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What Do Watch Buyers Want From The Watch Industry?

What Do Watch Buyers Want From The Watch Industry? Featured Articles

The watch industry is listening… What many people who comment on aBlogtoWatch articles may not realize is that the people and brands we write about carefully read not only our coverage of their products, but also take the time to monitor the reader comments. Consumer sentiments are an extremely important part of product and brand development, but at times – especially in the watch industry – it can seem like not everyone is paying attention to the pleas and wishes of consumers.

Read the comments on even a few aBlogtoWatch articles, and you’ll quickly realize that the community is offering some rather useful feedback. So useful, that I think the time has come for an article allowing the community itself to share its thoughts and feedback to the watch industry on whatever topics the community chooses. This is your opportunity to tell the watch industry exactly what you want and what you don’t want.

What Do Watch Buyers Want From The Watch Industry? Featured Articles

How? Comment below. Maybe you have something specific you wish to say to a particular brand? Maybe there is a product you think could be tweaked, brought back to life, produced in the first place, or otherwise changed in some way? Maybe you want to praise a particular design, theme, or watchmaker? Maybe you have constructive criticism about marketing, services, prices, or anything else that you feel the watch industry can hear to better what they offer to consumers.

What Do Watch Buyers Want From The Watch Industry? Featured Articles

Don’t forget to speak with passion but also tact. When offering negative feedback it is useful to realize that the people who make decisions you disagree with probably have good reasons or don’t even know how it might effect the ultimate buyers of their products. Watch industry marketing and communication is tricky, but not nearly as complex as the process to create new products. Even things like pricing and service that many in the watch industry itself agree should be refined have some enormous hurdles to overcome before being improved. So also be mindful that pretty much everything you say isn’t gonna be news to the watch industry, but it is really important for them to know how big of a deal some things are and to how many consumers.

What Do Watch Buyers Want From The Watch Industry? Featured Articles

Just because one person comments about a particular topic doesn’t mean you shouldn’t repeat your own sentiments on that issue. The more people who mention the same thing, the more you as the watch community will demonstrate to the watch industry that it is a big deal. So feel free to pile as many thoughts into your comments as you like.

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For those of you who want to participate but aren’t sure where to begin, allow us to suggest a few prompts that might help. Also, thanks to everyone for their continued passion and intelligent conversation on aBlogtoWatch. We really want to help the watch community make the biggest impact possible on the industry itself that fuels our mutual interest.

Suggested questions and topics to comment on:

  • What gets you interested in a new watch?
  • What price points do you wish the watch industry focused more on?
  • What do you want in a $500 watch?
  • What do you want in a $5,000 watch?
  • What do you want in a $50,000 watch?
  • What do you want in a $500,000 watch?
  • Do you feel that watch product marketing is relevant to you? Why or why not?
  • Where do you want watches to be sold?
  • What are your favorite materials, colors, and themes that you wish were represented in more watches?
  • Do you think the watch industry is well represented where you live?
  • Do you feel that some watches are over-priced? Are some under-valued?
  • What types of things might prevent you from buying a watch you otherwise want?
  • What brands or products that you otherwise like are doing something to make you lose confidence or interest in them?
  • Are there concepts, products, themes, or messages you want to see more or less of?
  • What keeps you interested in learning about new watches?

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Comments

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  • Michael Day

    Please go back to legibility. As we get older we need reading glasses. I prefer watches where I don’t need to put my reading glasses on.
    I certainly don’t warm to some of the newer watches that look more like a gadget.

    • wallydog2

      Ditto! Me too! Many of my watches’ date windows are so tiny, why bother? A couple have hands so thin I have to search for them. (I had my 39th birthday 33 years ago. Now I’m crotchety, grumpy and fussy. I couldn’t wear a Hublot ’cause it would tip me over.)

  • Borys Bozzor Pawliw

    I ask not for much…but for a Rolex watch for Timex money…

  • Borys Bozzor Pawliw

    Being serious for once, I would like to know more about manufacturing and asembly quality in automatic watches: why are some so accurate, far better than spec, and others ho hum…can the element of luck be removed in getting the right one?

    • NotoriousAPP

      Yes, thank you. To me this is a quality issue. Manufacturers need to start using SPC charts and control limits when measuring accuracy. Sending watches out so close to the movement spec limits is disgraceful and the mark of poor quality systems.

      • Stephen Scharf

        Absolutely, 100% correct. You can bet the Japanese watch manufacturers are using SPC and control control charts and ensuring their control limits are well within their spec limits (spec limits = voice of the customer, control limits = voice of the process).

  • error406

    Personally, I would like to see more luxury watches designed for people with different tastes than either the extremely conservative or the extremely flashy. I would love to see the tasteful design like the Max Bill, some of the microbrands or even fashion watches applied to more high-end watches.

    Currently, the only watches over $2000 with tasteful, modern design are vintage, ironically often from the same brands that currently offer what I can only describe as “bling”. Horologically impressive bling, but bling nonetheless.

    Although I understand the manufacturers catering to an existing luxury market, I believe they’re missing out on growing their audience. Most people that I know who spend lots of money on expensive designer luxury and quality aren’t interested in the gaudy stuff the watch industry puts out.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      That “growing their audience(client base)” may be the most prescient comment of the thread.
      I cannot count the number of times I have read of persons recounting their “first real watch.” This is an important fact for the manufacturers to consider. The current attitude appears to be “strike hard and get all we can get at the outset.”
      Perhaps this is the reason for so many un-sold pieces lingering in dealers stockrooms and then hitting the ‘grey’ market?

  • Well it would be nice if the brands listened to our constructive criticism. But we as readers also should realize that while it is easy to suggest changes (or make mock-ups as I often do), the reality is that changes are costly for the brands and still are a shot in the dark as to success or failure compared to the current product.

    Another reason brands might take what we say with a grain of salt is that for very expensive pieces, we may not be the target buyer so in a sense our opinions don’t really matter. But for accessible watches, they should listen carefully and read between the lines of complaints and figure out how they can improve their wares and make both themselves and the watch buying public happier.

    Thanks Ariel for pointing out to the readership that they are heard and hence should remember to be civil and thoughtful in their comments if they want to be taken seriously.

  • DR

    If I could make only two horological wishes, it would be these:

    1-
    Please make some nice, mid-sized men’s watches in the 36-38mm range. With the exceptions of Rolex (for now) and Grand Seiko, the majority of quality manufacturers have abandoned this size in favour of 40+mm pieces which are impractical in formal attire and undesirable in polite company. I am 6’5″, and I don’t really want to wear the “Lady-something” version of a model.

    2-
    Please stop writing so much on the dials. I do not need hourly reminders of the depth tolerances, chronometric accuracy or model names of my watch. I will consider these before buying and wearing the watch. Perhaps this supports Michael Day’s point below about legibility, but I would much prefer a watch with a simple uncluttered dial.

    Looking forward to hearing suggestions from everyone. And a belated happy 2016 to you all!

  • Erdem Celikbilek

    Mot important aspect in the purchase of mechanical watches: the price of maintenance. Something needs to be done about the outrageous maintenance practices and prices simply for the fact that it is the main factor why many people decide to go the quartz way.

  • BrJean

    More watches of ~36mm size please!

  • Rexy

    Brands doing something to lose my confidence are those trying to restrict supply and restrict trade. In any other area of life, people shop around for the things they need. Cars, food, furniture – we all do our research and shop around looking for the best price. Price is never the only aspect, but it is important. Watch brands that are limiting trade by restricting their brands to their own shops, actively discouraging discounting by attacking vendors and restricting trade if they dare to discount a product make me angry. It shouldn’t take anti-competitive lawsuits or government intervention to make brands do the right thing. A watch is no more and no less important than many other things in life. Restricting trade and attacking stores that offer discounts to their customers is my number one annoyance about some brands. A fair market should be a fair market.

    • On the other hand, a brand should be able to have their brand sold as they want it to be sold, and have the freedom to pull their brand from an AD that isn’t cooperating. This includes discounting over what is approved, the method of selling used by associates, and general knowledge of the brand.

      • But the customer can’t have it serviced that way they want? Hmm.

  • Andrew Garrard

    Speaking as someone new to watches and lurking here for a few months… Fix the web sites. Every watch manufacturer I’ve found has terrible means of selecting between items in their ranges. This problem ranges from Citizen (where I can’t indicate that I want a mechanical watch and there’s no case depth indication) to Patek, who seem to think you know their model numbers before you start; everyone else seems as guilty. Many let you tick a box to say you want a chronograph (for example), but the only way to find a watch that ISN’T a chronograph is to page through every watch in the selection – not helpful if I’m after a plain dress watch. I resorted to a Seiko 5 recently, partly because a third party has put together a useful site which lets you pick features half-decently – although it comes up with a lot of discontinued models. I might have aimed higher if I’d not been so frustrated trying to find something. Amazon at least had a way to search, but often has unreliable information. It’s embarrassing that the manufacturers seem unable to do this themselves.

    Incidentally, I’d love to see an article on good budget replacement straps and bracelets. I’m bracing myself for having my arm hairs plucked by my Seiko.

  • word-merchant

    What do buyers want from the watch industry…?
    Ok here, goes:

    1. Giving a standard ETA your own calibre number does not make it an in-house movement. Nor does strapping a bespoke module to a base Selita. Show some honesty.
    2. Make limited editions really limited.
    3. Pilots probably do not wear your watches – so don’t pretend they do.
    4. Your in-house leather strap isn’t worth £500. Ever.
    5. If I see your watch endorsed by a ‘celebrity’, it immediately loses 100 appeal points and moves down my want list.
    6. Having your CEO comment on watch forums is rather nice.
    7. Giving your watch brownish lume doesn’t make it look older nor does it make your brand look more distinguished.
    8. Small movements in big cases. Stop it now! Those sub-dials look like they’re clinging on to the central spindle for dear life.
    9. If you make a Quartz watch the ticking second hand needs to line up exactly with the marker on the dial at least to the second resolution.
    10. Dates need to change instantly at midnight. I don’t want to see the change still going on at 12.45am.
    11. When you service a watch, it needs to come back to the owner in a better state that it left them.
    12. Women like fine watches too. Don’t forget that.

    • NotoriousAPP

      Manufacturers, this guy nailed it….many excellent points here. Listen to him.

    • Twinbarrel

      Great comments. Point form makes for effective read as well. Thanks

    • dennis

      Yes you did nail it, best suggestions so far.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      i dont know where to start, let me sleep on it……………

  • Dave Ryan

    Br Jean has a good point. Watch companies who make Watches under 5000, let’s start bringing the size back down to 36mm-40mm maximum. The big watch fad (and it was a fad) is over. Leave big Watches to companies with a history of big Watches, ex. panerai.
    And,
    Dear movado,
    Look to your past for inspiration. I would love to own a movado with vintage look without the risk of buying vintage.

    Last of all, if you use a modified movement it’s okay, but after you tell us your calibre number for said movement please also inform us of the base movement. And if you are using a straight drop in movement. Don’t charge any more than 2000. There is just no excuse.

    Thanks for listening,
    Dave.

    • SuperStrapper

      Speak for yourself, please. Watches bigger than 40mm I not a ‘fad’, and I personally wouldn’t consider an offering under that mark.

      • DR

        I understand that a lot of people – for a variety of reasons – like watches that are >40mm. With many watches (e.g. dive watches, chronographs) there is a functional reason for a larger case size. I’m not arguing against larger watches (and it’s not an “either/or” discussion!), but there are very few manufacturers still making quality watches in the <40mm territory. I'm sure that a lot of us would love to buy smaller men's watches, without having to trawl the vintage market.

      • Dave Ryan

        I was speaking for myself. But I can tell ya, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

        • SuperStrapper

          If you were only speaking for yourself, you wouldn’t have called everything out of your own preference a ‘fad’. Maybe watches under 40mm are a ‘fad’ and the fad is expiring, hence the supposed lack of new pieces in this category?

          • Dave Ryan

            My opinion is that it’s a fad (short of some professional dive watches or watches with a history of being large like a pilot watch) and the trend is reversing already. I just think some companies are a little slow getting on board. Also, I didn’t say to stop making large watches altogether, large people would be left out.

  • George Hook

    As simple as it sounds, transparency in pricing. I can find the same watch online for about 50-60% less a lot of times than in a store. The problem with that is that you can’t ever feel like you aren’t getting ripped off. No one wants to buy something, no matter if it is a pair of jeans to a piece of jewelry and find it cheaper the next day. For example, I looked at a Casio MTG G-Shock at Tourneau and they wanted $950 for it. I looked online and found it for $420 cheaper that night. If I had bought it when I first saw it, that’d be about 4 or 5 weeks of groceries I would have spent for absolutely nothing. That’s just one example of what I’m talking about. You can still make a profit without ripping people off or making them feel foolish. I’m sure the companies sell that watch to everyone for the same price, maybe a little less to those who move more product.

    It doesn’t take much to do this, just have something have 1 price. Markups in the jewelry industry, which the watch industry is part of, are so out of sight that I’ve become very disheartened with buying anything.

    • Twinbarrel

      One thing would surely help with pricing;
      Nobody wants to buy anything at manufacture suggested retail price but it is the top bar I want to know when I start shopping.
      You cannot find a listing of mfr prices on any brand’s website, so I have to get my price indicators by googling price for the watch I’m might be interested in owning (without having a clue of its value). These brands list their AD’s …if you’re lucky… but these AD’s don’t list their prices either.
      Is this a game to find the right prices? ABTW does offer them always 🙂

      • Omega has pricing for most of their watches on their website.

        • Twinbarrel

          …and THAT is awesome! Need more like that.

          The emails and snailmail is starting to come in from the brands I registered with. The guesswork and Google strokes to other websites to find out what the prices are will follow.

  • Andrew Garrard

    Having ranted about web sites (which had actually cost some manufacturers money in my not buying product – hope that makes them listen), I wanted to second DR’s comment about unnecessary writing.

    I’m perfectly happy to have waterproofing information on the back of a case (in case I forget and think about swimming), and the same for a lot of other information (make it pretty and visible on the movement if you must – it works for the Geneva Seal). But I’d pay extra for a completely blank dial, other than functional (changing) information. I know if I bought a Rolex (hopefully); the crown can be designed with, well, a crown if they must brand it. I don’t need a logo in the way of reading the time. Apple, Samsung, Pebble etc. don’t see the need to put their logos on the display. Why does everyone from Orient to Audemars-Piguet need to take up dial space? Is there really anyone who will impress someone with a watch brand they can see from the front without actually showing someone the watch? Wouldn’t any watch buff want to look at the movement through the exhibition back anyway? Would any non-watch buff recognise a name other than Rolex, which might be a faulex anyway?

    For a mechanical watch, at least in the budget range, make it simple, make it classic, make it thin (chances are I’m not wearing it with a t-shirt so cuffs are an issue). My Pebble Time Steel gives me more functionality than any grand complication; if I’m not wearing it (and putting up with unlocking my phone manually as a consequence). Go wild if you’re trying to impress someone with an expensive mechanical watch as a statement (yes, tourbillons are cool; yes, I’d like an Opus 11), but those making cluttered analogue dials in a cheap watch should realise that digital gives functionality in a more usable way, and has for decades.

    I’ll eat my words when I’m in a plane crash and my life is saved by a doctor using a mechanical chronograph to count my pulse (or something) after everyone else’s watch batteries have died. Unless the doctor mis-reads the timer because the manufacturer’s logo was taking up so much of the dial.

  • SuperStrapper

    What do I want in a $500,000 watch? A $5,000 price tag…

  • Ryan

    In general, I agree that more watches in 36-40 mm range would be nice. As far as maintenance goes, I could live with the high prices if it didn’t take months to get my watch back.

    For a specific suggestion, how about a JLC reverso ultra thin with a date function. It may not be possible to fit the movement inside the case, but right now only one reverso has a date function. It’s larger than most reversos (I have small wrists) and is a duo face.

  • Dinkee, H. O.

    It goes without saying that I, as the leading light in horology with my blog/empire, and as the newly minted official horologist for President Trump, carry more weight on these boards than all the other commentators put together. Times one hundred.

    So here is what I say to industry: Wood bezels. Ralph Lauren.

    You think about that!

    The HO.

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      I also just want to add that most of the commenters on here are in no financial position to buy anything! They are not rich like me and my pals, whom consist of rock stars and NBA and MLB superstars and other elites.

      Just looking down this list right now, there’s a SuperStrapper and a Mark Carlson who aren’t going to be buying anything before this decade is out, so don’t bother listening to them. There are a few others not worth mentioning.

      • Marius

        My distinguished colleague, allow me to congratulate you for this very interesting argument.
        As you correctly mentioned, most penny pinchers reading this blog can barely afford a Timex, Citizen, or Seiko. They think that Savile Row is the place to get cheap fish&chips, and that Anderson&Sheppard is an ice-cream brand.

        • Dinkee, H. O.

          Please, quit referring to me as your colleague, worm. You are as below me as the rest of these unwashed troglodytes.

          The HO

        • Dinkee, H. O.

          HAW, HAW, HAW! I seem to have picked up a spoof! Well, have no fear, kind sir, you and I are always on the same level above the rest on here. By the way, any who are concerned — you can always click on my ID and see what I have posted here and elsewhere. I make no secret of myself. It is the best way to identify me.

          Though I do appreciate the flattery. But my dear spoof, you’ll have to pick up the comments as I’m at over 220 now, and you have only 5.

          The HO

          • SuperStrapper

            The childish spoof has something to say about a childish spoof! The ironing is delicious.

          • Dinkee, H. O.

            “The ironing is delicious.”

            That’s “irony” not “ironing”.

            You’re welcome.

          • SuperStrapper

            Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

          • Ha! I laughed!

      • Mark Carlson? Who is that? Don’t listen to either of us.

        • Boogur T. Wang

          Can You hear me NOW?

      • SuperStrapper

        I’ll tell you what, let’s show off our actual watch collections, piece by piece. We’ll include notes in the picture with verbiage of the other guy’s choosing to make sure they are actually in our possession.

  • WolverBilly

    Just a quick comment to Rolex: Don’t pay any attention to the comments on web sites. These people are idiots. You have people that think NATO straps are cool, and wear dive watches when they’ve never been underwater except in the bathtub. They are such image-challenged, material-driven creatures that they concept of buying a quality watch to wear through life’s adventures for decades is completely beyond them. The Smart Watch is the ultimate expression of gadgetry for gadgetry’s sake, and just shows that some people will buy anything new and techy even if they have to bend over backwards to convince themselves an auxiliary screen on their wrist (that is tied to their phone and has to be plugged in regularly) is somehow useful. If you cater to these morons, you’ll make a crap product. You know what you’re doing, and there’s a reason why you’re so successful. Stay the course. Continue to make a dive watch a better dive watch. Continue to make an Oyster a better Oyster. Continue the exemplary customer service. We live in a time with anybody with a computer can start a publication, and think they know what they’re talking about because people know how to find something for free on the web and visit their site. It’s all about traffic, which means nothing. When people have to pay to get information, they actually start to be critical about the information in question. Otherwise, it’s just so much noise. BTW, I think ABTW is on the good side of this equation. But be wary of unqualified opinions. And the comments. In fact, you shouldn’t have read this, either. What do I know?

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      HEAR, HEAR!

    • Twinbarrel

      But in off-chance Rolex does read your comment I would like to trail it with saying to Rolex; Please develop more larger sized watches… Please…

    • iamcalledryan

      Why is someone an idiot for liking NATO straps???

      And to play devil’s advocate, since the existence of highly accurate $20 quartz, the mechanical wristwatch is gadgetry for gadgetry sake, no??

    • The reason Rolex is successful is that they’re experts at advertising and branding. Not because they make better watches than others.

  • Embrace smartwatches.

    That doesn’t mean ditch mechanicals, but do consider at least one model (either Android Wear or a pseudo-smart model like the ones from Mondaine/Frederique Constant/etc.). Or at least, be very careful about offering watches priced in smartwatch territory, because you’re primed for disruption if you do.

    And beyond that… legibility. It’s amazing how many ‘nice’ watches actually make it hard to tell the time at a glance. Patek Philippe, Mondaine and a few other brands are good at it, but don’t simply cater to hardcore fans who treat watches like Rubik’s Cube puzzles that you have to solve to appreciate.

  • FrankD51

    I want an honest value. It makes no sense to price a watch at $20,000 which is discounted to $15,000 from a dealer, only to find it has a $5,000 value on the open market. I don’t expect to make money on my purchase, but I expect an honest transactional value. I’d rather pay $18,000 for the watch that could be sold, if needed, for a fair value (say, $12,000 to $15,000).

    • Mark Baran

      There are only a handful of watches in the entire industry universe that will return 66% to 83% of their retail value at resale. That rate of return requires limited supply and very high demand. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two manufacturers who produce a few references each that will pull that much resale value. If resale value is your primary criterion for buying a watch, I would suggest you study aftermarket pricing on the Internet prior to making a purchase decision. Per your example; if an AD gives you a 25% discount out the door, it should tell you something about resale value right off the bat.

    • DR

      Out of curiosity, which new watches – boxed fresh from the factory, with the same warranties – are selling for a quarter of their retail prices on the “open market”? Of course, you can talk a few percent off steel (and more off precious metals) with your AD, or use a broker to benefit from currency fluctuations… but 75% off?

  • BNABOD

    lot’s of good points so far.
    Aside from not getting the shaft at every turn what would I like to see…. hum yes that not getting the shaft at every turn:
    – a stainless steel clasp does not cost 300 bucks, a leather strap don’t care if made of unicorn hide is absurd at 4, 5, 600 bucks. Same deal with a rubber strap.
    – tired of 5K + watches with ETAs Sellitas Soprod and the sort with a new rotor at best). a 300/400 buck movement should never end up at 5K for the whole thing (exception for precious metals in case). there is too much of this that really hurts the customer basis down the line as they get more familiar with the tech in their timepiece.
    – tired of people calling things, RARE, NOS, MINTY….
    – less hockey puck sizes

    – overall shrinkage but that is just for me

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      I am going to have to lay down the law, here.

      As my good pal Ralph Lauren made clear to the whole world, there is no need for an in-house movement in a watch. ETA, Sellitas, Soprod are all you need in any watch, especially a low budget $5000 watch.

      Next, quality costs money. If you can afford $5000 for your ETA, Sellita, Soprod powered watch, you can afford 4 or 500 dollars for a replacement strap for it.

      I use the words rare, NOS and minty all the time and I’m sure that nobody in the industry has a problem with that. However, I don’t believe that the Industry is into selling rare, NOS, minty collector watches or show them off on Instagram and sting the wannabe’s.

      Finally, perhaps you don’t have a full 5 1/4 inch wrist like I do, but I require a “hockey puck” sized watch so that it has some wrist presence. Don’t you want the world to see your good taste in choosing a Hublot? Of course you do.

  • Twinbarrel

    This is fantastic. Thanks Ariel.
    I intend to add bite size bits of my thoughts throughout the week as long posts are much harder to keep attention to.

    One thing now about this article Ariel. I already see a big flaw that might set up results to be less effective; Imo, it would be more effective to ask all these same comments but restrict or divide this in different price categories. $0-500, $500-1,000; $1,000-2,000, $2,000-5000, $5,000-10,000, $10,000-15,000, $15,000-20,000, $20,000-30,000, $30k-50k, $50k-75 etc…

    This way, the industry has much less weeding to do and get right to their target market.
    I have plenty watches that fit in 6 of these categories but my comments would be pertinent for only one or two of them… and so would everyone else’s.

  • NotoriousAPP

    Accuracy: don’t ship out a watch with an accuracy spec of -10/+20 that is running at +19
    seconds. -10/+20 should be considered spec limits, no one in manufacturing intentionally runs their process near the spec limits (Cpk much?). Start using control limits for accuracy, perhaps -5/+5 measured in 2-4 positions. This would demonstrate that you actually employ good quality systems and care about the functionality and use of final end product. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased a watch and been disappointed to find that it’s running at the edge of its accuracy spec and thinking to myself “great, now I need to spend $150-$250 to get this thing regulated. I’m not asking for COSC certification and I don’t want the COSC cert cost added into the cost of the watch, we know that many of these movements can be regulated much tighter than the stated spec.

    Create and honor a good warranty: right off the bat, let me say that Christopher Ward does this right, bravo to you sir. Along with this warranty add an accuracy guarantee for X amount of years. You will regulate the watch to -/+ some amount (something much tighter than stated spec) at your cost while the consumer will pay the shipping costs to you.

    Keep the text off the dials: I don’t care to see on the dial that the watch is 100M WR, or a chronometer, or a chronograph, etc.

    I don’t plan on wearing watches <38mm, watches in the 40-44mm range are fine by me.

    Please start using tritium in more watches. Let me repeat, please start using tritium in more watches. That glamour shot of your watch with the lume all charged up doesn’t impress me, I know it won’t last a night out on the town, or a long drive in the car, etc.

    Put more effort into designing the date window right. I just don’t buy watches without a date
    complication, to me this is the most basic function right behind keeping accurate time. The date window should not be placed in a location on the dial which detracts from the symmetry of the watch (unless juxtapose and non-symmetry was the look you were going for on
    this watch). The date window should be cut so that you can see the entire two digit date; your marketing photos of this watch should only show the date window with a two digit date so the buyer can see how well you’ve executed the date window size. Do not make a simple square opening 1mm in the dial 1mm above the date wheel, if there is distance between the date wheel and dial then add a bevel to the date window.

    I want the date to jump at midnight.

    I want more watches with large date complications.

    Reduce the price of maintenance. Maintenance costs do factor into my decision to purchase certain watches.

    In regards to marketing, focus more on your online presence. I don’t even see your prints ads. Does anyone even read print anymore?

    I don’t care to see celebrities wearing your watch. It just makes me think that you paid too much to have them wear it and you’re now passing the cost to me.

    • Stephen Scharf

      Yes!!! Somebody other than me understands Cp/Cpk, process capability, and control charts! Statistical process control rules! How ’bout we get them to do some VOC while we’re at it, as well! 😉 And your comments in the main are SPOT ON. You must have an operations, quality or Six Sigma background.

      • NotoriousAPP

        Yes, indeed. Lots of manufacturing experience, 16 year JMP user, stats trainer, master black belt, gentleman…..and watch lover. I’ve had some contact with people in the watch industry and it’s quite clear their is an orchard of low lying fruit that these manufacturers let sit and rot. Simply the fact that they’re not making more watch parts out of silicon or nearly a complete movement made from silicon baffles me. There are semiconductor companies out there which are way beyond these watch companies and their Swiss consortium in designing, developing and manufacturing MEMS components, it seems a bit arrogant of them to do much of this work themselves. Manufacturers, if you believe I’m incorrect then join us here and give us some feedback.

        • Stephen Scharf

          Very interesting. I’m also a black belt, and I teach Design for Six Sigma, JMP, stats, DOE, MSA, SPC and capability analysis to my co-workers in biotech. Nice to meet a kindred spirit.

          • NotoriousAPP

            Excellent. Hopefully we’ll see you at JMP Discovery Summit in September this year.

          • Stephen Scharf

            Hope so! I missed it last two years.

    • So you would be okay with paying thousands more up front for a watch to have $100 services? Okay.

      Because regardless of what you think, maintenance costs help pay the extremely skilled watchmakers of the brands do their work. And based on my personal experience of working in the industry, all of the best watchmakers work for the brands, not independently.

  • NotoriousAPP

    Great idea Ariel. Ideally you will recode and pareto this data for a future article.

    • Stephen Scharf

      Ideally, using JMP! 😉

      • NotoriousAPP

        Yeah buddy!!! Holler to my brother from another JMP mother Stephen Scharf.

        • Stephen Scharf

          LOL! JMP *rocks*! For my work as a DFSS BB, it is business critical. Maybe we could get the watch companies to do some DOEs on accuracy and robustness (Taguchi-san, style).

  • Mulleteer

    Right, where to start..
    1. Real value, if you just stuff generic movement on a new case don’t ask north 5000 USD for it. Seeing that Valjoux 7550 layout everywhere becomes tiresome after a while.
    2. Stop with the unlimited “limited editions”
    3. Pretty much nobody uses high end divers, chronographs, anti-magnetic watches and whatnot in their intended environment. You can’t market with that image forever.
    4. Celebrity endorsements make my skin crawl.
    5. Why offer expensive, unbelievably slow and often sub-par maintenance services while simultaneously trying to restrict access to spare parts for independent watchsmiths? Looking at you Omega and AP.
    6. Make legible dials in 36-39mm range, unless it’s a diver or chrono where large size is justified
    7. Retail prices are completely ridiculous, I can get BNIB pieces from grey market for less than 50%.
    8. Justify my spending with a story and build new heritage, Doctors sans Borders watches of Nomos was a good idea.

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      I hope they don’t listen to this post. I, the leader of horology bloggers, disapprove of almost all these points!

    • I know a radiology tech that wears an Omega >15000 gauss every day at work in the MRI suite.

      Also, magnetism is a problem for some people. A family friend magnetized his graduation Rolex within three days of wearing it so badly that the watch stopped. That’s with nothing but his body’s magnetic field.

      In addition, magnetism is becoming a more relevant problem as more powerful magnets are used in everything from microwaves to cell phones and laptops. Purse clasps even boast 2000 gauss magnets now.

      Tell me again how magnetism isn’t a problem as I degauss multiple watches every day for customers.

  • Josh Graves

    I know it’s luck of the draw, but I’m honored to be front and center on the picture of our comments. Hubris aside, I’ve been campaigning since my initial posts on this site against the excessive use of text on dials. The Tudor Pelagos design has to be worst offender of excessive text for example. Certainly there is nothing wrong with tasteful branding, but do I need every specification on the dial of my watch?

    Where are manufactures testing their designs prerelease?
    – Tolling forums like Ariel suggests? Certainly there is no shortage of free advise, but manufacturers and their marketing research advisers have to slog through no shortage of negative and counterproductive posts for nuggets of advise and consumer trends.
    – Focus groups – I’m certain manufacturers do this, but who are they picking? Are they picking actual/perspective consumers or are they going to their own experts that may be perpetuating groupthink?
    – Not testing at all…the trial and error approach. Often we see incremental changes. Add one more line of text…hey it still sells, add another, still selling, but we are running out of space. Solution; let’s make a larger case to fit the text. Insanity ensues.

    I know many of us would love to be more active participants in the process. I think this is where so many watch Kickstarter projects are successful. We get a bit closer to the manufacturer and we feel like they can relate more with our idiosyncrasies.

    Let me suggest as well that many of us would love to sit on design boards. I’m raising my hand. I would be willing to accept little to no compensation and would sign a non-disclosure agreement for a chance to be heard.

    • Stephen Scharf

      Well said. See my comments on VOC above. Customer participation is the key and basis for VOC. And you should be compensated with a reasonable fee for providing key input to the manufacturers.

    • NotoriousAPP

      Hit me up too Mr./Mrs. manufacturer. I’d be happy to help you with an internal audit or your processes and quality systems. I’ll even train/coach your people on measurement systems analysis, statistical process control, reducing defects, leaning out your processes, etc. The sky’s the limit, you just have to want it.

  • Dinkee, H. O.

    Now is the time to start “controlling the message” Hodinkee-style. These posts need to be groomed to minimize the ones which might offend celebrities and industry executives and Ralph Lauren. Keep an eye on this board, Mr. Adams!

  • Paul B

    I would like to see the high end watch industry judged by an Independant group not funded by the industry. Accuracy, Service quality, costs and lead times, Warranty compliance as well horological novelties, etc., could be surveyed by an Independant organization such as J D Powers does for the automotive industry.
    As a person without unlimited funds but over a dozen mechanical watches which require service, I am paying more attention to warranties, and costs of ownership such as straps and overhaul costs before I buy. These criteria are often debated on sites such as TimeZone and WathesUSeek, but I would rather have real survey data from real owners.
    I was about to buy a Panograph from Glashutte Origional, until I found the Swatch service schedule for the watch, $1500 for a complete overhaul. By the way, that’s the same price of their tourbillion. So, kudos to GO and Swatch for being honest, but who can afford that cost of ownership for a pre-loved $6000 SS watch. I had no problem paying $980 for a complete overhaul of my PP Calatrava 5127. That’s because the HSWA stands behind its work. I had a $24,000 JLC Chrono go back to Texas four times over 1 year of warranty as it would not wind correctly. Ultimately they repaired it, only because my powerful Richemont AD demanded it.
    When you buy a car, you can see problems and ownership issues over time from JD Powers and make educated decisions. Why would the watch industry not have a similar vehicle for collectors who often times buy watches which cost more than cars?

  • Vol375

    I would like for the consumer to have choices. I can buy a car/truck and pick what engine is best for me, but I can’t pick from different movements for a watch.
    How about I decide if I want a cyclops on the watch
    How about I decide If I want polished center links
    How about an option for an extended warranty/maintenance plan (that is honored)
    How about the ability to buy from an AD online and find the best deal or save myself the sales tax
    How about letting the consumer be in charge and have more options when spending thousands of dollars on a new watch.

    • commentator bob

      In the 4 and 5 figure range there should be more bespoke options available. At least in terms of color, finish and the availability of interchangeable parts from other watches that the manufacturer offers. Why shouldn’t a GMT master be available on a Sub bracelet if the buyer does not want the polished center links.

    • Because a Rolex isn’t a bespoke price for a watch, their watches are still mass-produced. They sell a million watches a year. If they offered customizability they wouldn’t sell any more, they’d still sell just as many with no more profit to be gained.

      FYI to get the kind of service you want, you have to be a VVIP of a brand.

      Thousands of dollars is pennies in the watch industry.

      • Erm… maybe that is part of the problem?

      • Nohedes

        I’m not 100% sure that’s true – doesn’t the Datejust have several options in terms of case size, dial, bracelet and bezel? Shows it can be done if there is a will to do so and would likely boost sales – for people who collect watches the chance to have some elements that could reflect personal preference would encourage extra purchases, in my opinion.

  • JPonce

    Bring back Lemania 5100-style chornograph, with central chronograph minute and hour hand. And keep the price reasonable!

    • Stephen Scharf

      Amen to that! Please bring back the Lemania 5100 movement and make the price reasoanable (in other word, don’t take advantage of customers in the process). The price should be based on the COGS and a reasonable and fair profit.

    • commentator bob

      This should be relatively easy sice Swatch Group is still making 90% of the 5100 parts for the entry level Tissot movement it based on the 5100.

      • JPonce

        Yet we almost don’t see them. The only offering that I know of is Sinn 140, with their modified 7750 movement. I’m wondering if there is not enough of such demand? I really love the design of central chronograph hands that it’s like a no brainer to me. It makes the dial much less cluttered and increases the legibility so much. Perhaps it is only craved by watch nerds?

  • iamcalledryan

    Please don’t pay any attention to us, we are the loud minority and will probably cause permanent damage to the industry if our geeky wishes are granted!

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      Just basic facts and knowledge about the history of the industry are often sorely lacking on most watch blog boards, so you need to be selective. I advocate and enforce heavy censorship on my blog.

  • DanW94

    A bit more transparency with the origins of the movement. Outsourced or in-house? Tell us the base movement, not just your calibre number. Country of origin. Description and extent of the modification. To the uninitiated this is generally not a problem, but to watch enthusiasts, we’d like to know. Keep in mind, were all not adverse to a Miyota or Sellita movement or even one sourced from China. This gives us a better reference point on judging the overall price v. value of the watch.
    And speaking of pricing, this is not an issue with me as there are a plethora of well made watches across the design and price spectrum. If you do your homework you can always get a deal. I won’t criticize the price of a higher end watch out of jealousy because I can’t afford it. That’s life – move on to the choices affordable to you. As a matter of fact I love reading about the unattainable grail watches (I’m looking at you Lange), because hey, you can always play the lottery….

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      “…or even one sourced from China.”

      Whoa, whoa, WHOA — STOP RIGHT THERE. When one is buying a luxury item, such as a mechanical wristwatch, the origin and quality of the item are crucial or there is no luxury there. How can I flaunt my latest mechanical prestige piece in front of the world on Instagram if it has a movement made in a Chinese sweat shop. That may fly with the crowd you belong to (whom can’t even afford a second-hand Lange One!) but it does not fly with my crowd.

  • Robert Damm

    A $500 or under mechanical manual wind watch with sapphire crystal, a decorated display case back, a decent water resistance, watch hands that are actually nice to look at, and a clean dial in the theme of a field or aviator watch. It should also be 40mm and most of the parts should NOT be coming out of China.

    • Dinkee, H. O.

      NONE OF THE PARTS SHOULD BE COMING OUT OF CHINA. WE ARE BUYING A SWISS OR GERMAN TIMEPIECE. IT SHOULD ALL BE MADE IN THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.

      • Mark Baran

        +1 WOW, I’m agreeing with The H.O. Go figure……..

    • commentator bob

      You can get this from Hamilton now.

      • Robert Damm

        I do not see a link to the Hamilton. Thank you for the recommendation though!

    • SuperStrapper

      Seiko can do this for you all day, 100% japanese and all in-house.

  • Stephen Scharf

    I want to thank Ariel for this column because I think it is very important theme that is been long overlooked. The theme of this article is a business best-practice and discipline called “Voice of the Customer” (VOC). It’s a discipline I know something about, as I do it for a living, so I’d like to add some comments here from the perspective as a VOC professional. The recent interview with Jean-Claude Biver made it clear to me that some of the key reasons that TAG Heuer needed restructuring is that the company has lost track of the Voice of the Customer. While his porgram named “Customer is King and the Product is Queen” is an admirable vision, hIs comments in your recent interview about 1) not knowing the market size for the connected watch, 2) the average age of that segement’s buyer and 3) that there would not be some cannibalization made it completely clear to me TAG Heuer doesn’t *really* know their customers, or more importantly, which product offerings that create *compelling value propositions* for customers. So, my advice to Jean-Claude, and any of the other executives reading this, is, start practicing high-quality, disciplined VOC as the foundation for new product development. There are companies that can provide them with tools, best practices and curricula to train product managers & development teams with the skills do to this (or they can reach out directly to me). It’s a straightforward process once understood, but VOC must be done in-house, not farmed out to a consuiting group, because then it becomes Voice of the Consultant, not Voice of the Customer. Bottom line: obtain rich intelligence through VOC on your customer needs and use that to provide products that provide quality and value that customers REALLY want, not what is good for the business bottom line. When a company puts customers first, and quality and value as Job One, EVERYONE wins: the company, the customer and society as a whole.

    • Larry Holmack

      Awesome comment!!!!

    • TechUser2011

      In fairness to JC Biver, the Tag Heuer Connected is a brand new watch in a brand new territory (luxury smartwatches). It’s hard to determine the VOC when you don’t have any previous research available.

      • Stephen Scharf

        Actually, it’s not. The needs are there even if the market offerings are not. VOC is about going out and understanding the needs so as to best understand why and how a luxury smartwatch can meet customer needs.

        • TechUser2011

          Since you are throwing around terms like VOC, it appears you are business school suit. Again, I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you. How can you get people’s opinions in a completely new market (luxury smartwatches) that didn’t exist before? Do you think Tag Heuer does not have product marketers? Do you think they didn’t do their homework? Do you think JC Biver, of all people in the world, doesn’t know how to give watch lovers what they want? Give me a break.

    • NotoriousAPP

      Good input. I’d like to see a compliment article from manufacturers with their assessment of the VOB. As VOC and VOB work, ideally we can find a middle ground acceptable to both the customer and business.

      • Stephen Scharf

        Agreed.

  • Marius

    The purpose of this article is admirable, yet the watch industry lives in a fantasy world and doesn`t really care about its customers. Besides comments regarding dial text, case size, and colours, the most pertinent aspects are the ever-increasing price of watches, and the servicing costs. Do you really think that watch brands will lower their prices after reading these comments?
    In fact, just the opposite is happening. Brands open their own boutiques, so that the AD gets pushed out and the client doesn`t get a discount. On top of that, brands also push out the independent repair shops, by making it impossible to service the watch outside their official servicing centers.

  • Gopher_Hockey

    Concerning Tudor Pelagos 25600 TB Titanium, we only need and want ONE line with the
    depth rating above the six o’clock position, NOT FIVE !!!!???

    In addition, lets increase size of watches in general to 44mm !!

    • Mark Baran

      “In addition, lets increase size of watches in general to 44mm !!” Note to the industry in general: Oh PLEASE don’t do that. The industry already produces enough tacky hockey pucks.

      • Larry Holmack

        Guess it just depends on the person wearing the watch. I am the size of an NFL offensive lineman, and a 40 mm watch looks ridiculous on my wrist. But…it’s not my place to tell someone what they can and cannot wear on their wrist. It just so happens that there is a substantial market out there for larger watches…otherwise watch companies would have stopped making them. Niche markets can obviously be very profitable….as we all know there are a few companies out there that have fueled the large watches now for the past 8-10 years….and it doesn’t seem like they are going any where soon.

        • Mark Baran

          Nor is it my place to tell anyone what they should wear. I have seen 40mm Rolex Subs that look great on “offensive linemen.” I don’t think there is anything diminutive about the look. That is not the point. I have been collecting for over 30 years. In the last ten, I have seen a bunch of “watches” come to market, whose only claim to fame is that they are large, and ugly. And just because someone makes something, does not mean that product is well designed or in good taste. One of my favorite large case watches is the PAM305. It looks stupid on my 7.5″ wrist, but I wear it because I like the design aesthetics. It is too big. But, quite frankly, I don’t care. I like to wear it.

    • commentator bob

      44 mm is too much. Cartoonishly large watches look cheap and even (with women now wearing oversized watches) feminine.

      • SuperStrapper

        In your opinion, of course.

  • Stephen Scharf

    Some additional comments for the manufacturers consideration:

    1) For TAG Heuer: Drop the TAG logo on Heuer watches. Your recent Calibre 18 Carrera is a great example of this. You only have to look at the red-hot vintage Heuer market to understand how much equity the *original* Heuer brand has to this day.

    2) For the manufacturers in general: have the cojones not to jam a date complication into virtually every model’s dial, particularly the retro or vintage-inspired ones. Longines, I’m lookin’ at your here with your lovely Legend Diver; everyone wants the original W/O the date window. Beautiful watch that would be gorgeous without the date window. One only has to look at the success of the Black Bay series to know what this is all about; Tudor hit it out of the park with those watches, and none of them has a date complication.

    3) I’m completely with Josh Graves on not putting too much text onto a dial. We want beautiful, clean, elegant and simple dials. The Sinn 104i is a great example.

  • commentator bob

    Orient: You have a great aitomatic GMT movement but put it in rediculous watches. Do a 40 – 41 mm, external 48 click bezel (ideally ceramic or sapphire), sapphire crystal, solid endlink Mako USA bracelet watch and I’ll pay up to $500.

  • Brad Radu

    I’m fairly new to watch collecting but can add a few comments from my year or two of interest in watches.

    I find I am drawn to micro-brands and kickstarter watches more so than the big brands. primarily because they are willing to step outside the box with their design ideas, and also due to the price points being substantially lower than the big name brands.

    From the mainstream industry I’d like to see more products in the $1000-$5000 price range. Beyond that it becomes a bit too much of a “luxury” purchase.

    Some $500 dollar watches are great, I look for a bit different style, and decent (usually Japanese) movement, and some features that are typically offered on higher end watches ( screw in lug bars, sapphire crystals, anti-glare coatings, etc.). My seiko, and kickstarter watches fit nicely here.

    $5000 watches should include in-house movements, better quality straps, cosc certification, and be something that will hold their value. Think Omega, Panerai, Rolex, etc. (ok, maybe a bit over $5k).

    $50000 dollar watches should be of very high quality and style, have exotic materials and be hand finished. My pick in this range would be from a manufacturer like Breguet.

    Anything beyond $100k is just too far for mere mortals, so I really have no opinion there.

    Watch marketing is very minimal unless I’m watching a tennis match, horse race, car race, where I do so the odd logo, but that’s about it. Not sure how effective that is?

    As far as where I’d like watches to be sold, I would love to see traveling watch shows in smaller cities, where the brands have their current watches available to view, try on, and purchase on the spot. Barring that ever happening I really like the way Stowa (and many other smaller brands) work with their direct marketing, right from the company website. Cuts out the middle man cost and allows for a bit of customization too. Brilliant! The few watch dealers where I live (Calgary, Canada) don’t carry many brands either, so finding what I want locally is normally fairly difficult.

    If I had to pick a Brand that I think is over priced (and I know I’m going to get negative feedback here), I’d have to pick Rolex. No question the build high quality/reliable watches but the price point for dated, and dare I say boring designs makes them a no contender for me.

    I’m turning 50 this year so looking at buying a more expensive watch as a gift for myself and If there is one watch that I’d like to buy but am hesitant to, it would be a Bremont Boeing TI-GMT. Absolutely love the styling, but using a reworked ETA movement and charging just shy of $7000 USD seems a bit much. I’m also considering an Omega Seamater 300 Co-axial, or some sort of Panerai. I’d like to stay in the $5k-ish range which is proving difficult to find something with both style and the quality I want.

  • Meaning. Make watches that have more significance than what they are made of or who made them. Make watches that stand for something. Those watches are the ones most worth owning and cherishing. The problem with Hublot (I recently owned one) and other brands like it is that they associate themselves with teams and athletes in sports for which their products don’t help; Usain Bolt doesn’t get any special advantage from using Hublot products, and Hublot knows that we know that. That makes the association meaningless.

    On the other hand, the watches and brands that do something important for what they get behind are full of meaning and provide meaning to the people who wear them.

    For example, the Omega moon watches are a staple for people who believe that humans should be in space.

    The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment is for people who believe that we should protect the oceans that give life.

    The JLC Geophysic line is for people who think people should confront the difficulties of explorations.

    The Konstantin Chaykin is for people who believe that we had better make the most out of our time that we are alive.

    I think that if watch makers made more watches that had meaning, many more people would see fine watches an important part f their identities and not just a frivolity (which most watches are).

    Here’s my story of how an Omega Seamaster came to symbolize my family and became an heirloom I will pass down for generations to come.

    https://themanasas.exposure.co/a-50foot-family-tradition

    I want more watch makers to make watches that give people meaning in their lives.

    After all, the only thing that matters is how much time we have left and what we are going to do with it. Few luxury items but a watch does a better job of helping us with that.

  • NC

    1) Less lines of text on the dial everybody.
    2) Always have a No Date option dial on all your watches.
    3) Rolex, the Sub is 40mm, the Deepsea 44mm, so why was the the SeaDweller not 42mm to split the difference? Otherwise it looks like a more expensive Sub to me.

    -Neil-

    • DR

      NC

      Funnily enough, I have been trying not to buy the Sea-Dweller, on the grounds that I don’t really want to pay Rolex an extra £1,200 just to remove the damned Cyclops lens on the Submariner’s date window.

      That, and I don’t spend a lot of time a mile underwater!

      DR

  • KDKeen

    Seiko:

    Since you have reissued the 6309 please please please reissue the SARB031.

    And more companies should offer domed crystals.

    • KDKeen : My lack of experience again rears its ugly head… why do you want more domed crystals? What is the advantage of them versus flat ones? I would have thought that flat crystals would be less likely to be damaged by the door frame (for example).

      • KDKeen

        Short answer, they look cool and more vintage.

        • Ah.. so it is a matter of aesthetics then. Oddly enough, I agree with your sentiment when applied to a suitable watch.

  • Benjamin Ramos

    Service is the biggest problem for me. I would like a qualified watchmaker/repairman at the boutiques who can diagnose and repair my watch on site. Invest in future watchmakers ala Patek program in NYC. The turn over for Patek 5127 was 3-4 months for a simple 3 handed watch, unacceptable.

    • Check out Omega’s boutique technician program. While not a watchmaker, they’re able to do rate adjustments in-boutique, and can diagnose most problems and accurately assess how much a service will be before sending it off, streamlining the whole experience. They’re also equipped with timegraphers in the boutique to check amplitude and timekeeping.

      While not in every boutique, Omega is making a huge push to get them into every boutique. In the US there are currently 16, with more hopefully coming this year.

  • I can think of no other industry where the product fails at it’s primary function. For $20.00 I can by a quartz watch that is far more accurate than any mechanical watch on the market. For $200.00 I can buy one that looks nice and keeps accurate time.

    I cannot understand why people are willing to pay so much money for a watch that can’t keep accurate time. I’ve got an older Casio digital watch that is never out by more than 2 seconds… *per year*. Rolex is all excited about their new caliber that is rated -2/+2 per day. Per day? Wow!

    I understand that some watches cost more because of the materials they are made of, or embellished with. I do realize that a bit of ‘bling’ will cause a relational increase in the price of the finished product. Adding other complications will also affect prices. I do not think adding a date or day/date complication should add too much more onto the price. People have been making them for a very long time now, it’s not something that you need to reinvent the wheel for.

    People shout, “It’s a luxury item, of course it costs more!”

    Really? Give me a break. If I bought a new Roll Royce, you can bet there will not be any part of that car that isn’t perfect. It’s a luxury purchase and you know it the first time you see it. It fails at no part of the equation.

    If cars were as reliable as some watches, you’d never get them out of the driveway.

    My opinions will probably be dismissed or hated on because I’ve never purchased an expensive watch. I won a nice watch, and I have to adjust the time on it every day. It’s a beautiful watch that looks quite nice on my wrist, and one I would never purchase. It runs about 8 – 12 seconds fast, every day, regular as clockwork. The irony.

    I don’t care really how nice the watch you are trying to sell is, if it can’t keep accurate time, the reason we have watches and clocks in the first place, that’s a “fail” in my book and I’m not going to purchase it.

    I’ll say it once more: I buy a watch to keep *accurate” time. That is my primary motivation for any watch purchase. No amount of complications, rare metals, etc. is going to sway me if your watch doesn’t keep accurate time. Sorry, but that’s the way it is with me.

    I’ve got my flak jacket on, so feel free to toast me with your replies.

    Cheers!

    • iamcalledryan

      ..unless of course people don’t just buy or wear watches for unbeatable accuracy??

      And you can mock +/- 2 seconds a day, but statistically the accuracy required for COSC certifications is 99.994%, so hardly a fail bearing in mind the sedentary Hz compared to a quartz oscillator.

      • I will concede your first point to a certain point… A nice looking watch shouldn’t have to cost several thousand dollars. I saw a watch on the blog here one day that practically had me drooling. But it cost 8,000 dollars. It’s a really beautiful watch, but not $8,000 worth of beautiful.

        I did pick on Rolex only because it represents, at this point in time, the most accurate mechanical watch on the market. But it still sin’t as accurate as a $20.00 quartz watch, or even a $9.00 digital watch. I LIKE Rolex and I applaud their continuing efforts to make even more accurate timepieces. But it seems to me that we are paying an enormous price for their continuing research and development.

        What you say about the accuracy Rolex delivers is true, although the cumulative effect could cause a potential inaccuracy of up to 1 minute per month. I could live with that if the watches didn’t cost so damn much money. Lesser watches could be out by up to 5 or more minutes per month, and that’s not acceptable to me personally.. at any price.

        Cheers!

        • iamcalledryan

          I am sure you have spotted them already but I recommend you take a look at spring drive. There isn’t a pure mechanical movement on the planet capable of achieving the 32,768Hz of a quartz oscillator, so the spring drive does the best job of limiting the necessary electronics to a minimum. The closest that a mechanical oscillator has got to quartz has been the 1,000Hz TAG Mikrogirder (which is for chronograph, not timekeeping) and the deBethune Resonique oscillator which has reached 926Hz but has a theoretic potential of 20,000 Hz.

          Accuracy isn’t just about high frequency, but when you pit mechanical and quartz osciallators against each other for accuracy, a standard quartz wins hands down. Even the most profoundly poised 4Hz balance wheel, made of the finest resistant alloy is simply not capable of delivering the regulation of a quartz oscillator. Hence manufacturers turning their attention to things other than accuracy and the continuing decline in participation and interest for chronometry competitions.

          Just take a a minute to consider that minute verses a whole month – that is very close to perfect timekeeping. Your only option is to buy a quartz – the mech industry is never going to beat it.

          • “Hence manufacturers turning their attention to things other than accuracy…”

            That statement bother me intensely, and shows that the industry does not understand buyers like myself.

            As I’ve stated before, I’ve seen watches on the blog here that are truly stunning to look at. But the prices… they are far too high.

            Unless you have a huge discretionary income, you can’t afford to spend $8,000 – $80,000 on a watch you might only wear a few times a year. Having multiple numbers of a watch like this, for different kinds of occasions is simply impossible even for well-off people.

            It saddens me that I have to choose between price and accuracy. Why oh why can I not have an accurate watch that doesn’t break the bank? Is it really so much to ask for?

            I’ve worked in the computer industry in this country since Radio Shack brought out the TRS-80 Model I. In that industry being inaccurate has serious and plain to see consequences. Parts, components, etc. that can not measure up are condemned to the waste heap. And unlike the watch industry, the quality and power rose unabated while at the same time giving you better equipment at any price point.

            Computers are millions of times more complicated than any mechanical watch available at this point in time, but they still cost a very small fraction of the price of any luxury brand watch.

            To me, accuracy is not something that can be allowed to be off by any amount. Being very close to perfect timekeeping is not good enough. It is either accurate, or it is not.

            I do appreciate your passion, as I hope you do mine.

            Cheers!

          • DanW94

            Well if you want a mechanical watch then almost perfect will have to be good enough. I believe you’re not seeing the inevitable fail of a few seconds of the mechanical movement that’s often made up of hundreds of tiny interactive parts. Temperature, gravity, shock, friction, uneven power towards the end of the unwinding of the mainspring, all contribute to an environment that simply can not deliver accuracy, regardless of the engineering, similar to that of an electronically timed module.

          • I beg your forgiveness for not answering at this moment as I have a vicious migraine. I will try tomorrow to give you a thoughtful reply.

            Thank you for your understanding.

          • DR

            Hi Robert,

            First off, I hope you’re feeling better soon.

            I totally sympathise with the accuracy issue. I think that many brands hide their mechanical inadequacy behind the “COSC Certified” slogans. I think Omega can be applauded for trying to move the game forward with their new METAS-certified movements.

            I’m afraid I’m just starting to comment on this website after many years of lurking (so apologies if I’m patronising you!), but Seiko’s Spring Drive movements might appeal to you – a sort of balance between the organic interest of a mechnical movement and the regularity of quartz. If a few seconds a day is still an issue, the quartz Grand Seikos (10 secs per year) or Citizen Chronomasters (5 secs per year) may suit you.

            But like you, I find it amusing that many watch websites overlook the primary purpose of a timekeeping device. And it’s a shame that many manufacturers seem more interested in an arms race towards absurd complexity without first nailing accuracy.

            Just imagine if someone made $500 phones which could do everything except hold a signal long enough to finish your conversation? 😉

            DR

          • iamcalledryan

            Hi DR,

            Do you have an example of a watch with a mechanical inadequacy that it hides behind COSC certification?

            My take on the Omega standard is that it only adds extra magnetism-resistant standards, and they are still sticking with COSC too. I see this as a form of publicity rather than moving the game forward – the latter would probably be better served by lobbying COSC to enhance their antimagnetism standards rather than separating it out and taking a third party into your manufacture.

            Even though the METAS standard is open to others, I do not think it is currently a game-changing alternative to COSC.

            No issues with your Spring Drive comment!

          • DR

            Hi Ryan,

            Sorry if I sounded a bit disparaging of COSC – let’s face it, none of us is going to make a chronometer in our shed one weekend!

            By “mechanical inadequacy”, I was referring to Robert’s frustration with imprecise timekeeping. As far as I remember, the COSC standard is over 40 years old, which is quite a long time for a “gold standard” to remain in place in a field of technology. Again from memory, I think the METAS certification narrows the margin of accuracy by half from COSC’s -4/+6 down to 0/+5 seconds per day, which at least means that your watch should never run slow.

            Agreeing with Robert, I hope that manufacturers continue to push for greater accuracy (as well as better power reserves, longer service intervals and shorter service turnarounds), rather than accepting that COSC certification is “good enough”.

            I hope that makes more sense now!

            DR

          • iamcalledryan

            That’s a good point about the -seconds. I was told by a watchmaker that they will never release a watch with an overall negative delta, regardless of the COSC allowance.

            There’s a good article in Quill & Pad about the decline of chronometry competitions. I think that the issue is not that COSC is inadequate. Sure it would be great if they had an Asia-Pacific test facility, and tested cased up movements, and added another higher grade. But the elephant in the room is the consumer. En mass we communicate with our $s that objective accuracy is not that important to us. On one hand I wholeheartedly agree. I have no problem with the unbridgeable gap between the mechanical escapement and the quartz oscillator, that is not why I am here. On the other hand COSC only tells us that a watch any less accurate than a benchmark. I would love to see a revival in chronometry competitions, greater transparency behind the objective rates of watches, and the improvements that this would bring to the generic movement – but it will never beat the cheaper accuracy of quartz. If you are out by a minute in a month you have a perfectly human watch.

          • Could you point me in the direction of spring drive watches please?

          • DR

            Hi Robert,

            I hope your headache has passed!

            Seiko explains the technology here, which might appeal to you:

            http://seiko.co.uk/discover-seiko/technology/spring-drive

            And you’ll find a selection of their Grand Seiko watches here:

            http://www.grand-seiko.com/collection/springdrive.php

            They range cover most types of watch, from fairly formal to GMT and dive watches. An absolute standout is the SBGA011 (catchy name, huh?), known as the ‘snowflake’ – it is absolutely stunning to see in the metal.

            If you’re interested, please let me know. For no very good reason, their Grand Seiko lines are considerably more expensive outside Japan – typically, the same watch is twice as expensive here in the UK! Fortunately, there are some fantastic Japanese dealers who can ship them to bumbling gaijin like me. Even after import duties and sales tax, it’s still much cheaper!

            I hope this helps.

            DR

          • Thank you for the information!

            Cheers!

          • iamcalledryan

            It’s all about Seiko. I recommend you start with the best – the Grand Seiko Spring Drive range. Their website will direct you to Gran Seiko, and from there you can choose between quartz, mechanical, and spring drive. You need to see a glide wheel in action. When you are ready to have your mind blown go read about the Credor Minute Repeater!

          • Thanks for the information!

            Cheers!

          • iamcalledryan

            Ok sir, but the industry would be wasting it’s time to invest any more in improving accuracy when COSC levels are perfectly acceptable. Your desire for zero error is fairly niche not to mention impossible! You shouldn’t compare a computer to a mechanical watch, the apt comparison is a computer to a quartz watch – they could and they did make that as affordable as humanly possible. This is not something the industry fails to understand, it is something they have, quite rightly, conceded to quartz. Don’t forget that it is the consumer who has demonstrated that they are not particularly bothered about comparative accuracy, the vast majority of us leave our desire for atomic-level accuracy behind when shopping for a mechanical. If instead the consumer continued to demand high-end quartz and only bought mechanicals that published their rates, perhaps there would be more chronometer-level movements out there, but they wouldn’t be much cheaper and they wouldn’t be much more accurate.

            And you do not have to sacrifice price for accuracy, there are sub $3k COSC chronometers out there, not to mention half attractive quartz watches for $500.

          • I beg your forgiveness for not answering at this moment as I have a vicious migraine. I will try tomorrow to give you a thoughtful reply.

            Thank you for your understanding.

          • iamcalledryan

            Yes, I totally agree. If you want >99.99% accuracy you simply have to use an ICU and a non-mechanical oscillator. The Spring Drive delivers almost everything that a mechanical watch delivers (an entire mechanical movement minus the hairspring and lever) and employs the ICU and oscillator in an incredible way. But to many, the presence of a single integrated circuit is blasphemy and goes against the ideology of a fine watch.

            That issue is a fork in the road that very few brands manage to straddle. COSC is outdated because mechanical wristwatches are outdated. You can update COSC but it’s like re-writing the rules of a race that excludes the world’s fastest in the hopes that the slightly slower runners might get a little faster – who cares?

          • Heh.. Seiko straddles it with a fork. The spring drive watch does certainly appear to be what a person like me would like to have. I’m sure I’d buy one if I had the money to do so. I’ve definitely got champagne tastes on a beer budget.

            But as I don’t have that kind of income, I’m probably going to stick to quartz movements. Seiko offers a wide variety of watches in this category, and at many price points.

            I refuse to step backwards into digital again. Analogue is nice to look at and you can tell the time just by looking at the face of the watch. You usually have to tip your wrist to see a digital time display.

          • iamcalledryan

            Check out the Bulova Accutron II – they have higher frequencies than standard Quartz. Also Seiko offer spring drive without the highest quality casing of their Grand Seiko range.

          • Thank you for the information!

      • NotoriousAPP

        I don’t agree with Robert’s comments about mechanical vs quartz but I must say that COSC standards are an outdated legacy idea. Grand Seiko surpassed this sometime ago. Can we please move the benchmark. Time to evolve.

        • iamcalledryan

          Many manufacturers have movements that surpass COSC. COSC is not about comparative accuracy but achieving an acceptable threshold. So yes GS surpass that, but so does a Rolex no doubt. That’s brand versus independent organisation. The idea of an independent entity testing watches to ensure that they are x +/- seconds per day maximum is very good. But yes, there are some issues.

          The main issues with COSC are that they test movements before casing up and the location of the test centers is Swiss-centric to say the least!

          Seiko and other overseas manufacturers have little option but to withdraw and so COSC loses its universality. The most admirable thing that Seiko do is publicize their rates – I see very few manufacturers doing this so it’s fantastic. Others raise the bar of their own internal COSC-style tests (Omega, Patek, Rolex), but they don’t disclose absolute figures.

          Until manufacturers are compelled to disclose the rates of their movements it isn’t going to be a widespread practice any time soon. The bottom line is that any movement that is adjusted in at least the 3 core positions, certainly in 5 or 6 positions, certainly heat and cold, especially to COSC chronometer standards, will deliver accuracy well into my comfort zones. Whether it is going to be comparatively more accurate than a Grand Seiko is only provable by taking the two specific models and doing rate tests on them. Even when manufacturers disclose their rates, the performance of the actual watch that you end up with can vary.

          • From what I’ve seen, Rolex tests the hell out of their movements and assembled watches. Sending them off for certification is a step they could rightly skip except then they couldn’t say they are certified.

            I am also reading that the current certification standard has lost a lost of its prestige, and in some cases, respect.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Stick your jacket on Robert…..My goodness , what a long post. With respect i have to say that you are completely missing the point. Having a mechanical piece on our wrist as appose to a bit of cheap quartz is quite different. When you buy a timepiece that has a beating heart, you take on the responsibility to love it, look after it like it was an extension of your being. You dont buy anything willy nilly ( local colloquialism ), it has to grab you like you were looking at the holy grail itself. You want to wear a quartz , you go right ahead ( most of mine are quartz ) but i LOVE a hand wound and its much better in all its different shapes and forms than any quatz.

      • As I earlier stated, there are watches on this blog that I would love to have on my wrist; but not at the prices being asked for them. The Lew & Huey watch I won here is beautiful and I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about it. As I show off the different features and complications of the watch, some of the people get quite excited. Heck, even I get excited. The dead-stop hack is my favorite of all the complications on the watch. The hand winding complication is my second favorite part, the instant click date advance my third favorite.

        But, being inaccurate is my least favorite part; a flaw that I’m sure wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny in any other market.

        So, when I want to impress people I wear the Lew & Huey, anything else is either quartz or digital. Because to me, accuracy really is important.

        I do thank you for your non-flaming post, and we also say, “Willy Nilly” around here too.

        Cheers!

    • Andrew Garrard

      Speaking as a newcomer to mechanical watches and a wearer of a smart watch, I’ll bite…

      If you ride a stream train, you do it for the experience, and expect some smoke in your teeth. If you cycle to work, it’s for health and fresh air, and you get rained on more than if you drive. A mechanical watch is worn for the experience, despite its shortcomings.

      I usually wear a smart watch. It synchronizes with my phone, which synchronizes with the network, which is atomic accurate. If I wear a mechanical watch for an evening, it only has to be accurate for that evening – a few seconds don’t make much difference (unless I’m counting in the new year). I don’t really see the point of trying to make a mechanical watch accurate if doing so deliberately involves ignoring some technology which can solve the problem – that’s an interesting engineering exercise, but not really useful to the average punter. Spring drive I understand as a reasonable solution (if preposterously expensive); to me, a tourbillon is interesting for its mechanics but pointless as a means to increase accuracy.

      For those wearing a nice watch for an event, setting it shouldn’t be painful. For those who wear an expensive mechanical watch every day, I trust they like it enough to put up with setting it often – and there’s always the other wrist for a cheap Casio. What would worry me is someone selling a budget mechanical watch as a better tool than a quartz one – but that market mostly dried up decades ago. The Seiko 5 I have coming is, even on a budget, intended as an occasion watch (and if I later move to Grand Seiko or Calatrava, the same will be true).

      What a good thing we all have smart phones to check the actual time with…

      • But I shouldn’t have to take the phone out of my pocket to check the time when I’ve got a watch (any watch) on my wrist.

        • Sarthak Sharma

          Robert, honestly, it just seems like you wrote this wanting people to bash you. This is indicated by all the prefacing you do before attacking higher-end watches. Clearly, you just do not have the same mindset as those who buy/collect fine timepieces, which is fine. I just don’t really understand why you are on this site. You obviously have every right to be, but if you don’t agree with the hobby, why spend your valuable time on the hobbyist’s site? Further, on your Rolls Royce comment: it is incorrect. No Rolls Royce is perfectly made. If that was a true statement, no part of it would ever break or wear. And while we’re on the point about perfection, Rolex should be proud to be within +2 -2 on their watches because they don’t get to rely on quartz or solar/atomic tech, which practically does it for them. These luxury watches are most often done with human and material limitations in mind. Thus, the slight inaccuracies are testament to that limitation, and when humans are able to get so near perfection as +2 -2 or whatever it might be, then that is something to be celebrated. When people collect watches like the ones most often featured on these types of sites, they don’t read it to see how close to perfect time the watch keeps. While accuracy is an important consideration, they look at other aspects such as design, prestige, materials quality, effort, etc. In that same vein, if we just cared about the fastest car, then why shouldn’t people just ride rockets with seats? If we just cared about the most reliable car, no one should ever purchase anything except a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla? We do care about more things, and we should. Watch collecting, as lame as it sounds, to me is very much about celebrating the capabilities of humankind. I encourage you to maybe visit a gathering of watch enthusiasts or go to a specialty watch store and hear some of the stories that a lot of watch lovers can tell you about why watches aren’t just about keeping perfect time.

          • Please, I did not mean to offend or sound off-putting, even though a vigorous conversation seems to have been sparked by me. I truly do appreciate the politeness and restraint observed by me from people like yourself. I will try to answer you although I’m still suffering greatly from this thrice be-damned migraine.

            As to the question of my mindset, you are correct. I do not have the same mindset as many of the members here, although I am working to try and correct that problem. Please remember that I am a novice here and have much to learn in spite of my sometimes inflammatory comments.

            Had I not won the nice Lew & Huey watch I may have forgotten about this blog and never returned. Coming into possession of a very nice watch led me to try and learn more about the watch, and by association, this blog.

            You may not know it from reading my comments but I try to learn as much as I can about anything that interests me. I have read dozens of reviews, articles and comments on this blog and have watched an unbelievable number of YouTube videos related to watches in general and luxury watches in particular. I do try to make comments that are at least showing some intelligence on my part.

            It would take more time for me to address your points than would be fair to people reading this article and the comments. I’m already suspected of being terribly long-winded, and don’t wish to prove it outright.

            In spite of my comments here, today, I really do love these watches. If you looked at all the comments I’ve left on this blog (don’t though.. you’ll be here all day) you would see that I really do love the timepieces and have said so on more than a couple of occasions. I’d give my left leg for a beautiful watch with a perpetual calendar; although I fear that is precisely what I’d have to do to afford one.

            And yes, if I had the money to spare, I’d probably own one or more of the watches reviewed on the blog here…but that’s a big but, and would require more money than I’ll ever see. You see, I do see some of them as wearable art, and would probably be more forgiving of timekeeping inaccuracies in such a watch. Although I have to say in all truth that I still don’t think some of them are worth the kind of money they are asking for them. I am speaking of, and I hate using this word but can’t think of another right now, of watches that are “mass-produced” such as Rolex makes. I expect them to be reasonably priced for those who can afford such things. On the other hand, watches that take the best part of a year to design, create and assemble by master craftsmen are obviously going to cost a lot more money to buy, and I don’t begrudge them the money. Some people I know don’t believe me when I tell them you can get a mechanical watch that has an alarm complication for instance. When finally convinced they don’t believe how much they cost.

            I do like interacting with people on the blog here.. much nicer than the flame wars and trolls you normally get in comments sections. I appreciate that more than you may think, and perhaps we are not so different as first looks may indicate.

            Cheers!

        • Andrew Garrard

          Hi Robert. Hope your head feels better. The phone comment was facetious, but it does mean you have an easy way to set your watch – and makes a date window less critical for me.

          I ordered a SNKL45K1 – which I hope is not the 14mm thick Amazon claims it is. Turns out it looks like a mini version of some of the Grand Seiko options, which I wasn’t shooting for deliberately – clearly blogs like this have affected me. Simplest dial I could find matching a DJ our my typical black T-shirts (unconvinced by blue, I hope I’m not missing something and I’ve failed to spot a hideous texture), and a colour-matched date. I like the precision of the pointy hands. I’m sure my tastes will evolve, but for now, it’ll pass. The choice partly included which bracelet looked the best mechanically supported – but I’d be happy to spend a moderate amount upgrading that anyway, if I can find a reliable source of decent bracelets on a budget.

          • My very first mechanical watch, one I purchased less than a month before I won the Lew & Huey watch here was a SNK807 Seiko 5 automatic with the blue canvas strap.

            Based on what I had learned up to that point it was a good choice for an entry level mechanical watch. It’s a nice watch and keeps pretty good time. I’ve been very happy with it, although it’s a pain to properly reset the day and date after it winds down and out of power.

            As I have small hands and wrists I like the almost petite size of it. The canvas bracelet is light and easy to put on and take off. I knew that if I bought one like yours I’d have to get the bracelet re-sized and I didn’t know how much that was going to add to the overall cost.

            As it turns out, i won the Lew & Huey watch and had to get it re-sized at a local jewelry store. They didn’t charge me a thing to do it. That’s how you instill good customer relations!

            Cheers!

            P.S. — the migraine has subsided behind the painkillers. Thank you for asking.

          • DR

            Hi Andrew,

            Just a quick point about the Seiko, as I have a Seiko 5 in a drawer which looks very similar to yours. I measure the thickness / height / depth / “thinness” at 12mm.

            And inkeeping with this discussion, be prepared for some truly awful timekeeping. My Seiko 5 – which, yes, was unregulated, since doing so would cost more than the watch itself – will lose AT LEAST 30 seconds a day, sometimes a couple of minutes. Although the size and design is nice, I gave up wearing it because the accuracy was so bad that I had to reset it at midday. Oh, and the bracelets are awful.

            Some people report better accuracy (or bother to regulate them, which isn’t as hard as it sounds), so I hope yours works out better than mine.

            DR

          • Andrew Garrard

            🙂 Well, I have low expectations of accuracy; within a minute for an evening will probably do me. I’m really not going to switch away from a smart watch for general use. My timekeeping is bad enough that being a minute out likely won’t phase me. But fingers crossed, anyway!

            Thanks for the depth warning. I’d love thinner (and probably a slightly bigger face), but there’s no way I’m paying for a Piaget Altiplano, and I’ll put up with more at £80 than I would at £8000. I’ll certainly seek replacement bracelet advice. I’m shooting for “looks vaguely civilised to a non-watch-geek while not being mechanically embarrassing to someone who knows about this stuff”. I have no delusions that it’ll be more than “good for the price”. Fingers crossed it achieves that much!

            Is it bad that this is the level of expectation I have for the affordable mechanical watch industry?

    • wallydog2

      I’m totally on your side. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”. (Mark Twain, or William Shakespeare or Groucho Marx or one of those people who gets quoted a lot.)

    • You don’t get luxury watches. That’s ok. But luxury watches are the same as art. Does having a real version of a Monet decorate your home better than a replica? No, it actually takes substantially from the money you’ll have to decorate your home.

      But is it more beautiful? Yes. Is it more prestigious to have? Absolutely.

      • I do concede this to you, as I think you’re right here.

        I think it may be my (and perhaps other people as well) perception of the luxury watch industry that keeps getting me in trouble. Before I found this blog I had no idea there were so many choices in mechanical watches and that they cost more than the average automobile as a starting point and go straight up from there.

        However, I am still having trouble with the very basic idea that a watch should be able to keep accurate time. The fact that some of the most expensive watches can’t do it is beyond my ability to credit.

        If I bought a Monet (good choice by the way) I am getting exactly what I paid for and everything that entails. It appears to me at least that the only option for getting an accurate mechanical watch is to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars or give up and go quartz or mecha-quartz (which is not a bad idea as it does seem to address my concerns).

        I think my perception of this industry may be influenced by the fact that there is nowhere within driving distance a watch boutique or an AD. I live in a part of Ontario, Canada where almost no one knows of the existence of these types of stores.

        They are agog that my mechanical watch (which I won here in the monthly draw) costs about $700 CDN. They cannot understand why it can’t keep accurate time. They feel that, for that kind of money a person should be able to get a watch that keeps accurate time.

        The clock and watch industries have been around for a very, very long time now. One may think that by now they’d be able to produce a nice watch that keeps accurate time, and that there is no excuse for a luxury watch that can’t.

        In spite of my taking you to task, I do respect your opinion. You seem to be an educated and eloquent individual who is caught up by those of us who might not know better.

        Cheers!

  • Gopher_Hockey

    Hello Seiko,

    Please kindly add an Orange dial version of SBBN035, revive Orange Sumo and remove Prospex logo from dials, returning to original Automatic, Scuba & 200 m script !!

    Solar Tunas might be interesting in various color combinations.

    Thanking you in advance

  • wallydog2

    I envy wine drinkers. They can do blind taste tests to weed out phonies. For me a watch is first a tool to be used, not stored in a case or a vault. It must be accurate, simple, unpretentious, and clear. It must be good looking, comfortable and legible. Simplicity, not complication, is desirable.
    Always acknowledging that quality costs, there is also an $ threshold. How much refinement do you need, want and can pay for is always a consideration. (One of my favourite watches is a $15 Cardinal I bought 40 years ago: accurate, good looking, dependable, no frills.)

    • Well said.

    • Agreed – I like a clean, crisp dial and wonder why so many watch companies produce chronographs. Who really needs to calculate elapsed time these days? Clutter on the dial as really offputting.

      • Soosh

        They’re an instrument, like any other watch. Personally I need to calculate elapsed time for equipment tests, billing hours, and plenty of other things.

        I don’t really understand the legibility argument either. If a Movado is legible (and they are), then all you really need to know is the which way is up and the angle between the hands. I can look at any watch and immediately know that regardless of how many dials, LCD displays, solar panels, or logos are behind the hands.

  • Michael Day

    My first mechanical watch was a Seiko 5. 4R36 movement which is more accurate than my Tag Heuer Aquaracer and my Tudor Chrono Blue. That should not be happening! Accuracy IS important.

    • That is the sentiment I am trying hard to put forth. Accuracy first, anything else is secondary.

      • Michael Day

        Parent companies halting movement developments doesn’t help either. (tag H

      • Buy Quartz. Mechanical will NEVER be as accurate, unless you clean and service the watch every year, and even then, you’re going to need a watch from a high end maker like Mr Journe.

        • Or the mecha-quartz as well? They seem to have a good handle on how to keep the accuracy people happy while still being an almost mechanical device. Your thoughts?

        • NotoriousAPP

          …or like Seiko?

    • KDKeen

      I think that speaks to the Swiss is better than Japanese bias more than anything. Instead of bashing Swiss companies for not being accurate we should be praising Japanese companies for being both accurate and affordable.

      • NotoriousAPP

        Yes, accuracy for goodness sake! I buy a watch to tell time, ideally accurately. I don’t need a paper weight strapped to my wrist that loses 19.6 seconds a day just so you can tell me it’s in spec. Way to rise to the occasion.

  • Phoenikz

    Five blindingly obvious…
    1) Date wheels that match the colour of the face… Duh.
    2) More options in the 36-38mm case size. More rotating bezels at 41mm or less.
    3) More options for hand winders… With display backs please (with usable water resistance).
    4) More symmetry … 3 o’clock is generally not an attractive place for a date. 6 (or 12) is much better most of the time.
    5) List your base calibers on your Websites, aka Simple honesty and transparency. It’s also a irritation to have to run a Google search on whatever you have decided to name your 2824’s. This is the Internet – you’re fooling (practically) nobody, but pissing off many.

    Five not-so obvious…
    1) Faces, markers, and cases that ‘play’ with light. I want more that do this. Plain solid tone dials, printed markers/numerals, all brushed/bead-blasted/polished cases have their place, mainly on serious tool watches, but silvered, sunray and opaline dials, diamond polished applied markers, and multi surface texture cases are for many watch styles far more appealing and desirable. There are not enough watches that take advantage of all these options.
    2) Better water resistance on dress and dressy’ish watches. Some manage 100m … More (much more) please.
    3) Oris… Those red rotors look awful. They stop me considering what are often otherwise interestingly designed and well-priced pieces.
    4) Omega, Heuer … a GMT at 40mm or less.
    5) Your service costs, frequencies, and times, can be ridiculous, and actually prevent me from buying a watch (listening Grand Seiko?).

    • Michael Day

      If you’re going to say it’s a base ETA tell us more. Want to know what grade and if you modify, what do you do and why. Is it just different for the pleasure of renaming or have you added value. And Tag… Get rid of the maybe it’s a selita or maybe it’s an ETA. Tell us… Or are you not confident in your product.

      And yes, ADs treat me with contempt unless I’m wearing a suit.

      • Mitko Dimitrov

        In fact, a $ xxxx price suit 🙂

    • As someone that will service watches professionally in the near future, a watch from anything under AP, VC, PP, ALS, etc will undergo more hands-on time in service than when it’s made. Also, because brands are unwilling to incorporate new tech into their movements (or simply unable to), watch service intervals are set at five years or less, Omega being the only exception based solely on technology (coaxial escapement).

  • I’d like to see more solar among the Tag-Heuer type, upmarket watches. Perhaps producing a watch that is mechanical that has a solar and battery version eg, the TH F1 range was originally battery powered and now has a mechanical range.
    A TH watch I own is a digital analogue watch ie, Professional 1000 divers watch which has been going strong for 20 plus years and being digital is very accurate.
    Get rid of the skeleton watches – they often make the hands difficult to see, especially for those of us who are getting older. Make the date display more visible and sometimes larger – there are some that are highly visible now, but not all.
    Don’t create proprietary straps so that users can interchange (Oris is an example of a corporate strap that is not compatible with say a NATO strap).
    Create watches that are suitable for right hand wearers like me – there are quite a few of us out there. The dates that are placed at the 4-5 o’clock position are not suited well for right arm wearers although we can obviously see them.

  • Jonathan Hughes

    Omega – as you go upmarket, you need to show a bit more respect for the people who are now paying big bucks for your watches! I have a Dark Side of the Moon, and one of the strap retainers has frayed slightly. It’s a part that should cost me £20-£30 to replace, but instead your boutiques have told me I need to pay £200 for an entirely new strap, as they can’t supply just that piece. Shameful.

    • They just are not in touch with their customer base, and it shows in your example.

    • Okay, what other watch companies in Omega’s segment will offer a strap loop replacement?

      You also realize that the DSOTM is now on deployant, essentially negating your complaint for new customers of the same piece?

      • Jonathan Hughes

        I don’t know (on your first comment) and I’m afraid I don’t really care (on both your comments); in my simple view of the world, I have a problem with a product from Omega which ought to be easy for them to solve but they have chosen to make very expensive. I’m sure there is enough margin in their pricing nowadays to keep a stock of strap retainers and just give them away! That’s of course their decision, but it’s not a great way to build brand loyalty. Consequently, I won’t be buying any more Omega watches, but that’s what comes of not treating your customers well, I’m afraid.

  • Lawrence

    I don’t buy a watch that doesn’t have sapphire and the bracelet doesn’t tapers.

  • Sarthak Sharma

    I would appreciate some more transparency in how watches are priced.

    • TechUser2011

      Are you asking this because Apple, BMW, and other companies are transparent in the pricing of their products? Please direct me to their websites where they explain exactly how their profit margins are determined.

      • Sarthak Sharma

        1.While cost on BMW can be difficult, most cars in its segment cost roughly the same, and some online digging can find a pretty true estimate. As for apple, here’s a quote from a quick google search: According to a teardown report from research firm IHS, the components and manufacturing cost of a 16GB iPhone 6 cost Apple $200.10. The device is selling for $649 in the U.S. without a contract with a wireless carrier. That gives the device a profit margin of about 69%.

        Once you put your condescension to the side, perhaps you can better understand the rationale for my question. BMW for example would price their car to compete in its segment. That segment line is blurred in the watch market b/c no one really knows the costs behind making many of these watches. For example, I can generally find out the price of a seat or a dashboard and add that to the rest of the car to determine cost of materials. But, what is the value cost in every incremental increase of materials finishing. Why does going from steel to gold add $15k to the price of a watch when nowhere near that amount of gold is used? These types of questions form the more nuanced approach to my overall question.

        • Marco Sampuel

          I agree with you, also some brands use the same movement and materials and the difference between prices are abismal, yeah the brand can add value but not that much.

        • TechUser2011

          I see these assessments of Apple’s profit margins based on component costs, and it amazes me how dense and naive people are. The price of the iPhone includes more than just the components and manufacturing. There are also engineering staff salaries, testing costs, transportation, and marketing. The fact that you don’t know about these things makes me believe that you have never held a real job in your life.

          • Sarthak Sharma

            Over on anthem sports’s website, there’s a really nice pole vault pole for about $499.95. The patented double spiral wrap, combined with lower sail piece position allows it to bend easier and to “roll over” more smoothly. If you’re going to be making the types of leaps in judgment about my life as suggested by your last couple of sentences, it may very well come in handy.

            In the answer I gave about the iPhone, I admitted it was a very quick google search. If you want more info on that, I remember a great article on alphr some time ago. Obviously no company has full transparency on everything that goes into its product, but many companies do have some transparency. I asked for “more” transparency from watch companies, not total.

            As a side note, I try not to get overly critical of other commentators’ condescension or general patronizing attitude because I understand not everyone has been brought up to debate with civility, but geez it makes you sound like an idiot to call out someone you’ve never met as being “dense” or “naive” because they asked one question that actually has been repeated quite a bit over the years in multiple watch forums. And, if I was to dabble in a bit of generalization myself, I might say that your utter lack of tact makes me believe you have never held a real job in your life.

          • Ka-Zing!

          • TechUser2011

            I am an American. I don’t need your so-called “tact”.

          • And it certainly shows in your comments.

          • I find your comment to be rude and condescending.

        • You must have failed any business class you’ve ever taken if you think Apple’s profit margin is 69% on an iPhone.

          The reason that going from steel to gold makes a watch cost more is simply because there aren’t a lot of watch companies that smelt and store their own gold. Only the giants like Swatch Group, Rolex, etc are able to afford it, and with the market asking one price, why would they devalue their brand and make a gold watch cost less?

          • Sarthak Sharma

            1. Did you read the comment below where I say there obviously is more info better explaining such margins and that it was just a quick google search? It does not seem as though you did.

            2. Also read that comment suggesting the pole vault pole currently on sale. Clearly, you and TechUser2011 can both purchase a couple to help you make your leaps in judgment.

            3. “Only the giants like Swatch Group…are able to afford it.” Fair enough. However, case in point, Glashutte Original is owned by Swatch Group. The steel version of the GO PanoMaticLunar is $11,500. The red gold version is $23,900. Given their access to gold, the cost of smelting or access to resource couldn’t explain the price difference. Now, I can understand the argument of market forces. That’s very true. The issue I have is that the market with new watches just seems not to make very much sense. For quite some time, it seems people pay prices driven by brand perception. That’s great for the brand. Websites like this and Hodinkee rarely ever question established brands on pricing. Yes, those brands deserve respect for what they have accomplished, but it seems like a disservice to just take their prices at face value because there are rich people ready to buy the name. I understand I’m in the minority in terms of my approach to business, but from the consumers’ point of view, and as a microcosm of my issue, I just want to know why the date complication on a Submariner costs an extra $1000. The answer is because the market will pay it. I paid it, but if review sites truly held these companies’ feet to the fire like they do newer brands, I do think the market would react to that.

            Last note: I don’t mind criticism at all. I’m clearly no expert on business models, but calm down with the generalizations. Let’s keep things civil.

          • I’m keeping things civil. I responded with the most polite thing I could to an obviously uneducated outsider of the watch industry who attempts to assert that there is no more cost in development than simply material cost, ignoring R&D, labor, tariffs, taxes, etc that may be enforced in various markets. It’s an asinine assumption, forcing me to make a simple assumption of my own.

          • Sarthak Sharma

            You can’t preface with saying you’re keeping things civil, then call me uneducated and my comments asinine. That’s somewhat contrdictory. I think that’s accurate, but I obviously lack an education so I’m probably wrong. Regardless, I did not assert there are no extra costs. That quote didn’t come from me, and I also pointed to a website that gives a more thorough breakdown of costs and profits, which takes extra costs into account. I’m guessing you did not search for that site.

            I don’t purport to be an insider of the watch industry. I asked for a bit more transparency in cost because, unlike Apple and BMW, we have no idea what any of these materials or services cost. To watch outsiders, it’s just conjecture and general statements like gold is expensive to smelt or tariffs are high. If you’re the industry insider you claim to be, why don’t you enlighten me? Clearly you have the education I so unfortunately lack.

            Side note: if you think you know more about something than another person, don’t be a douche about it. Not really a great way to bring someone into your hobby/industry.

          • Zing!

  • Der0

    I puzzle at Swiss watch pricing. Surely with this age of factory high precision automated production systems tied in with high precision computer generated rendering of designs we are able to get parts at a much much cheaper rate than years ago. Either the designers are raking it in or the companies are.

    Japanese prices for watches are much cheaper in comparison and I can’t see how Japan can produce essentially the same product for prices at such significantly less cost.

    Is the Swiss watch industry seeking to price itself out of the brackets where the consumer is going to be simply unable to justify the cost of purchasing a timepiece over paying their bills?

    • Willy Chu

      Totally agree. The Swiss watch industry, however, has boxed itself in with even more stringent requirements in order to be called “Swiss Made,” as it tries to buck manufacturing globalization. For me, if the watch is designed and tuned in Switzerland, it’s a Swiss watch. If the nuts and bolts, gears and levers, can be outsourced and made to a high standard in another country with labor costs cheaper than Switzerland, I’m fine with it.

    • The Swiss are concerned with customers that can afford their products, as they’re in the LUXURY watch industry. There are Swiss brands also available to those less well off as well. Hamilton, Tissot, Certina, etc.

  • David C Elliott

    Lots of great points raised so far. I must say that brand websites could be a lot more user friendly. There are times when I just give up in frustration. Cut down on the glitz and keep it simple.

  • dagbert

    With much of my experience rooted in the “customer-first” outdoor industry, it always comes as a shock to find the watch industry – a place where its primary source of revenue is paying a premium to participate – so damned antagonistic towards its customers with regard to nearly every major touch point (sales, service, support, brand interaction on social media, etc.). Quite frankly, a good customer in the watch industry is trained to be a quiet one. Oh, and one who faithfully purchases directly from boutiques.

    That said, it’s pretty cool to hear that TAG is overhauling its service department – maybe they’ll be setting a new precedent that others will follow.

    • How are brands training customers to be quiet ones? My local Omega boutique has events for anyone interested, and asks me to stop in any time I’m around for a coffee, glass of champagne, or even a beer. I don’t even have to talk about watches when I’m there.

      • dagbert

        I think by “quiet,” I mean I get the sense that the watch industry as a whole seems to act as though the best customers are the ones that don’t need anything – until they’re ready to purchase another watch, of course.
        Can you name any other industry where getting prompt and/or cheerful warranty, repair, or any other genuine after-sales support feels like pulling teeth? Don’t worry, I can: dentistry.

        I’ve gone through two long, drawn-out warranty claims with two different brands, both times for a simple fix on AD purchases, and both times I felt like these companies had support systems in place only to keep the BBB at bay, and not because they genuinely cared whether or not I had a good experience with their product after it left their stores.

        • Most of my experience comes from Omega, as that’s the brand that I collect most, but any interaction I’ve ever had with boutique staff has always been happy and cheerful. Granted the delay on services is a bit on the long side, but it’s not something that’s crazy when companies like Patek have six MONTH waits on services.

          In my experience, Omega boutiques are always filled with extremely knowledgable associates, and they are always happy to support the service side of the brand. They honestly care that the timepieces are cared for and that the customer has a great experience.

          When I’ve bought, my associate always hand writes a card thanking me, and they have reminded me of my service interval as well, even when I haven’t seen them for three or four years.

      • I envy you. You seem to be the exception to the rule.

  • Bert Kanne

    Readability of watch functions day or night, automatic or quartz movements of known brand and model, high quality materials that are durable and tasteful, but thats a tough detail to quantify. Attention to finish, design, quality control, comfort and 200 meter or greater water resistance. Choices in finish, straps, hands and color. And of course, a price that indicates value rather than just what the brand thinks will work.

    • Do you really think that certain brands just pull a number out of their asses and just say it’ll cost X dollars and call it good?

      Brands have entire divisions of their company just for pricing. Watches are not priced in a vacuum.

      • Unfortunately that is exactly how it looks to the great unwashed masses.

  • HectorAsuipe

    More bracelets as stock design. How long does a leather strap last? The bracelet is another way for a manufacturer to express their design and distinguish their watches. But no odd sizes, please (23mm? Forgetaboutit). And make it with quality and security; a clasp that inspires confidence and solid end links that look like they belong with the watch.

  • TechUser2011

    I am familiar with the high-tech world, and I am used to companies announcing products and then making them available for purchase just a few weeks later.

    On the other hand, why do Swiss watch companies announce new watches and then not make them available for purchase at stores or online? For example, Omega and Tag Heuer have large catalogs of current watches, but when I go to a luxury watch store, at most 50% of the watches in the catalog are available for purchase. That’s terrible.

    Look at Apple: every single item that they produce is available for purchase in their online or physical stores.

    • iamcalledryan

      It’s because, unless it is a boutique, the jewelry store will purchase (or financial lease) stock based on what they think will sell. Same reason a car dealer doesn’t have everything there ready for you – there are cashflow, accounting, and insurance implications if you get 5 of everything from TAG and Omega.

      Walk into a boutique and that number should be much closer to 90%. The apple store is like a watch boutique, whereas walking into Best Buy to find every Apple product is more comparable to a jewelry store.

      • Would they really order in something that you might not like? Just asking.

    • If you walk into my local Omega boutique, everything from 2015 is available unless it’s a sold out LE.

  • Marwan Abdul Hak

    Very Important Note: A lot of watch enthusiasts cannot for religious reasons wear white/yellow gold (Islam prohibit those for men). Unfortunately, most of the highest end products come exclusively with gold . Please avail your models in other metals no matter how precious they are. Thanks and hope Ariel and his team to transmit this message. Thanks All of You

  • sakibahsan

    A few very specific requests. I feel these changes will never take place.

    1. Dear Bulgari, please change the length of hands (increase) of the Diagono Magnesium and you have a guaranteed sale.

    2. Dear Rolex, as many before me has requested, please increase the length of the minute and hour hand of the Explorer and you have many guaranteed sales.

    3. Dear Zenith, at least produce some watches in the elite series in a 40 mm case with the 6150 movement and please produce at least one watch without the alternating double index. A single double index at 12 is enough. You do this and you have a guaranteed sale. I request these features as an existing customer.

    4. Dear Jaeger LeCultre, please change the base movement of the master ultra thin perpetual with a movement that has at least 70 hours of power reserve, more would be even nicer. You do that and you have a guaranteed sale.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    It will be interesting to see if any watch industry personnel respond to some of the these issues.
    I am seeing several issues repeated by numerous persons.

  • DR

    I love that this discussion – where a lot of people are asking for smaller, less ostentatious and more easily read watches – is followed by a headline feature on a 45mm Hublot Big Bang!

    • Irony… look for it at your favorite blog!

  • Joerg

    I am most concerned with companies’ service of used/vintage watches. I am aware that watch companies want their watches to look their best when they return from service, but the customer’s whishes should be more important than the manufacturer’s whishes. And if the customer requests the case not to be polished or the dial not to be swapped, relumed or similar, the manufacturer should honour this request. Any lover of vintage watches will know this problem. We would love to have our watches serviced by the People most apt for the job, but please exactly to the level we want them to.

    • Tritium/radium are the only areas where I will heavily debate this. Tritium and radium paint have a tendency to crack and chip over time, and this will cause microparticles to get into the movement and ruin the service job that a watchmaker just put hours of his life into.

      If the tritium/radium are fine, then I agree, don’t replace it, but don’t expect a watchmaker to be okay putting that horrendously dirty and chipping dial back onto the movement he just spent days cleaning and adjusting, and potentially bringing back to life.

      • I see you as being correct when I look at it one way, and being incorrect in when viewed from a different angle.

        If I own a watch and I send it in for a regular service, I think that my wishes about the dial for example should be respected. It would be difficult to convince your friends as to the vintage of the watch if it has a shiny new dial on it.

        No matter how I look at this, I can’t find a good stance on either side of the coin. You’re right, and perhaps not right at the same time. Vexing this is.

        Cheers!

      • NotoriousAPP

        Coat the dial to capture the particles then. You can even apply to the dial 1e2 to 1e4 Angstroms of thin films like titanium or tantalum which would still be transparent. You want to capture it with an atomic layer, use an AMST film. There’s always a solution.

        Here’s a recommendation for watchmakers: hire a technologist from the semiconductor industry. Im pretty sure rolex is already doing this. Time for you dinosaurs to catch up.

  • Mike Burdine

    I really enjoy ABTW and love looking at all the beautiful watches. However, when I check my email in a hurry I find myself scrolling to the bottom of each article to check the price of the watch being reviewed. If the watch is more than 5k or so I usually just look at the pictures and don’t read the story. I know many of your readers can afford more expensive watches but I can’t. So I would like to see more watches that cost less than cars. Perhaps the Swiss can’t accomplish this, but the Japanese certainly can.

    • The watch industry is one of luxury. You’re lucky that ABTW is around, but you may want to check Wornandwound.com for more affordable options in a luxury industry.

      • Mike Burdine

        Please don’t misunderstand I do enjoy ABTW. It is the only blog I follow and I do enjoy the opportunity so see these fine watches. I realize many of them are functional pieces of art that I would never know existed without ABTW. For that I am very thankful to Ariel and his team.

      • egznyc

        Good point. I certainly have gone there in my more practical moods. ABTW, however, has a great variety of horological treasures and the comments come from some very knowledgeable and passionate people.

  • benjameshodges

    There needs to be a glass ceiling on watch prices. No matter how the watch brands spin it, there is just no way a watch could possibly cost more than $500,000 to sell. If an exquisitely designed house or a bespoke, highly technical hyper-car costs less that a small item without precious gems on your wrist then something is seriously wrong or the mark-up is astronomical. It’s just not possible for a watch to cost the same produce as a hypercar. There is simply not enough involved in the manufacturing that could equate to that much. I’m not sure how they’ve been getting away with it but it just needs to be stopped.

    • iamcalledryan

      Devil’s advocate, if they were capped at $200k would you buy one next year?

      Art, watches, property, hypercars – the sum cost of their parts is never purely correlated to what they sell for and this is the way it is. Even so, just because the weight of the raw materials is more expensive in a hypercar doesn’t mean it will be more expensive to produce. Material costs are eclipsed by the labour and machinery costs – and when you are talking about microns of tolerance you could argue that cost goes up when the components shrink. Even at $500k prices, if it required years of R&D to develop a limited run of 5, you can see how these costs ramp up.

      There is no doubt that we are in a bubble, so I would expect to experience something of a glass ceiling in the next few years, but it’s time we stopped trying to add up the sum of the parts in order to hit the retail price.

      • I’m fairly sure that most people who frequent this blog know better than that.

        • iamcalledryan

          You will be surprised, and then shortly thereafter, bored by it!

      • egznyc

        I for one would love nothing better than to see a sharp drop in high-end watch prices (wouldn’t we all?). But I doubt we will see anything of the sort. Maybe a plateau … but while it’s frustrating that there are pieces out of reach, I’m not going to cry about it. I will just live with admiration of these grails; there are still plenty of great affordables out there.

  • Questwatch

    Here is my 6 cents, i write this to ABTW so i am ot asking for comments.
    1. service costs… are very high for a 5 year interval and a pain. The watch is made to run for generations so at eu 700,- a pop, 10 times per life and 2 generations … thats a fortune
    2. even at max eu 5000,- for a watch i want better finished dials, Applied markers , folding clasps and see through case back. If you use a 3rd party engine, you BETTER make it look gorgious. Seiko is a good example, iWC and Rolex should do better.
    3. above eu 5000,- it MUST be special in ; execution – limited production- not just in house but give it a special complication, like retrograde hands or flyback or the way it displays time. Not just a make over of the existing products or `new ` colour scheme, or heritage faux patina. Jaeger Geophysic true seconds is a great example! and MontBlanc is showing the way too.
    4. paradox ; to many `special editions ` and i will never buy a regular edition because they will end up being worth less than the special one. And a collector will swop or trade for new entries. Try updating it with functions like GMT or case materials.
    5. Power reserve power reserve power reserve, minimum 3 days so i can use different watches ( that you want me to buy dont you ?? ) and easily interchange without winding them over the weekend.
    6. my nr 1 turn off ~Boutique~ editions that will appear on websites of Non AD and chrono24, and Ebay just 10-12 months after introduction, Are you kiddin me ?? and at about 35% less the rvsp.

    Thanks at ABTW for giving me the opportunity.

    • As someone in training to be a watchmaker I have to respond to your service complaint.

      Services are pricy to reflect how much time goes into them. In the case of Omega, one of the brands I am training with, more hands-on hours go into a simple service than go into making the watch. Watchmakers need to get paid, as well.

      You write as someone apparently ignorant of what goes on in the watch industry. Retour en vol, flyback for those not initiated, is a complication unseen under $10,000 USD. Retrograde seconds as well.

      • It really takes more time and effort, and therefore more money to service a watch than it does to make it? It is no wonder some people are angry about servicing prices.

        [Edit:] With advances in production and assembly by machines I can see where more man hours are involved in servicing. [End edit]

        I have watched a few videos on YouTube of people actually servicing watches. I can see that it takes an incredible amount of knowledge to service a watch but I also saw that it didn’t take an overly long amount of time.

        I also understand that more expensive watches, which will likely have more complex complications will cost more to service. But not as much as the cost of the watch itself.

        Please, I am not calling you a liar, but it seems the cost is too high for servicing.

        And from what I am reading is that servicing costs too much, takes too long, and often results in an unhappy customer. It really does seem that some brands look at servicing as something to be avoided. I don’t understand this mindset… the customer paid a lot of money for the watch they bought, and has a reasonable expectation about how they are going to be treated by you.

        I am seeing far too many horror stories about servicing in general and warranty issues in particular. Some brands are changing their warranties so that there are almost no problems that can’t be solved by saying it is not a warranty issue. This kind of thing is disgraceful and some customers are not buying your watches as a result of this. For shame.

        Cheers!

      • NotoriousAPP

        Then omega needs to lean out their service process. Why don’t you just swap out the movement for a new or refurbished one to return the watch to customers faster and create an assembly line for overhaul of the removed movement.

        • I really can’t think why, but I bet you a dollar that the watch owners wouldn’t go for that kind of program.

    • NotoriousAPP

      Oh my goodness….how did i leave power reserve out of my initial feedback. YES!!! The power reserve always deserves a seat at the mechanical watch table. This, to me, is the most useful feature in a mechanical watch right behind the time and date complication.

  • Maybe not everyone agrees, but I’d personally like to see less text overall on the dials. I know where the date is – I don’t need the date wheel to be labeled. Nor does an automatic movement need to be accompanied by the word “automatic” on the dial. And yes, you gave your latest release the roll-off-the-tongue name of “Super Executive Tourbillion L’Ane Riche Edition Black,” but I am in no way interested in reading that every single day scrawled across the face. Same goes for a limited edition that you feel the need to announce as a “Limited Edition” in bold text on the caseback – especially if all you did was change the color of the handset (Cough, Panerai, cough).

    Speaking of Tourbillions, stop. Just, stop. Ditto, helium release valves; saturation divers don’t wear $30,000 Rose Gold Omegas whilst at work. And, again, I’m probably in the minority here, but while a date window on a dive watch is sometimes a welcome addition, a day wheel isn’t. For the most part, they throw off the symmetry of the dial. Also, date displays belong at 3, 6, or 12. Putting them diagonally at 4 is lazy, sloppy, and ugly. (Longines, that’s the ONLY reason why I don’t already own a 1967 Heritage Chrono). If you can’t figure out where to put the date, then leave it off entirely.

    Oh, and Rolex, a Pepsi GMT in the same case as the new Seadweller 4000, thanks. And take that stupid text off the Deepsea’s rehaut. “Ringlock” sounds like something that happens to your carburetor.

    Finally, I can see charging $200-$500 for a bracelet, but for a rubber strap? We already bought your watch, don’t play us as fools. Tudor included both with the Pelagos. Learn something.

    • DR

      Do you think we could get a petition together to move all date windows to 3-o’clock? 🙂

      (How dearly I wish that Omega’s Globemaster had its date window over on the right.)

      I absolutely share your pain, re: Longines. I wish they would just blank off the date with no window, rather than have to accommodate the awful placement on stock movements.

      DR

      • I love the Globemaster’s pie-pan dial, but it would be better served with no date AT ALL. Of course, the only model that’s available in this configuration is the platinum version, at 6 times the price as the standard steel, which, as someone else pointed out below, is ridiculous considering there’s most likely not 31 ounces of platinum in a watch that weighs around 10 ounces.

        • DR

          Yup, agreed that the no-date is also lovely. Same problem with the JLC Geophysic 1958 – the simplest dial is reserved for the platinum version at three times the price. I guess I’ll have to go and conquer a few oilfields to afford less cluttered watches!

          Hopefully after this article, the companies will revise their catalogues for SIHH and BaselWorld, and we’ll have plenty of simple, reasonably-sized models later this year.

          DR

          • Nohedes

            Of all the watches that could be accused of being cluttered, the JLC Geophysic 1958 (steel) seems like a strange choice (no date, only 4 Arabic numerals etc). The steel version also has the more rare of the original dial designs, so a fair exchange for the cross-hairs and two more numbers, in my opinion!

          • DR

            Bah – you could still lose the crosshairs and the minutes track! But yes, I’m getting a bit too minimalist for my own good!

            I was just supporting Valannin’s point about Omega, and more expensive models in a range having simpler (and, to some of us, more attractive) designs.

          • Nohedes

            I totally take your point about the general over cluttering of dials, in particular a lot of the El Primero models from Zenith would appeal more to me with a bit less going on. That said, I think in the case of the Geophysic, JLC were trying to stick to the 1950s original aesthetic as closely as possible, so to leave out the cross-hairs and minute markers on the steel and Rose versions would have been a mistake.

          • egznyc

            Wow – only three times the price in steel ;-). Either that steel price is higher than Omega’s, or JLC offers a better price on its platinum models.

        • Compare that platinum price to others on the market with the same technology. Platinum is one of the rarest precious metals watches are made from, and on top of that, you have to be able to work with it.

          You can’t just pay a watch company for 10 ounces of platinum and expect to get a high end watch out of it. That’s not how R&D and watchmaking work. You’re paying for quality control, testing, and craftsmanship (the strap on the Globemaster is hand-stitched with platinum thread, FYI).

          Is there a premium for platinum? Absolutely, yes, but when there’s three full Olympic swimming pools worth of gold on earth and only a hundredth of that in platinum, with more platinum needed to form the platinum alloy used in watches (950 grade vs 750 for 18k gold), expect a hefty premium.

          • egznyc

            Is platinum really 100 times as rare as gold? Interesting to see that it isn’t even twice as expensive, even though there is a premium over gold.

          • It’s rarer, really. An Olympic swimming pool is 50m x 25m x 3m. If there are three full of gold and only a few inches of one of platinum, you’re talking about one hundredth at the very most.

            And yes, it definitely shows the markup that gold receives.

      • NotoriousAPP

        No, no we can’t petition to move date windows to 3:00 because that will never be as good as a date window at 6:00.

    • “Ringlock” … I laughed.

      My Hew & Luey watch came with both steel and leather straps. A number of watch companies could possibly learn a thing or two from them.

    • NotoriousAPP

      No dude, we all agree, less text on the dial.

  • Dravgis

    I want an Oris with in house COSC automatic movement! I love the 110/111 movement, so they are getting closer to make my dreamwatch.

    In general for a watch: 10 ATM, in house movement, sappire crystal, easy to read dial and some sort of bracelet extender (like speedmaster mk 2)

  • LKB

    I’m constantly frustrated by the disparity between men’s and women’s watches. There is a common theme across many, many brands that reflects a bizarrely outdated assumption that women want something dripping in diamonds without caring about the movement within. I’m a woman, I love watches, and I don’t want to buy a flashy piece of jewelry with a quartz movement – let alone at the same price point as an automatic “men’s” watch with interesting complications. I’d be happy to buy the latter, except that the faces are generally much too big for my wrist. (My solution most recently: a vintage watch from a time when men’s watches trended smaller.) I know I’m not alone in my frustration, and I also imagine that there could be a big market for what I’m looking for – particularly among professional women.

    • Andrew Garrard

      To second this, my wife (a veterinarian) recently bought herself a quartz chronograph in rose gold (plate) and white for social occasions, rather than the small eco-drive she normally wears at work; she hasn’t yet learnt to use it, and has it mostly for the look. Ladies’ chronographs, and other complications, seem to be in – but with the vast majority in quartz, presumably for weight reasons. Ironically, as a gadget geek, I’m the one after the most simplified (automatic) watch I can get. While less into watches than I am (…starting to be), she quite possibly would also have gone mechanical, at a reasonable price, had more options existed.

    • dagbert

      Have you checked out Oris’ 36mm line? Easily the nicest mid-sized, not-totally-women’s-specific-collection I’ve handled.
      http://www.oris.ch/en/watches/oris-aquis-date/01-733-7652-4154-07-4-18-34

      • LKB

        Thank you!

    • Look at Omega, providing it’s not a brand outside of your price point. Omega has mechanical watches with exclusive in-house calibres just for their ladies watches. While a watch like the Ladymatic may not appeal to you, there are many ladies Omegas that don’t have diamonds or precious metals on them.

      • LKB

        Thanks!

  • Marco Sampuel

    Sometimes we underestimate the power of social media or this kind of blogs, so let’s make our voices be heard.

    *Price, the major flaw in the watch industry best said the big brands, is the price, you should lower your prices making it more achievable to us mortals that have to work for more than a year in order to save enough money to buy a watch, yeah I know quality materials, brand history, brand name, but hey newer brands use almost the same materials and sell at a lower price, why the bigger brands can’t do that?

    *I live in Guatemala, and here the watches prices are almost 40% to 50% more than in other countries, brands should try to maintain it’s prices equally.

    *Straps, why are straps so expensive?, a couple of months ago I was looking for a rubber strap for my Tag Heuer Formula 1, a non expensive watch, and the rubber strap was at a price of $200.00!!!!! Come on is rubber!

    Thanks to all the team of ABTW, not only for the excellent articles you write but for the chance to make the brands to see our opinions and requests.

    • Okay, my flak jacket is now a smoking debris for my comments on accuracy, but there is no good reason at all for hosing customers for a replacement watch strap… that is pure greed and nothing else. Lew & Huey offer replacement straps for a very reasonable price. You can get a further discount on that price if you order them when you purchase a watch from them. Greed… and nothing else I tell you.

      • Marco Sampuel

        Greed you say, yeah maybe, but you don’t use the same t-shirt over and over, you have at least a dozen. Also when you have a limited budget you just don’t go an buy a new watch whenever you want, so you buy a new strap to give the watch a new look, but what happens when the straps are too expensive? You stop buying right….

        • I’m sorry Sir, I believe you have completely missed my point.

          You buy a nice watch, and some time later the band develops a problem. You go to buy a replacement band only to find out that something that should rightly cost a reasonable amount cost far more than any amount that is reasonable.

          This is not about having different band for every day of the week. This is about buying a replacement band to replace one that is broken.

          Being forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a replacement bracelet is absurd. Bands made with precious metals are a different matter.

          To quote a comment from another user in this thread:

          “Straps, why are straps so expensive?, a couple of months ago I was looking for a rubber strap for my Tag Heuer Formula 1, a non expensive watch, and the rubber strap was at a price of $200.00!!!!! Come on is rubber!”

          Cheers!

          • Marco Sampuel

            Yeah I’m sorry, I completely misunderstand you, I tough you were talking about greed from customers in having more and more, but now I understand you. I completely agree with you!!!! Best regards!

          • Apology gladly accepted; thank you.

            It takes a big man to apologize in a large forum like this, and I appreciate that you have the strength of character to do it.

            Although we got a bit muddled there, I am happy to see that we’re on the same page regarding the price gouging on the straps by the manufactures.

            Cheers!

  • Bones Over Metal

    I would love to see the boundaries of what a mechanical movement can do!
    moon phase and calendar and day/date is great but it’s been done before and was originally done a hundred years ago.
    Think artistically interesting MB&F on a budget.
    There will always be a place for classic designs, and they will sell, but if you want to attract the younger generation that are taking over from the baby boomers, the companies will have to experiment and try something new.
    Cartier ID2 is another example. Push the boundaries but keep it clean, not gaudy and over bearing. (cough Hublot cough) The large corporations have the ability and resources to experiment and produce the race cars of the watch industry. Instead the consumer has to rely on the independents to create interesting watches, and because of that the prices are much higher.
    I understand that heritage is a major part of most watch companies, but in order to succeed in the future, you can’t hold onto the past. Honor the heritage, but don’t cling to it.
    For example, the Speedy moon watch will always sell and is an icon. However the exploration of space has moved on past the moon, Space X and reusable rockets, space travel has changed, maybe it’s time for a new space watch. Don’t get rid of the original but use it as a stepping stone or big brother watch to something else.

  • This request for feedback certainly was not targeted toward the micro watch company but the information shared by everyone is important to how we operate, and develop new watches none the less. Since we do not have the capital major brands do we must work that much smarter to properly communicate with you, understand the type of watch you are interested in and work to integrate this within the design we want to make.

    Below are my list of takeaways which are absolutely within our means of accomplishing and delivering upon.

    -Improve visibility for reading time
    -Reduce content clutter on dial
    -Keep price of accessories, straps specifically, affordable
    -Accuracy
    -Produce a date and no date option
    -Offer value at all price ranges
    -Eliminate celebrities, and meaningless associations
    -Leverage forums for advice on what the people who purchase the type of watch you are creating actually want
    -Provide more transparency in regards to movement accuracy specifications
    -If possible, provide specs on what a movement can be tuned to
    -Less large sized watches
    -Develop an easy to use website UI

    -Communicate more in forums

    These takeaways are aligned with the direction I would like to take our brand, though may not necessarily be what the 6’5″ fellow would like to see or what the high end luxury buyer cares about. You cannot make everyone happy but it’s a good place to begin. Thanks Ariel for posting this.

    • What is your brand?

    • DR

      This 6’5″ fellow agrees, and applauds your work! I hope this feedback is valuable, especially for smaller producers who would value consumer input into the design and manufacturing processes. Good luck!

      • Thanks DR, much appreciated. Its incredibly valuable, I’ve spent at least an hour pouring through the feedback, filling up an Evernote page and figuring out how to best integrate with our next collection and the brand moving forward…just as you stated 🙂

        • NotoriousAPP

          Recode the data and pareto it out. Reach out to me if you need help with this, I’m willing to help anyone humble enough to have an open mind and listen.

          Name the watch “VOC”.

          • There are over 200 comments, many including a list of points. Based on what you’ve read which do you feel are the key takeaways?

          • NotoriousAPP

            I mean this in the most professional manner possible, please don’t mistake it for arrogance or anything like that: when I’m dealing with data I don’t “feel” anything, I let the data drive my decisions. We would need to go through every comment to create categories and and sub-categories. For example one code may be “Date Window Location”, the sub-category for this would be “3:00”, “4:00”, “5:00”, “6:00”, etc. I know this sounds like a lot of work, it is, but this is what happens when there is not enough planning that goes into a survey. This was a great idea proposed by ABTW however if one wanted to get the most out of this they would create a standard form for us to complete, this would make analysis of the results significantly easier. What needs to be done with this information is what happens too many times in the real world. I work for a > $10 Billion tech company and this happens all the time there as well. You would think that we would’ve figured out the systems by now to collect survey information from our customers but we haven’t.

            I also have my own bias on this topic and it would likely be a part of my opinion if I didn’t rely on the data and only gave you feedback on what I thought the comments were telling me.

            If I send a message through the Seals Watch contact page I’m guessing you’ll get it? We can work offline on this if you would like.

          • In terms of properly taking action on the trove of data shared within this post what you’ve proposed is truly the only way to properly understand it, agreed. Worth the time it will take as I do not recall another forum with this much VOC data centralized in a single post.
            You are correct, I will receive the email.

          • And if you open-source the data, it’ll be beneficial to all, not only brands: imagine a “watch finder” where you first input your price range, then the type of watch (diver, casual…), then date (and where), colour, material, lines of texts… Endless possibilities!

  • Jason Switzer

    I think most individuals who value fine timepieces would like to see costs come down a bit. The prices of new watches from Rolex/Omega/Breitling are priced too high, which has lead to the creation of a strong secondary market. If watch brands reduced their prices by just a fraction to where the secondary market is, I think they would see an uptick in sales, which directly benefits the brands (as opposed to losing sales to sellers in the secondary market). For example, drop the price of a new 16610LV to $7,500 USD (down from $9,000 USD). I’d rather buy from an AD versus a secondary market seller, but the savings are currently too good to pas up. I applaud Tag Heuer for making their new Monaco McQueen re-issue affordable, and as a consequence, I may end up buying one new.

    Also, this message is for Tudor. Please add a date complication to the Black Bay as an option. Date complications are SO useful. Put it at 6 o’clock if you’re worried about symmetry and differentiating it from the Rolex Sub.

    Thanks for listening!

    • Michael Day

      Love the Black Bay because besides the obvious… It does not have a date.

    • NotoriousAPP

      Yes 6:00, nowhere else. Stop ruining beautiful watches with date windows at 4:00….that are probably too small anyways.

  • As NotoriousAPP said, “Please start using tritium in more watches. Let me repeat, please start using tritium in more watches. That glamour shot of your watch with the lume all charged up doesn’t impress me, I know it won’t last a night out on the town, or a long drive in the car, etc.”

    I could not agree more with his statement.

  • MerricMaker .

    Not being a cell phone owner, I’m finding the discussion around “why even wear a watch” to be very silly. I wear it so that I can look at it and know the time. Making utility beautiful should not take second seat to concerns about the relevance of your craft. There’s absolutely room for flights of fancy, watchmaking is sometimes art. But one thing I get frustrated with is when designs that were essentially perfect disappear from company catalogs to be replaced with some ogre-like version to appeal to “modern tastes.” Kudoes to IWC bringing back a 36mm pilot. Perhaps Rolex could take the Explorer back to 36mm but with the new 3255?

    Dear Grand Seiko, please put Arabic indicies on at least a couple of your watches. The entire line is perfect but for this one omission.

  • Marwan Abdul Hak

    Very Important Note: A lot of watch enthusiasts cannot for religious reasons wear white/yellow gold (Islam prohibit those for men). Unfortunately, most of the highest end products come exclusively with gold . Please avail your models in other metals no matter how precious they are. Thanks and hope Ariel and his team to transmit this message. Thanks All of You.

    • ranjix

      What an odd request! I’m pretty sure that businesses, in general, are pretty agnostic, and $s from muslims are just as fantastic as $s from buddhists, so, in short, since you leave the impression you have the means, why don’t you just contact them directly with your request? I think they might be inclined towards collaborating with you. Also, maybe you should look not only at the “highest end” products, in gold, but also at “highest-er end” products, in platinum…

  • Frits van der Veer

    If I may;
    Rolex: please a Red/blue bezel,Stainless steel,GMT, white dial, big date (no cyclops) and open back for same price as normal GMT.
    Apple: More watch faces

  • Trevor

    Surely by this point I’m just shouting into the void, but here we go…

    Things to move away from:
    -Unnecessary text on the dial (Breitling, Rolex, etc)
    -Integrated straps and bracelets (limits aftermarket options)
    -Odd number lug spacing
    -Date wheels that don’t complement the dial (Ball, etc)
    -Date window showing 3 dates
    -Vestigial/anachronistic or unnecessary design features- tachymeter scale, helium valve, 1-15 numerals being different on a dive bezel
    -Overboard of reflective surfaces- shiny chrono subdial hands against a glossy subdial=impossible to read
    -Limited info on movements- Sure, this new fancy watch has an XYZ9000 movement, but how has it been improved on the Valjoux 7750 it’s certain derived from? Accuracy, durability, ease of service and length between service intervals…

    Servicing- One doesn’t have to look far to find horror stories across multiple brands pertaining to after-sales service. Working in customer service, I know that people are far more likely to post poor reviews than good ones, but I still think that this is a definite area of improvement that companies should be investing in.

    Pricing- MSRP is just getting silly. Ariel’s previous article on a brand-sponsored sales event was very interesting. A current example on pricing- right now on Jomashop (online grey market dealer) they have a Baume and Mercier Capeland chrono that has a MSRP of $4350 being sold, 70% off, for $1300. I would imagine that Jomashop is still making some sort of profit on this, so why would a consumer want to spend three thousand dollars more at an authorized dealer when they can get it grey market for so much cheaper?

    • egznyc

      “Shouting into the void” – I want to tell you, it might seem as if it were the case, but I agree with your suggestions by and large. I could add a few of my own, but I’m pretty sure they’ve been said – probably several times over – already. So I should have my own medicine, I know.

  • funNactive

    An outstanding value watch that is versatile enough to be the one watch you own at a price attainable (through struggle & savings) to the average person.
    -In house Swiss movement
    -Triple calendar
    -In steel
    -Subtle dive bezel (steel with inlayed numbers)
    -Able to wear with a suit or shorts
    -40-42mm
    -Great lumen (or tritium tubes) that can be seen throughout the night
    -Elegant yet rugged enough to be a daily wearer
    -200M (or more) waterproof
    -Adjustable (dive link) steel bracelet
    -$10,000

    In my imagination, I’m looking at a cross between a Rolex Yachtmaster & Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite

    • Sarthak Sharma

      This sounds like something Montblanc may want to tackle. I don’t know if a triple calendar and in-house is possible quite yet under 10k, but let’s hope.

      • funNactive

        Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Stainless Steel full retail is at $10,300 ( http://www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/us/en/watches/master/master-calendar/1558420.html ) for an in house movement.
        – Something like this toned down a little in elegance & adding a little sport / durability of a daily wear. I really like the functionality of a subtle dive bezel while still having enough class to wear with a suit.

  • Hydra

    I want a classic Seiko (size 40-42mm) with an automatic movement…On the dial it would only say Seiko..nothing else

    • Andrew Garrard

      I’d be happy for it not to say Seiko! Even the “5” on my new purchase, which has now turned up, is a little more distracting than I’d like. There seems to be very faint circular polishing which is actually a little distracting, although I appreciate that a decent black polish (wow, that gives interesting options when I googled to check I had the term right!) is hard to achieve on a budget. And no kidding to the reviewers who point out that Seiko don’t waste time making the movement look pretty!

      While I wouldn’t want to remove options from others who want a smallish watch, I was looking for a bit bigger than the 37-38mm that I ended up with, and having now tried it I do think a few more mm would suit me better (unless I lose weight). Make a genuinely thin 40+mm automatic for budget consumers (not necessarily quite as budget as my 5) and I’ll upgrade. And my previous call for ABTW to discuss decent replacement budget straps/bracelets is renewed after putting Marley’s ghost on my wrist. Yes, I’d love the 5 to come with a better bracelet, but I appreciate that not everyone spending under $100 on one will care, and I’d rather they subsidised my purchase. It would be nice to know what to do next that doesn’t involve a Grand Seiko, though.

      • Boogur T. Wang

        Well said.

      • Andrew Garrard

        I did just want to be clear that I’m not dissing Seiko. I’d equally object to anyone else’s logo on the dial (heck, I drive a Skoda) and I appreciate what they did with the 5 on a tiny budget. But it feels like the watch industry decided that they’d done a simple plain watch face in the 1800s, and that everything now has to have much more than that on it in order to differentiate from something that’s not actually available any more. I’ll pay a small premium not to walk around with an advert for the manufacturer – ANY manufacturer – on my wrist!

        • Just so. And on my car too. If you want me to advertise your dealership, you’d better be prepared to compensate me for it.

  • Siwash

    Smaller. Part of the watch aesthetic does include how it fits with the rest of a man’s hand & wrist.

  • Michael Kinney

    I can only think of one thing I think applies industry-wide: more options at every price point, from every manufacturer, without a date window. Really. Please.

  • mandimemike

    First of all, ‘Save the Manual!’ My modest collection is comprised of only manuals. Nothing gets me in a good mood like winding a crown, getting lost in the uninterrupted expanse of a Glashutte 3/4 plate, or trying to figure out the intricacies of a horizontally clutched hand wound chrono. Next, ‘More cases under 40 please!’ I do firmly believe 38-40mm is the sweet spot, and the trend down is very welcome.

    I’m thrilled to see Saxon watchmaking as well as independents blossoming. In particular, it’s great to see increased press coverage of Glashutte Original as they continue to impress. JLC posseses tremendous momentum, the timing of the Geophysic press releases and simultaneous availability at AD’s was exceptionally well done. It is the watch I hope to purchase next as my collection’s first Auto. Montblanc, Oris, and Autodromo are making accessible watches full of interesting details backed by high quality manufacturing. All the above are examples of tremendous value, and show how manufactures are making watches for those that ‘know’ and pricing them accessibly. Bravo and well done!

    On the other hand, it’s been interesting to observe the style of marketing between brands. With some it’s sad to see brands like TAG Heuer ‘partnering’ (pandering) with a seemingly endless line of ‘celebrities’ that I could care less about. Maybe they should have tried to hire Lambert instead of Biver (I do however adore the Carrera telemeter and Monaco). I’m also tired of the likes of Hublot, AP, IWC, Omega and Bremont because generally their marketing efforts to add interest to their watches come across as gimmicky and inflate prices without adding value, when the product should speak for itself. While others like Breguet, with their traveling museum display (in my home city of S.F.!), GO’s unveiling of the special dials 60’s collection, Journe’s steel cased tributes, JLC’s Geophysic, VC’s Cornes de Vache, all capture my attention. I feel they speak respectfully to what’s really important to a true enthusiast, quietly and humbly convey the enormous talent and effort of their skilled artisans, and fuel my desire to add to my collection.

    Some manufactures also miss or don’t continue covering stories of importance, such as what Eterna’s been up to with their new calibers. When the brand that birthed ETA is getting ready to jump back into the supply game, that’s a big deal. Tell us more! Seiko/Grand Seiko’s marketing group must only work part time. We love knowing how hard you’ve worked on your product, and what new engineering solutions you’ve come up with. We love geeking out on novel case manufacturing, viton gaskets, how you’ve engineered stretch out of bracelets and novel methods for connecting the links, beautiful lug designs that made it past accounting, and to production. You grow your own sapphire, produce your own screws? Cool! Tungsten? Great idea, should do more of it! Wait. . . silicon parts? Appreciate the effort and ingenuity, but no thanks, not for me at least. I don’t need that extra second in precision, or couple hours in efficiency. I’d much rather spend for guilloche, or some black polish, or anglage. Isn’t the human element really why we are all here? Oh, and mainly for the Swiss brands, please offer more ‘no date’ options on your models, especially reissues. JLC stand out as getting it just right.

    Speaking of, mechanics, we all know after sales service is an area that many brands struggle with. While it’s easy to find the nearest AD of a particular brand when purchasing, finding a talented watchmaker to service our valued watches is much more difficult. We all should be doing our part to encourage growth in this profession. Brands should also do more to support these exceptional and vital craftsmen, they take the load off their understaffed service departments and buyers would likely consider purchasing more often if they knew they had choices and confidence in after sales service.

    By the way, brands please remember to stop by the San Francisco bay area more often. While I can’t say we have as many WIS’s as Manhattan, we do appreciate when you stop by!

  • Jason

    Dear Seiko.
    Please make the Prospex, Grand Seiko and even Credor range available to UK buyers.
    In Britain we don’t have access to your full range of watches. Mostly what we have available at retail jewellery stores are quartz, kinetic and a couple of low end Seiko 5’s.
    Historically Seiko has not attained the cache that it has built up in Japan, but I think the internet has helped educate the masses to appreciate the middle to higher end ‘Japanese Domestic Models’.
    I’m a firm believer in being able to try on a watch before you buy it. Unfortunately none of the models that I aspire to own are available in my nearest large city.

  • Robert Smith

    Here’s what I want from the Swiss watch industry: Transparency. There are simply too many watches (and brands) floating around that state “Swiss Made” on their dials that are anything BUT “Swiss Made.” The time has come for disclosure – if a company issues a watch that it claims to be Swiss-made, tells us where it was made, and by whom. Only then will the term “Swiss Made” have some teeth – and mean what it was always intended to mean in the first place.

  • Gopher_Hockey

    Hello Seiko,

    Please kindly bring back the Spork – 44mm Dive Watch #SRP043K1, with the Sumo 6R15 movement !!

    Thanking you in advance !!

  • Gopher_Hockey

    Hello Seiko,

    Please kindly add quartz Sumos to your lineup, Better yet, how ’bout solar quartz Sumos in Black, Blue & Orange !!

    Thanking you in advance !!

    PS

    And yes I would be thrilled to test these items & provide positive feedback !!!

  • funNactive

    Bring back the vintage style Triple Date Rolex
    I love triple date watches!

  • Spangles

    More date windows, all time markers turned into date windows!

  • Earthyboy

    I want to see more watches under 40mm.

  • Groovenik

    I’d like to see an end to the standard date complication on watches. It’s an unnecessary and ‘outdated’ complication to a modern watch. Now, in the minority of watches where the date complication actually adds to the character and “WOW” factor, and thereby shows off both the artistry and creative engineering of the watchmaker – leave them be. But in such instances, these are far more than a mundane 31-number rotating dial with a viewing window.

    Watches today are more for form than function in an overwhelmingly large majority of cases. And unlike the watches of a century ago when having a ‘mobile calendar’ would have been beneficial and useful, today we usually wake up to a digital device that tells us day, date, time, and likely also month and year. I’d much rather see an increase in mainspring gauges, day of the week, or even a lunar phase complication than a standard mediocre ‘1~31’. And lets not even talk about how adjusting dates on a large number of movements at non-optimal times can stress, damage, or even break a movement…

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