"Thais make watch movements of the same quality"

Asian Made & Swiss Asian watches

"Thais make watch movements of the same quality"

Postby koimaster » May 9th 2017, 9:58am

And Inflicta and other tv watches are the same quality as a Rolex or better! :dssd:


"We must not overestimate the Swiss, the Thais make watch movements of the same quality"

The boss of movement maker Ronda, Erich Mosset, will launch a mechanical caliber by the end of the year. For him, the quality of his movements "Swiss made" and that of movements entirely made in Thailand "is comparable"


Certainly, the boss of the manufacturer of watch movements Ronda has done a bit of riding. But if Erich Mosset has chosen a horse for advertising touting his great return in the world of mechanics, it is not for this reason. "This animal represents freedom, which joins our slogan" Freedom is a movement ", notes the co-owner of the Basel family business. The freedom of what? "To choose who you want to buy your mechanical movement," smiled Erich Mosset.

At the Basel fair last March, the company that employs 1,800 people between Ticino, Jura, Thailand and Hong Kong made the event. And not only because the company was celebrating its 70th anniversary. After only devoting himself to quartz movements for more than 40 years - Ronda now sells 20 million a year - the "engine manufacturer" founded by Erich Mosset's father announced the launch of a mechanical movement Watchmaker christened R150. Objective: to produce this caliber in "industrial quantity".

Together with Soprod or Sellita, to name just two companies, Ronda will offer an additional alternative for the watchmaking brands that now source their movements from ETA. After a series of several years, the company of the group Swatch will be able to select to whom to deliver its hearts of watches from 2020.

Meeting with the boss of Ronda in his headquarters in Lausen (BC).

- Le Temps: What were the first echoes following your announcement at the Basel fair?

- Erich Mosset: Very positive. But we are not surprised; Our customers are asking us to make mechanical movements again for years.


- Would you have gone into mechanical calibration if the company ETA, owned by Swatch Group, had not announced its willingness to reduce its deliveries?

- I do not really know, but that's not the point. We are looking for our own way, regardless of what the bigger or the market is doing. We are not targeting cyclical growth spikes, for example. We want to be able to do it in the long term, and that is where we see opportunities.

- You are going to deliver the first R150 by the end of 2016. How much do you think to sell?

- We will start by producing a few tens of thousands for the year 2017 and see how the market reacts. I trust that many of our current customers have already shown great interest. Ultimately, we would like to sell hundreds of thousands of them.


- Is your goal to replace ETA (which delivers between 5 and 6 million movements per year)?

- ETA will not be replaced. But there will be more alternatives. In any case, we are not very numerous to claim to be competitive in this segment. Ronda has an advantage: we are used to producing volumes with quartz movements. Our industrial base is solid and we have the know-how to also develop a substantial market.

- How much did the development of the R150 cost?

- It took us more than four years and cost us 25 million francs, whether in processes, new machines, and so on. But our goal is not to have a return on investment in three years. We are investing in the long term.

- How much will it cost?

- Like the other mechanical movements of this range: about 60 francs. Between 2010 and 2014, there was such a demand that a real gray market of the movement exploded, it became a real bazaar. This caused prices to swell and ETA 2824 was found, which could cost up to 150 francs. But the market is now back to normal.

- By way of comparison, how much do you sell your quartz movements?

- The basic "Swiss made" gauges that we manufacture in our factory in Thailand cost 1.80 francs. Either much more expensive than Japanese (50 centimes) or Chinese (25 centimes, but no battery). Swiss made quartz movements start at 4 francs.

"What do you feel by selling guns at 4 francs and finding them in watches a few hundred francs?

- There has been a transfer: the value of the Swiss and international watch industry is no longer in movements, but in brands. This is interesting, but the consumer generally does not know the price of the caliber. On average, when you buy a watch at 100 francs, the movement - which is the heart of the watch - represents only 2 or 3% of the total value of the coin. Distribution takes 50% and everything else goes into dressing, marketing, licenses, boxes, etc.

- With a movement at 1.80 francs, one can hardly imagine where your margin is ...

- It is indeed minimal and I consider that this is not reasonable. Producers of movements are under pressure. In 1989, Japanese manufacturers Citizen and Seiko began a price war that lasted almost fifteen years. With volumes of several hundred million pieces, they have succeeded in bringing down prices. And then the Chinese arrived in the game by lowering them even more, because the biggest American customers were putting them under pressure. Today, prices are on the floor and we can not do anything to go up. For Japanese producers, as for us, it is difficult to achieve reasonable margins in the large volume segment.

- Are you comfortable with being a Swiss company selling non-Swiss made movements?

"Perfectly. We manufacture more than "Swiss made" movements because we need volume. There are additional rubies in the "Swiss made" version, some electronic components are different, but in the background, the quality of both models is comparable. You know, we must not overestimate the Swiss; The Thai people are quite capable of producing products of the same quality. Besides, like our Swatch Group, our Asian factory manufactures components that are also found in our Swiss made movements. It is an imperative to make volume.

- What impact will you have on reinforcing the "Swiss made" which will come into force in 2017?

- Our movements are already about 70% "Swiss made", so the 50% to 60% change will not change much for us apart from the important efforts to provide in the calculation of costs. That will change especially for our customers. Their greatest challenge will not be movement, but the whole head of the watch, which will also count for the calculation of "Swiss made". It will be a major problem to create the necessary production capacities in Switzerland, although not everything will have to be done within the country. It will be necessary, for example, for one of the three operations of manufacturing the box (stamping, machining or polishing) to be done in Switzerland.

- Some, like Victorinox, are just starting to manufacture boxes ...

"Yes, but they already have an industrial tool for their knives." For large groups such as Swatch, Richemont or Rolex, it will not be a problem. On the other hand for small brands that make between 50,000 and 100,000 watches a year, it will be very difficult. Personally, I am not sure that with the new standard, Swiss watches are gaining in quality, what consumers would expect.

- Ronda started in mechanics in the 1960s, then focused only on quartz in the 1990s. And now comes back in mechanics. It is a reflection of the Swiss watch industry ...

- Yes, if you want. My father died in 1985. When my sister, her husband and I seriously took over our father's business in 1989, we first restructured the business from top to bottom. At that time, nobody wanted mechanical movements (we barely sold a few thousand), we decided to work more on the Asian market and concentrate on quartz. We really wanted to go there to make volume. It was after this rise in power that we had the kickbacks strong enough to attack the Swiss market again, for example with Gucci, TAG Heuer or Mondaine. Since then, every four or five years we were wondering when we were going to return to mechanics. At the end of 2011, we felt ready, whether at the level of technology, production or volume.

- You wear a Ronda watch. Are you going to market such models?

- No. We have 500 equipped with the mechanical movement to give them to our customers. Watches are the language of our customers, we have to speak the same language. We will also give some employees or do some testing. But they are not for sale.



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Re: "Thais make watch movements of the same quality"

Postby Hawk » May 9th 2017, 12:20pm

Trivia of the day: Ronda Thailand is actually in the province Samut Prakan and somebody with a good arm could probably sling a stone from there to ETA Thailand.

Suggesting that they're equal to Swiss right this minute wouldn't be too big a stretch because I'm pretty sure Ronda was strictly quartz last time I was there. It's a pretty upscale sweatshop unh, I mean manufacture d'horlogerie for the neighborhood. Then again Samut Prakan is eclectic that way.

Whether or not Ronda or ETA could expand into mechanical movements in Thailand is anybody's guess but if it can be done in Malaysia I don't see why they couldn't hit the Malaysian benchmark at the least.

The google street pics look better, on average, than Hollywood Florida manuficdarders deeWhorologie. A jumpstart...






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Re: "Thais make watch movements of the same quality"

Postby Darksider » May 9th 2017, 3:55pm

Hawk wrote:Trivia of the day: Ronda Thailand is actually in the province Samut Prakan and somebody with a good arm could probably sling a stone from there to ETA Thailand.

Suggesting that they're equal to Swiss right this minute wouldn't be too big a stretch because I'm pretty sure Ronda was strictly quartz last time I was there. It's a pretty upscale sweatshop unh, I mean manufacture d'horlogerie for the neighborhood. Then again Samut Prakan is eclectic that way.

Whether or not Ronda or ETA could expand into mechanical movements in Thailand is anybody's guess but if it can be done in Malaysia I don't see why they couldn't hit the Malaysian benchmark at the least.

The google street pics look better, on average, than Hollywood Florida manuficdarders deeWhorologie. A jumpstart...






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Re: "Thais make watch movements of the same quality"

Postby eddiea » May 9th 2017, 4:41pm

Hawk wrote: Whether or not Ronda or ETA could expand into mechanical movements in Thailand is anybody's guess but if it can be done in Malaysia I don't see why they couldn't hit the Malaysian benchmark at the least.

In general, anything made in Thailand are well done, interesting , beautiful....and fun ;) Image
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