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Geneva's 14 Most Prestigious Watchmakers

Walking along Geneva’s lakefront at night, you might think the canon of Geneva watch brands are represented in the lighted signs atop the buildings along the shore. But while the multiplicity of brands remind you that you are in the capital city of watchmaking, the top of the pyramid is occupied by just two of them. Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin are the two most historic and vaunted brands in Geneva, and, ironically, they are also the two most accessible. Serious watch collectors can gain access to just about any factory, provided they spend enough and have been vetted, but anyone can get a full and rich taste of Geneva watchmaking simply by visiting the Patek Philippe Museum or Vacheron Constantin’s Maison. These venues allow you to experience the techniques and culture that pervade every company in the industry more profoundly than anywhere else—reason all watch collectors should make the pilgrimage to Geneva at least once before they die.