Today, even people without in-depth knowledge and understanding of the watchmaking world will mention Switzerland, where they make the best timepieces. Swiss-made watches have become the item of choice if you want a status symbol that appropriately appeals to your tastes. Although the term Swiss-made would imply that the country is significantly involved in watchmaking (which is valid to an extent), the practice is heavily concentrated in certain regions than in others. There are several places where watchmaking is a significant affair—one of those in Geneva.
This location has fully established itself as a hotbed for all things relating to timepieces. It has become so much that it attracts watch manufacturers worldwide with events like the Geneva Watch Days. But how exactly did Geneva achieve this celebrity status not just in Switzerland but all over the world? Why is it that there are so many watch manufacturing companies scattered across its various valleys? Here, you’ll be getting some answers to these questions. Many factors contribute to establishing the multiple luxury watch companies that we now see in Geneva today. Some variables responsible for this include but aren’t limited to;
The Influence Of John Calvin
The first and perhaps most important reason that Geneva is the seat of some of the finest watchmakers in existence is the fact that the father of Calvinism settled down there. And how is this important? John Calvin was instrumental in creating the reform laws that would prohibit the display of affluence. To ensure continued sustenance, goldsmiths had to reevaluate their stance and convert to watchmaking under the guise of producing something functional and practical. The fact that the timepieces would be out of precious metals was a “happy coincidence.” Eventually, as this market got inevitably over-saturated, many artisans had to set out to seek greener pastures, and the gospel of fine watchmaking spread from Geneva.
The Necessity To Find An Alternative Source Of Income
The watchmaking world is all about glamour and panache now, but that wasn’t always the case. A quick look at Geneva in the early days will corroborate this point. Back then, outside the outstanding scenery that Geneva boasted, the only other thing it had was agriculture. There were few, if any, natural resources to call on. It was why during the off-seasons familiar to farmers, inhabitants of the region had to be productive with the free time that they had on their hands. Through this, several companies that would later become revered worldwide for the quality of timepieces they produced were slowly born.
Non-Participation In The World Wars
Yet another reason why Geneva is home to so many luxury watch companies is that Switzerland wasn’t as actively involved during the World Wars. As a result, where others suffered setbacks in watch manufacturing due to the effects of the wars, Swiss watchmakers could progress at a reasonably steady pace without a need for a halt in production.
The Swiss Culture
Very few other places in the country typify the Swiss culture, quite like Geneva. Even till now, they still place a high value on acquiring vocational skills. What’s more, they pride themselves on perfection. These two traits made the region the perfect breeding ground it is for fine watchmakers today. We’re constantly surveying the watch industry. So if you want to know more, be sure to check out our next post!