featured 11, Oct 2018 05:49pm
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Swiss Watch Museums

Seven must-visit watch museums in Switzerland. Written by Roger Ruegger.

There are — of course! — many reasons to visit Switzerland, but if you are into watches, a Swiss trip should feel a bit like Heaven on Earth (for you, that is; perhaps not for your fellow travelers who don’t share your passion equally).

Along with the many great watch shopping (and window shopping) opportunities, Switzerland is also, as you would expect, home to many great watch museums. Unfortunately, some of the most fascinating collections are “by appointment only” and therefore require a bit of planning ahead (as with the museums of Longines, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, etc.). In this article, we introduce you primarily to some of the most interesting Swiss watch museums that all have regular visiting hours. Here are my top seven:

MIH – The Musée international d’Horlogerie in La ChaMusée international d’Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fondsux-de-Fonds houses one of the world’s largest collections of watches and clocks. It is open six days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM (closed on Monday) and offers the perfect start to your Swiss watch museum pilgrimage.

Musée d’Horlogerie du Locle, Château des Monts – Not far from the MIH, you’ll find a smaller museum in a breathtaking building located in Le Locle. During winter, the museum is only open in the afternoon, so make sure to check out the website first.

Omega Museum in Bienne – On your way back from La Chaux-de-Fonds, a stop at the Omega museum is a must. It offers a unique collection of everything that is related to the brand. Plus, admission is free and it is even open on Saturdays.

Espace Horloger in Le Sentier – offering a modern approach to everything related to watchmaking, the Espace Horloger is located in the Vallée de Joux and open from Tuesday through Sunday (only in the afternoons during winter)

Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva: Even though you are, unfortunately, not allowed to take pictures here, we still encourage you not to leave Switzerland before seeing this unforgettable collection.

Beyer Clock and Watch Museum in Zurich: Since you’ll most likely end up in Zurich earlier or later, make sure to visit Beyer’s small but exquisite collection in the basement of its retail store. It is open in the afternoon only, and we recommend booking a guided tour or talking to the friendly staff:

IWC Museum in Schaffhausen: Only about 40 minutes from Zurich, you will find IWC’s own museum. It offers a unique collection of watches related to either the brand or the region. The museum tour is probably best combined with a tour of the manufacture (which requires a bit of planning).

on watchtime now