Why German Watches Are Preferred over Swiss Watches
Swiss watches may have a little more fame than German watches. However, based on the quality, structure and overall design of German watch models, it is understandable why many consumers around the world prefer the German option.
Analyzing the History of Watchmaking
During the earliest part of the 17th century, Huguenot refugee groups escaping France settled in Geneva and apparently brought their love and passion for watchmaking along with them. Eventually, the watchmaking industry made waves throughout the entire country. However, the history of German watchmaking goes back even farther than that.
Peter Henlein, a German inventor, is often credited with the invention of the first pocket watch in the early parts of the 16th century. The foundation of what would become the epicenter of German watchmaking (A. Lange & Sohne) was established in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange. Since the 1920s, the industry and overall market for German watches has skyrocketed. Even though it took a mighty blow during World War II and the communist rule in East Germany, the 1990 fall of the Berlin Wall breathed life back into the high-end industry of German watchmaking.
What Are the Major Differences?
What are the differences between German and Swiss watches? In general, Germans are known for precision – especially when you consider the other products and services manufactured and provided by German designers, engineers and so forth. German timepieces focus more on the art of understatement – exceeding expectations with functionality over valueless decorations. The emphasis of German watches is primarily placed on the structured yet straightforward design as well as their technical prowess that allow them to excel within the high-end watch industry due to their extended lifecycles and overall efficiency.
Understanding the Movement
In addition to the design and functional structure, a standard German watch is also known for its significantly different movement when compared to Swiss options. For instance, most German watchmakers prefer to use a nickel and copper alloy known as “German silver” instead of designing their watches with rhodium-plated brass. This type of “German silver” provides the watch models with a softer sheen that is much brighter and aesthetically appealing to the average consumer. Perhaps as a tribute to the revolutionary contributions to the watchmaking industry provided by Ferdinand Adolph Lange, most German movements use a three-quarter sized base plate.
Analyzing the Top of the Market
Within the ever-expanding world of German watches, there are 3 specific brands that seem to stick out the most among consumers and critics alike: Glashutte Original, NOMOS and A. Lange & Sohne. Keep in mind that all three of these popular manufacturers are based in the same area – Glashutte, Saxony. However, they are also known for providing consumers with high-quality choices in watches at a variety of different price points to meet a wide range of budget constraints. Unlike the high-end Swiss watches, there are more than enough German options that still match high quality standards without necessarily burning a hole in the average consumer budget.