Here’s a brand that I’d like to look at.
Revue Thommen got my interest for 4 reasons:
1) How I discovered them: In a corner of a (Chinese-style) mall in Shanghai among other Swiss (mostly less-than-major) brands, as well as Japanese and Chinese watches. I’d never heard of them. At first, I was skeptical that they were actually Swiss.
2) They have recently resurfaced in my consciousness by popping up on discount watch sites (such as Jomashop, a grey market website, which I wrote about here).
3) They are in fact Swiss, and make quite a few entry-level pieces.
4) They are mysterious and unknown. They do not even have a representation on the the ubiquitous and omniscient aBlogtoWatch.com, or other major review sites.
Doesn’t it seem like this company is worth checking out? They seem to be up to things, if quietly.
Well, apparently, they have been up to things since 1853, when they were known as Waldenburg Clock and Watch Making Company. They later merged with Vulcain. The original factory in Waldenburg, Switzerland makes aviation instruments as Revue Thommen AG. Sounds like solid cred for a watch company to me.
(A more complete, but still short, history and business summary of the company here.)
Now here’s the part that gives me pause, but at the same time makes me curious. There are very few independent reviews online, apart from happy customers on forums, though even stuff on forums is little. A google search of the brand leaves you with endless retail sites, with “sales” and “discounts” and capital letters and whatnot.
They’ve got a “sport” collection and a “lifestyle” collection that use ETAs mostly and are competitively priced among entry-level ETA-based watches. Their “manufacture” collection using in-house movements are more expensive, of course, than the other collections, but are still pretty reasonably priced for what they seem to be offering.
So far their pieces really only grab me in terms of being affordable and Swiss. But they are decent looking, classic and conservative pieces for the most part, and seem to be a good candidate for an entry-level dress watch. It seems like you could get one with an ETA 2824-2 in it for around US$500 (street price) – all the standard specs, of course, like steel, sapphire crystal, 30 meter water resistance, etc.
They got my attention with their prices, Swiss-ness, and mysteriousness. I hope to take a closer look at individual pieces in the future and share what I discover.
Revue Thommen site