Hawk wrote: MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
tiktok wrote:French labor commuters are the backbone of the Jura Valley. The watch companirs cannot afford to pay Swiss labor rates so even in Switzerland at least a large part of labor is actually a French.
That's an interesting observation, but still, the question is if the lower cost of the version equipped with an in-house movement doesn't by any chance come from the potential fact of said movement being at least partially made in, say, the land of Cathay. The price difference can have its source in that, but doesn't have to. It may be, that ETA simply got greedy to the point of creating and using a rather industrially finished in-house movement being more cost-effective than buying the 2824. To put it shortly, we don't know if the Montres Ambre holding is cutting corners or not.
A perhaps heretical question but doesn't bringing production in-house lower costs? We're accustomed to Swiss in-house movements being associated with high-priced brands. But the very notion of something being brought in-house increasing
cost runs cross-grain to my experience outside watchmaking.
In almost every other human endeavor bringing production in-house lowers cost. There are naturally costs involved in setting up for in house production of a major component - perhaps we're simply used to the Swiss trying to amortize every dime the first month?
Almost every specialized market succumbs to a form of magical thinking. In the case of RC helicopters I noticed that some few had repealed Ohm's law and done a considerable re-write on the laws of thermodynamics. I've often harbored a discreet (until just this moment) question as to whether the outlook on relative costs of in-house movements isn't perhaps one of these things. Something along the lines of "sure in-house production lowers costs in the rest of the world but this is watches fer crissakes - and we're proud of getting it backwards".
I suppose this could be related to the quantities made. Something like a 2824, made and sold by its manufacturer (ETA) wholesale in large quantities is unlikely to be more costly than an in-house movement made in far smaller quantities. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, even the companies that used to rely on in-house movements heavily - like Omega, Tissot, Longines, Eterna, Zenith, Movado, and some others - first started sharing movements being joint ventures, then pushed towards relying on generic ones. One reason I can think of is - what else - bringing down the production costs of mechanical watches, back then less desirable than quartz. The push for going in-house, even by brands that never made a movement of their own before (Tudor, for example), is a thing of the last decade, and it continues.
Then again, it is also very likely, that in fact the in-house thing is cheaper to make, but "in-house" (sans any high-tech silicon gimmicks) became the universal justification for fleecing the customer.
So, returning to the original matter of the price difference between the in-house (though in fact powered by a reserved calibre of the Montres Ambre holding) and ETA-powered Yemas, I can narrow it down to a list of possible reasons:
1. MA is cutting corners on materials and finishing, and delivers a movement inferior to the 2824.
2. MA outsources the production of movement parts.
3. ETA and the SG in general got greedy, and overcharge the MA and its brands for the 2824.
4. The production of MA's own movement results in a lower cost per unit, which may or may not be linked to ETA getting or not getting greedy beyond measure.
Without actual figures for production costs (design, labour, materials, facilities, and whatthefucknot), I can't really get further than just speculating.