What Are OEM Watches? A Beginner's Guide to Understanding OEM Watch Manufacturing
Have you ever wondered where large watch brands source their timepieces from? Chances are, many luxury watch companies utilize original equipment manufacturers, better known as OEM watch manufacturers, to produce their watches. OEM watch manufacturers are third party watchmakers that are specialized in the design and manufacturing of watches, which are then branded and sold under another company’s name.
In this beginner’s guide, we will be exploring the world of OEM watches and OEM watch manufacturing. Specifically, we will cover:
- Defining what exactly are OEM watches and OEM watch manufacturers
- The step-by-step process of how OEM watch manufacturers produce watches
- The capabilities of OEM watch factories and what to look for in an OEM watch manufacturer
- The benefits of partnering with an OEM watch manufacturer like cost savings and production expertise
By the end of this guide on understanding OEM watches and OEM watch manufacturing, you will have a solid grasp of how OEM watch suppliers operate and why more and more watch brands are turning to OEM manufacturers to produce their timepieces. Whether you are a new watch brand looking to outsource production or simply want to learn more about how the watch industry works with OEM watch companies, this beginner’s OEM watch guide has got you covered. So let’s dive right into OEM watches and OEM watch manufacturing!
Defining OEM Luxury Watches and OEM Watch Manufacturers
OEM stands for “original equipment manufacturer.” In the watch industry, OEM watch manufacturers specialize in the design and production of watches that are then branded and sold under another company’s name.
Essentially, one watch company manufactures the luxury timepieces while separate company brands and distributes those OEM watches. The branding company may contribute minimal design input, but they did not handle any of the watch manufacturing process.
Some examples of well-known brands that use OEM watches include:
- Fossil – A fashion watch giant that utilizes OEM watch suppliers to produce their vast array of affordable timepieces. Over 90% of Fossil’s watches are made by OEM factories in China.
- Michael Kors – Known for its trendy watches focusing on luxurious style, Michael Kors works with skilled OEM partners like Fossil to manufacture watches tailored for its brand.
- Kate Spade – This iconic designer brand relies on OEM watch companies to craft watches featuring Kate Spade’s signature feminine aesthetic.
- Small startup watch brands – Many independent watch brands start out working with OEM watch companies to outsource production cost-effectively until they scale up enough to justify in-house manufacturing.
As you can see from these examples, OEM watch manufacturing is incredibly common across fashion and luxury brands looking to produce stylish wristwatches to market under their own unique brand names. Partnering with OEM watch suppliers allows them to focus on design and marketing while leveraging the specialties of OEM watch companies.
Defining OEM Luxury Watches and OEM Watch Manufacturers
OEM stands for “original equipment manufacturer.” In the watch industry, OEM watch manufacturers specialize in designing and manufacturing watches, which are then branded and sold by other companies.
Simply put, OEM watch manufacturing works like this:
- A brand company approaches an OEM watch manufacturer with a design idea or requirements
- The OEM watch manufacturer then makes the watches based on those specifications
- Once complete, the brand company purchases the watches and sells them under their own brand name
Some examples of well-known brands utilizing OEM watch suppliers:
- Movado has used to OEM watch makers like Constructa to produce some of their popular watch models like the Movado Bold.
- OEM factories in China and Hong Kong manufacture fossil’s extensive range of fashion watches.
- Luxury jewelry brands like Michael Kors and Kate Spade have OEM watch lines made by Fossil.
- Microbrand watch companies often start out with an OEM watch manufacturer to launch their first watch releases.
The benefit of working with an OEM watch company is that brands can focus on design and marketing, while leveraging the OEM’s expertise in watch manufacturing and production. For watch lovers, OEM luxury watches offer quality timepieces without the inflated costs of being branded under a luxury label.
As we dive deeper into understanding OEM watches, we’ll explore the production process and capabilities of OEM watch manufacturers next.
How OEM Watches & OEM Watch Manufacturers Operate
Now that we’ve defined what OEM watch manufacturing involves, let’s explore how OEM watch factories actually create luxury yet affordable timepieces. The typical OEM watch production process includes:
- Design and Prototyping Phase
Most brands provide their watch design concepts or requirements. The OEM watch manufacturer then creates CAD renderings and 3D printed prototypes for review and revisions until the final design gets approval. This collaborative exchange ensures the watches meet the brand’s creative and quality specifications.
- Components Sourcing Stage
OEM watch companies source advanced watch movements as well as quality materials for watch cases and bands. Luxury amenities like diamonds or ceramic coatings usually must be requested upfront. Larger OEM factories have connections with reputable third party suppliers around the world.
- Assembly Line Production
Skilled technicians assemble the watch components by hand and with automated help. Quality control testing is conducted throughout the manufacturing process to catch and fix any issues. Many OEM watch companies like watch OEM Romlicen pride themselves on following the highest production benchmarks.
- Testing and Final Adjustments
Before the finished OEM luxury watches are packaged and shipped out, they undergo intense diagnostics. The watches check out for defects and optimal performance – anything short of perfection is sent back to the production line. Strenuous testing guarantees the watches meet standards.
By partnering with a professional OEM watch manufacturer like Romlicen, brands can expect tailored, premium OEM watch manufacturing with quality oversight from start to finish. The high capabilities and custom production offered by the best OEM watch companies is unmatched.
Advantages of Using an OEM Watch Manufacturer
Now that you understand the production process behind OEM watches, let’s go over the many advantages of working with an OEM watch manufacturing partner:
- Cost Savings
The main appeal of using an OEM watch company is significant cost savings compared to in-house manufacturing. By leveraging an existing supply chain and specialized equipment at OEM watch factories, brands save heavily on overhead expenses.
- Focus on Design and Branding
Rather than worrying about complex manufacturing logistics, brands can zone in on crafting branding, marketing campaigns and pursuing innovation in watch designs when partnering with an OEM watch supplier.
- Leverage Expertise and Quality Components
Reputable OEM watch manufacturers have finely tuned expertise when it comes to watch assembly, movements, quality assurance. This top-grade craftsmanship ensures optimal quality and performance.
- Scalability and Flexibility
The versatile production capabilities and capacity of most OEM watch companies allow for scaling small batch orders all the way to mass production runs in response to demand.
For watch lovers, OEM luxury watches provide an affordable way to enjoy well-crafted timepieces without paying for branding markups. On the business side, tapping into experienced OEM watch manufacturing creates a win-win situation.
When vetting the array of OEM watch manufacturers, the ideal partner exudes proven expertise, quality production, and flexible solutions.
Partnering with the Right OEM Watch Manufacturer for Your Brand
As we wrap up this introductory guide on understanding OEM watches and OEM watch manufacturing, let’s recap:
- OEM watch companies specialized in designing and manufacturing luxury yet affordable watches, which brands can private label as their own.
- The OEM production process for watches involves collaborative design, sourcing quality components, meticulous assembly, and rigorous testing.
- Key benefits for brands in working with OEM watch suppliers include major cost savings, focused brand building, leveraging specialized expertise, and production scalability.
- For consumers, OEM luxury watches provides high quality watches without paying for flashy branding markup.
Clearly, there are multitudes of good reasons why OEM watch manufacturing continues thriving. More brands opt to outsource watch production rather than take on the burden of managing everything in-house.
When evaluating OEM watch manufacturer partners, ideal traits include:
☑ Decades of watchmaking expertise and modern tech capabilities
☑ End-to-end quality control and international certifications
☑ Customization for design, materials, movements, and complexity
☑ Reliable at handling small batch to mass production scale ☑ Fluent communication and timely order fulfillment
As an established OEM watch company based in China, Romlicen prides itself in delivering all of the above watch manufacturing solutions and services since 2009. Over the years, we have become a trusted OEM watch manufacturer for microbrands and major fashion labels worldwide.
Want to bring your watch visions to life? Contact Romlicen OEM watch factory for your private label or custom OEM watches today!