Time’s up for overpriced ‘Swiss Made’ watches
Fed up with overpriced 'Swiss Made' watches, two Italian brothers decided to make their own timepieces - and sell them at a fair price.
Luxury ‘Swiss Made’ watches sell for a ridiculous mark-up. In some cases, up to 1000% more than they cost to make. When you wang a £1,000 (or maybe £10,000) on one of these watches, your money doesn’t really go on the watch. Most of it bankrolls multi-million pound endorsements with Hollywood celebs and famous tennis stars who are approaching the twilight of their career. These glossy adverts raise the ‘perceived value’ of the brand, generating more people willing to wang their hard-earned cash on overpriced watches.
The Swiss have cornered the market in these types of premium timepieces. In fact, research shows that consumers are willing to pay twice as much for a ticker than carries the ‘Swiss Made’ label. Like French Champagne or, er, Melton Mowbray pork pies, ‘Swiss Made‘ is an official stamp of approval. But is it really a passport to quality?
‘Swiss Made’ can mean ‘Mostly Chinese’
Sure, some ‘Swiss Made’ watches – Patek Philippe’s, Hublot’s, etc – are lovingly pieced together by walnut-faced craftsmen, squinting though brass loupes at tiny springs. But plenty of other ‘Swiss Made’ watches barely touch Swiss soil.
The watch industry’s regulations mean that to qualify as a ‘Swiss Made watch’, 60% of its movement must be assembled in Switzerland. Essentially that means two thirds of the watch – including the case, etc – can be made elsewhere. “Swiss Made” can actually mean “Mostly Chinese.”
Of course, we couldn’t possibly name any of the famous ‘Swiss Made’ watches that are actually “Mostly Chinese”. But if you are planning to splash out more than £1,000 on a watch, it’s worth doing your homework or consulting a respected independent watch dealer.
In an effort to stop innocent consumers handing over their wages to gazillionaire sports stars, or funding 80ft-high logos at hoity-toity yacht races and polo cups, two brothers from Italy have created a premium ethical watch brand that promises transparency.
In short, they want to blow the watch gaff wide open, and put an end to excessively-inflated profit margins.
Their brand, Filippo Loreti, is a straight-shooting, no-BS kinda deal. It promises high-quality materials, precise Japanese movements, and handcrafted Italian leather straps. Priced from £193, the brothers say they’re able to sell their premium watches at a ‘fraction of the price’ of their ‘Swiss Made’ counterparts by eliminating waste in the production process, spending the ‘bare minimum’ on advertising, and dispensing with glossy endorsements.
If you like the cut of their ethical jib, check out their online store (which cuts out the numerous middle men). Of course, ‘Italian Made’ watches don’t quite have the cache of their ‘Swiss Made’ cousins, but kudos to these dudes for highlighting some the greed that swirls around the watch industry – and saving stylish men a small fortune.
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