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Celebrating the History of Swiss Watches

The History of Swiss Watches on National Watch Day
One of the most timeless fashion statements, Swiss watches are imbued in personal attachment whether a sentimental family heirloom, honouring a momentous milestone, or even a favourite accessory to last the wearer a lifetime.
As your local Bedford watch retailer, Baker Brothers Diamonds stocks some of the world’s renowned watch brands, recognising the craftmanship of these unique accessories.
When browsing our extensive watch collection, you’ll be enchanted by our range of Swiss watches. These include the prestigious likes of Rolex, TUDOR, TAG Heuer, RADO and Longines.
Allow Baker Brothers to introduce you to the heritage of these watches and what makes them so irresistible.
What are they key dates in the timeline of watchmaking?
The early beginnings of Swiss Horology stem from the French migrant farmers who brought all of their watchmaking skills in their move to Switzerland. Ultimately sowing the seeds of what would then become the Swiss watch revolution we commemorate today.
Early watches or ‘clocks’ were originally over 3 inches long, differing to the norm today. Considering their rarity and expense, these clocks were reserved for nobility at the time. In 1868, it was Swiss brand Patek Phillippe who subsequently designed the first ever wristwatch for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.
In the next century, watchmaking came into its own through increasing developments and eventual mass production. Whether it was the Rolex Oyster bringing out the first waterproof and dustproof wristwatch in 1926, to the Centre Electronique Horolger in Neuchatel developing the world’s first quartz wristwatch in 1967.
In the late 1970s the electronic watch started to emerge and now accounts for 90% of all watches produced in Switzerland. For over four hundred years now, Switzerland has managed to stay at the forefront of watch production, leading the way in technological advancements and adapting with everchanging times.
Why should you choose a Swiss watch and what is the significance?
There is a reason why a Swiss watch proudly displays the emblem of ‘Swiss-made’ on its dial. It represents meeting the highest of criteria and the strictest of regulations.
So much so, that new “Swissness Laws” came into fruition back in 2017. This subsequently means:
  • The technical development of a watch has to take place in Switzerland
  • The watch MUST have Swiss movement
  • Movement has to be cased up within Switzerland
  • At least 60% of manufacturing costs are to be generated in Switzerland 
  • Final inspections must take place in Switzerland 
If these categories are not achieved, a watch cannot be considered to be Swiss made.

Celebrating Swiss Design with our Top Product Picks

There are several design innovations that are clear signifiers of a Swiss watch. These include trendsetting, honouring the past, endurance and lasting, as well as gender-neutral styles.
Looking for a Swiss watch that sets you apart? Enjoy the minimalism of the Rado Centrix Collection Rose PVD Watch which is crafted from rose PVD coloured stainless steel and black high-tech ceramic.
For a definitive watch face like no other, consider the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer 02 Blue Dial Watch. Part of the esteemed Monaco Collection, this stylish standout features a striking square blue dial and its case houses the in-house Heuer 02 automatic movement with a stunning sapphire crystal.

TAG Heuer Heritage Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 - 42mm
TAG Heuer Heritage Autavia Calibre Heuer 02 - 42mm
Honouring the Past

A vintage watch never goes out of style. If you’re looking for a watch that echoes the evocative heritage of watchmaking’s past, choose the TAG Heuer Heritage Autavia Calibre Heuer 02. This watch is on a brown camel strap, offering a rustic feel that will complement many a look.
For ladies, Longines offers Ladies La Grand Classique. Featuring a crisp white dial, the 24mm rose PVD case houses a quartz movement with a sapphire crystal. 
Endurance and Lasting
For a watch that will last, you want reassurance that it is made from the highest calibre of materials. The TUDOR Black Bay Bronze Slate Dial Watch benefits from high performance aluminium bronze alloy, offers an imposing bronze case and houses a self-winding mechanical movement. Guaranteed to be a partner for life.

Gender Neutral
Unisex designs offer exciting potential for watchmaking’s future. They offer freedom and even the ability to share a piece with a partner.
If this appeals, the TUDOR Black Bay Collection Black Dial Watch makes for an excellent choice. It borrows the characteristic angular hands, known as snowflake, from the watches delivered to the French National Navy in the 1970s. In stunning steel, this watch is universally beloved.

To speak to us about Swiss Watches, speak to your local watch specialists at Baker Brothers Diamonds on 01234 352 343.