Like Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate, Swiss watches are another one of Switzerland’s famous exports, with over 95% of all Swiss watches being exported to jewelers across the world. The Swiss watch is a timeless classic, with careful detailing, iconic designs, and impeccable craftsmanship that make the watch beloved around the world. Once the watch was seen as an important part of men’s fashion, but in recent years, an increasing amount of women are getting in on the fun. Some look for a watch for practical reasons, while others use a watch to accentuate their style. And still others simply like to collect Swiss watches. Whatever the reason, a Swiss watch is a great investment that can be passed down for generations.

Because of their high level of quality and occasionally high price tag, purchasing a Swiss watch is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many women research Swiss watches before they make an investment to choose the brand and style that’s perfect for their needs. And with dozens of brands on the market, choosing a watch can be a bit overwhelming at first. For women interesting in buying a Swiss watch, this article offers some advice on choosing a watch that they’ll adore for years to come.

GV2 by Gevril Women’s Swiss 9101 Diamond-Studded Gold

Take Note of the Origins

New buyers might be surprised to learn that a watch can contain Swiss parts without being manufactured entirely in Switzerland. In fact, choosing a watch that has “Swiss Movement” means that at least half of the watch was constructed in Switzerland with Swiss watch parts. This makes it easy for buyers to enjoy the quality of a Swiss watch without the associated price tag. However, if the buyer wants a timepiece that was constructed entirely in Switzerland, she should look for the designation “Swiss Watch.” Only watches that were made entirely in the country are legally allowed to use this label.

Choose the Type of Movement

Not all watches are made alike. There are two distinct types of watch movement: mechanical and quartz. The mechanical watch is the traditional design that dates back centuries, with an elaborate contraption of tiny moving parts. It might seem like an impossibility when looking at each part separately, but the brilliant craftsmanship enables each part to come together to form a working timepiece.

Many mechanical watches are family heirlooms that have been passed down for generations due to their beauty and craftsmanship. These watches are less common today, but still a popular choice for collectors. However, the downside is that these watches are less accurate than other models, and must be wound periodically to ensure that they keep working.

The quartz watch is a modern invention, with a battery and a vibrating quartz crystal that keeps the timepiece running. The quartz watch offers a much higher level of accuracy compared to mechanical timepieces. These watches require much less maintenance, requiring only a battery change every 1 or 2 years (aside from regular cleaning and repairs.) But they don’t have quite the same level of craftsmanship as an elegant mechanical watch. This watch also requires a battery to keep running, while a mechanical watch can simply be wound by hand.

Select the Right Size

Like any type of watch, Swiss watches come in a wide variety of size that can accentuate any style or collection. Women looking for a fashion watch can choose from small, dainty timepieces to large, attention-grabbing watches, and everything in between. Some of the smaller watches use a delicate bracelet, while others come with a thick leather strap. If the bracelet is too large, many jewelers offer sizing services that safely adjust the bracelet or remove links until it fits perfectly.

Decide on a Price

When she’s in the market for a watch, any buyer should start by selecting her price range. Despite the popular belief, not all Swiss watches are outrageously expensive. However, the finest watches can cost thousands of dollars, and even cheaper models often cost a few hundred dollars. When searching for a watch, it’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful craftsmanship and end up overspending. Fortunately, many websites make it easy to limit the search to one’s budget, so they can avoid the pricey but tempting timepieces.

The watch materials are often a factor in the price, so this should also be considered when choosing a budget. Women who prefer pure gold and silver will likely end up paying more. Plated and plastic watches tend to be cheaper, but might not match up to the quality of watches made with pure, expensive materials. Gold, silver, platinum, and gemstones can all increase the price. Diamonds are a popular accent for Swiss watches, but they also result in a larger price tag.

Omega Women’s Swiss 1277.75.00 Constellation Diamond Watch

Consider the Purpose of the Watch

Every Swiss watch is used for a different reason. Women looking for a practical timepiece should look for a carefully crafted quartz watch that emphasizes use over style. A practical watch is easy to use and highly accurate, right down to the second. Many watches offer additional date and time features, including accurate calendars, but some buyers might prefer a simple watch with a single dial. These watches might also be waterproof and more resistant to ordinary wear and tear.

However, if the buyer is looking for a fashion watch, many brands offer beautiful, elaborately designed watches that are accented with real gemstones. Some watches are so delicate that they resemble bracelets more than watches. Others are so intricately designed that every movement is truly a work of art. Some watches use a more minimalist approach, while others are adorned with gemstones and diamonds. Whatever the case, there’s enough variety on the market that every woman is sure to find a watch that fits her unique style.

If the buyer prefers to collect watches, the wide range of designs and styles make it easy to build a diverse collection. Some watch experts recommend starting off with a classic, then investing in the more prestigious brands. But this doesn’t mean that collectors have to sink huge amounts of money into their investment–many brands offer beautifully crafted watches at reasonable prices. However, a more serious collector might be interested in some of the pricier options, which offer stunning craftsmanship and high-quality materials.

Decide Between a Modern or Antique Watch

When searching for Swiss watches for women, buyers can choose between modern options available at retail stores, and more niche items that can only be found in auctions and special collections. A modern watch can easily be found online, at a Swiss watch retailer, or a general retailer that carries Swiss timepieces. However, these retailers might not offer old-fashioned or antique watches. A buyer who prefers old-fashioned styles and craftsmanship can find online auctions that offer antique timepieces. These watches tend to be rarer and more collectable, as they can’t be found in a mass market retailer. Some of these watches might have even been passed down for generations. Mechanical watches might lack the accuracy of modern quartz timepieces, but they make up for it with exquisite craftsmanship.