We understand in the past 2 months Ginault as a company has generated a lot of discussions on the forums. Many members have questions and doubts to some of our claims. We have put together below Q&A hoping to better help members to understand and address some of the concerns.
Q: In your previous post, you used the exact sentence to describe how you made the bezel as to a well-known maker in the counterfeit world. Are you that maker?
A: We did not know that maker until members here pointed it out. For our previous post, we hired a SEM marketer to draft the copywriting. Our hope and marketing goal was to make the post go viral.
After reading the posts by that maker we were also shocked by how similar our products may look like. However, we have a very different goal and game plan than that maker.
Q: It is hilarious you stated your “Gold Sand” lume is expansive and sourced from the edge of the world. Tell us where exactly did you sourced it or it is Chinese.
A: We regret trying too hard in our last marketing material. We also regret disclosing the actual geographical locations of where we sourced the “Gold Sand” lume. End of the day we are glad everyone had a good laugh, and yet we are still able to demonstrate that all jokes aside our lume quality is no joke.
Q: How come Ginault does not participate on the forums and answer members’ questions like the other micro brand do?
A: We understand it is becoming a growing trend for micro brands to hang out and engage in active communication with members on the forums. It generates a sense that not only the brands care about their customers but also creates a facade that they know all the ins and outs of the horology world.
We are a bunch whose talents are not in writing long drawn out thesis papers or argue eloquently on the forums the economics of how to run a watch company. Our talents and expertise are in building and making high quality fine timepieces.
We are not great marketeers who spend hours on a day on the forums building relationship with members. But this does not mean we do not care about our customers or our products.
In fact, we take extreme pride in what we do. We communicate with our customers through the watches we build and the quality we provide. Since we are builders and makers by trade and trait with a strong passion in watchmaking we focus on what we do best and show our prowess in that.
Q: In the member reviews, there is a bold statement on the caseback of your Ocean-Rover stating “MADE IN USA”. Are you playing the patriotism game to gain sales?
A: Absolutely not. The Made In USA phrase was used out of ignorance.
The “Made In USA” casebacks were from the old batch used on our BM1. We simply did not know the FTC rules, that for a product to use US Made or Made in USA ALL parts or VIRTUALLY ALL parts have to be made in the US.
It was not an intent to deceive nor was it our intention to spin the US Made mark in hopes of driving up sales.
We clearly indicated that certain parts of our watches were imported. BM1 was even equipped with a Swiss ETA back in the days. If we knew such stringent regulation is applied to the Made In USA phrase we would not have put it there.
We have made a new batch with a different engraving. Members who ordered the Ocean-Rover that came with the original BM1 style casebacks will receive a replacement upon request.
With that being said our watches are hand built/assembled here in the United States.
We take great pride in this.
Q: Who are you really? Who is Ginault?
A: We are just a bunch of hard working guys who know what we are doing working together and made this project a reality by bringing together our knowledge, industry connections, and passion in watchmaking.
Q: Why start another Micro brand making homage watches?
A: When Mr. Ginault decided to bring out the BM1 years ago his goal was already clear which was to do something different and to challenge the status quo of the watch world of that time.
We realized then the market were filled with watches with mediocre quality parts, albeit with their own design input, watch collectors were really paying a premium for the Swiss branding halo less for the quality.
5 years later, the market is saturated with micro brands making all sorts of different homages and designs. However, we think a superb quality watch that can be compared toe to toe with the Swiss giants is still missing.
Q: Are you indeed making the parts in house, cases, parts of the movement etc as you claimed?
A: The answer is yes and no. Yes our parts besides the ones mentioned are made here by our sub-contracted shops and assembled here by our watchmakers.
Each one of our movements is assembled in house and then carefully regulated and tuned into this precise and high accuracy time keeping machine many forum members already have in their hands.
No, because as mentioned in our posting, we don’t yet have the money to own these capital heavy machineries in-house so we cannot claim in-house production.
Q: We have not heard of US made watches or watch parts for a long time. How is it possible? If it is available then why ain’t the other homage brands doing the same?
How are you finding these sub-contracting shops to make the parts while the other brands can’t?
A: We understand with the increasing pace of globalization, many WIS and micro brands’ entrepreneurs think making parts domestically is impractical. But to us it makes perfect sense.
We are builders and makers by trade and by trait. Many of us have been in the machining and tooling industry for a long time. Before making parts for Ginault Ocean-Rover, we already have decades of experience in making high precision, fine quality components as means to make ends meet. It is simply putting our skill sets into a different industry.
Through our years of industry experience and connections we know which shops have the right machines to make what parts,even though these shops were not involved in making parts for the horology industry prior to us.
We know the proper production processes for the parts but often still went through trials and errors to perfect the yield and quality. We speak the industry jargon, we know the costs to expect, and we know how to keep quality. So where else is better to make this happen than here at home?
As to why the other micro brands are not doing the same? The guess is to pull off what we do one would have to be a watchmaker, an industrial designer, a machinist, a machine programmer, and so on.
Some micro brands probably just have one thing or the other. Some probably do not have any. So it would make sense for them to order from Hong Kong or China watch catalog companies. For example:
Or this one:
From a business standpoint it makes perfect sense if you can sell a certain quantity of watches a month at $500~600 per piece while the cost of production is less than $100 then why not?
That’s not our end game. We truly take pride in building and making our own. As mentioned earlier, we want to build high quality timepieces that can be compared shoulder to shoulder with some of the Swiss giants.
Q: Why not just use a Swiss movement? Why go through the trouble of making your own?
A: A history which one should remember is that ETA movements were very easy to obtain at a very reasonable cost a decade ago. However Swatch group dialed back on the supply of their movements about 5 years ago causing the ETA 2824 and the other Swiss 2824 clone’s prices to increase sharply.
It was not just the price increase. These Swiss movement suppliers became very high postured with their terms and conditions and became selective with whom they supply the movements to. A company has to bend over backwards to meet those conditions in order to buy their movements. That did not sit right with us. We also did not have the financial backings to meet their MOQ and other conditions and demands.
We did look for alternatives in the Asian clones but those movements were simply not consistent and stable enough as mentioned in our posting. So what were a bunch of maker builders with not a lot of money to do? We began trying to fabricate our own movement parts based on the 2824 blueprint.
Funny thing is now 5 years later the table has turned again with the decline in watch sales in the past years. Swiss movements are easier to obtain. But how do we know what happened 5 years ago won’t happen again down the road? Well we know it won’t happen to us because we are self sustainable now.
Q: If you do not have the capital to purchase Swiss movements where do you get the money to make your own?
A: The answer is simple. If you are not in the industry of building and making parts/components then money is what you need. But if you are already on the ins then all you need is a lot of time, dedication, and the cost of raw materials to go through the trials and errors.
The cost for us isn’t in the money but more so in the time we spent. It is like a general contractor can build his own house because he has all the know hows. Aside from the raw material he had to pay for, what else would cost him? His own time. So in short, for us to come up with our own 2824 clone cost a lot of time but not money in the strictest sense.
Q: All these talk why not just show us pictures/videos to back this claim up. Better yet if your claim is true show us your supplier list, your POs to these said sub- contracted shop, open your books to us showing the itemized cost breakdown. Open your shop to us for visits.
A: We understand you want to see to believe. Our assembly room is nothing more than just a regular watchmaker’s working space. A picture won’t be able to prove anything, other than that we know what a watchmaker’s bench looks like.
If we show our supplier list that’s the same as publicly announcing our “Coca Cola formula” to the world of competitors. We spent years to turn this dream into fruition; we can’t show our supplier list, and no one else in the watch world, or in almost any other consumer product does for the same reasons.
Q: If what you say is true, how can we trust the reliability of your movement?
A: We have been supplying Ginault Caliber 7275 to independent watchmakers through different phases of the developments for their projects. We received feedback and kept in communication with them in terms of any warranty claims on our movements. We believe caliber 7275 is a very steady and reliable work horse.
Q: How did the watchmakers know about you when no one even heard of Ginault much less a self made 2824 clone?
A: Well most of you did not know about us until 2 months ago but in fact we have been around since 2010. What you do not know does not mean it is not true.
Q: Any plans to come up with your own design?
A: We do have our own design. We did it 5 years ago. Silent Service Mark I, Mark II, Abyss, Aviator etc. But craftsmanship is learned. We would not have been able to execute the quality and taste we wanted on those design then as how we did today on our Ocean Rover.
We would like to think we are running a very different game plan here at Ginault. On our website we said “To create something new, we must first master the craftsmanship of the vintage classics”. I know many members laughed at that statement. But we meant what we said.
We spent the past 5 plus years making improvements on our BM1 into the Ocean Rover you see today. I don’t think many other micros have done anything like that.
We didn’t focus on marketing, or something else. We focused on the product itself and made sure it is the best Submariner homage made. Although many of us have been in the industry of building/making things by machine and tools, the past 5 plus years were a great and yet very humbling learning experience for us here at Ginault.
With each improvement made on the parts the more we realized the intricacy and ingenuity in the Rolex design concept and their fine craftsmanship. With that said, we will definitely apply what we have learned to all the styles which we plan to make down the road.