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I'll try to break my ramble into parts in the hope you'll understand,
Thanks - I'll give you my perspective on the points that I feel are relevant to the central issues of quality and price.

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,
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.

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.
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.

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.

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?
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 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.

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.
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?

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.
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.

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).

Cheers, Al
 

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The rules are the rules, and Omega follows them. If you actually understand the history of "Swiss made" you will know that it was Swatch group that pushed for the content to be bumped up to 60% from 50% not that long ago, and even with that they received a lot of push back from other brands who didn't want to do this.

As for people calling Omega to ask about origins, and not be answered seems suspicious, then I suspect every manufacturer of everything on the planet is suspicious. Try calling the manufacturer of your car and asking where the bearings on the water pump are made, and see what they tell you...likely to get lost as they should.

There are going to be fanboys of other brands who say their favourite brand doesn't do this, and they are living in a fantasy land. It is what it is - buy the product or don't...for me as long as the quality is good, and they are meeting the standards, it's not terribly relevant.

Cheers, Al[/QUOTE]

I am just going to make one correction to your argument. To qualify for swiss made trademark it has to be 50% of the watch by cost not by parts. In other words the entire watch could be made in China at the cost of $80 and then omega would make in Switzerland pair of watch hands at the cost of $80 for those watch hands and technically it would be qualified as a Swiss made watch even though the only thing that you have on that watch that was made in Switzerland were watch hands. I’m not saying that’s actually happened but I’m just trying to explain why swiss made mark doesn’t make much practical sense. Having said that I love omega watches a bunch of them really well never had a problem with them
 

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I am just going to make one correction to your argument. To qualify for swiss made trademark it has to be 50% of the watch by cost not by parts.
Thanks, but I never said that it was by number of parts. It's not 50%, it's 60%...this changed from 50 to 60 in 2017.

In other words the entire watch could be made in China at the cost of $80 and then omega would make in Switzerland pair of watch hands at the cost of $80 for those watch hands and technically it would be qualified as a Swiss made watch even though the only thing that you have on that watch that was made in Switzerland were watch hands. I’m not saying that’s actually happened but I’m just trying to explain why swiss made mark doesn’t make much practical sense. Having said that I love omega watches a bunch of them really well never had a problem with them
The scenario you post above as complying with the Swiss Made label for a watch is completely false. It would not qualify on several levels and some basic research would help you understand why.

Cheers, Al
 

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Thanks - I'll give you my perspective on the points that I feel are relevant to the central issues of quality and price.



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.



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.

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 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?



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.

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).

Cheers, Al
that is exactly my point, it has increasingly become a merely legal matter.

you make a compelling argument for the quality of Chinese manufacturing,
I don't agree that they are, or will be, unless they change their mindset in China and stop cutting corners from the ground up,
able to reproduce the general quality of an European made luxury product (state figurehead companies not included),
which does not mean a Chinese national can't be as competent as any other worker when at work in another country,
but this is about customer's perceptions allowing omega to charge 'Swiss Made' prices.

omega has, as per what I know, increased its in-house production, but I have no information that there's been a corresponding decrease in chinese production.
so, case in point, regarding percentages,
are we paying the 'Swiss Made' premium for a 100% chinese bracelet,
on the account that the case, for ex. is now 100% swiss,
together with some of the more relevant parts now being, say, 80 to 100% swiss?

perceived quality being equal, as it generally takes many years and a comparable product for a customer to be able to know actual quality,
would omega be able to sell, for example, bracelets, for the same price if they came branded 'Made in China'?

'Swiss Made' and corresponding chargeable premiums is a matter of perception, first and foremost,
that was acquired by decades of demonstrable quality,
even if a Chinese bracelet looks as good and 50+ years from now proves to have lasted as long as a Swiss bracelet,
there's no argument that would induce a customer to pay an equal price for both. at least, not at the moment.

at a shop, I vote with my wallet, at a forum, I discuss my likes and dislikes,
which include the direction omega is taking.
I'm a customer and someone who used to be much more in love with the brand than at present,
you are correct that, were I a share holder, it's unlikely that I would.. rant,
but I am not.
 

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It does tend to muddy the understanding when Omega states every part of an Omega watch is made in Switzerland. This would lead one to assume 100% of parts are in fact made in Switzerland.
 

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It does tend to muddy the understanding when Omega states "Every part of an Omega watch is made in Switzerland, which goes far beyond the industry's required standard". This would lead one to assume 100% of parts are in fact made in Switzerland.
If Omega does indeed state that, no wonder people are confused!
 

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It does tend to muddy the understanding when Omega states "Every part of an Omega watch is made in Switzerland, which goes far beyond the industry's required standard". This would lead one to assume 100% of parts are in fact made in Switzerland.
Where is this stated?
 

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that is exactly my point, it has increasingly become a merely legal matter.
It was never anything other than a legal matter, because it's a law that defines it. If you believe that it was anything else but legal, then I think the issue is with that perception.

I'm a customer and someone who used to be much more in love with the brand than at present,
You have made that very clear. Personally, I'm not bothered either way as long as the quality is still there, and in my experience it is.

Again you keep talking about things like cutting corners, but you have failed to give examples of what this means.

The issue is about perception, not quality is my conclusion, so of course you are free to believe as you wish. The truth is the laws have been strengthened as of 2017, driven largely by Swatch group, and despite your theories of them having some magical legal process that is screwing us all over, there is no actual evidence of that as you freely admit.

Tilting at windmills comes to mind, but we can agree to disagree - I'm fine with that.

Cheers, Al
 

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It was never anything other than a legal matter, because it's a law that defines it. If you believe that it was anything else but legal, then I think the issue is with that perception.



You have made that very clear. Personally, I'm not bothered either way as long as the quality is still there, and in my experience it is.

Again you keep talking about things like cutting corners, but you have failed to give examples of what this means.

The issue is about perception, not quality is my conclusion, so of course you are free to believe as you wish. The truth is the laws have been strengthened as of 2017, driven largely by Swatch group, and despite your theories of them having some magical legal process that is screwing us all over, there is no actual evidence of that as you freely admit.

Tilting at windmills comes to mind, but we can agree to disagree - I'm fine with that.

Cheers, Al
laws define what it takes to comply, but they do not create perception as it is,
a decades long track record of consistently offering better than other provenances at times when the matter of provenance had much less semantics attached did.
'Swiss Made' acquired the right to command a premium vs.'Made in China' due to factual quality differentiation.
this comes from roughly the end of WW2,
not 2010 nor after the world's industry relocation to China.
even if you are of the mind that production there falls within the standards of the Swiss watchmaking industry as they presently stand,
that still is not able to command the market premium for 'Swiss Made',
and omega is charging as if it could.

It is not a matter of supplying examples, there is no shortage of those, but we are of different minds regarding how representative they are in sheer numbers.
I could question quality of the work being done for the price by, for example, omega logos falling off clasps,
which, as we are discussing price, should be one-piece or, at the very least, properly welded,
poor assemblages, etc,
but again I know you are of the mind that the numbers are not representative.
I could also supply examples and information regarding things such as the raw materials for steel having different properties depending on where they originate and on how the Chinese industry takes shortcuts in production with actual impact in quality of the materials,
but I can't entertain the notion that someone with a life and professional history such as you described might somehow not know this better than I,
you simply don't consider it relevant.

I admitted to..?
there's no magic in it, 'Swiss Made' is a legal affair,
omega, together with the swatch group, are not only financial giants but also have acquired several key companies most of 'Swiss Made' branded companies are dependent on, becoming vertically integrated within the group.
when choosing what parts of its production are relocated to China and what parts are consolidated in Switzerland, they find themselves in a position to much more effectively work the percentages than brands outside the group up until recently partly dependant on swatch owned companies and, at the moment, struggling with the means to manage compliance with 'Swiss Made' requirements while becoming independent from their traditional swatch owned suppliers.
as for solid proof, I am not privy to Swiss watchmaking industry secrets,
which is why I asked a simple question from you who have me at a disadvantage,
what is the origin of the thousands of omega branded parts you receive I can't find 'Swiss Made' on, but am charged accordingly?
 

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In actual fact, Omega's hypothetical (crap) defense (as you put it) of their prices, would have one serious flaw! ;-)
Omega watch prices are now, for all intense and purposes, equal to that of most Rolex models, which are 100% Swiss made.
So, if Rolex can sell their 100% Swiss watches for X amount of money, why can't Omega? :think:
Because a Rolex, is in fact a charity.
 

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It's on the Omega watch site, surprised no one has mentioned it.
Yup, he's right. I'm shocked. It's in the FAQ section, but I can't get the link to work. :roll:
It does state 'every part of the watch'. The bracelet must, surely, be included as part of the watch? :think: I mean, if you buy a new watch, you don't just get the case & movement.
Oh, I'm really confused now....
 

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Yup, he's right. I'm shocked. It's in the FAQ section, but I can't get the link to work. :roll:
It does state 'every part of the watch'. The bracelet must, surely, be included as part of the watch? :think: I mean, if you buy a new watch, you don't just get the case & movement.
Oh, I'm really confused now....
Can I join the confused club? I had a look through the faq but couldnt see anything that mentions not being swiss made or swiss manufacturing ratios. Im using safari on a mac though so that could be the reason. I do get weird behaviour from safari on occasions.

Maybe the strap/bracelet of a watch could fall under the same category as tyres on a car ie the term "watch" refers to the watch head and the strap/bracelet are additional options? From my experience, if the bracelets ARE made in China, ive not found anything that would lead me to believe its inferior in any way. I would go so far to say that the current SMP bracelet is the best bracelet ive ever owned. The difference is only the fact that China have very dodgy practices in working conditions, animal welfare and environmental policies so I try my very best to avoid Chinese products, even if it means spending more on something. We should all be doing this. Weve got used to ridiculously cheap products over the past few years and its hard to re calibrate our brains into paying a proper price for something. Time and time again I hear "I cant afford to spend £xx on a shirt, primark sell them for £10. That is nonsense. The primark shirt will be made with slave labour and cheap crappy materials and theres a world of difference. Alex James has done a great documentary about the clothing industry which is an eye opener. Going to stop there before I really rant. The chinese aspect doesnt sit well with me on ethical terms but the quality IS there and I would like to think that the working conditions in the factories are good. Its a quandary thats made even worse by the possibility that all watch brands are doing the same.
 

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Can I join the confused club? I had a look through the faq but couldnt see anything that mentions not being swiss made or swiss manufacturing ratios. Im using safari on a mac though so that could be the reason. I do get weird behaviour from safari on occasions.
Not your browser - I'm using Edge and there's nothing I can see in the FAQ that speaks to Swiss made at all.

https://www.omegawatches.com/customer-service/faq

For those who have apparently found it, please let us know what question this information is under.
 

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Not your browser - I'm using Edge and there's nothing I can see in the FAQ that speaks to Swiss made at all.

https://www.omegawatches.com/customer-service/faq

For those who have apparently found it, please let us know what question this information is under.
When you are on the official Omega website, click on the little magnifying glass and do a search for Swiss made. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the little Swiss made icon. I hope this helps.


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laws define what it takes to comply, but they do not create perception as it is,
Without as law defining it, there is no perception to be had. On this point it appears we will not agree. Again you don't have to be born in Switzerland or be in Switzerland to have Swiss standards as you seem to believe.

It is not a matter of supplying examples, there is no shortage of those, but we are of different minds regarding how representative they are in sheer numbers.
I could question quality of the work being done for the price by, for example, omega logos falling off clasps,
which, as we are discussing price, should be one-piece or, at the very least, properly welded,
poor assemblages, etc,
And you know for a fact that these parts are made in China, and that the issues with those parts are specifically because they were made in China? You say they should be one piece and not welded on - you do understand this is not a manufacturing decision, but a design decision, right? So the fact that they are not one piece was a decision made by designers in Switzerland, and has nothing to do with where the part was manufactured.

Every brand has issues at one time or another. The people who make these watches (no matter where they are located) are human and this means errors and omissions will happen. This is why companies offer warranties on their products. Do you believe that if all parts and work were done in Switzerland (and nothing was made in China) all of these problems would disappear? If so that is more than a bit naïve...

I could also supply examples and information regarding things such as the raw materials for steel having different properties depending on where they originate and on how the Chinese industry takes shortcuts in production with actual impact in quality of the materials,
but I can't entertain the notion that someone with a life and professional history such as you described might somehow not know this better than I,
you simply don't consider it relevant.
The company I worked for also made steel - the alloy steel we used in our own products and sold to others.

Making steel is a process that involves following a recipe. Steel is made in batches, and while a melt is taking place samples are taken and analyzed in real time, and changes made to the recipe to get the desired outcome. Steel standards have tolerances for a reason - look up the composition of 316L or 904L (a.k.a. Rolex magical steel) and you will see ranges of percentages for the various elements. As long as they are in the accepted ranges, the steel is fine. This sort of nonsense about China using different ingredients for their steel is borne out of ignorance of production processes.

In the end watches are not structural elements that hold up buildings where the exact composition and physical properties are critical to human life. I've built structures where I've requested specific analysis of the steel heat that made the structural steel I was using to ensure compliance. Stainless steel is a commodity, not some rare and precious material (despite what Rolex tells you) that is difficult to find. You are assuming that the steel that you assume is being used to make bracelets in China, is actually made in China - do you know any of that for certain?

Your entire argument here is built on assumptions that you have no evidence for...as you admit below...

as for solid proof, I am not privy to Swiss watchmaking industry secrets,
which is why I asked a simple question from you who have me at a disadvantage,
what is the origin of the thousands of omega branded parts you receive I can't find 'Swiss Made' on, but am charged accordingly?
News for you mate - virtually none of the parts inside or outside a watch have markings on the part referring to their country of origin. So every wheel, lever, spring, etc. doesn't have the country of origin marked on the part. There is no reason to, because it is a part of a whole, and that is what the laws refer to...

In the end this all comes down to trust. You clearly don't trust Omega to maintain quality standards with parts being made somewhere other than Switzerland. If that's your stance, then there's little anyone can say to convince you otherwise.

Cheers, Al
 

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When you are on the official Omega website, click on the little magnifying glass and do a search for Swiss made. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the little Swiss made icon. I hope this helps.


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So, which is it....? All Swiss or not ?!


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So, which is it....? All Swiss or not ?!


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Well, from my perspective, that suggests the entire watch, including the bracelet/strap. That's how I read it, anyway.
So, I've seen the Omega bracelet links with MADE IN CHINA on the packaging.
I assume Omega doesn't class the bracelet as part of the watch, then? :think: But, it does state, every part!!!
 
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