Before World War II, the United States was well-known as being a world leader in handmade watches with multiple homegrown watch companies competing directly with the Swiss. Although several of those brands still exist today, such as Bulova, Hamilton and Waltham, they do not produce watches in the United States and many watch experts claim that the quality has declined.
With the improvement in technology, many watches are automated in factories for improved efficiency which equates to a padded bottom line. While many handmade watches still exist, they are becoming few and far between. The majority of handmade watches now come from overseas professionals who charge a significant amount of money for their beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Handmade Versus Factory Watches
Handmade watches differ greatly from factory-produced watches. Every part of a handmade watch is precisely pieced together by a professional in a shop. Given that this takes a lot of time, the cost is much more expensive. Also, handmade watches are much rarer due to the fact that a watchmaker can only output a certain number of watches per day. On the other hand, factories can automate the production of watches and produce hundreds of thousands in a short period of time.
There are numerous intricate details in the most incredible handmade watches like diamonds, rare gems and other expensive stones that increase their price. These watches contain complicated mechanisms that make telling time accurate. Many are equipped with a tourbillion, a mechanism that counters gravity. Each of these factors increase the selling price of the watch.