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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, JLC etc...) - Page 2114  

post #31696 of 48312
One of those is definitely not like the others.
post #31697 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belligero View Post


I liked IWC's pre-Richemont designs, but they've been getting worse with each redesign to the point where some look as gaudy as Zenith's old Defy line.

This convention speech by CEO Georges Kern explains a lot about what's behind their current direction. I respect his forthrightness about "storytelling" and how they invent stuff as they go along, but I don't think faux history and such a relentless focus on marketing, "playing the game", image and celebrity is a good strategy in the long run (though I'm probably being rather naïve).

It's surprising how straight-up he is about the product's inherent uselessness and ridiculous pricing, "selling a dream", and how they're all about making profits for shareholders. 

+1 I couldn't agree with you more.  Years ago I wanted a 3706 Pilot Chrono &  3713 Doppelchrono, and PD Ocean 2000 and other pieces by IWC.  Now they don't make anything of interest to me.  

 

I found the presentation interesting, amusing, and useful.  Interesting, because a high end watch AD on the east coast that used to carry IWC, dropped the line.  I spoke with the owner and he said, he wanted more information, details and background about the technology and engineering in the watches as that is what interests his customers.  He said, they told him he doesn't need that stuff and that they are a "Lifestyle brand " and that is what he needs to focus on to sell their products.  He said, in his store that doesn't work with his customers.  I wasn't sure how accurate that was until watching this presentation.  

 

I found the presentation amusing in that during the movie, they capture one of the people at about the 8:17 mark wearing a Rolex.   Its both amusing and telling that the guy doesn't wear IWC products in his daily life (or maybe he wears the promotional items they give him).  However, I am more interested in what a person would choose to wear on their own, using their own research, needs, and sense of style...and I have little to no interest in what someone wears just because he has a contract with them and a company gives him promotional items to wear.

 

I also don't see how a movie about nothing, creating a faux history is going to be good for the brand in the long run.  Sure people that get invited to the events, particularly those that place orders for big chain stores will be excited to get a photo op with a celeb, get free food, and maybe other accommodations, but that doesn't IMHO do anything to elevate the brand, to make strides in engineering, nor does it show me anything of value with this model of watch.  In fact it just might make me want the watch even less, as now I suppose part of its price is to pay for foolish movies.  Don't get me wrong, I realize advertising figures into the cost of almost anything one buys, but I like smart advertising that shows a products quality, its purpose, and where I might even learn something.  For me, such a piece is now funding silly movies...if anything this line of advertising shows me how much further IWC has moved away from the products I once wanted.  

 

Also regarding his statement about being able to raise prices and it not having any effect, personally I find that many of their pieces are at a price range where I see little value in the product. I used to think their pieces represented a great value in terms of quality, engineering and price...but now many of their pieces are competing in price ranges where I'd choose a product from another brand.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikola View Post
 

I personally dislike that amount of connection with celebrities.

And like the Kern said, and I believe it - half of the Porsche 911 owners don't know if the engine is in front or back of their cars..
 

I dislike brand connections with celebrities.  I've never been motivated to buy a watch because a celebrity owns one.  I would be much more interested in a watch that a celebrity chose to purchase on his own, rather than one that he wears as a result of endorsements and brand marketing.  

 

I also found the idea of wearing a Top Gun watch because you want to be a fighter pilot stupid.  Buying a Top Gun watch doesn't make one a fighter pilot.

 

As for the Porsche quote, I would guess that is more applicable to soccer moms driving Porsche SUVs, or maybe some trophy wives that have one for status.  However, his analogy would apply to people who own a Patek because they heard its the best, not because they know anything about the movement, or who own Kiton suits but know nothing about the brand, construction, or fabrics.  I've owned Porsches and know plenty of Porsche owners, and they are all really into the engineering behind the cars, the handling dynamics, and they know exactly where the engine is. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimo View Post
 

But we also know that what Kern said about emotion is just hard fact: there is no logical reason to own a mechanical wristwatch at all other than emotion. Just like the Porsches, there is an elegant mix of aesthetic appearance, purposeful design - perhaps with a proud history, and a perception of successful lifestyle.  

 

Kern majors very much on the latter, as perhaps as per the Porsche analogy, only a few aficionados understand the engineering aspect, and their set does not necessarily overlap much with that "top half million" high earners who will buy the latest IWC.  It's an interesting insight into the particular thought process behind a promotional campaign, and to me really quite pleasing for its directness.  

 

There's an interesting paradox about this business of selling a premium luxury item, though: of all the market sectors in consumer goods, this is perhaps the one where the least wit and guile is required.  You need to be clever to sell washing powder X over washing powder Y, building technical, brand, social and price elements in with your emotional message.  But with this part of the market, there is no contrived effort to persuade the customer of better value: on the contrary, the successful brands in the luxury watch market seem only to suggest that they are sufficiently expensive.  

Hi Mimo, I agree there is no reason for one to own a mechanical watch.  There is no reason to own a bespoke suit.  There is no reason to own a car that can travel at speeds of over 160mph.  I think what he overlooks though, is that beyond actual history (which I appreciate) over faux history/movies, many of us buy these items because we want a certain level of quality, workmanship, and engineering.  Sure there are lots of disposable goods that get the trick done, but I value lasting products.  I like the idea of a watch that I could wear everyday and eventually pass on to my descendants.  I like that a jacket is made with a very fine fabric, with hand stitching that follows my movements comfortably rather than restricts me.  I also find driving a sports car with certain handling characteristics on a winding road far more fun than driving an econobox on that same road.  

 

Sure brands do romanticize their history for advertising and I'm ok with that.  However, I'm beyond being interested in the image a brand portrays through celebrities, or what a brand may say about me to others, and maybe I'm in the minority.  I recognize that here we are a small group who tend to be detail oriented and that many people will buy whatever good watch they have heard of be it Rolex or Patek, or whatever the mall jewelry tells them is good for them. 

 

I want to be sold on a product, its quality, and its engineering, not on a product's affiliation with celebrities, fake movies, and conjured up histories.  I appreciate Kern's directness and in letting me know I'm not their kind of consumer. 

post #31698 of 48312

All perfectly right as always, Dino, but I think you missed my point: you, Belligero and many others here, are the quintessence of the "watch aficionado".  You're even a Porsche aficionado too!  Your motivation is very specific, and in my eyes admirable, and you are also fortunate enough to be both a fan of the art and science of haute horlogerie, and able to buy it.  You are part of the one per cent of the one per cent about which Kern speaks, but also part of the one per cent of the one per cent who also happens to be passionate about the technical details of the product.  Kern's truth is that most buyers of luxury watches have limited knowledge and even interest, and buy the brand.  He has set out to make IWC one of those brands that is recognised by the non-expert as exclusive and desirable, to sell more watches and make more money for the business that employs him.

 

Ever-larger Pilots and celebrity endorsements are not going to please the purist, but they are going to keep IWC in business.  Rather like Cayennes and Panameras, that I know left many 911 lovers feeling aggrieved that the noble auto maker had strayed from its roots!  I'm not saying either of them are "right" in terms of adhering to their brands' historical integrity.  But having taken the strategic decision to sell to a wider section of consumers, I think there's a case that both companies are doing so rather skillfully.  And you bought a Cayman, so maybe IWC will make something else you like, some day!

 

P.S. How is the Cayman?  I'm a bit conflicted about the looks (especially rear), but I hear it's a wonderful drive and a lot of genuine Porsche for your Deutschmarks.  A brief review, in the honourable tradition of TWAT sidetracks?

post #31699 of 48312

Hi Mimo,

 

Thank you for your extremely flattering and far to kind impression of me.  Your point was not lost on me.  I do understand what you are saying.  I suppose I question 2 things, is a campaign without any substance truly sustainable and who is their target audience?

 

I am sure even average ads bring in some new clients.  But at least in my experience, at one point I was a newbie and I craved more info about watches.  Other newbies I've known often start with a modest purchase and limited knowledge, and become more interested in watches, their movements, their technical merits and why some models or brands are more expensive than others.  I don't know that movies about nothing, with some celebrities pretending to have fun while wearing your brand is something that will continue to hold a client's interest.  

 

As for my second issue, who is their target audience?  I'm very interested in watches and I'm not that old so I potentially have many watch buying years ahead of me.  Yet, their offerings and what they are suggesting to capture my attention leaves me feeling even less interested in IWC.  I also know that several of the younger guys say late 20's early 30's don't care about watches.  They joke with me about wearing an unnecessary "Piece of jewelry" when their iPhone or other smart phone provides them with the time, and many more functions.  These guys see watches as an unnecessary expense without any utility and they have no interest in brand image/prestige etc. which seems what IWC wants use as lure for new clients.  So if they don't want the guys in their early 40s that know about and like watches, and they can't get the tech savvy guys in the late 20's early 30's...then again I wonder who the target audience is and if their lifestyle campaign is sustainable and will it bring in a steady supply of clients?  I guess only time will tell.  

 

I'm not against a company diversifying (even if I don't care for some of their products be it IWC or Porsche)...I just don't know if it makes sense to alienate your current base.  Diversification can be a great safety net of one area of business drops off.  I think it is probably more important to a company like Porsche which often exists in markets with very different weather during different seasons.   Personally, I have no interest in their SUVs, but I understand it helps give them a solid customer base in the winter when sports cars & convertibles are a tough sell.  That's not really an issue for IWC.  Perhaps their biggest issue might be for diversity offering sporty watches to compete with Rolex, Omega, Breitling, etc, and to make dress watches that compete with JLC, VC, GO, etc.

 

As for Porsches, many die hard Porsche-files think that Porsches are air cooled cars such as the original 356s and 911s until model year 1998, and everything since is insignificant.  I don't agree with that, although I think much of the current 911 direction is wrong (they have been turning them into bigger, more luxurious cars).  As for the Cayman models they are probably the closest thing to the original 911 concept particularly in terms of size/dimensions, and being more sports car than luxury car.  As for looks, its subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I personally feel it is one of the the best looking current sports cars, and currently the best looking Porsche.  Its profile is purely Porsche in terms of its DNA.  Its also one of the best sports cars I've ever had an opportunity to drive.  Its not exotic like a Lamborghini, or exclusive like a Ferrari, or even as powerful as the top of the line Corvette.  However, its an amazingly fun car to drive that just makes one want to search for the "Long cut" home.  Its more what the Porsche 911 was when I was a kid, than what a current 911 is.  It even has a true manual transmission and is a blast to use.  If you opt for a 911 with a manual transmission, its actually now a modified version of their PDK automatic transmission, and if you get their most powerful models the GT3 or Turbo/Turbo S you can't have a manual transmission.  It can shift faster than I can, but some direct feel and connection with the car is lost IMHO.  I test drove a 911 and even in its larger more luxurious form, its a great car...but in back to back test drives my wife and I just thought the Cayman S was more nimble, more exciting and more fun to drive.  

 

Perhaps you are right, if Porsche can come up with something that harks back to its roots to grab my interests, perhaps someday IWC will be able to do the same.  

Below is a recent photo from a beautiful day last week when we met up with some car buddies. Oh and there is a watch related photo to keep things on topic.

 

 

post #31700 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

+
I want to be sold on a product, its quality, and its engineering, not on a product's affiliation with celebrities, fake movies, and conjured up histories.  I appreciate Kern's directness and in letting me know I'm not their kind of consumer. 

most campaigns in advertising are based on no substance. your last sentence there is exactly right - their advertising approach doesn't appeal to you, but it certainly appeals to many.

ralph lauren is another example that does this very well.
post #31701 of 48312
Always a lot of juice that flows when we talk about IWC. Controversial to say the least.

I will say I've met a few of the Top Gun owners and none of them have any pretense that wearing an IWC TG Chrono makes them any more a fighter pilot than if they were wearing "Watch Y". Most just love the design in that particular model. I know personally I like the looks of the IWC Top Gun, EXCEPT for the TG branding. Thank goodness the latest model has removed the horrid TG engraving from the actual case. Similarly I have no preconceived notions that wearing a Navy Seals JLC makes me any more like a Navy Seals. Just happen to really dig the watch. In fact I would prefer NOT to have the Navy Seals logo (with all deference to the SEALS). I do see your point about marketing however, and there must be some method to the madness with the various special editions, celebrity and military endorsements and charitable associations.. It's not me, but surely someone's drinking the kool aid.

IWC has always been a brand I've gravitated towards, and while I respect your view I do appreciate their niche/role in the luxury sports market.

btw - my friend has a new 911 Carrera S, and it's frightening how amazingly fast and awesome that ride is. I actually had goosebumps riding in the passenger seat - I'm not a Porshe guy, but I became a fan that day he took me out for a ride.
post #31702 of 48312
Gosh darn it I love posts like this. ^^^
post #31703 of 48312
New and old from earlier today - SubC ND ref 114060 and red Sub ref 1680 on a suede strap.

2ahy8anu.jpg
post #31704 of 48312
How do suede watch straps age?
post #31705 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnguy001 View Post

I will say I've met a few of the Top Gun owners and none of them have any pretense that wearing an IWC TG Chrono makes them any more a fighter pilot than if they were wearing "Watch Y". Most just love the design in that particular model. I know personally I like the looks of the IWC Top Gun, EXCEPT for the TG branding. Thank goodness the latest model has removed the horrid TG engraving from the actual case. Similarly I have no preconceived notions that wearing a Navy Seals JLC makes me any more like a Navy Seals. Just happen to really dig the watch. In fact I would prefer NOT to have the Navy Seals logo (with all deference to the SEALS). I do see your point about marketing however, and there must be some method to the madness with the various special editions, celebrity and military endorsements and charitable associations.. It's not me, but surely someone's drinking the kool aid.

Truth be told virtually all military issued watches are very modest affairs horologically.




That said, a couple of the coolest military issue watches were in fact made by IWC, without hype:

dadswatch084.jpg

Edited by Hayward - 5/9/14 at 7:58pm
post #31706 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnguy001 View Post

Always a lot of juice that flows when we talk about IWC. Controversial to say the least.

IWC has always been a brand I've gravitated towards, and while I respect your view I do appreciate their niche/role in the luxury sports market.

btw - I actually had goosebumps riding in the passenger seat - I'm not a Porshe guy, but I became a fan that day he took me out for a ride.

Years ago I was a huge fan of IWCs. Perhaps that's why I'm rather disappointed with their current offerings and their advertising campaign. With their current direction, someday when I add an IWC to my collection, it will most likely be a vintage piece.

As for Porsches, I wasn't initially a fan of their cars or designs. However, like your experience, an impressive ride as a passenger changed my feelings about them. I was only 14, but it was a life changing experience.
post #31707 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
+1 I couldn't agree with you more.  Years ago I wanted a 3706 Pilot Chrono &  3713 Doppelchrono, and PD Ocean 2000 and other pieces by IWC.  Now they don't make anything of interest to me.  

I found the presentation interesting, amusing, and useful.  Interesting, because a high end watch AD on the east coast that used to carry IWC, dropped the line.  I spoke with the owner and he said, he wanted more information, details and background about the technology and engineering in the watches as that is what interests his customers.  He said, they told him he doesn't need that stuff and that they are a "Lifestyle brand " and that is what he needs to focus on to sell their products.  He said, in his store that doesn't work with his customers.  I wasn't sure how accurate that was until watching this presentation.  

I found the presentation amusing in that during the movie, they capture one of the people at about the 8:17 mark wearing a Rolex.   Its both amusing and telling that the guy doesn't wear IWC products in his daily life (or maybe he wears the promotional items they give him).  However, I am more interested in what a person would choose to wear on their own, using their own research, needs, and sense of style...and I have little to no interest in what someone wears just because he has a contract with them and a company gives him promotional items to wear.

I also don't see how a movie about nothing, creating a faux history is going to be good for the brand in the long run.  Sure people that get invited to the events, particularly those that place orders for big chain stores will be excited to get a photo op with a celeb, get free food, and maybe other accommodations, but that doesn't IMHO do anything to elevate the brand, to make strides in engineering, nor does it show me anything of value with this model of watch.  In fact it just might make me want the watch even less, as now I suppose part of its price is to pay for foolish movies.  Don't get me wrong, I realize advertising figures into the cost of almost anything one buys, but I like smart advertising that shows a products quality, its purpose, and where I might even learn something.  For me, such a piece is now funding silly movies...if anything this line of advertising shows me how much further IWC has moved away from the products I once wanted.  

Also regarding his statement about being able to raise prices and it not having any effect, personally I find that many of their pieces are at a price range where I see little value in the product. I used to think their pieces represented a great value in terms of quality, engineering and price...but now many of their pieces are competing in price ranges where I'd choose a product from another brand.  

I dislike brand connections with celebrities.  I've never been motivated to buy a watch because a celebrity owns one.  I would be much more interested in a watch that a celebrity chose to purchase on his own, rather than one that he wears as a result of endorsements and brand marketing.  

I also found the idea of wearing a Top Gun watch because you want to be a fighter pilot stupid.  Buying a Top Gun watch doesn't make one a fighter pilot.

As for the Porsche quote, I would guess that is more applicable to soccer moms driving Porsche SUVs, or maybe some trophy wives that have one for status.  However, his analogy would apply to people who own a Patek because they heard its the best, not because they know anything about the movement, or who own Kiton suits but know nothing about the brand, construction, or fabrics.  I've owned Porsches and know plenty of Porsche owners, and they are all really into the engineering behind the cars, the handling dynamics, and they know exactly where the engine is. 
Hi Mimo, I agree there is no reason for one to own a mechanical watch.  There is no reason to own a bespoke suit.  There is no reason to own a car that can travel at speeds of over 160mph.  I think what he overlooks though, is that beyond actual history (which I appreciate) over faux history/movies, many of us buy these items because we want a certain level of quality, workmanship, and engineering.  Sure there are lots of disposable goods that get the trick done, but I value lasting products.  I like the idea of a watch that I could wear everyday and eventually pass on to my descendants.  I like that a jacket is made with a very fine fabric, with hand stitching that follows my movements comfortably rather than restricts me.  I also find driving a sports car with certain handling characteristics on a winding road far more fun than driving an econobox on that same road.  

Sure brands do romanticize their history for advertising and I'm ok with that.  However, I'm beyond being interested in the image a brand portrays through celebrities, or what a brand may say about me to others, and maybe I'm in the minority.  I recognize that here we are a small group who tend to be detail oriented and that many people will buy whatever good watch they have heard of be it Rolex or Patek, or whatever the mall jewelry tells them is good for them. 
I want to be sold on a product, its quality, and its engineering, not on a product's affiliation with celebrities, fake movies, and conjured up histories.  I appreciate Kern's directness and in letting me know I'm not their kind of consumer. 
The title of the presentation, Brand Enrichment: Portofino Case Study, says it all. The term "quality" wasn't even mentioned except in reference to how the photos looked.
post #31708 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


That's interesting Dino… I've never driven the Cayman but get what you mean about it being more like the classic 911 sports car and less a luxury car. But really, btw.. are you wearing a wetsuit? lol8[1].gif
post #31709 of 48312

^^ Haha...was also thinking "great watch, great car, but what the hell are you wearing?!"

 

Anyway, thanks for the Cayman review: at basically half the price of the equivalent 911, the Cayman S leaps out at me for all the reasons you suggest.  I prefer the shape of the 911, probably, but the proper manual transmission and genuine mid-engine two-seater style, make the Cayman seem like a real driver's car.  I admire your choice, seriously.  The only time I drove a Porsche was a 911 Turbo, and all that electronic gadgetry really made me feel I was in the wrong place.  A matter of taste, I suppose, but I would even remove ABS from every car I drive if I could.  I'd noticed what you said about the Carrera S being the top 911 now available with manual box, and now you've educated me on even that not being a true manual, it seems to me that that Cayman S is almost the only purist's choice.  And it looks great in blue, well done!

 

But back to the point about IWC and marketing: the Cayenne wasn't made for people who want to drive a Porsche when it's snowing.  It was made for people who weren't ever going to buy a Porsche: soccer moms, comfort-focused commuters who still want the badge in the car park, family guys looking for a compromise with the wife, etc.  And it was a massive hit, with people who weren't already Porsche lovers.  My 24 year old girlfriend has one - graduation present from her father.  There's not much snow around here, but a hell of a lot of Cayennes and now Panameras, and it's all about the brand rather than the drive. Take a look at the new diesel Macan and see how that process continues!  

 

And this is where IWC are: young or old, watch guys are watch guys, and there are very few of them.  But there are plenty more people who buy a Rolex for the name on it, just like they will buy a Macan instead of the similar VW Tiguan or some other urban SUV crossover.  Kern's basically saying straight out that he wants to make IWC into that kind of desirable badge: not for people who like watches, but for people who like expensive badges.  Because there are more of them.

 

Turning a brand that used to be about obscure engineering excellence into one that's about lifestyle, requires a campaign that's about lifestyle, as vacuous as that may seem to someone who is actually interested in watches for their own sake.  But it's perfectly consistent with the business plan: there's no substance to the campaign because there's no substance to what's being sold - an idea of lifestyle privilege that is completely nebulous.  The empty images in the films are as valuable to the brand-conscious consumer who is being targeted, as the history, design and manufacturing excellence are to you.

 

I love this thread.

post #31710 of 48312
The macan is based on the A4/q5 (MLB) platform and not the golf/tiguan/q3 (MQB) platform.
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