Truthful information is needed

Thread: Truthful information is needed

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  1. #1
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    Truthful information is needed

    The ideal situation

    We “manufacturer” can have top design and top cases made in the Far East for as little as $15 and stick (assemble) inside a Swiss movement for another $15 (hence a Swiss made product). However, thanks to glossy brochures, good marketing and a famous brand name behind us, we can sell this top quality $30 watch for over $1000.

    Not happy to have any middle man – we will “distribute” directly to the shops so that we can have even higher profits.

    This is reality and the figures are accurate. Some of you, by now, would have come up already with one brand name or another (yes, this now seems to be a wide spread policy) but I am talking about Bell & Ross.

    The real situation behind the curtains is that dealers that are promoting their own brand will come up – in one forum or another – with sci-fi stories to attract the punter’s interest. Hence, many not so famous brands will get good reviews. Good reviews may also come from the customer that has paid $3000 for his lovely watch but, like the majority, has no real understanding of prices and quality. It is not easy to admit “I have just spent $3000 but the watch is crap (Note:last word modified by mod, read the rules & guidelines)!”.

    Somewhere, somehow, truthful information must be submitted to the end users. I am aware that this is almost impossible as soooo many are involved in the industry and with some 5000 brand names to protect, many are very biased.

    Many industries are regulated – the watch industry is still very much a Wild West with a clown theatre called Basel. The public, at large, deserves more.
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; March 14th, 2007 at 07:41.

  2. #2
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    Although I largely agree with the spirit of your post....

    I'm curious: do you have a source for these numbers? I only ask because the last time I had a conversation about this (with a reseller in California), the prices were a bit higher (estimated $25 for a 2824, around $40 for a decent quality case/sapp. crystal from HK, etc.). Not a huge difference, but your quotes sound low.

    It seems true that a good quality watch can be produced from HK-made parts with a Swiss movement for $100-200, and some companies mark them up 300% while others mark them up 1000%+. The guy I was talking with said that many watch affecionados would be surprised to learn that their expensive "Swiss" watches may (depending on the brand) have a majority of Asian parts and be assembled in a way calculated to barely squeak under the "Swiss Made" labeling regulations (and he named some big brands that are darlings of the online forums).

    Makes Seikos and Citizens look like pillars of honesty and full disclosure (not to mention worth).

  3. #3
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    Re: Although I largely agree with the spirit of your post....

    While shopping for an Omega for my wife, I was disgusted to see that virtually every watch they pulled out of the case had a seconds hand that did not land on the marks as it went around the dial (these were quartz movements, since she wanted a slim watch). When I made some remark about it, they acted like I was insane to expect a $2000 watch to have accurate spacing between dial marks and to have the movement hit those marks. The saleswoman asked, with a smirk, if I was an engineer or something. I said no, but I'm not blind. Granted I'm no expert, but it looked like crap components with an Omega logo and $2000 price tag attached. And they were doing me a favor by showing the watches to me in the first place. Why does no one care about the quality of their work any more. Sorry for the rant, but it's downright insulting. Or maybe I have unrealistic standards, which is possible. In the end we ended up going with a Seiko for her watch, the lower pricetag came with lower expectations on my part and she loves the watch. For myself, I have to have an automatic with a sweeping seconds hand just to avoid this unsightly craptitude staring me in the face every day.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Truthful information is needed

    Dr K, sorry to hear about your experience with the "holier than thou" sales assistant. Possibly she had hit the glass ceiling at her previous job as assistant store manager at McDonalds, and was still feeling her way in this whole up-market watch thing. Good sales staff are (evidently) so hard to find. But not impossible! I trust you walked away from this store and found another where they practised normal human relationships.

    Are those prices bakuma and ktm quote really what a genuine Swiss movement costs to manufacture? With the high cost of living and commensurate salaries in Switzerland, transport costs, and indvidual component prices, I'm honestly amazed they can turn out a movement and export it for those dollars.
    Steve

  6. #5
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    If you look at Jules Borel....

    you'll see that you can get an ETA 2824-2 for around $60, as long as your minimum order is 5. From what I've heard, that price drops to around half that if your order is 500, and you may get a discount if you order the now less popular gold plated model (same specs otherwise). Remember that these are machine-made and unadjusted from the factory. The elabore grade is probably a bit more.

  7. #6
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    Re: Although I largely agree with the spirit of your post....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.K View Post
    While shopping for an Omega for my wife, I was disgusted to see that virtually every watch they pulled out of the case had a seconds hand that did not land on the marks as it went around the dial (these were quartz movements, since she wanted a slim watch). When I made some remark about it, they acted like I was insane to expect a $2000 watch to have accurate spacing between dial marks and to have the movement hit those marks. The saleswoman asked, with a smirk, if I was an engineer or something. I said no, but I'm not blind. Granted I'm no expert, but it looked like crap components with an Omega logo and $2000 price tag attached. And they were doing me a favor by showing the watches to me in the first place. Why does no one care about the quality of their work any more. Sorry for the rant, but it's downright insulting. Or maybe I have unrealistic standards, which is possible. In the end we ended up going with a Seiko for her watch, the lower pricetag came with lower expectations on my part and she loves the watch. For myself, I have to have an automatic with a sweeping seconds hand just to avoid this unsightly craptitude staring me in the face every day.
    I wouldn't dream of suggesting that your experience with quartz Omegas was untrue, but it is certainly not universal. I've got an Omega Constellation Double Eagle Perpetual Calendar, which has an ETA termocompensated quartz movement (as well as an obscenely long name!), and the second hand is right on the money. I also have an Omega quartz chronograph from the 80s which has had to go back to Switzerland a couple of times in its long life, but its second hand is on the marks too.
    On the other hand I've got a The Citizen which I think is a gorgeous watch, beautifully made and finished and amazingly accurate (and not cheap), but its second hand is on the marks for about half its revolution and up to about a third of a second off for the rest of it. I agree that one should be able to expect the hands to be on the marks but it seems that no-one is immune to manufacturing shortcomings.
    I don't know why being an engineer was suggested as explaining why you raised the issue...... are engineers considered to be fussier? Or just to have higher standards?
    I hope your wife's Seiko behaves itself and lives up to your expectations. I must agree that almost all my watches do turn out to be Japanese and on the whole I am more than satisfied with them, even though my Citizen does have this irritating hiccup.

  8. #7
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    Re: Truthful information is needed

    I recently bought a Tissot (PRC 200 chronograph) from an AD and I had the same problem -- hand alignment with the markers was off. I emailed Tissot and they said that unacceptable and that I should return the watch. I returned the watch and bought a Seiko chronograph instead -- abosultely no QC problems.

  9. #8
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    Re: Truthful information is needed

    I really don't see what the point is in complaining about component pricing vs. end product/retail pricing. Thats what watch forums such as this one are for. One needs to educate oneself as much as possible about quality vs. value, search diligently for best possible prices, then decide whether to buy or not. Any company is going to present their product in the best possible terms, short of outright fraud (hopefully), and try to get the maximum price. In the end, one simply votes with one's wallet.
    "Time is the school in which we learn. Time is the fire in which we burn."

  10. #9
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    Re: Truthful information is needed

    little as $15 and stick (assemble) inside a Swiss movement for another $15 (hence a Swiss made product).
    That is not a Swiss product. Unless the assembly was done in Switzerland.

    That is a "Swiss Movement" in a case. A good saleperson should be able to tell you about the difference, and a reputable company would be upfront about the place of assembly.

    Unfortunately, the two seem to be a rare commodity these days.

  11. #10
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    Re: Truthful information is needed

    Quote Originally Posted by KTM650M View Post
    The ideal situation

    We “manufacturer” can have top design and top cases made in the Far East for as little as $15 and stick (assemble) inside a Swiss movement for another $15 (hence a Swiss made product). However, thanks to glossy brochures, good marketing and a famous brand name behind us, we can sell this top quality $30 watch for over $1000.
    Then what are you waiting for? Quit whining, and go into the watch business! Quickly, though, or everyone will learn your secret :)

    Alternatively you could sue the entre industry. The Swiss are well-known for being happy to be sued by irate consumers, especially the non-Swiss kind, and will happily hand over all the money they just reamed from you.

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