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Discussion Starter #1
If Minuteman Watch Co were able to offer an American built watch with a quality automatic movement for about $600 would this be of interest to you?

What movement would you want to see in such a watch?

What size should the watch be?
 

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I'm guessing at this price it will be an Asian movement correct? I would go 9015 and 42mm.


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Discussion Starter #3
I'm guessing at this price it will be an Asian movement correct? I would go 9015 and 42mm.


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According to our lead watchmaker we could source ETA 2824's in small qty for a reasonable enough price that we could use those.
 

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What style watch are you thinking? Size IMO depends on that. If a diver I would say 42-44 diameter and 49 - 51 L2L


ETA > value at that price!!


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At least a 9015, but any Swiss movement would make it all the sweeter. Im a big guy that usually buys 44mm and up but lately I've been really interested in 38-42mm sizes. They're just so comfortable..Although At the end of the day a handsome and well thought out design will lure me more than the size. Cheers


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During the "golden era" of American mechanical watches, didn't companies like Elgin, Waltham, and Hamilton make their own movements?

I can't help wondering if there aren't still some old timers around who could be tapped for help, along with some of the old production equipment that could be refurbished in order to start up a purely American movement maker (of course, I'm sure this would require a HUGE investment in overhead before anything could actually be assembled ... maybe by the likes of John Mayer and other American watch enthusiasts).

Or could companies like Lum-Tec, Shinola, Minuteman, etc. team to put together the funds to start up a facility stateside that could supply American watch companies?
 

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If equipped with a Swiss movement, I agree with Adrema that that would be a great value (ETA or Sellita both are great options).

If not, I am partial to the Seiko SII movements ONLY because as great as the Miyota 9015 is, I still hate that free-spinning rotor noise :)

I would love to see an American conglomeration of watch companies join together to create a "Made in the USA" watch movement. The Swiss and Asians cornered the movement market and pushed American companies out during the quartz revolution, and it seems no one has stood back up to fill the gap. I know RGM makes its own movement, but it is cost prohibitive for the average buyer. Hell, even though Hamilton is part of the Swatch Group, I'd love to see them become an all American product again. I think an American movement company to supply both micro-brands and some hopefully bigger names would do wonders for the watch world.
 

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This is cool Mr. Carey. :cool: :) Let's see here. ..Probably would go with that 42-44mm since it's such a good universal size nowadays. Don't really know what to add with the movement though. A Seiko, or Miyota automatic would be great just because they would keep cost down right?! ..However, I know how much everyone loves the ETA 2824 also.

Would maybe lean toward a Seiko, or Miyota.

Guess it depends on how much over those the ETA's would be for you, or a customer sir.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is an update.

We think we have found a supplier for this effort.

Spec's so far:

42mm case size
200 M W/R
Sapphire crystal
ETA 2824 or Miyota 9015 (We have asked for pricing from the supplier on both.)
Strap would be the same as we source now here in the US.
Brushed stainless finish. (We are also considering black PVD though for this we feel the brushed stainless may be more appropriate.)

It looks like the supplier will accept an order as small as 100 pcs. We would offer a pre-sale effort to fund and it looks like if we can sell 50 to 65 with that effort. That we would be able to pull this off.

We are thinking of using our current MM01 dial design and a different style of hands. This will save us money on design costs.

We will build in the US as we do now. Our watchmaker has long wanted to build watches with mechanical movements for us.

Please let us know what you think as your responses will be used to shape the final product.

If we do use our MM01 dial design. What style of hands would you suggest we use?

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, you're helping veterans with jobs and donating a huge chunk to charity.

Much respect to you, Sir.
I do want to clarify something here. We originally did want to employ veterans. In fact we wanted to employ disabled veterans.

Sadly we could not find any that were already watchmakers who could build for us. We found very few disabled veterans who are watchmakers and still active.

The ones we did find were working for the big boys in the Swiss industry. A few of those really wanted to build for us in their off hours. But when they asked their employers it was a total no go for them.

When we originally were putting together the brand we had thought we had a reliable partner that would both allow us to help train disabled vets as watchmakers and employ them. It turned out the person we were working with was not a reliable partner at all.

We had also hoped we would be more successful as a brand and therefore able to employ disabled veterans in house and send them to school for training if needed. Sadly to date that has not come together.

But we have been able to raise funds for veterans charities from our sales.

We have also been able to help provide work to Americans as our watches are built in the US. Our MM0 series in DLC and PVD have been coated in the US.

Our leather straps are made in the US and the padded zipper cases our watches come in are also produced in the US.

We still hope to be able to grow the brand to the point that we can employ disabled veterans in house and send them to school for training if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is cool Mr. Carey. :cool: :) Let's see here. ..Probably would go with that 42-44mm since it's such a good universal size nowadays. Don't really know what to add with the movement though. A Seiko, or Miyota automatic would be great just because they would keep cost down right?! ..However, I know how much everyone loves the ETA 2824 also.

Would maybe lean toward a Seiko, or Miyota.

Guess it depends on how much over those the ETA's would be for you, or a customer sir.
Personally I and other brand owners I know feel the 9015 is a better movement than the long in the tooth 2824.

However it seems to me that fewer brands are offering watches with the ETA while the demand for it is potentially stronger. I think those factors would lead to a stronger demand for our watch if it had an ETA movement vs a Myota.

As I have found over the years what I like or want is not necessarily what others really want.

Here is another movement idea which I am not so sure about. It so happens our watchmaker is factory authorized to repair Oris watches and has a lot of experience with Sellita movements. So we have kicked around the idea of using SW200. Our thinking now is that a 9015 would actually be of more interest.

What do you all think?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As for size, 42mm is about perfect in my eyes. seems to be a good size that appeals to almost anyone (not too big, not too small).
About a year ago I was thinking of going with a 41mm as a happy middle between 40 and 41.

Though I think we may have found tooling for a 42mm that could work for us. This would save us from design and tooling costs. It would also allow us to bring a completed product to market sooner.

Plus it's a design that we know works from a production stand point.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If equipped with a Swiss movement, I agree with Adrema that that would be a great value (ETA or Sellita both are great options).

If not, I am partial to the Seiko SII movements ONLY because as great as the Miyota 9015 is, I still hate that free-spinning rotor noise :)

I would love to see an American conglomeration of watch companies join together to create a "Made in the USA" watch movement. The Swiss and Asians cornered the movement market and pushed American companies out during the quartz revolution, and it seems no one has stood back up to fill the gap. I know RGM makes its own movement, but it is cost prohibitive for the average buyer. Hell, even though Hamilton is part of the Swatch Group, I'd love to see them become an all American product again. I think an American movement company to supply both micro-brands and some hopefully bigger names would do wonders for the watch world.
I had hoped for this as well. I do know of one company that was pretty far into such an effort about 4 years ago or so. The idea was dropped as the amount of movements they needed to produce and their price just would not work.

I keep thinking with all the advancements in tech that it would be much more doable than it seems to be.

I am thinking though that a "smart" watch movement could be done in the US. Don't know if we will ever see that or not.

I have been trying to find a source for even cases in the US. The US experts we have talked to all say we should just source from Europe or Asia...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For that type of dial, I like what I consider to be "classic" field watch hands, like on this Hamilton:


Thanks for the suggestion. This is pretty much what we had in mind as well for the hands.

We just got some early pricing in. The cost of the basic watch parts is more than double for ETA 2824 VS Miyota 9015.

Having said that it looks like we could hit the $600 price with the ETA movement. We would also be using the American leather straps we now use. To give you an idea of what those cost this is the strap we use.

http://www.panatime.com/22haroblgeca.html

To test the waters we are looking at a run of just 100 watches.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. This is pretty much what we had in mind as well for the hands.

We just got some early pricing in. The cost of the basic watch parts is more than double for ETA 2824 VS Miyota 9015.

Having said that it looks like we could hit the $600 price with the ETA movement. We would also be using the American leather straps we now use. To give you an idea of what those cost this is the strap we use.

http://www.panatime.com/22haroblgeca.html

To test the waters we are looking at a run of just 100 watches.
If your goal is to make money (of which part of it is for charity) I would go with the miyota and a lower price point. To back it up you can give a better warranty since fixing the movement would be cheaper as well.

This forum doesn't match the general consumer. If you focus on the aesthetic and use a dependable but cheaper movement, you'd have a more popular product based on price alone. Selling to this crowd is rough.

More so if you do come up with a design that is really good, you don't want to be bottled neck by the trouble of sourcing ETA's which will be even harder to come by in the future. You don't want to be that company that switches from an ETA to a clone or "worse" in later iterations.
 

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I disagree. I think having a $600 watch with the ETA auto movement would be a huge selling point and help sell those 100 watches.
I've seen companies lately selling watches for $5-$600 with ETA or Miyota Quartz... An ETA auto at that price point from a small brand these days is almost unheard of.

Even the general consumer hears Swiss and it resonates with them. I think if you can do the ETA 2824 than go for it,


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