To many people around the world,” Swiss” is a mark of quality. This label has come to be associated with excellence, precision, high-quality, and luxury. Some of the things that come to mind include chocolates, banks, knives and, of course, watches.
If you know your watches, you’re aware that the Swiss make excellent timepieces. Their reputation for producing many of the world’s finest watches has made them a strong contender for the title of the best watchmakers in the world, though many fans of Japanese watches will argue otherwise. But however strong the competition from the east, the Swiss have consistently proven that their rich history, high-precision workmanship, and overall sophistication have cemented their place as the unsurpassed masters in watchmaking.
Here are the 18 best swiss watches for men.
There is nothing more Swiss than Victorinox. The brand is popular for the Swiss Army Knife, those multi-tool pocket knives with their famous red handle. Victorinox was established in 1884, and about a hundred years later, in 1989, they started producing watches. These watches are made with the same Swiss craftsmanship that the world has come to expect from a Swiss brand. Victorinox watches come in a variety of styles – from the more rugged divers to the fancier dress watches.
The Victorinox entry on this list of the best Swiss watches is the Swiss Army Maverick. The Maverick is a collection that features a bold, oversized look. The Swiss Army Maverick perfectly blends functionality with style. You can choose from over 20 variants to make your own personal statement. You can go with black or brown leather bands or opt for all black metal. No matter what you choose, you can be sure that the Maverick will be a great fit for any active or formal event.
The Invicta brand has been around since 1837. As one of the older of the Swiss brands, the Invicta takes great pride in being a keeper of tradition and excellence. All of their watches not only adhere to current regulations governing quality and authenticity of what it is to be “Swiss Made,” but they push the envelope of excellence with every watch that they produce. They’re not shy about it too. They produce flashy collections that just flat out shows off how good they are with making watches.
This entry is probably one of the more “out-there” watches you’ll ever see. It’s in no way formal nor elegant (unless you’re sporting green hair and wearing a purple suit), but it is crazy fun! It’s the Joker – as in Batman’s arch nemesis. Invicta has turned the Clown Prince of Crime into an eye-catching, all metal, green, silver, and purple timepiece. The dial is a grinning Joker’s face with red, yellow, and white accents. You can probably pull off this look in all casual situations, every day wear or heck – do what Mr. J would do and wear it with your most formal of purple (or otherwise) suits.
The fashion forward brand Tag Heuer has been making watches since 1860. It’s a brand that has always been true to its name of being avant garde. The brand is not only popular as a watchmaker but is also innovating in other areas, such as mobile phone technology and design as well as fashion accessories and wearable tech. Tag Heuer is also very active in motorsports, consistently funding and sponsoring racing teams for several decades now.
The Monaco is an ode to racing. It’s a classic piece that Tag Heuer is proud to pronounce has been worn by Steve McQueen. The Monaco features a prominent squarish dial with leather straps. Choose from many different dial colors and corresponding band style. This strong offering on this list of the best Swiss watches for men demands to be noticed. Bring your confidence with you when you put this baby on because it takes a real man to pull off wearing something so strong and stylish.
What started in 1853 as a small watchmaking operation run by a father and son duo is now recognized as one of the industry’s biggest names. The Tissot brand originally was all about gold pocket watches with ornate fittings. Today, the brand is known for producing cutting edge time-keeping technology used in sports events. Since the 1980s, Tissot has been one of the many subsidiaries under the umbrella of the Swatch Group.
Their entry on this list pays homage to the roots of the company as it carries the name of the family home. The Le Locle Valjoux Chronograph primary design also features rose gold coating, which references the original Tissot family’s history with gold craftsmanship. You may also get this Swiss watch in all stainless steel silver with a black dial or a lighter beige dial with a brown leather band.
The Wenger brand has its origins in making Swiss Army knives. This they did parallel to Victorinox. This happened because the Swiss Army decided to divide the production contract between these two manufacturers. Victorinox produced the Swiss Army Knife for the German-speaking Schwyz canton while Wenger produced the knife for the French-speaking Bern canton. Naturally, a rivalry ensued between these two companies. Wenger even made sure to release their first watch in 1988, a year earlier than Victorinox. Their rivalry ended in a takeover, with Victorinox buying Wenger in 2005.
The Wenger Attitude Chrono is one handsome watch. It comes in an all-black design with white and red accents. The dial is black with bold white numerals as well as white minute and hour hands. However, the second hand, much like the stitching on the black leather band, is red. This is a great Swiss watch to have for everyday wear or even for grueling outdoor and water sports since it’s rated for 100m water resistance.
A Patek Philippe watch is not known to be cheap – well, most of the finer things in life do come with a higher price tag. The brand started in 1839, making them one of the world’s oldest watchmakers. Throughout the years, they have become true masters in the craft of watchmaking, creating complicated movements in their mechanical watches. In fact, the aptly named Supercomplication pocket watch held the title of most complicated timepiece until 1989. This remarkable watch was then sold in an auction to the staggering tune of $24 million. Their next entry on this list is a little bit more affordable.
The Calatrava is endowed with classic aesthetics. It’s a round watch that, except for a few outrageous variants, embodies the Bauhaus look. With its clean and pure lines, the Calatrava becomes the quintessential gentleman’s dress watch. It comes in many equally stunning variants. You have your choice of dial and band color as well as band make and casing decorations.
The Longines brand was founded in 1832, making it a few years older than the maker of the previous entry. Today, it operates as a subsidiary of the giant Swatch Group. As a brand, Longines focuses in elegance in all of their designs. They even feature Aurdrey Hepburn, one of the most gorgeous and elegant ladies to have graced Hollywood in their ads.
The Longines Mast Collection L2.910.4.78.3 has character. True to the brand’s motto, this particular watch has elegance in spades. It comes with a textured silver dial with bold Arabic numerals in black. The hands are blue steel, which gives the piece a very beautiful accent. Everything is brought together with a dark brown alligator leather strap.
The Zenith brand had its start in 1865, when it was founded by an ambitious young watchmaker at the invulnerable age of 22. Today, together with Tag Heuer, Zenith is a subsidiary owned by the multibillion-dollar conglomerate, LVMH. It has to be pointed out that the LV in LVMH stands for Louis Vuitton. Just by being a subsidiary of this giant, validates Zenith as a luxury Swiss watch brand.
Zenith enters this list with a masterpiece. The Chronomaster is a timepiece of pure art and engineering. Through its open-worked dial, everything is laid out in the open. The visible inner workings of the movement add to the design of this intricately crafted beauty. It works well both as rugged wear and as a dress watch for more formal occasions. You have your choice of color for the dial, hands, and bezel as well as a choice of strap material.
The Zenith brand has another entry on this list of noteworthy Swiss watches. This time, it’s the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special. This special watch looks like something from a steampunk catalog. The bronze housing, oversized crown, dark dial, and solid brown strap all complete the retro-futuristic look. The antique-like aesthetics of the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special does make it appropriate as a dress watch, but if you’re concerned about how rugged it looks, then you wouldn’t be mistaken if you use it for daily casual wear.
The Swiss Legend brand incorporates Swiss-made movements to create the finest Swiss made watches. Most Swiss Legend designs feature a sporty look, making them great for use in demanding sports such as skiing, diving, surfing, and everything in between.
The Triton Chronograph is an impressive offering from The Swiss Legend. The watch features a robust stainless steel chassis, black dial, and a very eye catching orange rubber strap. It’s a diver’s watch, so don’t be afraid to get wet with this on.
Tudor is a well-known Swiss brand that was founded in 1926 in Geneva. It was founded by the same person who founded Rolex. Tudor was specifically developed as a more rugged alternative. The ruggedness of the Tudor watches became the brand’s calling card, and soon, professional divers and military personnel started beating a path to Tudor’s door. This toughness was recognized by many military organizations, such as the US Navy SEALS and the French Marine Nationale, and these extremely tough watches were made as their official military issues.
The Tudor’s entry onto this list is with the Black Bay. It’s such an elegantly designed watch. You can see from its purist features that the function took precedence in developing its design. There was nothing wasted, and there’s no excess. Every piece has a function. The Black Bay, to no one’s surprise, comes with a black dial. You do have your choice of bezel color as well as strap material. It’s an ideal watch for serious divers or for those who appreciate the beauty of simplicity.
Jager-Lecoultre is one of the more established brands on this list of fine Swiss watches for men. They have been around since 1833. It’s a luxury brand subsidiary of the global powerhouse, Richemont. Jager-Lecoultre is itself a giant in the watchmaking industry. The brand is known for many things, including having hundreds of patents as well as a multitude of proprietary movements. In fact, they are the inventors of the smallest movement in the world, some of the most complicated watches in the world and the Atmos clock, a clock designed to be self-perpetuating (though it does fall short of this goal).
Speaking of inventions, the Reverso is probably one of the world’s most unique wristwatches. Much like most inventions, the functional design was borne out of necessity. It was in the 1930 that Jager-LeCoultre was inspired to create a watch that had a reversible case when British officers in India became enamored with playing polo. Since a hard misguided swing of a mallet could crack a watch, the reverse side had to be tough – and that it is. Today, you don’t have to play polo to wear one of these. The Reverso is a rectangular-shaped classic fit for both men and women who just want to wear this unique timepiece for its cool functionality or its art deco aesthetic.
Being established in 1992, the Bell & Ross brand is certainly one of the younger brands on this list but this doesn’t take away from the fact that they produce great high precision, professional-grade watches. The Bell & Ross brand has already positioned itself as a leader in the production of aviation and diver watches in the BR 03 series. The brand was started as a university project by two friends, and judging by the quality of their watches, they must’ve gotten an A.
The BR 03 Diver Collection features a very distinct design that evokes the sense of high-quality instrumentation instead of just a fashion accessory. The bezel is round but the case itself is square. It’s water resistant for up to 300 meters, making it a sufficient partner for deep dives. You have your choice of color combinations as well as strap material. Choose between leather or black rubber.
With Blancpain on this list, we finally break through the 1800s barrier and enter into the 1700s. This remarkable watch company has been around since 1735. It holds the title as the world’s oldest watch company in existence. The brand produces prestige mechanical watches that are highly regarded in the watch enthusiast community. Their most popular watch is their entry onto this list of Swiss watch heavy weights.
The Fifty Fathoms Diver’s Watch is a sight to behold. Right at the moment you lay your eyes on it, you know that it’s not just an ordinary diver’s watch. The watch exudes a certain finesse that is absent from many other diver’s watches. While first and foremost, it is a functional diver you can take with you to the deepest reaches, it does in no way abandon the intricacies of style aesthetics. You can choose from a multitude of variants in size, dimensions, dial color, strap material, and other design idiosyncrasies, but you’ll still get the distinct Fifty Fathoms DNA.
Vacheron Constantin is yet another Swiss watchmaker from the 1700s. It’s really exceptional that such an old brand from 1755 is still active and thriving today. It’s currently a subsidiary of The Richemont Group, like the Jager-LeCoultre company. The Vacherom Constantin has a rich history of providing time pieces for the regal. Throughout their rich history, their patrons have included a king, a queen, a princess, a military war lord, and a pope.
The Patrimony collection uses purist lines in its very Bauhaus design. This Swiss watch is simple and elegant. It features a clean-looking dial free of clutter inside a very slim chassis. The bezel, housing, and buckle are all made of pink or yellow gold, depending on the chosen variant. It is surely a watch fit for royalty.
Breitling is a popular maker of luxury Swiss watches. Its history takes the brand back to 1884, but it’s best known for producing aviator watches that are built for performance. True to form, the Breitling brand also sponsors innovators in aviation, such as the death-defying aerobatic teams of Breitling Jet Team and Wingwalkers. Breitling also sponsored the Orbiter, the first balloon to ever truly circumnavigate the globe in 19 days and 21 hours. That’s 60 days and change ahead of how Jules Verne imagined it!
The Aviator 8 Automatic 41 is a military style watch that comes in toned-down green and gray colors. It features very clear and bold Arabic numerals that glow in low light conditions. The bezel rotates in both directions, and if you flip the watch around, you’ll be greeted by an engraving of the P-40 Warhawk with its iconic shark mouth.
Omega was established as La Generale Watch Co in 1848 but was later registered as Omega in 1903. As a brand, it certainly is one of the most recognizable Swiss watches ever. One of Omega’s most noteworthy milestones happened in 1969 when it became the first earth-made watch to ever reach the moon. As a testament to its precision, Omega has been the official timekeeper for the Olympics since 1932.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is an iconic timepiece that was the first ever to be worn on the moon. The name was mostly just a nickname at first, but the grandeur of the milestone begged for a name change and thus, the Speedmaster Professional was aptly christened “Moonwatch.” This awesome watch is a manual chronograph with a 48-hour reserve that comes with a black dial. On the reverse, you can read an inscription attesting that the product is flight-qualified by NASA.
The Audemars Piguet brand was founded in 1875 in Switzerland. The brand is naturally innovative to its core. They manufacture mechanical wristwatches that challenge the established norms of the times. Their inventiveness may be the result of their working tenet that you must first master the rules before you can break them. With the level of high-quality products they have released throughout the years, it’s obvious that they are indeed master rule-breakers.
The Royal Oak is one of their most popular offerings into the wristwatch category. The Royal Oak is a powerful piece made not of fine gold but of hard steel. The prominent feature is the octagonal bezel that’s kept in place with a hexagonal screw at each corner. Why they didn’t go with octagonal screws, no one will ever know, but this design contrast seems to work since the Royal Oak is one popular timepiece. Another distinct feature that makes this Swiss watch so attractive as is the textured dial that displays a sort of lattice network of squares.