or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The Watch Appreciation Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Watch Appreciation Thread - Page 1654

post #24796 of 35647
Lots going on here....love this corner of the web!


Stitchy: I did see RG3 with that Tudor (GQ?). Nice placement job by them.


Dino: nice pix of your Exp II...and once again your cufflink game is top-notch.

I've already expressed my appreciation watch lust for the 42mm / orange hand / black dial.... and of course I need another sports watch like a hole in the head. Just can't stop thinking about that one.



We may have beaten the Grand Seiko discussion within an inch of its life, and I'm sure this has been brought up at some point on other watch sites, but look at it this way: if there were such a thing as a Grand Tissot, or a Grand Bulova, would you give serious consideration buying one? I think for most US customers we know the answer, and again-- strictly from domestic market point of view, that remains their biggest issue. (If Seiko even thinks it's an issue....which is of course another partially-discussed tangent.)

EDIT: Mimo may have aced me out with the Cole Haan thing above, since I doesn't type so goodly, but again we're probably here by now: deadhorse-a.gif



~B~ : you should give serious consideration to Mimo's "offer". Dude makes a lot of sense.


Quote:
I've owned my VCs for years and never had a single comment about them, and my AP for over a year and it has only gotten a comment or two and that happened in a watch store.

One of these days I will have to post a photo of the watch I get the most positive comments on....I don't think I've ever put one up, at least not on TWAT. (Hint: it's actually a quartz LOL).




And for today, I'm wearing this old thing:


Edited by Keith T - 9/11/13 at 9:33am
post #24797 of 35647
This is a fantastic watch. My brother just got it several months ago and seeing it up close made me appreciate Rolex as a brand in a whole new light. The bracelet in particular is divine. One of the few Rolexes I see myself owning anytime soon, but I like the white dial version personally


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTukker View Post

Really starting to like the black face Explorer II (not sure about red or orange hand). Am I on to something or have I just been staring at too many Tumblr pics? I am not even that much of a Rolex fan; would really love some views here; please don't hold back.


?src=is%7BRolex%2F7721013106122709796kEr%3F%26layer%3D1%26src%3Dblack--eii--g--g--42131061225299833Bn%26layer%3D2%26src%3D21657013106173127406a7v%7D&$description$&rotate=86.6&extend=-1275,-710,-111,-552
post #24798 of 35647
great pics, dino,

keith - fistbump.gif
post #24799 of 35647
Forget to mention on the ceramic GMT .... I STILL have not seen the blue-black in real life yet.

Shame on me, but I guess that could also indicate that they are flying out the doors immediately.
post #24800 of 35647
Yeah someone pointed it out earlier. When I first got the issue I actually glanced over it quickly and thought he was wearing a Root Beer to match the 'Skins team colors


Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

did anyone notice RGIII wearing a tudor on the cover of SI?
post #24801 of 35647
YAY 4 FOOTBALL AND WATCHES!!
post #24802 of 35647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith T View Post

Lots going on here....love this corner of the web!


Dino: nice pix of your Exp II...and once again your cufflink game is top-notch.


We may have beaten the Grand Seiko discussion within an inch of its life, and I'm sure this has been brought up at some point on other watch sites, but look at it this way: if there were such a thing as a Grand Tissot, or a Grand Bulova, would you give serious consideration buying one? I think for most US customers we know the answer, and again-- strictly from domestic market point of view, that remains their biggest issue. (If Seiko even thinks it's an issue....which is of course another partially-discussed tangent.)


Thanks Keith, Glad you liked the links.  Very good point about Grand Bulova etc.  A very handsome vintage piece thanks for sharing a photo.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

great pics, dino,

:cheers:  Thanks Stitchy

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith T View Post

Forget to mention on the ceramic GMT .... I STILL have not seen the blue-black in real life yet.

Shame on me, but I guess that could also indicate that they are flying out the doors immediately.

It could indicate that you need to get yourself at a dealer and buy one!  

post #24803 of 35647
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTukker View Post

Really starting to like the black face Explorer II (not sure about red or orange hand). Am I on to something or have I just been staring at too many Tumblr pics? I am not even that much of a Rolex fan; would really love some views here; please don't hold back.

 

Hey there - I actually just helped my cousin find a pre-owned black face Explorer II with an orange hand a few weeks ago.  Very enjoyable process, and really lovely watch especially if the offering (aesthetic, complication, relative pricing) works for you.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

 

I think avoiding certain brands and denying oneself ownership of a great watch because its a bigger brand name and not wanting to be labeled a brand whore, isn't very different than buying a watch specifically for brand recognition ...each is motivated by concern about others and what they will think.     

 

Why, yes.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post
Ding ding ding - good counterpoint. 10 points to Gryffindor. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

 

Unsurprisingly we concur and are happy that Dino pointed this out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

YAY 4 FOOTBALL AND WATCHES!!

 

Legendary butt fumble aside, shot of Mark Sanchez here sporting a Sub LV.

 

 

Public service announcement: at one point Mr Sanchez was rumored to be dating the lovely Ms Upton. Throughout most of 2012, if I am not mistaken.  Which is kind of impossible, since Kate and I were going out at the time.

 

But this was a long time ago, and she very heartily dissed him earlier this year:

 

http://hollywoodlife.com/2013/01/08/kate-upton-disses-mark-sanchez-new-york-jets-twitter/

post #24804 of 35647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith T View Post

We may have beaten the Grand Seiko discussion within an inch of its life, and I'm sure this has been brought up at some point on other watch sites, but look at it this way: if there were such a thing as a Grand Tissot, or a Grand Bulova, would you give serious consideration buying one? I think for most US customers we know the answer, and again-- strictly from domestic market point of view, that remains their biggest issue. (If Seiko even thinks it's an issue....which is of course another partially-discussed tangent.)

EDIT: Mimo may have aced me out with the Cole Haan thing above, since I doesn't type so goodly, but again we're probably here by now:

 

Grand Fossil!  Which I think they are trying to do with their "Fossil Swiss" line... but that's a bad example since GS pricing is several times above the Fossil Swiss line ($700 to $900), and the quality, finishing and mechanical movements of GS shouldn't probably even be mentioned in the same breath as (gasp) Fossil.

 

But, I think the example is not necessarily completely worthless.   For a brand going "upstream" in terms of quality, finishing, movements... and pricing, Fossil is kind of in the same boat here. The "smart" thing they did is to go sub-$1,000 (probably sub-$700 for retailers like Amazon) so they're not banging up against Tissot, Hamilton or even lower end Tags in the 'but for this much money I could already get a..." dilemma.

post #24805 of 35647

Companies are certainly trying the aspirational brand strategy to varying degrees of success.

 

That Curvex is really beautiful. 

 

Back to the whole GS thing: the whole line is based upon idiosyncracies unique to the Japanese market. Outside of Japan they are a niche market, but that niche is growing. I think one reason is Spring Drive. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by apropos View Post


In addition to the reasons listed above (branch of large company making cheap watches, etc) by others, I will add 2 more.

Making a watch is obviously a much more complicated process than making a jacket. Two (skilled) people with a needle and an iron could order a roll of cloth off the interwebz and make a jacket. A watch, not so easy - which is why production is dominated by large corporations.

The small watch ateliers who are able to bring everything in-house or close enough, their price ranges are out of reach for 99.9999% - there are far fewer people who can drop $160,000 for a Horological Machine than there are people who can stretch $7000 for a jacket made by Rubi.
And that is my problem with GS - their designs. There are maybe one or two out of the many - and there are many GSs I have looked at in person and online - that I have thought to myself, "hmm, this is something unique and interesting". I mean, go browse the current GS lineup at the GS website here - you have lots of Datejust-esque models in all lineups, a few Spring Drives that remind me of TAGs, two truly terrible 4-hand monstrosities that resemble the Submariner, and oddly enough a couple that resemble Hamiltons Khakis. The chronographs look like something a 18 year old gets as his first "serious" watch, and every single Quartz model is either bland or a gussied up Datejust.

Only one model appeals to me - SBGW047. Even despite the 4 lines of text on the dial having 4 different fonts. Which bright spark in the design department thought it really necessary to state "Seiko", "GS" and "Grand Seiko" on the same dial? Who is going to look at the watch, say "oh that's a Seiko", then "but wait, it's a GS? what does that mean???", and then "oh, Grand Seiko!"?????!!!



Add to that the value-suck with mall Seikos, the paucity of secondhand market demand and the consequent resale price hit, and GS is pretty much a no go for me.

 

I will agree that this is the best looking watch in the GS line. It's a homage to their hi-beat watches from the 60's, and if the made a version of the watch as a Spring Drive with luminous I'd snap it up. But they most likely won't make such a version simply because it's meant as a reissue/homage.

 

Not sure I agree with you on many of the other criticisms. A GS' inner works are truly 100% in-house down to the elemental parts. As for the styling I would admit yes, the divers show some shout out to Rolex, and many of the dress watches look like the older Datejusts - which in my mind is not necessarily a bad thing since the current Datejust line is pretty awful designwise. I'm waiting to see if Seiko makes a non-limited version of the Spring Drive Tuna, hopefully they will. 

 

If I were to speculate I would say that GS' tentative reach into the global market is a result of being pulled into it by enthusiasts and dealers. The GS line is very much reflective of the Japanese love of nostalgia, which can express itself as an Oyaji wanting a better and more expensive version of the same watch he wore when he first started out as a salaryman. 

 

If I were to advise Seiko in some magical instance I would simplify the branding and make more titanium Spring Drive models. These technical achievements are unique to Seiko. Only Seiko knows how to make titanium watches that don't become scratch magnets or oxidize into blah over time, and Spring Drive is proprietary to them.

 

As for the Chrono: personally I like it. Most of it. It's probably the most readable chronograph available anywhere. I don't think I could ever get used to the huge pushers, but that quirk is a result of the engineered feel of using them as well as the screw locks.

 

And I'm sorry, even with some derivative design cues, you can't say that this watch does not have a compelling and unique appeal: 

 

 

post #24806 of 35647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

I think avoiding certain brands and denying oneself ownership of a great watch because its a bigger brand name and not wanting to be labeled a brand whore, isn't very different than buying a watch specifically for brand recognition ...each is motivated by concern about others and what they will think.

yup. been said before, but beared repeating.

---

also, imo, we are all brand whores. period. i dont believe for one second that any of the watches, cars, shoes or clothing we buy are "worth" what we pay. sure, there is fantastic artistry, quality and craftsmanship. sure they retain value, and sometimes even increase even used. sure there is a lot of labor costs that go into these things. but they are still all over priced. every last one.

shoes for 500 bucks or a grand plus, watches for 4, 5, 6 and even 7 figures, suits for a couple Gs.... all over priced. no question. but, we appreciate why they are overpriced, and all prettiness and we LOVE the brands, their history, their message, vibe.... whatever it is that appeals, it appeals. its very much about the brand.

and in that way, we are all brand whores. i dont care. i embrace it. but imho telling ourselves otherwise is often only a trick of our mind. and it rarely tricks or convinces anyone else.
post #24807 of 35647

It does have a compelling and unique appeal.  If it didn't have that day counter I might even find it beautiful.  I like the apparently random location of the power reserve, and this watch actually screams to me that it's Asian, somehow.  Something about the hands and markers.

 

Ah fuck it, I'd still rather have a Sub.  But I do get it.

post #24808 of 35647

The GS topic has piqued my interest, so given what others have posted in this thread, I did a little bit of research to learn more about this specific offering.  Hayward and RogerP - you two have probably forgotten more about GS than I will ever learn.  So forgive my sophomoric and possibly simplistic impressions below.

 

1.  GS has been around for over 50 years, and for the majority of this time it really didn't care about markets outside Japan, as RogerP mentioned.  However, presumably they did start caring in 2010 - or at least they began exploring international markets and how they would do.  Summary article here from the 'Dink back in July 2010 about the GS international push:

 

http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/2010/7/8/grand-seiko-watches-go-international-does-their-reputation-p.html

 

Hayward's note above provides some perspective as to why they might have done this relatively late in their long history.

 

2.  They expanded to about 20 markets, including North America.  It looks like they cared enough about these new markets to come up with a new website, according to this article:

 

http://www.luxist.com/2010/10/04/grand-seiko-luxury-watches-finally-available-wordwide/

 

3.  Late in 2010 articles like this appeared in the New York Times, raising questions about whether GS could crack the higher end market given various issues associated with the brand.  BUT read the entire piece and it's actually very positive: they highlight attributes about GS that they feel is clearly superior, and it ends on a high, optimistic note:

 

“Most parts of the movement are crafted manually,” Gisbert L. Brunner, a German author on watches, noted in the May issue of Chronos magazine in Japan. “That’s something not been done in Swiss factories in a while.”

 

“If more people learn of the superior processing technology and the level of the precision, nothing seems to stand in the way for Seiko to achieve success in the European market,” Mr. Brunner added. “Grand Seiko delivers value far exceeding the price tag it carries.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/fashion/26iht-acawseiko.html

 

(I actually enjoyed reading this article a lot; worth three minutes of your time if you haven't read it)

 

4.  OK - so GS is clearly high quality.  Misunderstandings from earlier posts and exchanges aside, it's been clarified that no one really questioned the quality of GS.  It's also been clarified (I think) that:

 

4.a.  If you choose GS over other watchmakers for its quality, aesthetics, mechanics, etc - good for you!  Wear it in good health!  As an individual spending your own money you are most entitled to your choice for a timepiece with which you've fallen in love.

 

4.b.  The question revolves around whether GS can compete in the market against other watchmakers with a similar price point, along with everything else subsumed under the heading of "brand offering."

 

Does anyone have actual numbers of GS's sold, say, in the US market or other markets excluding Japan?  I can't find any stats.

 

5.   As an economist by profession, I am morally obliged to check out pricing patterns.  One possible telling development: while we have had endless discussions about watchmakers like Rolex or Patek raising prices (the 2008-2009 blip aside), last July GS actually lowered its prices for the US market.

 

Notes here from Arizona Fine Time, a dealer describing themselves as "Grand Seiko's Premier Authorized Dealer in the US:"

 

http://azfinetime.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/az-fine-time-announces-grand-seiko-prices-reduced/

 

http://www.azfinetime.com/grand-seiko/

 

(And before anyone shreds me to pieces for comparing Rolex or Patek to GS, here's none other than a guy from Arizona Fine Time emphasizing the quality of GS... by referencing Rolex and Patek):

 

"Grand Seiko is still relatively new to the US market, but collectors are becoming more aware of its presence every day. I have seen many avid Patek and Rolex collectors switch to Grand Seiko because of its superior quality. Grand Seiko is not only a brand of beauty, but a brand of accuracy. The biggest goal in the watch industry is accuracy. Seiko holds the crown in every sense."

 

- from "Joe @ AZFT" via this site: http://www.watchtalkforums.info/forums/thread60904.html

 

(Also, I'm not so sure that the biggest goal in the watch industry is accuracy... but that's a topic for another day ahaha)

 

6.  So - again - the point is not that GS is a bad watch, or about any value judgments about GS versus non-GS buyers.  GS chose to enter non-Japan markets in 2010 for one reason or another.  Presumably they want to succeed in some form.  The issue is not "eh, I don't care if GS succeeds in non-Japan markets.  I love GS watches."  The question is has GS been successful, so far, given its overall offering, brand associations and pricing strategy?  Dino944, stitchy and others are skeptical.

 

But I wonder if we have actual numbers that can speak for themselves.  Market share?  Volume, year over year growth stats compared to their initial projections?  Anyone have awesome numbers they can and would like to share...?


Edited by no frills - 9/11/13 at 11:40am
post #24809 of 35647
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimo View Post


I resent the implication that wearing such a thing would be ungentlemanly!  Had I not been about to order your watch, the alternative purchase would be a reasonable match to this description!

But seriously...I wanted to chip in on this subject.  We've all had the occasional irritable rant online, that felt terse and logical at the time, but in retrospect sounded a little harsh.  As Nuke said, it's a testament to the quality of this thread and its participants that no jackets had to be removed and honour remains intact.  We are all friends here indeed, and fine ones it seems.

So to the matter at hand: firstly, as B has acknowledged manfully, the "Made in China" brand has its problems, and not entirely without justification.  But to my mind, that's really why what he's doing is so admirable.  When I was a young child in the 70s, the expression "Jap crap" was not uncommon when talking about imported goods.  Considering the woeful state of British manufacturing at the time, that stereotype was rather ironic, but nevertheless not completely wrong.  Japan had moved to an export-driven economy, with many products based on duplication, incredibly tough demands on industrial workers, and a competitively-priced currency.  The results were a mixed bag: some manufacturers began to move their supply chains to Japan, and the resentment at "exporting jobs" from Europe and the US only fueled the prejudice against lower-cost Japanese imports.  After about twenty years of trying, Japan made its serious entry into Western consumer goods and technology markets.  It wasn't really until the 80s that the idea of a premium Japanese brand became credible: I'd give that credit to Sony, that managed to deliver both its own innovation and a reputation for quality, that transformed the subconscious associations of the phrase "Made in Japan".  And so Datsun becomes Nissan becomes Infinity.  Etc.  Some people even buy Seikos. smile.gif

The same process can be applied to Taiwan, and Korea: initially known for cheap rubbish, now I'm personally working with top technology from the former, and as for the latter, well, Samsung is bitch-slapping the ghost of Steve Jobs and you can buy a big Hyundai V8 and forget it's not German.  China will eventually go the same way, at least in part.  So back to our friend B. It takes some big balls, I think, to resolve on single-handedly creating a premium product from China, when China is probably still a decade behind Korea and three behind Japan in its coming of international age.

And I admire people with balls. I'm a great believer that nothing is impossible, there are just varying degrees of difficult (and, in most cases, difficult just means expensive).  In this case, I do think B has some issues with the Maison Celadon brand, that I hope he doesn't mind my raising in public, as a response to Apropos' initial polemic:

My concern, put simply, is that it's too cheap.  Not that I mind from a personal point of view - I'd love to have one of these watches and indeed more than one. What's going into them is so full of heart, purpose, purity of intent and integrity, that I find the prospect of being "in at the ground floor" so to speak, compelling.  But what I'm asking myself is how many like me are there?

There are maybe tens of people who read this thread.  Hundreds, even thousands, who've read the posts on watch forums and as a result, the Tumblr page with the details. For argument's sake, let's say there are ten thousand people who, however fleetingly, have been aware that B has designed a watch and is having it made in China.  It's a fair assumption that some of them are planning on buying a new watch in the near future.  But how many options do they have?  How many other threads are there on that forum, or how many have been mentioned in this thread in the last month?  If one in a hundred are planning on buying a watch soon, that's a hundred people ready to buy this.  But how to persuade them that this is the one over, say, a similarly-priced Stowa mentioned above.  This is more special than a Stowa.  But it's also completely unknown. In fact it doesn't exist yet.  And it's not made in Switzerland on the inside and Germany on the outside.  It's Chinese. to the bone.

Hence the emphasis on premium brand, which is right.  But then the price doesn't reflect the positioning: logically speaking, a $1000 watch should be showing itself off in the "Poor Man's" thread (where I should probably be, too, but this one is just prettier..), emphasising that for the price of a Tissot or a Longines, you can get hand-finished uniqueness.  And the prices aren't any higher than a mid-range mass-produced Sea Gull.  That would be one way to go about it.  But the brand identity of tiny, obscure, artisan ateliers, of venerable Chinese masters in exclusive Swiss watch-elf elites, of golden chatons and hand-engraved balance cocks, doesn't play the "value for money" card.  Value for money is a Kia.  But the language around this brand is of a Morgan.

And if you don't mind my beating the car analogy to death, there is a problem with that: a Morgan is an old-fashioned looking car on a modern chassis, made in a shed by skilled artisans.  But so is a kit car.  One costs $100k+, one costs $20k.  And even if the cheaper one looks just as nice, is made with just as much skill, and goes even faster, it's not as desirable.  Part of the desirability, the credibility of a Morgan made in a shed, is that it's expensive.  That's reassuring.  It matches the brand identity of specialness, originality, exclusivity.  It matches the siren song to the collector that says "only you men of taste and knowledge would get this".

A thousand dollar watch based on a BWC movement is always going to sound like a kit car.  A cheap base, put in a case made up by a small company and marketed as looking like something retro and expensive.  Now I believe that B is actually building a Morgan: the Celadon isn't just a fibreglass body on top of a Nissan Sunny. It's a hand-crafted alloy wonder, with significant bespoke engine modifications and an artisan-stitched leather interior.  But something tells me that it needs to sound just a little more like what it is, and cost a little more as a result.

Apart from the price, the other thing that sets a premium brand apart from an economy brand - of similar quality - is the fluff.  The brochures, the website, the fancy boutiques with wood paneling and well-tailored sales associates.  It all appeals to that air of snobbery.  Omega sell a decent watch for under $3000 dollars.  But their solus boutiques are every bit as marble-clad and carefully colour-themed as those where I looked at pieces priced a hundred times higher and more.  And of course, that's why their cheapest watch is $3k, not $1k.  I'm under no illusions that a basic three hand Omega on a strap costs significantly more to produce than a Hamilton.  But it costs a lot more to sell.  The boutiques, the brochures, the advertising...have to be a thousand bucks per watch in themselves.

So that's where all this stuff meets: I'm not suggesting that James Bond has to wear a Celadon in the next movie, or that B's Maison has to sponsor Wimbledon and the Americas Cup.  But I do think that at some point, in order to actually survive and grow, Maison Celadon has to look like an established maker with a few of an established maker's trimmings.  There are only so many romantics reading watch forums who are going to sign up at the beginning.  Sooner or later, Google has to know the name, a website has to inform on a network of retailers or just contain an online shop.  A glossy ad, even a glossy Facebook ad, might have to exist somewhere at least.  A review on a watch site shouldn't be hard to engineer.  The principles and the stories can sell this watch to the non-aficionado just as well, and at some point will have to, and that means acting like it's something for sale as well as an exclusive club for watch-lovers. 

I believe that this product can exist as that genuine unicorn, the premium Chinese brand.  But for the next batch at least, a Tumblr page and posts on a forum will be inadequate, even a hindrance.  It needs to act bigger, even if that means a bigger price too, and the bigger price in itself would be a mark of confidence.  Get a proper website, with real pictures and a means of ordering.  Don't "save shipping costs" with a lighter packaging: that's all well and good, but shouldn't "premium Chinese" mean a heavy, lacquered, monogrammed hardwood case, even if it comes with a leather "travel case" inside?  And a "basic leather strap" is OK, but show some of those fancy upgrade options, costed, and at least put a croc or something interesting on the top model as standard - the word was "premium".  Act more premium and don't be shy. smile.gif

Thanks Mimo for the very well-thought out response. You clearly spent a fair bit of time and effort on this, much appreciated. Apologies also for not replying sooner - this week has been very busy for me as the prototype arrived with me on Monday and there has been a flurry of publicity with various blogs and magazines, professional photography done by myself, testing of the watch, and deciding a few key elements on the watch.

No problems with bright blue shoes! As I said in the earlier post, bright colours can work with the right ensemble. The problem starts when you wear bright blue shoes with, for example, a navy suit. With a navy blazer and cream trousers, it would look dapper. Same with watches - they should be matched just as any accessory.

And thanks for ordering one of my watches! Good to know I'm eating into your shoe fund! If it's consolation, my watch will last many decades more than shoes!

You raise several interesting points that I have thought about myself. Let me respond to them in succession, and let me know if you need clarification with any of my explanations (sorry lawyer bug acting up again!)

When you say that I must have some cojones to launch such an endeavour, I must agree with you (at the risk of sounding immodest!). It is easy to sell Swiss and German watches to Europeans and North Americans, and also easy to sell the same watches to the Chinese market (Greater China accounts for about 25% of all Swiss watch sales). It is also very easy to sell Chinese watches to the Chinese market, and they would be willing to pay a much higher price than what I am chargin right now. The most difficult preposition of all is to try and sell a Made in China watch to the Western market, and to position it as a high-end brand, which is what I am doing.

But anything truly worth doing, will be difficult. I cannot tell you the amount of frustration, obstacles (financial, technical, emotional etc), hiccups and naysayers I have encountered. But when I reflect on what I intend to do, what I have already accomplished, and what I and my luxury house will eventually become, and the consequential effects of that, I have nothing but tremendous pride and immense satisfaction. I have several other business ventures, but none give me as much pride and inspire as much passion as Maison CELADON.

To me and many other people, what I wish to do is like the Mount Everest of the watch industry. But where there is an Everest, there is an Edmund Hilary. You are right that difficult often means expensive, and I am not a man of unlimited means, so it is all the more difficult, but all the more satisfying, in the final analysis.

I know what you mean when you say my Imperial is too cheap. However do note that the retail price is actually 2000 USD (rising to 2400 USD for the next series given the rising Yuan), and the Connoisseurs Circle price is 1400 USD (the price offered to friends and early adopters as a reward for support. The pre-order price of 700 USD which is what I offered you is clearly significantly less, but accounts for the full prepayment 2 months (as of now) before delivery. Remember that there were folks who I had never met before that paid me in full with no recourse for refunds all the way back in last September when I started this endeavour. I am SO appreciative of such faith in me that the reduced price reflects this.

But yes, the 2400 USD retail price is still a bargain imho for the quality of watch you receive. I just examined the prototype an hour ago and was bowled over by its quality in dial print, guilloche and movement for example. And I have seen so many of Beijing's watches that it is hard to think I could be further impressed. But I consider my Imperial the equal of a time-only JLC for example (I have several by the way, including the Reverso 1931 and MUT, so no bias here). It has the same standard of finishing and blued screws. In fact arguably my watch is better with its hand-engraved gold balance cocks (on the special edition) and gold chatons (erstwhile available only on pretty expensive German watches). A time-only JLC costs roughly 10,000 USD depending on model, so mine is a quarter the price.

In the watch industry there is haute horlogerie finishing (AHCI independents, Lange, Vacheron, Parmigiani) which is mostly done by hand (especially the anglage on bridges), and there is industrial finishing (JLC, GO etc) which uses machine-finished bridges and machine polishing in general. Patek (at the time-only level) and AP stand somewhere in between these two tiers (eg Patek uses chemical polishing on the cal 215; compare this with the vintage 23-300 which is a true grande dame in every regard). I would peg my Imperial at the high-end of the industrial finishing level.

When you say "what's going into them is so full of heart, purpose, purity of intent and integrity", you clearly read my mind.smile.gif

Also I believe in rational pricing (something I espoused in one of the earliest posts on my blog). As a watch collector in addition to being a watch entrepreneur, I understand the many frustrations that punters have with the brands, with everything from servicing costs and long durations, information obfuscation, and simple bullcrappery. You have it on record that I will NEVER commit these crimes against my customers, whom I consider personal friends. Even if I can charge more in future (and I have no doubt I will), there will always be a limit that I will not breach as a personal principle. If you read my earliest few posts, you will see that I offer de facto free lifetime servicing. In other words, as a firm declaration of my belief in the quality and reliability of Chinese watchmaking, I am willing to forego servicing revenues (which is a HUGE revenue stream for the brands). And to add to that, my servicing will not take 6 months, but 1-2 weeks. And as for obfuscation of information, I have endeavoured to be as transparent about my watches as possible. My blog exists as a record for posterity, akin to watching a bespoke suit slowly come to life, from idea to fruition. It is incredibly satisfying.smile.gif

About your point on exclusivity and that maybe thousands of people are buying my watch, even if my watch is currently not extremely high in price, its exclusivity is still preserved because of the extremely small first series of only 100 pieces (divided into 4 categories of numbers 1-25). We never intend to produce more than a small high-end boutique brand like Lange, even at full strength of our business in future, which is 5000 pieces. I know every single owner by name, and I can tell you from my ledgers which country each of my watches is in.

And also, I am not viewing CELADON as a purely profit-driven enterprise. Sure, we must turn a profit eventually, but I have easier ways to make more money. I have other business ventures, so CELADON is a passion project; a mission actually. The watches are heavily subsidised by my other business ventures.

The norm in the watch industry is a markup of 4x, whereas mine is less than 2x. Ie if you buy a watch for 40,000 retail, then the price out of the factory is 10,000, which includes all the overheads, adverts, endorsements, staffing etc. The actual cost to produce the watch is likely 5000 in this example. Think about it, after a certain threshold, which is really about 500 dollars, most of the trimmings in high-end watches are available in less expensive watches (sapphire crystal, gator straps, well-made dials, industrial finishing etc). And gold does not cost much - a gold watch is usually 2 ounces, and most of them have hollow cases with base metal fillers or spacers. Also many brands use 3-piece cases which use much less gold than a 2-piece case (what my 18k gold watch uses).

I decided on using special bespoke leather watch cases (details on the blog) even though I did not have to, simply to give an added feel of quality. This comes straight out of my pocket, as it was not factored into the cost initially. Likewise with the strap that will come with the watches. Another thing is that I forewent all the revenues from the blued steel upgrades on the Imperial Red dial, because of aesthetic reasons. If I was only out for profit, I would surely not have bothered. To me, the aesthetic purity of my design is very important, and I wish to preserve it.

My watch is indeed Chinese to the bone, that was my design brief for myself. Though I agree it is more special than Stowa (better movement, better story behind, a year of my life embodied in every piece), I think that Jorg Schauer is a great watchmaker and a very passionate man. He is a stickler for quality and I fully respect him. I have a Stowa and a Schauer Einzeiger myself. They are very good watches for the price range they target. And very beautiful.

But truth be told, and again sorry for the immodesty, but my SB18-6 movement is superior in finishing and architecture than even the Nomos (which uses a Peseux 7001 design made in-house, an economy design).

Ok... continuing onto the next post
Edited by ~ B ~ - 9/11/13 at 11:57am
post #24810 of 35647
Hayward - we disagree about many things, but that Snowflake is awesome. yes I said it, and I admit to have never seen one up close. And if I had to choose between this and other Swiss (for example) models that I loved I would still probably have a hard time. That texture of the dial is so beautiful I can forgive the PR indicator.

Stitch - Football and watches would be great if any of teams (home, fantasy etc..) could pull out a V for me. Also football players can have pretty awful tastes in watches. TENNIS players on the other hand..

I also think there's different degrees of brand whore-ism. Like Dino alluded, there are those that will buy from Brand X because it's Brand X and everyone will know it's from Brand X. Then there are those that choose to spend their money on quality items, and yes they come from Brand X, but they buy them because they have good experience with that brand, believe in the quality/craftsmanship and style and thus decide to patronize that brand. Oh and they also get a great quality item (clothing, watch, car). Being from a prestigious brand is a plus in this case. I think we agree we mostly fall into the latter, no?

Frills - Love the point/point analysis. I would be curious to see what the actual numbers are, and more importantly what GS main marketing strategy is. I doubt it's to sell a huge volume in every available market where Mimo is vacationing

Rich
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The Watch Appreciation Thread