What Is A Mushroom Brand In Watches?

No, we are not talking about the fungus! Some of you who are into watches, especially when it comes to more inexpensive watches, may have heard the term “mushroom brand” mentioned before, and wondered what it meant. The phrase is commonly used in forums and chatrooms that discuss various different topics about watches. Simply put, a mushroom brand typically refers to a watch brand that seemingly sprouted up out of nowhere on various online marketplaces. More often than not, they are a Chinese brand.

While it is not known exactly how, where, and when the term first originated, I have seen it used in a forum as early as 2006. This could possibly even be one of the earliest examples of this term used in a public forum, but who really knows?

Anyway, these types of brands will come and go very quickly. They will appear on different online marketplaces, sometimes for several years, and disappear, never to be heard from again. However, some of these brands do stick around, and even become popular. In this article we will discuss everything there is to know about a mushroom brand of watches!

Common Traits Of A Mushroom Brand

First, let’s look at some traits that are common in mushroom brands. Looking at these factors will help you to identify a mushroom brand. Keep in mind that not all mushroom brands will have all of these characteristics, but most will have at least some combination of these traits.

Not Well Known


The first characteristic of a mushroom brand, is that they are not going to be well known. This makes sense for a brand that just showed up out of the blue.

These brands also tend to be sold exclusively on the internet on online marketplaces. So it is very unlikely that you will go to a local shop or store, and come across one of these brands.

Unknown Origins


Another characteristic common to a mushroom brand is the lack of detailed information surrounding the brand. When you search or google information about the brand, you may find that there is little to no reliable information about the brand. No history, origin, or traces as to where or when the brand started can be found.

In more extreme cases, the history and origins of the brand are completely fabricated. You may see some claiming to be of “Swiss” origin, since it sounds more luxurious, and gives the manufacturer the option to sell at higher prices. They may also have names of founding members, or other people related to the history of the watch who cannot be verified to have ever even existed.



The most notable thing that you see in a lot of these brands is that they are inexpensive. This tends to be the main selling point in a brand that just came out of nowhere. With little to no marketing, what better way to sell a product, than to sell it at a lower than average price.

On this note, a lot of these brands will make watches that look like luxury watches, or even homages to other well established luxury watches. For a person who likes the style of an expensive luxury watch, finding a brand that makes watches with a nearly identical style, would definitely be appealing.

Strange Names


This is another interesting feature of mushroom brands, and also a dead giveaway. Sometimes they may feature unusual names. These names may be a seemingly random string of letters, or they may also be words, with certain letters missing, or replaced with a different letter. Alternatively, the name may resemble a popular or well known brand, except for minor differences.

Manufactured In The Same Warehouse


Another thing you may notice about mushroom brands, is that there may be several different brands that look nearly identical. These separate brands may contain the exact same parts and movements. Sometimes the only apparent difference between two similar watches, will be the brand name.

This is because many of these mushroom brands outsource their manufacturing to a Chinese warehouse. Certain warehouses are commonly used by manufacturers, therefore, you end up with seemingly identical watches under different brand names. Additionally, there are cases where several different brands are owned by a single entity. In these cases, all of the manufacturing for these brands is done in the same warehouse.

You can usually spot these instances when browsing online marketplaces. You may see a watch from one brand, then notice that there are similar or identical watches in adjacent listings.

Quality Of A Mushroom Brand

mushroom brand quality

So knowing a little more about mushroom brands, you may be wondering if they are to be avoided. After all, they are no named Chinese brands. Does this automatically mean that they are always going to be low quality products? The answer to that question is, it depends.

Like any other products, there will be winners and losers, and mushroom brands are no different. I know that a lot of people like to hate on Chinese watch brands. They always assume low quality. This is not always the case, however. Yes there are Chinese brands that produce garbage, but there are others, such as Pagani Design, Parnis, and Agelocer, to name a few, that produce quality products.

So how would you know if a brand is good or not? A good place to start would be the reviews. In the current age of internet marketplaces, people leave reviews. You could check reviews from multiple sites to see what they have to say. In the absence of that, you could also look at the product description and try to ascertain whether or not quality materials were used in the build.

Final Thoughts On The Mushroom Brand

I think that ultimately mushroom brands improve the industry. I say that because they bring in new competition for better and cheaper watches. Companies try to create the best looking watches with the best features at the lowest prices.

This leads to a sort of natural selection where the lower quality brands die out, but the better ones survive and thrive. Overall this leads to better options for potential customers.

Now for the sake of keeping this article short, I will end it at that. I hope this information was informative and helpful! You can check out more of our informative articles here

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1 thought on “What Is A Mushroom Brand In Watches?”

  1. The mushroom brands are rather “hit or miss”. There is usually one or more faults apparent and accuracy is questionable. Though one may occasionally hit on one with exceptional accuracy for its origin and price point. Best to not spend much on these unless willing to “bin” it or donate it to a watchmaking training school such as VWI when the inevitable end comes.


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