I'm old enough to remember when Mitutoyo was considered "junk" !
It was funny... I sort of tooled up before Mitu came out. We all had Starrett, B&S, Federal, Tumico, Lufkin... what other ones am I forgetting? If someone wanted what was considered by some the best, they bought German or Swiss like Etalon and Helios the other one I can't remember.
But new kids started in the business and just like today when you go to MSC Direct you can find the import sets 0-3 for half the price or less. Had to get by and they didn't make enough to invest in the best. The only thing was "Mitutoyo" was the import of poor quality and and we laughed at the kids who bought them. Many guys younger than me laugh when anyone buys a Chinese set today. Same thing.
Sometimes being around awhile gives a better perspective.