The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

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  1. #1

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    The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    Please read the link below. John Patterson at Bathys says this topic is a big buzz right now at BaselWorld 2007.

    A synopsis of the article states that the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) intends to take new steps in the use of the “Swiss Made” label. The main point here is that a mechanical watch would be at least 80% made from Swiss parts and the Quartz would be 60%.

    http://www.fhs.ch/en/news/news.php?id=540

    It is my opinion, this means that this will leave most of the “small/mid sized private labeled” “Swiss Made” label companies out in the dark. The big boys (Rolex, Richemont Group, Patek, etc) would then be the only ones that will qualify for the “Swiss Made” label. Then they could be free to raise prices of their watches at will. This would mean start looking for a “Swiss Made” labeled automatic watch to cost you a starting price of ~ $3,000 and up. It’s likely that they would also raise prices on existing models across the board, so even if you like the bigger Swiss brands, you will likely see large price increase in the future.

    If you are not familiar of the Richemont Group here is two links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richemont

    http://www.geneva.ch/rg.htm

    John Patterson of Bathys Hawaii told me that this would make lines like his move from being “Swiss Made” to non-“Swiss Made” since his case and strap is made in Hong Kong (HK). He went on to say that most if not all of the “small/mid sized private labeled” companies have their cases made in HK as well. I guess the issue is this: do you think that it makes enough difference where the case is made to justify a doubling of the price?

    So what are your opinions WIS folks?

    Stephen

  2. #2
    stuffler,mike
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    Well, this wasn´t the only "big buzz" at Baselworld 2007. The more interesting topic was the availability of ETA movements in the time to come. Some brands are going to change their "movement policy." For example Limes is going to furnish their 3-hands-watches with Sellita SW 200 movements. "Be prepared" seemed to be the watchword.
    Some other brands - mostly smaller brands - stated that the supply of ETA 2824-2 and Valojoux 7750 slowed down a bit.

  3. #3
    Member Onkel C's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    As long as the build quality is decent, the movement is solid and the watch is appealing to me, I could not care less about "Swiss Made" on the dial or not. In fact, the only watch I got problems with atm was made by a Swiss company.
    Mostly divers.

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  5. #4
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    I prefer that the percentage is increasing. I don't like the fact that items being marked " Made in (choose any country) " are truly representative of the product. When portions of a product are made elsewhere it should be stated matter of factly. I don't believe quality is an issue in labeling either. I think you especially Steve, after following a certain watch brand crisis, can agree this would shed light where darkness remains.

  6. #5
    Member Tragic's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    I think they'll find different "creative" ways to work with/around the new percentages.
    They certainly realise in the grand scheme of things, very few ppl. buy at the 3k and up price point and they WON'T abandon the lower end.
    "Time is the school in which we learn. Time is the fire in which we burn."

  7. #6
    Member funkright's Avatar
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    Smile Well.. the best watch I have owned..

    In this last 5 years, from a quality of build, accuracy and performance standpoint was my seiko spring drive marine master 600. Bar none



    The new spring drive chrono gmt isn't cheap by any stretch, MSRP is a fair bit more than $3K USD, but it's definitely worth more to me than having Swiss Made on the dial




    Quote Originally Posted by 04lund2025 View Post
    A synopsis of the article states that the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) intends to take new steps in the use of the “Swiss Made” label. The main point here is that a mechanical watch would be at least 80% made from Swiss parts and the Quartz would be 60%.

  8. #7
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    Well, this wasn´t the only "big buzz" at Baselworld 2007. The more interesting topic was the availability of ETA movements in the time to come. Some brands are going to change their "movement policy." For example Limes is going to furnish their 3-hands-watches with Sellita SW 200 movements. "Be prepared" seemed to be the watchword.
    Some other brands - mostly smaller brands - stated that the supply of ETA 2824-2 and Valojoux 7750 slowed down a bit.
    I think the two rumors have to be viewed as two parts of the same story. And they may be making a big mistake.

    I think there is a very good chance that the value of "Swiss Made" will be severely diminished if only a tiny percentage qualify. At the moment many buyers choose watches with Swiss Made on them neither knowing nor caring what percentage comes from there. If they can't find anything with Swiss Made on the face for less than $10,000, they'll just shrug and buy something else. And next time, they won't even bother to look.

    Anybody agree?

  9. #8
    WX1
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    My question is, what about all the watches stamped “Swiss Made” before this “decision” is made? How are they gonna differentiate the new “actual” “Swiss Made” watches from those previous to the decision? Have it written in a different way? In the Switzerland’s official language (doesn’t that include a bunch of different European languages?)?

    Would pre-nouveaux Swiss Made (hey, maybe I just coined the term already) “insta-become” no longer “Swiss Made” after the day of the decision? That hardly seems fair or convincing (I sure am comfortable with saying my Swiss-made pieces, however few, were stamped as such when they qualified accordingly).

    Ah, heck, why am I going off on all this. What matters to me is what a bunch of you are already saying – the QUALITY of the watch and dependability of the actual watch, and you don’t really need to spend a lot of time searching to see that quality and dependability are not Swiss-exclusive. I like ETA movement, best believe, but, I gotta say, I like my Seikos (used here actually and metonymically) as well – my Swiss and non-Swiss stuff are neck and neck in terms of performance.

    I mean, the whole thing sounds pretty ambitious and the purveyors and gatekeepers of “Swiss Made” are right to protect that in terms of quality control. I think they can do this without necessarily shutting the mid-level guy out.

    I just smell “backfire.” You know?

    Maybe more attention to PERFORMANCE should be the new criteria from now on. Maybe THAT will be the REAL change in watch quality.

  10. #9
    Watchuseek Journalist Bhanu Chopra's Avatar
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    Re: The Big Buzz at BaselWorld 07

    Going back to the original post, I'd like to see John's watches with "Made in Hawaii" rather than Swiss made

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