Thanks - I'll give you my perspective on the points that I feel are relevant to the central issues of quality and price.I'll try to break my ramble into parts in the hope you'll understand,
Yes of course it's legal. The designation of "Swiss Made" and what requirements are needed for that are not set by Omega, or the watch industry, but through laws and regulations of the Swiss government. They can't be anything but legal requirements, as they are set by laws. So this idea that it somehow makes the process more "shady" as you imply doesn't make sense to me, as there is no alternative method of enforcing such requirements other than laws.2- percentages aren't self-explanatory, there is a description as to how to comply to them, hence, a legal, not technical requirement,
it's not a melon one can measure the size of the slices.
a company, taking into account recommendations from its legal department, can adapt its means of production to be in legal, though not technical, compliance, which,
This is certainly your opinion, but I don't agree with the conclusions you have made here. I don't know what you do for a living, but I spent a couple of decades as a manufacturing engineer working for a large multinational company that had manufacturing plants all over the world. From the US, UK, Canada (where I am), Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Poland, India, and yes China. I'm probably missing a few countries there, but that should give you an idea that we made parts in very different countries with different cultures.4- it is technical, not legal compliances, that over years of real world testing, have won 'Swiss Made' the premium we are being charged by omega,
hence the importance of a > legally< defined provenance, which,
5- has increasingly become absent of parts omega views as separate from the 'Swiss Made' labeled watch.
Quality standards were applied equally in the manufacturing of the products we made, and these aren't man jewelry trinkets worn on the wrist, but parts that people lives depend on in the transportation industry. My father in law actually came out of retirement when asked to in order to run the plant in China - the initial quality was very poor when the plant first opened, and the products were safe, but not of the standard that the proper company name was put on them at the start - they were for local consumption and branded with a local name. Only when the quality level was brought up to a point that complied with the global corporate standards, did the products start getting the proper company name on them.
The whole premise of your argument is that if something is made in China (or anywhere but Switzerland), it is automatically inferior. This is simply a false premise.
What made the Swiss watch industry what it is the engineering and strict adherence to quality standards, rather then the specific location where the product is made. Yes it is initially borne out of the Swiss mindset in Switzerland, but your assumption that anything not made there can't be made under the same mindset is faulty. This is proven by the fact that a very large number of people who work in the Swiss watch factories, are not Swiss, but travel in daily from surrounding countries to work in the factories. They are not born with the Swiss mindset, but learn it, just as those that work in factories in other locations around the world can learn it.
Not sure what you mean? We are talking about the quality of parts made in a country other than Switzerland. I see and use those parts daily, and the incidences of faulty parts is quite low in my experience. If I were seeing a large number of faulty parts coming in, it would be something to cause alarm because that costs me money - yes I can send them back for exchange but that costs money to ship them back that I have to pay for, it would delay jobs, and interrupt workflow. It happens so infrequently I can't recall the last time I received a faulty part.I have no doubt you see more watches and parts than I ever will, but, as to prevailing increase in QC issues, isn't that mainly handled by the brand, during warranty period?
I can tell you that prepacked parts like I buy as spares, are the most likely place to see poor quality show up if it was there. For example movement parts I get have never been tested in a movement - they are packaged straight off a production line. The movement parts inside the completed watch you buy have been tested, as they have been placed in a movement, the movement has been run and proven to pass Omegas specs. The same line of thinking would apply to pretty much any spare parts I buy - they will get less scrutiny than the same parts that have been assembled into a watch for sale, because that watch will go through quality checks as an assembled unit. The fact that I don't see much in the way of quality issues tells me that the parts being made in whatever location hey are made, are not that big of an issue.
To give you some idea last year about 10 months of work (I was on vacation for January and part of February) I ordered about $25K worth of parts from Omega. This ranges from parts for as little as a couple of dollars for screws and spring bars, movement parts, and case parts like pushers, crowns, extra links, etc. Most years are higher than that, as I was also trying to use up some some of my inventory last year and not carry so much value in spare parts...so I see a lot of Omega parts.
How would this help? If I were seeing a lot of parts with problems, and could correlate the country of origin with the faulty parts, then yes it might be if some value, but the fact that nearly all the parts I get are fine really makes where they are made a moot point. You keep referring to issues of quality, but what specifically is the issue?and would it not greatly help clearing this matter if you simply disclosed the origins of the 'thousands upon thousands' of parts you receive from omega?
I would honestly be thankful that you would, I don't imagine you have a non-disclosure clause in your contract with Omega.
bracelets, buckles, straps, spares parts, any type will do.
This thread is about how much some random watchmaker is overcharging for a crystal that doesn't cost near as much as they say it does. There seems to be a lot of misdirected outrage at the cost of the $400 crystal, that actually only costs $170.this thread is not about how happy or not I may be with the brand, but questioning whether omega is 'Swiss Made' enough to command the corresponding, and increasing, premium,
I find it a legitimate question regardless of what I, or anyone else, decide on buying.
Omega is doing their best to move upmarket - this is no secret and was stated as a strategy by them several years ago. Doing this is going to leave some traditional customers behind, but clearly Omega feels this is the best strategy for them. We live in a globalized world where products are rarely made all in one place. Omega is a corporation whose first priority is to shareholders, like all corporations. People often make the mistake of thinking that watch production and watch companies are somehow "different" than other large multinationals, and this is in part due to how those companies market themselves. Companies will maximize profits - it is their mandate. Ranting on a forum isn't going to change that. As a consumer you have the power of your wallet - vote accordingly with your dollars (or currency of choice).