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WATCH BUYERS

Do you want to sell your watch for the best price in Cape Town?

We are luxury watch buyers offering the best value and service in the business. Selling your watch to us is easy, start by getting a free quote.

Watch Brands We Love

The luxury Swiss brands below are the most popular and carry the highest resale value in South Africa.

If you want to sell any of the brands below, we’ll give you the best price in Cape Town for your good condition watch.

Contact Us Now for a Free Quote. 

Rolex Luxury Watch

ROLEX

The brand all watch buyers love thanks to it’s excellent resale value over time. If you are the owner of a Rolex watch and want the best price for it, we’d love to make you an offer on your watch.

Omega Luxury Watch

OMEGA

Omega is an exceptional Swiss timepiece arguably most well-known for the Seamaster series of watches. If you want to sell your Omega watch in Cape Town, we have an irresistible offer for you.

Breitling Watches

BREITLING

Breitling has made quality timepieces since 1884 when Leon Breitling first started earning a reputation for his fine pocket watches. If you want to sell your Breitling, let us make you an offer.

Panerai Luxury Watch

PANERAI

The Panerai story begins in 1860 when Giovanni Panerai not only opened the first watch store in Florence, but the first watchmaking school too. More than 150 years later the brand continues to refine simplicity.

Patek Philippe

PATEK PHILIPPE

Patek Philippe patented keyless winding and the hand-setting system in 1845. The brand is renowned for its sophisticated approach to designing breathtaking timepieces many consider to be art.

IWC Watches

IWC

The International Watch Company or IWC as it’s known, was founded by an American in Schaffhausen in 1868. The brand combines precision engineering with timeless design.

HOW IT WORKS

Selling your luxury watch to Cape Town’s premier watch buyer is easy.

  1. Complete the Free Quote Form
  2. Bring Us Your Watch
  3. Get Money in Your Bank Account

If your watch is in good condition we’ll make you a top offer.

Remember to bring the following if available…

  • Original Packaging
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Original Receipt

Once accepted we will make an instant payment to your local South Africa bank account.

So next time when you ask “where can I sell my watch in Cape Town?”, you’ll know the answer.

Why Anthony Alan?

When you sell your watch to a professional business who specialises in buying fine Swiss watches, you don’t need to deal with the headaches of finding a buyer online.

You’ve probably heard of the many scam artists online waiting to rip you off. Well it’s true, they’ll setup a meeting and potentially rob you of your possessions.

Why take the chance?

Wouldn’t you prefer a clean transaction in safe, professional surroundings?

At Anthony Alan the entire process from start to finish is seamless.

We take pride in our reputation as Cape Town’s premier watch buyers, and always go the extra mile to offer you the service you deserve.

Contact Us Today for your free quote and see why selling your watch to Anthony Alan is the best decision you can make.

The Early Days of the Swiss Watch Industry

The Swiss weren’t the first nation to make clocks small enough to carry around, that distinction goes to Germany. The first miniaturized clocks which could realistically be called watches were created somewhere between 1509 and 1530 (the earliest known watch was made in 1530) by Peter Henlein in Nuremberg. At over 3 inches long, the clocks were portable enough to be worn as items of clothing, but a little too big to fit in a pocket. Being incredibly rare and expensive, they were limited to being owned by the nobility at the time – as no-one else could afford them!

The Swiss watch industry started shortly afterwards , as the reformation started to change Western Europe (the religious revolution which started in 1517 by Martin Luther), the French Wars of Religion led to widespread persecution of the Huguenots (French protestants). Many Huguenots fled the persecution in France and entered Switzerland, bringing their clock and watch making skills to Geneva. This influx of skilled refugees helped transform the reputation of Geneva into a city known for its high quality watchmaking.

A huge revolution was already underway in Geneva at the time, led by John Calvin. The revolution in Geneva was heavily influenced by the reformation and made it a great place for Huguenots to integrate into the city. This revolution was also a perfect breeding ground for the clocks and watches which were being developed in Geneva.

As part of the changes Calvin was making in Geneva, there was much heavier regulation into people’s lives. Despite being well known for the Jewellery which was produced by the skilled goldsmiths in the city, wearing Jewellery was forbidden in Calvin’s Geneva. This destroyed the businesses of all of the goldsmiths and enamellers in Geneva, who steadily turned towards watchmaking. Goldsmiths and enamellers in Geneva, who had the expertise in beautiful design and craft, worked with the skilled Huguenots who had the knowledge and technique to create clocks and watches.

Finally, when the amount of regulation in Geneva was relaxed – around the end of the 17th Century, the city was known for its watchmaking expertise. Now that people were allowed to wear Jewellery again, the watchmaking expertise could be paired up with the decorative art that the city was traditionally known for. In a short time the Swiss watches produced in Geneva were not just known for their skill and quality watchmaking, but also for their beauty.

The Road to Dominating the Watch Industry

Of course, at this point, despite a good reputation – Swiss watches were not yet the standard by which all other watches would be judged. In fact, during the 18th Century, that label would probably be applied to watches produced in Britain.

Pocket watches were very popular in Britain at the time, the reason for this is usually attributed to the introduction of waistcoats. Because of this popularity, there was a lot of time and effort invested in the development of watches. Developments in manufacturing, including the tooth-cutting machine – which was devised by Robert Hooke, helped increase the volume of watches produced. While the inventions of the balance spring (arguably invented in either Britain by Robert Hooke or the Netherlands by Christiaan Huygens), chronometers and the lever escapement helped increase the accuracy and quality of watches.

Specifically in Britain, innovations from James Cox, John Harrison and George Graham paved the way for the kind of mechanical movements you see today. We’ll explore the British watch industry and the way the 18th Century innovations impacted today’s industry in a future blog post.

Whilst the British appeared to lead the way in innovation around this time, a lot of work was going on in Switzerland. Watchmaking spread across the Jura mountains, where the industry flourished. It wasn’t just innovation and excellence in terms of the watches developed, but also in the way watches were produced.

Much of the early innovation in the Jura mountains came from Daniel Jean Richard, a goldsmith who was the first to apply the division of labour to the watchmaking industry. By using this to increase efficiency and standardisation he was able to increase production volume and quality. By the end of 1790 Geneva was already exporting over 60,000 watches!

Today Jeanrichard is considered the “founder of the watchmaking industry in the canton of Neuchâtel.”

More Swiss innovations came about over the following years. Abraham-Louis Perrelet created the “perpetual” watch in 1770, this watch was the forerunner to the modern self-winding watch. Adrien Philippe, one of the founders of the well respected brand Patek Philippe, invented the pendant winding watch. The fly back hand was developed in the Jura mountains around this time, too.

You also cannot forget the invention of the tourbillon by Swiss-born Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1795 (patented in 1801). One of the most incredible pieces of high-quality watchmaking expertise, although not one which is, or ever has been affordable enough for most people to own!

The invention which allowed the Swiss to gain control of the watch industry wasn’t actually developed in Switzerland at all. In the 1760’s French watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lépine invented a simplified flat calibre which became known as the Lépine calibre. This calibre allowed the development of smaller, thinner pocket watches. Horological historian David Christianson explained how this ended Britain’s dominance of the watch industry -“At that time, men’s fashion — thin trousers, waistcoats — demanded a non bulky watch case… and the Brits weren’t willing to thin their watches.”

Jean-Antoine Lépine was part of the French watchmaking industry – in fact, serving as watchmaker to Louis XV, Louis XVI and Napoleon Bonaparte. However, his invention helped to create the Swiss watchmaking powerhouse which was set to dominate the industry and almost destroyed the French watchmaking industry. In the early 1800’s the Lépine calibre was adapted to factory production by French watchmaker Frédérick Japy. This development favoured Swiss watchmakers more than it did the French as Swiss farmers and peasants would spend their winter months making watch components for firms in Geneva. As further technology was implemented for mass-production, Swiss watchmakers were able to produce watches at much higher volumes than their rivals.

On top of that, the mass-production which was embraced in Switzerland was completely rejected in France. English and French watchmakers were unable to compete with the volume or price of mass-produced Swiss watches. The English watch industry almost collapsed at the end of the 1800’s and the French industry only just survived with a small number of individuals creating quality authentically-French timepieces.

Dominance Using the “Établissage” System

The way Swiss watches were developed was incredibly different to that used by their European neighbours. Jérôme Lambert, chief executive of Montblanc, thinks that the way the Swiss watch industry developed was a natural extension of Switzerland as a country. “As a country, Switzerland is very decentralized. Every valley has an owner or organization that has a dynamic, small city centre,” he explained. “That created a very natural extension of the traditional watchmaking way. It was not the same case in England, Germany or France, where it was very much centralized in big cities.”

Swiss watch manufacturers used a watchmaking system called établissage, which allowed them to develop watches much faster than any of their rivals. According to World Tempus, this means “A procedure for manufacturing the watch and/or movement by assembling its various component parts. It usually involves the following operations: acceptance, inspection and storage of the Èbauches, regulating organs and other parts for the movement and exterior; assembly; timing; fitting the dial and hands; casing; final inspection before packaging and dispatching.”

In practise this means that different parts of the watch would be manufactured in different places, then assembled by the manufacturers to create the finished timepiece. Which is something that is still embraced by the lower priced Swiss watch manufacturers today with parts developed in the far east then assembled in Switzerland. By using this system, the pace of Swiss watch manufacturing increased in an almost unbelievable fashion.

In 1800, both Switzerland and Britain produced 200,000 timepieces, in 1850 Switzerland were able to produce 2,200,000 – while Britain produced little more than 200,000.

However, at this time a higher volume of Swiss timepieces did not mean higher quality. In the same way that countries like China and Thailand are able to create a huge number of watch components cheaply and quickly today, quantity doesn’t always mean quality.

Many Swiss watches would look just like watches manufactured in France or Britain, albeit with lower prices and wider availability. But the quality wouldn’t match up to the handmade originals.

This strategy worked for a while, but was disastrous when they attempted to break the lucrative American market, who were having a watchmaking boom of their own (which we will cover in a future blog post). They flooded the market with cheap Swiss watches which were widely considered to be “junk” by Americans.

Combining Mass-Production With High Quality

Despite the Swiss history of quality, if it wasn’t for the American optimized production process being implemented in Switzerland it’s very likely that Switzerland would not be the watchmaking powerhouse we know them to be today.

There were quality Swiss companies still putting out great quality watches, but they were eclipsed in number during the mid-1800’s by companies churning out cheap, low-quality watches. Over in America the optimized production process ensured that all watches were reliable, but they lacked the historical watch-making know-how and beauty of Swiss watches.

In 1868 Florentine A. Jones moved from America to Switzerland and founded the International Watch Company. This was an early company who succeeded in combining Swiss know-how and American production. It was also the start of some Swiss companies moving away from établissage and bringing all of their production in house. Longines, for example, brought their operations in house in 1866 and employed over 1,100 workers within 45 years.

By moving away from watch pieces being produced around the country then quickly assembled and towards optimized in-house production, the Swiss watch industry were able to keep production numbers high and retain their reputation for quality.

Of course, none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for research and inventions from Pierre-Frédéric Ingold and Georges-Auguste Léschot. Léschot is the most well-known of the two men – he invented one of the first machines to manufacture various parts of watches in order to obtain interchangeable parts.

Ingold is less known, but in some ways, probably more important. Ingold was involved in the development of a lot of quality French watches of the early-1800’s as an apprentice to Abraham-Louis Breguet, but his lasting innovation came in the machines used to mass-produce watches. In the 1830’s Ingold believed that watchmaking had gone as far as it could in the 19th Century without some kind of mechanisation. Because the machinery didn’t exist yet, Ingold decided to make it himself!

Ingold developed machinery to produce plates with sinks and jewel seats, machines for barrels and even more watch parts. He moved to England where his attempts to bring machine-manufactured watches were opposed by the establishment, leading him to move to the United States where his inventions had a huge influence on watch factories in the Boston area.

After returning to France and then Switzerland he continued to invent. Many of his inventions and techniques were implemented, – like the “Ingold fraise” (which is used to correct the profile of gear-wheel teeth) and a new type of a escapement he created in 1852. These inventions and techniques were vital in allowing the Swiss industry to move towards in-house optimized production. Ingold’s influence in America was vitally important in changing the Swiss industry, just as much as his inventions in Switzerland were important in allowing the industry to change.

The inventions from both Ingold and Léschot helped Switzerland extend its supremacy in the watch industry worldwide at the turn of the century. We’ll look at the how Switzerland dominated the watch industry in the early 20th century and the challenges they faced as the century went on in part 2 of The History of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Behind The Scenes: Where Rolex Watches Are Made

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Rolex watches are the number one preferred luxury wristwatch brand in the world. However, it is not a watch for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Owning a Rolex is a symbol of success. No doubt, the brand has come a long way and has remained strong throughout all these years. Now, for a brand to be that strong, they must be doing something right. In other words, it can only mean that the brand delivers on what it says it will.

Today, the brand name of Rolex has become a legend of sorts. Have you ever wondered how a single Rolex is made? To satisfy your curiosity, we’re here to run you through the process from start to finish. We’re here to discuss where and how Rolex watches are made and take you through a simple tour of the four manufacturing facilities of Rolex in Switzerland. Now, before we go ahead to talk about these, let us correct any wrong opinion you might have.

First, understand that a real Rolex timepiece is not made in China. If you find any Rolex box that states it’s made in China, you should know that it is not an original. All Rolex wristwatches are made in Switzerland. With this factoid cleared, let us go ahead to explore the facilities where the most expensive Rolex watches are being produced.

Bienne – The Home of Rolex Movements

One feature that makes any Rolex watch sought after is its impressive calibre. One of the company’s suppliers, the Aegler company of Bienne, provided Rolex its precise movements when it first started. This continued until Rolex bought the company in 2004. In 2004, the Borel family sold off the company to Rolex Geneva for more than 1 billion CHF.

The facility is spread over 92,000 square meters, and it contains some of the most priced pieces of Rolex. Before we go ahead with the tour, we need to highlight some important points again. First, Rolex produces each of its calibres in-house. Additionally, each of the movements is assembled by hand. This does not imply that the company designs all parts of the wristwatch by hand. Most noteworthy is that Rolex uses state-of-the-art machinery to couple its components. But, as mentioned, they fix the movements together by hand.

Also, we need to mention here that Rolex doesn’t allow visitors into the Bienne facility. This is for obvious reasons. The company has built an exceptional manufacturing system and machines to manufacture exclusive components for Rolex. Of course, they wouldn’t want anyone to view their trade secret. The brand has the best of steel, copper, and brass. And they craft all these with proprietary equipment that you can’t find anywhere else. Thus, it is little wonder that Rolex is as expensive as it is. Furthermore, the facility also produces the exclusive components of Rolex that you can’t find on another watch. These components include the Paraflex shock absorber and the Parachrom balance spring.

First of all, let’s talk about calibres. When talking about calibres, the high-end Rolex productions are Yacht Master,Daytona, and Sky Dweller. It will shock you to know that there are more than 120 people working on only these three Rolex watches.

Plan-Les-Ouates – The Central Laboratory of the Watchmaker

This is the central laboratory of Rolex. In fact, it is the destination where the inborn creativity of Rolex takes full shape. The laboratory comes with robotic inventory machines, iris scanners, and a private gold foundry. It is important to mention that Rolex built its Plan-Les-Ouates facility in 2006. What’s even more impressive is the fact that this is the biggest of all the facilities of Rolex. It features six wings that are about 30 meters high, 30 meters wide, and 65 meters long.

Also, there is a central axis that links all the different wings together. When you see a Rolex Air King, always think of the exceptional work they have done on it at the Plans-les-Ouates. This facility is eleven stories high but you can only see five of them if you are looking at it from the outside. The remaining six of the stories are underground and hidden from prying eyes. No doubt, this location is the center of the competitive edge of Rolex.

Rolex Private Foundry

Another fascinating part of this facility is the private foundry. This is the facility where the company develops its personal formula for three types of gold. It is also the location where it manufactures its own 904L stainless steel. Furthermore, you should know that Rolex crafts each of the alloys that it uses for its watches from the scratch in-house. The reason for this is because the configuration of the metal is the most important factor. It determines the mechanical, dimensional and aesthetic properties of the watch.

In addition, the company has invested in a central laboratory where world-class experts are employed. These seasoned experts work on the materials and the tribology of the design. This includes the science of lubrication, wear, and friction. Also, Rolex has the machine that opens and closes the Oyster bracelet clasp in this laboratory. This machine repeats this action for about 1,000 times within minutes. In addition to the impressive machine in the laboratory, Rolex has also invested in the people who work at this facility. These are top-rated scientists who are not from the watch business. There is also the ceramic department of Rolex which is an industry leading unit.

Les Acacias – The International Headquarters of Rolex

This is the facility that many people know as the center of Rolex manufacturing. This is because it serves as the international headquarters of the company. Also, it is the office of the entire senior executives and the heritage department of Rolex. In fact, if there is any facility that the company guards with all discretion and privacy, the Les Acacias is the place.

The Les Acacias facility is the final stage of the production line of Rolex watches for men and women. As a matter of fact, it is the hub of all Rolex activities. The facility is home to all the design, development, research, marketing, and communications of the company. Furthermore, the headquarters consists of two different ten-floor production sections. Now, this is the only facility that has a façade in Rolex’s trademark color — green.

In relation to manufacturing, the Les Acacias is the final assembly plant for all Rolex watches. Also, it features many stages of the final quality control for the brand. This is where they fix the hands and dials into the Rolex watches. Additionally, movements, serial number, and every tiny detail of the watch development are being carried out here. More importantly, each of the groups in this final assembly facility is independent. They work in about two to three months shifts. This final assembly completes the production of a Rolex timepiece.

At this stage, a Rolex watch has taken shape. Although it is the final assembly, they don’t take watches from here straight to the shelves. From this stage, they send the watches to the final control stage. This is where they take the pieces through a rigorous test. The level of tests they take these Rolex watches through will amaze you. Whether it is a gold Rolex or a diamond Rolex, they all go through the same rigorous test. Interestingly, even the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, which is the entry level of Rolex watches goes through the same rigorous testing as expensive watches. This means there isn’t one Rolex watch that doesn’t go through the meticulous test at the control stage.

Suffice to mention that it is not only the movement and cases that go through the final control stage. The complete watch goes through this process. Now, you might ask, what do they test in the watch? Well, the core focus of the tests centers on the three goals of the watchmaker. The test checks the self-winding, waterproofness, and precision of the watch. For the Oyster test, they submerge each watch into real-life water scenarios.

Also, they use a simulated environment like pressurized tanks that guarantees the level of depth for each model. Moreover, they include an extra 10% margin in depth. For the dive wristwatches, they test them with an extra 25% margin with a specialized machine. It is crucial to mention that COMEX designed the specialized machine. It is also important to mention that less than 0.1% of the watches they test reveal any issue. This explains the depth of work that has gone into the production of a single Rolex wristwatch.

Chêne-Bourg – The Home of Rolex Dial and Gem Setting

Rolex Chêne-Bourg is the destination for the production of dial and gem setting. This facility is located in the northeast of Plan-Les-Ouates. It is amazing to know that Rolex produces every component of its watch in-house. This is one of the major reasons why the brand has remained formidable for years. The company produces its dial at Chêne-Bourg. Additionally, they print and set it with indexes as well as other components.

The facility is a ten-story building, with five hidden underground. Note that they produce the dial in the underground part of the facility. But they do the gem setting and numeral application in bright-lit white rooms with sunlight aboveground. There are about a hundred people that work on the dial setting at every specific time. In total, the facility houses about 800 people working on dials and gem setting on Rolex watches.

Let us mention here that the company produces its dial markers with solid gold and the dials with brass. Additionally, there are more than 60 operations that work on a dial until it gets to its completion stage. Now, the high quality of the setting and gemstone that Rolex uses is exceptional. The attention to details on all the dials is unbelievable. Let us point out that Rolex only uses flawless gemstones. This is a major reason why the company doesn’t produce many watches with stones and diamonds. You will find only a few diamond Rolex watches in the world.

Another intriguing thing about the Chêne-Bourg facility is the presence of a specialized machine. This machine filters stones that the company receives. The job of the machine is to discover any fake stones and diamonds in the supply. This is to guide against any inferior material for the production of its watches. Of course, you may wonder how often they discover fake stones from the lots they receive on a regular basis. According to Rolex, they see about only one out of ten million stones. Yet, they keep checking the stones day in and day out. No doubt, this is what makes Rolex what it is today.

Rolex Finishing

Yes, you heard right. Rolex definitely has a finishing unit in its facility. This might sound outrageous but the company finishes each of its watches to perfection. Here, the company holds each of its cases against a polish wheel for perfect finishing. Essentially, humans do this job. At each point, there are about fifty to sixty people who polish the cases. It is quite interesting that Rolex assembles its Jubilee and Oyster bracelets by hand, using some well-designed guide templates. These are also designed in-house.

Conclusion

A Rolex is, no doubt, a masterpiece. A lot has gone into the production and craft of the watches. And only the best brand could have done that. If you have ever thought that a Rolex watch is expensive, the production and facilities details highlighted above should convince you of its worth. It is little wonder that Rolex is the leading wristwatch brand in the world. The attention to details on each of the watches is unbelievable.

There have been different stories about where Rolex watches are made. The truth is that there is no other place where they produce original Rolex but Switzerland. Any Rolex that has another country of origin is no doubt a fake. Therefore, you should check the origin of the Rolex you want to buy before you pay for it. Make your investment a worthy one!

The Production of a Watch

When you look at your precious timepiece – or perhaps its price tag – it’s easy to recognize that it must have taken quite a bit of effort to produce. In this article, we will explain what in-house manufacturing actually means and how watch brands work together with suppliers when they are not capable of producing everything themselves.When all the parts are produced, finished, and assembled, it doesn’t actually stop there for the manufacturer. A lot of brands have strict test and quality control processes in place to ensure that every watch is perfect when it arrives at the retailer and is guaranteed to last a long time.

Concept and Design

Before a company can start producing a watch, they need to come up with an idea; a concept that can be turned into an actual design. Today, most watch manufacturers use advanced CAD systems to design watches and all of their components. A couple of brands use 3D printing techniques to look at prototypes based on these computer designs. Others use real stainless steel for prototypes, sometimes with dummy movements or just basic calibers that fit. Do not underestimate the role of research and development at this stage either. In some companies it is all under one roof to make sure that a watch or movement design is feasible. Everything must perfectly correspond together, especially since the room for error in watch manufacturing is tiny. Once a company is certain about how a watch should look and which specifications it should have, the production can begin. The production process consists of several parallel processes. The case making department or third party, for example, does not have to wait until the movement is finished or the dial receives its final color or finish.

Production

Cases and Bracelets

Many watch brands work together with suppliers to have their cases created. Only a few watch brands do this in-house (Rolex and IWC Schaffhausen for example). Suppliers for cases are often very discrete, as brands are protective of their name and image. The same goes for bracelets. Bracelets are seldom produced in-house. Specialized companies make sure that the case and bracelet parts meet the exact specified requirements set forth by the watch manufacturer. 

Movements

Without getting into the debate of in-house versus third party movement suppliers, the movement makes quite a difference in the production process. True manufacturers start their journey with raw pieces of brass, stainless steel, and other alloys used for the movement. CNC machines do the initial cutting, drilling, and milling of all the parts. Once this is finished, the parts pass through a chain of small steps, to either (hand-) finish certain parts or to add gears and trains until there is a working movement. Many manufacturers that produce their movements in-house still need to source small parts and components from third parties (balance springs, for example, or rubies). Step-by-step, the movement gets finished and assembled by watchmakers. The manufacturers that are considered ‘haute horlogerie’ are the ones that spend a lot of time and effort (hand-) finishing their movements, including hand-engraving balance wheel bridges, perlage, polishing, and beveling edges of bridges. These techniques are painstakingly time consuming. When the movement is finished and ready to be cased, it is often checked for accuracy. If a movement needs to be chronometer certified, it is shipped to the COSC organization who subjects it to a series of tests. The certified movements come back at a later stage. 

Dial and Hands

The dial and hands, or face of the watch, are very important. This is what you will look at many times each day. These features need to be beautiful and flawless. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but perfectionism leaves little room for interpretation. Similar to (hand-) finishing movements, finishing is important for the dial and hands of a watch. Blued hands and lacquered dials, for example, require a specific skill set and a lot of time. Dials are often ordered from suppliers, but a couple of companies produce and finish their own dial components.

Assembly

Before the movement is cased and the dials and hands are added to it, a lot of visual checks take place. When one of the quality control staff notices a tiny scratch or deviation in tolerances, measures are taken. Sometimes, pieces have to go all the way back to the production process to be fixed. Hands are sometimes automatically applied to the dial, but in many cases this is still done by hand. Afterwards, more visual checks take place to see whether the hands are perfectly aligned. The crown is of course also added and tested to see if all the hands move correctly and whether the winding system works.

Once the movement is cased, the dial is added, and everything is fully functional, the watch often goes into an array of more severe testing procedures; think water resistance tests, shock tests, etc. In some cases, the accuracy of the watch is tested one more time, seeing as the movement is now in a case. Some brands offer a 4-year warranty or more, so you can be sure that their testing procedures are very strict.

When this is complete and a watch has passed all tests, it goes into the final stage of the assembly and production process. Some watches (case backs) are (laser) engraved in this stage, while other manufacturers do this a bit earlier during case production. If so, the strap or bracelet is added and the watch is ready for shipment. In addition to the watch, there is documentation and the box(es), of course. The watch is often shipped separately from the box.

Your Watch

So, there’s your watch on your wrist. It most likely underwent several of the aforementioned steps, depending on the type of movement, material, and level of (hand) finishing it has.