Are Watches Cheaper in Switzerland?

Prefer to listen to us read this article? Click below.   


Luxury watches can be extremely functional and pretty to look at, but come with a pretty hefty price tag. Many of the world’s finest watches are made in Switzerland, so your hometown might not be the best place to get the best price. In fact, you might want to turn your gaze to other countries like Switzerland to see if they are cheaper there.

As a general rule, many watches are cheaper in Switzerland. This is due to factors like manufacturing coming from Switzerland itself, tax and refunds, and general retail prices. Watch pricing can differ by brand and origin, and many benefits can be found through shopping in Switzerland. 

Of course, it isn’t as simple as “travel to Switzerland and save big on watches.” There are a lot of factors that determine the price. In fact, you might find that your dream timepiece could either save you a lot or, in some cases, cost you a lot more in Switzerland.

Why Are Watches So Expensive in the First Place?


To learn why watches are cheaper in some countries compared to others, we need to understand what goes into a luxury watch and what determines the actual price. 

The reason luxury watches are so expensive is two-fold:

  • Precious materials. Luxury watchmakers start with fine, precious materials.  
  • Exclusivity. Brands make less, so demand and pricing escalate. 

These manufacturers take pride in the quality of their goods, which leads to a precious, accurate, and reliable product. When you want luxury in a watch, you will pay for it. Shopping around can help a bit. 

Why Switzerland Is a Great Place to Buy a Watch


The reason watches are cheaper in Switzerland is due to numerous factors.

  • Quantity and Availability:  There are a lot of watches manufactured in Switzerland. This means retailers don’t have to pay large import fees or transportation fees, meaning they get the watches cheaper and can pass on those savings to consumers. 
  • Value Added Tax (VAT):  VAT is a flat tax applied to an item, and depending on the country and the item, this could be higher or lower than your local area. Some manufacturers and retailers have the option for refunds and rebates based on the VAT, which could save you in the long run. 
  • Location, location, location. Even the retail prices for watches made in other countries tend to be lower in European countries compared to the United States. 

Taking these things into account, it’s easy to see why the price can fluctuate between regions when it comes to watches. Switzerland could be a good idea if you were looking for a cheaper watch, but it’s important to remember that depending on where you live, it might be more expensive as well.

Watch manufacturing differs country by country so that no one situation will work for everybody. And currency plays a big part, too. The strength of a country’s currency will affect pricing on all goods, including watches. 

Is It Worth a Trip to Switzerland to Buy a Watch?


So why Switzerland specifically? The reason many turned to Switzerland to buy their watches is because of the large manufacturing industry of watches in the country. Switzerland is known for producing high-quality luxury brands of watches and is more cheaply priced in Switzerland because they don’t need to import them. This gives Switzerland a home-field advantage when it comes to watches.

Now before you pack your bags, it’s important to consider a few things. Namely, the price of a watch can differ drastically from region to region. You will want to do the research and check out the websites of some Swiss retailers to calculate how much you’ll be spending and how much you can get the same watch for in your local area or even in other countries such as the UK, Eastern Europe, or China. 

And don’t forget your travel expenses, depending on where you are traveling from. 

Therefore, depending on the kind of watch you are looking to buy, you might have better luck outside Switzerland, or Switzerland might be the perfect place to go. Prices aren’t set in stone, and you might be lucky and get to take advantage of a fantastic sale either in your area or through a Swiss retailer. It’s important to consider every aspect of the price before making a purchasing decision.

Other Options for Saving on a Watch


There are multiple avenues to getting the luxury watch of your dreams without the premium price tag. You don’t need to travel all the way to Switzerland to get a Swiss shopping experience:

  • online: Shipping online is one of the best options to consider as websites will price themselves competitively to give you a better deal. Check out Swiss retail sites and see if they offer shipping to your country. 
  • Used market: Buying a pre-owned watch is a solid option, especially with luxury brands. It’s not always the cheapest way to go, depending on the vintage, but you can often make your money go further this way. 

If you do buy online or pre-owned, it’s important to go with a reputable source that offers a guarantee on your purchase. 

Switzerland May Offer Cheaper Watches – and a Rich Experience


At the end of the day, there are several options for saving money when it comes to buying watches. If you want to consider Switzerland as your source, just remember to check every detail for pricing and tax information.

Switzerland is an amazing destination, not just for low watch prices, but for amazing sights and experiences. You may want to consider visiting anyway and see if any shiny and reasonably priced watches happen to catch your eye.