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Why are watches so expensive? By Extropian

Galvin Watch Co
Why are watches so expensive? By Extropian

We all know what an expensive watch is, right? Cartier, Rolex, Jaeger-Lecoultre, anything with that little ‘Swiss’ tag attached. But have you ever stopped to wonder why they’re so expensive? And, when it comes down to it, are they really worth it? Can you get a great watch without having to remortgage your house? Spoiler alert, you’re on Extropian here, the answer is yes! Let’s have a little look at the facts shall we?  

Why are Swiss watches so expensive?

The Swiss have prided themselves on their craftsmanship for centuries. Today the best watchmakers are still working on new and innovative movements and will use the highest quality materials out there. But production time, assembly and quality control will all contribute to the cost too. As will, let’s be honest here, so does their luxury image. There are folks out there who are willing to pay up to 20% more for a Swiss made watch! But they might be a little peeved if they found out that to be considered ‘Swiss Made’ only 60% of manufacturing costs have to be generated in Switzerland! 

Why are luxury brands so expensive?

The design process

Before production of a luxury watch even begins, teams of watchmakers will have spent years designing the movements and creating working prototypes. None of that comes cheap! 

Company structure

The vast company structure of those big brands is another major cost. Buildings, admin staff, boutiques fitted out in an appropriately swanky manner, and their equally swanky retail staff all have to be paid for! 

The marketing!

The image of luxury watch brands is a big part of the appeal for those who like to have them on their wrists. Brands know this and will fork out vast sums on ad budgets and press launches. 

But who pays for this in the end? Yup, you guessed it -  the buyer!  


Are expensive watches worth it?

Well, a luxury watch is likely to have an inherent value in the movement and a timeless style. They will certainly be quality pieces of craftsmanship that can be worn for generations. But, as we have seen, there is also a big element of paying for a name! 


Are expensive watches better?

This, we think, is highly debatable. The short answer to that, and OK we’re a little biased here at Extropian, is no!


The beauty of indy and micro brands

Indy and micro brands are creating beautiful, high quality pieces that won’t require a major bank loan! 


Innovative Design

They’re not so weighed down by ‘heritage’ and ‘image’ so they’re free to let their artistic imaginations run wild, creating really unique pieces in the process! Check out the Galvin Watch Co’s Loimu or the Vario Verso for some seriously gorgeous design! And as the watches are often produced in limited editions, you can get something which is in many ways more exclusive than a designer brand!

Galvin Watch Co - Loimu 


❤️ Love great design? Check out this gorgeous guilloché dial inspired by the aurora borealis

Vario - Verso


❤️ Chic and minimalist, this is one stylish watch!

Quality movements

Indy and micro brands are super proud of the quality of their watches. And this means they’ll have some of the best mechanical movements out there. A brand like anOrdain uses Swiss movements in its gorgeous enamel dialed creations while Weiss, whose founder trained with some of the most illustrious watch makers out there, makes everything in house. 

Anordain - Model 1 


❤️ A seriously beautiful watch combined with a quality movement. Everything we love about indy and micro brands!

Weiss Watches

❤️Weiss watches have some serious expertise behind them! And we adore the neo-retro vibe of this model!

 Our mission at Extropian!

At Extropian we’re super passionate about indy, micro and other mid-market brands and want to introduce you to them too!  We want to bring together a global community of watch enthusiasts and help them discover just how cool and unique mid-market watches can be. 


Sure, if you buy an expensive watch from a luxury retailer, you know it’s going to be great quality, but you’re also going to be paying a premium for the ‘status’ of that watch. If you opt for an indy or micro brand you’ll get a high quality timepiece at a much more affordable price. It may be less showy, but in many ways it will also be more exclusive ! 

What to keep in mind

  • Yes,  Swiss made watches are high quality, but only 60% of a ‘Swiss Made’ watch has to be manufactured in Switzerland!
  • When you pay for a luxury watch, you’re also paying for a lot of associated overheads.
  • Micro and indy brands are creating great quality, beautifully designed pieces that are in many ways more exclusive than luxury brands!
  • Let’s cut to the chase - a great watch doesn’t have to be expensive!


Created the 2023-01-17

Modified the 2023-12-14

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