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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.



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...



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...



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
Swiss standards I may have anywhere I like, what I can't do is stamp 'Swiss Made' on what I make,
nor charge the corresponding premium for it, which is what this conversation is about.

I mentioned they fall off and poor assembly of assembled parts, some of which I mentioned by name.
quality is not a design decision and many decisions that are, are made taking into account the means of manufacturing,
no means to do something one way or to guarantee quality of said work means you make a difference decision,
where, by whom, and by what means, is taken into account in every decision.

it is how many, and not 'if' mistakes happen, that was my point,
again, together with the quality and type of work being done in context of pricing.
the work being done is not up to the perception attributed to '' Swiss Made ' for the price point,
we simply don't agree on the representativeness of numbers.

oh yes, I know it well,
and, as, I surmised, you do a lot better,
what we are talking about is not the end-material falling in/ out of tolerances,
but whether those tolerances fall within the range of a premium product,
and not if the steel is, as you put it, 'fine'.

yes, I am assuming it is being made in China, as I'd find it a bit odd if it was being made in Switzerland and omega simply neglected to include 'Swiss Made' on it.

which leads me to the point I admitted below having no evidence for, and not the one you attribute lack of evidence to,
since it is not up to me to prove that a bracelet or part not branded 'Swiss Made' has legitimate claim to 'Swiss Made' premium, it's up to the company that charges it:
not marked on the inside, not marked on the outside, not marked on the tags /package or whatever else it comes with /in,
so, the answer is, you have no idea what their provenance is, am I correct?
they are not part of a whole when they are separately purchased, nor does Omega consider bracelets, buckles, straps, or any element peripheral to the watch as part of the whole.
the context of this thread is the cost of parts purchase separately from the whole being able to claim the 'Swiss Made' premium,
and not if the watch is worth the cost in its entirety,
so, again, provenance of individual parts, assembled, as in case of a bracelet, for example, or individual, is pertinent to the point,
and not what the law refers to in the objective manner in which you put it.

I don't get all the tiptoeing around my points, as you clearly understand them,
this is only creating loops for no reason.
 

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Please take this photo with a very large grain of salt. I have ordered thousands upon thousands of Omega parts directly from Omega, and not one has ever had a tag on it like that of any kind, with any country of origin on it. Omega parts simply do not come with tags on them like that.

Not denying at all that Omega has some parts made in China, but in my eyes that photo is highly suspect. The person who has that on their site has been trotting that out for several years, and is known to be quite anti-Swatch group. He has sued other watch companies as well, unsuccessfully. To the best of my knowledge he has never provided details of where this part came from.

Cheers, Al
This Omega tag comes from a Nordic Euro country.
I'm in Europe too, with extranet access to their spare parts, and many of these do come with a "non swiss" tag as well. I'd say 50/50.

Maybe there's a difference between Euro countries vs rest of the world.
 

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nor charge the corresponding premium for it, which is what this conversation is about.
Yes, it is about perceived value - these are Veblen goods. As I said early on, if you don't feel they are worth the price being charged, don't buy them. The solution is pretty simple.

quality is not a design decision and many decisions that are, are made taking into account the means of manufacturing,
Quality is very much a design decision. It is designed into both the product and the processes that make the product. You appear to have the old idea of what quality means and how it is achieved, which is by way of inspecting and sorting good from bad. You can't inspect quality into a part...it has to be there from the design and manufacturing of the part. This is why the old notion of QC (quality control) has been QA (quality assurance) for decades. They are not the same thing at all...

the work being done is not up to the perception attributed to '' Swiss Made ' for the price point,
That is your opinion.

I don't get all the tiptoeing around my points, as you clearly understand them,
this is only creating loops for no reason.
This whole discussion is one big loop. You can argue with me for years and it won't make any difference - I'm just a watchmaker and I buy parts from Omega, but that's where my relationship ends with them. I don't work for them - I am an independent watchmaker.

Ongoing discussions with you regurgitating the same tired arguments over and over again is going nowhere. If you goal here is to have endless discussions that have no results, then you are on the right track. If you want to make a real impact, talk to Omega, or vote with your wallet - those are your best options.

Good luck.

Cheers, Al
 

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This Omega tag comes from a Nordic Euro country.
I'm in Europe too, with extranet access to their spare parts, and many of these do come with a "non swiss" tag as well. I'd say 50/50.

Maybe there's a difference between Euro countries vs rest of the world.
What sort of parts specifically?
 

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Yes, it is about perceived value - these are Veblen goods. As I said early on, if you don't feel they are worth the price being charged, don't buy them. The solution is pretty simple. /, are made taking into account the means of manufacturing,
Al, a little clarity on Omega’s end would help. They should makea a statement “certain parts in this watch are made in China with “Swiss Standards”, but we will charge you as if every part of this watch was made in Switzerland.
 

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Quality is very much a design decision. It is designed into both the product and the processes that make the product. You appear to have the old idea of what quality means and how it is achieved, which is by way of inspecting and sorting good from bad. You can't inspect quality into a part...it has to be there from the design and manufacturing of the part. This is why the old notion of QC (quality control) has been QA (quality assurance) for decades. They are not the same thing at all...
had you quoted my response in its entirety,

'I mentioned they fall off and poor assembly of assembled parts, some of which I mentioned by name.
quality is not a design decision and many decisions that are, are made taking into account the means of manufacturing,
no means to do something one way or to guarantee quality of said work means you make a difference decision,
where, by whom, and by what means, is taken into account in every decision'

which was in answer to

'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'

which was your reply to (had you again quoted my argument in its entirety)

'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',

you would see a different picture of what I was referring to in your quote.


paying attention and keeping arguments in context goes a long way into cutting to strictly necessary size 'Ongoing discussions with you regurgitating the same tired arguments over and over again'
you weren't compelled to engage in conversation,
if you decide to, at least keep to proper form.
 

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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. [...]
Just a quick reminder that the Swiss after WW2 were the Chinese of today. Cheap labor (in the Swiss case, from the dirt poor Jura region) driving established high quality watch makers out of the market. You wouldn't have wanted to confuse a cheap Swiss watch with a good American one, just like you didn't want to confuse a cheap German article with a good British one a hundred years earlier. Did the labeling help? Not so much. In both cases the meaning pretty much reversed.
 

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Just a quick reminder that the Swiss after WW2 were the Chinese of today. Cheap labor (in the Swiss case, from the dirt poor Jura region) driving established high quality watch makers out of the market. You wouldn't have wanted to confuse a cheap Swiss watch with a good American one, just like you didn't want to confuse a cheap German article with a good British one a hundred years earlier.
I am aware, yes, and, of course, agree, make it 'some years after the end of WW2'
but then, the Swiss of the time weren't charging us the amounts the Swiss of today are, nor were they hiding the provenance of their work to make the prices stick.
 

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And another quick reply, regarding the steel example: there are cases where the detailed composition does make a difference, for steels that meet the requirements for the same category, say 316L. For example, for laser welding, small differences, well within the specs, for nickel versus chromium content can significantly change the (minute) ferrite content and thus the propensity to hot cracking.
Another example why you shouldn't blindly trust labels.
 

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I don't know that with as much detail as you do, but I'm glad to see someone with greater knowledge not simply shrugging off the matter.
at the price point omega is positioning itself,
and considering how omega and the swatch group as a whole are navigating the possibilities offered by the global market,
some questions are no longer satisfactorily answered by marketing and legalities.
I wouldn't bother with any of this did I not want to be back loving the brand in a carefree manner, but, as it stands, I think omega needs some tough love not to derail, that 's all
 

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And another quick reply, regarding the steel example: there are cases where the detailed composition does make a difference, for steels that meet the requirements for the same category, say 316L. For example, for laser welding, small differences, well within the specs, for nickel versus chromium content can significantly change the (minute) ferrite content and thus the propensity to hot cracking.
Another example why you shouldn't blindly trust labels.
Yes, anyone who knows anything about steels understands that "316L" is not terribly specific.

If you are claiming that Omega blindly trusts labels, and has no clue what the actual composition of the steel is that is used in their own products, then I suggest you would need something to back that claim up...
 

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Al, a little clarity on Omega’s end would help. They should makea a statement “certain parts in this watch are made in China with “Swiss Standards”, but we will charge you as if every part of this watch was made in Switzerland.
Yes, that is a great marketing approach...o|

I'm not Omega and I don't represent them here, so if you don't like what they are doing, let them know directly.

The point I've made all along is that given the number of parts that I see (which is a lot compared to most here) there just aren't that many quality issues, no matter how much some want there to be. I've been given one single example of a quality issue of a logo coming off a clasp. It's not a great thing to have happen, but it's hardly the end of the world.

I do recall the last one I had since I started replying in this thread - it was an hour hand for a vintage style Seamaster 300 (166024) that wasn't properly formed, so the tip of the hand wasn't there. Not a big deal to me although it was annoying to find it just as I was about to install the hands so it created a delay in finishing the watch. It didn't get caught in the manufacturing process, but it didn't make it to the customer as I am the final control. Someone will surely blame this on the the part not being made in Switzerland (even though it was made in Switzerland) because there is a myth that the Swiss are perfect.

Here is some Swiss perfection for you...



In the end we all vote with our wallets - if you don't feel you are getting your money's worth, don't buy the watch. I do that every day with lots of watch brands that I don't feel offer the value they should, because I don't expect them to change just for me any time soon.

Cheers, Al
 

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It's always 9 o'clock somewhere...

In regard to your question, Al, that was 'you the customer', not 'you the manufacturer'. Hopefully this makes more sense in the context of this thread.
And I totally agree: everybody should know their stainless steels!

Regarding the topic of this thread, I don't know what the magic about Swiss watches is. Maybe they are a bit like sausage: you might be happier with the product if you don't know what goes into it.
 

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There are good points brought up on both sides of this discussion. It's refreshing to see that an idea can be debated with civility, and not turn into a mud-slinging match. This is exactly why I love the OMEGA community...this environment is very conducive to learning.

I don't really have anything to add to the discussion, but I just wanted to say that this gave me a good chuckle...

Maybe they are a bit like sausage: you might be happier with the product if you don't know what goes into it.
René
 

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It's always 9 o'clock somewhere...

In regard to your question, Al, that was 'you the customer', not 'you the manufacturer'. Hopefully this makes more sense in the context of this thread.
And I totally agree: everybody should know their stainless steels!

Regarding the topic of this thread, I don't know what the magic about Swiss watches is. Maybe they are a bit like sausage: you might be happier with the product if you don't know what goes into it.
Haha - I didn’t even spot the ‘extra’ 9, I thought the issue was the misaligned crown in the rehaut....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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It's always 9 o'clock somewhere...

In regard to your question, Al, that was 'you the customer', not 'you the manufacturer'. Hopefully this makes more sense in the context of this thread.
And I totally agree: everybody should know their stainless steels!

Regarding the topic of this thread, I don't know what the magic about Swiss watches is. Maybe they are a bit like sausage: you might be happier with the product if you don't know what goes into it.
Apparently it's 9 o'clock quite frequently in Switzerland...:D

So this thread appears to be a jinx - I was replacing a worn out 4th wheel on a Cal. 563 over the weekend, and the new one was faulty right out of the package. The pivot is bad:

15324124


At first I thought it was broken, but it's malformed - it almost has a slightly melted appearance in real life:

15324131


As much as some would want really this to be a made in China part...well sorry to disappoint.

So a part or two every 5 years is certainly something I'm not very concerned about.

Cheers, Al
 

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Yes, that is a great marketing approach...o|

I'm not Omega and I don't represent them here, so if you don't like what they are doing, let them know directly.

The point I've made all along is that given the number of parts that I see (which is a lot compared to most here) there just aren't that many quality issues, no matter how much some want there to be. I've been given one single example of a quality issue of a logo coming off a clasp. It's not a great thing to have happen, but it's hardly the end of the world.

I do recall the last one I had since I started replying in this thread - it was an hour hand for a vintage style Seamaster 300 (166024) that wasn't properly formed, so the tip of the hand wasn't there. Not a big deal to me although it was annoying to find it just as I was about to install the hands so it created a delay in finishing the watch. It didn't get caught in the manufacturing process, but it didn't make it to the customer as I am the final control. Someone will surely blame this on the the part not being made in Switzerland (even though it was made in Switzerland) because there is a myth that the Swiss are perfect.

Here is some Swiss perfection for you...



In the end we all vote with our wallets - if you don't feel you are getting your money's worth, don't buy the watch. I do that every day with lots of watch brands that I don't feel offer the value they should, because I don't expect them to change just for me any time soon.

Cheers, Al
I did not give you '>one single< example of >a< quality issue of >a< logo coming off >a< clasp',
I used the plural, as it is not an isolated case but a recurring defect in either manufacturing or design not according to manufacturing capabilities.

I assumed you would remember, as you replied with an interesting post:


another recurring issue, and again not an isolated case:


the 'double 9' air king, on the other hand, is an isolated defect /QC issue,
and of a very different nature there is no shortage of omega examples.

still, none of the above is to the point:

as you argued for Chinese industry, good things can, obviously, be made there.
as an example, 'Proxima' is unapologetically Chinese, gets glowing reviews from customers over products and customer services both,
is often compared to brands several times more expensive, and, which is the point here,
'Proxima' s price point is sub $300.
this is the price bracket for Chinese watchmaking, fine as it may be,
not the around.. 15x that? over? which is omega's current average price.

this is, of course, not a direct comparison,
the complexity of movements and some parts used by omega would greatly add to the cost,
(although not many, as can be seen by the plethora of nigh-perfect clones)
but, since most components do have common characteristics, such as the materials used,
this is a fair benchmark for how the watchmaking industry in China prices its materials (sapphire, 316L steel, ceramics, other) and industrial capabilites.

'every part of an omega watch is made in Switzerland' is not 'Swiss Made' as legally defined, hence, not a 60% result of an equation,
nor marketing, as it simply is not true regardless of view point.

the Swiss, same as anybody else, don't make perfection,
what they do is having a track record of making watches that gained title to a certain price point 'designed in Switzerland, made in China' did not,
and only a gross misrepresentation of true provenance is allowing omega to price itself as it does while relying on an industry and workforce that price themselves much, much lower.
 

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I find that 'double 9' Air King pretty hilarious. As is Archer's melted-off little wheel. Did somebody (tiny gnomes making tiny parts?) play with laser swords again at the Omega faciilty? (I know, I know, the word is 'light saber'...)

Regarding the reference in the last post to the state of the art of Chinese watchmaking: they do make $60k tourbillions. They've also put somebody into space. Switzerland? Not so much. (Sure, a watch.)
 

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Regarding the reference in the last post to the state of the art of Chinese watchmaking: they do make $60k tourbillions. They've also put somebody into space. Switzerland? Not so much. (Sure, a watch.)
using industry and labour of the same nature omega does?
also, please note I haven't once defended the Swiss, nor is this Swiss vs. Chinese watchmaking,
I am talking about provenance deserving the price of admission.
if customers are happy paying omega prices for 'Made in China' or 'designed in Switzerland, made in China' they are well within their right, of course,
but do you feel that is what's happening?
 
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