Brown & Sharpe, Hexagon, and "Swiss Made"
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    Question Brown & Sharpe, Hexagon, and "Swiss Made"

    TLDR: B&S calipers don't have swiss made on there anymore, trying to see if they've moved to China or somewhere to shave costs while still charging high. For those with pre-Hexagon/TESA calipers, how are they in comparison?

    For a preface, I'm a bit of a fan for Brown and Sharpe's dial calipers. Reason being my instructor touted his dial caliper had been by his side for well over 20 years at least. It was a bit beat up, seeing as it was heavily used, but the accuracy was surprisingly on point. Since then, I've stuck with B&S whenever given the opportunity, though I've noticed that there's been a change to some of their components and they often no longer mention the "Swiss made" bragging point put into the dial's face.

    In fact, the last time I tried ordering from their catalog a week or so ago, I couldn't find any information on where these calipers were being made. I don't know when it happened, but B&S has clearly made changes regarding this and I don't know how to feel about it. Several reviews I've seen on amazon for their 599-579-4/5 calipers claim they're Chinese knock offs as a cost-saving measure. My pair is also missing it. I'm wondering if after the buyout from Hexagon in 2001 and integrating into the TESA sub-branch, B&S has resorted to dropping their long tradition of swiss instruments in the name of profit.

    It sort of feels like my instructor's old caliper, with the lack of a thumbwheel being an important draw for me with newer models. That same smooth gliding motion feels no different for now, either.

    But my question is, for those who've stuck with B&S calipers, when do you think the "swiss made" aspect had no longer been mentioned? I'd appreciate any feedback.

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    Try Etalon calipers. They're identical to the original Swiss B&S/Tesa, but also have a thumbwheel. My favorite dial calipers. Haven't bought a set since 2010 so can't comment on where they're currently made, but a quick Google makes it appear they're still Swiss: Etalon Dial Calipers - Penn Tool Co., Inc

    I'd expect even the highest quality calipers to need the jaws lapped after 20+ years of heavy use. Then again so what if they're worn .0005"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaturtle View Post
    TLDR: B&S calipers don't have swiss made on there anymore, trying to see if they've moved to China or somewhere to shave costs while still charging high. For those with pre-Hexagon/TESA calipers, how are they in comparison?

    For a preface, I'm a bit of a fan for Brown and Sharpe's dial calipers. Reason being my instructor touted his dial caliper had been by his side for well over 20 years at least. It was a bit beat up, seeing as it was heavily used, but the accuracy was surprisingly on point. Since then, I've stuck with B&S whenever given the opportunity, though I've noticed that there's been a change to some of their components and they often no longer mention the "Swiss made" bragging point put into the dial's face.

    In fact, the last time I tried ordering from their catalog a week or so ago, I couldn't find any information on where these calipers were being made. I don't know when it happened, but B&S has clearly made changes regarding this and I don't know how to feel about it. Several reviews I've seen on amazon for their 599-579-4/5 calipers claim they're Chinese knock offs as a cost-saving measure. My pair is also missing it. I'm wondering if after the buyout from Hexagon in 2001 and integrating into the TESA sub-branch, B&S has resorted to dropping their long tradition of swiss instruments in the name of profit.

    It sort of feels like my instructor's old caliper, with the lack of a thumbwheel being an important draw for me with newer models. That same smooth gliding motion feels no different for now, either.

    But my question is, for those who've stuck with B&S calipers, when do you think the "swiss made" aspect had no longer been mentioned? I'd appreciate any feedback.
    I have B&S 6" 599-579-5 (black dial face)calipers bought in 2010 out of a B&S catalog. Still say Swiss Made on the dial face. I also have 2 Best Test indicators (.0001) and (.0005) bought in 2014-2015 and they also say Swiss Made. I haven't bought anything from them since.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaturtle View Post
    TLDR: B&S calipers don't have swiss made on there anymore, trying to see if they've moved to China or somewhere to shave costs while still charging high. For those with pre-Hexagon/TESA calipers, how are they in comparison?
    I'm a fan of B&S too, all my mics were made in Providence, Rhode Island. My best caliper was made in Switzerland by Etalon (they got bought by TESA) and they are so smooth I don't know how to say it. I don't know about the newer models because this old thing is still dead on accurate, as far as a caliper can be. I won't buy them if they aren't made in Switzerland or USA. It has to say it right on the frame, not in the ad.

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    Maybe an update for some? First a link.

    Hexagon AB - Wikipedia

    A company (Hexagon) that size buys and makes in the countries where it is most profitable to do so. That doesn't mean they make cheap products as brand names are at stake. Mitutoyo does the same.

    Company History | Hexagon PPM

    The days when a popular product was made in just one factory in one country is as good as over. Neither good or bad, just how things are now. The larger the company the more it is about profit. Maybe a strange example but look at where the air filter in your car was made. There's a good chance it has "Made In India" on it.

    MITUTOYO | Company Profile | History of Mitutoyo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    Maybe an update for some? First a link.

    Hexagon AB - Wikipedia

    A company (Hexagon) that size buys and makes in the countries where it is most profitable to do so. That doesn't mean they make cheap products as brand names are at stake. Mitutoyo does the same.

    Company History | Hexagon PPM

    The days when a popular product was made in just one factory in one country is as good as over. Neither good or bad, just how things are now. The larger the company the more it is about profit. Maybe a strange example but look at where the air filter in your car was made. There's a good chance it has "Made In India" on it.

    MITUTOYO | Company Profile | History of Mitutoyo
    Well, that's a bummer. I'd had my heart set on getting this set of mics someday: https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/06226104

    But I'll tell you what, I'm not gonna pay Swiss price for something that isn't made in Switzerland. I think I'll just keep on using what I have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavt View Post
    Well, that's a bummer. I'd had my heart set on getting this set of mics someday: https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/06226104

    But I'll tell you what, I'm not gonna pay Swiss price for something that isn't made in Switzerland. I think I'll just keep on using what I have.
    In the link is written
    "Country of Origin:
    Country of Origin is subject to change
    Switzerland.


    Most top brands of many things don't get made in the original country. This doesn't necessary mean bad or inferior quality as the companies monitor to keep their product image.

    About the only thing you can do is look at whether it's a cheap copy or an "original". Price is usually a good indication.

    If the price looks too good to be true then ……………..!

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    If it’s any comparison, +GF+ machines have Swiss made on the front and made in Taiwan on the back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jz814 View Post
    I have B&S 6" 599-579-5 (black dial face)calipers bought in 2010 out of a B&S catalog.
    I think what gets me is that it's been that way with that number for a long time. There's no updated number so it is a bit more tricky to track it other than when it was bought. Thanks for the answer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halcohead View Post
    Try Etalon calipers. They're identical to the original Swiss B&S/Tesa, but also have a thumbwheel. My favorite dial calipers. Haven't bought a set since 2010 so can't comment on where they're currently made, but a quick Google makes it appear they're still Swiss: Etalon Dial Calipers - Penn Tool Co., Inc
    It took me a long time to realize Etalon was a sub-brand of B&S. My only problem with them is that I really dislike thumbwheels, I'd have to alter the tool. But since I don't seem to have a lot of options, I may end up doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaturtle View Post
    It took me a long time to realize Etalon was a sub-brand of B&S. My only problem with them is that I really dislike thumbwheels, I'd have to alter the tool. But since I don't seem to have a lot of options, I may end up doing it.
    Some like the thumb wheel some don't. It is easy to remove and it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to have a non wheel housing. Easier of course with plastic than steel but still easy.

    Remove the housing "stop" but try and avoid taking the housing off the beam.

    Added: Locking the housing with the thumb screw while removing what must be removed prevents "accidents"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    Some like the thumb wheel some don't. It is easy to remove and it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to have a non wheel housing. Easier of course with plastic than steel but still easy.

    Remove the housing "stop" but try and avoid taking the housing off the beam.
    I believe that's what I'll do, thank you! I still have these calipers and seeing as they're company bought, I know I'll make Etalon my choice when it's available to reasonably swap them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaturtle View Post
    It took me a long time to realize Etalon was a sub-brand of B&S.
    It wasn't always. They got bought. And now bought again, I guess.

    At least Brown & Sharpe mostly left them alone. This is too bad

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    I prefer the old B&S calipers. Swiss made, they last many years.
    I have two that needed some TLC.
    If you have any old calipers you want refurbished, I can't say too much about John at Indicator Repair Service.
    I sent mine in, they came back good as new. Smooth as glass, zeroed with polished crystals.
    To me, it is worth the price.

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    Maybe I should consider buying an older pair and refurbishing them.

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    Curiosity. How many have experienced that a brand name, over time, has become poorer quality? If yes, in what way?

    I don't mean feelings or hearsay, but "hands on" experience.

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    I have 2 Brown & Sharpe calipers one 8" and one 6", both dial. The 6" are the 160th anniversary calipers and they don't have swiss made on the dial, but on the back side. My 8" B&S have swiss made on the dial.

    *These are older models, the 8" are probably pushing twenty years, and the anniversary are from '93. Sorry doesn't really help with a new purchase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    I have 2 Brown & Sharpe calipers one 8" and one 6", both dial. The 6" are the 160th anniversary calipers and they don't have swiss made on the dial, but on the back side. My 8" B&S have swiss made on the dial.

    *These are older models, the 8" are probably pushing twenty years, and the anniversary are from '93. Sorry doesn't really help with a new purchase.
    I've got a couple of VIS digital calipers over 20 years old and while VIS still existed they had Sylvac electronics in their best digital calipers. Pity VIS no longer exists.

    The digital caliper I prefer nowadays has a display of 0.005mm / 0.0002" and I buy from a local importer (10 minutes drive away).

    It's guaranteed accurate to within 0.02mm / 0.001" up to 150mm / 6" and that's slightly better than standard.

    YouTube

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    Is it possible that when a caliper is marked "Swiss made" on the dial that only the 'clock' part of the caliper is Swiss?
    I know that the Swiss make bank vault timers and some mechanical parking meters have Swiss timer modules in them, so it wouldn't be a stretch to believe they might have been making just part of the caliper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStretch View Post
    Is it possible that when a caliper is marked "Swiss made" on the dial that only the 'clock' part of the caliper is Swiss?
    I know that the Swiss make bank vault timers and some mechanical parking meters have Swiss timer modules in them, so it wouldn't be a stretch to believe they might have been making just part of the caliper.
    "Swiss made" can be almost the same as "Made In Switzerland". How much depends on what it is.

    Swiss made - Wikipedia


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