Manufacturing Gymnastics
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  1. #1
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    Manufacturing Gymnastics

    I’ve never been able to figure out the mental gymnastics that goes into the advertised or accepted origin of a watch. There just seems to be some inconsistencies that are based on nothing more than how WISs feel about a watch and I was hoping someone could outline the “rules” in determining the country of manufacture.

    For instance

    A Japanese case with Japanese movement is Japanese

    A Swiss made case with Swiss movement is Swiss etc…

    Simple enough, but now it’s gonna get weird

    A German case with a Swiss movement is German and a German case with a Japanese movement is German, but a German case with a Chinese movement is now considered a Chinese watch. Now a German watch with a Chinese made case and Swiss movement is German again (if you don’t know the case is Chinese), but if you know the case was made in China, it’s most likely to be considered Chinese again even though the movement is Swiss.

    Now if you take a Japanese watch with a Japanese movement and assemble it in Malysia, it remains Japanese, but is considered(by many) to be Malaysian manufactured and inferior quality, even though it’s the same parts and uses the same manufacturing sources and standards as the Japanese version.

    Still with me…

    Now if you take Chinese parts and a Swiss movement and case them in the USA it’s considered American. And if you take an American case and a Chinese movement it also considered American. Even if you take a Chinese case and a Chinese movement and put it all together in the States It’s considered American

    What gives?
    Last edited by OnlyOneMore; April 26th, 2019 at 19:58.
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    I think you are projecting your own dis-satisfaction with how certain individuals might view things and then labeling that as the common view of WIS. You are essentially going through your own mental gymnastics to cherry pick examples on a subconscious level. Like a guy who says he is unlucky at dice, or you always get caught at the red light. We tend to ignore all the times we were lucky at dice, or made it through the light before it turned red.

    There are a few people who treat watch manufacture on purely nationalist/racist lines of thought based on how it was manufactured and they might be a vocal minority because their opinions stand out for the reasons stated above, but I think most people are not putting that much thought into it. I know I don't really care where a watch was made if it was a good watch.

  3. #3
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    I don’t care who makes it, where they make it or where the bits come from - all I ask is that I like it.

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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    Well a lot of the rules regarding what you have to do to say 'x made'on the dial vary by country to country. And I think some of them do somewhat make some sense when you consider the nature of the countries- ie swiss made- given that the swiss watch industry had a large established manufacturing base for movements that they wanted to keep in business and prevent 'swiss made' watchmakers from just farming out cheap movements that could harm this segment of the industry, swiss made requirements include that the movement must be of swiss manufacture (or at least assembly, I know thats a fuzzy area). Whereas it doesnt seem like the German movement manufacturing industry was that developed (I could be wrong though? Or maybe it got wiped out in the war)
    What is interesting is that I've heard made in Japan is really loosely controlled, if at all?

  6. #5
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    Quote Originally Posted by OnlyOneMore View Post
    Now if you take Chinese parts and a Swiss movement and case them in the USA it’s considered American. And if you take an American case and a Chinese movement it also considered American. Even if you take a Chinese case and a Chinese movement and put it all together in the States It’s considered American
    Not sure where you came up with this but it's not even close to accurate. USA made goods may have lost the cache they once had but we do retain the most stringent "Made in..." rules of any country, as far as I know. You cannot legally label something as "Made in the USA" unless close to 100% of the parts were actually manufactured and assembled here.

    According to the FTC: "All significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no - or negligible - foreign content."
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  7. #6
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    Quote Originally Posted by nagov View Post
    I think you are projecting your own dis-satisfaction with how certain individuals might view things and then labeling that as the common view of WIS. You are essentially going through your own mental gymnastics to cherry pick examples on a subconscious level. Like a guy who says he is unlucky at dice, or you always get caught at the red light. We tend to ignore all the times we were lucky at dice, or made it through the light before it turned red.

    There are a few people who treat watch manufacture on purely nationalist/racist lines of thought based on how it was manufactured and they might be a vocal minority because their opinions stand out for the reasons stated above, but I think most people are not putting that much thought into it. I know I don't really care where a watch was made if it was a good watch.
    THIS. I think it's called "sampling bias." My wife often says "Every time I look at a clock, it says 3:33." I've even heard it in reverse: "Whenever it's 3:33, I am looking at the clock." So I've said "Well, no - you look at the clock way more than that, and the corollary, you miss a lot of 3:33 times. The issue is that 3:33 sticks in your mind easier, because we're wired for pattern recognition, but seemingly random times like 11:39 don't trigger a response from a pattern-recognizing mind. When in reality, 11:39 is just as significant (or insignificant) as 3:33 is."

    Same thing here with watch "nationalities." Sampling bias.

    BTW, I'm in the US and of US origin and I have no qualm saying my Hamilton is Swiss. Could be from Sealand for all I care - it's a great watch regardless.
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    Quote Originally Posted by LosAngelesTimer View Post
    Not sure where you came up with this but it's not even close to accurate. USA made goods may have lost the cache they once had but we do retain the most stringent "Made in..." rules of any country, as far as I know. You cannot legally label something as "Made in the USA" unless close to 100% of the parts were actually manufactured and assembled here.

    According to the FTC: "All significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no - or negligible - foreign content."
    I never said "Made in" I said "considered". Read back over the history of Shinola as an example and maybe some of Timex's current offerings like the Marlin reissue.

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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    Quote Originally Posted by OnlyOneMore View Post
    I never said "Made in" I said "considered". Read back over the history of Shinola as an example and maybe some of Timex's current offerings like the Marlin reissue.
    And Shinola was sanctioned by the FTC.

    Let's look at the terminology you're using. In this case, "considered" is vague, purposefully or not. Who does the "considering?" Look at a micro like Nodus, which is based here in Southern California. It would be accurate to call them an "American" watch brand but inaccurate to label their watches as "American" given that they're up front about sourcing cases, dials and handsets from China, movements from Japanese manufacturers, etc. It's a global product with final assembly and QC in the USA.

    We live in a world where these sorts of distinctions mean less and less with each passing year. At this stage, they're only important to those who value labels over quality. I find this particularly true of the Swiss watch industry, which clings to "Swissness" like a desperate man hanging from a tree root while dangling from a rapidly eroding cliff face.
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    It's global world. US cars are made in Mexico from parts made who knows where who knows by who. But they still Ford, GM, Chrysler.
    Same for Japanese made in Mexico and German made in Mexico. NA VW Jetta of last generation was even designed in Mexico.
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    Last edited by Rocket1991; April 27th, 2019 at 05:01.
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    Re: Manufacturing Gymnastics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan T. View Post
    THIS. I think it's called "sampling bias." My wife often says "Every time I look at a clock, it says 3:33." I've even heard it in reverse: "Whenever it's 3:33, I am looking at the clock." So I've said "Well, no - you look at the clock way more than that, and the corollary, you miss a lot of 3:33 times. The issue is that 3:33 sticks in your mind easier, because we're wired for pattern recognition, but seemingly random times like 11:39 don't trigger a response from a pattern-recognizing mind. When in reality, 11:39 is just as significant (or insignificant) as 3:33 is."

    Same thing here with watch "nationalities." Sampling bias.

    BTW, I'm in the US and of US origin and I have no qualm saying my Hamilton is Swiss. Could be from Sealand for all I care - it's a great watch regardless.
    This is actually a great and simple example of the "sampling bias" phenomenon.


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