How to Buy a Watch in Geneva


Major luxury brand watches are made in Switzerland, and Geneva has numerous stores where visitors can purchase watches. Switzerland could be called a watch lover's paradise. Geneva is in the French-speaking area of Switzerland near the French border. You can only buy watches from authorized retailer, not directly from a Swiss watch factory.

Things You'll Need

  • Credit card
  • VAT refund form

Research watches before you go to Geneva. You should have an idea of which watches interest you most. You can find information about Swiss watches at the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry website.

Go to the main shopping area in Geneva. The main shopping streets in Geneva are Rue du Rhone, Rue de la Confédération, Rue Basses, Rue du Marché, Rue de la Croix-d'Or, and Rue du Mont-Blanc. You will find many watch stores on these streets.

Find the watch you want and go to two or three stores to find the best deal. Some stores may give you a discount if you ask.

Request a VAT refund form from the watch retailer. A 7.6% tax is included in the price of all Swiss goods similar to sales tax in the United States. Foreigners can fill out a form to get refunded for the tax if you spend over 400 Swiss Francs. Get the refund form stamped by a customs agent when you leave Switzerland. Mail the form back to the specified address with receipt of your purchase. Your refund can take months to process, but will be sent to you at your mailing address.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you get a signed manufacturer's warranty with your watch.

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