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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-25/-swiss-made-is-a-joke-says-homegrown-maker-of-low-cost-watches

What do you think?


Goldgena is a startup aimed at clarifying where watches that are marketed as Swiss truly originate.

Just when Swiss watchmakers are struggling with the strong franc, weaker Asian demand, and new technologies such as smartwatches, the last thing they need is a threat from within their clubby ranks. But that’s exactly what’s happening.

The Goldgena Project, led by 40-year-old designer Claudio D’Amore, is a shoestring-budget brand that’s open to using non-Swiss components for mechanical watches. Asian parts make production cheaper, and most watches sold under the ‘‘Swiss-Made’’ label for less than 2,500 francs ($2,500) contain some bits from that region anyway, he said.

Swiss Made is an official government designation certifying that a timepiece is mostly made of parts manufactured and assembled in Switzerland. This distinction is given hefty import in the industry, like an appellation d'origine contrôlée for French wine.

“Swiss-made is a joke,” D’Amore said in an interview in his downtown Lausanne office. The Swiss-Italian has spent 13 years designing watches for brands such as TAG Heuer, Parmigiani Fleurier, and Montblanc.
Goldgena is testing whether consumers are still interested in Swiss-designed watches, without all the glamour hidden inside. Figuring it can cut the price of a timepiece by more than half, the brand is planning to sell automatic watches for as little as $700, compared to the $4,000 starting price for Rolex models. By using a Japanese movement, Chinese assembly, and avoiding middlemen, Goldgena says it can undercut the industry.
Watchmakers are allowed to call their timepieces Swiss-Made if at least half the value of the timepiece’s movement comes from Switzerland and if the watch is assembled in the country. Next year, new requirements will require that at least 60 percent of the manufacturing costs of the entire watch, including the strap and case, are Swiss.

The country’s four-century-old watch industry has been suffering recently. Exports have dropped for 10 months. Switzerland makes about 2.5 percent of the world’s watches each year, but it gets more than half the revenue in the 38 billion-franc market because Swiss-Made timepieces command higher prices, according to Rene Weber at Bank Vontobel AG.

Three companies make the majority of Swiss watches: Swatch Group AG, whose brands include Omega and Longines; Richemont, which makes Cartier and IWC; and Rolex, which also makes Tudor.

Watch Out

Competition is increasing just as smartwatches sap demand for lower-end watches. Websites such as Borrowed Time have popped up, lending people luxury watches to wear to parties. Swatch shares have slumped 27 percent in the past year, while Richemont’s stock is down 34 percent.
D’Amore plans to raise money through crowdfunding and hopes to garner some 10 million francs by the end of September in order to make 5,000 to 10,000 pieces, which he’ll sell online. The first models are planned for next year. Without much of a budget for advertising, D’Amore has taken to the Internet in an attempt to attract consumers with punchy YouTube videos. One shows a scene from the Clint Eastwood Western, A Fistful of Dollars, overdubbed with dialogue that reflects the project’s rebel tone.

Consumers Decide

Goldgena is surveying consumers to see if they would be interested in cheaper non-Swiss-Made watches.

So far, 63 percent of website visitors have voted for Swiss-Made, in proportions of either 50 percent or 99 percent. Still, 348 out of the 947 have said no, which shows there may be consumer demand for an Asian-assembled automatic watch. Goldgena will wait a few weeks to gauge consumer interest before it makes a decision as to which route to follow. D’Amore said he’d prefer the non-Swiss-Made route.

Goldgena’s watches would most likely put pressure on entry-level brands with a price tag of 500 francs to 2,000 francs, according to Edouard Meylan, chief executive officer of H. Moser & Cie., whose watches start at $15,000.

“The risk is not so big, as I don’t think that many customers will see and assimilate the Goldgena Project,” he said. If the upstart brand does succeed, however, it could force some other brands to consider abandoning the Swiss-Made label.
 

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I guess the gist is that the comments are coming from someone who worked for the major swiss brands. But he's making it sound like no one has thought (or tried this) before.... like every other start up micro brand. Exactly.
 

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Just another startup microbrand right?


I guess the gist is that the comments are coming from someone who worked for the major swiss brands. But he's making it sound like no one has thought (or tried this) before.... like every other start up micro brand. Exactly.


Correct. I mean they have been doing a decent marketing campaign, emailing all the blogs and such, posting YouTube videos and heavy social media, but the reality is, through all the hype he is trying to produce it is no different than any start up micro, where most are using Asian movements and assembly. Not sure if he is going the regular microbrand route or going the route of like SevenFriday, but nothing that has not been seen before.
The watch looks ok, but the name "GoldGena" is horrible.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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He's got a tough road a head if he thinks people are just going to accept Chinese assembled watches as equal to their Swiss made counterparts. It'll take a lot more than a micro-brand with a cheesy name to dislodge 400 years of Swiss marketing.

That said, China can manufacture to any level of quality you're willing to pay for. I suspect manufacturing, machining and assembly in China is second to none with the "cheap and shoddy" perception having been created in part due to western companies demanding the lowest possible prices when having Chinese companies producing their products. "You get what you pay for" is an adage the world over, including in Chinese manufacturing.
 

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Newbie vs the Big Boys etc. Good luck to ya. If I want "Swiss" I prefer Swiss on the inside & out.

Stirring the pot. Headline seeker.
 

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I'll just say this... I think you can get a great watch that isn't "Swiss Made" at a very reasonable cost comparatively and never miss the "Swiss Made" stamp on the dial.
What is a "great watch?" For me it is as simple as this - a watch that meets your specific needs and wants in terms of design, size, and functions and comes with a very reliable movement and quality case.
I'll spare you my opinions on brands as we all know what opinions are like...
 

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I'll just say this... I think you can get a great watch that isn't "Swiss Made" at a very reasonable cost comparatively and never miss the "Swiss Made" stamp on the dial.
What is a "great watch?" For me it is as simple as this - a watch that meets your specific needs and wants in terms of design, size, and functions and comes with a very reliable movement and quality case.
I'll spare you my opinions on brands as we all know what opinions are like...
Seiko.

I mean, tons of others...but Seiko is where I started.
 

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I have a couple of auto Orients that rival any Swiss made automatic timepiece I own. In fact, I have one that is actually more accurate than any of my Swissies.
 

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It comes down to quality and reliability but the brand name is horrible!!
 
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The way the rules are currently written (50% of value) and will continue to be written for the next two years. (60 then 70% of value) Yeah, I think "Swiss Made" is a joke. And then people wonder or mock companies like Invicta who skirt the rules to have Swiss Made put on their watches. As is, its so easy, anyone can do it. A little politics here, some kickbacks there. Sure, we'll look the other way while your watches are being shipped. After all, its good for our economy. We don't do anything here but make watches anyway. Certainly don't believe in fighting wars or anything like that.
I hope Goldgena does well. At least you know what you're getting upfront.
 

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Alas and alack, Goldgena rocks my john boat nary a bit.
After 68 years of buying watches I find little luv for the
design.
But those who are moved by Goldgena should support the
brand (as with most new brands) Their call.

1st watch was a surplus A 11 WW2 watch. Bought in 1949.

Been arround the horological block several times.Can't teach
an ole dawg new tricks!!!

Lou Snutt
 

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Hey this guy got a story in Bloomberg. Pretty good exposure. Well done on that front.

As far as the brand, i am fine with the name. The ONLY reason we think Breitling or Seiko is a good name is because we know them and they have been around forever. In the very off chance this brand makes it a few decades we might feel the same about it.

For now it is a "micro" micro brand. I don't believe they have even sold any watches yet. That barely makes them a micro brand in my humble opinion.

Time will tell I guess and normally "time" for watch brands is very very cruel...

http://www.goldgena-project.com/?lang=en

Interesting video, with some humor and originality.

 
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"GoldGena" sounds like the name of a pole dancer in a Russian Mafia Cocktail Lounge.
 

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I think a lot of us brand owners etc have had a similar rant somewhere along the way when it comes to Swiss watches and "Swissness" The brand name could be a challenge for them. But it also might stick in peoples minds as well.
 

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Hey this guy got a story in Bloomberg. Pretty good exposure. Well done on that front.

As far as the brand, i am fine with the name. The ONLY reason we think Breitling or Seiko is a good name is because we know them and they have been around forever. In the very off chance this brand makes it a few decades we might feel the same about it.

For now it is a "micro" micro brand. I don't believe they have even sold any watches yet. That barely makes them a micro brand in my humble opinion.

Time will tell I guess and normally "time" for watch brands is very very cruel...

http://www.goldgena-project.com/?lang=en

Interesting video, with some humor and originality.

https://youtu.be/b9fHBh2ipzc

The videos are amusing. They have a couple uploaded now to Youtube. I agree Seiko has been around quite a few years but disagree with Breitling. The original company went under in 1979. Ernest Schneider, from Sicura, took over the firm and registered it under the name MONTRES BREITLING S.A. in Granges.
 

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Ernest Schneider, from Sicura, took over the firm and registered it under the name MONTRES BREITLING S.A. in Granges.
Hence the almost impossible to end claims by eBay sellers that Sicura = Breitling to make that cigar store brand more interesting and play up the asking prices. I call Sicura a cigar store brand because that's were I bought them in the Seventies. They were cheap but had many features and looked the part. (Read: some were Rolex Sub and GMT homages).
 
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