Established in 1986, Horlogerie Desbiolles is first and foremost a watchmaker specialized in antique clocks and vintage watch repair. It was founded by Yvon Desbiolles, who has since handed over to his mentee, and son, Fabrice. The place has a very strong reputation for its quality of service.
While the selection of watches on sale is not very large (less than 30 at time of writing), there are several reasons to go watch shopping at Desbiolles. First, the place is quite magical, full of antique timekeeping wonders, right in the center of Geneva, near Place Neuve. Second, the Desbiolles, father and son, truly know what they are talking about: their expertise on the pieces they sell can be trusted. Finally, and this is not so common in Geneva, their prices are quite reasonable.
Unlike most sellers listed here, their online shop is actually quite up to date. That said, it's always better to go on site if you can, not just to see the watches in real life but also to get a sneak peak at arrivals before they get listed online.
What you will find: fairly mixed, from a Tudor Oysterdate to a 6264 Big Red Daytona with the occasion AP and Patek.
Price range: quite broad, at time of writing from 2k to 80k CHF.
Location: Boulevard du Théâtre, 7 - 1204 Genève (Google Maps)
Monday to Friday: 9 am to 12 pm - 2 pm to 6.30 pm
SWE Rating: Excellent
SWE tips for any vintage / pre-owned purchase:
Confirm whether the watch is in working order, and if it is guaranteed.
Ask whether there is a known service history on the watch.
If the box has its original papers / warranty, that's always preferred, but it should not be a deal-breaker especially if it is truly vintage (30+ years).
If the watch has luminescent material on the dial and hands, ask the seller if it is radium (typically until the 1960s), tritium (usually until 1999), or luminova / superluminova (to date). Radium and tritium are radioactive substances. While tritium has very low radioactivity and is considered safe on a watch, the Swiss government advises against wearing a watch containing radium. That said, many vintage enthusiasts actually value radium due to its aesthetically pleasing patina and consider the risk to be low.