Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?
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Thread: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

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  1. #1
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    Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    I've noticed some vintage watches 30's 40's and 50's which say swiss made on the bottom of dial do not have brand name anywhere indicated who made made the watches.

    Why would a watch maker do this since even using a name that is unknown is still better than no name from a marketing point of view I would think?

  2. #2
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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    Marketing wasn't well understood then and brand recognition wasn't that big. Simple as that.

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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    I beg to differ; marketing was very well understood, especially by watch companies, and you'll find that most retail watch dials were branded in one way or another, so we'd probably need to see some examples. The most likely explaination is that some companies made watches specifically to resell to other companies, who would then brand them. These watches would be deliberately sterile. Its possible that some of these got sold "cheap" for a quick profit. Or the original dial may have become damaged, and been replaced with a generic dial.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    I personally don't care. I just want to know why the name of the ebauche manufactuer/pattern originator and base caliber isn't stamped prominently on the dial side and on the barrel bridge and in large letters preferrably filled with either contrasting enamel or plate. Is this too much to ask? And shouldn't manufacturers be required to set up a trust fund to assure production of spares for at least 100 years from the date of production? And why is it that the lids for the coffee cups at the convenience store don't fit well? Come on guys - this isn't rocket science or quantum mechanics.

    p
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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?


  7. #6
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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    Simple, its already been stated by Mr.Abslom, but heres another angle.

    In the war years you'd have less options on materials due to rationing, most materials were used in the war effort or diverted to the war effort (you can see lots of clocks, wrist watches etc being used by the army/navy/air force for diffrent purposes. You'd have one company making other companies products because they wouldn't be able to handle the amount of production themselves, as in aircraft, some companies sub contracted to other firms to get the job done, because you can't wait for that machine gun to pause, or that altimeter to put into that airplane at a later date.

    Reminds me of the P-51 and subcontracting to other locations, Inglewood Cali. Or the Dallas Texas plant, where the P-51Ds that came out of there adopted a new style of canopy, getting it a new designation as the P-51K, the K model had a diffrent prop and a diffrent canopy unique to the Dallas plant (the canopy had a hump in it) anyway to cut my aircraft passion short :S


    The same could have happened with wrist watches, leaving some producers during and after the war with the tools in place to produce timepieces and them just renewing their contract with the main company in question.

    There was also a high tax imposed on foreign companys if they did not use some part of the manufacturing in the U.S. With wrist watches we usually see it with casing the wrist watch, which usually ended up being done in the US. The swiss companies could have also sub-contracted other companies to produce the watches in the states, since it would have been cheaper to do it at the time being, than to pay associated taxes with importing a "all swiss" watch.
    Last edited by Rogi; September 1st, 2012 at 04:02.

  8. #7
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    That particular one is of a style that was produced in large quantities and resold with at least a dozen names that I'm aware of. In some cases, they were used a promotional pieces; kept in stock with no name, and customized on demand for customers who wanted something to give to their customers/employees/whatever.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  9. #8
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    Re: Why do some vintage swiss made watches not have a brand name located on front or back of watch?

    There is a similar situation in France, and a possible explanation for at least some of the unbranded French watches of the 1930's-1960's. It was common practise for each small town jeweller to have watches made up and branded with the shop name. For example, on French Fleabay now there's a very nice looking Mathis Nancy, Mathis were, and still are, a jewellery store. So makers would make up "blanks" to be branded in small quantities for various retail outlets all over France. Doubtless there were sometimes surplus, still unbranded, "bin ends", which would then find their way to market. Also, never forget that I don't think ManuFrance never made a watch themselves, but outsourced totally and even Maty after a while used bought in stock. I doubt that any maker faced with an order for say 2500 watches would produce only 2500, there would of necessity be an over-run, which would again hit the market at a later date as "sterile".
    John
    Watch Website: www.chambresdebelair.com/watches.html last update 07/11/2012

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