Switzerland has a long history of the watchmaking industry, and to this day, Swiss-made watches ranks at the top of all the time best watches when it comes to quality watches. Watch enthusiasts and collectors are greatly interested in where a specific watch is manufactured, and Swiss-made always tops the favorite ranking. Therefore in this article, we are focusing on the best affordable swiss watch brands.
Switzerland has many watch brands, and they vary from luxury to affordable. You can easily buy a swiss made timepiece without compromising on quality. Despite the low price, they follow a strict quality control system. Following reviewed brands have watches which stay under 1000$ and most of them are even low price. Now you do not need thousands of bucks to buy a swiss watch because you can choose from below ten brands.
Swatch was founded in 1983 by Nicholas Hayek in Switzerland. Nicolas Hayek served as CEO and Chairman of the board from the 1980s to 2010. In the 1970s, the Japanese watchmaking industry was thriving due to the production of affordable and new technology watches. Therefore, to save the Swiss watchmaking industry, which was still focusing on expensive mechanical watches and suffering loss, this company came into being and made Quartz watches.
Hayek made a new company to save the country from crisis and worked continuously with innovative strategies. This new company hired young engineers and worked with more contemporary ideas, and finally was able to make watches that are more reliable and use lesser parts. The company took only a few years to get over the crisis, developed a new watchmaking culture, and renowned themselves as notable watchmakers.
The Swatch watches are mostly made in Switzerland and labeled as Swiss-made, which indicates technical and design qualities. Also, some minor watch parts are made in China, Malaysia, and Thailand. Swatch is a top affordable swiss watch brand and mostly known for making plastic casing watches, but some have stainless steel. Furthermore, you should know that the Swatch group is the biggest watchmaker in the world and even supplies parts to other brands.
Swatch Women’s GS124 Quartz Rainbow Dial Plastic Watch
It is a pretty colorful watch and perfect for women who like to play with colors and like lively things. This rainbow-hued watch features a round dial and funky style white Arabic numerals, which makes a nice contrast with the colorful dial. The hands are interesting too, with a circle-tipped baton. Watch has a plastic case, plastic strap and dial glass are also made of plastic. Swatch GS124 works on Quartz movement and is pretty lightweight due to plastic material. Moreover, it is only 30m water-resistant, which means it is safe with only splashes of water but not more than that. Oris
Oris has been around for 100 years and famously known for mechanical watches in the past, but now it offers famous pilot and aviation-inspired automatic and durable watches. In 1904, Paul Cattin and Georges Christian founded the company. They named the company after the creek in Hölstein and started working in a recently closed factory after buying it. They soon grew, and in nearly ten, the company had another factory and assembly plant. In 1929, business further extended to six factories, and Oris became the largest employer in Hölstein. At the end of the 1960s, Oris achieved a milestone by becoming the biggest watchmaking company in the world, producing 1.2 million watches per year. The headquarters are still in Hölstein, and all watches are Swiss made. It is from a few companies that still make mechanical watches and have distinct designs for their watches. They stay true to the roots and deliver durable and quality watches. Their watches come in mid-range and mostly affordable. You can compare its watches with other luxury brands of watches, but the only difference is that it is cheaper than others in terms of price. Oris has four main categories of watches: Diving, Culture, Aviation, and Motor Sport. Each has its design and features and are made specifically for the targeted field.
Oris Big Crown Men’s Automatic Watch 01-733-7649-4031-MB
Oris’s Big Crown watch for men is an automatic watch with self winder and reserve power for about 38-hours. From case to strap, it is made of stainless steel and has a chic look. The back of the case has mineral transparent glass, through which you can see the inner working of the watch. The round silver dial has diamond-tip index marks and only four numerals. Furthermore, the dial window has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and is pretty hard to break. Only hands are luminous and glow in the dark for you to see the time. Watch is water-resistant for about 100m only, so likely suitable for showers and swimming. Victorinox
Karl Elsener founded Victorinox at Schwyz, Switzerland, in 1884. Elsener made Swiss army knives in a workshop located in Ibach. In 1908, along with another company by the name of Wenger, this company started producing Swiss Army knives and supplying them to the Swiss army. Both were competitors at that time, and a contract between them allowed them to distribute shares equally. Around 1989, Victorinox started manufacturing watches in the United States with the Swiss Army name. In 2005, Victorinox took over Wenger and took over the knives line completely and expanded further. In this age, Victorinox has a total of five product lines, watches, travel gear, fragrances, Swiss Army Knives ( the original and core product), household and professional knives. It makes it affordable to luxury products and has a good reputation among its customers. The I.N.O.X collection is the most popular and explicitly designed to withstand the extreme environment. One watch from this collection we have reviewed below.
Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X. Watch
Victorinox presents Swiss Army Men watch line up with several options in band and color. You can easily choose and get one for yourself, depending on your taste. This particular watch comes in a sophisticated silver-tone and stainless steel case and band. The dial glass has triple coated and anti-reflective sapphire crystal. It is casual enough to wear daily and on special formal occasions. It is crafted with high-grade material that can withstand extreme endurance tests. The watch comes equipped enough to go at least in 200 meters of waters with no worry of damage, and you can even take it with you on a hike with its shock-resistant feature. The black round dial has a small date panel between 4’oclock and 5’oclock position. Lastly, it works on the Swiss Quartz movement as you can judge from it being a Swiss company. Wenger
Wenger has been around for almost a century, and it did not start as a watch company but was a cutlery company known as Paul Boechat & Cie. This company was the first one to make Swiss Army Knife as requested by Swiss Army. Later, the company was renamed after Theododore Wenger, who was a minister and hired by the company to bring manufacturers. The company moved to travel accessories and then finally in 1988 started making watches. In 2005, the rival company Victorinox took over the brand and improved its product lines. Further, in 2013, Victorinox joined the Wenger’s knives line with its own and left Wenger to focus on watches and travel gear only. To this day, Wenger is a famous name in watches and travel accessories across the globe. They also changed their slogan from “Maker of the Genius Swiss Army Knife” to “A Swiss Company since 1893” in the year of 2016. Wenger has a good reputation in the watchmaker industry over time and offers affordable watches. Most of the watches range from $130 to $400, are well-reviewed and made with 50% of the Swiss components, precision, and accuracy. Overall, it is a great choice if you are looking for an affordable, durable, and excellent watch.
Attitude Heritage Sport
It is an affordable watch that has numerous useful features. Attitude Heritage Sport watch is available in different colors and straps. This version of the watch has a stainless steel casing and band, which indeed looks elegant in its way. The mineral dial glass has a sapphire crystal coat but not made with fully sapphire crystal. Moreover, it works on the Swiss Quartz crystal movement. The round black dial has luminous hour marks and hands to make it easy for users to see the time, even in the dark. It has extra 24-hour and minute marks. Lastly, on the 3’oclock, it features a calendar panel that shows both day and date. Watch is suitable for swimming and snorkeling only, but not for diving due to 100m water-resistant. Alpina
The Alpina watches are famous for their precision, quality, elegance, and sturdiness. These qualities are hard to find in a single watch, but Alpina delivers the best watches possessing all the necessary attributes. For more than a century, the company stood firm on its basic principle, and therefore their watches are labeled as iconic, revolutionary, and legendary. The Alpina Swiss Watchmakers Corporation was founded in 1883, and in short, they were called Alpinist. Their initial purpose was to help and enhance the manufacturing of movements and timepieces, and they started making in-house calibers and chronometers. Later in 1901, they registered the trademark Alpine to secure their 12 and 19 line calibre, and the trademark started to appear on every product made. In 1908, on their 25th anniversary, The Alpine got registered as a brand name for watches at the Union. They released their first Chronometer watch in 1912; it was made by W.A. Dubois in the Glashutte factory. By the time it was 1920, Alpine was already known worldwide and had 2000 outlets. Next year, Alpina was a producer and supplier of military pilot swiss watches. In 1933, they introduced their first sports watch, which was called the Block Uhr. The watch had a durable stainless steel casing and a patented crown. In 1938, the company introduced the Alpina 4 sports watch. It revolutionized the sports watch concept by possessing four characteristics: anti-shock and magnetic, water-resistant, and stainless steel case and band. The company also faced a downfall during the Quartz crisis along with other Swiss companies but still stood on its basic standards. Alpina made a comeback with a stronger position in 2002. In 2015, Alpina manufactured a new in-house AL-760 Automatic Flyback Chronograph calibre and introduced its brand new Horological Smartwatch. The watch has an analog dial and great functionalities, which you can see in the review below.
Alpina Men’s Horological SmartWatch
The Alpina horological smartwatch, along with durability, offers many useful functions. Watch casing is made up of stainless steel and has a synthetic sapphire crystal in the dial glass. It works on a Quartz mechanism and shows an analog clock. It has features like connected connectivity with iOS and Android phones, sleep tracking, and also displays call and message notifications. Like other Alpina watches, this is also affordable and comes in the $400 range. Lastly, it is shock-resistant and water-resistant for about 100 meters. Movado
The Movado is a lesser-known brand as compared to other mentioned companies. This brand is famous for its intriguing and minimalist timepieces. They do not have a wide range of watches, and the Museum model is the most popular one. Other than minimalistic style watches, the company also offers sports watches with chronograph features. These watches work on Swiss-made Sellita movement and are quite reliable. Watches for women have subtle bling and unique style and also come in an affordable price range. The company was founded in 1881, and the initial name was LAI Ditesheim & Freres SA, and later in 1905, it was renamed to Movado. In 1083, an American company by the name North American Watch Corp acquired this company and made their headquarters in New Jersey. Watches are Swiss-made and still manufactured in a factory in Switzerland. Movado has gone global and has made its watches available in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Far East. The brand has both luxury and affordable fashion watches. It has an iconic museum model watch that features an elegant and minimalist design. It was designed by Nathan George Horwitt in 1947 and inspired by the Bauhaus art movement. The reason it is called a museum watch is because of its distinct design, which led the watch to become a permanent part of the collection in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in around 1960.
Movado Men’s 2100002
The first thing that will come to your mind when you look at this watch is elegance and aesthetics. It has a black dial that beautifully contrasts with silver hands and bezels. Moreover, the dial has a single dot that indicates the upside and 12’oclock position. Black leather strap further compliments the elegant look. The watch can withstand the rain and water splashes but not more due to 30m water-resistant only. Certina
Certina has been around for about 130 years as of today and is still famous for its precision, sporty character, and reliable timepiece. They perfectly combine classic and modern features with excellent quality, and you get the best result. The company offers four different collections, Heritage, Aqua, Sport, and Urban. They have strict quality control and are known for double security technology, which was introduced in 1959. The DS (double security technology) is a design that features highly durable material and protects the watch from any damage. Certina was established in 1888 by Adolf and Alfred Kurth, which was just a supplier factory at first. They started producing watches in later years and finalized their brand name in 1938. It became a member of the Swatch Group in 1983 and still has the membership. They are not well known due to minimum marketing and come in the middle range.
Certina DS Action Black Dial Men’s Watch
Certina presents a beautiful silver and black watch with the simplest of features and highly durable materials. Watch has silver bezel and hands, which are also luminous. It comes in a sapphire crystal glass and stainless steel case, which holds Quartz movement. On the dial, it has luminous hour index marks and only Arabic numeral at 12’oclock, minute marks on the outer rim, and date at 6’oclock position. Watch also has a chronometer function and is water-resistant up to 200 meters. It is a very basic timepiece but speaks of quality and elegance in every way.RADO
Rado is one of the biggest manufacturers of watches from Switzerland and makes nearly half a million watches a year. They have the brand philosophy, “if we can imagine it, we can make it.”The company was founded by three brothers, Fritz, Ernest, and Werner, in 1917 at Lengnau, Switzerland. It was first named Schlup & Co, and then later, it changed to Rado in 1950. Their start was modest because they started their factory in a small store in their parent’s home. However, by the time World War II ended, the factory became the largest watchmaker in the world. In the 1960s, the Rado started selling its watches worldwide and was able to sell in over 60 countries. Moreover, in the same year, they introduced scratch-resistant glass in a watch that was made from sapphire crystal. Rado continued to create innovative watches and excel in their field. The year of 1990s is known as the ceramic revolution because they introduced a new style and made it with new material watches. The most popular was Rado Ceramics, made with sapphire crystal and high-tech ceramic, and there were two more. The Rado Sintra which had cermet with metal and the Ceramica that was made with high-tech plasma ceramic. The latter watch has a material with a metallic glow but not actual metal involved.
Rado Men’s R21711702 Ceramica White Dial Watch
Rado, to this day, is a globally renowned watchmaker and famously known for its innovation and revolutionary material that they use in their watches. This watch, as shown by name, belongs to the famous Ceramica category. It works on Swiss Quartz movement and features sapphire crystal in scratch-resistant dial glass. Instead of stainless steel, which is a common material for watch cases, it has a ceramic casing and band. The overall design is pretty minimalistic with a simple small dial that shows four diamond hour marks and a date window. Lastly, it is water-resistant up to 30m only. Tissot
Tissot is one of the oldest Swiss watch brands. It’s watches have an excellent balance between quality and affordability. Beside Rado, this company is also part of The Swatch Group, which makes the production cost less and quality remain intact. However, the automatic movement watches are a bit expensive due to high-tech parts and mechanisms. They do not have specific inspiration but rather play with different styles and thus offer a wide range to choose from. It was founded in 1853 by father-son duo, Charles-Félicien Tissot and Charles-Emile Tissot. Rather than a company, it was an assembly shop famous for gold pocket watches and intended for export. They branched out to the United States soon, and five years later, in 1858, the company started exporting to Russia. In 1907, they made their watchmaking factory at Chemin de Tourelles, Le Locle and headquarters are still there to this day. Later in 1917, they achieved a milestone by manufacturing their parts and watches themselves. Even after 100 years in 1953, the company continued to grow and expand with more watch ranges being exported to more countries. Tissot joined The Swatch Group in 1998 and reinvented itself with the support and introduced a few new watches. Till this day, Tissot keeps on improving and inventing new timepieces. In a rough estimation, nearly 4 million Tissot watches sold in a year around the globe.
TISSOT Men’s Analogue Automatic WatchThis watch is from Le Locle Collection by Tissot. The overall design is pretty simple with a hint of classic vibe. It has stainless steel in casing and sapphire crystal dial glass which makes it scratch-resistant and durable. Watch has a chic silver-tone color with black leather strap completing the elegant look. The round dial features Roman numeral and minutes/second marks and a small window for date. The fancy part is automatic movement, power itself by hand movement, and keeps the power for at least 80 hours. Lastly, it is water-resistant to only 30 meters and you have to be careful near water. Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil is a small family business as compared to its competitors, who are big corporations. They drive their inspiration for watches from music and, in this way, give their timepieces an artistic appeal. They show diversity in their craftsmanship and offer a different range of watches. They are famous for skeleton watches, and a band inspired watches to instrumentally guided watches. Raymond Weil is personally a horological enthusiast and always putting together movements to make a brand new. Moreover, they make limited pieces per model, which makes it unique. It was founded by Mr. Raymond in 1976 and passed on to his family after his death. Raymond Weil company acclaimed itself as a flagship for the Swiss Watchmaking industry and redefined the concept and making of watches. Currently, it is run by third-generation, which are still true to their roots and heritage and kept it alive along with modern technology. Raymond Weil is still well-known due to its innovative watchmaking techniques and unique style watches. They pay tribute to its founder in the form of the perfect crafted watch inspired by Raymond. They continue to grow with technical advancement while staying true to basics. Raymond Weil has high-quality control, and each watch goes through at least 350 checks before approving it to go to the public market.
Raymond Weil Tango Chronograph Silver Dial Men’s Watch
It is a beautiful two-tone color watch, silver, and yellow gold PVD, and nice blue around bezels and sub-dials. From top to bottom, it is durable and scratch-resistant due to stainless steel main case and band, whereas hard sapphire crystal on dial glass. The dial has further three sub-dials that display 60 seconds, 30 minutes, and 12 hours. Instead of the numeral, it has hour indexes and minutes marks. Around the bezel, you can see the tachymeter, and it is stationary. Unlike the above watches, this works on Quartz movement and shows reliable time with no error. Watch is perfect for diving and does not damage underwater because of 300m water-resistant material. It has a date window between the 4’oclock and 5’oclock hour mark.Conclusion
Here we conclude our review of most affordable swiss watch brands that you can easily find in the market. These brands have been around for nearly a century and still stay true to their heritage and make timepieces with new and innovative technology. Switzerland is a hub for all kinds of watches and has a strong industry that is still standing after centuries. You do not have to go high price; you can easily buy the best watches with modern technology at an affordable price. We even reviewed popular timepieces of every brand, which will surely be helpful for you.