"Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?
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  1. #1
    Member WatchesinIL's Avatar
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    Question "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Been wondering this for a while.

    Some watch brands that are not known as "Swiss" brands, and not headquartered in Switzerland, still sell (or have sold in the past) watches bearing the "Swiss Made" marker on the watch. 2 brands that immediately come to mind are Bulova and Invicta, although I'm sure there are more.

    I don't think Invicta or Bulova have factories in Switzerland, so what's the deal here? Obviously they could buy ETA or Sellita movements and slap "Swiss Mvmt" on the watch but to be truly Swiss Made the watch must be assembled in Switzerland pass QA in Switzerland.

    So who is encasing and inspecting these watches? Are they factories that specialize in manufacturing outsourced "Swiss Made" watches?
    Last edited by WatchesinIL; November 19th, 2015 at 05:06.
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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    There are casing factories in Switzerland that can drop a Swiss movement (ETA\Selitta auto or Ronda\ETA quartz, etc), or a quasi Swiss movt (Claro Semag for example, which can be a Chinese with few Swiss parts), into a Chinese made case with CHinese stamped dial, Chinese hands, crown, bracelet. As long as the final screw is tightened in Switzerland and it's "inspected", it can legitimately have Swiss Made on the dial.

    Sometimes that is fine and non-Swiss company can make "Swiss Made" watches - see British Chr Ward or Californian Xetum. And sometimes the "swissiness" is stretched to the limit and yet still meets legal requirement - as in case of Invicta.

    My suggestion, don't worry about where it's made, but rather judge each brand and watch individually on their merit.
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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    There are 'Private Label' factories in Switzerland just as there are in China. Whereas Hong Kong China has watch broker companies such as Loyal Tact and Full Swing, the Swiss have companies such as Xantia, (which for example used to make Victorianox Swiss Army until a few years ago when VSA either changed factories or brought watch assembly in house).

    Hardly any watch brands have their own factories anymore...

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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Eterna and Corum
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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Veda View Post
    Eterna
    Huh?

    Edit: after a second read, I think I misunderstood you. I initially thought you were equating Eterna to a Swiss brand that doesn't do their own manufacturing.
    Last edited by BrentYYC; November 19th, 2015 at 06:27.

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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimman View Post
    Whereas Hong Kong China has watch broker companies such as Loyal Tact and Full Swing, the Swiss have companies such as Xantia, (which for example used to make Victorianox Swiss Army until a few years ago when VSA either changed factories or brought watch assembly in house).
    VSA now has one of the largest watch manufacturing facilities in Switzerland.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimman View Post
    Hardly any watch brands have their own factories anymore...
    Certainly that's true for store and fashion brands, but most Swiss and German brands have their own manufacturing facilities.

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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrentYYC View Post
    VSA now has one of the largest watch manufacturing facilities in Switzerland.


    Certainly that's true for store and fashion brands, but most Swiss and German brands have their own manufacturing facilities.
    Well 'most' would depend on what we define as a 'fashion' brand. I don't think 'most' of the mid to low tier 'independent' Swiss (eg Edox) or German (eg Steinhart) brands are making their own stuff. And even those that do are probably far from 100%, most volume pieces probably covered by contract. Xantia isn't the only Private Label company in Switzerland, and prior to the move in-house I'm sure everyone believed VSA already was...

    BTW do you know what year VSA dropped Xantia? I know it's not a super recent thing, but I wouldn't mind getting an idea on any quality differences between Xantia and in-house VSA watches.
    Last edited by 181903; November 19th, 2015 at 06:48. Reason: ! to ? Oops...

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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimman View Post
    Well 'most' would depend on what we define as a 'fashion' brand. I don't think 'most' of the mid to low tier 'independent' Swiss (eg Edox) or German (eg Steinhart) brands are making their own stuff. And even those that do are probably far from 100%, most volume pieces probably covered by contract. Xantia isn't the only Private Label company in Switzerland, and prior to the move in-house I'm sure everyone believed VSA already was...

    BTW do you know what year VSA dropped Xantia? I know it's not a super recent thing, but I wouldn't mind getting an idea on any quality differences between Xantia and in-house VSA watches.
    When I said "most", I meant 'major' brands (I should have been more clear), not the little guys like Steinhart, etc., that contract out their manufacturing.

    Victorinox started manufacturing their own watches at their own Victorinox facility in Porrentruy, Jura, in 2006, but prior to that they actually owned private label manufacturer Xantia which had previously been doing their manufacturing.
    Last edited by BrentYYC; November 19th, 2015 at 07:49.
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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
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    Re: "Swiss Made" watches by non "Swiss" brands - where are they made?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGodlenGopher View Post
    Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
    Something like that. But even components of the movement may be sourced from outside Switzerland yet still allow a watch to fulfill legal requirements for the 'Swiss Made' moniker to be applied. There's been numerous threads on this subject.
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