradition that just a job. Those who belong to a family of watchmakers also get to learn the craft of watchmaking and hence stay in that industry. This centuries-old tradition of watchmaking gives the Swiss the motivation and drive towards producing excellent watches year after year. They take pride in their wares, put research into making better watches, and generally strive to remain the very best in their field.

Furthermore, it might also be Switzerland’s environment that contributes to the quality of their famous watches.  For the most art, Switzerland is seen as a country signifying peace, quietness, and stability. This is because the country has long been a neutral state, therefore, less disturbed by recent wars. Of course, this is a plus for the watchmakers, as watchmaking requires precision and assiduous attention to detail.

It’s thus no wonder that Swiss watches are among the finest in the world, with most of these being luxury watches. When there’s peace in a certain country, one can concentrate on the fine luxuries instead of trying to make items that will last through a potential warzone.

Rolex, although a company founded in London, England in 1905, has been operating in Switzerland since it moved its headquarters in 1919. Rolex produces one of the most lavish, expensive luxury watches ever, and it’s one of the most powerful global brands today. Wearing this watch is regarded nowadays as a status symbol, and the fact that it’s made in Switzerland only adds to the value.

Aside from Rolex, many of the biggest watchmakers of the world come from Switzerland: Breitling, Omega, Tag Heuer, Movado, Hublot, Swatch, Tissot, and Zenith — and those are the only more popular watch brands. Aside from those, many of the world’s noted watchmakers originated from the little European country — Daniel Roth, Philippe Dufour, Francois-Paul Journe, and Felix Baumgartner among many others.

The export figures representing Swiss watches give us an interesting fact. The nations with the most demand for Swiss watches are actually countries that produce watches themselves. These include Germany, which has a watch industry in direct competition with the Swiss. The French and Italian watch industries also follow similar trends, but none of them is anywhere t=near the watch history in Switzerland.


Among many other claims to fame, Japan is also known as a watchmaking country. The Japanese pride themselves in their technological advancements as well as offering timepieces that are inexpensive compared to their European counterparts. This is what the Japanese watchmakers aim for — to mass-produce quality watches with the cutting-edge technology, along with an affordable design so that they sell at mid-range prices.

This aim is why Japanese watchmakers aren’t that bothered with the activity in the luxury watches market. However, there are some companies, such as Citizen and Seiko, which have started to challenge the Swiss lead in the luxury watches domain. To this end, they’ve begun to create beautiful, jewel-studded high-quality luxury watches. The technology in these options, of course, is also among the latest and greatest.

Watch companies in Japan have continued to develop new technologies for quartz movements in their watches. The Japanese quartz watches once took the world by storm from the 1970s until the early 1980s. This greatly threatened the Swiss’ position in the global wristwatches market. As we now know, the Swiss watchmaker soon caught up and reclaimed their market share to a large extent.

The country is also famed for their excellent digital watches and hybrid watches (watches that have both mechanical and digital features). Japan manufactures many of the best and coolest watches in the market. Casio, another world-famous Japanese wristwatches brand, manufactures popular units such as the G-Shock, ProTek and Wave Ceptor watches. Orient is also a well-known Japanese brand.


So, would you go for a watch known for its luxury and craftsmanship, or a watch that has cutting-edge technology and affordability? Like the characteristics of their watches, Switzerland and Japan may be worlds apart. Still, we have to consider that the two countries are also home to many of the best and most reputable watch brands.

Which country produces the best watches? It’s up to the consumers to decide, as they have different tastes when it comes to watches. Japan and Switzerland are surely at the forefront of watch fashion and watch technology, which is why they’re still leading the market in this area today.