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The Watch Appreciation Thread - Part two (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre,

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mimo, Feb 12, 2016.

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  1. roomiller

    roomiller Senior member

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    Just over a year ago, Montblanc hired Tudor's VP of design and product development, Davide Cerrato. We're likely just beginning to see his influence on the watches, and if the vintage inspired watches from early Dec are any indicator, I'm excited to see where the outfit is headed. They've certainly made the capital investments, and now the personnel investments, so hopefully there will be good things to come.

    And yes, they are owned by Richemont.
     
  2. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    However for those that buy into the history, aspiration, and resale value of a brand Montblanc may never appeal to this crowd. Besides they're not what most would consider a true watchmaker in the traditional sense. They sell pans, wallets, and belts for example.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  3. roomiller

    roomiller Senior member

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    It's an interesting thought experiment about the value of a brand(as things involving luxury watches often are). For all intents and purposes, Montblanc's watch division is an entirely separate entity from the pens and wallets, but just uses the name and logo for its cachet. All that said, I still wouldn't buy a Montblanc watch for the time being; none of their watches give me the fizz, to steal a James May-ism
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  4. tifosi

    tifosi Senior member

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    That is exactly the point. It's just a name on a dial. Not a watchmaker with a long, rich history.
     
  5. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    And I would say for the most part serious watch buyers will tend to steer clear. I would have to say I have no idea how well this brand is currently doing or how well they might do. Maybe there's a certain group they attract, but I seriously doubt they would ever get any of my money for watches even though I like very much and own a few of their pens and a tie clasp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  6. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

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    After looking at some photos I swapped out the stock rubber strap on my SBDB009 for a NATO and it now looks like a totally different watch. I don't know why I hadn't thought to do this with the Tuna earlier.

    [​IMG]


    Also, shoulderless spring bars should be illegal to use on a watch without drilled lugs. :cloud:
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    +1

    +1

    I'm not sure I'd call it an experiment. There have been other brands that have gone into the luxury watch markets such as Gucci, LV, and Chanel. They seem to do well with a certain crowd, perhaps their customers are people that like fashion house brand names. However, none of their watches are particularly sought after be serious watch collectors.

    The brands that many serious collectors seem interested in, tend to be established brands with rich history, with well known models, or which are known for their high complications...and their reputations are such that their watches tend to have high resale value or at times even increase in value. The big names being Patek, AP, VC, Lange, Rolex. Even highly respected brands with strong histories such as JLC and Girrard Perragaux often have limited resale value, and many consider to be watches only to purchase pre-owned so one doesn't take a bath in depreciation. So when brands like JLC and GP at times struggle to get into the hands of serious collectors...I don't see how a brand like Montblanc will do so.

    Other collectors favor innovative designs from independents, and these collectors like the idea that the named watchmaker is/maybe working directly on their watch, or that they might be able to have direct contact with the watchmaker to ask them to do something unique with the piece they are buying. I don't see any of Montblanc's pieces as being particularly innovative, nor would a buyer have direct input or contact with a "Mr. Montblanc."

    There are watches available from Zegna, Ralph Lauren, and Ferragamo... so I'm sure there will always be room in the market place for Montblanc watches.
    While Montblanc watches have improved over the years, their designs don't interest me, and for what they cost I'd rather use that money toward some other watch.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. firenze_rob

    firenze_rob Senior member

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    Re: Montblanc, I think there's a lot to like with their 1920s inspired chronographs like the Villeret 1858
    Vintage Pulsographe. If I had an extra 50K hanging around, I probably wouldn't buy one. I'd have the Vacheron Harmony Mono-pusher.

    On the other end of the spectrum...

    [​IMG]
     
    10 people like this.
  9. BLAUGRANA

    BLAUGRANA Senior member

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    Nice. Is that a navy strap?
     
  10. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    At the intersection of fashion/branding vs. "true watchmakers", I do find myself very much in lust with the Slim d'Hermès.

    Would absolutely kop, for all of its French sexiness.

    I think she's a tasty little baguette :D
     
    3 people like this.
  11. firenze_rob

    firenze_rob Senior member

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    @BLAUGRANA No. It's actually black, but in the grim florescent lighting of my office, it resolves to blue. It's NOS from the 70s. It's a little more matte and less padded than the current reissued straps (Ref: BC0726).

    @Keith T Agreed. I really like the dial and the font on the Slim. Group buy?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  12. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    In recent years Hermes has taken watch making quite seriously. I've tried a few pieces on that are nice, but then I hit that wall of...this costs how much? Then I think to myself...for X amount I'd rather have something else or put X toward something else.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. BLAUGRANA

    BLAUGRANA Senior member

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    Slim d'Hermès with email is the only smartwatch I'd buy.

    I think both that and the Monsieur de Chanel are both nice looking watches. At their respective prices I can see thinking about something else though.
     
  14. papa kot

    papa kot Senior member

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    1 person likes this.
  15. MZhammer

    MZhammer Senior member

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    Tried one on yesterday in fact and have decided that as soon as I find a preowned, blue dial Im going to take the plunge for sure. It is a fantastic watch with a wonderful design perspective.


    You can likely thank Hodinkee for that
     
  16. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    On the one hand, I entirely understand this view.

    On the other hand, from an intellectual, rather than emotional and social viewpoint, it's really very interesting and it really speaks to the power of marketing and branding and how very, very influential those two things can be.
     
  17. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    There's an aspect of brand recognition, particularly if you intend to use the watch for signalling.

    Let's have a look at the number of Google search results:
    Rolex - 101m
    Montblanc - 46m
    Patek - 24m
    Vacheron - 12m
    Jaeger Lecoultre - 9m

    Google Trends:
    https://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=rolex,Montblanc,Jaeger Lecoultre,Patek,Vacheron
    Rolex - 70
    Montblanc, Patek - 9
    Jaeger Lecoultre, Vacheron - 2

    (for comparison, Toyota is ~ 10x Rolex)

    If those are a proxy for general name recognition, Montblanc is a better bet statistically (assuming you don't interact with a subset of people vastly more likely to be familiar with the higher end brands), you're twice as likely to get a reaction out of a random person off the street. So it might be a better purchase from that point of view, and explains the popularity of Armani watches.

    Of course I doubt brand recognition is spread evenly and it might be worth having a look at Experian or some other market research dataset to make sure you buy the right brands for your target demographic.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    I would agree that part of this is marketing but other parts such as history, tradition, and value over a long period of time are extremely important as well. In part I would agree that these things owe a bit to marketing but they also have established themselves based on actual performance. For example Rolex is known for and has actually delivered on its reputation of delivering an extremely solid performing watch that retains a good portion of its value. As far as I am aware this was as true in the 60s as it is today. A company such as Montblanc has no such claim. A reputation such as this takes years to establish and you have to earn it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  19. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Definitely some interesting results. Years ago there was a study done involving I think it was the 50 most recognizable brand names and the only high end brand to make the list was Rolex. Obviously, watch collectors or pen collectors, or people into bespoke clothing or even those who are into fashion brands (Armani, Gucci, Burberry) are a different subset of people than the general public They are more apt to recognize various luxury items and brands. Then there is the general public who may not care a bit about watches, pens, or clothing brands. If you asked an average person on the street, surely some would have heard of Rolex...but very few would know of JLC. Based on the stats you posted fewer would know of Montblanc than Rolex , but I would have guessed that because pen collecting seems to be a different possibly smaller subset of people than watch collectors (at least in my experiences). In general, even where I live there are far fewer stores dedicated to selling pens than watches. In addition, I wonder how many people that know the Montblanc name would associate them with making watches rather than thinking of them as a maker of pens/accessories?

    With regard to signaling...I'm not quite sure what that means? I suppose a yellow gold Day Date would probably be far more recognizable and possibly do a better job of signaling (regardless of what is meant by signaling) than say a Montblanc watch. Several of my friends who are not specifically into watches would know a Day Date, if they saw it on someone's wrist. However, I would guess none would recognize a Montblanc watch at a glance. Some of my friends might not even know Montblanc makes watches.

    I do think even if a fashion brand designs a watch using high quality movements, it can be tough to sell, based on price point. As mentioned previously, some Ralph Lauren watches use JLC movements. Aside from the RL watch designs not being my taste, for what they cost, I'd rather have a JLC Reverso.
     
    1 person likes this.

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