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Why are Swiss Watches so Expensive?

Let’s be honest, investing in a Swiss-made mechanical watch seems like an awful lot of money just to tell the time. Depending on the brand and model you want, Swiss watches can cost anything from the high three figures to some styles commanding millions. So, what is it that makes one of these timepieces cost so much, and are they actually worth it?

Highest standards of craftsmanship

Backed by a rich history of innovation, continuous refinement and strict manufacturing standards, Swiss watchmaking tradition combines the finest of components with the most complex of movements. These innovative watch movements can take anything from three to five years to design and perfect, and are meant to work accurately for centuries. When it comes to even the simplest of movements, each one is made up of over 120 tiny parts and polished by hand. They are often meticulously tweezered together, again by hand, and then painstakingly fine tuned. The finest movements are often made entirely in house, which can come at a hefty price.

Finest materials

Using only the finest of materials to create a Swiss watch ensures it remains durable and accurate. Whether it’s steel or precious metals like gold, silver or platinum, the material used in the construction of the case will have an effect on the price of the watch and varies according to the cost of the metal itself and the difficulty of working with it. A watch with sapphire crystal is highly scratch resistant and is more expensive, while the bracelet can also affect the price of the watch.

Months to produce

The main attraction to high-end watches is that they are not mass produced quickly, and can take months to produce. The best Swiss-made watches take huge amounts of time to complete, and the longer it takes to produce a movement, the more valuable it will be. The high demand for these timepieces and the slow production time is also what pushes the cost of these luxury watches up. When you buy a high-end watch, you’ll need to remember that the price includes the value of labour, and there is plenty of expert labour involved.

Paying for exclusivity

Swiss-made watches still epitomise luxury and prestige, which is why many are prepared to pay a higher price tag for them. “A luxury watch is a serious investment,” said Kyle Powell at, “But it’s worth it. Fine watchmaking really is a case of getting what you pay for.” There may be many changes in the watch industry, the rise of the smartwatch being one, yet the latest data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) indicates that the value of Swiss watch exports is on the increase. Anyone who has a particular interest in fine watches will tell you that far from just telling you the time, investing in a Swiss-made watch is a show of appreciation for traditional craftsmanship that’s designed to last.