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I read the original post. Hopefully a couple other people will open theirs to verify. Still, price and location of manufacture should have nothing to do with value if the quality is there. Hong Kong is now "China", and HK has been producing watch cases equal to the Swiss and Japanese for decades. Hamilton, Sandoz HK and supposedly Oris have all had cases made in HK (the new Doxa, too, if you believe the employee that blew the whistle on them). Also, if you take a close look at some of the smaller Swiss brands from the '60s and '70s you will find some poor quality "all Swiss" watches. Although the WUS poster was having timekeeping issues with his single example, I wouldn't be so quick to judge a watch as inferior because it has a case made in HK.
 

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It should also be considered that the "case china" statement probably means that the "raw" case was made in China but does not say anything about the finishing of the case or the rest of the watch.

- martin
 

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water70proof said:
I read the original post. Hopefully a couple other people will open theirs to verify. Still, price and location of manufacture should have nothing to do with value if the quality is there. Hong Kong is now "China", and HK has been producing watch cases equal to the Swiss and Japanese for decades. Hamilton, Sandoz HK and supposedly Oris have all had cases made in HK (the new Doxa, too, if you believe the employee that blew the whistle on them). Also, if you take a close look at some of the smaller Swiss brands from the '60s and '70s you will find some poor quality "all Swiss" watches. Although the WUS poster was having timekeeping issues with his single example, I wouldn't be so quick to judge a watch as inferior because it has a case made in HK.
As I said, I have no problem with a watch made in China. Or Timbuktu. But it should cost China Made prices. Or Timbuktu Made prices.

I'm not sure quite what is meant by the sentence I changed to bold text. As far as I know it is less expensive to produce a watch of comparable quality in China than in Japan or Switzerland. If Seiko (and other companies) wish to go down this path, no problem. But I want the savings passed on to me.

When I compare the price of my 'Japanese' Sumo to my Sea-Gull M222S, it's obvious the savings aren't being passed on.
 

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Toby...the savings are passed on to the customer. The Sumo would easily cost over $1000 if it was truely made in Japan by Japanese. The same can be said for the mid level SARB models.

I find it interesting that many people believe that Seiko, Citizen, Orient, and Casio have duplicate manufacturing sites (one in Japan and another elsewhere) for entry level JDM and export models.

The operational burden of doing this can't possibly justify any gain of having the "Made in Japan" label. There were some posts on WUS a while ago from someone familiar with Japan importing laws and this person commented that a Japanese facility operating to Japan quality standards in any other country was enough to constitute Made in Japan labeling. I suspect that the slight increase in price that is observed with JDM watches is due to increased inspection or some other quality requirement necessary to comply with Japanese quality standards and does not reflect a completely seperate manufacturing and assembly site in Japan. Perhaps final assembly occurs in Japan, but then I would think that the price increase would be even larger than what we see.

Just my opinions peppered with some conjecture, so take them for what they are worth.
 

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Have you been to Hong Kong? The cost of living is higher than New York. Your Seagull was made in Tianjin, which is an entirely different story--low cost of living and an abundance of cheap labor.
 

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I work for a manufacturer of OEM REPLACEMENT parts for Lycoming and Continental piston engines for aircraft. We source forgings/castings and component parts from lots of places...Chile and Poland come to mind. We purchase these components because they meet/exceed our quality standards/specs....and because their prices are LOW.

We then sell our finished parts/components for AS MUCH AS THE MARKET WILL BEAR. We're in business to make MONEY....not to save our customers money. Thankfully, much of the time...our objectives and those of our customers meet, and everyone is "happy".

Seiko (or any manufacturer of a consumer good) produces items for sale. Prices will end up at a price level where customers will purchase. If no one buys, the price must be lowered. We see this give/take here on the SCTP all the time. The fact is, Seiko watches (regardless of component origin) must be priced close to correct as I believe the company is fairly profitable.

I also believe in truth in advertising...be open about your product and let ME decide if it is worth the price you want for it.

My $0.02...
 

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jason_recliner said:
This is very interesting, important, and disappoinitng:]

http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=398930

I have nothing against Chinese products (one of my favourite watches is Chinese) but the SARB range is marketed as Japanese Made, and priced accordingly.

This stinks.


Here is a thread posted here that should supplement some of the information posted above:

Does Anyone Know what the Japanese Equivalent of "Swiss Made" is?

It is interesting to note that labeling allows for re-export of items manufactured elsewhere, and that even if an item is actually manufactured in Japan, manufacturers will not guaranty that individual components (or what portion of them) where manufactured in japan. IMHO the important point to take here is that wherever these companies are building, they are either building directly to their own QC standards or , one would hope, they are applying their QC standards to 3rd-party manufacturers they are hiring.

The funny thing is that someone would raise this as an issue, when the watch industry is rife with outsourcing (especially in china - though not only) at even it's highest levels.
 

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Both of my SARBs are amazing watches for the money. The case finishing and detailing rivals Swiss offerings at double the price.


If the case of the SARB is milled in China, so what? Big deal! My $1,000 Citizen Signature Collection Grand Complication had a very well made and crafted "Chinese" bracelet. It was very likely the watch had been cased there too.


Both of my Seiko Anantas are guaranteed 100% Japanese manufacture. But then again, look at the prices!

There is no way to prove or disprove that the Seiko SARB's final assembly/casing point is still in Japan. The 6r15 movement appears to be assembled at one of Seiko Instruments subdiaries in either Singapore or Malaysia.


"China products should be priced as made in China".


I am not sure what this means. You'll be surprised how many "Swiss" brands are outsourcing parts in their so called "Swiss made" high dollar watches. Everybody is doing it.


So next time I go to the Apple store, I should demand a 50% off discount on a brand new Macbook laptop computer because it was made in China instead of Cupertino, California USA?


As far as I am concerned, the Seiko SARB is a Japanese product made for domestic Japanese consumption. The quality/crafstmanship and value for the Dollar paid are clearly there.

!
 

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Japan retail prices for watches do reflect the higher cost of living there. But I also believe that the quality and finishing of the JDM product is a notch or two better of an equivalent destined for export consumption.


Hey, my MINI Cooper S has a Brazilian built 1600cc supercharged Chrysler engine. You think for a minute BMW would have discounted the car accordingly to reflect the main component's point of origin? They still charged me BMW price for the car when I signed the papers and took it home.


BTW, that Brazilian Chrysler TRITEC four banger is a hoot to drive and has been anvil rock solid reliable in 5 years/70,000 miles.


The old "nationalistic" metallity of stereotypes applied to products made in certain parts of the world no longer apply in our highly globalized industries.

nhoJ said:
Toby...the savings are passed on to the customer. The Sumo would easily cost over $1000 if it was truely made in Japan by Japanese. The same can be said for the mid level SARB models.

I find it interesting that many people believe that Seiko, Citizen, Orient, and Casio have duplicate manufacturing sites (one in Japan and another elsewhere) for entry level JDM and export models.

The operational burden of doing this can't possibly justify any gain of having the "Made in Japan" label. There were some posts on WUS a while ago from someone familiar with Japan importing laws and this person commented that a Japanese facility operating to Japan quality standards in any other country was enough to constitute Made in Japan labeling. I suspect that the slight increase in price that is observed with JDM watches is due to increased inspection or some other quality requirement necessary to comply with Japanese quality standards and does not reflect a completely seperate manufacturing and assembly site in Japan. Perhaps final assembly occurs in Japan, but then I would think that the price increase would be even larger than what we see.

Just my opinions peppered with some conjecture, so take them for what they are worth.
 

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Toby, welcome to the 21st century. :D

jason_recliner said:
As I said, I have no problem with a watch made in China. Or Timbuktu. But it should cost China Made prices. Or Timbuktu Made prices.

I'm not sure quite what is meant by the sentence I changed to bold text. As far as I know it is less expensive to produce a watch of comparable quality in China than in Japan or Switzerland. If Seiko (and other companies) wish to go down this path, no problem. But I want the savings passed on to me.

When I compare the price of my 'Japanese' Sumo to my Sea-Gull M222S, it's obvious the savings aren't being passed on.
 

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minidriver said:
And Toby(Jason). Seems to me you are jumping to conclusions buddy. ::)
I disagree. I think he has a fair point - at least from a consumer's point of view. His point in a way explains the popularity of very well built fashion watches such as Fossil, Skagen, Kenneth Cole and others, in which the brand on the watch does not command a high mark up, and consumers get a piece at a price that more clearly reflects it's manufacturing costs (even though I'm sure there is still a tidy mark up included). Lets face it, with few exceptions, watches are largely luxury products these days, and their prices (especially their very high prices) tend to reflect more the perception associated with the little logo on the watch, than the actual costs involved with producing it.
 

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What I can say is that if these watches were 100% made in Switzerland or even in Japan, we would NOT be paying $500 on a Sumo but close to if not more then $1000. So there you have your savings.

I don't know if you guys read today's edition of A.blog.to.read. I really didn't find the interview with John Simonian truly interesting, but something that was said caught my eye:
"Of course I asked what the takes into consideration when gambling with new brands. His answer is simple – the watchmaker means more than the product. He explains that you can reform a bad product into something great, but even a good design won’t last if the watchmaker is lacking in the qualities necessary for success."
If that is so, what does it matter where a watch is made? The price will not be affected by the product, but by the brand's image. Ain't that exactly what Rolex has been doing for years? And who here can be 100% sure that Rolex DOES NOT use Chinese (or at least-non-Swiss) parts? When it comes to Seiko we have at least Swiss quality but with decent prices. For us to have that some parts have to come from China or whatever. So if it comes from China the watch is bad? No! Who will dare to bad mouth the Sumo? Or the AutoZilla?

We live in a global village when it comes to industrialized products. Accept that and move on.
 

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As Chinese labor wages continue to go up, sooner or later we will see Seiko watch case made in Vietnam.
Does anyone have any problems with "Case Made in Vietnam"? (Just curious.)
Personally I would prefer "Case Made in Vietnam" to "Case Made in China".
 

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indeed the watchmaker is important, but IMHO what that article fails to mention is that in high volume products (such as it is with most watches and watch manufacturing companies), the watchmaker responsible for a large portion of the production is usually a cousin of this guy:



Guys who look like this are largely doing repair work or finishing work on high end pieces (though in very high end pieces they might be doing complete assembly but most likely no manufacturing):



guys that look like this are in a large part retired, or are the images beloved by the marketing departments of watch companies:

 

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BTW, isn't it interesting that you rarely if ever see these kinds of concerns expressed about quartz powered time pieces, even though many are extremely high end, and for the most part even the cheapest quartz watch is a better time keeper than the most expensive mechanical.
 

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Isthmus said:
I disagree. I think he has a fair point - at least from a consumer's point of view. His point in a way explains the popularity of very well built fashion watches such as Fossil, Skagen, Kenneth Cole and others, in which the brand on the watch does not command a high mark up, and consumers get a piece at a price that more clearly reflects it's manufacturing costs (even though I'm sure there is still a tidy mark up included). Lets face it, with few exceptions, watches are largely luxury products these days, and their prices (especially their very high prices) tend to reflect more the perception associated with the little logo on the watch, than the actual costs involved with producing it.

Gabe, take for example my now departed Citizen Signature Collection Grand Complication:





This particular model retails of USD $1,095. The Signature Collection is a near luxury range of Citizen Eco-Drive watches slotted in between regular Eco-Drives and the more expensive Campanolas.


The build quality and finishing was mind boggling. I sold that watch but I promised myself to get it back at some point in the future. That is how much I miss it.


The bracelet left many Swiss watches in its immediate price range in the dust. built to exact tolerances. The clasp was a work or art. Guess what the stamping on the inner clasp assembly said? "Made in China".


The case back of the watch said "Japan Movt". No indication as to the watch could have been cased. Very doubtful it was Japan as these watches are not sold in the JDM and are export models for the Us/Canada/UK/Irish markets. I'll bet the watch was cased in China (likely Hong Kong).


Everything about that watch had an exquisite level of finish quality and attention to detail. It could easily pass as a JDM "Made in Japan" and then some. Gosh, I want my baby back! :-[


Going by Jason's theory, Citizen is bold to dare charging customers $1K for a Chinese made watch? ::) No way Jose! I do not care if it was made in Timbuktu or the South Pole, the piece is well worth every dime paid for it. And I will do it again with a big ear to ear grin.


Going back to the Seiko SARb, I do not think for a minute Seiko is deceiving anyone. The product meets and exceeds the quality and performance expected on a mid-range Seiko Japan market watch. Be it made in Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro.


In a global market, products are being made everywhere. BMW has been building high quality Series 3 sedans and coupes at their Rosslyn plant in South Africa for export and local consumption. I have personally inspected Rosslyn made Bimmers against German made counterparts and could not tell the difference. Nowhere in the car says "Made in South Africa". It says "Made in Germany". My MINI was built in Oxford, UK but the door jamb placard still says built by BMW AG in Germany.


Is BMW deceiving customers buying Rosslyn made Bimmers thinking those are made in Germany by Hans and not some Afrikaans speaking worker? I don't think so.


The point is.... If the plant meets and exceeds established quality standards set forth by the manufacturer, then that is good enough reason for the product to bear the "Made in------" label rightfully. The plant can be in China, Japan or the moon. BMW has been building cars for years in South Carolina, Mercedes Benz has been doing so in Alabama and Ford has plants down in Mexico. Heck, I have driven French Renaults assembled in Colombia and have been as good or better than Renaults made in France!.


Let me get this clear..... I do not disagree with Jason in principle, but I do not see a crime in the making here. Whomever believes that a Rolex is 100% pure Swiss made must be kidding themselves. Whomever believes an Apple Mac computer is 100% made in the USA is also kidding themselves.


I am not so hung with the point of origin as much as the product meets and exceeds my expectations for the money paid.
 

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Isthmus said:
BTW, isn't it interesting that you rarely if ever see these kinds of concerns expressed about quartz powered time pieces, even though many are extremely high end, and for the most part even the cheapest quartz watch is a better time keeper than the most expensive mechanical.

I can't wait to see the day someone pops up the case back of a Citizen Chronomaster to discover that it was also was secretly made in China! :))
 
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