Over the years I've acquired a number of watches. I tell my friends I'm a watch collector that buys high and sells low. I've been fascinated with the mechanics as well as the variety of "complications" or features. But as I have dug into the details, some watches are much less than what they seem. Models selling for thousands of dollars often have movements that cost a small fraction of that. While some brands such as Rolex, Patek, Lange, and others build their own movements, many buy their movements from ETA, part of the Swatch Group. Many companies improve these movements, add complications, and create great timepieces. But, shamelessly, a few companies will buy the least expensive plastic ETA movements and put them into their watches that sell for thousands of dollars. Here is a link to a respected Website that uncovers this practice in a Tag-Heuer watch. The key findings:
This particular watch is a steel & plated gold model with a diamond
bezel and diamond dial which is listed for $4100 retail but can be
obtained at Amazon
for just $2,660.00. The value of the movement is less than half of a
percent of the market price and less than a quarter percent of the full
retail price. In contrast the value of a Rolex movement represents
around 1/3 of the cost of a comparably priced model.