Expensive Swiss-made watches are usually produced in limited quantities. In addition, each new model of watches differs from all previous models at least by the original appearance. This ensures the exclusivity of expensive watches, for which huge money are paid.
Every company tries to ensure that anyone could identify the manufacturer with one glance at their watches.
If you look at the clock face, you can see how various are forms of numbers and labels, such as "baguette", "spear», «Clous de Paris». They can be painted, convex (overhead) and engraved. A typical and very popular feature in the design of digits is the use of non-standard spelling of the Roman numerals "4": IIII. In particular, the vast majority of Breguet models are made with Roman numerals on the dial, but you will never find the standard writing of the number "4": (IV) - it is also a sort of tribute to traditions.
Quite often you can find watches with no pointers on the dial or, conversely, with lots of them even on the body (especially on chronographs). For example, the Rolex company, known worldwide for its chronographs that earned the reputation of "time machines", still produces watches of popular series Oyster. Its name is obliged to original hull design, unscalable like an oyster's shell. These waterproof and reliable watches, inter alia, have the tachometer with the scale on a border. They are a nice example of how informative can be a clock's face.
The first thing that catches your eye when looking at watches is their form. Basic forms given to watches are few: round (rarely - ellipsoidal), rectangular (polygonal, square, even triangular), barrel. Strong geometric shapes of Calvin Klein, elongated three-dimensional Franck Muller, classically strict Breguet, polygonal Audemars Piguet, square Tissot. But manufacturers of swiss watches use a great variety of techniques to modify the boring line of standard forms so that their products were not be similar to any other. Perhaps the most original experiments with the form of watches are made by Swiss firm Rado, a member of the Swatch Group that produces watches for the middle class. Good proof of this is Cerix model of watches.
Revolutionary event in the design of Swiss watches was the appearence of first "skeleton" - a transparent dial, through which the entire mechanism is visible. Sometimes only a back cover of watches is made transparent. In this case the smallest details of the mechanism are engraved by hand, and sometimes are decorated with jewelry. The complex mechanism is a true piece of art by itself, and it becomes doubly expensive and doubly worthy to be exhibited to the public. Not surprisingly the most famous Swiss companies include "skeletons" in their collections by placing a transparent dial on watches with a unique mechanism. Wearing "skeleton" on the wrist is not only fashionable, but also a really prestigious.
Swiss Watches, sceleton
Very beautiful and practical are complicated Swiss watch of Swiss manufacturer Daniel Roth with tourbillon, on the obverse of which there is the usual dial with hours and minutes and a small seconds hand, and on the back there is the date and power reserve.
Seconds dial actually contains three arrows of different length, dividing the circle into three equal parts. Each of them reaches for a sectoral indices in due time, from which seconds indicators should be read. This original design decision illustrates that the most simple details can be presented in a completely new way.
Swiss Watches, Tag Heuer
Summing up, we should say that largest Swiss watches manufacturers are yet cautious in their experiments with the design. They are moderately conservative. But people can find something new and extraordinary even where almost everything has seemed to be invented, and Swiss watches manufacturers will always please us with new original ideas.
Watches gallery (click on picture to enlarge)