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Blog

Swiss Watches Are Back!

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My father was a meticulous man. He had an amazing eye for detail and this perfectionist attitude made him an aspirational father and boss but a tough taskmaster! I think that perhaps his early training in Switzerland may have helped shape this attitude. 

When he was in his 20’s my grandfather sent him to Zurich to work in the Omega Watch Boutique on the famous Bahnhofstrasse. My father often talked fondly of his time there where he learnt to sell Swiss watches in the most competitive strip in the world. He also learnt about the visual merchandising of watches, which had to be millimetre perfect and immaculate. And he learnt about the value of Swiss watches which he wore all his life.

Switzerland has been handcrafting watches since the mid 19th Century and since then has developed an unmatched reputation for the quality, precision and longevity of their timepieces. Manufactured from high-end materials including precious metals and stones, Swiss watches are built to last for generations. While we recommend you hold onto your Swiss watch for your children, they command strong prices on the second hand market. This is in contrast to the Swiss competitors around the world who manufacture fashion watches or the new Smart watches. Fashion watches sit at a lower price point and are designed to complement the latest fashions. Therefore, they come and go with these fashions and even with the seasons! Similarly with Smart watches, while keeping us digitally connected, they are reliant on quickly developing technology and so become obsolete at the same time as the technology. A Swiss watch, however, is more than just a timepiece. It is a status symbol, a complex mechanical marvel, a work of art and a family heirloom. 

In the 1970’s and 80’s Switzerland experienced a downturn in the watch industry caused by a world economic crisis and also the technological upheavals due to the invention of the quartz (battery-powered) watch movement. But the Swiss consolidated and adapted, introducing quartz movements into many of their ranges but also differentiating themselves from the rest of the world by continuing to specialize in mechanical watches. In recent years mechanical watches have made a comeback and are now very much in vogue, perhaps as a reaction to the glut of ‘disposable’ watches everywhere. Much the same way that music records are now popular again after being made redundant years ago by CD’s. Perhaps this is also a reaction to easy access to ‘downloadable’ and free music, which some people may see as devaluing music. People now want something lasting. Something tangible. Something of value.

Recently I asked our Master Watchmaker to restore my father’s old Longines watch. I keep it stored in the safe in my office only taking it out occasionally to wear on special occasions. I look forward to one day giving this to my eldest boy, as my father did for me.

One of the main strengths of Swiss watchmaking compared to its oversees competitors, is the ability to offer customers a fully comprehensive range of watches, from sports to fashion, from classic elegant timepieces to mechanical multi-function chronometers, from solid gold watches with grand complications to high-tech ceramic designs.... The range offered by brands is almost limitless. At Thomas Jewellers we have introduced three prestigious Swiss watch brands, which span this vast range of designs and functions – Longines, Rado and Tissot.

Longines

The Longines brand, known by its winged hourglass logo, has been making watches since 1832 and its design direction reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. As global trends show a renewed preference for mechanical movements, Longines have recently introduced a collection composed entirely of models with mechanical movements – The Longines Master Collection.

Shop Longines Now

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Rado

For nearly three decades, high-tech ceramics has played a central role in Rado’s approach to watchmaking. High-tech ceramic timepieces are objects of art and craftsmanship. Their smooth stylish surfaces can be metallic or matte, crafted in an ever-expanding array of colours. They are also a gentle approach to glamour. Lightweight and hypoallergenic, high-tech ceramic watches are incredibly comfortable and can be worn by anyone with sensitive skin.

Shop Rado Now

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Tissot

Tissot sponsors some of the biggest sporting events in the world including the AFL, MotoGPTM, FIM Superbike, FIBA, the RBS 6 Nations Rugby, the World Championships of Cycling, Fencing and Ice hockey. Timekeeping for sport is not only a natural vector for communication, reaching a large number of people through an exciting and emotional medium, but is also a way to stay on top in terms of technology. Tissot strives for better performance, dedicating itself to the search for new technologies in order to deliver more accurate results every time it steps into the sporting arena. 

Shop Tissot Now

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