“Swiss movement or Japanese: which is better?” There’s a question that often comes up among mechanical watch enthusiasts. The answer is rather complex, but we’ll try to explain it as simply as possible in this article.
With the growing number of Japanese watchmakers, it’s become difficult for fans of fine watches to choose between movements from Japan, and ones from Switzerland. The natural question that follows is: which of the two is better? Unfortunately, it’s like choosing between a stylish sedan and its intelligent counterpart: each has its advantages and disadvantages. Let me elaborate.
Spurred on by consumers tired of the rhetoric of big brands and wanting to know the real value of the products they buy, the idea of transparency has gained significant ground over the years, especially in the fashion industry.
Unfortunately for these big brands, the golden age of consumerism - during which they could provide consumers with whichever products they wanted, at whatever price they wanted - is in the past.
Nowadays, the consumers play a fully-fledged role in their own purchasing habits. They closely follow the latest news on brands, and demand more honesty and transparency. They want to know exactly how the product was made, and by whom. They are now at the heart of the buying process, and are making their opinions known on both production and retail prices.
But what, then, are the repercussions for our purchasing habits, and how are brands adapting to these new consumer expectations?
More and more watch lovers are choosing to purchase their new timepiece online. What’s the explanation behind this movement towards the digitalization of watchmaking?
10 years ago, it was impossible for a watch lover to contemplate buying their dream watch on the Internet: limited choice, concerns about payment, delivery and the guarantee… But nowadays, the range of options available has blossomed, and buying online has become part of everyday life, especially with regards to clothing and accessories, spurred on by e-commerce sites like Zalando and Zappos.
In terms of watches, a recent study by the Deloitte agency shows that online retail is now the second priority of senior executives in the watchmaking industry, just behind the development of new products (The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2017: It’s all about digital).
So what are the reasons for this change in consumer behavior, from buying almost exclusively in-store to higher and higher rates of online purchases, even in a sector as traditional as watchmaking?
Until very recently, carbon fiber or “Forged Carbon" watches were exclusive items, with lovers of fine mechanical watches commonly spending anywhere between 3,000€ and 20,000€ for the privilege of owning one.
For a long time “Made in China” has been associated in the public mind with inferior quality and low prices. Yet taking a step back in time reveals that the reality is far from this popular misconception. Here are three reasons why Chinese excellence not only exists, but continues to grow.
Many people wonder how there can be such a big difference in price between watches fitted with the same movement. Understanding the price of a watch requires analyzing the production costs of each component as well as the mark-ups applied. In this article, we will explain how to assess the quality-price ratio of your dream watch.