So with the announcement that Christopher Ward was merging with Synergies Horologeries and producing an in-house movement, I got to thinking. (Dangerous, I know. ) And I've come up with a silly theory on a possible sequence of events, the first couple of which are presumably already happening :
1) ETA slows release of movements to non-Swatch watch brands
2) Prices for in-house movement watches increases more over time than non-in-house
3) This forces more companies to try to produce their own movements, perhaps starting with companies like Frederique-Constant and Damasko, and continuing to companies like Steinhart and Christopher Ward
4) Christopher Ward starts to produce large dress watches with in-house movements and features normally only associated with much more expensive watches, like a long power reserve
5) Some other companies follow suit, causing normally higher-end exclusive complications to move down-market - long power reserve, annual calendars, power reserve indicators, moon phases, retrograde hands, etc.
6) These complications are good, but done in a more cost efficient way without the elegance of more expensive brands - for instance, fitting a larger barrel and spring to give a long power reserve and simply increasing the watch size to compensate
7) Higher end brands look for additional ways to differentiate, and miniaturization and thin-ness become the order of the day
8) This continues and leads to copying that trend from cheaper brands, and the current bigger-is-better watch size trend starts to reverse
9) In a few years time, you can walk into any mall department store, and buy the newest, most popular Nixon (or some equivalent brand) 35 mm watch
Thoughts? Keep in mind that, of course, I probably don't know what I'm talking about.
And since we can't have a thread without pics, here's an old 35mm Omega and a less old 35 mm Cyma of mine :