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Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by fewlio, Sep 19, 2014.
The swiss would have no advantage building a smartphone. All their expertise is in precision miniature mechanical devises. Elite swiss watch manufacturers would be wise to pair with computer companies to be able to keep and increase their market share. A lot of the swiss companies think the aWatch will help their sales, as young people will start wearing watches again, which will help drive the market down the line. I would expect swiss makers will offer software for smart watches to emulate their watch faces.
Traditional watchmakers will be foolish to continue to stay disconnected and watch their market slip away, as they did in the 70's when quartz became popular. A couple decades from now, once battery and other technologies advance, I would expect the top end to have a band become the smartphone, with a mechanical watch be the jewelry in the center; the best of both worlds.
If you're looking for a discussion about the relevance of Asian-made electronics, you're about forty years too late. No one else can competitively compete where both technology is so advanced, yet labor is so incredibly cheap.
While more and more manufacturing will continue to be lost to Asia, here in the states we need to treat service jobs like we used to treat manufacturing jobs. Those jobs are impossible to outsource and are the only way to restore our middle class, and continue to be an advanced nation. We subsidize the workforce of extremely profitable companies like Walmart and McDonalds. We need to make these companies pay their workers a living wage, so instead of those workers having to take entitlements, they would instead start paying taxes. The largest growth of our country or any country for that matter, has been when the middle class thrives. It is so shortsighted to keep wages so low. Businesses are the ones that will benefit the most from having the masses having disposable income to spend.
At least Apple is making their MacPros in the USA, just like the original macs.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Edition models will be made in the USA just like the Mac Pro. If so, topic should be Switzerland vs. USA.
nah. swiss have nice watches from $100 to infinity.
same robots can be used in china as well as appropriate quality control. simply a matter of governance and costs. zero issue.
talking about automated manufacturing . innovation and hand work are different animals.
IMO you can't compare the rolex manufacturing process with the iPhone / iPad / AW process.
This is like comparing a Toyota FRS (a cheap attractive car) to a porsche 911 or perhaps even a ferrari.
Car analogies are hard to do but I would say it's more of a (Edition) Corvette to Ferrari.
EDIT: For the Sport, will be the big seller, your analogy may be closer.
Still Switzerland > USA
The only difference if it was made in the US compared to China would be that the working conditions would be better for the employees (which still doesn't mean they are the best conditions just better than in China) but the watch most likely wouldn't be of higher quality, because it would still be workers from the lowest class putting the watches.
And people who are cheap, build cheap stuff.
Meanwhile in Switzerland:
The notion of hordes of Swiss elves using magic to make every Rolex(or pick your other high-end Swiss brand) is very misplaced. Rolex manufacturing is as automated as pretty much other industry.
Switzerland has the US to thank for kicking them in the butt in the late 1800s by producing high grade watches in quantity with much better consistency than Switzerland had been able to achieve, as well as making low grade watches(Switzerland's bread and butter at the time) that were better and cheaper than those coming from Switzerland.
America has a rich tradition of watchmaking that has been largely lost.
Rolex is not exactly known for being hand-made but there is indeed a lot of manual labor involved in making a Rolex according to the available information (Rolex is very very secretive).
As for true high-end manufactures like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantine, et al, they are almost entirely hand-made.
Every Rolex movement is assembled by hand. The hands of the watch are placed manually. The parts are made by automated machines to fine degrees of tolerance. Service is performed by hand by a trained watchmaker. Case repolishing at service time is by hand and by machine. Finer watches, such as by Patek and Lange, have parts that are machine turned but finished by hand and hand engraved.
The Apple Watch looks to have high quality execution and definitely design, judging from the bracelet and case finish. It is an entirely new genre of object that does not directly compete with Rolex, in my view. It has yet to be seen how much quality has gone into it, mechanically and also software-wise. My Rolex has been on my wrist for 25 years with one service. It will probably outlast me. Maybe the Apple Watch can match that.
Ok, lets have a look at it.
On the first picture you see a quartz movement of a reputable Swiss watch brand ( Breitling ).
On the second picture you see a mechanical movement of a reputable German watch brand ( Glashütte ). Quite some Swiss brands offer the same quality and complexity.
Choose which is more complicated to produce and thus ( far ) more expensive.
Which movement you would like to produce in China ? Which of the movements comes closer to the AW internals ( just guess ) ?