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Swiss vs. Japanese Watchmaking

Swiss vs. Japanese Watchmaking

The Swiss have been a dominant force in the watch industry for centuries until Japan began bringing highly technical, elegant and complex wristwatches to the forefront and rapidly gaining traction. Since the 1950s, the battle of Swiss vs. Japanese watchmaking has been going strong, leading to much debate and argument about the best.

Both Swiss and Japanese watchmaking are outstanding examples of efficiency and engineering excellence. However, both are designed and created with different ideations and thought processes. If we look at Swiss watchmaking, we’ll use the Longines Record as an example since it has an open caseback; their movements focus on aesthetics and engineering. The Longines Record uses the Automatic Calibre L895, which is beautifully finished and decorated, essentially creating a window of mechanical art.


If we turn our focus on Japanese watchmaking, while there are high-luxury brands (Credor, Grand Seiko), Japanese watchmakers mainly focus on precision and accuracy. The top priority of a Japanese watchmaker is to create the most reliable watch possible that will keep the most accurate time in all conditions. The Seiko Prospex SPB101J is a perfect example of Japanese watchmaking using the Seiko Calibre 6R35. This rugged and reliable movement isn’t heavily decorated but is extremely precise and keeps excellent time.


Both Swiss and Japanese watchmaking is an art form. Both carry different design and aesthetic priorities, but simultaneously, they are both fantastic options no matter which you choose. Both watchmaking forms create beautiful watches; it depends on your aesthetic and preferences when selecting a wristwatch. In the end, it all comes down to preference.