How Important of In-house Movements Replicas Watch
If you’re looking to buy a new replica watch, you should ask, “Does it have an internal movement?” To put it bluntly: the mere presence of an internal movement is not necessarily the same as a better imitation watch.
Let’s start with what the term actually means. Like other words that have been hijacked by the luxury marketing community and rendered meaningless through misuse and overuse, “in-house” has been reduced to little more than jargon – and has bamboozled watch buyers in the process.
In fact, all parts of the internal movement must be made under the roof of the brand, whose name is on the dial. Employees at the same company also design and develop the movement from scratch, then assemble, decorate and complete it. By this definition, true internal motion is completely rare.
In order to make a real in-house movement needs mastery of a tremendous range of complex and exacting tasks, both technical and creative – and until a decade or so ago, only a few watch-making houses possessed the necessary mixture of skills, time and money to do it. However, it is because they didn’t need to.
Two things changed the industry beyond recognition. The first was the revival of mechanical watchmaking after the ‘quartz crisis’. Mechanical fake watches were not seen any more as the everyday necessity that they had been – but as a luxury. Making at least some of their own movements in-house enabled the top-tier brands to develop distinctive and wholly-owned calibres, with horological substance and rarity that justified their high prices.
The second was Swatch Group’s determination to drastically cut the supply of ebauches to its competitors. Brands that had taken full use of this ready source of well-proven and cheap movements faced a major crisis. Those with the financial means began to develop their own vertically integrated supply chains; they saw in-house movements as the ways of survival.
That tremendous capital investment has to be recouped. So obviously, an in-house movement will be more expensive than a mass-produced third-party one. And naturally, it will be marketed as being more prestigious.
The truth is that it hardly matters where a movement comes from, but how it is described before it is put into a watch and ready for sale: how much it has been modified or improved. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the folly of this debate is to the replica Breitling and Tudor movements.
The main problem is transparency — or lack thereof. All this ambiguity about internal activity erodes trust. Note, however, that some of the most genuine “in-house” brands don’t even bother to use the term: cheap Rolex and Seiko-reproductions, we’re looking at you.