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.