Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour (Self Guided), Geneva

Swiss-made watches are known to be the best, when it comes to quality and precision. Some world-renowned brands, like Patek Phillipe, Swatch, Omega and Piaget, have been designed and masterminded in Geneva. The watch industry of the city dates back to the 16th century, and since then has constantly developed to produce the most desired timepieces. Take this self-guided tour for a closer look at the state-of-the-art watches in some of the best specialized shops of Geneva and, perhaps, choose one for yourself or somebody dear.
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Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour Map

Guide Name: Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour
Guide Location: Switzerland » Geneva (See other walking tours in Geneva)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Author: john
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Bucherer
  • Patek Philippe
  • Gubelin
  • Chopard
  • Roger Dubuis
  • La Maison de L'Horlogerie
  • Espace Temps
  • Swatch
1
Vacheron Constantin

1) Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin SA is a Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer founded in 1755. This is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since founding. Most of the company's nearly 1,200 employees work in the manufacturing plants in Canton of Geneva and Vallée de Joux in Switzerland.

Vacheron Constantin is highly regarded as a maker of luxury watches. The list of its notable patrons and timepiece owners, over the years, has included Queen Elizabeth II, Alexander I of Yugoslavia, Pope Pius XI, Napoléon Bonaparte, Marlon Brando, William James, John D. Rockefeller, Diana Princess of Wales, Harry S. Truman, and the Wright brothers. The Vacheron Constantin pocket watch No. 402833 (1929), which was owned by King Fuad I of Egypt, ranks as one of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction, fetching US$2.77 million (3,306,250 CHF) in Geneva on April 3, 2005. In 2015, Vacheron Constantin introduced the pocket watch Reference 57260, which currently holds the title of the most complicated mechanical watch ever made, with 57 horological complications.

Visit the Vacheron Constantin boutique at the Place de Longermalle for a closer look at the world-known masterpieces of watchmaking.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Bucherer

2) Bucherer

Founded in 1888 by Carl Friedrich Bucherer, this Swiss watch and jewellery maker is a successful family-run business that is currently owned and managed by Jörg G Bucherer, a third-generation family member.

Back in the 1920s, Bucherer was one of the first retailers to partner with Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, and today the company's boutiques across Switzerland, Germany, France and Austria offer one of the largest choices of Rolex watches worldwide. Apart from these, of course, you can find here in rich supply the Bucherer own watches, known for their well-built quality and superb design, such as the Patrvi, Manero and Alacria collections.

In addition to watches, the Bucherer jewellery creations – the enormous selection of unique items made in their Lucerne workshops of the natural coloured gemstones and rare pearls – are just as widely appreciated, much as their bespoke jewellery service. With over a century-long experience and a crew of skillful craftsmen working in the boutique, today Bucherer's Geneva is one of the city's most popular destinations for watch and jewellery shopping and a go-to place that addresses the needs for those life's special moments.

Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10 am – 7 pm; Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
3
Patek Philippe

3) Patek Philippe

Back in 1839, when two Polish immigrants set up a small watch shop in Geneva, no one could really anticipate that this would determine the watch-making trends for the years to come. Since 1932, Patek Philippe – a Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer – has been in the hands of the Stern family. In 2010, Thierry Stern, the son of Philippe Stern, took over the reins of the company that is renowned to be one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since foundation.

An exquisite design of Patek Philippe timepieces, a perfect balance between classicism and modernity, is complemented by most complicated engineering that goes into their mechanical solutions. For all of this, Patek Philippe is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious watch brands in the world. Over the years, among its notable patrons and timepiece owners have been the likes of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Pius IX, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Pablo Picasso, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Leo Tolstoy.

In 2018, the company produced 62,000 timepieces; in order to maintain high quality and exclusivity, its yearly output increases by no more than 1-3% with a ceiling. Since 2000s, Patek Philippe timepieces have repeatedly fetched high prices at auctions worldwide, being among the top ten most expensive auctioned watches ever, commanding tens of millions of US dollars apiece.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Gubelin

4) Gubelin

Established in Lucerne in 1845, Gübelin is a family-owned company and one of the most respected watch and jewellery brands worldwide, currently run by Raphael Gübelin, representing the family's sixth generation. Among other things, in particular, their luxury boutique in the heart of Geneva’s jewellery district prides itself on the meticulous, bend-over-backwards customer service.

The company's motto “Gübelin for Life” implies that they indeed try to know their clientele, addressing a wide spectrum of needs: from an engagement ring to fine watches for each family member, be it senior or junior, to some nice jewellery piece and so on. Pursuant to this dedication, Gübelin has recently remodelled its boutiques, recreating a living room mood in a bid to make the customers feel at home, a place where they can come in anytime and just respite from the noise and crowds out there, wandering around and browsing without any pressure, safe in knowledge that they, if need be, can rely on the multi-lingual personnel to assist them.

Gubelin watch is an expression of personal lifestyle that can vary from classic steel quartz to mechanical movements. Over the years, this watch-making company has proven capable of pleasing even the most discerning customers by offering something truly unique, be it a time- or jewellery piece signed by Gubelin.

Opening Hours: Monday–Friday: 9:45 am – 6:45 pm; Saturday 9:45 am - 6 pm
5
Chopard

5) Chopard

Le Petit-Fils de L.-U. Chopard & Cie S.A., commonly known as Chopard, is a Swiss manufacturer and retailer of luxury watches, jewellery and accessories. Founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, Switzerland, Chopard has been owned by the Scheufele family of Germany since 1963.

The company founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, was a Swiss watchmaker who grew up in Sonvilier, a town near Bern. In 1860, he established his L.U.C. manufacturing company in Sonvilier, having observed that it was more profitable to market the finished watch than to just make the mechanical movement.

After Louis-Ulysse's death in 1915, the company was taken over by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André. The company specialised in making pocket watches and ladies’ wristwatches. In 1937, at that time a company of 150 employees, the enterprise relocated to Geneva. This enabled the movements made by the company to be certified with the Geneva Seal, a mark applied only to watch movements made in the Canton of Geneva. Paul-André took over the company in 1943.

In 1963, having no children wishing to continue in the business, Paul-André Chopard sold it to Karl Scheufele III, a German goldsmith and watchmaker from Pforzheim, who was seeking a watch movement manufacturer exclusively for his own business.

Chopard is best known for making high-quality Swiss watches and jewellery, and its clientele have included Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The company is headquartered in Geneva and has a site in Fleurier, Canton of Neuchâtel, that manufactures watch movements.

With boutiques on and around the Rue du Rhône, this is one not to miss on your Timepiece Shopping Walk.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Roger Dubuis

6) Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Geneva. The company was founded by Roger Dubuis and Carlos Dias in 1995. The former founded his own atelier in 1980 after 14 years of developing complications in Geneva for Patek Philippe. He took commissions to design new complications for major brands for several years. Carlos Dias, a designer for Franck Muller, joined Dubuis to launch the brand later on.

After four years of development, in 1999, the company unveiled its first watches that were fully designed and developed in-house. This is one of the few Swiss watch firms that produce most the components of its calibres in-house. Roger Dubuis calibers are made up of several hundred components finished by hand. The calibres are made of gold, diamonds, and titanium, as well as new materials such as carbon, ceramic and cobalt. Most of the timepieces are skeleton watches.

The Roger Dubuis watches include the Excalibur and Velvet collections, along with motorsports watches in collaboration with Lamborghini, Squadra Corse and Pirelli. The manufacturer started collaboration with the motorsport companies in 2017.

Dubuis timepieces bear the Poincon de Geneve (the Hallmark of Geneva).
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
La Maison de L'Horlogerie

7) La Maison de L'Horlogerie

La Maison de L'Horlogerie (the House of Watches) is the largest independent boutique in Geneva that specializes in Swiss watches. Be it a luxury giant Hermès or group brands like Baume & Mercier, Ebel, Montblanc or Tissot, or well-established independent brands such as Eberhard, Maurice Lacroix, Oris and Raymond Weil, you will find them all here in rich supply plus an impressive range of other trademarked items across all price ranges, notably including a well-stocked affordable segment.

Located in the heart of the city, just a few steps from the lake Geneva on the right bank, for almost half a century this shop has provided customers with an attentive ear and extensive experience backed by an extremely broad choice of new or previously owned watches.

Whenever you shop here, you can have confidence that the shop’s friendly staff will assist you with your choice in the best possible customer-care fashion. La Maison de l’Horlogerie is also the only retailer in Geneva to offer two brands with a powerful personality: ZRC, greatly appreciated among divers and young people looking for an original self-winding quality watch; and Rebellion, which is much sought-after in the field of motorsports and high-impact design.
8
Espace Temps

8) Espace Temps

Another of Geneva's specialized shops for Swiss watches, Espace Temps is one the first official retailers of the Longines trademark, and has been on Rue du Mont-Blanc since 1937. Initially titled La Boule d’Or, it changed the name only in 2003.

Now twice the size of its original retail space, the shop carries more than 20 brands, selected for their horology expertise and exclusive design. Here you will find watches for daily use, for both men and women, luxury timepieces, limited editions, as well as inexpensive items. Espace Temps has featured certain brands since their launch, such as the prestigious Raymond Weil and Frédérique Constant, of which it was the first official representative in Geneva.

If you are looking to buy a watch to suit your style or new look, this is the place to go. The shop’s policy is that each customer has individual needs, and it's their pleasure to meet them.

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30 am – 7 pm; Saturday: 10 am – 6:00 pm
9
Swatch

9) Swatch

Undeniably one of the most recognized watch brands in the world, Swatch is yet another big name in Swiss watchmaking, but on a different level! Launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, the brand has since gained popularity for its top quality and ground breaking innovations, and, not least importantly, for its highly affordable prices.

They say, Swatch is more than a timepiece, but a 'talking piece', a state of mind, rather, and a medium for self-expression. Their watches befit all occasions and will compliment one's everyday life. For over three decades, the company has been revolutionizing watchmaking with fashionable designs and a provocative spirit that resonates with the artistic selves of devoted Swatch wearers.

Tight links with the art and artists, right from the outset, established Swatch as a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines. The company never fails surprise with new models, collections and special editions. Amongst their most popular releases are Metal Swatch, Swatch Skin Chrono, Swatch Snowpass and Swatch Beat.

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm; Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

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