ODM Watches And OEM Watches Explained In Depth!

If you study watches a lot, and/or spend a lot of time in various watch forums and reddits, you will find come across various different types of terminology being used. Among these are the terms ODM watches and OEM watches. Oftentimes there is some confusion between these two terms. Sometimes people even use these terms interchangeably, but they have completely separate meanings. So briefly I’m going to explain what those are.

First off are the definitions. ODM and OEM are acronyms. ODM stands for “Original Design Manufacturing”. OEM stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturing”. ODM watches, are watches designed by a manufacturer that meet specific criteria as defined by a client. OEM watches are watches completely designed in detail by a client, who then sends those designs to a manufacturer to be produced.

So you see the difference here? An ODM watch is one in which the company or individual has a basic idea of what they want in a watch as far as designs and features, but relies on the manufacturer to fill in the details and bring this idea into a fully functioning product. If you have ever heard of “private labeling”, then this is basically what is happening there..

Next then, an OEM watch is one in which a company or individual designs the watch in detail, but does not manufacture the watches in house. Instead, they outsource those designs to a manufacturer for production. This is usually done by much larger companies.

Those are the basic explanations for these terms in a nutshell. There is, of course, a whole lot more that we can discuss on the topic! that being said, The first thing we’ will talk about is who these types of watches are actually intended for.

Who Are ODM And OEM Watches For?

who uses odm and oem watches

Ok, so first of all, note that these types of watches are not watches that you would buy for personal use. These specific types of watches are intended for customers that intend on mass producing and distributing their own product. This would usually mean a business of some sort.

It could be a brand new watch company that is just starting out and ready to implement their product distribution plan. It could be an individual who intends to sell under a private label. And finally, it could be an already established company that decided to add watches to their product line. These are usually the types of customers you would typically find looking into ODM or OEM watches.

In the next part, we will look at both the pros and the cons of each type of watch manufacturing.

Pros And Cons Of ODM And OEM Watches

odm and oem watches pros and cons



The advantages to ODM watches is that they are usually going to be cheaper to produce, and can get shipped out much faster than OEM watches. The reason for this is that you are using already made parts. So mostly there might be some minor cosmetic changes, color alterations, and/or just slapping your brand name on it. This will be the better option for a company with strict budgetary limitations.


The downsides to this, is that since you are using parts that are already made, then chances are, you aren’t the only company doing this. Your product may be a mirror image of another company’s product. We actually see this a lot in many of the mushroom brands out there.

Having watches that look exactly like other watches can confuse potential customers, cost you sales, and even limit your earning potential. Because if your watch looks exactly like a competitor’s, then you would have a hard time selling it for more than the competitor’s price, as consumers will gravitate towards the less expensive options.



OEM watches come with a lot of advantages. First of all you have full control of the manufacturing process of your watches. You basically have your own exclusive brand designed exactly to the specifications you have set. Your watches will be all original and unique in the market. This option is great for large companies with large budgets.


Having a larger budget is necessary because one of the downsides is that OEM production will be more expensive than ODM. This is because since you have all original designs and specs, equipment, such as molds and other tools used in the manufacturing process will have to be specifically tailored towards your specific product.

The second drawback is that because everything needs to be tuned to your specific product, then the initial production time will be longer, so there will be a longer time period between the time you begin production until the time your product gets out into the market.

Who Provides These Services?

odm and oem watches services

Now that you know more about the differences between ODM and OEM watches, you may be wondering where to find a provider for these types of services. There are many companies that you can contact for these purposes. Some notable ones are American Watch Company, 3watches, and if you are looking for Swiss movements, then 121time is a good one.

These are just a few suggestions, but you can research other manufacturers, as there are so many of them. I would encourage that as well, because then you can get different quotes, compare prices, and figure out which manufacturer will give you the best deal possible.


So hopefully now you know a bit more about both ODM and OEM watches. If you are a company looking to start your own watch brand, then you should be able to get a pretty good idea of whether you want to go the ODM route, or the OEM route.

If you are just an individual that was curious about these terms, then I hope this article has been useful to you and informative.

That completes our look into ODM and OEM watches. If you want to learn more about watches in general, and maybe some facts you didn’t already know, you can check out more of our info articles here

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