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Making a Watch/Starting a Watch Company?

Discussion in 'Fine Watches, Jewelry, & Clothes' started by PeterGlomb, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. PeterGlomb

    PeterGlomb Karting

    Oct 3, 2011
    52
    FL
    Full Name:
    Pglo
    I have been intrigued by high end watches for some time now. I have created a one of a kind original watch that I would like to produce but I have no idea where to start. I found a company that will do it all for me but I'm not sure if they put their name on the watch or my own?
    I am looking for anything here. Treat me if so I have zero knowledge on producing a watch. My high end watch knowledge is definitely above average but I have little to no knowledge on how to create my own watch case, movement, strap, dial, etc.
     
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  3. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 30, 2001
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    Jim E
    You should reach out to Chris at VTC......
     
  4. PeterGlomb

    PeterGlomb Karting

    Oct 3, 2011
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    FL
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    Pglo
    I appreciate the tip! How do I go about contacting Chris?
     
  5. PeterGlomb

    PeterGlomb Karting

    Oct 3, 2011
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    FL
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    Pglo
    I guess I should mention that I'm not familiar with the acronym "VTC."
     
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  7. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mar 18, 2008
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    He's a member here in the watch business - just send a PM to VTCris

    Jedi
     
  8. TheDuke

    TheDuke Formula 3
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    Jul 22, 2011
    1,939
    Texas
    VTC= Valencia Time Center

    Chris is a member here that owns VTC, a company that sells watches.
    He's a good contact for that industry.

    Good luck with the watch
     
  9. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Tom Spiro
    There are a lot of movement producers in La Chaud de Fonds Switzerland.... a lot of high end watch makers are either owned by Swatch group, or LVMH or other luxury conglomerate.... so finding a watch engineer is not easy. Horlogerie times - is an industry magazine that has some names references. I would reach out to the Swiss Embassy and search their commerce / trade reps for specific watch designers / aetliers...
     
  10. dsd

    dsd F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Nov 19, 2006
    3,862
    Northern Virginia
    Honestly, starting a watch company is a near losing proposition if you do not have a built in audience.

    Now, having a LE bespoke watch made is another story...

    -dsd
     
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  12. PeterGlomb

    PeterGlomb Karting

    Oct 3, 2011
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    Pglo
    #10 PeterGlomb, Aug 16, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
    I'm leaning towards that bespoke option. I'm not sure, however, if that will effect my selling point and/or quality. Do you know anything about the quality and selection of movements when it comes to private labeling?
     
  13. dsd

    dsd F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Nov 19, 2006
    3,862
    Northern Virginia
    It all depends on what you want to spend and plan to resell. A. Lange and Sohne will do custom runs at 50 units (see Wempe Anniversary edition). That's about as high end as you can get. Mail order, you can get a logo/picture on a watch of 1 for $29.99. So there is a big spread in quality and cost.

    Is your design a custom dial or a custom shape/design (like an MB&F)? The latter will be harder to deal with as you can't just pick case, movement, hands, off of the shelf.

    -dsd
     
  14. PeterGlomb

    PeterGlomb Karting

    Oct 3, 2011
    52
    FL
    Full Name:
    Pglo
    My case design isn't quite as unorthodox as MB&F's but its the dial function that makes it unique. I will need a custom case, dial, movement, crystal, strap, etc. I don't want to choose from a selection of cases as I want to create my own watch with my idea and company logo on it. I am looking into CNC companies who machine metal which would be the perfect option for the case. I want to utilize high end materials such as titanium and carbon. I'm assuming I will need to create a CAD design of my watch for the CNC company to create anything for me. I need to find a watchmaker in order to create a custom movement. Nothing too unique but very high quality; and a custom dial. The strap is the easy part. All in all, I am finding out exactly what I need to do logistically and financially before I approach possible investors. Do you have any tweaking to my rough business plan?
     
  15. 4ARI

    4ARI Formula Junior

    Dec 15, 2005
    451
    Northern, VA.
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    Ron S.
    I have a friend who is a master water maker in Manhattan. He is now producing his own unique watches. Contact me at ron@ronsusser.com and perhaps I can hook you up.
    Ron
     
  16. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 4, 2004
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    Start here;

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f399/

    What you are tying to do is almost an insurmountable task if you dont have a Name Brand already, distribution channels, wads of cash, and in-depth knowledge of the industry.

    That said nothing is impossible if your up to it.
     
  17. venusone

    venusone F1 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    2,809
    Cool! Got a pic?
     
  18. damian in nj

    damian in nj Formula Junior

    Aug 24, 2009
    710
    Make a trip to the Basel Fair. Basically, unless you have the $$$ to promote your finished product-good luck!

    Even true watchmakers who design and manufacture the movement and case will outsource quite a few of the components.

    I have a friend who's a many generation watchmaker, worked with some of the top names in Switzerland, created his own line-trust me, it's not easy even with that background.
     
  19. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 4, 2004
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  20. PeterGlomb

    PeterGlomb Karting

    Oct 3, 2011
    52
    FL
    Full Name:
    Pglo
  21. Ray G

    Ray G Formula 3
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    Sep 8, 2005
    1,018
    Newport, RI
    Go to the Watchuseek Forums. In the public forum is a thread from someone wanting to start a watch company. Lots of good posts on there.
     
  22. Dodici Cilindri

    Dodici Cilindri Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2006
    545
    Great Plains
    The people at RGM Watches of Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania can tell you what it has taken to become established in the business. The more people you can speak with in the industry the better.
     
  23. damian in nj

    damian in nj Formula Junior

    Aug 24, 2009
    710
    Roland is a long time watchmaker, the OP sounds like someone with a passion for watches.
     
  24. damian in nj

    damian in nj Formula Junior

    Aug 24, 2009
    710
    Roland is a long time watchmaker, the OP sounds like someone with a passion for watches.
     
  25. gougoul

    gougoul Formula 3

    Nov 25, 2004
    1,302
    Geneva, Switzerland
    I met the guys from RGM once in Geneva, nice guys, with a real passion for what they're doing.
    I friend of mine relaunched his -very old- family business watchmaking here in Switzerland.
    He probably knows quite well how/etc to get into the manufacturing business.
    Should you really be interested in having it "swiss made", I could hook you up...
     
  26. dfratini

    dfratini Karting
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    Dec 31, 2003
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    Spokane, WA
    Full Name:
    Daniel Fratini
    You may also want to check out this guy: http://montanawatch.com
    I visited his shop in Livingston about a week ago and it was pretty impressive. All his movements are Swiss ETA but he reworks them all in house and everything else, case, straps, buckles etc. are made by area craftspeople. Many of the styles were way to fancy for my taste but each piece was unique and he is now sold out for at least the next 6 months so business is pretty good.
     
  27. Dodici Cilindri

    Dodici Cilindri Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2006
    545
    Great Plains
    The silver work borrows heavily from designs more commonly found on western style saddles. Nostalgia in a smaller scale.
     

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