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I see this term thrown around, and I think it is misused. It is clearly a marketing tool and mainly hype. I certainly don't think you can get the rights to the name of an ancient watch maker and then claim to have a 'rich history.' Rich history implies an unbroken ownership and manufacturer that preceeds the QR (quartz revolution). Actually, the word implies that your company goes far back into history unbroken and in the hands of watch makers and not businessmen and corporate nerds.

So, who today actually HAS a 'rich history?' I think Rolex qualifies as it has remained in family hands for many decades and also has 'in house' capability. 'In house' would HAVE to be an important part of 'rich history.' As far as I know, Seiko would qualify. Patek, Jaeger, Cartier, Franck Muller, Corum, Blancpain, Bovet, AP, Roger Dubuis (and the other privates), GO, Nomos, Omega, Panerai, Parmigiani, Piaget, Montblanc, Timex, UN, UG, VC, Zenith....

Do these qualify, really? Are there others? Are there others that are affordable?
 

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I would question Corum and Panerai on your list, but that is perhaps because I don't know much about their contributions to horologie.

I would agree with you that "rich history" is used too much, and would say that it takes more than being around a long time. It has to do with significant advances in the technology of timekeeping, and as such, should include the forerunners of quartz.
 

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i would say a rich history would entail at least two generations or one really long generation, recognition of quality and advances made in-house. that said i think sometimes a company with a "rich history" will often rest on its' laurels and banter the expression around to imply the company "still has it". general motors and ford in the early 1980's is a good example. they had "rich histories" but became stagnant and were overtaken by the japanese automobile companies.
 

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Blancpain - reconstituted. I find it funny that one of their catch phrases is "Since 1735 there has never been a quartz Blancpain". That's because quartz technology put them under. :laugh: Wanna know what's even funnier? The guy who brought the name back (Biver) left Omega to run his own brand - and now Blancpain is just another part of Swatch like Omega is.

Panerai is another reconstituted brand. They were long out of business until the rights to the name were bought, and they became popular so quickly again because of Sylvester Stallone.
 

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One can hardly argue that GO is the same company that produced watches for the proletariat under the communist regime in East Germany

Montblanc gets extra negative credit for absorbing and killing Minerva, an honored name in watchmaking, to give a pen company some horology cred.

On the other hand, Zenith has been operating continuously at the same address since 1865. Many of the factory buildings from the end of the 19th century are still in use. The current movements are all in house, dating to 1994 (Elite), 1969 (Primero) and 1960 (cal 2572). That said, even Zenith has had rocky patches, such as 1975 to 1984, nine years during which Zenith suspended mechanical movement production.
 

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I wouldn't say omega is.
Why not? Omega has been under continuous operation, they're just owned by Swatch now. Omega actually did pretty well during the quartz revolution compared to many other manufacturers. Even though VC has the longest standing continuous history they went through some rough times in the 70's and 80's and if it weren't for Richemont they might be gone too.
 

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To add to some of Omega's history, they were the first to produce a tourbillon wristwatch movement - back in the 1940's. That's long before AP made theirs in the 80's who are often wrongly credited with making the first. Omega was second overall to Zenith in the Neuchatel chronometer competitions. The had a run of 100,000 straight chronometer certifications in the mid 60's with their 55x/56x series - a feat not done before and yet to be duplicated. That whole series of calibers set a new standard for mass produced movements.

There's good reason behind why so many vintage collectors like Omega. It's a great brand to look towards when you want to step into higher end vintage.
 

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ulackfocus said:
Why not? Omega has been under continuous operation, they're just owned by Swatch now. Omega actually did pretty well during the quartz revolution compared to many other manufacturers. Even though VC has the longest standing continuous history they went through some rough times in the 70's and 80's and if it weren't for Richemont they might be gone too.
They were owned by swatch, which means it was a broken history. Longines too. Good friendly debate is what I live for :thumbup: :lol:
 

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They were owned by swatch, which means it was a broken history. Longines too. Good friendly debate is what I live for :thumbup: :lol:
I think you need a little brushing up on the definition of the term. Omega never went belly up so therefore they have been under continuous operation. It has nothing to do with a change in ownership. If that's the way you define it, then nearly ALL brands have broken histories because the original families no longer own them.
 

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ulackfocus said:
I think you need a little brushing up on the definition of the term. Omega never went belly up so therefore they have been under continuous operation. It has nothing to do with a change in ownership. If that's the way you define it, then nearly ALL brands have broken histories because the original families no longer own them.
Well, I guess that could count but to me, anything that was owned by swatch has been broken :lol: :laugh: JK JK
 

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I think Ball has one of the greatest stories out there, but is there any relationship in the ownership now back to it's roots?
 

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Invicta? Dude what are you smoking and where can I get some?

Unless we are talking about the innovation of infomercials, direct marketing, and bringing quality timepieces to the masses, I don't see how they fit in the "rich history" conversation with the likes of VC, Omega, Rolex, or even Breguet, Hamilton, and Ball.
 

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ulackfocus said:
:blink::huh: Up 'til this post, people reading this thead only wondered about your comments. Now they're sure. :001_rolleyes: Okay, that'll do it for me.
Can you elaborate?
 
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