Originally Posted by Dino944
H Limited Editions...don't get me started
Hahaha. Honestly, I hate them all, from James Bond to Valentino Rossi. Never understood why you'd want someone else's name on your watch.
By the way, that's an interesting thing about authorised dealers, Dino. You've mentioned this issue a few times, with some makers moving more to their own boutiques. Really, I think it's the only way their brands can survive. I saw the CEO of a big UK clothing retailer on TV last night, talking about how "most companies now with they had fewer stores" because more and more retail is now done online.
This is slightly different for watch makers, I think, in that they need to have a physical retail presence because the "feel" of the product is such a part of the buying experience. And especially as you go further upmarket, not many people spend $100k or even $5k on something they've never physically seen. And there's the problem with authorised dealers: they have seven or eight brands, the customer comes in, finds the one he likes, and if that happens to be your brand, great. But then the customer asks advice in this thread, goes to watch forums, ebay, even other dealers, and searches for the best price. So the only way the AD can compete is brutal discounting.
If I ran AP or any other good watch company, I'd be doing the same. I'd do everything I could to get my product off eBay, off online discounting sites, and back under my control. Of course you then need to maintain awareness of your product with advertising, endorsements and clever marketing - I'd pay you to keep posting pics of your RO on StyleForum, for instance. Then with exclusive boutiques (and even an accompanying online shop to make ordering easier and internationalise stock), the margins can be maintained, the customer knows he's buying from the most trustworthy source, and the brand avoids any dilution. If anything, it becomes more exclusive and appealing.
Not being able to get big discounts is a bummer. But if it were my company, I'm damn sure that's the way I'd go too. Traditional retailers of other people's products are going to have a hard life, and devalue some of those products in the process. Retailing your own stuff is the future.