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Discussion Starter #1
I was amazed when I saw on television that the minimum wage in Switzerland is, or going to be , over $25 an hour ( the highest in the World ).
It is no wonder why Swiss made watches are so expensive .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27459178
And, frankly, I doubt the minimum wage in any nation impacts the price of a fine Swiss watch. ;)
JohnWN
If wages are so high in Switzerland of course it is going to effect the price of everything that is manufactured in that country, including their watches . Why do you think that clothing companies are located in China, Viet Nam and Cambodia instead of Austria, Switzerland and Germany ?
 

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If wages are so high in Switzerland of course it is going to effect the price of everything that is manufactured in that country, including their watches . Why do you think that clothing companies are located in China, Viet Nam and Cambodia instead of Austria, Switzerland and Germany ?
Switzerland --and most specifically Geneva, where most of the very expensive watches are made-- has indeed a cost of living among the highest in the world (ask me, I live and work there).
This being said, the cost of manufacturing a top of the range Patek is said to be only about 20-30% of final retail price (at least this is the "at cost" price at which employees can purchase one watch every year for family)... but I strongly doubt a Rolex is that costly to make : they churn them out of a factory like Volkswagen used to make Beetles, and they are still the biggest single brand in annual sales.

So yes, cost of labor does have an impact on the base price of high-end Swiss Watches, but final price is only a function of what (filthy rich) buyers WANT to pay to get/give the impression they own something unique... which was true in days past, but the recent pressure to come up with new models every year, abuse of "Limited Editions" strategies to inflate prices, etc. has made the whole thing rather disgusting and meaningless I believe.
=> the price of an entry-level no frills Patek will buy you three or four vintage 1970s Hi-Beat Seiko divers (or if you prefer four NOS 6105-8110 like the one currently offered on eBay #201084461416) : does it make sense??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Switzerland --and most specifically Geneva, where most of the very expensive watches are made-- has indeed a cost of living among the highest in the world (ask me, I live and work there).
This being said, the cost of manufacturing a top of the range Patek is said to be only about 20-30% of final retail price (at least this is the "at cost" price at which employees can purchase one watch every year for family)... but I strongly doubt a Rolex is that costly to make : they churn them out of a factory like Volkswagen used to make Beetles, and they are still the biggest single brand in annual sales.

So yes, cost of labor does have an impact on the base price of high-end Swiss Watches, but final price is only a function of what (filthy rich) buyers WANT to pay to get/give the impression they own something unique... which was true in days past, but the recent pressure to come up with new models every year, abuse of "Limited Editions" strategies to inflate prices, etc. has made the whole thing rather disgusting and meaningless I believe.
=> the price of an entry-level no frills Patek will buy you three or four vintage 1970s Hi-Beat Seiko divers (or if you prefer four NOS 6105-8110 like the one currently offered on eBay #201084461416) : does it make sense??
Yes, it makes sense, it's the same as an automobile such as Mercedes or Rolls Royce. Even with a 70 or 80 per cent discount ,would a worker in the watch factory be able to afford such an expensive watch like Patek ?
 

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well bottom line...it will increase costs for every business...foolish when people push to increase minimum wage..just create better paying jobs...not make the bottom jobs money...only people who have never run or owned a business push for this...
 

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Interesting discussion. Switzerland is roughly half the physical size of New Jersey and the total population (ca 7.8 million) is less than NY City (8.4 million).
If you are a small country, with limited resources and want to attract wealth, you do it by selling quality...the best services (eg. banking)...the highest quality products (eg. watchmaking). Exclusively the best, especially if production is limited by geography and resources generates the most income for a limited production capacity. Of course...while your merchandise can sometimes survive on the illusion of quality...most of the time you have to really deliver quality. I doubt that watchmakers/technicians are minimum wage employees, but when cost of living rises in an economy, cost of goods and services often rise, as well (costs of basic services go up increasing the cost of manufacturing). Will the cost of Swiss watches go up?...only if the market is willing to pay more...which it may or may not be willing to do for products which are not "necessities". My guess is Swiss watches will continue to increase in price...but I wouldn't bet that minimum wage has much to do with it...the real reason is the market will pay it. I don't know if there is a measure of "efficiency" comparing a country's resources to its total revenue...but if there is, my guess is that the Swiss economic model is very efficient. Regards, BG
 

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I wish I had put it this way...

.... So yes, cost of labor does have an impact on the base price of high-end Swiss Watches, but final price is only a function of what (filthy rich) buyers WANT to pay to get/give the impression they own something unique... which was true in days past, but the recent pressure to come up with new models every year, abuse of "Limited Editions" strategies to inflate prices, etc. has made the whole thing rather disgusting and meaningless I believe.
:iagree:
 

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well bottom line...it will increase costs for every business...foolish when people push to increase minimum wage..just create better paying jobs...not make the bottom jobs money...only people who have never run or owned a business push for this...
Well if you take that approach then abolish the minimum wage and let those folks work for a buck an hour or whatever the employer deems to pay them and while you're at it lets cut all wages by 50% I'm sure that will help the economy.

The fact is no employer wants to pay his employees more than he has to. History has shown us that.Creating better paying jobs sounds nice and goes down easy but doing it is another matter.
 
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