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Thread: good read - brief history of eta

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  3. #2
    Some pretty case backs there Mr

    Mighty fine

  4. #3
    Of course, it could have been written by Swatch. There are other strategies they could have taken, such as: take their most common movements that they are no longer using (as such) in their own brands and formally spin them off to other companies. This would help legitimize, say, Sellita. I can't think of any Swatch-brand watches that include ETA 2824, 2892, or 7750 movements as designated. Of course, many have derivatives of those movements.

    They could also re-establish and sell off some of the old ebauche brands that have been lost by their conglomeration, such as Landeron and Peseux.

    They consolidated these because of a crisis, but now that the crisis has passed, they should de-consolidate. Expecting the rest of the industry to recreate the whole history of development that has led to the modern ETA is rather demanding of companies that have production numbers in the tens of thousands. Only the most expensive brands can do it, or those with the most backing. The few exceptions prove the rule. This more than anything explains the dearth of choices with manufacture movements (or with limited and interesting movements) in the sub-$5000 price points.

    Swatch's move to close movement supply have seemed to me rather anti-competitive, but then their consolidation of it in the first place, however necessary at the time, was also anti-competitive. There will always be a market desire for more watch variety than for more movement variety. Any one of us who owns more than one watch with the same movement demonstrates that. We had movement variety with the dozen or so major ebaucheurs that existed in the 60's, rather than the three or four we now have.

    There is nothing to suggest that having in-house movements will be successful at middle price points. Ebel's experience with their 137, which saved the Lemania 1340 from extinction (Ebel bought the rights to the base movement before making modifications), shows that watches with unique styling, a middle price, and a limited production cannot support in-house movements. Other companies making their own movements, such as Maurice Lacroix, are usually seriously discounted and struggle at price points that support costs. Frederique Constant uses derivative movement designs and also derivative watch designs, and still they struggle to sell at prices that support costs. Nomos gets the nod from current WISes, but I'm curious as to their margins. In other words, there are few examples to indicate that manufacture movements in middle price points can be successful.

    Other quibbles: I would have never thought of Longines as a mere comptoir or even etablisseur, as suggested in the article (noting that only Swatch companies were used as examples--hmmm). Longines became a vertical manufacture in the 1870's, when Francillon followed the lead of LeCoultre and Favre-Jacot (of Zenith) to consolidate the cottage specialties in support of controlled series production. They remained a full manufacture until the 70's, making many historically significant movements. It was their absorption into SMH (through ASUAG) that ended that illustrious history.

    Rick "happy to applaud the history of ETA, but clear-eyed about its consequences" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  6. #4
    My brain keeps wanting to interpret the title as good read - brief history of tea

    Just sayin'

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  8. #5
    Dive Watches & Japanese Moderator OTGabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    My brain keeps wanting to interpret the title as good read - brief history of tea


    Just sayin'
    Roy Moxham has you covered: http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-.../dp/0762436182

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  10. #6
    Dive Watches & Japanese Moderator OTGabe's Avatar
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    Good article BTW.

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    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    Very interesting.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  12. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    My brain keeps wanting to interpret the title as good read - brief history of tea


    Just sayin'
    Haha, that's exactly how I first read it!
    There's nothing important to read here.

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