How Much Does It Really Cost to Manufacture Your Own Watch?
Get the inside scoop on watch manufacturing costs for custom, private label, and logo watches. Learn what goes into pricing promotional watches.

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Manufacture Your Own Watch


Scwarnowatch is a leading watch manufacturer based in China that specializes in creating custom, private label, white label, logo, and promotional watches for brands around the world. With years of experience crafting quality timepieces, we have become a go-to partner for businesses looking to produce their own watch line without the high costs and risks of running their own manufacturing facility.

In this blog post, we’ll give you an inside look at the key factors that influence the pricing and manufacturing costs of custom watches. Whether you’re looking to create branded corporate gifts for your employees or establish a private-label watch collection for your retail business, understanding manufacturing costs will help you set realistic budgets and price points. Read on to get the inside scoop on the production expenses that go into making your watch dreams a reality!

We’ll break down the major components that make up a watch’s manufacturing price tag, including materials, watch movements, size and complexity, minimum order quantities, and branding elements. With cost examples across different watch types, you’ll get a better idea of the investment required to manufacture everything from simple promotional watches to luxury timepieces. Arm yourself with pricing knowledge so you can confidently plan your next custom watch project.

By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of the production costs, lead times, and steps involved in crafting custom wrist watches. Understanding the ins and outs of watch manufacturing will ensure your project stays on time and on budget. So whether you’re ready to order your first samples or produce a full watch collection, let our experience guide you in making smart manufacturing decisions.

Main Factors that Influence Watch Manufacturing Costs

When it comes to watch manufacturing, there are several key components that factor into the overall production costs. These elements can cause pricing to vary widely for different watch styles and brands. Here are some of the most important factors that will determine the investment needed to manufacture your custom timepieces.

  • Materials
    The materials used in the watch case, strap, crystal, and other components play a major role in costs. Stainless steel watch cases and bracelets are more affordable than precious metals like gold or platinum. Leather straps also tend to be cheaper than metal bands. On the watch crystal, a domed mineral glass crystal is lower priced compared to a sapphire crystal, which offers greater scratch resistance.
  • Movements
    The movement, or inner workings, largely determines the precision and complexity of a watch. Basic quartz movements powered by a battery are very economical compared to intricate mechanical movements. Within mechanical movements, there is also a range of quality and price. In-house movements made by the watch brand tend to be pricier than mass-produced movements like those from ETA or Miyota. The origin and quality level of the movement influence the manufacturing expense.
  • Watch Size and Complexity
    In general, the larger the watch case diameter and thickness, and the more complex the design, the more raw materials, parts, and assembly work is required. Watches with added functions like chronographs, dual time zones, and perpetual calendars require more components and skilled labor. These complex watches cost more to manufacture than simple three-hand watch models.

Ballpark Range for Different Types of Watches

Now that you understand the key factors that make up a watch’s manufacturing costs, let’s look at some real world price examples. Here are approximate cost ranges for producing different watch types at the factory level.

Simple 3-Hand Quartz Watch:
For an entry-level quartz watch with a stainless steel case, mineral crystal, and leather strap, manufacturing prices typically range from $10-15 per unit when ordering 500+ pieces. Lower minimum orders in the 100-500 range can increase the per unit cost to $20-30.

Mechanical Automatic Watch:
An automatic mechanical watch with a stainless case, sapphire crystal, exhibition case back, and metal bracelet often ranges from $50-150 per unit at order quantities of 500+. Luxury finishes like gold plating and added complications will increase costs to the $250-500 range.

Chronograph Watch:
A quartz or mechanical chronograph watch with multiple dials and subdials will have more parts and assembly, resulting in a price between $100-300 per unit for order volumes of around 500 pieces.

Luxury Watch with Premium Materials:
Using solid gold for the case and bracelet, a premium Swiss mechanical movement, and other high-end materials like diamonds can increase manufacturing costs from $1,000 to over $5,000 per watch for quantities between 100-500 pieces.

As you can see, watch manufacturing follows a volume-based pricing model in which per-unit costs decrease as production quantities increase. We can provide a customized quote based on your exact watch specifications and order size. Let us know the details of your project!

Cost to Manufacture Your Own Watch

Other Factors like Shipping, Duties, and Minimum Orders

In addition to the watch components and production costs, there are a few other factors that can impact the overall investment for your custom watch manufacturing project.

  • Shipping Fees
    How your watches are shipped from the factory to you will incur transportation costs. Standard air and sea freight shipping options have different price points. Your geographic location will also determine how much shipping adds to the total project cost.
  • Import Duties & Taxes
    Importing watches may require paying import tariffs, customs clearance fees, value-added tax (VAT), or other international duties. Working with an experienced manufacturer can help you accurately calculate these costs.
  • Minimum Order Quantities
    As mentioned, larger order volumes provide better per unit pricing from factories. Many watch manufacturers have minimum order quantities of around 100-500 pieces per design. Smaller batches may incur setup and sample fees.

These additional expenses are typically not included in the base manufacturing quote. Be sure to get an all-inclusive cost estimate from potential watch partners to understand the total landed costs. With an experienced manufacturer, you can get complete visibility into every expense required to deliver your custom watches.


We hope this breakdown gives you a better understanding of the factors that make up the costs of manufacturing custom watches. As you can see, the prices vary widely based on the materials used, the complexity of the design, order quantities, branding requirements, and other specifications.

The manufacturing investment for a basic promotional watch starts at just $10-20 per piece. But for an intricate luxury timepiece made with premium materials, costs can surpass $1,000 per unit. Typically, quartz watches are more affordable than mechanical, and larger orders in the 500+ range provide better per unit pricing. Additional costs like shipping, duties, and setup fees also need to be accounted for.

The most important thing is choosing an experienced watch manufacturer that can provide pricing transparency. Make sure you get a detailed quote that outlines every component and associated cost. This helps prevent surprise expenses down the road. Also, discuss minimum order quantities and logistics costs upfront so you can budget accordingly.

As a leading Chinese watch producer, Scwarnowatch has manufactured watches ranging from simple one-function models to elite tourbillon timepieces. Our knowledgeable team can provide customized quotes and manufacturing advice for your next private label, logo, or promotional watch project. Reach out today to get started creating your own watch collection or unique branded timepieces.

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