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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found that quartz movements can be very cheap Esslinger.com sells many types of brand name movements. So a $20 movement in a $150 or $200 watch, or $30 in a $500 watch? Some China movements are a couple bucks each. I just bought my wife a $7.88 watch at Walmart and the second hand lines up with the indices.
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Anyway I have been waiting for a new Citizen Eco Drive that I got new for under $80 shipped. It has the E101 movement with 295.51 capacitor. Esslinger lists it for $45.95. Granted the rechargeable cell is $21 by itself but still that is more than half the value of the watch.

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So I wonder how many other affordable watches have as high a movement to watch value ratio.
 

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Not sure about quartz, but in terms of automatic movements, you cannot beat the mov't-to-watch cost ratio of Infinity$. (Orient movements are simply not available for sale).

I really, really don't think that trying to maximize the mov't-to-watch price ratio will in any way get you a good watch or a good deal.
 

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And your point is¿¿??



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Not sure about quartz, but in terms of automatic movements, you cannot beat the mov't-to-watch cost ratio of Infinity$. (Orient movements are simply not available for sale).

I really, really don't think that trying to maximize the mov't-to-watch price ratio will in any way get you a good watch or a good deal.
Orient movement are available for sale.
 

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But the price of each movement from Esslinger isn't the price the watch manufacturers pay, so estimating a watch's value based on the prices on Esslinger is inaccurate. I doubt it costs Citizen $67 to produce the E101 movement and capacitor, for example.
^^ This ^^. Have you ever priced car parts? To build your car from OEM parts would easily cost five to ten times what a dealer sells a whole car for new, and that's not including labor. That's why chop shops are so profitable. Even a used car is worth far less than the sum of its used parts.

The volume price of a regular Miyota 2135 or Seiko PC32A is a couple of dollars at most. I doubt the regular, three-hand, Eco Drive calibers, cost Citizen more than $10-$15 each, maybe less.

Try going to the Meranom site and building a Classic Amphibia from parts. Keep in mind that their parts are priced as close to cost as any in the business.

Case - $24.90
2416B movement - $39.00
Hands - $6.00
Dial - $5.90
Bracelet (420 18mm) - $28.00

Total = $103.80 (no labor costs included for assembly)
New Amphibia Classic - $73.00
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
But the price of each movement from Esslinger isn't the price the watch manufacturers pay, so estimating a watch's value based on the prices on Esslinger is inaccurate. I doubt it costs Citizen $67 to produce the E101 movement and capacitor, for example.
Sure they get it cheaper - they may be the ones making and selling to Esslinger with a good margin - by the way the $45.95 E101 includes the 295-51 cell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^^ This ^^. Have you ever priced car parts? To build your car from OEM parts would easily cost five to ten times what a dealer sells a whole car for new, and that's not including labor. The volume price of a regular Miyota 2135 or Seiko PC32A is a couple of dollars at most. I doubt the regular, three-hand, Eco Drive calibers, cost Citizen more than $10-$15 each, maybe less.
I don't know the wholesale prices or manufacturer cost so I am comparing the retail ratio here for this analysis. In your car analogy how much is engine cost compared to chassis or body cost. Many parts are outsourced and many are in house. If it is cheaper to make it themselves they make it themselves. Some of the new watch movements have many more complications and features - they are produced on a board much like computer chips or cell phones. The cost per complication comes down dramatically as the price for the watch rises. Also automation now plays a larger part. They don'y have the labor costs of hand assembled mechanical movements. They don't need the jewels to get long life out of quartz movements. So quartz to mechanical parts is somewhat apples to oranges but the ratios of movement cost to assembled cost might be interesting to find out, if they can be accurately determined. Swatch has a completely machine assembled 51 movement they sell at relatively high prices that probably costs them pennies to make although there was high development costs no doubt. Engineering and design costs on affordable watches are made back over time and volume and cross platform use. Car manufacturers are using world design platform to increase profits. Timex uses the same movement in a wide range of styles and colors so the ratio there may be lower.
 

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With the exception of determining the floor for a retail price, I sincerely doubt that the component costs of the watch play heavily into the calculated retail, meaning there is no particular multiple of costs. It's a purely capitalistic market where the retail is what the consumer is willing to pay. I'd bet the retails of the perceived competition for a particular watch play much more heavily in determining a retail price as opposed to the cost of the movement.

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I don't know the wholesale prices or manufacturer cost so I am comparing the retail ratio here for this analysis. In your car analogy how much is engine cost compared to chassis or body cost. Many parts are outsourced and many are in house. If it is cheaper to make it themselves they make it themselves. Some of the new watch movements have many more complications and features - they are produced on a board much like computer chips or cell phones. The cost per complication comes down dramatically as the price for the watch rises. Also automation now plays a larger part. They don'y have the labor costs of hand assembled mechanical movements. They don't need the jewels to get long life out of quartz movements. So quartz to mechanical parts is somewhat apples to oranges but the ratios of movement cost to assembled cost might be interesting to find out, if they can be accurately determined. Swatch has a completely machine assembled 51 movement they sell at relatively high prices that probably costs them pennies to make although there was high development costs no doubt. Engineering and design costs on affordable watches are made back over time and volume and cross platform use. Car manufacturers are using world design platform to increase profits. Timex uses the same movement in a wide range of styles and colors so the ratio there may be lower.
A watch is so much more than just its movement. There are PC32A quartz watches that sell for $15, and ones that sell for $80. A Tissot with an ETA 2824-2 can sell for $350, while other Swiss watches with the same movement may command $3000.

Citizen uses the Miyota 9105 in it's Signature Collection ($600-$900), and Tisell offers them in $200 models.
 

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The movement, which is a large part of the watch forms only a relatively small proportion of the overall watch cost yet somebody has had to produce, stock and sell that watch to the buyer PLUS (hopefully) make a profit while doing so.
 

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The movement, which is a large part of the watch forms only a relatively small proportion of the overall watch cost yet somebody has had to produce, stock and sell that watch to the buyer PLUS (hopefully) make a profit while doing so.
I have a De Motu aviation watch (limited production of 300 pieces only) which cost about 1200€, and the movement apparently costs about 50€ in bulk (Ronda 5030.D gold plated 13 jewels, as far as I know, it is one of the more expensive quartz movements actually). So the innards of a watch make only a small part of the total cost, actually the profit margins and VAT must be over half of the cost of the timepiece, then comes the custom designed fairly complicated case, even the Hirch leather strap costs more than the mechanism, etc etc. It would be interesting to know how much it actually costs to produce a 10000€ Rolex??

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Not sure what the point is meant to be.

If I have a watch where the retail price of the movement is 80% of the cost of the watch, is that a good watch because it has an expensive movement inside, or a bad watch because the case/dial/finishing/etc are all cheap and shoddy?

Conversely if I have a watch where the movement is only 1% of the total cost, is that a good watch because as much money and care went into the other components as you would get on a much more expensive watch, or a bad watch because the movement is junk?

Or is 'price to movement ratio' just a silly thing to focus on...
 

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Movement to price ratio is indeed a slippery slope. This thread could easily go straight down hill.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have a De Motu aviation watch (limited production of 300 pieces only) which cost about 1200€, and the movement apparently costs about 50€ in bulk (Ronda 5030.D gold plated 13 jewels, as far as I know, it is one of the more expensive quartz movements actually). So the innards of a watch make only a small part of the total cost, actually the profit margins and VAT must be over half of the cost of the timepiece, then comes the custom designed fairly complicated case, even the Hirch leather strap costs more than the mechanism, etc etc. It would be interesting to know how much it actually costs to produce a 10000€ Rolex??

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That is a beautiful picture. When you get into the higher priced watches there are more costs associated with image, product placement, James Bond, you know. With Rolex it is brand, perhaps precious metal and gemstones but I think they make a hefty markup. Also dealer costs and service. With the affordable watches such as the one I found at Walmart those added costs are absent. Probably shipped a container load direct to Walmart distribution. Walmart may pay $4 or $5 for $7.88 retail. Guessing. Whoever makes the watch surely counts the cost of every part. $1 movement $.25 battery, $1.50 case strap and assembly. Let's focus on the affordable watches where cost is more critical. Style seems to be a big factor with cheap watches. So those brands I think have the lowest movement to complete watch ratio. I had to sort through hundreds of ugly "fashion" watches to find the gem of a bargain there.
Thinking also some large powerful brands may sell loss leaders to get people loyal to their brand and put smaller watch companies out of business. They give away their image to move people upscale - Seiko comes to mind easing people along up to GS money.
The higher price watches sell image and exclusivity which is strictly the perceived values of the buyer. I think we all understand you don't buy a $10,000 Rolex to tell time as it's primary function.
Affordable watches are bought by people who want to keep track the time/date while working or in school or in places no cell phone is present. Practical. So we should stay focused on the value watches where cost is the main factor for the manufacturer. They must decide where to spend the limited dollars - on the movement to make a long running watch or style to make a case that goes out of style every year. A 50mm case and crystal cost more than a 40mm, one would think, each could use the same movement. I have seem some tiny movements in huge watches. I imagine that would put a severe torque strain and shorten the life of that movement. So does the manufacturer tool up or buy a larger more expensive movement. The low end watch market must be very cut throat. I imagine many of us here at WUS started at the low end of the watch market not realizing how this hobby can enter our lifestyle and strain our budgets. Manufacturers are not ignorant of this so I suspect the low end is seeded with outstanding values. That is what we would like to determine. The most bang for the buck - movement or container.
 
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