“In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Here you can post stuff that is not related to Christopher Ward
User avatar
missF
CW Forum Poet Laureate
CW Forum Poet Laureate
Posts: 11708
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Edinburgh

“In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by missF »

*Podcast*

A lot of these thoughts match with mine - though I don’t have the background knowledge or ability to express this myself. Watchmaking is an awesome, complex, global, connected, mechanical and creative endeavour. I can marvel at this alone. The end result makes me marvel.

‘Bringing manufacturing in-house’? It just doesn’t particularly make me marvel, when the reality is I don’t believe that there’s any such thing nowadays. Telling me that your movement is ‘mostly in-house’ or ‘60% in-house because that’s all we really need to do in order to call it in-house and justify a price hike’ doesn’t add to any sense that I’m buying into some idea of quality or interestingness.

Now designing new movements is different and is where I’d like to know more and understand and marvel. It’s really beyond the capacity of my brain! But building them in-house? That’s just a matter of money, logistics and machinery no?

Well - you’ll all have your own thoughts on this, and I’d love to know what you think. I don’t swallow everything the guy says, but it’s certainly been a good prompt for my thoughts on this.


https://www.beyondthedial.com/post/podc ... elligence/
These users thanked the author missF for the post:
tikkathree
User avatar
golfjunky
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 6812
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:32 pm
Location: Essex

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by golfjunky »

I dont think i really care until you get upto PP, ALS etc range. Seiko is all in house but i wouldnt boast about it to friends.
These users thanked the author golfjunky for the post (total 2):
missFthomcat00
Current collection = Omega Seamaster 2225.80.00, Omega Speedmaster 'Moonphase' 3576.50.00, Breitling Aerospace Evo, Vintage Azur, Vintage Seiko Sprtsman, Grand Seiko SBGX059, Omega SMP NTTD 210.92.42.20.01.001, Casioak Milkyway, Casioak Tiffany Sky.
User avatar
iain
Trusted Seller
Trusted Seller
Posts: 3048
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:13 pm
CW-watches: 1

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by iain »

I haven’t listened to the podcast so I’m not entirely sure if I’m agreeing, disagreeing, or missing the point of the question completely. However these are my thoughts on in house movements.

I will start by saying I like watches for both their design AND their engineering. I was drawn to my El Primero by its looks but them completely drawn in by the movement and the story behind it.

For the last few years at least I’ve been really only interested in buying watches that tick both the design and the engineering boxes. For me for a watch brand to tick the engineering box in the sense of a watchmaker, then they need to have the ability to at least understand the mechanical aspects of their product.

I will admit I don’t like fashion brands who sell watches. To my mind they are a designer of an item of clothing or jewellery who happen to know that their product needs to have enough space to drop in a watch movement. However how far removed are they from micro brand watches? Many micro brand watch companies will design a watch, have it made in a factory to their specifications and drop in a third party movement. Does that differentiate them enough from the fashion brands to make them watchmakers and the fashions brands not?

When I comes to in house I agree Lindsey that it comes down to having invested in skilled staff and equipment to design and/or make your own movements. However it also signifies, to me at least, that this is a company who are serious enough about watches and watchmaking to want to make that investment. If they don’t are they any different from the fashion watch brands?

Now whether an in house movement is important is a slightly different question and I will say no, however for me for a company that sells watches to be classed as a watchmaker, they need to make movements.

For brands like CW or IWC then I know they have that capability which marks them out as watchmakers. I’m happy to have a Sellita or ETA based movement because I know they are still a watch from a brand that can and does make their own movements.

It’s interesting to note the brands that are mentioned by Greg are the ultra high end and Seiko. For the purpose of my answer they are all equal and all companies worthy of being classed as watchmakers which is who I want to buy a watch from, not someone who only knows how to make something look nice.
Iain’s Law: Any discussion on the Christopher Ward forum, irrespective of the thread title or subject matter, will eventually lead to someone mentioning the Bel Canto if the thread continues for long enough.
User avatar
missF
CW Forum Poet Laureate
CW Forum Poet Laureate
Posts: 11708
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Edinburgh

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by missF »

I think that I maybe divide the industry in a different, more simple way. Not high horological v low or fashion v doing the real thing, though I agree with many of your points @iain .
I just see it this way - for companies like Seiko or Rolex or others who are already - historically- building in-house movements, then that’s great. That’s a heritage that’s valuable to them. But younger companies who are now ‘bringing their manufacturing in-house’? Well there’s just too much smoke and mirrors for me to get on board with it. As long as companies are as opaque as they are about what in-house means to them, and there are no industry standard definitions that anyone is going by, I am always going to see the endeavour as a way of increasing prices, and selling a notion, rather than a way of expanding the watchmaking expertise of a company.

A company can still produce growth, development, knowledge, new movements while sourcing components from elsewhere, without taking anything away from their accomplishments IMO. That’s why I emphasised the creativity of the industry. I’d be fascinated to hear about how companies are doing this. In-house just doesn’t come with any unqualified sense of added value for me. (Unqualified because there are always many examples to pick out where in-house has brought the ability to innovate or improve. Oris calibre 400 is mentioned as one of these examples in the podcast).

Just exploring here and there. The thing for me is that watches in one sense are luxury, lifestyle items, and that means SO much money spent on promotion and advertising. I think the ‘bringing things in-house’ thing is currently a way of adding cache and price. Unfortunately there is so much smoke and mirrors that it’s really hard for someone like me to look beyond that, and establish the real watchy credentials of a particular company. I find that sad.
User avatar
iain
Trusted Seller
Trusted Seller
Posts: 3048
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:13 pm
CW-watches: 1

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by iain »

It seems it’s not about in house itself, just how in house is in house, and how much is just marketing influence?

You mention smoke and mirrors and companies using the term in house in a vague way. I would agree that modern marketing is certainly having some influence, as are the resources available to us normal folk so we can have a greater understanding. However you could argue that nothing had really changed. I’m no vintage Omega expert, but didn’t many of the earlier calibres come from developments from other makers. The moon watch movement I think is based on another calibre but I suppose the marketing around in house didn’t matter back then.

As for newer makers going in house, I’m fine with new kids on the block getting involved and aren’t one for gatekeeping watchmaking to the older established brands, as much as the older brands might want it to remain like that.

I suppose I’ll need to listen to the podcast to fully understand the points they make but it sounds like the issue is with the smoke and mirrors modern marketing rather than in house or part in house movements themselves?
Iain’s Law: Any discussion on the Christopher Ward forum, irrespective of the thread title or subject matter, will eventually lead to someone mentioning the Bel Canto if the thread continues for long enough.
User avatar
missF
CW Forum Poet Laureate
CW Forum Poet Laureate
Posts: 11708
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Edinburgh

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by missF »

I’d say the guy in the podcast is making a pretty strong statement that the conversation about ‘in-house-ness’ is just the wrong conversation full stop. The quality of movements should be what we’re talking about, and for that, where components are produced or built is of no concern at all. Just because a movement is built ‘in-house’ doesn’t mean it’s any better than any other. You have to know more and look further than that. I’d say his view is quite extreme, and he could almost be playing Devil’s advocate against ‘the prevailing opinion’ (whatever that is), but it resonated with me.
JAFO
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 4419
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:59 pm

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by JAFO »

I will just say that in general I am not the customer they are aiming at with the movement: I like an attractive watch, but I am more interested in a decent watch at a decent price, irrespective of the movement. So I tend not to look at expensive watches, although I might be persuaded by a particular example.
These users thanked the author JAFO for the post:
NigelS
User avatar
NigelS
Expert
Expert
Posts: 202
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2023 8:02 am
CW-watches: 2
Location: Stone, Staffs, UK

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by NigelS »

JAFO wrote: Sat Jul 22, 2023 10:24 am I will just say that in general I am not the customer they are aiming at with the movement: I like an attractive watch, but I am more interested in a decent watch at a decent price, irrespective of the movement. So I tend not to look at expensive watches, although I might be persuaded by a particular example.
Here, here . . . . I have two watches with the same Sellita SW200-1 movement, an Oris Cervo Volante and a CW C63 Sealander. The former costs two and a half times the latter but as the movement is available to the trade at around the $150 mark its a fairly insignificant proportion of the retail price - especially so for the Oris. Both watches are reliable, keep reasonable time and I don't have any of the reported issues with the screw-down crown or winding functions. So far so good but I also have other watches with a variety of movements including some Seiko's. The 7s26 calibre in my SKX has been around for nearly thirty years and although was discontinued four years ago is still available at <$20 brand new; that too is reliable, keeps reasonable time and I don't have any problems with the screw-down crown or winding function . . . . . actually, I just shake the watch vigorously side to side for 30 seconds and wear it for weeks! I also have some watches with Ronda movements, even cheaper, much more accurate timekeeping and never need winding. No, my purchasing decision is not based at all on the movement, perhaps a little on the history, some on size and feel on the wrist and much more on design and price, but mostly price.
'Life is Art, and not otherwise' C.S.Lewis
User avatar
strapline
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 2326
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 3:00 pm
CW-watches: 0
Location: SW Ireland

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by strapline »

Yes, I think it probably does would be my reply to your thread title.
First off, I haven't listened to the podcast; I seem to finding a lot to read in the Saturday papers. So these are purely my opinions.

I don't put a huge a mount of stock in to in-house movements. A good, reliable movement from one of the companies that specialise in making watch movements only will suffice. A higher grade of movement from their catalogue, why not. Some tighter tolerances, perhaps COSC regulation and certification, lovely. It would appear to me that there are a number of £3+K watch manufacturers that claim 'in house' movements, when all they appear to do is modify other people's work. Put in a new bridge, here, add an extra jewell there. Perhaps put in your own balance spring. But essentially it's someone else's movement, you've just tweaked it. I know this is something Bremont has done/does. Perhaps this can even be levelled at companies like IWC, although I don't have the facts, just seem to remember having read it.

Like you said, Lindsey, I do like the idea of something new(ish) in watch making. I find myself looking more and more at Omega's with their co-axial escapement. Until George Daniels had this adopted by Omega in '99 the lever escapement had remained essentially the same from its genesis, a long ol' time ago. Given its timeline a co-axial movement is still a relatively new innovation, and one with proven benefits in terms of accuracy and servicing schedules etc.

Again, it's only my opinion, but when I think of REAL artisan watchmaking, that seems to be a very high end pursuit. Probably circa £100k for a watch. Then everything is 'in house' - development, manufacturing, assembly, finishing and, not least, the movement. I think there is quite an element of 'smoke and mirrors' in the Swiss watch industry, but far from that being detrimental I often think it helps drive the mystique and exclusivity of the whole industry, certainly to those who are new to the whole pursuit.

Des
Does melancholy count as two of your five daily servings?
Ttf23
Guru
Guru
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:07 pm

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by Ttf23 »

I’m a big fan of these - the craftsmanship that goes into these watches is incredible. Expensive, sure, but not completely crazy money for what it is.

https://www.watchfinder.co.uk/articles/ ... bluth-sohn
Independent buyer and seller of Christopher Ward and other watches - Ward Hoard
User avatar
gwells
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 7626
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:02 am
CW-watches: 1
Location: falls church, va

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by gwells »

all of this is mnsvho.

i want a quality movement. but for most companies, to me, "in-house" is a negative, not a positive. an ETA2824 is as bog common as they come, and to me, that's valuable. parts availability is much simpler, and longevity of parts is mostly guaranteed.

if it's a specialty inhouse movement, that means generally (a) there's only one place that can service it, which means service costs are going to be much higher, and (b) where am i at 10-20 years down the road? how available are parts?

if it's a specialty inhouse movement, it better be doing something extra special that the common movements don't, and i'd better really like it. otherwise, to me, what's the point? i don't care about bragging rights or thinking to myself "this movement is special." i care about accuracy, durability, quality, and longevity in a movement.
These users thanked the author gwells for the post (total 2):
jkbarnesNigelS
the "g" is for Greg...
User avatar
missF
CW Forum Poet Laureate
CW Forum Poet Laureate
Posts: 11708
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Edinburgh

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by missF »

mnsvho? :oops:
User avatar
Amor Vincit Omnia
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 33617
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:34 pm
CW-watches: 4
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@missF My not so very humble opinion.
Steve
Linguist; retired teacher; pilgrim; apprentice travel writer

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time


Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. (Max Ehrmann)
User avatar
missF
CW Forum Poet Laureate
CW Forum Poet Laureate
Posts: 11708
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Edinburgh

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by missF »

Oh! Haha! Keep up missF......

@gwells - your nsvho is welcome, and close to mine.


But in what I’ve said, i definitely don’t mean the watch companies shouldn’t strive, innovate and produce new movements. I just see no benefit or wonder in the fact that they’re made under the one roof...
User avatar
gwells
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 7626
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:02 am
CW-watches: 1
Location: falls church, va

Re: “In-House obscures the quality of movements and insults our intelligence...”

Post by gwells »

personally, i don't see much benefit to producing in house movements to an end user unless there really *is* innovation. if it's just to bring it in house and brag in marketing, it has zero value to me.

on some level, i can see some value to a company if they really do create an in house movement (not fudge someone else's movement, but making their own). it gives you supply certainty. but to the watch wearer? don't see it.
the "g" is for Greg...
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post