20 Affordable Swiss Watch Brands Making High Quality Swiss Watches [Review 2021]
Are you on a vacation in Switzerland? If so, then you are probably looking for affordable Swiss watch brands to shop from. You’ve come to the right place.
Swiss watches are known for their quality and durability. They are also known for being expensive. However, there are some Swiss watch brands out there that offer high-quality watches at an affordable price.
We also reviewed some affordable Swiss automatic watches for your consideration.
What is a mid-range watch?
A mid-range watch is one of the most popular types of watches available in the market today.
These watches can be found anywhere from about $200 to over $1000 depending on what type you choose.
Mid-range watches are very versatile because they look great dressed up or down. You can wear them casually during your lunch break or dress them up when going out for drinks after work.
20 mid-range Swiss watch brands
Here are some of the best affordable Swiss watch brands:
Swatch has been around since 1983 and was originally founded as a company by Nicolas Hayek. The brand’s headquarter is located in Biel, Switzerland.
The company was founded during the Quartz Crisis when Swiss watchmakers had difficulties competing with cheap Japanese quartz watches.
As part of the Swatch Group, this watch brand is the most affordable brand in this Group, The reason why it is affordable is partly due to the choice of material it uses for its watches.
A large range of its watches is made using plastic or silicone. Whereas, other companies use metal parts like stainless steel. This makes their watches affordable than those made with metal.
However, most of the internal components are Swiss-made parts and movements. Therefore, Swatch watches are of good Swiss quality, equipped with reliable quartz movements regardless of their exterior appearance.
The brand designs its watches to cater to the younger audience. So, you’ll see lots of bright colors and sometimes cartoon characters on these watches.
The brand offers several collections including sport, stainless steel Irony collection, and sistem51 automatic watches.
Swatch makes watches that are easy to use and comfortable to wear. The watches are water-resistant so if you get caught in the rain, you won’t need to worry about them getting damaged.
Mondaine is one of the world’s leading watchmakers. The company’s history dates back to 1944 when it was founded in Switzerland by Hans Hilfiker.
Mondaine’s watch designs follow traditional styles yet incorporate modern technology into each model.
The brand focuses on minimalist railway-inspired designs with a unique red second hand. Their watches are made using only the highest grade materials and craftsmanship.
A lot of these watches also have a functional element to them, as the watches often feature unique mechanisms and design features, which makes them stand out from the crowd.
The brand is currently seeking to grow its market in the United States after acquiring watch company Luminox in 2006.
3. Victorinox Swiss Army
Victorinox is another well-known name among watch enthusiasts.
It was founded in 1884 by Karl Elsener at Schwyz, Switzerland. At that time its main product was pocket knives (Swiss army knives). However, over the years, the company expanded its business to include watches.
Today, the company produces more than 100 different models of watches. With a majority of its timepieces manufactured in Switzerland.
Most of the watches produced by Victorinox are designed based on military standards. Its I.N.O.X watches, for instance, undergo 130 resistance tests before they are endorsed to be fit for the market.
Victorinox uses rugged stainless steel cases and high-precision movements on its watches.
The brand makes use of quartz and automatic movements supplied by ETA, like the majority of Swiss watch brands. You’d see these features and much more in its I.N.O.X. collection.
Besides the I.N.O.X collection, they offer other collections which include Fieldforce, Maverick, and Alliance collections.
Tissot is an iconic Swiss watchmaker with a rich history dating back to 1953.
Co-started by a father Charles-Felicien Tissot and his son Charles-Emile Tissot, Tissot started off by manufacturing pocket watches in Le Locle, Switzerland.
Today Tissot is part of The Swatch Group and they source and assemble their watches in Switzerland. Due to its affiliation with the Swatch Group, Tissot can reach a larger audience with its elegant designs.
They produce various kinds of watches but the most popular ones include chronographs, sports watches, dress watches, diving watches, and ladies’ watches.
Their watches can be worn anywhere. Some even double as jewelry pieces.
Hamilton was originally an American watchmaker of fine mechanical watches until it was acquired by the Swiss in the early 1970s. Following its acquisition, it was later merged with The Swatch Group in 1984.
Today, Hamilton’s headquarters are located in Bienne, Switzerland. The brand is focused on making watches for outdoor enthusiasts.
It makes some of the best sports watches available today powered by quartz and automatic ETA movements.
While offering its watches at reasonable prices, Hamilton makes sure quality isn’t sacrificed as well.
They’ve managed to find a balance between price range and quality. Because they manufacture affordable and high-quality watches, the brand is so popular among watch enthusiasts.
Some of Hamilton’s outstanding collections include Hamilton Khaki Field, Jazzmaster, and Ventura.
Glycine is one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers that dates back to the early 20th century. The Swiss company started in Bienne, Switzerland in 1914, just before World War I started.
The Swiss brand started off with a precise customer segment producing ladies’ watches.
In 1953, the brand ventured into the aviation domain producing its first pilot watch called the Airman. This Swiss-made watch was widely praised by air travelers, pilots, etc.
Today, Glycine remains a leading producer of aviator watches.
Its products range from its Combat collection like the Glycine combat sub used by military and sports personnel to the modern timeless design for everyday wear.
With a wide range of timepieces to choose from, you’ll never go wrong when buying a Glycine watch.
Movado maintains its minimalist approach to designing watches while still maintaining a classic look.
This affordable Swiss brand was founded in 1881 under the name LAI Ditescheim & Freres SA. They later changed their name to MOVADO S.A. when it was purchased by an American company in 1983.
Movado’s manufacturing facilities in Switzerland enable it to manufacture Swiss-made timepieces that comply with the Swiss-made guidelines.
The brand uses high-quality materials to ensure their watches last longer than other minimalist brands. They use mostly Swiss movements to make their watches more durable.
For their watch cases and bracelets, they often use stainless steel that is ion-plated or PVD-coated in a variety of colors.
Besides it minimalist designs, Movado also makes sports watches with chronograph functions.
One of its most recognizable watches is the Museum watch, which has a single dot at twelve o’clock.
Alpina is an independent watchmaker based out of Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1901 by watch-making visionary Gottlieb Hauser, this Swiss brand specializes in making sports watches.
Alpina produces sports watches with chronographs and features such as tourbillons, date displays, and power reserve indicators. Their watches are of top premium quality.
The company pays attention to details including durability, precision, and reliability of their timepieces. From high altitudes to great depths, their watches are built for extreme environments.
An added touch to Alpina timepieces is their sleek design. Unlike other durable watches, they are neither bulky nor heavy.
Their notable watch collections include the Comtesse, Seastrong, Startimer, and Alpiner.
Rado is one of the biggest names in the world of Swiss watches. It was established in 1917 under the name Schlup & Co. but was later renamed Rado in 1950.
The brand produces more than half a million watches per year, making it one of the biggest Swiss watchmakers.
To make its watches stand out from the crowd, Rado uses innovative techniques and advanced technology in its production process.
Rado’s timepieces come with stainless steel cases and ceramic bezels, attached to either ceramic, leather, or steel bracelets.
Rado is a good brand for those who want something different compared to what others have on offer. The brand offers unique bracelet styles (ceramic bracelets) and designs that will definitely catch your eye.
Wenger started as a cutlery manufacturer before expanding into the watch industry.
In 1893, Paul Boechat & Cie. opened their first workshop where they produced cutlery. They then began producing wristwatches in 1988.
Following Victorinox’s 2005 acquisition, the brand specialized in travel gear and watches. Since then, the brand has been working hard to improve its watches.
The brand’s watches stand out because of their larger dial sizes. They offer a variety of watches, including sports, formal, and casual ones. So there’s sure to be a style you’ll love!
Though a new entrant in Swiss watchmaking, the brand already has a loyal following among collectors. Its products are made using only the highest grade components available.
For the most part, Wenger uses quartz movements, but you can also find some mechanical timepieces here.
11. Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil is a household brand that many people know about. It was founded in 1976 by Raymond Weil (aged 50) during the high of the quartz crisis.
Known for its craftsmanship and dedication to quality, the brand focuses on making premium quality watches. They pay attention to details, as you’d notice with their in-house mechanical movements.
In order to give its timepieces an attractive design, some of them come with part of the dial exposed at the six o’clock position.
Raymond Weil watches are all about aesthetic appeal. In brief, if you’re looking for a classic look, this might not be the best choice for you. But if you like bolder looks, these could be perfect for you.
Oris is another top Switzerland watchmaker. With over 120 years of history in the watchmaking business, the company specializes in mechanical timepieces.
In 1904, the company was established in Holstein, Switzerland, where its headquarters are located today. All its manufacturing is done in this town.
Oris watches are well designed with the company prioritizing the use of top-notch materials for their watches.
As for the watches themselves, Oris watches are basically categorized into four collections – MotorSport, Culture, Diving, and Aviation.
If you are a diver, you can now utilize real-world functionality with their Oris Aquis collection.
This little-known Swiss brand is growing fast since it launched back in 1918.
Established in Biel, Switzerland by George G. Schaeren, Mido set out to change the way we think about Swiss watches. It is a watch brand under the Swatch Group.
According to its CEO, its mission is to produce a watch that can last for a long time. In line with this thinking, the company has focused on developing durable yet elegant designs.
Mido watches have gained popularity due to their unique features such as the one-piece case design and the center read chronograph. The company offers different styles ranging from sporty to luxurious.
This brand is less known in the USA than other brands mentioned above. However, it has become popular in Europe and Asia. Like Mido above, Certina is part of the Swatch Group.
As part of the Swiss Swatch Group, this fine watchmaker launched the brand name Certina in 1939 in Grenchen, Switzerland.
In 1959, Certina introduced the DS (Double Security) concept. DS, from Certina’s point of view, means shock resistance that has never been seen before and high water resistance.
From 1959, they constructed watches under the DS concept in-house with the sole aim of making them the most resistant watches in the world.
Today, Certina still produces its DS model. Here are some cheap Swiss watches from Certina worth considering.
15. Frederique Constant
Started by a couple in 1988, Frederique Constant is relatively new in the Swiss watchmaking space. But it has quickly grown to compete with many traditional Swiss manufacturers.
The company started off producing traditional and classic timepieces. Each Frederique constant watch is carefully produced to align with the Swiss watchmaking guideline.
The brand makes its own movements and assembles them in order to guarantee quality and durability. So you should expect quality when buying any Frederique Constant watch.
In 2016, Citizen Holding Group acquired the brand helping it to reach a wider market.
With a watch history spanning more than 200 years, Davosa is another great option if you’re looking for a quality watch that’s not too expensive.
In 1883, it began assembling timepieces for prominent watch brands, The brand began making its own watches in the early 1940s,
Its watches can withstand daily use thanks to high-quality materials and strict quality controls. You can pick from a wide range of models including diver’s model, sports, and casual models, etc.
17. Liv Watches
LIV Swiss GX1 Watch
Considered by some watch enthusiasts as a Swiss microbrand, Liv produced its first watch thanks to a Kickstarter project.
In addition to making its own mechanism, the brand uses Swiss movements for its watches. This Swiss brand uses multi-layer dials to distinguish its affordable watches from the pack.
They have wristwatches for pretty much any purpose. This includes classic timepieces with rectangular dials.
You’d be surprised at how affordable these watches are!
The Montre Charmex S.A. began its journey in 1926 in a Swiss village called Budendorf. Started by an apprentice called Max Bürgin, this watch brand makes affordable mid-ranges Swiss watches. Their watches feature quartz and automatic movements.
As a family business, they focus on products that are timeless and functional.
Their two main watch collections include Charmex of Switzerland and CX Swiss Military. With the CX Swiss military collection, they focus on making sport and military watches with high precision.
Their watches are high quality but low cost. You’d find yourself getting lots of wear out of your purchase because of this.
Squale 1521 is a little-known Swiss watchmaker. This watch brand was founded by Charles von Büren. In 1946, they began making watch cases and other watch components for other watch labels in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
This Swiss brand is known for its innovative designs and attention to detail. Their specialty is making powerful dive watches.
Squale makes reliable and durable dive watches that can withstand high water pressure. Their dive watch is unbeatable. we recommend this brand for diving professionals.
Started by two aviators some 20 years ago, Torgoen is relatively a newcomer in this space.
The company is based in the United States, but all their production is done in Switzerland, including the use of Swiss movements. Therefore, their watches are Swiss-made in the real sense of the word.
Torgoen specializes in watches with aviator-style dials that are larger in size. Their watches are easy to read and comfortable to wear.
In summary, the best affordable Swiss watch brands are those that provide value for money.
Above all, that includes craftsmanship and handsome designs. These Swiss watch brands also offer a range of styles and price points.
If you think we’ve missed out on some Swiss watch brands, do let us know in the comments section below.