In my few years as a collector, these two terms have been used a lot. What do they mean at the affordable price point (<$1,000)?
I don't say this to insult anyone who values these terms differently than I do. In fact, I hope to learn from the potential conversation.
Don't they just mean:
Swiss Made: "We popped an entry level, mass produced ETA in it".
In-House: "Instead of popping a mass produced ETA in it, we used our own mass-produced movement."
I think these labels mean something different, and more, when we get to higher price brackets. But why is a watch housing an entry level ETA something to mention on the dial? What does the history of the Swiss Watch industry have to do with me plopping down $200 for the Swatch Group's equivalent of the Big Mac (fast food burger), and sticking it in a case?
On the opposite end, "In-House" is starting to lose it's luster for me, too. I've always enjoyed knowing which of my watches were "in-house"; I took pride in it. But why? What does it really mean? Orient, Seiko, Vostok, among others, mass-produce automatic watch movements. Why should that matter to me? These companies are also stuffing their floor level movements in trendy fashion watches left and right.
I guess I've come to the following conclusion: Searching for, and buying "history" at this price point, is fools gold. Thoughts? And feel free to tell me how wrong I am.
ETA: We don't do this with other purchases, do we? A lot of once quality, influential car companies are putting out average, to below average products today. When people collect classic cars, they seek the originals. They don't buy a Chevy Prism, just to say they own a "Chevy", as it the new car has anything to do with the classic muscle cars of old.