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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Having briefly read a few threads lately concerning the decision by the Swatch group to stop supplying ETA movements to independent companies like Breitling, Sinn, Doxa, etc., by 2010, I have been wondering about the future prospects for the Sinn watch company. I haven't delved deeply into the ETA movement availability issues, stated above, other than reading the discussions which have ensued on this thread on the public forum.

https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?p=238611#post238611

The public forum thread addresses the concerns and futures of the companies which uses ETA movements in their watches. Sinn is one of those companies as we all know.

I would like to initiate a healthy, informative and respectful discussion concerning the Swatch decision and, more importantly, the future of Sinn. I invite any and all members to come by and offer up any information, thoughts, or opinions on how this impending action will affect the Sinn watch company as it approaches and moves into the second decade of this millenium.

Will Sinn have the money and resources to develop and manufacture their own independent Sinn automatic movements for their watches? Do they have the skill or can they find the skilled people to do it?

Will Sinn enter into business with other companies who have already or will be taking steps to develop and manufacture their own movements?

Will Sinn develop partnerships with other German companies to pool their resources to develop their own "German" movements to create a "genuine" "German Made" watch industry and identity and solve their impending movement supply problems?

What about service, approaching and after 2010, for our Sinn watches that use ETA movements?

What about pricing for Sinn watches with the ETA movements as the years fall away and we approach 2010?

Any news or interesting tidbits of info about secret "goings on or thought processes" behind the scenes at Sinn on movement developments?

Is the writing on the wall for the Sinn company and other independent companies?

I would like to take this time to thank, in advance, anyone who respectfully participates in this thread and I eagerly look forward to reading your posts.

Thanks,
Tim
 

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Lots of food for thought there Timothy. My first opinion is that whatever happens prices will rise, purely because of the outlay in tooling, expertise , and etc. that making in-house movements will presumably entail. On the plus side this may bring innovation and higher quality,better performing movements. It will certainly be a period of high interest in the world of the WIS! Whilst I'm here, Happy New Year to all on the forum.:-!
 

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I am not sure that ETA will cease supplying entire movements, too.

They will definitely stop supplying parts kits from which other companies build their own movements, but Sinn won't be affected by that very much.
 

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Hi -

From what I've read, not just here but elsewhere (I read the original doc detailing the anti-trust agreement...) Crusader is right: they will stop supplying watchmakers not belonging to the Swatch group with parts kits and partially assembled ebauches from 2010 onwards.

This dos not affect anyone buying the complete calibre ebauches from ETA, but does mean that if any company wanting to work on the original ETA calibres will first have to buy the complete movement and do whatever disassembly is needed to get to the point where they want to make changes.

JohnF
 

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Will Sinn have the money and resources to develop and manufacture their own independent Sinn automatic movements for their watches? Do they have the skill or can they find the skilled people to do it?

Will Sinn enter into business with other companies who have already or will be taking steps to develop and manufacture their own movements?


Will Sinn develop partnerships with other German companies to pool their resources to develop their own "German" movements to create a "genuine" "German Made" watch industry and identity and solve their impending movement supply problems?

What about service, approaching and after 2010, for our Sinn watches that use ETA movements?

What about pricing for Sinn watches with the ETA movements as the years fall away and we approach 2010?

Any news or interesting tidbits of info about secret "goings on or thought processes" behind the scenes at Sinn on movement developments?

Is the writing on the wall for the Sinn company and other independent companies?
From what I've seen of Sinn, they are a tad small for their own movements. But as I posted elsewhere on this thread, not a problem.

Fundamentally watch companies are faced with several dilemmas: one being their dependence on ETA, which while making fine watch movements is also one that does have virtual monopoly powers; alternative movement makers are problematic from a quality standpoint; and costs will be going up: that is fundamental.

JohnF
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Just a ebauche definition link for those who aren't familiar with watch terms here...>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebauche

So what your saying is that .... in car lingo..."you just can't get an engine block anymore, you have to buy the completely assembled, ready to go, just install and add fluids, engine". Only complete install and go movements after 2010.

Well, that makes sense now. I couldn't understand how Swatch could cut themselves off like that. I mean, they had a virtual monopoly for the European watch industry, except for a small group who have their own proprietary movements. With the almost absolute dependency on ETA movements, that just sounded crazy to me.

I do wonder if, behind the scenes, the German watch industry might be getting together to think about this dependence on ETA and pool their resources to design, develop and manufacture their own "German movements". The entire watch industry in Europe runs on tradition and identity. We've all seen the threads in the other forums on what makes a "Swiss watch" Swiss, and a German watch, German. There seems to be a significant weight given to the fact that the German watch companies wares are "German Made". It might, for the long run, be beneficial to pool resources and establish the most entirely "German Made" watches possible.

With the exception of the sub steel in the U cases and Damasko's unique metal curing processes, no one really knows where the steel was made or where the metals were mined so it was generally assumed that the case steel manufacture point, unless, known and desireable for their purposes, were not to be taken into consideration in determining the "German or Swiss" made distinction. It seems that the location of the company, it's history in the region, it's manufacturing and assembly facilities and the origin of the movement are the factors here. Having their own "German" movements might be a great marketing tool since many seem to be convinced that there is something to German engineering.

A separate identity that will be hard to question might be something for them to think about.

It would be terribly expensive for sure but as mentioned by MAGIRUS, the end result might just be superior to the movements they are replacing.

Tim
 

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I am far from an expert on this topic, but I see the Swatch decision as being good for them and bad for watch consumers in general - in the short run.

Once other companies tool up to compete with ETA, they should focus on putting out better performance movements and/or parts, while maintaining a reasonable price. Monopolies can afford to over charge. It is not so easy to get away with this in a healthy competitive environment. Real foreign competition focussed on making better movements for less money should help a watch market that is weighed down with Swiss watch making history, status, culture, and persuasive advertising causing us to hold a $100 ETA movement (in a $1000+ watch) as being the holy grail of watch movements.

In my opinion, more variety in higher end movements from countries other than Switzerland that can demonstatably outperform ETA's offerings would be a breath of fresh air to a fairly stuffy industry. There is no reason why a Japanese movement manufacturer, or a German one, or many other nationalities, can't do this.

I love watches. I am deeply suspicious of Swiss branding and now, in particular, the Swatch group.

I agree that prices will go up in the short run, but hopefully, prices will drop to below what they are now (after adjustment for inflation), once real competition for the mid to high end market starts up.
 

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This is certainly an interesting thread.

As to the possibility of a German made movement from pooling of German brands and expertise, maybe but to me it is unlikely by 2010. Currently, the German brands like Lange, Glashutte, Sinn etc are too diverse a group to come together. But one never knows, especially, if their very survivor is threatened. Still, some of them of independent watch makers while some others belonged to large companies like Swatch :-d .

But as to Sinn, if the brand really takes off in the next few years, it may get acquired by the big boys like LVMH and Richemont. The story of Panerai basically when it got acquired but very much depends if Lothar Schmidt has plans to sell the company. If acquired, then it can share watch expertise with IWC, JLC etc if it belongs to one of the groups.

The third option is to develop movement inhouse completely or to highly modify ETA ebauches. This is also possible, that does not require to too much expertise, especially the latter. A lot of watch companies from UN to Azimuth does it. The option of developing in house movement is possible, as witness by Panerai, but of course they had some help from the other Richemont group members. The only other one I can think of is Rolex, which has large quantities of watches with in house movements completely.

As to which path Sinn will take, maybe we can ask Lothar Schmidt when we see him in Feb 2007. Meanwhile, happy new year everyone!
 

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i think JohnF nailed it...the sum of all the answers end at cost

for those who use preassemble kits....they will need to go back to the drawing boards and identify another supplier before re-tooling...adds up to cost.

for those who buy complete movements....they dont need to go back to the drawing boards..or re-tool. they need to be prepared for another challenge.... swatch doing aggressive price adjustments to better reflect what it would fractionally cost them to be independent....cost!

for new swiss/european suppliers to step into this new market place?... juice up production right? yes...cost!

i was told by a industry source that eta's delivery time for 775x is now 24mths for new orders!

the way i see it...nothing has changed...except the price :-s
 

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While it seems to be a smart business move by Swatch, they may be shooting themselves in the foot. Take for example the 26 jewel SW200 movement that's been discussed on other fora, and is a replacement for the ETA 2824.
The SW200 is one company's answer to the fact that ETA won't be selling ebauches (unassembled movements) to their customers.
Sellita is a company that has been buying embauches and assembling them and selling them to watch companies (the other company is one name SOPROD). In addition they would also decorate the movements for customers, among other services. When ETA announced that they were going to stop selling ebauches, Sellita was one of the companies that took ETA to court to keep the supply going for a few more years. Sellita meanwhile developed their own versions of the 2824, the SW200 and SW300, that they could continue to sell when ETA stopped delivering the ebauches.
The SW200 is not a clone, but rather a drop in replacement for the ETA 2824. The dial feet positions and the stem heights are the same and the actual stems might be also but the rest of the components of a SW200 will not be interchangeable with a 2824.
A number of companies, from Invicta to Oris, are already using the movements.
Swatch Group brought this on themselves by trying to squeeze their competitors. The patents and copyrights have run out, or are running out, on a number of ETA movements, like the Valjoux 7750, and it will be perfectly legal for others to make clones and copies.
 

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More on Selita movements

From the December 2006 issue of Watch Time Magazine:

Sellita
Sellita SA targets etablisseurs who long to free themselves from dependency on ETA. Buying about one million movement-blanks annually, this company had been ETA's largest customer for many years. Sellita officially introduced the self-winding Caliber SW200 in 2005. In developing it, there wasn't much room to maneuver. Sellita had its sights set on ETA's clientele, so it designed its movement to have dimensions and functions identical to ETA's best-selling Caliber 2824-2. "Our calibers are 95% Swiss-made," CEO Miguel Garcia explains. The 26-jewel SW200, with its 38-hour power reserve and bidirectional winding rotor, keeps time with sufficient accuracy to earn chronometer certification from the COSC. Three new calibers debuted in 2006. SW220 and SW240 have the same functions and dimensions as ETA's Calibers 2834 and 2836 (with displays for the date and day of the week), based on the 2824-2. The third in the trio is the SW300, scheduled to debut at the year's end. It will provide an alternative to the ETA 2892-2. In the pipeline for late 2008 or early 2009 are an entirely new caliber made specifically for ladies' watches (the SW100) and a caliber (the SW500) designed to compete with the Valjoux 7750.
 

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To cut a long story short,

It can be done I think, your own movement, and not asking the moon for your product.
Look at Nomos, their Tangomat is fairly priced for an inhouse movement.
Is this robust workhorse not for sale to other German companies??
Could be a little earner for Nomos.
I would love to see my U1 outfitted with the beautiful Nomos movement.
Even though I cannot see it through the peeping hole:) .


Cheers,

Daddel.
 

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GREAT THREAD. I would srongly suggest some of the mods move it to the general forum, because it should be of concern for the watch industry in general.
From a watchmakers' point of view I am not really qualified to speak, and I think there are a lot of well thought out posts that have exhausted the topic from economics' point of view. I would only like to add that I share the opinion that Swatch will lose in the long run. In the short run we will probably see a rise in prices. ETA is an almost complete monopoly now, and I do not think we will ever see a "competitive" market for watch movements ever, but the forcefull push by Swatch should move the market to an oligopoly. Why not competitive market? The answer is in the barriers of entry in the form of high R&D and production costs. In the long run the economic theory dictates that the increased price of movements will attract newcomers and justify the investment commitments. And lets not forget one major player that has been around for a while--SEIKO. The company has a lot of experience, already produces high-end movements. I am pretty sure that Seiko will be fast to recognize the chance to move in and grab some market share. And this will be a perfect chance for the company to break the "glass ceiling" as that the general public has put on its product. If Europeans and americans start seeing seiko movements in some old world cases that can only help in how Seiko is perceived by the general consumer . we all know that seiko makes great movements, this will be a chance for them to send this message to the average Joe, with the help of some of the companies that are seeking an ETA alternative.
 

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I agree. Seiko can and does put out some very high end movements in my opinion. They just have to start making more effort in letting people know it, and attack the perception that if it ain't swiss, it ain't worth talking about.

This issue is making want to go out and buy a Seiko Marine Master and a t-shirt that says:

"S'watch your problem?!":-d

That being said, this is a Sinn forum, and I'm here because I like what Sinn does. I hope they walk away from this well and with new, quality movements.
 

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I agree. Seiko can and does put out some very high end movements in my opinion. They just have to start making more effort in letting people know it, and attack the perception that if it ain't swiss, it ain't worth talking about.

This issue is making want to go out and buy a Seiko Marine Master and a t-shirt that says:

"S'watch your problem?!":-d

That being said, this is a Sinn forum, and I'm here because I like what Sinn does. I hope they walk away from this well and with new, quality movements.


I totally agree with you. I do not have a Sinn, but have other german watches. and the Swatch decision will definitely affect the whole industry.
 

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I agree. Seiko can and does put out some very high end movements in my opinion. They just have to start making more effort in letting people know it, and attack the perception that if it ain't swiss, it ain't worth talking about.

This issue is making want to go out and buy a Seiko Marine Master and a t-shirt that says:

"S'watch your problem?!":-d

That being said, this is a Sinn forum, and I'm here because I like what Sinn does. I hope they walk away from this well and with new, quality movements.

I agree, there is certainly potential for Seiko and Citizen to come in and fill the void, but still perceptions are perceptions.

Nevertheless, I really like Maple's tagline "S'watch your problem?!" :-d Can I start ordering this t-shirt already :-d

Honestly, I do hope that Sinn will come out with quality movements at the end of the day and turn a problem into its advantage. That would be really :p :gold
 

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and I do not think we will ever see a "competitive" market for watch movements ever, but the forcefull push by Swatch should move the market to an oligopoly. Why not competitive market? The answer is in the barriers of entry in the form of high R&D and production costs. In the long run the economic theory dictates that the increased price of movements will attract newcomers and justify the investment commitments.
may i add that....

no one is going to rush into the movement market like a white knight in shiny armour to pump in tons of cash to sell movement at the lowest price possible...I suspect down the road, the term cartel may have a more familiar tune to it
 

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unfortunately...watches have become personal item whose functions also exist in something even more essential to modern man

mobile phone

watches has taken on a different role to most...to adorn with their designer denim or finest wool....to suit the season or to show they have arrived. it has become an item to serve and satisfy our emotional needs

and a seiko (or citizen) just dosnt feed it that well (yet)

say what you like, the swiss (europeans) have horn the craft of fine marketing...to stir the emotions...to near perfection (specific reference to horology) !....and the japanese has a bit to go to reach that perch.
 

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may i add that....

no one is going to rush into the movement market like a white knight in shiny armour to pump in tons of cash to sell movement at the lowest price possible...I suspect down the road, the term cartel may have a more familiar tune to it

Well said, gra. I fully agree. :)

Making one's own movements is a difficult and expensive road, and Sinn are miles away from that. I'd be happy if they finally finished their SZ01 modification for a center-minute totalizer 7750.
 
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