It’s fair to say that the watch industry isn’t renowned for a culture of transparency, with its sometimes confusing mix of companies, parent companies, and suppliers. Add to the equation a hefty dose of marketing invested in the concept ‘in-house’ and the waters become even murkier.
The reality is that fully vertical watchmakers are very rare indeed, with most brands making use of third parties, be that in design or production. This (paywalled) Financial Times article investigates ‘secret watchmakers’, who operate at the higher end of horology – often established watchmakers in their own right, who moonlight for other brands on the side. And while some brands are becoming more public about their external partners, its not the norm. Essential reading if you’re interested in parting the smoke and seeing through the mirrors.