Swiss made or...?

Thread: Swiss made or...?

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    698

    Confused Swiss made or...?

    Hi, everybody,

    as many of you, I am a faithful whirstwatches “consumer” (by the point of view of marketing depts. of watchmaker groups). Some of my beloved timepieces are bought BNIB from dealers, some on auctions, some in shops selling pre-owned, some on the net (this depends on availability on market, some vintage or out-of-stock timepieces must be found in distributing channels which are not the "official" ones of brands).

    In any case, everytime the timepiece I am looking for has “SWISS MADE” or “SWISS” printed on dial, my expectations are very high in term of quality of my finding (I do not want to say that watches manufactured outside Switzerland have lower quality, many of them are fantastic – i.e. Stowa, Lange, Glashutte, RGM, some Seikos and so on -) and normally it is.
    And, as per Swiss manufacturing rules, the marking “SWISS MADE” or “SWISS” printed on dial could be written only if some rules of the Federation of Swiss Watch Industries FH would be complied by the beloved (and expensive) timepiece are complied (see: http://www.fhs.ch/en/swissm.php ).
    By the other side, the standard retailing price of an high quality whirstwatch “SWISS MADE” is 6-7 times the BOM cost including manufacturing costs (only few companies selling online can reduce this enormous mark-up due to distributing costs, storage costs and so on). Some good examples :gold about this issue are Stowa, which sells only on the net as I know, or Ocean 7 or Marathon or MIH watch, which has a very high quality/price ratio if compared to its performances – my MIH is on the pipeline , just ordered, it will be ready on Oct. 2007 -.
    All these companies sell only by the net, as I know, and this allow them to save costs in order to offer high quality watches at fair prices (mark up to be considered for them is 1,5/1,8 the BOM cost).
    Now my considerations:
    1. being all of us available to recognize the mark up many Swiss watch industries are asking us as whirstwatches “consumers”, could it be reasonable or not that they could provide the list of the suppliers which produced the components of the watch we buy?
    I mean that I want that my watches marked and declared “SWISS MADE” would use 100% of Swiss made components, which origin should be Switzerland and which manufacturing/assembling should be made in Switzerland. This would be reasonable, in terms of value-for-money, at least by taking in consideration retailing costs of some timepieces.
    About this, a good job was made by MIH which declares all the manufacturers of the components used for the watch, and which assembling is made by Mr. Gerber (even if there is no “SWISS MADE” printing on the watch!!!!).
    What is your thinking about this?
    2. Instruction manuals and documentation provided together with watches sometimes are very poor, at least in terms of technical features of watches. Normally the information provided are to be referred only to final users (I mean that are normally described the functions and settings of the watch), but there are no technical information (such as calibre, frequency, calibre origin – in-house or ETA modified? -, diameter, overall dimensions of the case an so on). Some high quality pictures of the watch and movement would be appreciated, by my side.
    Normally i.e. for cheaper consumer electronics products there is a technical datasheet somewhere in instruction manuals. Would it be reasonable (and helpful) this suggestion to watch industries?
    What is your thinking?

    Thanks for your opinions, guys.
    Last edited by rouge; October 6th, 2006 at 15:51.

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oberstedten, Germany
    Posts
    9,650

    Re: Swiss made or...?

    Hi -

    There's a yiddish saying: "Dein Wort in Gottes Ohr", or "Your word in the ear of god".

    This is a very touchy subject not only for Swiss watches, but also for German watches: take a look at the German watch forum, the sticky post "Made in Germany", to which I also contributed.

    The problem lies in the fact that globalization has made it very, very difficult to ensure that any given part is actually made where someone claims. This is nothing new: as a matter of fact, it's been a problem since the first industrial watchmakers started outsourcing to lower-cost countries (in this case, the US outsourced to Switzerland!) over 100 years ago.

    I whole-heartedly agree with you that when you pay a serious price for a serious watch and it's marked "Switzerland", you don't want to discover that the watchcase was made in China and most of the gears in the watch came from Korea or Vietnam or whereever.

    There are rules and regulations regarding what it means by "Made in Switzerland" or similiar, but enforcing these in a court of law - or even in the court of public opinion - means that there are a lot of watches out there that aren't what they promise, and that sucks.

    If you are looking for truth and honesty in the watch business, then deal with those folks who are honest and upfront about their watches. The problem is then that you have a very, very short list of companies: Sinn, Stowa, Jubilar (the company that Helmut Sinn set up after he sold Sinn) and other companies in Germany, RGM in the US, and I am sure there are others. Fundamentally, you have to cut out the middlemen with their liberal interpretation of reality callled "marketing " and deal with the watchmakers themselves.

    But then there are the watch companies that claim to be German (and I will not name names here: that only results in flame wars and anger management problems) or Swiss but in reality bend/ignore the rules to talk the talk without walking the walk (i.e. are really something entirely different as to what is claimed).

    The only thing that helps here is education of the consumer, and we all know how hard that is. But if you demand quality and insist on it, then you can't avoid educating yourself to understand what it is you are buying.

    JohnF

    PS: consider Seiko/Casio as well: neither pretend to be anything besides what they are, and clearly label the country of origin of their watches; the real problem lies with the higher-end of the middle tier of Swiss watches, which may or may not have entirely Swiss components inside, given the fact that ETA has started outsourcing components to qualified makers in China in order to cut costs. They are also the companies that are more interested in selling a lifestyle image than they are interested in selling watches...
    コスト下げ やる気も一緒に 下げられる


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    698

    Re: Swiss made or...?

    I totally agree, it is a matter of education....
    But it is becoming harder and harder to find people who want to educate consumers to appreciate fine watchmaking....
    An example could be given by the total missing of any technical datasheet in instruction manuals of (most) watches... even cosumer electronics (cheaper) products they have.
    Another serious (and sad) example is given by watch magazines that, at least in Italy, do not provide any more technical details and pictures of the calibres of watches presented monthly, except of the press folder provided by the marketing departments of watchmaking brands. I cannot believe that any journalist could not have any curiosity and a case opener wrench for showing to readers what is inside the latest model of the most famous brand.... probably they are asked not to do this job, otherwise it will become a very hard job to sell a further model embedding an ETA 2892-2 standard at 4.000/6.000 Euro and reporting "SWISS" or "SWISS MADE" on dial as well as a Swatch automatic has printed on.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Melbourne,Australia
    Posts
    99

    Re: Swiss made or...?

    Quote Originally Posted by rouge
    .....I cannot believe that any journalist could not have any curiosity and a case opener wrench for showing to readers what is inside the latest model of the most famous brand.... probably they are asked not to do this job, otherwise it will become a very hard job to sell a further model embedding an ETA 2892-2 standard at 4.000/6.000 Euro and reporting "SWISS" or "SWISS MADE" on dial as well as a Swatch automatic has printed on.
    I agree with you and JohnF.I read IW magazine, and come across every month new models, although, print in details the tech. spec. for most models and prices...i find it hard to understand and agree to the huge price differences for models that have the same movement...its like highway robberry!!! The same movement might have slight modifications and decorations...but the price is hard to justify.
    KV
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    IWC FliergerChronograph
    Oris Artelier Centennial World Timer Ltd Ed.
    Oris TT1 diver Meistertaucher regulateur.
    Oris Big Crown Pointer Date
    Maurice Lacroix Calypso.
    Stowa Antea with Date
    Stowa FO 75/80
    Archimede M Pilot
    Aristo Apucto HP6 manual wind
    Longines Conquest Automatic
    Steinhart Big Pilot manual wind
    Omega Deville Coaxial Chronometer

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Made in Germany ( a re-post)
      By stuffler,mike in forum German watches
      Replies: 40
      Last Post: August 17th, 2017, 19:35
    2. Vintage Swiss & American Watches FS
      By Jürgen in forum Watches - Dealers and Manufacturers
      Replies: 1
      Last Post: January 30th, 2007, 18:32
    3. Vintage Swiss & American Watches
      By Jürgen in forum Watches - Dealers and Manufacturers
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: July 13th, 2006, 03:33
    4. Vintage Swiss & American Watches FS
      By Jürgen in forum Watches - Dealers and Manufacturers
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: June 16th, 2006, 00:18
    5. Vintage Swiss & American Watches FS
      By Jürgen in forum Watches - Dealers and Manufacturers
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: May 14th, 2006, 03:52

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •