Swiss Vs Japanese Watch Movement : Which One Is Better?

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The watch movement is the most important part of a timepiece as it powers the watch’s hands to move in order to keep track of time. You can find two major movements on a watch, a Swiss movement, and a Japanese movement. Although both the movements have similar working they are different in terms of design and accuracy.

Basically, the Swiss movement watches have an aesthetic appeal to them and you will find that most luxury watches use swiss movement in their design because it provides them a premium look. On the other hand, the Japanese watch movement is made keeping precision in mind and they generally have a plain sailing look to them. 

People always have this question in their mind as to which movement is better. In this article, we dive deep into the Swiss vs Japanese watch movements and settle this debate for once and for all so you can decide which watch movement is better.

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History Of Swiss Vs Japanese Watch Movements

History of swiss and japan watches

If we talk about the history of both the Swiss and Japanese watches then it’s no doubt that the Swiss were the first that brought the mechanical movement watches to the world and it dates back to the 16th century. While it was only in the 20th century after world war II when Japan started making Japanese movement watches. Although the Japanese movement started very late, they caught up very well.

But when it comes to quartz movement watches it was a Japanese brand Seiko which invented it first. This movement was introduced as an alternative to automatic mechanical watches and it soon became very popular throughout the world. So much so that the Swiss watches were losing their market share to Japanese quartz watches but then Swiss watches also jumped in the quartz market and started making their own quartz movement watches. Today the most quartz watches sold are Swiss watches.

Swiss Vs Japanese Automatic & Quartz Movement

By now you must have come to know that Swiss movement watches are designed keeping looks in mind and that’s why the watch using Swiss movement looks premium. Swiss watchmakers give a lot of emphasis on every aesthetic detail throughout the process of watchmaking. Therefore most luxury Swiss watches are still hand fabricated in order to focus on even the minute details which also makes these watches expensive.

Japanese movement watches, on the other hand, are put together by robots which reduces the chances of any error and also makes the Japanese movement watches much cheaper. Although Japanese movement watches are not aesthetically designed, their raw and simple look attracts most watch enthusiasts out there.

Quartz watches are different from mechanical watches as they are operated by batteries instead of manual or self-winding. Both Swiss and Japanese quartz movement watches are quite similar as they both are reliable, accurate, and shock and water-resistant.

The difference here lies in the price of the watches as Swiss quartz watches are made out of fine Swiss material. Hence they are bound to be more expensive than Japanese quartz watches. However, lately, the Swiss quartz movement can also be found on affordable watches so the difference between the Japanese and Swiss quartz movements is narrowing down day by day.


If we talk about the pricing of both the Swiss and Japanese movement watches then it is obvious that the Japanese watches are much cheaper than the Swiss timepieces. But now you can also find the Swiss movement on affordable watches. Therefore the sales of Swiss watches are much more than the Japanese watches because people are getting good-looking watches under budget.


There are many brands that use Swiss and Japanese movement in their watchmaking here are some of the top brands:

Swiss Movement Watch Brands

1. Rolex
2. Tag Heuer
3. Rado
4. Swatch
5. Tissot

Japanese Movement Watch Brands

1. Seiko
2. Casio
3. Citizen
4. Orient
5. Credor

Japanese Vs Swiss Movement: Which One is Better?

To conclude the debate between Japanese and Swiis Movement watches we would like to say that both watch movements are equally good and you can go with either one of them. If looks matter more to you then go for Swiss watches but mind it you may have to pay more bucks there. If looks don’t bother you much and you want a precise timekeeping watch at a good budget then Japanese movement watches are meant for you.


What's Better Swiss Or Japanese Movement?

Both watch movements are equally good. However, Swiss watches are better in looks and durability. While the Japanese watches are more precise and affordable so it's up to you which watch you prefer.

Which Is The Best Japanese Watch Movement Brand?

Seiko is the best Japanese watch movement brand but Casio, Citizen, and Orient are equally good.

Swiss VS Japanese: Which Watch Movement Keeps Accurate Time?

Both keeps accurate time but Japanese watches are slightly more precise at timekeeping than Swiss movement watches.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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