Modern Chinese watch portal

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Revision as of 20:47, 6 November 2014 by Jfseb (Talk | contribs) (First stab at expanding the Modern Portal to contain more and better-organised links. Definitely more work to be done.)

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In comparison to the vintage Chinese watch industry, the modern Chinese watch industry is distinctly more complicated, being characterised by globalisation and horizontal integration. Some of the largest and most technically developed of the vintage Chinese watch factories, such as those at Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin, are still in operation today and continue to manufacture complete watches to sell under their own brands. Many of these factories have also attempted to enter the lucrative high-end market, developing watches with elaborate complications such as minute repeaters and tourbillons - see the High-end Chinese watch portal for more information. However, modern Chinese factories also sell just movements (either assembled or as ebauches) to other companies who then assemble complete watches by combining these movements with cases, dials and hands which they have either manufactured themselves or again purchased from other manufacturers. Some of these companies sell the completed watches under their own brand, while other companies, called OEMs, specialise in producing completed watches for yet other companies to sell under their brands. Thus, modern Chinese watch movements can turn up in a wide range of places, from watches sold only on eBay by small, fly-by-night Chinese companies with negligible quality control or warranty, to high quality watches sold at fancy bricks-and-mortar stores by reputable Chinese manufacturers with over 50 years of history, to watches assembled in Switzerland by Swiss companies from Chinese movements, which can be legally sold as "Swiss made".

Modern movements

Surviving vintage brands

Modern brands

Joining the old vintage brands which have survived into the present are a large number of modern brands. Most of these brands' owners do not manufacture the complete watches themselves. They either purchase one of the movements listed above from its manufacturer and combine it with their own case, dial and hands, or outsource the manufacturing completely to one of the OEM companies listed below.

Major modern brands

See the complete list here.

Online modern brands

Some very small Chinese brands only sell their watches online, either through their own websites or through sites like eBay or Taobao. Some of these brands specialise in producing homage watches, while others come up with their own designs. Many of these brands "pop up overnight", and often disappear just as quickly. These informally known as "Mushroom brands". Some brands, despite being entirely or largely Chinese in origin, claim to have European heritage, and these are sometimes called "Germasian or Eurasian brands". Some prominent online brands are listed below, and more can be found here.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)

Main article: OEM

The term OEM, Original Equipment Manufacturer, refers to manufacturers who build products for others to sell under their own brand names.