Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour, Geneva

Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour (Self Guided), Geneva

When it comes to quality and precision, Swiss-made watches are known to be the best. Some of the world-renowned watch brands have been designed and masterminded in Geneva. The city's watch industry dates back to the 16th century, and since then has constantly developed to produce the most desired timepieces.

Geneva hosts a cluster of specialized shops that cater to the refined tastes of watch connoisseurs. Among them, a selection of prestigious watchmakers stands out.

Vacheron Constantin, with a legacy spanning centuries, offers timeless creations that blend mechanical ingenuity and aesthetic beauty. Just around the corner, Bucherer entices patrons with a selection of exclusive timepieces, epitomizing Swiss watchmaking luxury.

Patek Philippe, a symbol of horological artistry, showcases precision and exquisite design, inviting aficionados to partake in its illustrious heritage. Nearby, Gubelin, another revered name, marries tradition and innovation, embodying the essence of Swiss watchmaking.

Chopard, synonymous with elegance and sophistication, presents a fusion of fine jewelry and horological expertise. Roger Dubuis, on the other hand, introduces an avant-garde spirit, pushing the boundaries of haute horlogerie.

La Maison de L'Horlogerie curates a collection of exquisite timepieces from prestigious Swiss brands, while Espace Temps offers a captivating journey through the world of watches.

Amidst these horological giants, Swatch adds youthful exuberance, infusing color and vibrancy into Geneva's watch scene.

Explore these horological gems in Geneva, where timepieces represent not just minutes and seconds but a legacy of precision and artistry. Dive into a world where time is more than measurement; it's an expression of a lifetime. No trip to Geneva is complete without discovering the treasures of Swiss watchmaking here, where craftsmanship and elegance coexist. Geneva awaits – seize the moment and make it yours!
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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
Vacheron Constantin

1) Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin SA is a prestigious Swiss company renowned for its high-end watches and clocks, established back in 1755. It stands as one of the oldest and continually operational watchmakers globally since its inception. The majority of its approximately 1,200 employees are based in the manufacturing facilities located in the Canton of Geneva and Vallée de Joux in Switzerland.

Vacheron Constantin has earned a distinguished reputation for crafting luxury timepieces. Over the years, it has counted among its notable clientele and watch owners individuals such as 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. Notably, the Vacheron Constantin pocket watch No. 402833, dating back to 1929 and once owned by King Fuad I of Egypt, holds the distinction of being one of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction, fetching a staggering 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 record for being the most intricate mechanical watch ever created, featuring a remarkable 57 horological complications.

For a firsthand experience of these renowned masterpieces of watchmaking, you can visit the Vacheron Constantin boutique situated at the Place de Longermalle.

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.
Patek Philippe

3) Patek Philippe

In 1839, when two Polish immigrants established a small watch shop in Geneva, they could not have foreseen the significant impact it would have on the watchmaking industry in the years to come. Patek Philippe, a Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer, has been under the ownership of the Stern family since 1932. In 2010, Thierry Stern, the son of Philippe Stern, assumed control of the company. Patek Philippe is renowned as one of the world's oldest watch manufacturers, boasting an uninterrupted history of watchmaking since its founding.

The exquisite design of Patek Philippe timepieces strikes a harmonious balance between classic aesthetics and modernity. These watches are backed by intricate engineering, exemplified by their complex mechanical solutions. Consequently, Patek Philippe enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the most prestigious watch brands globally. Throughout its history, notable figures such as Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Pius IX, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Pablo Picasso, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Leo Tolstoy have been among its esteemed patrons and timepiece owners.

In 2018, the company manufactured 62,000 timepieces, deliberately maintaining a modest yearly production increase of no more than 1-3% to preserve the brand's high quality and exclusivity. Since the early 2000s, Patek Philippe timepieces have consistently commanded high prices at auctions around the world, ranking among the top ten most expensive watches ever sold, with individual pieces fetching tens of millions of US dollars each.

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.

5) Chopard

Chopard, officially known as Le Petit-Fils de L.-U. Chopard & Cie S.A., is a prominent Swiss company renowned for producing and selling luxury watches, jewelry, and accessories. The company was established in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in the town of Sonvilier, Switzerland. Since 1963, Chopard has been under the ownership of the Scheufele family, hailing from Germany.

The founder of the company, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, was a skilled Swiss watchmaker who spent his formative years in Sonvilier, a town near Bern. In 1860, he founded his manufacturing company, L.U.C., in Sonvilier. He realized that it was more profitable to market complete watches rather than merely crafting the mechanical movements.

Following Louis-Ulysse's passing in 1915, his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André took over the company's reins. Chopard specialized in crafting pocket watches and wristwatches for women during this period. In 1937, when the company had around 150 employees, it relocated to Geneva. This move allowed the company's movements to receive certification with the prestigious Geneva Seal, an exclusive designation for watch movements produced in the Canton of Geneva. Paul-André assumed control of the company in 1943.

In 1963, with no successors interested in continuing the family business, Paul-André Chopard sold it to Karl Scheufele III. Karl Scheufele III was a German goldsmith and watchmaker from Pforzheim who was searching for a watch movement manufacturer exclusively for his own business.

Chopard is most renowned for its exceptional Swiss watches and jewelry. The brand's clientele has included notable figures such as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The company is headquartered in Geneva and operates a manufacturing facility in Fleurier, in the Canton of Neuchâtel, where they produce watch movements.

If you're embarking on a Timepiece Shopping Walk in the vicinity of Rue du Rhône, be sure not to miss visiting Chopard's boutiques.
Roger Dubuis

6) Roger Dubuis

Roger Dubuis, a Swiss luxury watchmaker headquartered in Geneva, was established in 1995 by Roger Dubuis and Carlos Dias. Prior to this venture, Roger Dubuis had initiated his own workshop in 1980, following 14 years of honing his craft in Geneva, specializing in complications for Patek Philippe. During this period, he also accepted commissions to create new complications for prominent watch brands. Carlos Dias, who had been a designer for Franck Muller, eventually joined forces with Dubuis to launch their own brand.

In 1999, after four years of dedicated development, the company introduced its first collection of watches that were entirely conceived and crafted in-house. Notably, Roger Dubuis stands out as one of the few Swiss watchmakers that manufacture the majority of their caliber components internally. These Roger Dubuis calibers consist of numerous meticulously hand-finished components and are constructed from materials such as gold, diamonds, titanium, as well as innovative substances like carbon, ceramic, and cobalt. Most of their timepieces feature a skeleton design.

The Roger Dubuis watch lineup encompasses the Excalibur and Velvet collections, in addition to motorsport-themed watches developed in collaboration with Lamborghini, Squadra Corse, and Pirelli. Their partnership with motorsport companies commenced in 2017.

It's worth noting that Dubuis timepieces proudly bear the Poinçon de Genève, also known as the Hallmark of Geneva, a symbol of exceptional craftsmanship and quality.
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.
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.

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.

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