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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just today, the Chinese Watch Industry Wiki entry for Cecil Purnell was changed from this:

Cecil Purnell is a new Swiss watch company that makes tourbillon watches using ebauches sourced from the Liaoning Watch Factory.


Links

Corporate site

Cecil Purnell

further discussion

https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=335506

To this:

Cecil Purnell is a watch company that makes tourbillon watches. Despite being in correspondance with "Swiss Made" requirements, there have been rumors that for previous collections, the brand sourced its balance wheel from outside Switzerland with some pointing to the Liaoning_Watch_Factory.


Links

Corporate site

Cecil Purnell

Retrieved from "http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wiki/index.php?title=Cecil_Purnell"
Cecil Purnell - Chinese Watch Industry Wiki

Sad isn't it? o| All the evidence presented in our previous discussions blatantly misrepresented yet again! "sourced its balance wheel from outside Switzerland" What?

Do I detect a vested interest here?

('Watchfann' would you care to comment here?)
 

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Well, in a round about way they have confirmed what was pretty much a given here last go round....

They add 50%, by value, to a Chinese ebauche, to make a "Swiss" movement. They are in conformance with the FHS definition of "Swiss-ness", but that hardly makes a "Swiss" movement.

Further, I bet we now know at least one of the particular parts sourced inside Switzerland to add this 50%, the balance assembly.
 

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Interesting that if I Google "Cecil Purnell" today,



"fully-in house calibre"
 

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...and "the rumor" is based on the fact that at one time the Liaoning Watch Factory website had photographs of a Cecil Purnell branded balance assembly/ebauche in their product listings.
 

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pic that was removed from the Liaoning website for reference. :-! Notice the CP on the tourbillon cage.



cheers,
gigfy
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
"fully-in house calibre"
What happened to "ebauche movement" finished by their own workshop?

Ah, check out their new collection. Those are definitely not Chinese. In fact, they've even got a diagram to demonstrate component-by-component where they're buying from. And it's all Swiss.

So it looks like they used Liaoning ebauches to give themselves a leg-up i.e. massive profit for a modest outlay, in order to bank-roll some genuine innovation. I guess their man Marcel Lachat just had to swallow his pride for a bit in order to get to where he really wanted to be. That's if he's still the main watchmaker. Magma Concept seems to be the partner behind the new design.

Time to sort out the wiki entry once and for all. :roll: Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, this should cover it:

Cecil Purnell is a Swiss watch company with a collection composed entirely of tourbillon watches.


Their initial collection featured what they claimed to be an 'ebauche movement' finished by their own workshops. it has been observed that their movement appears to have been built up from an ebauche sourced from the Liaoning Watch Factory. The reason for this observation is the similarity of general layout, shape of the main plate and shape of the tourbillon mechanism. No Swiss movement manufacturer is known to produce a movement of this configuration, and the Liaoning movement had been in production for several years prior to the establishment of the Cecil Purnell company. For a while the Liaoning corporate web-site even carried an image of a movement bearing the Cecil Purnell signature custom tourbillon carriage.

It is important to note that the use of a Chinese ebauche in no way invalidates the certified Swiss Made status of the resultant watch, provided that sufficient local content is added during assembly. This would certainly be true of Cecil Purnell watches, which in addition to local movement finishing offer their own unique case designs made locally.

At the 2010 Basel Watch Fair, Cecil Purnell debuted an all new collection featuring an in-house design made entirely in Switzerland. Perhaps in response to discussion about their first collection, they have even issued a a brochure that lists the origin of every component in the movement!

Links

Corporate site

Cecil Purnell

Retrieved from "http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wiki/index.php?title=Cecil_Purnell"
The full story laid out. No 'rumours' about 'balance-wheels'. And their fragile ego should be protected by the mention of their new watches.

The debut of the CP3800 closes the Chinese chapter for Cecil Purnell, but I think it is an important story to be told in the context of the wiki, to show some of the ways in which the Swiss and Chinese industries work together. No harm done apart from a slight drop in the resale value of last year's CP watches. That's what you get for investing so heavily in the word 'Swiss'.
 

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Great work Chascomm! I find this is all very fascinating and I'm glad you've been on the case to chronicle the story. I bet this won't be the last time this happens. ;-)

cheers,
gigfy
 

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Just today, the Chinese Watch Industry Wiki entry for Cecil Purnell was changed from this:
Hah. Revert it right back and ban the user for being obnoxious ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hah. Revert it right back and ban the user for being obnoxious ;-)
Well since they forced my hand to lay out the story in detail in the wiki, and A-T's post alerted me to the new developments from CP, which I have also mentioned on the wiki, there's nothing there that any reasonable person could object to is there? ;-)
 

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Rich stuff, Chascomm.

I'd be surprised if the Cecil Purnell brand survives the reputation hit despite the valiant (and likely expensive) attempt to put it all behind them.

So look for a new Swiss makername in tourbillon watches at next year's show. Poor old Cecil will have returned to his grave.
 

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Chascomm made a brilliant find, and the discussions following it by members of this post are of great service to us all. It really sparked an interest in me to investigate it one step further. Amazing how this thread has come back to life.

As some have noted, if you've visited CP's website since last year, you'll notice there's been a make-over. Gone is the flying Tourbillon, now a central axis Tourbillon. I've done some research on the older collections housing the movement in question (no longer on their website but on ebay...), and the fact that Liaoning would post such an image on their website definitely deserves consideration. We all know that counterfeit products pop up everyday (China Town anyone?), but why CP was there especially when the part of the Tourbillon visible on the picture posted by Chascomm (and on Liaoning's website previously) definitely shares a strong resemblance (also a flying Tourbillon...). I've done some research into this, and I'm told there's a good chance certain components (specifically for parts such as the balance wheel) may have originated from outside Switzerland (is this the link?) as they must be bought in very high volumes which would have made it difficult to price a Tourbillon so low relatively to other high end Swiss brand offerings (think of what kind of noise JLC made when they priced their Tourbillon at 30+k compared to common practice which is in the hundreds of thousands). But those same sources have told me off the record that the quality of the movement would have made it very difficult to sell any reliable pieces, and that most components definitely originated in the Jura (gears, main plate and bridge...). Could it be that CP's previous movement is really mostly Swiss, but used only certain Chinese components? Not sure we're ever going to find out the full truth without Cecil Purnell coming out publicly (judging by Swiss brands, seems like there's not much chance of that).

Many of you will have noticed that I changed the wiki site description for Cecil Purnell and the Lianing factory. Whereas doubt as to the origins of their older movement are justifiable (especially since Nikolas' answer was the only one defending CP), I think the new direction is a completely different one and so it shouldn't be lumped together with the older one. These new pieces according to sources were indeed developed with Magma Concept SA (reputed for coming out with movements for top caliber brands). CP also changed their policy on disclosing movement origins and are now transparent, providing these in pdf format on their website. A little late I know, but how many Swiss watchmakers do you find today that do that? Plus, as has been shown in this space or similar ones, the list of brands holding up cards such as "Swiss Made" but with skeletons in their closet is very long. I for one would be hesitant to through the baby out with the bath water.
 

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Well, in a round about way they have confirmed what was pretty much a given here last go round....

They add 50%, by value, to a Chinese ebauche, to make a "Swiss" movement. They are in conformance with the FHS definition of "Swiss-ness", but that hardly makes a "Swiss" movement.

Further, I bet we now know at least one of the particular parts sourced inside Switzerland to add this 50%, the balance assembly.
How many companies do you think use a 51% swiss and 49% chinese movement? CP is hardly unique in this.
 

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How many companies do you think use a 51% swiss and 49% chinese movement? CP is hardly unique in this.
I suspect that those Swiss companies could even make "made to orders" contracts to Chinese manufcturers for their "Swiss" components?o|
If something a Chinese company could make as good as Swiss ones at a faction of the cost, what is the point of them being made in a place where there is a much higher labor cost?:-s
 

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Chascomm made a brilliant find, and the discussions following it by members of this post are of great service to us all. It really sparked an interest in me to investigate it one step further. Amazing how this thread has come back to life.

As some have noted, if you've visited CP's website since last year, you'll notice there's been a make-over. Gone is the flying Tourbillon, now a central axis Tourbillon. I've done some research on the older collections housing the movement in question (no longer on their website but on ebay...), and the fact that Liaoning would post such an image on their website definitely deserves consideration. We all know that counterfeit products pop up everyday (China Town anyone?), but why CP was there especially when the part of the Tourbillon visible on the picture posted by Chascomm (and on Liaoning's website previously) definitely shares a strong resemblance (also a flying Tourbillon...). I've done some research into this, and I'm told there's a good chance certain components (specifically for parts such as the balance wheel) may have originated from outside Switzerland (is this the link?) as they must be bought in very high volumes which would have made it difficult to price a Tourbillon so low relatively to other high end Swiss brand offerings (think of what kind of noise JLC made when they priced their Tourbillon at 30+k compared to common practice which is in the hundreds of thousands). But those same sources have told me off the record that the quality of the movement would have made it very difficult to sell any reliable pieces, and that most components definitely originated in the Jura (gears, main plate and bridge...). Could it be that CP's previous movement is really mostly Swiss, but used only certain Chinese components? Not sure we're ever going to find out the full truth without Cecil Purnell coming out publicly (judging by Swiss brands, seems like there's not much chance of that).

Many of you will have noticed that I changed the wiki site description for Cecil Purnell and the Lianing factory. Whereas doubt as to the origins of their older movement are justifiable (especially since Nikolas' answer was the only one defending CP), I think the new direction is a completely different one and so it shouldn't be lumped together with the older one. These new pieces according to sources were indeed developed with Magma Concept SA (reputed for coming out with movements for top caliber brands). CP also changed their policy on disclosing movement origins and are now transparent, providing these in pdf format on their website. A little late I know, but how many Swiss watchmakers do you find today that do that? Plus, as has been shown in this space or similar ones, the list of brands holding up cards such as "Swiss Made" but with skeletons in their closet is very long. I for one would be hesitant to through the baby out with the bath water.
The baby has already been thrown out. CP did this themselves by the games they played.
Their credibility will never be 100% with anyone who might be interested; they will always be lumped together with the likes of Invicta and other companies that disavowed their product's Chinese content; even when confronted with the obvious.

People do not always forget and there is a large audience of those who will always be suspicious.

Full disclosure from day one could have made CP into a growing company instead of just another mushroom, also ran :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks for dropping by watchfann. Welcome.

Thanks also for prompting me to check out the latest from CP.
Chascomm made a brilliant find, and the discussions following it by members of this post are of great service to us all. It really sparked an interest in me to investigate it one step further. Amazing how this thread has come back to life.

As some have noted, if you've visited CP's website since last year, you'll notice there's been a make-over. Gone is the flying Tourbillon, now a central axis Tourbillon. I've done some research on the older collections housing the movement in question (no longer on their website but on ebay...), and the fact that Liaoning would post such an image on their website definitely deserves consideration. We all know that counterfeit products pop up everyday (China Town anyone?), but why CP was there especially when the part of the Tourbillon visible on the picture posted by Chascomm (and on Liaoning's website previously) definitely shares a strong resemblance (also a flying Tourbillon...). I've done some research into this, and I'm told there's a good chance certain components (specifically for parts such as the balance wheel) may have originated from outside Switzerland (is this the link?) as they must be bought in very high volumes which would have made it difficult to price a Tourbillon so low relatively to other high end Swiss brand offerings (think of what kind of noise JLC made when they priced their Tourbillon at 30+k compared to common practice which is in the hundreds of thousands). But those same sources have told me off the record that the quality of the movement would have made it very difficult to sell any reliable pieces, and that most components definitely originated in the Jura (gears, main plate and bridge...).
That is something I find very hard to believe, that a Swiss company would contract out the local reverse-engineering of an entirely Chinese design (that had already been in production for years) as a stop-gap to bring in an income and generate brand recognition while they were busy designing their own movement. The main plate is laid out in a very distinctive fashion, different from the CP 3800. I think it more likely that the 'frame' components (main plate, tourbillon carriage) and maybe some or all of the wheels were from China (with local finishing) while mainspring, hairspring, probably all the screws, possibly some jewels, and perhaps some other parts, were locally sourced. That would be enough to make enough Swiss raw components by value to be considered Swiss.
Could it be that CP's previous movement is really mostly Swiss, but used only certain Chinese components? Not sure we're ever going to find out the full truth without Cecil Purnell coming out publicly (judging by Swiss brands, seems like there's not much chance of that).
And this is a problem because it encourages a certain defensiveness that is not healthy.

The fact is that CP could have bought an off-the-shelf Swiss tourbillon movement from Technotime, but the result would have been far more generic (less in-house custom finishing) and likely more expensive (meaning they would have been tied to it longer to pay of the development of the CP3800). I think that they made a sensible choice for essentially an interim product (like Rolex using the Beta 21 pending completion of the Oysterquartz), but unfortunately the Big Legend of the Swiss watch industry, which has contributed so much to the survival of the industry there, is a two-edged sword. You mentioned JLC's 'budget' tourbillon. It is indeed frightening for many to see that tourbillons really can be built more affordable than the industry has claimed until recently.

I've no idea what motivated Nikolas's actions. Maybe he had a used CP watch on ebay and feared he wouldn't get enough for it. ;-)
Many of you will have noticed that I changed the wiki site description for Cecil Purnell and the Lianing factory. Whereas doubt as to the origins of their older movement are justifiable (especially since Nikolas' answer was the only one defending CP), I think the new direction is a completely different one and so it shouldn't be lumped together with the older one. These new pieces according to sources were indeed developed with Magma Concept SA (reputed for coming out with movements for top caliber brands). CP also changed their policy on disclosing movement origins and are now transparent, providing these in pdf format on their website. A little late I know, but how many Swiss watchmakers do you find today that do that? Plus, as has been shown in this space or similar ones, the list of brands holding up cards such as "Swiss Made" but with skeletons in their closet is very long. I for one would be hesitant to through the baby out with the bath water.
You will note that I have reinstated the wiki entry with full recognition of where Cecil Purnell is at now. As the entry is relevant only in relation to a specific illustration of how the Swiss Made definition can function with regards to Chinese components, and because it only concerns past events with the Cecil Purnell company, there is no direct link off the contents page. It is not my intention to imply that Cecil Purnell is in any way a Chinese company.
 

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pretty interesting thread. Zodiac also uses some chinese movements that are reworked in Switzerland.
 

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pretty interesting thread. Zodiac also uses some chinese movements that are reworked in Switzerland.
That's another favorite here on WUS. Search for the Claro Semag CL-888 ;-)
 
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