Geneva: The Birthplace of Swiss Watchmaking Featured

In the light of SIHH, one of the busiest weeks for watch lovers. Here's how you can enjoy the city of time too.

by Lavinia Pisani

If time had a home, Geneva would be it. Watches are to Swiss what cars are to Germans, a synonym of outstanding performances and high quality; especially the handcrafted mechanical masterpieces that everyone can appreciate. When in town, consider taking a Watch Tour to see some of the watchmaking symbols and walk around the cobblestone streets lined with cafés, luxury boutiques, grand monuments and museums. 

Taking an excursus through the most eclectic watches crafted by artists and designers from 1983 up till today is possible at Cité du Temps, the iconic place for SWATCH® enthusiasts, permanently exhibits collectors and foodies.


Aside from being a unique exhibition and events center, Cité du Temps is in fact also a restaurant. Even more important, it was once symbol of the city’s industrial development. Since 1840, it served to supply water to new public fountains. Later in 2005, it has been restored by the Swatch Group and has welcomed visitors from around the world ever since.

Related: Historical Sights to see in Geneva

In the second-largest city in Switzerland, time is told also with flowers! On a sunny day, wrap up warm and head out to the entrance of the English Garden, see the 6,500 bulbs used for the Flower Clock with its world longest 2.5meters seconds-hand. 

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While time-tracking the rythmn of your footsteps going from Pont de la Machine to Quai du Général-Guisan, you will stumble upon Passage Malbuisson, one of the city’s most intriguing objects. Every hour, 16 chiming clocks play a traditional Genevan tune, when a door opens each side of the clock for a parade of 42 bronze figurines and 13 horses.

Related: Time With Henry: Breguet Classique 7147, A Watch for Gentlemen

Leading Swiss watch brands such as Chopard, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe never go unnoticed upon the wrist of a gentleman. Geneva-based firm Patek Philippe, exhibits 500 years of watchmaking history on Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 7, at the namesake Patek Philippe Museum.  

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A museum, a tower and a floral garden, Geneva seems to be hiding a clock everywhere. On your way out, be mesmerised by the small windows on last floors, here the luxury legacy lies - in the watchmaking workshops where artisans, or Cabinotiers, tried to catch the most of daylight. 

For more Watch Inspiration, visit our Lifestyle page


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