“Should I sell my watch?” You may have asked the question before, but now you’re serious about it. In order to understand the value of your watch, it may be advantageous to know a little more about watch makers from around the world and their origin. Today, we’ll take a look at watchmakers from Switzerland, France and Germany. So let’s go back to Geneva in the 1500s to get an idea of how watchmaking began.
A New Beginning Begins with a Ban
The watchmaking industry began in Switzerland in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation. In 1541, Jean Calvin issued a ban on all jewels, so jewelers had to look at a new way to make a living. Additionally, farmers needed something to do during the winter months. They turned to watchmaking. By the turn of the century, there were many watchmakers perfecting the craft, and they even created their own guild called the Watchmakers’ Guild of Geneva.
Men like Daniel Jeanrichard, Abraham Louis-Perrelet, and Adrien Philippe would create new innovations and designs to lead Switzerland into the 20th century. New research, ideas and technologies would allow watchmakers to meet the demands of mass consumerism that took place prior to the First World War. Finally, the invention of self-wind watches and electric watches later in the century would continue this demand and Switzerland’s position as a world-class watchmaker.
Some of the More Famous Swiss Watchmakers
While these certainly aren’t the only watchmakers in Switzerland, some Swiss brands that collectors will seek include Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, and Longines.
Other Brands from Around the World
With all of this said, I don’t want to give Switzerland all of the credit for the beautiful luxury watches out there. There are famous watchmakers and brands from all over the world. Cartier is a French jeweler that specializes in wedding bands and watches. Louis-Francois Cartier started the company in 1847, and his son Louis would design the first Cartier watch in 1904. Today, you can find Cartier watches in many auctions and luxury jewelry stores around the world. Another famous watchmaking brand is Glaschutte Original. Glashutte Original is a German company founded in 1994 that specializes in luxury watches. It is named after the German town in Saxony. There are several watch companies that have watch factories here and many call it the birthplace of the watchmaking industry. These are just two of the many luxury watchmakers you can find from around the world.
Chris is a freelance writer from New Jersey who writes on a variety of topics. He is currently at work on his first YA mystery novel.