We are going to discuss our top five Swiss watch brands for a fair price.
Number five is Hamilton. They are owned by the Swatch group now. Founded in 1892, Swatch took them over in 1984, but they have an amazing legacy. They’ve been in over 400 movies, they have a long involvement with making military watches, World War II, World War I, Vietnam, the Korean War, and many others.
Probably the most famous of their icons is the Ventura, with that beautiful Cadillac winged inspired, triangular shape, famously worn by Elvis Presley.
Main Characteristics of Hamilton H91419363
H91419363 is 38-millimeter, manual wind, and it really hasn’t changed since World War II. You’ve got that classic field watch layout, with the 24-hour markings towards the inside, those large, legible Arabic numerals. Really nice and thin, because it’s only manual wind, you haven’t got that rotor to worry about. Inside, we have the ETA 2804. 50 meters water-resistant, clean, and classic.
Another alternative is the Jazzmaster line from Hamilton. It has the beautiful Dauphine hands, the very, almost Art Deco, curves in the case. We have a sapphire crystal. Inside we got the H40, which is basically the ETA2836-2.
This is just a smidgen five hundred on Amazon, but if you can afford that extra ten bucks it’s certainly worth it. It`s very tastefully done. It’s 40 millimeters in diameter, extremely symmetrical layout. And you get a display back.
Staying within the Khaki family, another favorite is the H70595593. This time we’ve got slightly larger numerals, a little bit more detail. Syringe style hands, very precise seconds and minutes tracked there. The strap this comes on, with the distressed leather, and the rivets there, giving it more of an aviation feel.
This time we’ve got the H10, so it’s just the date, based on the 2824 simple case with a large crown. It’s very difficult to beat because of its layout. It`s with the 24-hour military markings.
Interstellar Khaki Watch
Another one we should really mention, which was famously in the Christopher Nolan film Interstellar, worn by the actor Matthew McConaughey. However, this is the quartz version, stylistically very similar.
There are some models for only around three hundred+, because it is of course quartz. But you get that same aesthetic, that classic, style layout, with the 55-minute markings going around the outside, and then the 12 hours toward the center, that semi-skeletalized hands. It’s gorgeous, 42 millimeters, so in the Interstellar Khaki there are the same size and proportions as in their film.
Hamilton watches really rule the roost in terms of heritage, quality, and design.
- Sapphire crystals
- Symmetrical layout
- Models have a large history
- High prices
Number four: Victorinox, which is a famous knife maker. They were founded in 1884, that’s 134 years ago. They’re famous for their military knives especially, and in 2005 they actually bought their biggest rival, which was Wenger, and they were longtime rivals. Victorinox had won that battle, and now they are the dominant supplier of knives to the Swiss military, and they’ve been doing that over 100 years.
They expanded into cutlery, into travel gear. They are in a very distinctive red color. Even their logo is symbolic of their military involvement. In 1989 Swiss Army Knives diversified into watchmaking, they carried their expertise with manufacturing steel-based products into watches, and they’ve just exploded.
The first one is the I.N.O.X., an incredible, beautifully engineered watch. It is quartz, but it’s quartz for a reason. This is a humongous, but deliberately big watch. 200 meters water-resistant, you can get a whole plethora of beautiful colors. Obviously, it’s to aid legibility in low light. It had been tested in hundreds of ways. These things are designed to withstand severe temperature variations, shock, or magnetism. They are probably some of the hardest watches ever made.
Quite interesting, almost Nautilus aesthetic. The diving version has the bezel, and it uses the scalloped edge bezel so beautifully.
The Most Stylish Infantry Models
In their Infantry line, the military involvement is also a recurring theme. They are classically done, tasteful, almost minimalist. If you look at the Swiss Military quartz GMT model, it looks a little bit like the Rolex Explorer 2, however, it’s definitely got its own style. It comes with a mesh, you get the 24-hour bezel, 100 meters water-resistant, syringe style hands, anti-reflective sapphire crystal. This is 40 millimeters. It has a fourth hand for the GMT function in a red. It`s kind of in keeping with their color scheme. A very subtle, but wonderful little rail track for the minutes running around the outside of the dial.
This is 40 millimeters. It’s a field watch with the 24-hour markings. We’ve got a sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating. Inside we’ve got the ETA 2824-2, including a simple three handed date.
- Interesting history
- Many colors
- Classic military style
- Sapphire crystal
- Anti-reflective coating
- Enormous size
Glycine – a Controversial Brand
Number three is Glycine. This firms had been bought by Invicta, and this has caused a little bit of controversy since some people are very anti-Invicta because of their aggressive marketing.
There has been a trend of posts of these people sharing Glycine watches saying, “Look what Invicta’s doing,” and some of their more garish models. However, if you actually look at when they were designed, most of them are from the pre-Invicta buyout. Generally, Glycine wasn’t doing too well in a very competitive market. With Invicta behind them, they’ve got the funding to maintain production of these hugely iconic watches.
Glycine Airman Watches – Feel as a Part of a Legend
The prices for the Airman have now dropped dramatically, that you can buy two of their most iconic watches under five hundred. The legendary Airman was introduced in 1953, a year before the Rolex GMT Master. It’s worn in Vietnam, and has a huge military following. It was worn by the astronaut Pete Conrad during the Gemini V spaceflight.
You can get the world time version, the quartz. There’s a beautiful blue dial, and there’s also a kind of sand colored dial version.
A Perfect Dive Watch
The Combat SUB is 42 millimeters, but only 11 millimeters thin, which is quite impressive for a dive watch, considering they’re water-resistant to 200 meters.
Different Catchy Styles
We have the GL224, which is 2824 ETA, unidirectional dive time bezel, a sapphire crystal, and they come in a really nice variety of styles. Somewhere in between a Superocean and a Submariner. The great thing is you can’t accuse it of being a ripoff of the Ether, because it very much has its own style. You can get ones with batons, or 24-hour markings more like a field watch, or you can have Arabic numerals. There are two tons, there’re PVD versions, there’s blue, green, orange, you just get so much choice, and they’re wonderful. You can get them on the bracelet, or a rubber strap, or even a NATO strap.
Combat VI – Simple Model
The Combat VI is their more kind of basic field watches. They are around about four hundred US dollars, have very tastefully done ETA, and are automatic.
- Include sand colored dial versions
- 11 millimeters thin
- Sapphire crystal
- A variety of styles
- High Price
Number two has to be Frederique Constant. They were only founded in 1988, so they’re quite new to the game. In 2016, they became a subsidiary of Citizen. Since the 80s, they really have been pushing and achieving so much. They already started having their own in-house calibers in 2008. In 2007, they developed their own silicon-based escapement wheel. In 2008, they also managed to produce their own tourbillon, which is quite impressive for such a short period of time.
In 2015, they released their first smartwatch, which was a hybrid of a traditional watchmaking and smartwatch technology.
Simple Disc Adjustment and Times Zone Strictness
The Worldtimer has a unique mechanism in the crown to be able to adjust the discs that display different time zones. It`s very impressive, considering its price range.
They offer some very nice classic and elegant dress watches and quartz-based watches with some really nice complications. The Frederique Constant Persuasion has a Cartier kind of aesthetic, with the Romans. So we’ve got a month, day, date, moon phase, all in a very sophisticated, well-balanced look. Inside we’ve got the quartz caliber.
The Best Dress Watches
They also have a slightly more traditional one, the FC260WR5B5. These are both 60 meters water-resistant. This is 40 millimeters, in a choice of goldtone or stainless steel. They are very nice and elegant. If you need a dress watch, you want something quality that is extremely tastefully done, but you don’t want to break the bank, perhaps you don’t wear a dress watch that much.
Aesthetics and Reliability
If you wanna go in-house with an automatic, the sky’s the limit. You could spend several grand with Frederique Constant, and they offer some beautifully decorated, refined pieces. For instance, the FC303SN5B6, with semi-Romans and stick markers are applied. They have beautiful leaf hands. It is in a 40-millimeter case, 50 meters water-resistant. It’s a modified Sellita SW200 movement inside. They have a 38-hour power reserve, hackable hand winding, date, and a classic white dial.
Slim Line Collection Style Diversity
Their Slim Line collection is quartz based and extremely tastefully done. You have a fantastic range of options here, from ultra-modern minimalism to ultra-traditional classic Breguet hands, hobnail dials, and Roman numerals. They are minimalist, have plain dials, two-handers, sub-seconds, and a sapphire crystal.
- Display different times zones
- Good look
- Offer perfect dress watches
- Sapphire crystal
- Optimal price
Number one is Tissot. It’s the oldest brand here, and it’s interesting because recently they were trying to bring back the pocket watch on their Instagram.
They were actually the first to mass produce the pocket watch, and they were all the first to produce a pocket watch with two time zones. This was all the way back in 1853. They also produced the first anti-magnetic watch in 1929. In the 1930s, they teamed up with Omega and Lemania to produce some truly breathtaking chronographs, the famous 33.3 caliber based chronographs of the 1930s. This was in response to the Great Depression. They also have won many awards, and one of them for a watch from the Le Locle range. Le Locle is named in honor of the place they’re still based in, Switzerland.
They were founded all the back in 1853, by the Tissot family. But the innovation didn’t stop with just traditional watchmaking. In the 70s, they introduced the world’s first plastic watch. And it kind of makes sense, because they were then bought by Swatch in 1983. Swatch wouldn’t have been able to make their hugely recognizable plastic watches without a little bit of that knowledge and expertise they got from acquiring Tissot. Their legacy, in terms of what they’ve contributed to the story of horology, is undeniable. 22. 35, 22. 45
1999, they introduced the T-Touch, which was, in a way, a precursor to Smartwatches, because it had a touchscreen from a sapphire crystal. You could actually press and it had four-way VC capabilities. They have altimeter, barometer, and compass, which is very impressive. 23. 17
The Tissot Powermatic 80
The Tissot Powermatic 80 is based on the CO7111. This movement is a newer ETA movement, that actually debuted with Tissot, and it’s called the Powermatic 80, because it’s got an 80-hour power reserve. Basically, an evolution of the 2824, slowed down to improve its performance over time, and in doing so, it`s incredible power reserve. The Tissot watches, they’ve incorporated the T for Tissot into the seconds hands. They’re 100 meters water resistant, very minimalist.
Difference of Chronographs
Something Tissot are also famous for are their 70s racing chronographs. They have an extremely impressive variety of racing quartz-based chronographs. Their newest V8 is really nice and very reminiscent of the Speedmaster. However, it has its own style. It includes a nice V-shaped layout with the date at 6 o’clock. Tachymeter runs around the outside on that bezel.
Le Locle Certified Models
Some of the Le Locle models are cost certified. There’s an astonishing amount of details, especially when it comes to the dial. You’ve got lovely, almost a hobnail, some of them have a guilloché effect, applied numerals.
Perfect Model for Optimal Price
Everytime it is, in particular, the 38-millimeter version, of the T109410. So it’s just quartz, minimalist, definitely, Bauhaus inspired. Comes on a NATO strap. I think it’s one of the most understated, beautifully designed. It’s cheap, and it’s got a sapphire crystal. These cost the same as the aforementioned fashion watches, but infinitely better in quality. You’re getting Swiss quartz in there. A brand has left a lasting impression on the history of horology.
- They have altimeter, barometer, and compass
- Incredible power reserve
- Variety of racing quartz based chronographs
- Astonishing amount of details
- Sapphire crystal
- Great history