I'm considering getting into low-production-run watch-making/selling. I would use the same hands, cases, and straps that makers like Getat, Wenping, Manbushje, that crazy dude on Kickstarter, and a zillion other small-to-medium makers and individual DIYers use. I would either use the same Chinese movements those same makers use (primarily 6497/8 and 2824 from Seagull or similar brands). For the Swiss movements (which those makers invariably eschew for some reason), I'd obviously use ETA. The unique nature of my watches would be primarily in the dials (about which I have several ideas) and to a lesser extent some potential ornamental modifications to the cases and/or the straps that I'm still fleshing out, but the dials would be the primary look-and-feel of my brand. I have seen practically nothing that looks like what I'm envisioning, so I think I've got a decent chance of offering something new...or perhaps the fact that the look I have in mind hasn't been done means no one wants it and there's no market for it .
So, all that said...
Consider the following scenario:
You are looking at two watches for sale, literally side by side in a store or on a website. The hands, case, dial, and strap are truly identical -- in fact they are the exact same parts because they were made by the same maker. One watch has a typical Chinese movement and the other has an ETA. Like I said, most likely, 6497/8s, 2428s, things in that range.
From the front, you can't even tell these two watches apart, they look exactly the same. From the back, assuming a display-back, you can obviously tell they're different, and depending on your level of expertise you are welcome to identify which watch has which movement, but just to be clear, both watches are already labeled with their movement's brand (and even country, just for clarification), so there is no need for the ability to recognize movements for this scenario; this isn't a test of scam-detection or anything like that...nor is any risk of dishonesty on the part of the maker/seller relevant to the scenario. That's not the point.
For the purpose of this example, assume that you love the actual aesthetics of the watch and that it offers the features (complications) that you want (granted, the movements I'm referring too don't offer much in that regard, but imagine that it could go in that direction with other movements). You basically "want" the watch, that's a prerequisite of the scenario.
Assume the watch with the Chinese movement is $150-$200 (or perhaps a little more if a slightly more complex movement is used) and the watch with the ETA movement is (I honestly don't know the price range for these) say, $400-$600? Or is that wrong? Would the equivalent watch cost $700-$1000 -- I honestly don't know. The difference in movement prices is only about $150-$300 of course, but I'm not sure if that difference would inflate in the final watch (Side-question: What would Getat style watches cost if anyone bothered to make them with ETA movements? Why are such watches so hard to find?).
- Which watch would you personally buy?
- How many watch-shoppers serious about buying a good watch in these price ranges, but who lack real knowledge of the field, do you predict would take the ETA watch simply because it's the Swiss one, despite its increased cost?
- How many really serious watch-shoppers, who understand that the Chinese ones actually preform comparably to the Swiss ones (see note below), and perhaps who even know how to identify the Swiss and Chinese movements when looking at the back (basically WUS-level knowledge), do you predict will take the ETA watch?
I'm trying to understand whether there is a market for ETA-movement watches when an identical Chinese-movement watch is a completely real option, such as if both models are offered by the same maker with the same parts, right next to each other on the table (or on the website, whatever). Is there any point in buying and offering such movements or would the resulting watch be unsellable since an identical watch for a fraction of the price would be sitting right next to it? That's the core question here.
In defense of my claim that the movements are "basically mostly comparable", I refer to this thread: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/how...ok-216945.html . I prefer not to wander off on a tangent of standards one-upping and other borderline-argument if possible, but rather to speculate realistically on the purchasing behaviors of the three kinds of shoppers listed above -- basically the kinds of people who would actually consider spending money in these price-ranges in the first place.
Thanks for all your help!