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Old 12.04.2011, 23:15
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Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

From Bloomberg News:

Mondaine, the maker of Official Swiss Railways watches, may have to shut a two-year-old factory because its timepieces aren’t Swiss enough.

The future of the 10 million-franc ($11 million) plant in Solothurn and its 110 workers would be jeopardized should larger rivals such as Swatch Group AG (UHR) succeed in calls for fewer non- Swiss components to be allowed in Swiss-made timepieces, according to Mondaine co-owner Ronnie Bernheim. Mondaine, which has been making watches modelled on the nation’s train-station clocks for 25 years, uses imported dials and cases.


Full story goes into decent detail and is definitely worth a read: Swiss Watchmakers May Not All Be Swiss Enough to Scale Barriers - Bloomberg
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Old 12.04.2011, 23:18
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

Sounds fair enough to me.

I've had a Mondaine railway watch for six years, and the "stainless steel" casing is pitted with rust.

If they want to make a claim to offering "Swiss quality" they really ought to do better than that. It's a shame, really, because it seems like a really good watch otherwise.
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Old 12.04.2011, 23:45
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

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Sounds fair enough to me.

I've had a Mondaine railway watch for six years, and the "stainless steel" casing is pitted with rust.

If they want to make a claim to offering "Swiss quality" they really ought to do better than that. It's a shame, really, because it seems like a really good watch otherwise.

I find this clearly a bit shocking. A good watch should NOT get rusty. And Mondaine Watch still has a good reputation. Their problem may now be that old Lebanese-born Nicolas Hayek, a Gentleman of the old school, has died, and his (half-Swiss) son is more aggressive in a way than his father and of course will take up the opportunity to attack a rival operation with price-dumping methods. The Mondaine Watch people will have to relocate part of their production into Switzerland, and possibly will place production lines in the Ticino or the Val Poschiavo, in order to keep prices down.

If a manufacturing site has to be closed down, sorry for the employees, but shoddy work in the manufacturing of watches simply is not in need.
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Old 12.04.2011, 23:47
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

If you read French Le Figaro has an article that is a nice complement to the Bloomberg article: Le «Swiss made» en question, not really worth coping with Google Translate if you cannot read the original. Nothing else turned up in a quick search on the Swiss (French language) Google News. Note that the Figaro article is about three weeks old ... it took Bloomberg some time to catch up
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Old 13.04.2011, 00:20
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

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If you read French Le Figaro has an article that is a nice complement to the Bloomberg article: Le «Swiss made» en question, not really worth coping with Google Translate if you cannot read the original. Nothing else turned up in a quick search on the Swiss (French language) Google News. Note that the Figaro article is about three weeks old ... it took Bloomberg some time to catch up
But French industry has outsourced and is outsourcing all the time, and up to about 1967, many French wines including those of regions like Bordelais and Bourgogne, were pepped up by cheap Algerian wines, until Houari Boumediène shut down all vineyards not producing a good produce and established strict controls ensuring that Algerian wines made their way onto the world markets as Algerian wines. The French for a while later on even misused Moroccan wines, until King Hassan II in the 1990ies established the Appellation Controlée for Moroccan wines. Mr Ben Ali in Tunis followed suit.

In case of the Swiss Watch Industry, the reality even is the other way round, as many companies even have taken back production-sectors into Switzerland as a result of bad experiences.

The problem for Mondaine has a name, Nick Hayek




the new chief of Swatch
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Old 13.04.2011, 00:27
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

Quote:
Sounds fair enough to me.

I've had a Mondaine railway watch for six years, and the "stainless steel" casing is pitted with rust.

If they want to make a claim to offering "Swiss quality" they really ought to do better than that. It's a shame, really, because it seems like a really good watch otherwise.
I've had mine about four years and have no complaints with it. The case is as spotless as new. I hope you haven't been sold a replica.
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Old 13.04.2011, 00:50
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

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I've had mine about four years and have no complaints with it. The case is as spotless as new. I hope you haven't been sold a replica.
After reading DBs post you are better off with a replica
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Old 13.04.2011, 01:27
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

Quote:
Sounds fair enough to me.

I've had a Mondaine railway watch for six years, and the "stainless steel" casing is pitted with rust.

If they want to make a claim to offering "Swiss quality" they really ought to do better than that. It's a shame, really, because it seems like a really good watch otherwise.
Mine's still nice and shiny.

Maybe there's a corrosive chemical reaction when they're worn with certain bright orange jackets with natty silver reflective strips, clearly marked with the logo of a well-loved national institution.
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Old 13.04.2011, 21:46
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Re: Mondaine - the "swiss" timepieces

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If they want to make a claim to offering "Swiss quality" they really ought to do better than that. It's a shame, really, because it seems like a really good watch otherwise.
We have a Mondaine wall clock. For the first four years it kept tell quite well. It's never been dropped and we've exchanged the battery, but it just won't keep time.
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