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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been wondering this for a while.

Some watch brands that are not known as "Swiss" brands, and not headquartered in Switzerland, still sell (or have sold in the past) watches bearing the "Swiss Made" marker on the watch. 2 brands that immediately come to mind are Bulova and Invicta, although I'm sure there are more.

I don't think Invicta or Bulova have factories in Switzerland, so what's the deal here? Obviously they could buy ETA or Sellita movements and slap "Swiss Mvmt" on the watch but to be truly Swiss Made the watch must be assembled in Switzerland pass QA in Switzerland.

So who is encasing and inspecting these watches? Are they factories that specialize in manufacturing outsourced "Swiss Made" watches?:-s:-s:-s
 

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There are casing factories in Switzerland that can drop a Swiss movement (ETA\Selitta auto or Ronda\ETA quartz, etc), or a quasi Swiss movt (Claro Semag for example, which can be a Chinese with few Swiss parts), into a Chinese made case with CHinese stamped dial, Chinese hands, crown, bracelet. As long as the final screw is tightened in Switzerland and it's "inspected", it can legitimately have Swiss Made on the dial.

Sometimes that is fine and non-Swiss company can make "Swiss Made" watches - see British Chr Ward or Californian Xetum. And sometimes the "swissiness" is stretched to the limit and yet still meets legal requirement - as in case of Invicta.

My suggestion, don't worry about where it's made, but rather judge each brand and watch individually on their merit.
 

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There are 'Private Label' factories in Switzerland just as there are in China. Whereas Hong Kong China has watch broker companies such as Loyal Tact and Full Swing, the Swiss have companies such as Xantia, (which for example used to make Victorianox Swiss Army until a few years ago when VSA either changed factories or brought watch assembly in house).

Hardly any watch brands have their own factories anymore...
 

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Eterna and Corum
 
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Whereas Hong Kong China has watch broker companies such as Loyal Tact and Full Swing, the Swiss have companies such as Xantia, (which for example used to make Victorianox Swiss Army until a few years ago when VSA either changed factories or brought watch assembly in house).
VSA now has one of the largest watch manufacturing facilities in Switzerland.

Hardly any watch brands have their own factories anymore...
Certainly that's true for store and fashion brands, but most Swiss and German brands have their own manufacturing facilities.
 

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VSA now has one of the largest watch manufacturing facilities in Switzerland.


Certainly that's true for store and fashion brands, but most Swiss and German brands have their own manufacturing facilities.
Well 'most' would depend on what we define as a 'fashion' brand. I don't think 'most' of the mid to low tier 'independent' Swiss (eg Edox) or German (eg Steinhart) brands are making their own stuff. And even those that do are probably far from 100%, most volume pieces probably covered by contract. Xantia isn't the only Private Label company in Switzerland, and prior to the move in-house I'm sure everyone believed VSA already was...

BTW do you know what year VSA dropped Xantia? I know it's not a super recent thing, but I wouldn't mind getting an idea on any quality differences between Xantia and in-house VSA watches.
 

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Well 'most' would depend on what we define as a 'fashion' brand. I don't think 'most' of the mid to low tier 'independent' Swiss (eg Edox) or German (eg Steinhart) brands are making their own stuff. And even those that do are probably far from 100%, most volume pieces probably covered by contract. Xantia isn't the only Private Label company in Switzerland, and prior to the move in-house I'm sure everyone believed VSA already was...

BTW do you know what year VSA dropped Xantia? I know it's not a super recent thing, but I wouldn't mind getting an idea on any quality differences between Xantia and in-house VSA watches.
When I said "most", I meant 'major' brands (I should have been more clear), not the little guys like Steinhart, etc., that contract out their manufacturing.

Victorinox started manufacturing their own watches at their own Victorinox facility in Porrentruy, Jura, in 2006, but prior to that they actually owned private label manufacturer Xantia which had previously been doing their manufacturing.
 

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Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
 

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Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
Something like that. But even components of the movement may be sourced from outside Switzerland yet still allow a watch to fulfill legal requirements for the 'Swiss Made' moniker to be applied. There's been numerous threads on this subject.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
There's 4 major requirements

Movement made in Switzerland
50% of the value of the watch from Switzerland (changing to 60% in 2017)
Final assembly (casing) in Switzerland
QA inspection in Switzerland

My impression is that most traditional Swiss watchmakers (not started in last 20 years like Steinhart or Chris Ward, which I assume outsource their manufacturing) actually still do manufacture in Swizterland... Even then non super luxury brands.. Such as Tissot. Is that wrong?


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Discussion Starter #12
Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
There's 4 major requirements

Movement made in Switzerland
50% of the value of the watch from Switzerland (changing to 60% in 2017)
Final assembly (casing) in Switzerland
QA inspection in Switzerland

My impression is that most traditional Swiss watchmakers (not started in last 20 years like Steinhart or Chris Ward, which I assume outsource their manufacturing) actually still do manufacture in Swizterland... Even then non super luxury brands.. Such as Tissot. Is that wrong?


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Let's not forget that there are Swiss Made watches and then there are Swiss Made watches. Just because movements are made in the country does not necessarily entail any meaningful indication of quality. I mean, not all people who run in Kenya can finish a Marathon. :)
 

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Doesn't "Swiss made" mean exclusively that the movement is made in Switzerland, not the case and stuff?
No. It's a somewhat blurred and complicated requirement list, that references Swiss movt, 60% of value, assembly and final inspection
You can try deciphering it here: FH - The criteria for strengthening the Swiss made label

I always find that it's easier to visualize Swiss Made meaning by looking at a specific example.

A very common movement used in many "Swiss Made" affordable watches is Claro-Semag CL-888, which is Chinese Seagull ST16 with enough modification to make the "swiss-made" claim. (although most likely that's just the minimum work creating value-add of 51% in Switzerland). Then the company rebrands movement with its own number\name (ex: Rotary - Calibre R.1002.21, aka CL-888, aka ST16). I view this as deliberate obfuscation - making it very difficult for potential buyer to know what movement they are getting. It's one of the "Swiss\Chinese" movements used in many watches in this segment, like Swiss Legend and others. Has 21 jewels and 36-38 hr power-reserve, with 21K beat rate. Technically it's passes "swiss-made" designation, but....

Legally they meet Swiss Made requirements. But how:
1) take a $20 chinese movement, assemble it in China leaving one screw out
2) take chinese made case, crystal, gaskets, strap
3) ship to Switzerland,
4) throw on one ruby or a spring of swiss manufacture (valued at $30), rename it as swiss caliber and you are set to go with a watch where >60% of component value came from Swiss.
5) tighten one missing screw - now final assembly is done in switzerland
6) shove it into the case and do a quick glance over - now casing and final inspection are done in Switzerland


You got yourself a nice Stuhrling or Swiss legend or whatever, which now meets "Swiss Made" requirements. Ultimately look at brand reputation - "Swiss Made" means completely different things when discussing Rolex\Breguet vs Rotary\Swiss Legend.
 

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newbie n illinois:
On the World of Watches TV show, the host is announcing "henceforth Swiss Legends watches will be made only in Switzerland".
Ive owned most of the brands mentioned and/or pictured on the forum.
Swiss Made may/or may not be, an encompassing expression. I've had Japanese Asian watches that out performed Swiss,. And
the same in reverse order. Even had duplicates from the same manufacturer that varied. I heard a guy say "no 2 things created
equally are equal, not a tree leaf, not a person or any other thing".

X Traindriver Art
 

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No. It's a somewhat blurred and complicated requirement list, that references Swiss movt, 60% of value, assembly and final inspection
You can try deciphering it here: FH - The criteria for strengthening the Swiss made label

I always find that it's easier to visualize Swiss Made meaning by looking at a specific example.

A very common movement used in many "Swiss Made" affordable watches is Claro-Semag CL-888, which is Chinese Seagull ST16 with enough modification to make the "swiss-made" claim. (although most likely that's just the minimum work creating value-add of 51% in Switzerland). Then the company rebrands movement with its own number\name (ex: Rotary - Calibre R.1002.21, aka CL-888, aka ST16). I view this as deliberate obfuscation - making it very difficult for potential buyer to know what movement they are getting. It's one of the "Swiss\Chinese" movements used in many watches in this segment, like Swiss Legend and others. Has 21 jewels and 36-38 hr power-reserve, with 21K beat rate. Technically it's passes "swiss-made" designation, but....

Legally they meet Swiss Made requirements. But how:
1) take a $20 chinese movement, assemble it in China leaving one screw out
2) take chinese made case, crystal, gaskets, strap
3) ship to Switzerland,
4) throw on one ruby or a spring of swiss manufacture (valued at $30), rename it as swiss caliber and you are set to go with a watch where >60% of component value came from Swiss.
5) tighten one missing screw - now final assembly is done in switzerland
6) shove it into the case and do a quick glance over - now casing and final inspection are done in Switzerland


You got yourself a nice Stuhrling or Swiss legend or whatever, which now meets "Swiss Made" requirements. Ultimately look at brand reputation - "Swiss Made" means completely different things when discussing Rolex\Breguet vs Rotary\Swiss Legend.
See it's stuff like this which makes me not want to fork out any extra cash for a "Swiss made" watch. Especially for stuff like the latest micro brand vintage diver with an eta 2824 derivative and is priced at £800, when there's someone else with something near identical and a Miyota 9015 for £400.
 

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I'm surprised Gallet (Swiss) and Grovana (Swiss) who also, for many years have been making Swiss watches for many private label & inhouse brands for companies both in & outside of Switzerland hasn't been mentioned. It may be little more than an accounting adjustment to increase the valuation from 51% up to 60%, but haven't the Swiss watch industries been struggling to compete in this world wide economy for years & years?
 

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newbie n illinois:
On the World of Watches TV show, the host is announcing "henceforth Swiss Legends watches will be made only in Switzerland".
Ive owned most of the brands mentioned and/or pictured on the forum.
Swiss Made may/or may not be, an encompassing expression. I've had Japanese Asian watches that out performed Swiss,. And
the same in reverse order. Even had duplicates from the same manufacturer that varied. I heard a guy say "no 2 things created
equally are equal, not a tree leaf, not a person or any other thing".

X Traindriver Art
Was this your reason for bumping this thread?
 

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I just knew that there are such service provided in Swiss.

I agree then that it is better to appreciate the designer, the brand, the company for their approach than thinking about where it was cased or made in.

If everything is made in Swiss, the price is possibly be skyrocketing and there won't be the affordable swiss brands.

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I'm surprised Gallet (Swiss) and Grovana (Swiss) who also, for many years have been making Swiss watches for many private label & inhouse brands for companies both in & outside of Switzerland hasn't been mentioned.
True, Gallet & Co. have been around for many years. Since purchasing Excelsior Park in 1983, they have kept to the background, making calibers used in many other brands. Who those brands exactly are is a closely guarded secret. Here's their manufacturing facility in Sevelen Switzerland.

document Gallet Lunesa factory in Sevelen Switzerland.jpg

They have put out a handful of limited-release watches in the last couple decades, as well
 
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