Switzerland totally dominates the luxury watch sector as it produces around 30 million timepieces a year. But that’s only 2.5% of the world’s wristwatches. Some watches are built and mass-produced in Germany, China, Hong Kong, the United States, and Japan.
That’s why in this resource, we’ll be exploring some of the key players of the watch universe to answer the question: where are the most popular watches made at?
So whether you consider watches as accessories, as appreciated heirlooms, or something functional that can improve your everyday life aside from keeping time, let’s all find out their origins so you can value them greatly!
Origins of the Top 45 Watch Brands In The World
(Where Are the Most Popular Watches Made at?)
1. Rolex – Switzerland
Rolex watches are made in Switzerland. In fact, the history of Rolex has been inextricably linked with Swiss watchmaking. For being a pioneer in the creation of wristwatches, Rolex now has over 500 patents, including its emblematic Oyster case.
Rolex’s cases and bracelets are made at Plan-Les-Ouates Geneva, Switzerland. Its movements in Bienne and finally the dials and gem-setting are done in Chêne-Bourg. Overall, Rolex watches are designed, conceived, manufactured, and tested in Switzerland. That’s why it earned the name, “Swiss-made.”
[Related post: Why Are Swiss Watches So Expensive]
2. Citizen – Japan and China
Citizen manufactures all its components in-house in Japan. While it is considered a mid-end watch brand and does not have the same mold as luxury brands, like Rolex, Longines, or Omega, it still stands out positively in the current market because it uses high-quality materials and sells its watches at a more affordable price.
As for Citizen watches with Eco-Drive movements, which is a proprietary technology to the brand, the movements may be made in Japan but the bracelet or case may also be made in China. As for Campanola Ryuga, a division of the Citizen Watch company, it is a blend of Japanese and Swiss tradition and technique.
3. Bulova – Switzerland, Japan, and Hong Kong
Depending on the level of complexity and the price range of the wristwatch, Bulova decides which country they will buy the movement from. Higher-end complex watch movements are usually bought from Switzerland or Japan while low-end movements are from Hong Kong.
In 2008, the Citizen Watch Group bought Bulova Watch Company.
4. Invicta – Switzerland, China, and Japan
A substantial portion of Invicta watches occurs in Switzerland, but many of their timepieces or parts thereof originate in Asia, particularly China and Japan.
For instance, Invicta uses Japanese movements, like the NH35A movement (the non-branded version of the Seiko Caliber 4R35 automatic movement) but the watches are assembled in China. Invicta timepieces that are Swiss-made are those that are equipped with SW200 and SW500 movements.
5. Seiko – Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and China
Seiko is one of the biggest names in the watch world and for good reasons: You’ll get an easy repair, decent accuracy, and durable watches. Most Seiko watches are made in Japan but some movements and components are made in Malaysia and Singapore manufacturing networks.
To know if your Seiko watch is made in Japan, you can check if it has a “Made in Japan” label between the 6 and 7 o’clock markers on their case backs. Some Seiko cases and bracelets are manufactured in China factories. But for the Seiko’s Grand Seikos, they are crafted in special watchmaking studios in Japan using the best movements and materials from the brand.
6. Movado – Switzerland
Founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Movado is recognized in the watch industry for its iconic Museum dial and modern design. The brand is proud to manufacture all of its wristwatches in Switzerland although its corporate headquarter is in New Jersey, USA.
As one of the best American watch brands
Movado is one of the best American watch brands today and it specializes in producing luxury watches and affordable fashion timepieces.
7. Fossil – Switzerland, and China
A bulk of Fossil watches are manufactured in China, but beginning in 2001, more high-end Fossil watches are made in Switzerland. The brand has design studios in Biel, Switzerland, which is near Rolex’s manufacturing facilities.
The fashion watch grew to its present formidable size largely because of the many fashion watches made in southern China.
8. MVMT – China, and Japan
MVMT is an online luxury brand that has grown a huge following. Thanks to the brand’s use of ambassadors on social media, like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Owned by Movado, MVMT watches are made in China but use Japanese quartz technology. MVMT fulfills the need in the luxury watch industry and for a price only about 10% of other luxury watch brands. The combination of affordable pricing and quality materials makes the brand stand out.
9. Vincero – China
Most Vincero watches sport a blend of style and class, enough to handle anything users put it through and yet comfortable enough to wear daily. Vincero watches are made and assembled by manufacturers in Guangzhou, China.
Vincero designs everything in-house and produces in small batches. They also make sure that all their watches are ethically made in such a way that they’re built to last. The reason is, they want to offset their entire carbon footprint.
10. Stuhrling – US and China
Stuhrling is an American watch company so the design and development of their watches take place in Brooklyn, New York. But in terms of manufacturing their designs, they went to Shenzhen, China, the same place that Sony, Bose, Apple, and other market leaders turned to.
The company believes that the world-class manufacturing in such a part of China’s Guangdong province rivals that of Silicon Valley in terms of value, performance, and quality.
11. Omega – Switzerland
Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games since 1932, has its production facility in Bienne, Switzerland. The building was just opened in 2017 and since then, it represented the watch industry’s cutting-edge facility for watch assembly and quality control.
A brand that introduced some of the greatest innovations in the watch industry
All steps, including watch assembly (referred to as T2), bracelets (T3), shipping (T4), and stocks and logistics are completed inside the eco-friendly building. This means you can guarantee that Omega SA is 100% Swiss-made.
12. Porsamo Bleu – US and Japan
Founded in Los Angeles through the collaboration of two longtime jewelers, Porsamo Bleu watches are known for their dazzling appearance and unique designs but are not luxury priced.
“Exotic yet cosmopolitan,” Porsamo Bleu watches are made in the United States but the movements are sourced from Miyota, a manufacturer of watch movements in Japan. Porsamo Bleu doesn’t just sell watches. They also make and sell necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
13. Hamilton – Switzerland
Hamilton is a member of Swatch Group and makes its wristwatches in Biel, Switzerland. While it now has a prestigious Swiss-made label, the watch brand remains American at heart because it was first established in Pennsylvania, USA.
In fact, Hamilton watches were seen in the wrists of aviators, soldiers, and Hollywood stars to a point that it made over 500 appearances on the big screen. “American Spirit, Swiss Precision,” Swatch Group describes Hamilton.
14. Apple – USA and China
Considered to be the ultimate wristwatch for a healthy life, Apple Watch is a fitness partner that provides and measures meaningful health insights. The design of Apple watches is done in the US, but the assembly is in China.
In particular, Compal Electronics and Foxconn Technology Group (Hon Hai Precision Industry) are the main suppliers of the new Apple watches.
15. Garmin – Taiwan, China, and US
Garmin watches are known for having excellent GPS features and these watches are made either in Taiwan, China, or in the US. That’s why you may have seen Garmin included in the list of the top American-made watch brands, including Shinola watches and Vortic watches.
The best Garmin GPS watches are usually manufactured in Taiwan, including the Garmin Forerunner 55 and Garmin Fenix 5 Multisport GPS watch.
16. Casio – Japan, China, and Thailand
Casio is a brand that has almost become synonymous with watches perhaps because it was one of the earliest makers of quartz timepieces, both analog and digital. In addition, it was the first to mass-produce calculator timepieces and is presently the biggest manufacturer of watches (by revenue) in Japan.
When it comes to where Casio watches are made, it could be in Japan, China, or Thailand. About 30% of Casio watches are made in Japan and the rest outside the cherry blossom country. Some mid-range Casio models are made in China or Thailand. To confirm the country of origin of your Casio watches, check the code at the back of the watch case as it represents which factor, country, and the year it was manufactured.
17. Tissot – Switzerland
Tissot watches, which are known for their quality and precision, are made in Le Locle, Switzerland. In fact, Tissot SA operates under the wing of the Swatch Group, one of the biggest Swiss timepiece manufacturers. The Swiss luxury watchmaker also admits that the Swiss-Made label is one of their core values.
18. Togoen – Switzerland
Established by a group of watch manufacturers and aviation enthusiasts in 2009, Togoen is a watch brand that possesses these three core attributes: design, quality, and affordability.
Togoen watches are known for their straightforward and simple design with high visibility or readability and they’re made in Switzerland as well.
19. Stauer – China and Hong Kong
Stauer is a well-known watch and jewelry brand that provides luxury timepieces at a fraction of the cost. Their present watches are made in China and Hong Kong. But don’t be disappointed as the company did that to reduce the cost of mass production. Most Stauer watches remain of decent quality.
20. G Shock – Japan, China, and Thailand
The G-Shock watch line is mostly manufactured in Japan by the electronics company Casio, but there are also factories producing G-Shock watches. This means that the basic and mid-range models are produced in China and Thailand as well.
While you should not let the country where a watch is made dissuade you from buying a G-Shock timepiece, you can be sure that those made in Japan are premium and the more expensive models. Check the case back of your watch to know where your watch has been manufactured.
21. Tag Heuer – Switzerland
TAG Heuer’s factory is located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland while its watchmaking workshop is in Chevenez of the same country. Even the movements used in all Tag Heuer watches are made in Switzerland, which means they all met the extremely strict requirement for precision before they are sold to the market.
22. Orient – Japan, and Brazil
Now on to a Japanese watch brand that makes top-notch quality wristwatches all in terms of quality, designs, and accuracy. The movements used in Orient watches are made in the company’s mother factory Akita Epson located in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, Japan.
As one of the best watch brands not just in Japan but worldwide, Orient made sure that the core of its watchmaking remains in Japan despite moving its production bases overseas in the 1980s. In particular, Orient has a local plant in Manaus, Brazil but they are only employing staff there that are specially trained in Japan. And the most interesting part is that most Orient watches manufactured in Brazil are sold exclusively in the country.
23. Breitling – Switzerland
Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling SA is a pioneer in aviation and its watches are made in Grenchen, Switzerland, and are made from Swiss components. The company even submits all their products to the strict test of the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, a pillar of accuracy and precision on wristwatches made in Switzerland.
24. Nixon – US, Japan, and Switzerland
Nixon is an American watch brand and its watches are made in California, USA. However, the components and movements are Swiss and Japanese.
In American watchmaking, Nixon is known as a premium lifestyle accessory brand best for the free-thinkers, creatives, and independents.
25. Egard – USA, Canada, Switzerland, and Japan
Egard luxury timepieces are built with the highest quality movements from Switzerland and Japan while the designs are born and manufactured in their Los Angeles and Toronto offices.
The brand has been forged as a tribute to the bond between a father and a son and it aims that their Egard watches not just tell time, but also capture moments. Top picks from this watch brand would definitely be the Phantom Rose, Quantus V3, and the Dali V2 Rose.
26. Bertucci – USA and Switzerland
Bertucci watches stand as a “promise of performance.” Designed to balance function and form and equally refined and rugged, Bertucci watches are manufactured in the US using Swiss movements.
One of the most unique elements of Bertucci timepieces is their patented DX3 Unibody case of the fiber-reinforced poly-resin case for comfort and durability.
27. Heritor – USA
Heritor is an American fashion watch brand created by ResultCo., meaning the Heritor watches are designed and assembled in the USA. The use of timeless design and quality materials make Heritor a watch that can be handed down to the next generation.
28. Forge and Foster – England
Forge and Foster are hand-made watches that underwent stringent inspection. Relying on the craftsman workers with years of experience in watchmaking, all Forge and Foster watches are designed and born in London.
The creative designers, though, come from the UK, Norway, Sweden, and Ukraine.
29. Skagen – USA, and Switzerland
Skagen may be an American company, but it is based on Danish design (slim style, minimalism, and colors that reflect the quiet, coastal living). The Skagen watches are made in the USA using Swiss watch components. That’s why you may still see it on the list of some of the best American-made watches.
30. Michele – Switzerland
Created by women for women, Michele watches are boldly feminine and often have eye-catching color tones. These women’s watches are manufactured in Switzerland.
31. Gucci – Switzerland
Gucci may be an Italian luxury fashion brand, but Gucci watches are not made in Italy. Instead, they’re manufactured in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and even have a Swiss-made label.
32. Cartier – Switzerland
Cartier is a brand associated with prestige and royalty, the reason why many watch and jewelry collectors invest in them.
For Cartier watches, they are manufactured in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. In fact, Cartier even has one of the largest fully integrated production facilities in the country.
33. Ecclissi – USA
Ecclissi watches have a Southwestern vibe, perhaps because the man behind the brand – Robert Elizondo – is a native of Arizona and that’s exactly where Ecclissi watches are made at.
In addition, it is Elizondo himself who designs the Ecclissi timepieces collection.
34. Deep Blue – Switzerland and Hong Kong
Deep Blue watches are great for diving. The brand was founded in New York only in 2007, but it quickly earned a name in producing professional-grade dive watches. Their watches are either made in Switzerland or Hong Kong.
35. Michael Kors – China, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, and Italy
All Michael Kors timepieces are produced by the Fossil Group and manufactured either in China or Switzerland. Then, most movements used in Michael Kors are made in Japan for export.
As for the parts used, they are often made in China or Thailand, while the leather straps are from Italy.
36. Islander – USA
Islander watches are manufactured by the Long Island Watch in Long Island, New York. Some Islander watches, however, are equipped with movements manufactured by Seiko.
37. Dan Henry – Brazil, Japan, Korea, France, and China
Dan Henry is a brand notable in the watch world for creating vintage watches at an affordable price. The man behind the brand, Henry considers himself a collector of vintage watches and so the timepieces he introduced with his brand are truly global.
That being, the designs are from him (who is living in Brazil), the movements are from Japan, the dials are from Korea, the leather bands or straps are from France, and the cases are created in China.
38. Swatch – Switzerland, China, Malaysia, and Thailand
The majority of Swatch watches are made in Switzerland. This is why you’ll see the word “Swiss” under the Swatch watches logo on the dial.
However, the brand does produce some minor parts of its watch components in China, Malaysia, and Thailand.
39. Gevril – Switzerland
Gevril comprises luxury Swiss timepieces, meaning they are designed and assembled in Switzerland. The company assembles about 6,000 Swiss-made timepieces per year, mainly limited editions in stainless steel or 18kt. gold.
40. Bering – Denmark, and China
Bering watches, recognized for their minimal elegance, are made in Denmark and some in China.
Some people consider this brand as an upscale of Skagen as it uses almost the same design as Skagen, but only with better materials.
41. Tufina – Germany
Tufina wristwatches combine innovation and tradition. It also brands its watches with the “Made in Germany” label, which indicates that parts and construction of its watches happen in Germany.
Others report that some parts, like the movement of Tufina watches, are made in China, but there’s just not strong evidence to support the claims.
42. Zelos – China, Hong Kong, and Singapore
Zelos watches are crafted in China and Hong Kong and then transported to Singapore where founder Elshan Tang puts them to close scrutiny before his partners ship them to be sold to the public.
BBC has previously Zelos, calling it the “one-man brand” as it was built online without a single employee except for the founder himself. Despite that, Zelos sold over 4,000 watches a year and expects its growth, owing to its international reach.
43. Luminox – Switzerland
Luminox Watch Company is an American company with headquarters in San Rafael, California. However, the Luminox watches are “Swiss-Made.”
44. Reactor – Switzerland
Reactor watches are favored by watch enthusiasts and athletes who enjoy an active lifestyle. And it makes sense because the Reactor watch company had its roots in action sports.
For its watches, they are designed to meet strict Swiss standards.
45. Longines – Switzerland
Longines watches were born in St-Imier, Switzerland. In fact, it’s the only watchmaker that did not leave their hometown. Longines watches are famous for their longstanding ties to equestrian sports and timelessly elegant designs.
It’s fascinating to trace the origins of different timepieces from raw materials to assembly and eventually the wrists of happy customers. So, if you’re looking for a watch brand with innovative designs and interesting history, the above-listed watches are definitely worth checking out.
We hope that by reading through the most popular watches in the world today and where they are made, it’ll be easier for you to spot your next purchase.
If you like this review, you might want to read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com.
My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.
My passion for timepieces came from the fact that my parents own a small chain of shops selling timepieces. I’ve worked at the shop since I was 11 and fell in love with the merchandise.