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The Differences Between Japanese-Made Watches & Swiss-Made Watches

April 30 2017

Swiss made wristwatches are widely known to be expensive and luxurious due to its fine quality, state of the art mechanism and exceptional craftsmanship. On the other hand, Japanese made watches are recognized as practical and economical timepieces with excellent quality and workmanship.

When looking for the best watch, some people may ask the key differences of these two types of watch. To help you decide between these two timepieces, here is the comparison of the Japanese made watches and Swiss made watches in terms of history, quality, mechanism, design, features and pricing.


The origin of Swiss made watches can be traced back as early as the 15th century. The popularity of Swiss watches has started with the well esteemed watchmakers in Geneva, Switzerland. The Japanese watch production commenced much later in the 20th century. However, the Japanese watch industry has attained a remarkable success as evidenced by their popular brand names worldwide.

The Swiss has always been recognized for manufacturing some of the most luxurious and expensive designer watches with superb quality and craftsmanship. They were able to produce rare and exceptional designs that were custom-built for the rich and famous. Given the shocking price tags of Swiss made watches, only an elite few can actually afford these luxurious timepieces. By taking advantage of this gap in the watch industry, the Japanese has introduced economical yet high quality watches in the late 20th century which offered new opportunities in the industry.


In order to gain the title of a Swiss quartz watch, the timepiece must be genuinely constructed with finest Swiss materials. In fact, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry came up with a checklist of “Verordnung Swiss Made” rules. A quartz watch can only be considered as an authentic Swiss watch if it is powered by a Swiss movement that was originally made by a Swiss manufacturer.

In contrast, Japan has produced a smaller watch with a reduced watch case size since the 1960s. The manufacturers have also decreased the power consumption of their timepieces. Likewise, Japanese quartz watches are also equipped with innovative and powerful features. Overall, Japanese quartz watches are known for accuracy and precision. In fact, these watches were used as the official timekeeper in many Olympic events.

With regards to mechanism and movement, Swiss watches utilize the Swiss ETA movement while Japanese watches are powered by the Miyota movement. The Swiss ETA movement is regarded to be more precise than the Japanese movement which justifies the relatively high price of Swiss watches.


In comparing the quality of Swiss watches and Japanese watches, the level of precision will define the quality of the design. Swiss made watches have a tendency to copy exactly the exterior features of their original watches while the design of Japanese watches slightly deviate from the original.

Another advantage of Swiss made watches is their power reserve function. Swiss watches have a better power reserve and require less winding compared with Japanese watches which has chronograph features for showmanship.


Even though the Japanese were the first to introduce quartz timepieces in the market, Swiss luxury watches are usually more expensive than Japanese watches. Swiss watches have a relatively high price since Swiss movements are highly regarded as having the best quality. Also, Swiss quartz watches have a remarkable reputation of being reliable, accurate, water resistant and shock resistant. At present, Swiss made timepieces are widely known as symbols of fame, wealth and status. These classy watches are regarded as luxuries and normally priced higher for several thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, the Japanese are also emerging as global leaders in watch innovation and technology. The Japanese was able to introduce timepieces with cutting edge innovation such as kinetic watches that do not require batteries and equipped with built-in cameras. In general, Japanese made watches are normally considered as practical and functional. These watches are reasonably priced to cater to a larger group of consumers who prefer practical timepieces with combined features of quality and functionality.

In conclusion, it is not important whether you are Swiss watch aficionado or a Japanese watch fanatic. You will be definitely satisfied with the equally remarkable features offered by the most famous brands from both countries. Overall, Swiss and Japanese watches are both functional and built with superb quality.