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. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    And this is what will really change if brands move to control their own sales through solus dealerships: no more shopping around online for the best deal, because there won't be independent re-sellers competing with each other in a global market to sell top watches at minimum margins.

    It seems to me that what's probably got the watch makers really exercised, is not the little expert boutiques with multiple brands, but the ones who operate a back end business online, selling globally. That's what's driven down prices (and brand value, in their eyes), and made them decide they need to control retail, to the point where they have enough of their own, owned, outlets to no longer need to sell to chains of independents who can undercut each other online.

    It's an interesting exception, when a lot of other manufacturers are increasingly dealing direct to consumers online (check out clothes and shoe makers), or through an exclusive online outlet, to take retail margins on their wholesale business. Perhaps that's too frivolous for watchmakers to consider...
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    probably true, and while in certain respects that is annoying, its also fair from the brands pov imo. and may bolster the re-sale values, and may make me feel cooler about what i own.

    so far, the only issue that i see as meaningful so far, is the point dopey and gdl raised about consumers wanting to be able to shop and make comparison decisions without going to 10 different locations.
     
  3. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is a good chance that stores like Cellini and Wempe, and maybe even Tourneau, will remain even when brands have their own boutiques. Those stores don't really undercut the brand stores (well they do, but not by much and not in an overt, public manner) or dilute the brand image. They also do something the brand stores can't, which is entice the buyer not committed enough to a brand to go to the brand store to try something new or look at something he hadn't thought of. That is good for the brands.
     
  4. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Some interesting points...but in the end its all about profit and contolling distribution to increase profit.

    I can appreciate the idea of exclusivity, prestige, value, and public perception. But those are not gained through having a Boutique, by refusing to discount a watch, by increasing prices, or reducing ADs.

    Prestige, exclusivity, and value are often affected largely by a combination of high quality, limited production numbers, heritage and auction values of vintage pieces, and demand for a brand/models. People are more willing to consider buying a Patek at full price because of each of these factors. GP makes a great watch, very high quality, limited production, nice heritage, they have boutiques, and some of their watches are priced comparably to Patek...but would you buy one at full price? Probably not. Part of what makes certain brands attractive is that they are high quality and they can be purchased at a much lower price than a comparable watch from a bigger name.


    Regarding your statement "firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they are the owners of the product, and have the right to establish what price they want these products sold for. peoples desire for a discount, should not really force their hand to apply one. its their stuff." - IMHO, peoples' desire for a discount doesn't affect the prices watch companies set. The companies have always estabilished their own pricing strategies and discount allowances. Lots of companies in a variety of industries build room in for price negotiations and if a consumer doesn't take advantage, then its extra profit for them. In addition, remember a company can price itself however it wants to (with or without discounts), but ultimately their success depends on consumers, If consumers don't like the pricing or don't see the value in the brands pricing...they will be sitting on stock that doesn't move.

    As for your statement "secondly, the price the items are sold for, do affect the brand image. no one views omega as an elite or expensive watch, because you can buy them for close to 50% off all day. that hurts the brand." Yes, there is truth to that statement, however, its proof brands simply cannot ask whatever they want for a product. Part of the reason watches do get discounted is thati s often what it takes to move certain brands. Brands for which there is higher demand can ask more and discount less. And while MSRP does play some role in the price of a pre owned watch, those brands for which there is lower demand in the new market will also probably have a lower demand in the used market. Omega, GP and other brands are not going to have resale like that of Rolex and Patek simply by reducing discounts.

    I have bought a watch at a boutique when it was something that could not be purchased at an AD, and I have paid full retail for a handful of watches I wanted from ADs as they were models that are never discounted. The boutique experiecne was nice, but the bulk of my watches came from the best deal I could from an AD so that I can get as many of the watches I want to own.
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    Yes, but that might be because they simply are not competitive in price. I've looked at watches there, ready to buy, but they are always among the most expensive ADs I've visited. If you can buy the same new car at 2 different dealerships, wouldn't you buy it at the one that offers you the best deal? I didn't even bother to contact them with my last major purchase. No point in wasting my time or theirs.
     
  5. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    that is probably true. btw, for the life of me i could not find the cellini store when i was in manhattan. found wempe and torneau, but not cellini. was weird. the gps on my phone said it was right in front of me, but i sure didnt see it.


    i think you do make a lot of valid points there. and i dont really disagree with them per say. maybe because much of my career has been spent on the other side of the counter, that is the selling side, i see things a little differently.

    in the end, i think that we probably agree on the main points. that is, one, that the brands are doing their best to make more money. still understandable imo, they are almost all under corporate ownership, not craftsman or artisan ownership, and even the craftsmen and artisans out there want to make money. and two, they all want to preserve the brand image they have, or are trying to have.

    balancing that is no easy task, and the luxury consumer is often a fickle one, sometimes reckless in spending, but very often fickle, and that makes figuring out the right mix difficult. in the end, there is no exact science to building a brand. for example, you mentioned GP. do they make some fantastic watches? yes. do they have an old and rich heritage? yes. do they produce watches well into the 6 figures? yes. are they viewed by anyone in the same league as PP, AP, VC, AL, .....? nope. im sure they want to be. im even sure they try to be. why didnt it work? who knows. it boils down to public perception and what people search for, and place value in.

    there are lots of ideas as to how to accomplish that, but there are no guarantees. you have pointed out some of the risks involved in the decisions that these brands are making and implementing. im sure that they are aware of many, if not all of them. and in the end, its their own fate they are sealing, one way or another. and only time will tell how it all plays out.

    we get to watch (shameless pun) and see. :)


    lol, that was a joke to dopey. he was with me as i spent quite some time window shopping and ogling there. interestingly enough, the SA clearly knew (i said so outright iirc) that i was not buying anything, but his service and the attention he gave me was outstanding. so enjoyable was the experience, that if money was not an object for me at all, i would certainly shop there. both for the service received, and the experience. not to mention the convenience of not having to shop around. i have no problem paying retail if i can, and if there are advantages to doing so.

    sidebar - thank you all for indulging in this conversation, i find it quite enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  6. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Agreed; it's remarkable that one of the best watch-industry discussions that I've seen in ages is taking place outside of a watch forum. Not really surprising, either, when you consider how heavily-moderated/censored the big ones are, and how defensive typical watch geeks get about their pet brands. I've also enjoyed reading these last few pages.
     
  7. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Senior member

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    Some AP p0rn of my recent arrival... I love how the dial reflects both dark blue and grey according to lighting conditions.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Now that's some proper pornographie d'horlogerie!
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    Hope so! Trying to get rid of stuff I don't wear.
     
  10. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    :slayer:

    @ medtech - that is awesome!!!! SC too. deets?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  11. Warren G.

    Warren G. Senior member

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    incredible AP !! That is the new 15202 right?
     
  12. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Senior member

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    Thanks! Fabric is Loro Piana, done up by Napoli su Misura.



    Yep, the new 15202; I fell in love with the design but was frankly a bit skeptical regarding claims of a more comfortable bracelet. Not sure exactly what they did, but for me the claims are well-founded. This is the first Royal Oak for which I won't need that visually-annoying one and a half link to achieve a good fit.
     
  13. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    drop. deal. gorgeous.
     
  14. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Hi Stitch,

    Thanks for indulging me with some detailed thoughts on the watch companies, and your point of view from the other side of the sales counter.

    I do understand that being on the other side of the counter may make your incentives at least on the selling side very different. I have a friend at an AD for Cartier, VC, IWC and a bunch of other brands and whenever he starts telling me how excited he is about pricing strategies and possibly moving to reduce discounts, I always have to remind him that from my side of the sales counter thats not exciting or good news. Also, some watches as nice as they are I think their list prices have become rediculous. I realize the way I can vocalize that is not purchasing it.

    In the end there are watches I've gotten good discounts on and watches I've paid full retail for, but the important thing to me is when everything is said and done, whether I feel that I got a good value (which is not just the price, but whether an item seem like its truly worth what I am paying) for the goods and also on some level to have enjoyed my time with the sales person at the AD or Boutique (some I have liked more than others).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
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