Are Emporio Armani watches high quality? –

Are Emporio Armani watches high quality?

Posted by Joel Kibs on

Quality is a subjective. However, If by “high quality” you mean they keep perfect time, they do: all quartz movements in the world keep perfect time, much better than any mechanical watch. But a mechanical watch is of a superior quality nonetheless. How is this possible?

Can tell you what, though. Look at this image.

This is a Miyota OS60 watch movement. Just to explain, the movement is the mechanism you find inside the watch - like the engine for the car, which is its most important part.

The OS60 is a sturdy quartz chrono movement made in Japan, which is mounted in scores of fashion watches of every brand. That is, this is the kind of “engine” that powers most of the Breil, Fossil, CK, Armani, Sector, Festina… watches you see around.

If you make a cursory search on the internet, you will find that there are several vendors located in Hong Kong which sell this movement for 15 US$ to the public.

Now take a step back and think how little a company marketing hundreds of thousands of watches would pay to buy this movement from its manufacturer. Let’s assume 5 US$? Cool.

A typical Armani chrono watch retails for 150 US$. You can make the calculations. Given the fact that the typical luxury company has an average markup on the cost of the product of 3.5x to 5x (that is, a 200 US$ watch could cost it - all included - from 40 to 60 US$) you understand how much the branding goes into this equation.

This said, it is rather evident that fashion watches like an Armani cannot be “high quality”.

They could be good, and well-made, especially for the accessory parts (that is, the case, the glass, the dial, the strap), but the core of the watch, the part that is the really important one, would still be a middle of the road workhorse, identical to millions of no-name watches. And average is not high quality. It is just… average!

So, the question is: if Armani mounts a medium-range movement, what is “high quality” then?

For example, a better quartz movement. Here below is one.

This is a Swiss made ETA quartz movement. You can see by yourself that the quality is on another level vs our (very respectable, mind you) Miyota.

Just an example. One hint to understand why it is of better quality would be to examine the three circular reddish dots you see just above the Renata battery. Do you see them? Those dots are in fact what is called “jewels”. 
The watch jewels are artificial rubies, man-made, on which the wheels of the watch turn. You use jewels in watchmaking because they are better for the friction, so the wheels move in a smoother way. As every wheel turns circularly on an axis, you would need two jewels per wheel. You see three dots, then there are 6 jewels inside this movement (at least). The Miyota movement has no jewels - its wheels are in metal turning on metal.

A typical chrono ETA movement comparable to the Miyota OS60 goes to the public at around 200 US$.

If you go into the mechanical movements, which are of even higher quality, then this price goes upwards still.

For example, Miyota has some examples of mechanical movements in its lineup. If I am not mistaken, the starting price to the public for an automatic movement by Miyota goes at 90 US$. See the difference?

And of course, this does not match the price tag of the Armani watch, because there would be no margin.

I am pretty sure you can understand the difference by yourself right now.

So, if you really like the style and the brand, then it is cool - buy one, enjoy it, and when you have enjoyed it, you can leave it in a drawer with no kind of remorses.

But a “high quality” watch is another realm completely, I am afraid. Armani, Breil, Fossil, Sector and suchalike are not quality watches - are commodities, and commodities are meant to be used, enjoyed and forgotten.


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