Article By: Logan Hannen
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to take a look at the best alternative to a brand like MVMT – Timex.
Before we get into why Timex is the better option, let’s take a look at exactly who and what MVMT is. The company was founded in 2013 after Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante dropped out of college. The guys were, to use their words, tired of the traditional retail model, and wanted to change the access people had to quality, well-made timepieces. To do this, they built a company with a platform based entirely online, and after a solid crowdfunding campaign, launched their first model to massive success. Some smart managing of social media (specifically Instagram) and killer word of mouth managed to get the brand not just out there, but in everyone’s faces, to the point that nobody could deny knowing who the brand was.
MVMT Chrono Gunmetal Sandstone
Their design philosophy, as you can see, is pretty straightforward and in line with a lot of other minimalist watches from brands like Daniel Wellington, in that there is as little on the dial of the watch as humanly possible while still making it functional as a timekeeping device. With the model shown above, I would argue that black hands on a black dial kind of kill the legibility as a timekeeping device too, but that’s neither here nor there.
Here’s where some of the issue starts with the brand, though – the price. The piece shown above goes for $135 on their website, and since they’re online only, that’s probably the standard price no matter where you go unless you go pre-owned. Now, the brand that talks about hating markups has some of the steepest markups in the industry. Fight me. A markup, real quick, is basically the difference between the cost of production and the selling price of an item, in this case watches. How do I know that? Oh, the power of Google…
This right here is a model MVMT produce currently called the Graphite. It’s a 42mm, rose gold plated chronograph and part of their Voyager collection. It’s priced, as of this writing, at $140 USD. Cool?
Mexda Rose Gold Chronograph
Looks kind of familiar, right? There’s a good reason for that – it’s basically the same damn watch. While I can’t confirm its identicality, it’s certainly comprised of similar parts. I found this watch on Alibaba, a sort of Amazon for businesses to connect with different manufacturers for production. Sounds reasonable enough, except that most often, this is done by basically looking at the listing, telling them how many you want, and having them stamp your brand’s name and logo on the dial. The real kicker, though? That watch from Alibaba I linked above is listed as being between $8 and $18 USD a piece.
Why the range of prices? That all comes down to the things that the brand specifies they want in the watch. Mexda is pretty flexible in terms of things like case size, glass material, etc., though interestingly they list their max thickness as 9mm, where the MVMT lists its thickness as 11mm…still not sure where that difference comes in. They also offer Chinese, Japanese, or Swiss movements in the piece, and whether the case is 100% steel or made of an alloy with just a stainless steel back. All of this is customizable for the buyer, and since they don’t list on the Alibaba listing which movements are an option, only the three countries of origin, it seems more than reasonable that the movement used in the, well, MVMT, is one that could be supplied by Mexda. Because of this, it’s impossible to determine with any accuracy how much the MVMT functionally would cost the company, but at most, it would be $18 a watch. Now, factor in shipping and taxes, if applicable, and you, the customer, end up paying for the watch five times over.
So what do I recommend you spend your money on instead? Well, if you read the title of this article, you know the answer: Timex.
Timex Fairfield Sub-Second
Above is pictured the Timex Fairfield Sub-Second. It sells on the Timex website for $89, but similar versions can be found on Amazon for as low as $40. Is it closer in design to a Daniel Wellington? Probably, but it keeps in the vein of the ultra-minimalist design philosophy, while carrying with it a sense of true heritage that Timex, and brand that’s been around so long that their slogan, “Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’,” is practically household at this point, can lay claim to and MVMT, frankly, just can’t. To some people, heritage doesn’t matter, and that’s totally cool, but if you can nab a Timex – with comparable design quality, increased reliability, and versatility – for half the price of a MVMT, then why wouldn’t you?
An added bonus for any watch geek who can tell me in the comments on Facebook what this OTHER watch from Alibaba is clearly reminiscent of. Makes you wonder how many brands build their models through sources like this, and how many of these sources are simply supplying producers of replica watches. Anyway, that’s speculation for another time. You know the drill by now – keep it classy, watchfam.
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