The challenge of finding a good, reliable manufacturer for a product is fraught with risks; if the wrong choice is made, anything is possible, including ruin. Compiling a list of manufacturers is the easy part as there are manufacturer look-up tools online. But for something as common as watches, for example, there are hundreds of watch manufacturers all with varying levels of experience and ability.
Part of the problem for US companies seeking to manufacture a product is that globalization has resulted in a much smaller American manufacturing base. This means it’s necessary to go overseas which means dealing with unfamiliar cultures, languages, labor policies, regulations, etc. Today, this usually means finding a supplier in China.
To get the ball rolling, companies seeking a manufacturer must create a sample or prototype of their product, and this usually requires a number of iterations and several months or longer to complete. Once satisfied with a prototype, services such as AliExpress and DHgate can be use for small batch manufacturing.
If larger runs are desired, it is a good idea to approach factories that work with major brands or retailers. Again it’s important to understand the regulatory environment in which these factories operate and whether or not their record is clean or if frequent infractions are the norm.