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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
NOTE: "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." Various, but probably derived from George Santayana.

I am restoring this original post because Forum Rule 14 and the Moderators require me to and because I failed to heed the quotes above, which I often repeat. I removed the post on January 14 because I believe certain claims by Ginault are--"unverifiable" is the word I'm allowed to use. I have endeavored to review the quality of the watch as built. I make NO representations about the legitimacy or truth of the claims that the watch is Hand Built in America--which is expressly stated on the dial--or that it is Made in USA--as is engraved on the caseback. Caveat Emptor in view of those unverifiable claims. Depending on how Ginault responds to these questions of provenance--if ever it does--I want this community to know that I reserve the right to pursue the matter with Ginault.




  1. Perhaps this is best suited for the dive forum, but F71 is home to me, so here's where I'm sticking this. I'd put it in the BSHT thread--where else would you review a Sub homage?--but it'd get lost there in about four minutes.

    Classic Sub Smackdown: Rolex Sub 16610 vs. Ginault OCEAN-ROVER 181070GSLN



    At first blush, this is an absurd comparison. The Sub 16610 is iconic, my used copy (16610A, Z-serial) is worth more than I paid for it, and its replacement, the ceramic-bezeled 116610, at almost an Omega more expensive, runs about $8k. My 16610 formerly was a daily wearer, but has seen little wear over the last several years. It has never been serviced since purchased mid-2006. By contrast, the Ginault is a fresh arrival. MSRP is $1299, but I acquired it with a 60% discount due to my agreement to write this review comparing it to the Gen.

    Paid Reviews

    A quick word, right at the outset, about what amounts to a paid review, because the 60% discount sure feels like payment…

    There's an obvious problem with offering a discount for a review. Even if you can avoid bias, there is an appearance of bias, and the additional problem of confirmation bias: Having spent the money, won't I try very hard to find the value in it? I say no, but judge for yourselves.

    Ginault offered the discount to anyone willing to write a review on WUS or post it to YouTube. I chose the written word over video. After having written several negative posts on WUS reacting to Ginault's advertising hyperbole, I chose to buy the watch. I'll leave that decision-making process for another post. I emailed Ginault:

    I would like to review it next to my Gen 16610…. To give you an idea of what I have in mind, here is a review of the comparison I recently wrote of the NTH and OWC as compared to an Omega SMP 2531.80: https://www.watchuseek.com/f71/blue...owc-9411-nth-nacken-vintage-blue-3904130.html. I can't promise it'll be glowing, but it'll be fair and balanced and complete…. I will give the Ginault a place in the lineup along with my 16610, and we will see where the chips fall!"

    Ginault's reply: "Sure thing. We would love to have your unbiased opinion and the comparison review against its big brother the 16610."

    As you can see, I promised nothing but a fair and balanced comparison, and Ginault neither quarreled nor made any stipulations. I promised fair and balanced, and that's what I intend to deliver below.

    Why the Comparison?

    Ginault is the one who likens the Ocean-Rover to the venerable 16610. In his advertising, he says,

    "It is actually very hard to make a classic 16610 Submariner homage so close to the original blueprint. The level of technical and production maturity required to pull this off is beyond many people's expectation.

    … Ocean-Rover is a product line to showcase the experts and Submariner lovers in the horology world of what we can achieve. The idea is to take on all the production challenges that most homage Submariners face and strike them head on. We decided not to take an easy way out by changing out hard to make parts with simple and cost effective substitutes. … [W]e know we are going to hit the bulls eyes when it comes the build qualities of our watches. We known an equal quality built to the original 5 digit Submariner homage [i.e., the 16610] that delivers the same balance in aesthetic, performance and durability, and beauty in craftsmanship will appeal to those of whom seeking for the best Submariner alternative." https://www.watchuseek.com/f74/clas...inault-ocean-rover-181070gsln-3860842-43.html, Post # 1.)

    Wow. Okay, then. Ginault's putting its $1300 special straight up against the Rolex. Game on!

    View attachment 10467474


    Obvious Differences that Will Be Ignored


    There are some obvious differences. Mercedes hands vs. Swords. White lume vs. vintage-colored lume. Date vs. no-date. To me, they're all welcome changes, because I already have the 16610 and don't want a copy, even if branded differently. They're purely aesthetic choices, and Ginault itself characterizes its aesthetic changes as providing zero design points. Not to say the watch doesn't look good; it does. It's just that those changes don't detract from Ginault's goal of replicating the Rolex.



    A word here on that dirty word of the prior paragraph: When I say, "rep," I don't say it in the sense of manufacturing and selling counterfeit goods. I say it in the literal sense that Ginault points to the 16610 as the model for its Ocean-Rover. It's no surprise that their dimensions are basically exactly the same, crystal height/style aside, and that the bracelets are interchangeable as are, if my measurements are correct, the bezel inserts. Ginault set out to see if he could build a watch that rivals the quality of the Rolex, so I see no reason why some on the forums are trying so hard to defend against the "rep" claim. Ginault's trying to duplicate the 16610, less stylistic changes to which he assigns "zero" design points: "We know we probably would score a zero on design input for the Ocean-Rover series but we know we are going to hit the bulls eyes when it comes the build qualities of our watches." 'nuff said.

    CASE

    Both watches use three-piece designs, i.e., midcase, bezel, caseback. Dimensionally, they are essentially the same. 40mm x 47.5mm excluding crystal. (Ginault's marketing materials at one place advertise 50mm lug-to-lug, but that definitely is overstated). Both feature a mix of brushed and polished facets; crownguards, signed 6.5mm x 4mm crown. With crystal, the Ginault comes in at a hair over 14mm, next to the Rolex, which is about 12.7mm minus the cyclops. With the cyclops included, the Rolex comes in at just under 14mm.

    -MIDCASE: The 16610 is made of 904L stainless, as opposed to the Ginault's 316L stainless. According to my elementary research, 316L has much higher hardness, and therefore has far less scratch resistance. 316L has less nickel, and therefore is far brighter in appearance. So, why use 904L? As I understand it, it's made for use in severe corrosive environments-i.e., salt water-and resists pitting. Reportedly, Rolex adopted it because of corrosion of caseback threds due to salt-water infiltration. If you're not going to wear it in a corrosive environment (I live in the D.C. Metropolitan area, so arguably the 904L would be a better choice!), the difference is irrelevant and the cost difference, as I understand it, is negligible anyway.



    -BEZEL/BEZEL INSERT: However you describe the Rolex bezel assembly, I'll just tell you that mine is the best I own. Doesn't move by mistake, absolutely no slop, pleasing feel and sound. Ginault says it found a gun-barrel manufacturer in Pennsylvania to machine his. This claim, to date, is unverified; however Ginault accomplished it, this bezel assembly is outstanding at the price point. The Ginault is a hair quieter, and a hair stiffer, but that might be attributable to the 10-year age difference. Yet, the Ginault is not quite as good as the Rolex. The stops are a bit less definite and precise, but frankly I'm nitpicking. It's really, really good. Both are 120-click. EDIT: my copy of the Ginault has something gumming up the works. Not sure what, but randomly is pretty sticky. Will investigate.

    Both use aluminum inserts. I'm not here to debate aluminum vs. steel vs. ceramic vs. sapphire. Don't like aluminum? Rip it out and replace it with a readily available replacement in whatever material (and color) you prefer. To my measurement, the dimensions of the inserts are close enough to identical that one should fit the other.



    CRYSTAL

    Crystals obviously differ. The 16610 has a date and cyclops, the Ginault has neither (making the Ginault closer to the 14060M. Both use synthetic sapphire (albeit Ginault insists on identifying it as "corundum," creating an unnecessary conundrum. For those who don't know, for our purposes synthetic sapphire and synthetic corundum are the same thing). What can I say? Sapphire is a good choice, but I'm not going to try to scratch either my Gen or my Ginault to find out which is better, if either. The Rolex has its cyclops; the Ginault, with its domed crystal, has a vintage vibe to match the vintage-colored lume.



    Casebacks are basically the same shape. The Rolex is blank. Ginault chose to include some engraved specs around the back, including, "Made in USA." This claim is unverifiable to date; it has been debated heatedly on these forums, but Ginault has remained silent as of January 15, 2017. I don't know if Ginault meets the exacting specs for a product to bill itself as "Made in USA," but I won't be surprised if Ginault is put to the test on that score.


    DIAL

    DIAL: Both are high-gloss black. Ginault copies the famous four-liner approach of the 16610, albeit with a very cheeky version of the language. Love it or hate it, it's giving you the same information as the Rolex: it's an automatic dive watch. Some dislike the cheekiness of the Ginault, but on the other hand, the Rolex is a bit blustery for many. What the hell is an "oyster," anyway, and what's the deal with "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified"? I'll get to the movements later, but for the moment, it's enough to note that both choices could use some editorial help. Beyond that, let's be real a minute: the Ginault surely owes fealty to the Rolex: it's a maxi-meaning larger indices than on the 16610-so not an exact copy of the 16610, but it's got Rolex DNA through-and-through.

    Other than that, it's worth noting that whereas the Rolex dial reads, "Swiss Made," the Ginault reads, "Hand Built in America." Again, Ginault may have some 'splainin' to do on that score; to date, the claim is unverified and unverifiable.



    INDICES: Both use applied high-sheen, lume-filled metal indices. I don't see any big difference between them. If there's a difference, it's lost on me. If you like applied indices rather than painted, you'll like 'em. With the vintage vibe, I might have gone painted, but Ginault made a design choice and executed it well.



    HANDS: Mercedes vs. Swords. Take your pic. The handsets are very well executed in both cases. I might've put white seconds on the Ginault, or even a sand colored one to match the lume, but only the red is currently available through Ginault (I asked).

    LUME: From what I understand, Rolex uses SuperLuminova on the 16610, but Ginault advertises that it uses Gold Sand obtained from the far reaches of the planet. I'm not wading into that hyperbole, as Ginault's already taken a beating for it. Whatever; it's advertised by Ginault as the equivalent of C3 SuperLuminova. I hope I didn't spend money to get a product that costs more than something that's readily obtainable off a shelf. Perhaps Ginault simply doesn't want to use Swiss SuperLuminova, mere conjecture but perhaps it relates to its stated inability to source Incabloc shock absorbers for its movements, as a result of which it uses a Chinese replacement. More on that below.

    BRACELET

    To me, the bracelet is the sine qua non of a high quality watch. I find them, universally, to be the weak link in the world of so-called affordable microbrands, defined here as those under $1500. I have first-hand experience with Rolex, Tudor, and Omega, plus OWC and Damasko, and numerous others in the sub-$700 market, all the way down to the $100-level. Some may say my standards are unreasonably picky; so be it.



    It's no big deal to get a decent link, and many provide half-links, but the kickers are the solid endlinks (SEL) and clasp. Both of these have nice oyster links. If you can find a difference, you have good eyes. Tight fit; no slop.

    SEL: The big issue with SELs are whether they are molded or machined. Machined is more expensive, and is the process that gives the sharp lines that, to me, are ideal. The Rolex has machined SELs, and they're fabulous. No surprise there. The Ginault also uses machined SELs that obviously are a copy of the Rolex, and indeed they're indistinguishable from the Rolex. I've never seen any approaching the Rolex's at this price-point, and however Ginault accomplishes it, I wish other micros would stand up and take notice. Fantastic. The SELs of both the Rolex and Ginault fit the case perfectly, with only the slightest play and no discernable gaps. If they were any tighter, they'd squeak.​
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    CLASP: On the Rolex, the Fliplock clasp is the weakest link in the whole affair. It's a basic extension clasp, with locking flap, but made of thin stamped metal, and my copy is bent. It's got the micro-adjustables holes, which are useful of course. It's also got some sort of extension arrangement that is hidden that I never understood or used. As far as I'm concerned, it's the clasp equivalent of a vestigial appendix.

    The Ginault uses what I understand to be a copy of the Rolex Glidelock, which I gather is now used by Rolex instead of the version of the Fliplock on mine, and which I've read remains subject to Rolex's exclusive rights. I won't speculate. Whatever the provenance, the Ginault works well, and is super easy to adjust on the fly, without tools, once you realize how it's supposed to be operated (which took me just a moment). It's far better than the clasp on my 16610, albeit Ginault saved a couple bucks, I think misguidedly, by opting not to sign it. The flower logo would look good. Given a choice, I choose the Glidelock over the Fliplock.​
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    Just in case you're wondering, the Rolex bracelet mates to the Ginault head as if they were made for each other….

    MOVEMENT

    Let's get right to the heart of the matter. The Rolex is powered by its in-house 3135. The Ginault is powered by what he calls the Ginault Caliber 7275, reportedly based on the ETA 2824 out of a mix of parts from a variety of sources, all assembled in the USA, but we don't know much more. These are surprising claims because American-made movements, aside from RGM, essentially are a thing of the past and perhaps of the future, but not the present. The Rolex is COSC, meaning it will run-age and service history of my copy aside-at COSC specs, i.e., -4/+6. The Ginault is not COSC-certified, but Ginault sure seems to suggest it's as good as one.

    I'm not a watchmaker, and I've decided not to disassemble a new watch just to see if I can give lie to claims about the movement in what, on the whole, is really a beautifully executed piece. What's the point? I lack the expertise and I choose not to pay the money to a pro to figure it out. According to Ginault's documentation, my copy was measured in six positions over six weeks. After the final adjustment, the Week 6 measurement puts it at -4/+4, which is better than COSC. Time and experience will be a teacher here. But, I can't see any reason to put the Ginault through paces I never put any other watch through. I've trusted all my watches to operate as advertised, trusting that I could rely on the manufacturer in the event of any disappointment. If there's a risk here, it's that Ginault-like any other relatively untested brand-won't meet its service obligations. I have no reason to doubt it'll stand behind its product, but it's proper to note that it's an untested question.

    EDIT: In answer to a question, it appears to me--without disassembly I can't be sure--that although Ginault retains the second stop of the crown, normally used for date correction, there is no discernible "click," so I suspect the date mechanism was removed.​

  4. INITIAL FINAL THOUGHTS

    We'll all come out where we come out on the copy/homage/replica debate. No question where the Ginault took aim. Right at the heart of the 16610. I'd say he hit the mark. If you're just talking look and feel, you can't examine the Ginault side-by-side with the Rolex and think, damn, I should've dropped an extra $7,000 on the Rolex, especially if you got the Ginault for only $518. A steal at that price, no kidding. At $1300, it's obviously a different calculation. Given my experience with used Omega SMP (about $1500), the Tudor Black Bay (the original ETA-powered models are about $2100 and likely falling due to the new in-house movements), plus all the really excellent watches available in that price range, including many really, really good offerings from the likes of Damasko and Stowa etc, I'll have to say value is a personal choice. Beyond that, what I can say is the-unknown questions about durability of the movement and untested customer service aside-the Ginault not only holds its own against my SMP and Damasko DA36 in terms of fit and finish and feel, it really does rival the 16610. Color me surprised, but this thing is really, really good. Other micros ought to take notice of what can be accomplished, especially if the $1300 doesn't hold and ultimate selling price falls closer to the discount offered for reviews.

    UPDATE: JANUARY 15, 2017:
    I am disappointed to report that Ginault has yet to respond to my inquiry into the provenance of the movement. Silence in the face of these legitimate questions, in my opinion, speaks loudly, but I will not speculate--because I am not permitted to speculate--what that silence might mean. I well understand that I agreed to write a review of the watch, but I never promised Ginault or anyone else that I would strictly address the quality of the build as opposed to the legitimacy of the claims that the watch is Hand Built in America or Made in USA, two claims that have specific legal meaning under American law, and which are important to me not only as a consumer, but as a licensed lawyer. I bought this watch to see for myself whether it is as good as it claims, and with the expectation that the advertising, even if exaggerated, nevertheless is true. Ginault has the ability to authenticate its claims, we as consumers have no real ability to verify those claims. It is a shame that Ginault chooses to remain silent for three weeks since posting its announcement over in F74, but that's where things stand, and until Ginault comes forward to open its records to some sunlight, I will continue to reference the claims as "unverifiable" here on this forum, without regard to what action I might take as a consumer. But WUS has interposed itself between me and Ginault as it relates to this post, and my rights are limited.
 

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Knew I forgot something(s)!

Lume shot, with NTH:


Crowns, first position:


Second:


Third:


Rolex winds buttery smooth, just enough resistance to let you know you're doing something. Silent though, no mechanical feeling like a Damasko if you know what I mean.

Ginault honestly feels the same. It does have that date stop on crown, which drives some folks nuts, but not me.

And, both bezels are 120-click.

I did try to remove caseback, but i dont have the right tool and rubber ball trick didn't get it done. Stay tuned.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Lest anyone think me naive, I have emailed Ginault about the "Handbuilt in America" and "Made in USA" claims expressly made on the dial and caseback (and in the watch box). My mistake for not noticing them prior to purchase, as the dial verbiage, if not the caseback and watch box interior, is clearly shown on Ginault's website. With all the other stuff going on, I frankly missed it. Had I seen it, I would've questioned it prior to purchase.

That said, accusations don't often elicit useful facts. I have asked appropriate questions via email, and I hope to get an answer that I can share. For those who don't know, the rules regarding "Made in USA" are available on the FTC website. Easy to find. Way too soon, and way too few available facts, to draw any conclusions as to whether the claims are deceptive and/or whether any deception, if any, was intentional.
 

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In 2017, there is no excuse for not knowing precisely where a movement comes from, at this or any price. I am not faulting you OP but I am faulting the company. If this company want to be taken seriously, it needs to share movement details. Ginault: Tell us what you are using and stop using those evocative superlatives as a substitute for facts.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
No need for the vitriol. Be as skeptical as you like, but Ginault states on its website (which includes a blog), that the movement is made in the USA, albeit it contains a Chinese-made shock absorber (because Incabloc is unavailable to non-Swiss watches), and Swiss-made hairspring and mainspring. Says it right there on the website. I believe the jewels are non-US, too, but couldn't find that part on the Ginault website when I took a quick look. Ginault says the rest of the metal is machined in the US, and that the movement--all of the parts--are assembled and regulated in the US. Whether that meets the standards for Made in USA is a separate question from whether the details have been shared. I think they have been shared; you appear to doubt them.

As for the "no excuses" part, what other watch company can you identify, at any price, that provides the details, up front and without asking, you're seeking from Ginault? I've never seen any mfr give a breakdown of the provenance of all component parts of the case and movement. Ginault, if anything, has provided more details than most. (And, if your answer is "Swiss Made" watches provide it, then my retort is that you need to read the rules about "Swiss Made," because it's quite a lax standard compared to the US standard (although it may recently have changed and tightened.)
 

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Are you affiliated with Ginault? Because in my experience when someone pushes a product this hard. They usually have a vested interest. I work for a massive government department and I see it with IT products. Of course that's for real money. :)
Dude. Really? No. I am not affiliated with Ginault in any way, except that I got a discount for writing. I wrote more than I promised only because I figured the WUS masses would appreciate the comparison I've offered. I am not telling anybody to buy anything, and you're welcome to borrow or buy yourself a Rolex and a Ginault and do your own comparison. I am telling those who care to read my review that the watch is very well built; compares favorably to the Rolex in terms of fit finish and feel, especially considering price; has a movement that, in my view, remains untested and can't be compared by me to the Rolex; that I was unable, for lack of proper tools, to remove the caseback even to look at the movement, but I intend to pursue that; and, I have questions about the Made in USA claim, which I am pursuing.

If you care to send me your Tissell, I'll be pleased to include it in the lineup. I don't have one. I could use a Tiger-Concepts, but that would be silly. Movement aside--again, I don't know whether the Seagull in the T-C compares to the Ginault, and it might be quite similar--the rest of the TC does not compare to the Ginault, much less the Gen 16610. TC doesn't claim to be building 1:1 quality, whereas Ginault does. Thus the comparison I offered.

You're awfully quick on your trigger, you ought to slow down and think.
 

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I wonder if it has the actual date mechanism. When setting the time through 24 hours, is there a point where you can hear the slight click of the date changing? If it does have the date parts, that would be quite telling. After all, why would one go through the trouble and expense of building (or even just assembling) an in-house movement with an unused feature?
The 16610 clicks; the Ginault does not, so without taking apart I can't be certain, but I suspect the date mechanism has been removed, even if the stem has the second stop.
 

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The movement is most likely a TC 2824. The watchmaker claims to assemble it in the U.S., but it's suspected to be mostly Chinese parts. The TC 2824 is very well regarded in certain communities. You can google TC 2824 if you want more information on it.

Since the patents have all expired on the 2824 design, and the movement itself is unbranded, I hope I haven't violated any forum rules by posting the name of the movement used.
You may well be correct, but no need to speculate here. I will pursue a caseback opener and see what I can learn. I will update if and when I can get the thing off. (I've always preferred the populism of the typical casebacks that are easily opened!)
 

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As promised, an update on the Made in USA claim. My question is quoted here almost in full. With Ginault's permission, I have paraphrased his reply (mods, if you want to see a copy of his email authorizing me to post this, PM me and I'll forward it to you.)

Question:

I note that the dial reads, "Handbuilt in America," and the caseback, "Made in USA." … I have a particular interest in the claim, and I am hoping you can provide some information to me.

According to the FTC standard (https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/doc...a-standard.pdf), the claim written on the dial and in the watch box, Handbuilt in America, and the one made on the caseback, Made in USA, appear problematic. Per the FTC, "For a product to be called Made in USA ... without qualification or limits on the claim, the product must be 'all or virtually all' made in the U.S.," meaning the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions. "All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no - or negligible - foreign content."

Questions exist as to the source of the lume and the dial, as the sands are of uncertain source and you write that, "a master dial maker in the United Kingdom who has worked for a famous Swiss watch company specializing in dial production to help us realize this dream." The movement presents another trouble spot. According to your blog post on the movement, "there are still some parts absent of domestic suppliers. Those parts are the hairspring, the mainspring, the red synthetic sapphire crystals also known as jewels, and the shock absorber." The shock absorber, you say, is Chinese: "The three leafs cherry blossom shaped shock absorber is Chinese. It is Wang Jia Ling shock absorber." Further, the mainspring and hairspring are sourced from Nivarox, which I believe to be a Swiss manufacturer. Those three parts are integral to the movement, so I'm wondering what to make of that.

I'd like to wear this watch with pride …. I have watches from many countries, and this one does not have to be "Made in the USA" or "Handbuilt in America," but if it says that, expressly, on the front and back of the watch, and in the watch box, it's important to me that it be correct. Otherwise, the claim should be omitted or altered.

I know the "Swiss Made" claim is subject to very much looser rules, and the US rule is both restrictive and can be hard to discern, but until the law changes (and perhaps it should), I'd like to comply with it. Anyway, I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Answer (paraphrased at Ginault's request, but the paraphrasing was not vetted by Ginault):

Each watch was built and assembled by Ginault's watchmakers.

Caliber 7275 is not a Ginault design, and therefore is not "in house." All parts, except for the hairspring, mainspring, jewels, and shock absorber, were made, assembled, and regulated in the US by Ginault's master watchmaker. Ginault does not claim to make all the other parts, but rather sources them from US providers, and claims they are comparable to Swiss and "way nicer than the Chinese clones." Ginault says, "The end game is to build a brand and watches that will eventually stand shoulder to shoulder with the Swiss giants."

In terms of the dial and watch box, which state, "Handbuilt in America," Ginault denies any intent to deceive or to parse the law; it chose "Handbuilt in America," believing that to be true. It stands by the claim.

As for the casebacks, Ginault states that they are leftovers from its earlier model, the BM1. Ginault tells me it has contacted legal counsel regarding the issue, and will provide replacements if amendment is needed.

So, where do we stand?

I will refrain from offering legal conclusions here, other than to predict that the statements are problematic. The US standard is strict, and I don't know how you can meet it when using no fewer than four integral parts sourced from the Swiss and Chinese. Hopefully it's naivete and not deceit at play here-Ginault was straight and forthcoming with me, but I can't test the facts--and I don't know nearly enough about the company or its principals to offer any assessments, much less firm conclusions. It is telling that Ginault has signaled a willingness to replace the casebacks if necessary. If the dial proves problematic for the same reason, I suppose we'll see what happens. That's a trickier fix…

Meanwhile, none of that legal business discredits the claims regarding the quality of the movement. It would be nice for there to be some way to establish a factual basis for it, but email will never suffice. Sooner or later, I hope, Ginault will open its doors and let someone knowledgeable tour its facilities and make a report. The quality of the crystal, mid-case, bezel assembly, dial, hands, and bracelet are easy enough to assess; it's the movement that remains at issue as far as I'm concerned. As to that issue, here's my thinking: if Ginault really did build its own clone of the 2824, which it can regulate to COSC standards, and which it's assembling in the US of a mix of US, Swiss, and Chinese parts, it's not only newsworthy for the watch geeks of the world, it's also a wonder that it can offer such a thing even at the MSRP of $1299. Sooner or later, some independent watchmaker will get his hands on one of the movements, and then we'll know. Until then, speculation and teeth-gnashing!
 

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Maybe they need that qualifier. I could be wrong but thought the "Hand Built in America" wording is ok. If there was an error made with the "Made in the USA" references, I do not believe it was malicious in any way.
You are free to draw conclusions and beliefs as you like. For my part, the word I prefer is "hope," because I have no sound, rational basis for knowing whether there is malicious or deceptive intent. I do not know that to be true. At the moment, the principals of the company are unknown, the employees are unknown, the sources of parts--except those specifically acknowledged as Swiss and Chinese by brand name--are unknown.

Conjecture--and thank you @perdendosi for your thoughtful words, with which I largely agree--movement aside, the OR is beautiful. If it had a base Chinese clone 2824, it would be worth the $520 I paid for it. But it's MSRP is $1299, and the claim is that it has an American clone 2824, that is "way better" than the Chinese clone, and on par with the "Swiss giants." If they are really building an American clone ETA that can hold COSC standards even if it hasn't been COSC-blessed, that would be newsworthy, no? And if it's a movement hand-built in the US by a "master watchmaker," how on earth are they selling that for $1299? Yet, where's the press? Where's the buzz? There's none. It's just here.

I will maintain my caution until I learn more. Whoever is answering emails over at Ginault with the "JM" signature is polite and responsive and pleasant to deal with. But there is much that still does not add up.
 

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"Deep in the tank"?? Lol. What happens to me and my $580 if the intent of the company is never established - or by some miracle as malicious? Nothing. I go on enjoying a very fine piece - or any of a number of others in my box. This is not life and death here, and I bear zero legal accountability. My hope is that if the construction of the watch doesn't satisfy the attendant legal stringencies, Ginault will show willingness to revise wording on their products as necessary (oh wait, they have already done that?). Just who do you think is going to hold their feet to the fire and determine without a shred of doubt what the intent was? The most that will come of this is an admission of error (if that is warranted) and some corrective action by Ginault. You won't ever get any absolutes about malicious intent and just assuming that is the company's angle is pretty harsh. No sworn affidavits or grand jury involvement. Just my opinion.

Let me remind you of your comments on the F74 thread about not being a "I told you so" sort of person. That's exactly what drips from your comments, in an obtuse way. I love the watch, have no stocks or shares in Ginault and certainly no liability whatsoever. I intend to enjoy it for what it appears to be - a very nicely executed Sub homage.
Excuse me if you thought i was being obtuse. By saying you were deep in the tank, perhaps i should've said you sound like a shill. Enough already.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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More? Okay. "I told you so," was typed in context of a preference for prospective warnings rather than retrospective judgments. Forewarned is forearmed, so to speak. It was not in context of any perceived need, at the time, repeatedly to ask you cut it the hell out. In the latter context, yes, I have told you so about three times now, and i'm hoping the third time's the charm. I have yet to tell anybody "I told you so," with respect to purchasing a Ginault; if ever there is a need, presumably it would be in yet a third context, as in, "you bought it and like it? I told you so," or, "you didn't believe it really said Made in USA on back? I told you so." You get the drift.

You invited more, you got more. Now, please give it a rest.
 

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Let's call this a *bump*. Any commentary from someone who can, um, comment?
Here's the difficulty: as others have said, the Ginault movement looks generic. Merely printing or engraving something on the rotor or plates wouldn't prove anything, but the point is that when watchmakers build something, they tend to show some ego about it. Fancy finishing, sapphire casebacks. That sort of thing. Here, nothing.

As we all know, there's been a lot of heat around here over the Ginault's provenance. Frankly, that heat surprises me. Those who've held one I think uniformly have noted its build quality. The only questions that have been raised about it relate to claims of provenance, which is not surprising given the dearth of truly American Made watches--not just American assembled, but American built with American movements, which the Ginault claims to be. You can argue jingoism all you want; Ginault is playing off of those instincts, trying to make a buck off of them, so it's totally fair game to hold them to their claims.

Let's be clear: if Ginault claimed to be selling watches from asian factories, nobody around here would express much interest or concern over the truth of that statement, because we know that so many of watches come from asian factories. Even the Swiss Made label is getting revamped and tightened, if I have my guess because too many cheap watches were diluting the value of the label.

Made in USA and Hand Built in America are marks that are protected by law, tend to be strictly enforced, and interestingly, historically are tied to BOTH the labor movement and also those who tend to vote against the interests of the labor movement. If you're American, you know what I'm talking about; if you're not, you might be surprised at the way in which those groups intersect around patriotic issues. Ginault walked right into the middle of that heated space--knowingly or not--and it's no surprise to any American here on WUS that it's invited scrutiny.

Ginault has made some big claims in support of the sale of its watches, it's trading off those claims, and unless and until it does what so many others have done--opened its doors and let in some sunlight--it's going to take a beating and, I think, deservedly so. Thus, my surprise at the heat from those who wonder at the scrutiny. I'm not saying everybody has to care--there are larger legal, moral, and ethical issues out there--but disinterest need not translate into disdain towards those who choose to hold Ginault to the truth of its claims.

For example of what I'm talking about: Invited to tour RGM Watch Company! â€" RGM Watch Co. Here's a sample:

This tour will allow you to see this machinery in motion as he demonstrates how we recreate some of the beautiful engraved patterns characteristic of our watches. Witness firsthand how we marry old with new by observing vintage machines working in harmony with modern technology to create unique timepieces.
The tour will also provide the opportunity to view the making and finishing of watch parts and assembly of movements. We will provide our guests time to examine our timepieces. Should you decide to take advantage of this occasion to acquire one of our watches for yourself, we will be offering special show prices for that day only.
 

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Is there anything at all about the movement that doesn't look exactly like a drop in Chinese clone?
That's just it. I have plainer looking Chinese clones, and better looking Chinese clones. Levels of finishing can differ with those, just like levels of finish on the Swiss movements can and do differ.

The Chinese are perfectly capable of producing a rotor or plate finished to the same quality/appearance as a Swiss rotor or plate, and the same is true of anybody, anywhere, with the machinery to do it. To coin a phrase, it's not rocket science.

Perhaps it's time to emphasize: I didn't buy the Ginault because I especially want an American-made watch. If that was what I was after, I'd sell off a bunch of my watches and get one of those RGM 801As (if only they were 40mm!). Like many of us, I have watches from here, there, and everywhere. It personally pains me that there's a whiff of racism around this issue; as far as I'm concerned, the issue primarily concerns honesty, and secondarily concerns interest in a resurgence of American manufacturing (which has been on a downward slope for a long time now, but I'll leave debates over labor economics and globalism for another place).
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Gave a lot of thought to the time that's passed since Ginault posted its original thread and solicited, with the help of significant discounts, the posting of numerous "review" threads by me and other early purchasers. Significant questions abound about the provenance of the watch and honesty of the advertising claims, and those questions are being met largely with silence under circumstances where the manufacturer could readily dispel doubts. I decided to meet the manufacturer's silence with my own, so I replaced my original post and deleted all of my posts regarding this watch from all of the threads where I took the time to comment. May have missed one or two along the way, and can't delete posts that have been quoted by others, but it's the best I can do to roll back the clock.

Hopefully, the manufacturer will pull back the curtain and substantiate its claims with some sunlight. Until then, I think I'll stay quiet in the dark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
To answer a couple of questions:

1. I exchanged a number of emails with Ginault. Once, I asked about the veracity of the Hand Built in America and Made in USA claims, and Ginault's reply--which it authorized me to share here--was to double-down on those claims, except to acknowledge that Made in USA might be a stretch and they might be making new casebacks. That answer did not come with any evidence other than bare assertions of veracity; instead, Ginault said it was "preparing a draft here to answer many of these questions to post later on WUS." That was on January 10, and by that date the questions of provenance had been percolating, and indeed boiling here on WUS, for almost 3 weeks.

A few days ago, I emailed to ask whether the Ginault movement might be the same as another alleged American-made ETA clone, but to date have not received any response. So, yes, @Cafe Latte, I have asked for clarification. Perhaps I will receive it; perhaps not.

2. @Hornet99, yes, doubts about provenance and honesty of advertising were present from the outset. Anyone who knows much of anything about the watch industry knows how unusual it is to find a watch that claims to be Hand Built in America and/or Made in USA due to the stringency of those requirements. I bought a Ginault because of, not despite, those claims, because I wanted to see for myself. The watch itself only invites more questions; it doesn't answer any. I had hoped those questions would be answered, but they haven't yet, and I find that disconcerting.

3. So, why did I delete my posts? Couple reasons:

first, I choose not to be placed into a position by Ginault where my honest assessment of the quality of the watch could encourage others to buy it, when I, personally, think the claims of provenance don't add up. I don't want to be any part of that.

second, I chose to delete my posts because I let myself get dragged into messy exchanges with adherents of Ginault's claims. I don't come here to get drawn into stupid, pitched battles with folks who don't care whether the advertising is true or not, or choose to give Ginault the benefit of a doubt that Ginault itself caused with its advertising campaign. I choose not to accept at face value Ginault's claims, and I decided not to perpetuate my role in those heated exchanges. If I could delete those of my posts that others quoted, I would. But I can't, so I won't.

4. @Quicksilver, I'm not going to get into a dispute with you. You're a moderator, and I'm not. There's a power imbalance there, so I can't win. What I can say is, if you think I'm "shrinking into my shell," you don't know me. You can characterize it as you like, but I can tell you that's not my style, and it's not what I'm doing. What I am doing, rather, is withdrawing my support from Ginault until such time as Ginault provides answers to legitimate questions that only it can provide, whether by affirmatively supporting its express claims, or by opening its doors to some other neutral observer to report back to the community. That's the only leverage I have. If you find that "silly," so be it. It's at least not naive.

5. As for whether I'm holding up my end of the deal, that's between me and Ginault. If Ginault wants to have that conversation, that'd make my day.
 
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