The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Brei

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.

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  1. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Just an example of great minds thinking alike [​IMG]
    Not sure if your post was of the belief that I was speaking of the RO Dual Time for 8-9K? I was not, but in any event you won't find a 39mm RO Dual Time for that price. I was speaking of the 90s version of the dual time gold dress watches, which the OP inquired about a few posts earlier. The old watch is top quality, its simply a matter of whether the design appeals to someone. The current Jules Audemars Dual Times would sell for a heck of a lot more than 8-9K.

    The new Dual Time RO is a beatiful and very functional watch. It was a strong contender when I was shopping for a RO. The RO Dual Time originally came out I believe in the early 90s, but I think the 39mm version is much nicer than the original! Its a great travel watch for a CEO that travels, and will be wearing everything from suits to casual wear. I don't really think of it as a motorcycling watch...I cringe at the thought of what it might look like if it were ever in some of the accidents my clients have been in with their motorcycles!
     


  2. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Oops, all I saw was Dual Time and I thought RO. But since we're on the subject, I'll just mention that the 36 mm Royal Oak Dual Time is no slouch in the looks department, either, and can be had for much less than the newer version.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013


  3. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    He's been with AP for more than 15 years so I'm not sure I'd say he is NOT a watch person at this point. To be honest, some companies have done quite well have being helmed by people from the outside. I don't think Nicolas Hayek's formal background was not in the watch industry. Some of his skills may have been transferable, but again not originally a watch guy. As for the Limited Editions...don't get me started I can' stand most RO Offshores Ltd eds, IWC Ltd eds, Omega Ltd eds,...but as long as their are people who will pay a premium to get a watch with slightly different stitching on a strap, or a different colored second hand, the watch companies will continue to make them.
    Many companies such as Rolex or those under Richemont have cancelled contracts with a number of ADs world wide...both in an effort to get rid of those offering deep discounts, and to eliminate some of the middlemen and open boutiques in major cities. All companies have some level of brand management, if they have a brand image worth protecting or marketing. I do not like the celebrity endorsements as I think it cheapens brands and is never an inflence on my decision of what to purchase. However, many companies are affiliated with some celebrities with little harm to the brand.

    As for how he came to AP, my understanding was that Georges Meylan, former CEO of AP, was vacationing and was familiar with Bennahmias's wife who worked for Breitling. He bumped into the Bennahmiases on that vacation. Bennahmias was unemployed at the time and after talking with him, Meylan offered him a job at AP. The rest is history, as for a background in fashion marketing...that might just be prior on the job training. IIRC, he didn't have a college degree...when I read that back in the 1990s when he first came to AP North America...I thought wow thats lucky to get a job like that! Still, if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Bennahmias being very successful with the brand. He is largely responsible for helping to increase brand awareness and to help turn their sales from roughly a few million dollars per year to several hundred million dollars per year.
     


  4. Allez Allez

    Allez Allez Senior member

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    Supposedly this was Ian Fleming's watch.

    The Explorer is the 1016. I also really like the 1018 Rolex Oyster Perpetual non-date. Cool as motherf#cker.

    [​IMG]
     


  5. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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  6. johanm

    johanm Senior member

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    Are you sure you're not confusing Bennahmias for another AP executive, possibly the outgoing one who Bennahamias only recently replaced on an interim basis? In the recent speech linked below he talks about his fiancee, as well as some similar topics to what I mentioned in my earlier post. In the other interview, which I'll continue to try to find, I think he was emphasizing his experience with fashion (I think he worked for Jean Paul Gaultier and some other French house) and how it gives him a different perspective on watch marketing as compared to other watch industry executives. [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013


  7. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    No, I haven't confused Francois Bennahmias with Merk (the previous CEO) or someone else at AP. Bennahmias began working for AP back in 1996. He is 48 years old now. The fact that he is speaking of getting married doesn't mean its will be his first wife. I have seen something about him having worked in with fashion (not a surprise as he is French), but I don't know what his involvement was. I remember reading the article in print regarding how George Henri Meylan then CEO of AP offered him a job, trust me I was in grad school and sure wished I had gotten that offer with no real training or higher learning degrees (but he may have since gotten some degrees to move up in the company). In any event, my point was you made it sound as though he is a newbie and clueless about the industry, as you stated, "I understand he has basically no knowledge about watches." However, he has been with AP since at least 1996, working in France, Singapore, and introducing the brand to Australia, and then having been CEO of AP North America since 1999...so hopefully since 1996 and becoming their CEO he's well beyond newbie status and knows about watches and the industry. So far everything he has done at AP has increased brand awareness, sales, and profit so I think their is a strong likelihood he is leading AP in the right direction ...even if I find brand ambassadors detract from a brands (not just AP but from all of them).
     


  8. Zephyrnoid

    Zephyrnoid Active Member

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    Recent Flame. Ancon~ Sea Shadow in ALBronze
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     


  9. ant702

    ant702 Senior member

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    The French and Italians are good in Fashion clothing, but watchmaking/cars or anything else watch related I am not 2sure about that[​IMG]
     


  10. johanm

    johanm Senior member

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    Ah, understood. I didn't mean to imply that he's a newbie or clueless about the industry, just that he seems to be more of an expert on sales/marketing rather than product development. Nothing wrong with that - companies undergoing leadership transition will typically pick among candidates with a wide range of backgrounds (sales/marketing, supply chain, R&D, finance, etc) and choose the one whose skills/knowledge match up with the board's vision for the company's future. Anyway, he seems to be a very creative and energetic guy and I expect that he will only continue to invigorate the brand in new and existing markets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013


  11. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    [​IMG]

    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.
     


  12. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    It's a real sad development, because discounts aside imo the real utility of ADs lies not so much in the ability to try on a watch bit rather the ability to compare watches from different brands side by side.

    As for prices the brands will keep raising them, and there isn't a thing we can do about it because are are so many new monied folk on the market now.

    Just think, the PP I posted earlier, the modern equivalent's MSRP is more than twice what was paid for it. No added functionality, but increased price.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013


  13. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Just to comment further, there's no doubt that the 39 mm version is far more desirable than the 36 mm, and it's unquestionably a top steel watch. You describe exactly the type of person that was wearing the one that I saw, and it's a great choice as a suits-nearly-every-activity travel watch. My hesitation regarding its use for motorcycling is not crash-related, as any watch you're wearing is toast if it hits the pavement...

    [​IMG]
    steel vs. asphalt results courtesy of Nicholas Hacko's watchmaking blog

    ...but that it would be a bit abusive to that fine movement and external finishing to be subjected to the vibrations and occasional grit-and-gouges environment encountered on the road or in general outdoor use. That (and its lack of waterproofness) is the same reason the Reverso often stays at home when I travel recreationally, although it does make a great city watch. At least for how I like to roll sometimes, a GMT on NATO is ideal, the above photo notwithstanding.

    [​IMG]

    I'd still love to have the 39 mm Dual Time, but I'm happy with my watch situation at the moment — and you can only wear one at a time. Now it's time to go places and do things with them!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013


  14. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Wearing this one today.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013


  15. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    Well, it's sad for the customer in the short term in that the deep discounts just won't be available so much. But I don't see much choice for the makers: like you said, the ability to compare watches is what makes ADs attractive right now. You or I can go in, look at a whole menu of, say, chronographs under $7500 or whatever, choose one, go home, find the best price online and buy it from a reliable, low cost, low margin internet store. So they ADs respond to this by shaving their own margins, selling online themselves and contributing to the low unofficially-official prices at which the watch-loving community buys. Sure, there's still the guy who walks in, says "that one" and pays RRP. But he's getting harder to find. Because he feels a complete moron when he gets home and his wife tells him it was 20% cheaper online.

    There are plenty of posts on this thread condemning the populism, dumbing-down and endless special editions of classic watch brands. But it's all part of that same story: if the margins are lower because of online sales and AD discounts, the volume has to be bigger to compensate. Makers need to make money. And if we want new movements, new ideas, and high quality, then they need to succeed. Right now, that success either means orange Omegas and pink Rolexes for $5000 to make sure every car salesman can buy one on bonus day. Or it means exclusive boutique dealers, maintenance of brand integrity, and 30% higher prices with no grey market.

    I'm not too knowledgeable about watches, with the sum total of my knowledge coming from this thread. But as Mr Belligero might attest, one of the other examples of this business reality is motorcycles: I come from Europe. When I bought my Triumph Tiger 955 in 2001, I read all the info, visited my local dealer, took a test ride, did my research. And then found some guy hundreds of miles away who could get me a grey import from Belgium and save me $3000. That was a great deal for me, but a shitty deal for my dealer. When that same place did some work on my Suzuki GSXR 1000 a few years later, I was put off by the impersonal and unresponsive nature of the business. But in a way, it was my own doing.

    Some manufacturers really don't like that phenomenon, particularly if they see themselves as premium brands. So around that same time, Ducati cut off dozens of well-known dealers and focused on "solus" Ducati-only outlets. That meant that a customer had to buy from them, it killed the grey market in discounted Ducatis, and in their minds, protected their brand while giving them better margins. It also meant, for the customer, than wherever you bought a Ducati from, it had a Ducati-trained team of mechanics and a salesman who genuinely knew all about your product. It is now a lot harder to get a discounted new Ducati. But on the other hand, if you own one, the resale value got better.

    So that's how I see it - pros and cons really. The top brands will go their own way, and that will mean their prices will go up. But if it allows them to remain what, I think, we want them to be, then it's not entirely a bad thing. I mean, I'd like to buy a Royal Oak like the one above for $6000. But not if it has to be a Snoop Dogg special edition. (Sorry Snoopy).
     


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