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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, JLC etc...) - Page 980  

post #14686 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

 i have already researched it, and know exactly what i want. its just a matter of finding the most convenient place to buy, and for the most desirable price, considering all factors.

 

And this is what will really change if brands move to control their own sales through solus dealerships: no more shopping around online for the best deal, because there won't be independent re-sellers competing with each other in a global market to sell top watches at minimum margins.

 

It seems to me that what's probably got the watch makers really exercised, is not the little expert boutiques with multiple brands, but the ones who operate a back end business online, selling globally.  That's what's driven down prices (and brand value, in their eyes), and made them decide they need to control retail, to the point where they have enough of their own, owned, outlets to no longer need to sell to chains of independents who can undercut each other online.  

 

It's an interesting exception, when a lot of other manufacturers are increasingly dealing direct to consumers online (check out clothes and shoe makers), or through an exclusive online outlet, to take retail margins on their wholesale business.  Perhaps that's too frivolous for watchmakers to consider... 

post #14687 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimo View Post

And this is what will really change if brands move to control their own sales through solus dealerships: no more shopping around online for the best deal, because there won't be independent re-sellers competing with each other in a global market to sell top watches at minimum margins.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It seems to me that what's probably got the watch makers really exercised, is not the little expert boutiques with multiple brands, but the ones who operate a back end business online, selling globally.  That's what's driven down prices (and brand value, in their eyes), and made them decide they need to control retail, to the point where they have enough of their own, owned, outlets to no longer need to sell to chains of independents who can undercut each other online.  

It's an interesting exception, when a lot of other manufacturers are increasingly dealing direct to consumers online (check out clothes and shoe makers), or through an exclusive online outlet, to take retail margins on their wholesale business.  Perhaps that's too frivolous for watchmakers to consider... 

probably true, and while in certain respects that is annoying, its also fair from the brands pov imo. and may bolster the re-sale values, and may make me feel cooler about what i own.

so far, the only issue that i see as meaningful so far, is the point dopey and gdl raised about consumers wanting to be able to shop and make comparison decisions without going to 10 different locations.
post #14688 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

probably true, and while in certain respects that is annoying, its also fair from the brands pov imo. and may bolster the re-sale values, and may make me feel cooler about what i own.
so far, the only issue that i see as meaningful so far, is the point dopey and gdl raised about consumers wanting to be able to shop and make comparison decisions without going to 10 different locations.
There is a good chance that stores like Cellini and Wempe, and maybe even Tourneau, will remain even when brands have their own boutiques. Those stores don't really undercut the brand stores (well they do, but not by much and not in an overt, public manner) or dilute the brand image. They also do something the brand stores can't, which is entice the buyer not committed enough to a brand to go to the brand store to try something new or look at something he hadn't thought of. That is good for the brands.
post #14689 of 48312

post #14690 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

great post, dino.
i think that there is probably a lot of truth to what you are saying, and obviously hayek was not in a position to say what all the true motivators were for the change. even what he did say earned him a lot of flak iirc.
the change was probably due to a combination of wanting to limit discounts and over saturation, that leads to less brand value. as well increasing exclusivity, which promotes brand value and prestige. increasing profits. and lastly, being in control, to an extent, over who sells their goods, so that they are sold in the fashion they want. ie - by knowledgable SAs who are genuinely interested in fine time pieces.
and tbh, even to it may hurt the consumers wallet, and make finding the watch you want at all, let alone at the price you want, more difficult, im not sure it is really a bad thing over all.
firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they are the owners of the product, and have the right to establish what price they want these products sold for. peoples desire for a discount, should not really force their hand to apply one. its their stuff.
secondly, the price the items are sold for, do affect the brand image. no one views omega as an elite or expensive watch, because you can buy them for close to 50% off all day. that hurts the brand.
now, is profit a motivator? sure. certainly they are all in business to make money, but i do think that they also feel a sense of pride in their brand image, and that it is something they want to keep as pristine as possible. except when they decide to totally sell out and cash in only on name, and sell mediocre watches, but lately, things are trending towards most fine watch companies doing their best to make fine watches.
and the only way to sell something for a lot of money, is when people view your wares, as something valuable. all these things play to that end. smaller discounts, exclusivity... they all add to the image of value, and the sense of satisfaction a consumer feels when they get their hands on such a product. no ones wants to shell out a lot of money, and feel like they didnt get what they paid for.
so, do i like these changes, im not entirely sure. but i certainly understand where they are coming from, and why they are being made.
also, lets not forget, on the back end, the more exclusive and valuable these watches are, the more money one can get on the back end, in the resale market. if its hard to get your hands on a watch, it makes it more valuable across the board.
just my 2c.
/stitchys long post of the day.

Some interesting points...but in the end its all about profit and contolling distribution to increase profit. 

 

I can appreciate the idea of exclusivity, prestige, value, and public perception.  But those are not gained through having a Boutique, by refusing to discount a watch, by increasing prices, or reducing ADs.

 

Prestige, exclusivity, and value are often affected largely by a combination of high quality, limited production numbers, heritage and auction values of vintage pieces, and  demand for a brand/models.  People are more willing to consider buying a Patek at full price because of each of these factors.  GP makes a great watch, very high quality, limited production, nice heritage, they have boutiques, and some of their watches are priced comparably to Patek...but would you buy one at full price?  Probably not.  Part of what makes certain brands attractive is that they are high quality and they can be purchased at a much lower price than a comparable watch from a bigger name. 

 

 

Regarding your statement "firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they are the owners of the product, and have the right to establish what price they want these products sold for. peoples desire for a discount, should not really force their hand to apply one. its their stuff."  -  IMHO, peoples' desire for a discount doesn't affect the prices watch companies set.  The companies have always estabilished their own pricing strategies and discount allowances.  Lots of companies in a variety of industries build room in for price negotiations and if a consumer doesn't take advantage, then its extra profit for them.  In addition, remember a company can price itself however it wants to (with or without discounts), but ultimately their success depends on consumers,  If consumers don't like the pricing or don't see the value in the brands pricing...they will be sitting on stock that doesn't move.

 

As for your statement "secondly, the price the items are sold for, do affect the brand image. no one views omega as an elite or expensive watch, because you can buy them for close to 50% off all day. that hurts the brand."  Yes, there is truth to that statement, however, its proof brands simply cannot ask whatever they want for a product.  Part of the reason watches do get discounted is thati s often what it takes to move certain brands.  Brands for which there is higher demand can ask more and discount less.  And while MSRP does play some role in the price of a pre owned watch, those brands for which there is lower demand in the new market will also probably have a lower demand in the used market. Omega, GP and other brands are not going to have resale like that of Rolex and Patek simply by reducing discounts.  

 

I have bought a watch at a boutique when it was something that could not be purchased at an AD, and I have paid full retail for a handful of watches I wanted from ADs as they were models that are never discounted.  The boutique experiecne was nice, but the bulk of my watches came from the best deal I could from an AD so that I can get as many of the watches I want to own. 

Quote:

Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post

The biggest problem with the proliferation of watch boutiques and attrition of multi-brand ones, is that it's becoming harder to pick a watch. People like to compare: do I want this rolex or that omega? Let me try both on, etc... How many people go to Tourneau or Wempe and try only one brand before making a purchase?
The boutique strategy is indeed to exercise greater control and build brand equity, but it's also to retain a much greater margin on the product, eliminating the distribution channel's margin.

+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post
also, some people go to wempe and try on lots of watches, and dont buy anything. peepwall[1].gif

Yes, but that might be because they simply are not competitive in price.  I've looked at watches there, ready to buy, but they are always among the most expensive ADs I've visited.  If you can buy the same new car at 2 different dealerships, wouldn't you buy it at the one that offers you the best deal?  I didn't even bother to contact them with my last major purchase.  No point in wasting my time or theirs. 

post #14691 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by dopey View Post

There is a good chance that stores like Cellini and Wempe, and maybe even Tourneau, will remain even when brands have their own boutiques. Those stores don't really undercut the brand stores (well they do, but not by much and not in an overt, public manner) or dilute the brand image. They also do something the brand stores can't, which is entice the buyer not committed enough to a brand to go to the brand store to try something new or look at something he hadn't thought of. That is good for the brands.

that is probably true. btw, for the life of me i could not find the cellini store when i was in manhattan. found wempe and torneau, but not cellini. was weird. the gps on my phone said it was right in front of me, but i sure didnt see it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Some interesting points...but in the end its all about profit and contolling distribution to increase profit. 

I can appreciate the idea of exclusivity, prestige, value, and public perception.  But those are not gained through having a Boutique, by refusing to discount a watch, by increasing prices, or reducing ADs.

Prestige, exclusivity, and value are often affected largely by a combination of high quality, limited production numbers, heritage and auction values of vintage pieces, and  demand for a brand/models.  People are more willing to consider buying a Patek at full price because of each of these factors.  GP makes a great watch, very high quality, limited production, nice heritage, they have boutiques, and some of their watches are priced comparably to Patek...but would you buy one at full price?  Probably not.  Part of what makes certain brands attractive is that they are high quality and they can be purchased at a much lower price than a comparable watch from a bigger name. 


Regarding your statement "firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they are the owners of the product, and have the right to establish what price they want these products sold for. peoples desire for a discount, should not really force their hand to apply one. its their stuff."  -  IMHO, peoples' desire for a discount doesn't affect the prices watch companies set.  The companies have always estabilished their own pricing strategies and discount allowances.  Lots of companies in a variety of industries build room in for price negotiations and if a consumer doesn't take advantage, then its extra profit for them.  In addition, remember a company can price itself however it wants to (with or without discounts), but ultimately their success depends on consumers,  If consumers don't like the pricing or don't see the value in the brands pricing...they will be sitting on stock that doesn't move.

As for your statement "secondly, the price the items are sold for, do affect the brand image. no one views omega as an elite or expensive watch, because you can buy them for close to 50% off all day. that hurts the brand."  Yes, there is truth to that statement, however, its proof brands simply cannot ask whatever they want for a product.  Part of the reason watches do get discounted is thati s often what it takes to move certain brands.  Brands for which there is higher demand can ask more and discount less.  And while MSRP does play some role in the price of a pre owned watch, those brands for which there is lower demand in the new market will also probably have a lower demand in the used market. Omega, GP and other brands are not going to have resale like that of Rolex and Patek simply by reducing discounts.  

I have bought a watch at a boutique when it was something that could not be purchased at an AD, and I have paid full retail for a handful of watches I wanted from ADs as they were models that are never discounted.  The boutique experiecne was nice, but the bulk of my watches came from the best deal I could from an AD so that I can get as many of the watches I want to own. 
Quote:
+1

i think you do make a lot of valid points there. and i dont really disagree with them per say. maybe because much of my career has been spent on the other side of the counter, that is the selling side, i see things a little differently.

in the end, i think that we probably agree on the main points. that is, one, that the brands are doing their best to make more money. still understandable imo, they are almost all under corporate ownership, not craftsman or artisan ownership, and even the craftsmen and artisans out there want to make money. and two, they all want to preserve the brand image they have, or are trying to have.

balancing that is no easy task, and the luxury consumer is often a fickle one, sometimes reckless in spending, but very often fickle, and that makes figuring out the right mix difficult. in the end, there is no exact science to building a brand. for example, you mentioned GP. do they make some fantastic watches? yes. do they have an old and rich heritage? yes. do they produce watches well into the 6 figures? yes. are they viewed by anyone in the same league as PP, AP, VC, AL, .....? nope. im sure they want to be. im even sure they try to be. why didnt it work? who knows. it boils down to public perception and what people search for, and place value in.

there are lots of ideas as to how to accomplish that, but there are no guarantees. you have pointed out some of the risks involved in the decisions that these brands are making and implementing. im sure that they are aware of many, if not all of them. and in the end, its their own fate they are sealing, one way or another. and only time will tell how it all plays out.

we get to watch (shameless pun) and see. smile.gif

Quote:
Yes, but that might be because they simply are not competitive in price.  I've looked at watches there, ready to buy, but they are always among the most expensive ADs I've visited.  If you can buy the same new car at 2 different dealerships, wouldn't you buy it at the one that offers you the best deal?  I didn't even bother to contact them with my last major purchase.  No point in wasting my time or theirs. 

lol, that was a joke to dopey. he was with me as i spent quite some time window shopping and ogling there. interestingly enough, the SA clearly knew (i said so outright iirc) that i was not buying anything, but his service and the attention he gave me was outstanding. so enjoyable was the experience, that if money was not an object for me at all, i would certainly shop there. both for the service received, and the experience. not to mention the convenience of not having to shop around. i have no problem paying retail if i can, and if there are advantages to doing so.

sidebar - thank you all for indulging in this conversation, i find it quite enjoyable.
post #14692 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

[...]sidebar - thank you all for indulging in this conversation, i find it quite enjoyable.
Agreed; it's remarkable that one of the best watch-industry discussions that I've seen in ages is taking place outside of a watch forum. Not really surprising, either, when you consider how heavily-moderated/censored the big ones are, and how defensive typical watch geeks get about their pet brands. I've also enjoyed reading these last few pages.
post #14693 of 48312
Some AP p0rn of my recent arrival... I love how the dial reflects both dark blue and grey according to lighting conditions.

file.jpg

file-1.jpg

file-2.jpg

file-3.jpg
post #14694 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by medtech_expat View Post

Some AP p0rn of my recent arrival... I love how the dial reflects both dark blue and grey according to lighting conditions.
Now that's some proper pornographie d'horlogerie!
post #14695 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 
Sounds like a good trade.  I'm sure you will enjoy the new watch.

Hope so! Trying to get rid of stuff I don't wear.
post #14696 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belligero View Post

Agreed; it's remarkable that one of the best watch-industry discussions that I've seen in ages is taking place outside of a watch forum. Not really surprising, either, when you consider how heavily-moderated/censored the big ones are, and how defensive typical watch geeks get about their pet brands. I've also enjoyed reading these last few pages.

icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

@ medtech - that is awesome!!!! SC too. deets?
post #14697 of 48312
incredible AP !! That is the new 15202 right?
post #14698 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
@ medtech - that is awesome!!!! SC too. deets?

Thanks! Fabric is Loro Piana, done up by Napoli su Misura.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren G. View Post

incredible AP !! That is the new 15202 right?

Yep, the new 15202; I fell in love with the design but was frankly a bit skeptical regarding claims of a more comfortable bracelet. Not sure exactly what they did, but for me the claims are well-founded. This is the first Royal Oak for which I won't need that visually-annoying one and a half link to achieve a good fit.
post #14699 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by medtech_expat View Post

Thanks! Fabric is Loro Piana, done up by Napoli su Misura.

drop. deal. gorgeous.
post #14700 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

i think you do make a lot of valid points there. and i dont really disagree with them per say. maybe because much of my career has been spent on the other side of the counter, that is the selling side, i see things a little differently.
in the end, i think that we probably agree on the main points. that is, one, that the brands are doing their best to make more money. still understandable imo, they are almost all under corporate ownership, not craftsman or artisan ownership, and even the craftsmen and artisans out there want to make money. and two, they all want to preserve the brand image they have, or are trying to have.

Hi Stitch,

 

Thanks for indulging me with some detailed thoughts on the watch companies, and your point of view from the other side of the sales counter. 

 

I do understand that being on the other side of the counter may make your incentives at least on the selling side very different.  I have a friend at an AD for Cartier, VC, IWC and a bunch of other brands and whenever he starts telling me how excited he is about pricing strategies and possibly moving to reduce discounts, I always have to remind him that from my side of the sales counter thats not exciting or good news.  Also, some watches as nice as they are I think their list prices have become rediculous.  I realize the way I can vocalize that is not purchasing it. 

 

In the end there are watches I've gotten good discounts on and watches I've paid full retail for, but the important thing to me is when everything is said and done, whether I feel that I got a good value (which is not just the price, but whether an item seem like its truly worth what I am paying) for the goods and also on some level to have enjoyed my time with the sales person at the AD or Boutique (some I have liked more than others). 


Edited by Dino944 - 10/19/12 at 1:18pm
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