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I wanted to get everyones opinion on movado watches. What do you all think about them? yes they have quartz movements. yes they might be overpriced. But all in all what do you all think of them?
There are some watches from Movado that I find attractive while there are others I would not buy. I can't really come up with a single opinion about all Movado watches however. If you see believe Movado watches to be over priced then you should move on to other brands.
 

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I kinda think that the brand has lost its way. A lot of flashy trashy fashion watches, but still some nice timepieces to be found. Now that their parent company controls half the Swiss watch market, it would be nice to see them pare down their offerings and rebuild the brand as a mid-high market, high-design purveyor of quality watches.

i really like my own Movado. It's a perfect dress watch when my IWC would be unappreciated.

 

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They owned Zenith for a while in the 1970s. A few models are exactly the same except for the dial brand. In fact I have a cool but overly polished zenith with a bracelet that is just a little too short whose movement broke, and I found cheaply the exact same movado in nice unpolished and working condition for little money. A handy friend will swap the dial of the broken zenith in the movado, and i will combine the bracelet links.

 

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I kinda think that the brand has lost its way. A lot of flashy trashy fashion watches, but still some nice timepieces to be found. Now that their parent company controls half the Swiss watch market, it would be nice to see them pare down their offerings and rebuild the brand as a mid-high market, high-design purveyor of quality watches.
Their parent company owns half the Swiss market? I'm sure they wish that were true. But it's not even close.

The Movado Group is quite successful, but not nearly on the same scale as Swatch or Rolex in terms of commercial turnover. The group is responsible for inexpensive fashion brands (they call them "licensed" brands), which are generic (often Asian) watches marked with the logo of a fashion label. To me, that's what makes a fashion watch.

Their mid-line brands are Movado and ESQ by Movado.

The Movado Factories company was first established in La Chaux-de-Fonds, but rather early on moved to Biel/Bienne. (Omega tells the same story.) They were a full manufacture for some of their watches. In the 1960's, they merged with Zenith and Mondia to create the holding company MZM, which the coincidentally named Zenith Radio Corporation of America bought in 1971. That was somewhat of a disaster for those three companies. Mondia didn't survive it, and really wouldn't have survived the quartz crisis anyway, as a maker of relatively cheap watches that were displaced by cheap Asian quartz watches in the late 70's. When the renamed Zenith Electronics Corporation sold off MZM in 1978, Paul Castella of Dixi Machine bought it. He kept Zenith, but in 1982 he sold what was left of Movado to the North American Watch Company, which at that time imported a range of high-end Swiss brands, and also owned the Concord Watch Company (of Biel/Bienne). NAWC eventually, in the late 90's, renamed itself formally as the Movado Group. In 2004, the group bought the venerable Ebel Watch Company. MGI is still headed by Grinberg's son Efraim and it is publicly traded (with symbol MGI).

MGI thinks of Concord and Ebel as their premium luxury brands, though they have moved them down-market from their high-end positioning half a dozen years ago. They are still haute-de-gamme watches that fully earn their retail price point despite often being available for much less.

Movado is their namesake brand and they market it as a middle-class aspirational brand, primarily in the USA. All Movado watches are Swiss.

Gerry Grinberg, the founder and boss at NAWC (until he retired in 2008), greatly admired the Nathan Horwitt museum dial, and that was one reason he sought to acquire Movado in 1969 (Zenith got there first) and again in 1982. He believed that the museum dial fit the American aspirational zeitgeist for those in the market for a watch priced in the hundreds of dollars. He was right, even if that emphasis on the museum dial makes them less interesting to enthusiasts. Even so, a museum dial watch is an important design milestone in the history of watches, and one example could easily find a home in even the most prestigious collection. Most Movados are quartz-powered, but they do offer some mechanical watches (and some connected smart watches). Most of them explore style ideas, but surely that is just as true for many brands priced at all points of the spectrum.

In addition to the examples above, they have made excellent re-editions of past watches at times. That HS360 above was reissued in 2013. The Zenith movement in the HS360 is no longer available to Movado at any price, and in fact there are very few chronograph movements that are. They didn't want to use a 7753 (and I don't think Sellita has made a 3-6-9 subdial version of their SW-500), because it is too thick for this case. And so they used the only chronograph movement available at a price that fit with Movado's pricing strategy (and please be assured that the same reasoning was used when they used the Zenith movement from their sister company for the HS360, which came out in 1970). So, they used a modular 2894, which is actually an excellent movement, and the module uses both a column wheel and a vertical clutch, in return for the admittedly notchy pushers. At $3000 retail, it could hardly be called overpriced, compared to the market. And if it had a Zenith movement, it would be at least twice that.



So, what's my opinion of Movado? It's an old and respected company (even under current ownership) that makes good, mostly quartz watches in Switzerland and offers them at a price that makes them a middle-class aspirational brand in the USA. Occasionally, they produce mechanical watches fully worthy of enthusiast interest. None of their watches are junk, and they are a profitable company that fully services its products at a reasonable price.

No, they are not like watch companies that still work in their traditional factories, but neither do they try to be.

Rick "a balanced view" Denney
 

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They owned Zenith for a while in the 1970s. A few models are exactly the same except for the dial brand. In fact I have a cool but overly polished zenith with a bracelet that is just a little too short whose movement broke, and I found cheaply the exact same movado in nice unpolished and working condition for little money. A handy friend will swap the dial of the broken zenith in the movado, and i will combine the bracelet links.

Movado did not own Zenith. The MZM merger was horizontal, and Zenith controlled the finances--all stocks of former companies were merged into MZM stock, and Zenith also provided some cash. The resulting chairman of the board was Jean-Pierre de Montomollin, who was the head of Zenith, and Rene Gugger, also at Zenith. After the acquisition by Zenith Radio Corporation, the director was Daniel Reisenbach, formerly of Mondia. As a result of the formation of MZM, Movado's and Mondia's manufacturing factories were shifted to commercial time-keeping systems (e.g. timeclocks) and all manufacturing of watches was moved to le Locle. The result of these efforts was an improvement in the fortunes of the three companies, but not enough to ensure financial stability. They had already borrowed from the banks as much as they could, and they determined that they had to shop themselves to a new investor. SSIH, their first stop, wasn't interested. Going with Zenith Radio was probably a desperate necessity, though the treatment was almost worse than the disease.
 
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They owned Zenith for a while in the 1970s. A few models are exactly the same except for the dial brand. In fact I have a cool but overly polished zenith with a bracelet that is just a little too short whose movement broke, and I found cheaply the exact same movado in nice unpolished and working condition for little money. A handy friend will swap the dial of the broken zenith in the movado, and i will combine the bracelet links.

Love the retro styling..
 
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