Swiss watches vs Japanese watches

Historically Swiss watches were considered the best watches. However, during the mid-twentieth century a new country emerged as competition to the Swiss monopoly. This country was Japan. In our times whenever a consumer wishes to purchase a high quality watch generally it is made in Switzerland or Japan. Often the consumer hears that Swiss watches are the best. For certain they are usually more expensive. Top luxury brands like Patek Philippe and Constantin Vacheron are made in Switzerland, but does it mean that Swiss watches are better? This article will explain explain what the pros and contras of Swiss and Japanese watches are.

Although Swiss watches are considered more luxurious than their Japanese counterparts Japanese timepieces are known to be innovated. For example, it was Seiko that allowed quartz watches to be less bulky and heavy. Their development of smaller and lighter watch batteries was crucial. In fact, during the twentieth century when quartz watches became higher in demand Japanese watch industry went up and the Swiss watch industry went down because Swiss watch companies refused to make quartz watches. They preferred mechanical and automatic watches following their hundred year old watchmaking tradition.

Japanese watches are made with an in-home mechanism (The term in-house mechanism means that the company itself creates the mechanisms.), but Swiss companies often incorporate the ebauche method. Most Swiss watch companies don’t create the watch mechanism. It is created by an independent manufacturer. This manufacturer supplies the mechanism for most Swiss watches. Please note that this manufacturer is in Switzerland and they have Swiss Standards of production. Further, the watch cannot be called Swiss if the movement isn’t made in Switzerland (link my article on Swiss made vs. Swiss movement.) There are several advantages of the ebauche method. First of all, there is guarantee that all Swiss watches have good movement. Additionally,watch companies are free to focus on design and the quality of other parts of the watch. In short, the ebauche tradition allows for specialization. The down side of the ebauche method is that the watches lack unique movement. As a result, many top luxury Swiss brands reject the ebauche mechanism and they make their own movement. In general, many Swiss watch companies are trending towards in-house movements. Moreover, Swiss companies are starting following the Japanese business models. Japanese watch companies are very efficient but they also have a lean budget, which is why Japanese watches are usually cheaper.

Both Swiss Made and Swiss Movement watches are great. However, whether you decide to purchase a Swiss watch or Japanese watch will depend on what kind of timepiece you want. If you want something that is more budget friendly and yet good quality Japanese watches is an excellent option. On the other, if you wish to own a status symbol than probably a Swiss Made watch is something you should consider.