Origins of the Swiss Watch Industry


In the second half of the 16th century the Hugenots (Hugenotten) brought the fabrication of wearable watches to Switzerland, so it began to spread in Switzerland, too. In these days Geneva had a well growing economy, one of the traditional and local was the gold processing.

Geneva was also known as the Calvinistic City. Calvin was a reformer of the Reformed church, so he didn’t want the people to display their wealth. Then the economy there was restricted by a rule, which was a prohibition to wear any jewelry. The goldsmiths had to find another possibility to exercise their craft and so they decided to move into the watchmaking industry. A new mastery was born, which was becoming increasingly popular in the Orient and in the american colonies, too. Between 1770 and 1786, the watchmaking industry in Geneva was really expanding. Soon after that, the watchmaking begun to spread into other parts of Switzerland like Neuenburg, Solothurn and Bern. After 1890 Jura, Schaffhausen and Basel got into known watchmaker areas, too.

The detail and quality of their craft was really important for them, and it’s still one of the most well known abilities of Swiss Watches around the world.

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