Access Switzerland’s finest watchmaking sanctuaries with bespoke travel specialist Scott Dunn Private

Landscape shot of Geneva

There is no better place for watch connoisseurs to get immersed in watchmaking than Switzerland—and no better way to plan the journey than with Scott Dunn Private

Any watch aficionado would have been asked this at some point of their watch collecting journey: “What is your grail watch?” While seemingly straightforward, the depths of this question are profound and complex. A grail watch transcends aesthetics. It must resonate on a visceral level, captivating both the heart and spirit. It must also radiate an allure that speaks to the eye, dimensions that agree with one’s personal style, and be endowed with craft that satisfies the intellect.

This timepiece mirrors one’s essence and aspirations. And where better to explore the question than in the country where watchmaking began? A jaunt through Switzerland with Scott Dunn Private is no ordinary journey. The expert team of bespoke travel specialists will ensure that every second spent in the country is imbued with horological significance, offering you a unique window into everything that is spectacular and, sometimes, secretive about the realm of horology.

a swiss watchmaker working on a timepiece
Scott Dunn Private travellers will journey through the art of watchmaking in Switzerland. Photo by Shutterstock

As part of Scott Dunn Private’s invitation-only community of travellers, you will be assigned your very own dedicated private relationship manager, who will be in consulation with you every step of the way to tailor the journey with precision and care. From the verdant expanses of the Jura mountains, where centuries-old watchmaking houses still operate, to the serene shores of Lake Geneva dotted with exclusive flagship boutiques, Scott Dunn Private invites you on a personalised odyssey through Switzerland’s watchmaking sanctuaries, where you cannot help but be intimately acquainted with the art of watchmaking.

Time To Explore

landscape of Zurich at sunset
Explore the architectural marvels lining the streets of Zurich. Photo by Shutterstock

Your journey begins in Zurich. Here, the illustrious Bahnhofstrasse—a cobblestoned canvas of luxury and history woven into the fabric of the city—awaits. This is one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues, which pulsates with unparalleled and upscale horological retail experiences. As you meander through, the street’s elegant facades serve as the backdrop to a narrative centuries in the making. With the assistance of your private relationship manager, arrange for a guided tour through the shopping promenade, where the subtle ticking of timepieces fills the air.

The street is lined with architectural marvels, displaying a mix of styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The grandeur and ornate storefronts, from Türler to the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum, beckon with promises of rich stories and potential acquisitions. Arrange for private viewings at the most prestigious boutiques, where rare and elusive limited editions await. Afterwards, head to a private watchmaking masterclass with a brand or watchmaker of your choice.

Zurich's banhofstrasse at night
Zurich’s busting Bahnhofstrasse boulevard beckons. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Your private relationship manager will secure an exclusive visit to your preferred atelier, where a master craftsman will guide you through their craft and showcase the technical mastery behind their timepieces. Should you seek to rest your eyes after the session, hop on a scenic cruise—catered just for you and your travelling party, of course—across Lake Zurich, surrounded by panoramic views of the Alps.

At Home With Horology

Lucerne and Lake Lucerne
The historic city of Lucerne awaits. Photo by Shutterstock

Your journey continues in Lucerne, a city cradled by a stunning mountainous backdrop and the serene waters of its eponymous lake. This gateway to central Switzerland charms with its rich history. The medieval Chapel Bridge, with its distinctive gable paintings, welcomes you into the heart of a townscape frozen in time. This bridge, alongside the Musegg Wall, encapsulates Lucerne’s rich history, with the latter’s well-preserved fortifications offering a glimpse into the city’s past defences. Spend the morning meandering through the old town’s mosaic of historic houses adorned with frescoes leading through picturesque squares. In the afternoon, organise another private watchmaking workshop—this time, you’ll have the chance to make your own Swiss timepiece, perhaps the perfect memento for your trip.

a variety of Swiss chocolates
Be sure to indulge in the finest selection of Swiss chocolates. Photo by Shutterstock

And, as it is Switzerland, you cannot miss the country’s other renowned export, chocolate. Make sure to ask your private relationship manager for the city’s best artisanal chocolatiers, and pencil in a private chocolate and watch pairing session where you’ll savour the finest Swiss chocolates while delving into the nuances of exceptional timepieces.

Geneva, the world’s watchmaking capital, marks the final leg of your journey. At horology’s most bustling and exclusive business and retail hub, let Scott Dunn Private help you secure a seat at a hotly contested auction, where you might land a vintage timepiece of invaluable significance. If you happen to be there in April, make time for a visit to the annual Watches & Wonders exposition, the world’s largest and most anticipated trade show for watches. Your personal private relationship manager will secure exclusive access to your favourite brands, enabling you to engage with company CEOs to find out more about the new releases and, most importantly, allow you to get first dibs and place an order—or several—for the hottest new watches.

Landscape shot of Geneva
Scott Dunn Private travellers will end their jaunt in Switzerland at the horological capital of Geneva. Photo by Shutterstock

Away from the hustle and bustle of the fair, you might want to indulge in an intimate exploration of the watch manufactures. If so, it is recommended that you book a private helicopter to take you to the Jura Mountains. There, arrange for a private tour to visit the workshops and production facilities of some of the world’s most prestigious watch brands, ideally accompanied by a brand historian or master watchmaker. At the end of your Swiss journey, however, the question remains.

This horological escapade does not guarantee an answer to what your grail watch is. But the journey from the cobblestoned boulevard of Bahnhofstrasse to picturesque Lucerne and finally to Geneva will certainly imbue you with a better understanding and appreciation of what you seek in such a watch.

This story is brought to you by Scott Dunn Private. For more information, visit

This story first appeared in the April 2024 issue. Purchase it as a print or digital copy, or consider subscribing to us here