10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

With 2016 (thankfully) behind us, aBlogtoWatch would like to poke its nose into 2017, and offer the watch industry a few suggestions on things we would like to see more of in the new year, and also things we'd like to see less of.

I'll mention that our editorial team spent a lot of time thinking about how to best sum up 2016, and how to look forward at 2017. Myself and others on team aBlogtoWatch have written at length about the current (not amazing) state of the watch industry over the course of the year, and will continue to do so. To be frank, discussing our feelings and analysis about the health of the watch industry is an ongoing effort, and one article at the end year simply won't cut it. I will, however, say just one thing about the watch industry, because I believe it is too easy to misunderstand what is going on with all the perceived doom and gloom.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

The shining, glowing, beautiful pearl of the watch industry continues to be the power of its best products. Today's best watches are among the finest products the industry has ever made. Demand for good watches is high, as is appreciation for what it means to be a watch collector (a status which thanks to popular media is becoming just slightly more mainstream). What is wrong with the industry is like a disease affecting an otherwise healthy area of commerce. That disease is a combination of: bad decision making, reliance on archaic business practices, denial of a technologically connected world, focus on short-term revenue, and vast, illogical diffusion of responsibility.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

These aforementioned bigger issues together make up the core of the problems which manifest themselves as the various symptoms that define many of the negative outlooks the timepiece industry currently faces. Optimism requires that I state the obvious fact that if the industry collectively agrees to cure its diseased areas, then renewed health will allow the majestic appeal of a fine timepiece to bring renewed growth and success to the industry thanks to its many fans. In 2017, I will try to draft shorter sentences (hopefully).

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

It is my opinion that 2017 will first see the industry begin to stabilize, and as confidence returns, positive changes will help the watch industry get back on track, probably starting in 2018. So one way of looking at 2017 is as the industry's opportunity for a fresh "reset." As market downturns transition into plateaus, watch makers will ask themselves, what do we do next? What products do we make? What marketing initiatives do we pursue? I'd like to say that I can answer all of those questions. Alas, I cannot. But what I can do is present some suggestions on what the people who make watches should be thinking about doing more of and doing less of in the new year. So, here are those things.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

More High-Quality Kickstarter Campaigns

2016 was not a down year for upstart watch brands presenting themselves on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. aBlogtoWatch receives at least a few e-mails each week about new campaigns seeking to raise enough money to build watches. Yes, most of these campaigns (and their products) are total crap. Sorry, they are... but not all of them.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

I feel that the success of using crowdfunding to promote, sell, and build a watch should attract bigger names and more sophisticated products. It is the rare occasion that a Kickstarter watch campaign is truly interesting or novel, but it does happen. It happens enough that I hope in 2017 and beyond more people with smart and interesting ideas apply themselves to using these obviously useful crowdfunding tools to make the watches they've always wanted, funded by others who want them too.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

The problem is that most Kickstarter watch campaigns don't actually offer anything new or interesting - typically being generic products made by the same slew of suppliers in Asia. There is nothing wrong with that for many consumers, but these low-quality offerings tend to ward off those people who consider themselves serious timepiece enthusiasts. For us, that means Kickstarter seems too skewed toward uninteresting fashion watches, and not nearly as focused on watches with original designs and novel technical ideas which would garner more of our attention. We do attempt to focus on the better things available on crowdfunding campaign platforms, but our hope is that in the year to come, the horological offerings on Kickstarter get just that much better.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

More Bright Colors

The conservative luxury watch industry doesn't take enough risk with color. So for 2017, we want to see more brightly colored watches. Sure these are out there, but typically they are either too expensive, or too ugly for anyone to pay much attention. Allow us to suggest that a great way of making a classic watch design more interesting is by rendering it in new materials as well as interesting colors. I'm talking about bright, vibrant colors that garner attention.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

People who are a bit tired of timepieces they feel are too large, but who want the same bold wearing experience, might opt for something a bit more on the colorful side. I'm not just talking about random bright colors, just for color's sake. What I am talking about is more otherwise legible, useful, and handsome watches, only in Pantone's finest hues.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

Don't call colors trendy, either. I don't care what fashion publications say, colors never (ever) go out of style if they are decently applied to a product in the first place. The downside of a brightly colored watch is that you can't wear it with as many items in your wardrobe because with some things it will clash. That just means you'll need more colors in your assortment of timepiece options. Further, when you do properly match a brightly colored watch to what you are wearing... the result is fantastic.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

More Original Watch Collections From Major Brands

Rolex gets a pass because it more or less invented the idea of keeping a classic watch collection alive for generations. Otherwise, we are getting a bit irritated that the vast majority of big name watch brands seem utterly incapable of producing truly unique and fresh contemporary watch collections.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

Where is the equivalent of the Carrera for the sport cars of the 2000s? Did I miss the Speedmaster for space explorers of this decade? Why can't there be a Navitimer for people who pilot computerized aircraft? What I'm trying to say is that our favorite big name brands don't seem to have many products which reflect the time we live in. I want more contemporary products that feel like an extension of our modern era. We struggle to find a connection between our lives and the inspiration for many of the classic timepiece collections that we admire. I don't suggest that the industry stop making beloved favorites of yesterday, but if they want to appeal to a younger generation today, they are going to need more products which feel like they were born a bit more recently.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

In a very real sense, we sort of already have that with smartwatches. Yes, those are the truly contemporary watches of today. Most will go extinct, and some product families will be lucky enough to survive for generations as the smartwatches of tomorrow that everyone knows. With that said, I think there are a lot of good arguments to suggest that smartwatches and traditional mechanical watches have not only different uses and appeal, but currently quite different target markets.

Allow us to politely suggest to the product managers at the bigger brands, that they strongly consider developing brand new product families with designs and inspiration from today, even if their movements and construction directly honor tradition and the past.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

More Functionality We Asked For

Let's be honest, if you really need a watch for much more than telling the time, you are very quickly going to rely on an electronic device. While analog products are often more beautiful than digital ones, they typically aren't nearly as practical. This means that so many watches produced with combinations of features that aren't immediately practical or comfortable to use are going to have trouble finding good homes.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

We see many watches trying so hard to differentiate themselves from "the pack" that they come with strange functionality no one ever really asked for. I'm all for gadgets and extra tools, but the ones I don't really use end up staying at home. This reminds me that a few years ago I wrote an article on the top five most useless watch complications. Functions in addition to time that people may use on their watch is a calendar, second time zone, or possibly a chronograph. Even then, for the most part, these extra pieces of functionality just tend to clutter of dials or remain unset. Nothing is more depressing than wearing a full calendar watch where the information is all wrong.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

It isn't even that many of the watches out there with extra functionality aren't useful, but rather that in their particular form, with their particular design, they lack a lot of utility. For example, a chronograph whose hands and indicators you can't see well will never be used to time anything at all. I want watch makers to make sure that if they make a "travel watch" it is actually good for traveling. If there is a racing watch, then make sure you can comfortably wear it and read it while driving at a high speed. Also, there are times when combinations of complications seem to be "just because," without much rhyme or reason for their assortment or curation. Watch designers of the world, please make more watches people can get both aesthetic and utilitarian enjoyment from.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

More Love For The East

Appreciation for high-end Japanese watches is among the fastest growing areas of collector interest. Be they mechanical or quartz, companies such as Seiko, Casio, and Citizen in Japan are doing a lot of very correct things in terms of making great watches, with fair prices, that people seem to want. I'd love for a few more Swiss watch brands to pay attention to what those brands are doing right.

Then, there is the matter of China and its surrounding regions. The country's massive watch market growth has ended, but that just means it will be another large market for luxury timepieces (as opposed to a rapidly growing market). China has the dual status of being both a place where people buy a lot of watches, as well as place where a lot of watches are produced. What watches?

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

A lot of Swiss ones, actually. China is the "secret" manufacturing backbone (surprise, surprise) of many European watch brands who aren't super happy to admit a lot of their parts come from East Asia. I say it is time the Swiss relax their fears of transparency and embrace the fact that China is both a great customer and a great business partner.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

China also has the most robust community of independent watch brands. In fact, the majority of small micro-brand watches are produced in China, by a legion of dedicated suppliers and manufacturing partners. No, not everything China makes is stellar or worth wearing, but then again, you can say the same about most other places that make watches. China just likes to beat everyone when it comes to volume.

10 Things In Watches We Want To See More Of, And Less Of In 2017 Feature Articles

Many markets in East Asia are important not only in terms of watch sales, but also in design and production. You literally could not have a modern watch industry without them. Nevertheless, there is a lot of unfair prejudice and negative bias towards Asian watches. In my opinion, a lot of those sentiments need to be reevaluated, and that begins in the thematic center of the watch industry, Switzerland.

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  • IanE

    ‘With 2016 (thankfully) behind us … ‘. My watches keep reminding me not to wish my time away! [But let’s hope we all have a great 2017 – with lots more great articles!]

  • Fiery

    Fantastic article, and I agree with it 100%. However, I’d also add 2 more points. First, try to improve the availability of highly sought-after pieces, and maintain a waiting list centralized, in a democratic manner. Yes, I’m talking about steel Nautilus variants, which are virtually impossible to obtain from an authorized dealer in Europe. And even though dealers maintain outrageously long (2, 3 or sometimes 5-year) waiting lists, the arriving pieces “surprisingly” go to certain clients who aren’t even on the waiting lists… It would be far better if the manufacturer maintained those waiting lists to make sure noone gets a shortcut just because he’s a celebrity or a special client of the dealer.

    Second, stop selling certain timepiece variants only in mono-brand boutiques. No, I don’t want to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to find a boutique in another country that has the watch I’m looking for.

  • Bill W

    {“Did I miss the Speedmaster for space explorers of this decade? Why can’t there be a Navitimer for people who pilot computerized aircraft? What I’m trying to say is that our favorite big name brands don’t seem to have many products which reflect the time we live in. I want more contemporary products that feel like an extension of our modern era.”}

    I’m going to have to ask for design specifics here. What would a drone operator’s watch look like in 2017? What kind of hands? Which font for the 12? Once I receive a drawing or something a little less general I’ll call Breguet and tell them to throw away their rose engine lathes. Voutilainen, Roger Smith, F.P. Journe, Dufour, Ferrier, the list goes on, they can all close up shop. Because they make stuff that looks kinda old-timey.

    Seriously…when you think of 2017, what do you think of? What does “modern” mean? And how would that be translated into an analog-display, mechanical watch’s design? Does it really just boil down to colors and fonts?

  • Jon Snow

    Why is it “(thankfully)” behind us? Tell us what you really mean.

    • Beefalope

      If you know what he means, then he’s told you what he really means. You don’t need a diagram and a PowerPoint presentation for this.

      • Berndt Norten

        I know what I like and I like what I know. In my watch wardrobe…..

        • David Williams

          So you always know when it’s one-o-clock and time for lunch!

      • Jon Snow

        I don’t know what he means. I’m not a mind reader and if I were to guess then I might do the author an injustice.

        I don’t need a diagram or a PowerPoint presentation- just words, thank you.

  • I’d like to see more utility and “clean” integrated designs.

    GMT watches that can be adjusted bi-directionally (we do cross time zones in both directions) and where the adjuster (ideally not the time setting crown) jumps the primary 12 hour display, not the 24 hour secondary display (which remains intact and displays home time or actually GMT/UTC/Zulu).

    More chronographs with central minute hands (like the Carl F Bucherer Manero). Those of us with old eyes can’t read sub-dials/registers without our reading glasses.

    Accept that watches are often in the 40 to 44 mm range and make commodity movements larger in diameter if for no other reason that the date ring can be a larger diameter which makes the date larger (again easier for older eyes). Also larger movement diameter might allow for more dual barrel movements for longer power reserves – 72 hours should be the minimum so your weekday watch will still be running come Monday morning.

    More watches with drilled through lugs (unless the esthetics really suffer) to make strap changes easier (with less scratching and gouging on the inside of the lugs and less strap abuse).

    High quality deployment clasps with micro-adjustment (tool free) for everyday use. Some higher end dive watches have this but it needs to become more widely available in thin and affordable buckles.

    Development of more/better smart straps for those of use who don’t want the current generation of smartwatches on their wrists.

    More surface treatments on steel and titanium cases (and metal bracelets) to make them more scratch resistant (like Sinn does).

    Keep watches reasonably thin. The movement thickness (and hand fitting heights) along with functional crystal thickness should determine the overall thickness of a watch. Too many watches are unnecessarily thick IMO. If it’s not a chronograph, there is little reason for a watch to 15 mm thick. Which brings us to –

    Dive watches with sane amounts of water resistance. Sure more sounds like it is better but when human crushing depths are “required” the crystals become correspondingly thicker which makes for overly tall watches. Sure thickness is not an issue if you are actually diving, but since more dive watches are used for desk diving, thickness is a real surface world concern.

    More 12 hour bezels on 3 hand watches. You get most of the functionality of a GMT watch with just a bezel. Since people will often want (I did not say need) both an elapsed time bezel, make bezels that can be easily changed – again tool free.

    Here’s wishing a happy 2017 to all of my watch friends out there! Keep it interesting (but also civil)

    • Shinytoys

      Let’s toast to civility …!

      • Chaz

        (except when it comes to Bremont)

      • Berndt Norten

        Ok. Just gimme two more hours
        And I’m a-withu on that
        The night she be almost young
        Soon I toast u on dat

        But 4 now….
        We’ve got 2nite babe
        So this I’ll share…

        Come and listen to a story bout a man named Zed
        Pooooooor wristwatch engineer barely kept his chopper fed
        Then one day he was searchin 4 sum foooood
        On his wrist he wuz sportin sometin crude

        Hublot that is
        Swiss gold
        Philistines’ dreamery
        Posers’ buffoonery

        So the next ting u know
        Poor Zed’s no millionaire
        He’s six feet low
        Butch has freed one down there

        The next thing u know Butch
        Is riding somewhere
        Soon to return for
        A wristwatch avec flair

        • Magic Gold, Texas Timex.
          Well the first thing ya know old Jean-Claude’s a billionaire, the Omega folks said, get on out of there. The said Hublot is the place ya wanna be, so he loaded up his stocks and headed for Nyon (OK, I know the last part does not rhyme).

    • commentator bob

      My GMT works as you describe, i.e. “true” GMT, but was not particularly inexpensive. I would like to see Seiko offer non-quartz “true” GMT watches below the Grand Seiko level.

    • David Williams

      Aloha Mark – there’s a lot of good sense in your insightful comments, which add usefully to Ariel’s ideas. Let’s hope that some of the right people are reading and that we see some of your ideas (and of course Ariel’s) being adopted.

      Here’s to a happy, healthy and civil 2017 … !

    • Berndt Norten

      Thanks for this thoughtful post, Mark. My New Year’s resolution is to spend less time being silly, less time joking with Dan and Billy.

      • DanW94

        Billy don’t be a hero, don’t be a fool with your life….

        • Berndt Norten

          Rikki don’t lose that number….

        • Berndt Norten

          Sorry Jabroni. I ain’t that lonely. I ain’t gonna make u my wife.

      • Laughter is the best medicine so good humor is always welcome – unless one has zero sense of humor, ha ha. But I just get tired of a few people who seem to think that trying to insult another commenter makes them a bigger man (they must have some insecurity issues or are just really angry a lot). Cheers.

      • Bill W

        WHAAAA? Noooooooooo!

    • ??????

      I was thinking for a while.. Is it possible to take the utility of Sinn watches (scratch-proof ss cases, drilled lugs, legiblity improvements, etc.), stunning hand-wound calibers as from Moritz Grosmann or Lange (with frosten plates, polished bridges, hand-engraved balance cock and all), jaw-dropping finishing level from Grand Seiko (katana-sharp hands and indexes, cool dial techniques as urushi, parchment effect, etc.) and make it all at >5-6k?..

    • BNABOD

      I agree with a lot of this.Some really good ideas in there. maybe Ariel can sell them to the Swiss. I would add make the strap changes easier. it should not take some Bergeon $100 tool to get a strap out. some quick release mechanism and I am not talking about the quick release spring bar, something one can actually grab.
      big fan of GMTs here and certainly could deal with more of them.
      Happy 2017 everyone. Off to Japan I go.

  • Svetoslav Popov

    Stop discovering new brands and models that went to the Moon 🙂

    • Wait, now I get it. The planned Chinese manned mission to the moon is simply so they can wear Chinese watches when they go. Then they can cash in on the Moon Watch thing!

      • Svetoslav Popov

        thank you, now I get it too 🙂

      • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

        Rats ! Foiled Again !

        • Actually I think having a Taiwanese manned moon mission ahead of the mainland PRC effort would be pretty funny.

      • Sheez Gagoo
        • I predict that the Chinese will have the first Mars Watch (based on the article you linked).

          • Sheez Gagoo

            Who really cares about the moon in 2017?

      • ??????

        Aha!

  • Mike Burdine

    Yes, Sir. You are correct about the Japanese watches. I love to read ABTW and marvel at the beautiful, complicated watches. However, I own the three brands you mentioned Citizen, Seiko, and Casio. A five year old Casio that was less than a hundred dollars gets the most compliments.

  • SuperStrapper

    Why are we happy that 2016 is done? We’re wishing away time now?

    • Berndt Norten

      We’re wishing away the moments that make up a dull day….

      • SuperStrapper

        Nice reference, but I can’t stand Floyd. (Flame suit on).

        • Berndt Norten

          They were possibly the most self-indulgent of the great 70s bands. But heck they all took themselves so seriously. And look what they left us: music for the ages. Dark Side, in the Court of the Crimson King, A Trick of the Tail, In Search of the Lost Chord….

          • SuperStrapper

            I am always very reserved about my opinions on Floyd, despite being loud and proud about music in general. They have lots of tracks I enjoy, but no albums I would listen to entirely.

          • Berndt Norten

            Ever given Meddle a try? That’s one underrated gem

          • Bill W

            I like ‘Animals’ pretty much the whole way through.

  • Berndt Norten

    Less cowbell Biv Cheese
    More blue dials
    More Seiko please

    • No, more Biver cheese. Have you tried it? It’s excellent.

      • Berndt Norten

        Haven’t eaten his cheese, so to speak. Just been overwhelmed (and underwhelmed) by his visual cheese??

        • SuperStrapper

          When you combine overwhelmed with underwhelmed the net result is just whelmed.

          Reminds me of that time I paid good money at the freak show to watch a fight between the world’s tallest midget and the world’s shortest giant. It was just 2 regular dudes.

          • Berndt Norten

            Brilliant!

  • TrevorXM

    2016 has been a good year for those whose heads aren’t stuck up their political rear ends. The last 1/4 of it or so has shown great things and a hopeful future and a whole lot of laughs. If you’re invested widely in the stock market, this New Years is going to be the happiest in a very, very long time and 2016 was a FANTASTIC year. And 2017 promises to be very original and exciting year where most people will start talking honestly and dealing pragmatically with long-standing problems. This needs to apply to both the Swiss watch industry and the blogs that cover it. Hopefully we will see less crap about the “smart” watch endangering sales of mechanical luxury watches, or ignoring that the German watch industry, and on a lesser scale the English watch industry, are going like gangbusters (at the expense of the Swiss industry). Hopefully countries and watch manufacturers will continue the trend towards stricter labels when it comes to “_____ Made” on watches with legal requirements.

    And, hell, even I have found a Seiko watch which I am actually interested in buying and it’s a quartz. A Marine Master on bracelet with the “tuna can” shroud. A quartz watch where the second hand actually falls ON THE MARKERS every time! And a Seiko that isn’t a knock-off of something else — it is completely its own thing — and has an interesting development history for use in the real world. I “discovered” it just yesterday — so who says 2016 wasn’t a good year? Miracles are unfolding in the last days of it.

  • Well written article! A pleasure to read. Most of your points taken are “dead on.” Thanks!

  • “Rolex gets a pass because it more or less invented the idea of keeping a classic watch collection alive for generations”

    In the same vein as your questions: Where is the Submariner for divers of the 21st Century? Oh, right, it’s the Pelagos. Where is the Daytona for the modern racing enthusiasts? Oh right, it’s the Fastrider. Where’s the Explorer for the adventurer who fancies himself more Ben Saunders and less David Livingstone? Oh, yes, it’s the North Flag.

    This is what I’d like to see more of in 2017 and beyond – manufacturers who can adapt to the markets without trying to reinvent themselves every ten minutes with yet another “limited edition” or color permutation of an existing model. If it means a second or third product line under a different label, then so be it. The Swatch Group should be concentrating on Longines to be their Tudor of 2017. They’re close, so close.

    • commentator bob

      Interesting viewpoint. People tend to focus on the Tudors that are knock-offs of past Rolex watches instead of prototypes for future ones. But the latter are the more interesting and significant. And the North Flag is a stupid bargain for a manufacture movement by Rolex, especially grey market.

      The one Tudor Rolex prototype that is missing is the GMT. I would love to see a Pelagos based Ti GMT (make that “UTC” to have a more current aviation reference). Use sapphire with lume on the back as a modern take on the original’s radium backed bakelite (Seiko already does that with the Springdrive GMT, so it can be done). Make it a “true” GMT as Mark describes below. Keep the depth rating the 500m of the Pelagos instead of the 100m of the Rolex GMT.

      • bc_from_aus

        Yes!

  • Shinytoys

    Thanks to Ariel Adams and the rest of the writing and photography team for bringing together another excellent year for ABTW. Have a fine New Year and good health in 2017…Cheers !!

  • Chaz

    Nice article!

    Thanks to the gang at ABTW and wish you all a happy, healthy, chronometer spec 2017!!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Off to Edinburgh for the hogmony party. Hope you all enjoy the evening , happy new year to you all.

    • Berndt Norten

      Hopefully it will not be boring?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Hogmony is Scotland is anything but boring.

        • Omegaboy

          Would love to be around Grass Market Square tonight.

        • Bill W

          Happy Hogswatch, Raymond. Ho. Ho Ho.

  • DanW94

    Here’s to a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous New Year to all! Enjoy your watches and more importantly enjoy the company you keep while wearing them. Thanks to Ariel and the team for the final article (I assume) of 2016.

  • Omegaboy

    Ariel mentions making purchasing simpler. I have slowly been able to purchase more expensive watches, and can foresee buying something for around $5k in about two years. So last week while in a mall, I went into a Ben Bridge and tried on a Rolex Explorer (which confirmed it is THE watch for me). BB’s price was $6550 before my state’s 10% sales tax. What I would like to know is HOW to buy from an AD without paying retail. I see new watches for sale on the forums which have been purchased from ADs, but the sellers’ prices indicate that they didn’t pay retail. So how did they do it? I would love to see an article on this – a behind-the-scenes look at how not to pay retail.

    • commentator bob

      You should definitely not pay sales tax, unless you “work” for the state or local government and that sales tax is funding your six-figure pension in your 50s. Then pay for yourself.

      There are a number of ways to avoid sales tax that range from buying out-of-state to shipping out-of-state, and most ADs will play ball.

      ADSs do bargain, but your ability to bargain is based on leverage. A Tag Heuer AD that knows you can get 40%+ off grey market and only lose a 2-year warranty is going to negotiate more willingly than a Rolex AD that knows you will get at best 10 – 20% off grey market (especially on a new, improved model) and lose a 5-year warranty.

  • David Williams

    Great ideas here Ariel – and some very appealing watches – and yes, colors are the new black!

  • Bill W
    • Chaz

      Loved this show

      • Bill W

        That’s because we’re not bus wankers. 🙂

    • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

      You’ll grow into it.“…Mr. Grainger

      • Raymond Wilkie

        “They’ll ride up with wear.” ……Mrs slocombe

        • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

          Put your knee innit

          I have the whole series recorded. Still watch it regularly.
          Also enjoy “Still Open All Hours.”

          • Raymond Wilkie

            My all time favorite,…..Dads army

    • Grumpy Cat

      When I saw the first photo, I thought it was David Bredan.

      • David Bredan

        Maybe it was! (Ps.: just saw this priceless comment :))

  • ZBT71

    Happy New Year to all and a very big thank you for a very interesting year to ABTW.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Happy new year to everybody!

  • The Reclusive Boogur T. Wang

    WTF?
    https://www.ablogtowatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/P9210057_SIZE.jpg

    I would like to wish everyone a Safe & Happy New Year 2017 !

    • commentator bob

      Ariel Adams and Ben Clymer rockin’ their quartz diamond encrusted Tag F1s. John Mayer has the crazy nail polish.

      • ??????

        While visiting Archie in his Thailand residence

        • Archie’s Thai residence – so long as he pays his brothel bill on time.

  • ??????

    Happy 2017!! I wish this year to bring us more craft at more accessible prise points. Less marketing b*t, just an exellent artistry. 2016 has shown that in current over-informed state, the watch society becomes more educated than ever before, so your old tricks, ambassadors, car-yacht-private plane luxury lifestyle gimmick stopped working already. Excellent summary, Ariel, I would add that German watches are great example of solid craftsmanship at very different approach to Swiss. And we need more small independent manufacturers, not only in uber-luxury segment with 100k average price, but little Dufours, little Karis in, say, below 15k segment.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Great article. So this is what the survey was for. I hope, the suggestions will be heard by the industry. I`m quite pessimistic, but at least you can say “I told you so” when the industry fucks it up completely:)

  • Stephan Chan

    Happy New Year. Love the article and very insightful. I have wrote my fair share of opinions on this topic too. https://watchdiary.me/2017/01/01/8-things-in-watches-i-want-to-see-in-2017/

  • Guadzilla

    “I say it is time the Swiss relax their fears of transparency and embrace the fact that China is both a great customer and a great business partner.”

    Spoken like a watch enthusiast, and not a business person.

    Why would the Swiss deliberately give up on the decades of building the myth of the Swiss Watch as the most desirable of all watches? Especially when the market is willing to pay a premium for the “Swiss made” label, especially at the price point where the Chino-Swiss watches exist?

    • ??????

      Because it is already dying. Today almost everyone knows that “Swiss Made” is such a stretch, when some components like balance springs may allow to use Chinese cases, crystals, dials, etc. People get more educated every day, Internet is a nasty machine, and the last “pompous” statement to increase Swiss value from 50 to 60% (or decrease Chinese value from 50 to 40%) is just laughable. So maybe its time to become clear when it looks like it is their good will, than wait until it is done by force. Would you prefer to clearly understand the origin of the components in your watch or just assume what measures did they have to do to stretch to 60%? I very much appreciate the Swiss craftsmanship, but all this 26% 40% 50% 67% game is very far from it.

      • Guadzilla

        “Everybody” knows? I disagree. Most non-WUS dont know or care about 50% Swiss content. They see the Swiss made label and that’s all that matters to them.

        • Mike Darwin Brown

          WUS? What does this mean……Politely,

          • ??????

            Watch u seek forum members?

          • Guadzilla

            WIS, rather. Watch Idiot Savants. Us, in other words.

        • ??????

          I think that non-wis care more about the logo in the upper side of the dial (few which they know..) and it’s most probably as simple as Rolex/non-Rolex 🙂 the rest they can’t even recognise in most cases.

    • Ariel Adams

      I’m very open with the fact that this is opinion. Opinion that is however based on a rare accumulation of experiences and information designed to assist rather than degrade. You don’t have to agree. That doesn’t bother me. I will however say that I don’t willy-nilly suggest opinions or suggestions unless I’ve carefully considered them, received feedback from others, and at least imagined the consequences of implementing them.

      • Guadzilla

        Oh, this isnt about agreeing or disagreeing – it is about lofty pronouncements made with no supporting data.

        A few discussions doesnt replace data, especially with some of the stuff you have written. As I said, if superficial “analysis” leads you to a conclusion that is at odds with what an entire industry’s cadre of specialists comes up with, then it is time to apply Occam’s razor.

    • Lode_Runner

      Gotta agree with you Gaudzilla. I am personally a sucker for “historically-inspired” modern pieces, and from my observations, they actually tend to hold their value better than the run-of-the-mill pieces from these same brands.

      For example, funny you mention the Longines Legend Diver. I had a no-date model (most have a date function), and I recently sold it for more than I paid for it! Unheard of for a non-Rolex or non-Patek watch. A run-of-the-mill Hydroconquest would have dropped like a rock in terms of resale.

      I don’t think there’s anything about “historically-inspired” pieces that will intrinsically cause them to have lower resale value over time. Watches are a terrible proposition from a resale perspective anyway, but if a vintage-inspired piece is well-executed and desirable, it’s probably a better bet long-term than a non-vintage inspired piece. This is because the style is more established, more classic and more “timeless,” than a modern piece that will likely look outdated in a few years. In a couple years from now, I’ll bet the Tag Heuer Calibre 18 reissue does much better on the second-hand market than the run-of-the-mill and trendy Carrera chronos they sell today. Same with the Oris 65.

  • Grumpy Cat

    1) I want to see the Swiss do a Walmart (roll back prices). 2) I want to see more Citizen and Seiko watches and more exotic metals / materials covered on ABTW. 3) I want much less lifestyle marketing (cars and watches) and 4) I want less sponsored posts.

  • Simon_Hell

    Definitely more car reviews on watch review sites !

    • Chaz

      Definitely more profile pics like yours… 😉

      • ??????

        Watches & Butts 🙂 suggest a new type of articles on ABTW

  • BNABOD

    one thing for me less vintage Rolex’s that run 25K for a faded bezel, crumbly lume, crappy old bracelet and most likely never serviced. yeah I would like to see less of that.

    • ??????

      You don’t like Rolexes with bakelite bezels and “meticulously” patinated cheap printed dials?? You are now banned from Dinkee!!

      • BNABOD

        what a shame 😉

      • commentator bob

        Want a watch with a basic automatic movement that lacks both a sapphire crystal and a solid link bracelet (with cheap folded links instead)? You are either going to have to pay ~$100 for a Seiko 5 or six figures for a vintage Rolex.

        • ??????

          Rolex must be amazed themselves with all today’s craziness when 100$ value watches are sold for 100-1000 times of what they represent.

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    I tend to disagree with the color options and I still long for more brown, black and blue watches for not wanting to draw too much attention! Also I didn’t see anything about entry 2-3 hand stainless steel watches from the main players. I would like to see my son get into watches with my help and not have to start with Tissot, Longines, B&M and Tag Heuer…..I would like to see a watch from VC, AP, PP for around 5 grand or lower. Rolex does this well…with their explorer line as well as Tudor.

    • ??????

      Grand Seiko, while not a major player, but offers crazy well finished ss 3 handers below 5k.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e8019e7ad210d0a32c1c459291392dbe60d12f831db53e73fb78c2ca81df8d2.jpg

    • Jon Snow

      This is typical immature internet fantasist territory. Do you also want a Ferrari for 20k? You and your son are too special for a Tissot, Longines etc., but you’re not willing or able to splash out for a more prestigious brand. Not so special after all. Vacheron, AP, Patek – these brands have no trouble selling watches while keeping them out of your reach, so keep dreaming.

      • commentator bob

        Not have to start with to start with Tissot or Longines? Please. VC, AP and PP all have nice basic stainless two and three hand watches. If they are too rich for your blood then don’t put your nose up at Tissot and Longines.

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    Oh yea, best wishes for 2017….hope your live is filled with watches!

  • Ulysses31

    Better prices, naturally. Fewer ambassadors, most definitely. More blue-dialled watches would be nice too. In any industry, competition tends to be most furious at the low-end, and eventually as competitors become more masterful, the competition creeps up into higher tiers of quality. I’d like to see the old brands acknowledge this and offer more value, because eventually customers who are sick of their BS will be able to go elsewhere.

  • Larry Holmack

    The only watch I considered buying this year was a new Casio G Shock….so I got a new one off of eBay for under $175. Spent the rest of my $$$$ from my art sales on some much needed maintenance on my SUV. It could have waited, but a local auto shop had a deal on tires and you got a $150 gift card with the tires. So I got the tires and used the gift card at my local dealership on the maintenance! It was a win-win in my book.

  • I 100% agree. And 100% disagree. I’m 100% sure digital technology and traditional mechanical watchmaking don’t mix. Not unless we’re talking modern additive / automated manufacturing techniques are involved. Anyone wanting a heirloom circa 2007 MacBook Pro? Or first generation Android phone? Stuff that’s essentially obsolete the very second you swipe your card for it? I like seeing the Submariner and the Reverso and the Luminor and the likes. Nothing wrong with tradition. The 911 is a very strong seller with a cult following. I bet Lambo would have loved to hold onto the Miura and keep making it. Take TAG’s new Monza. Nothing wrong with that coming from an otherwise rather uninspiring brand. More colour ? Sure, but prevent Rolex from doing it. More fresh blood? Absolutely. Keep challenging the establishment in more unusually ways. I’d welcome some new manufacturer taking a Frank Zappa kind of approach. China? Well… yes, sort of. Yes minus the stealing. Many on Kickstarter see their stuff selling for $2 on Alibaba before they even have a chance to make it into production. And it not only sucks but kills the wind on the sails of anyone wishing to bring out something new. And stop pulling apart vintage airplanes/ cars and the like for the sake of a fake special edition. That crap makes me particularly sick.

  • Andrew Hughes

    I enjoyed this article. It packed a lot of information and it will provide much food for thought. I will be interested to see how many of your predictions/suggestions come true since many of the 2017 watches, presumably, were already designed in 2016… given production and marketing schedules.

    I wonder if the Swiss would ever allow their ADs to sell as they see fit without the MSRP guidelines because price is the main driver on the internet. This lowers the brand value in their eyes.

    I am glad that you mentioned Seiko.. they are putting out some interesting contemporary and also rearward looking vintage pieces… at the same time successfully.

  • Word Merchant

    It would be helpful for both consumers and the Swiss watch industry if a small panel of us were to review every proposed watch release and only sign off those we deemed acceptable. These watches would then be hallmarked to indicate their aesthetic and mechanical qualitiy level, from Exceptional all the way down to Bremont. We would oversee the marketing of such watches, to ensure acceptable creations were not undone by crass advertising (aka ‘the Patek criteria’).

    We would of course arrange to have inferior watches destroyed to keep them unseen by the world at large, and we would have the power to order the shutdown of an entire company if, in our very humble and non-appealable opinion, their continued operation would cause unacceptable levels of offense. I have already written to Hublot and IWC explaining the very real danger they are in, should my proposal become law.

    Such an approach would save everyone’s time and energy. I can’t see how any readers here could object.

    • egznyc

      Ah, yes, such a modest proposal. 😉

  • Peter

    Less oversize watches that look like wrist hamburgers and a return to around about 40mm would be wonderful. Less special commemorative watches like Mohammed Ali special editions as an example, more simplicity. Less homage watches. A greater respect for Seiko. Some of my personal wishes for 2017.

  • Forever Great

    Less Homage watches for sure. Respect for Asian watches? Uh…nope. More respect for rock solid working man’s watches like Sinn and Oris that can actually take a beating then be hosed off at days end to wear out to dinner. I’d like to see Tag go bankrupt and stop being considered a quality watch along with Breitling, no more celebrity ads, they make me not want to buy that brand. And rolex finally come up with a look that doesn’t say “I need the nurse to come change my bed pan it’s been days” while your at it where’s my teeth?

  • Happy new year to everybody!

  • Pingback: BEST FROM: aBlogtoWatch & Friends January 6, 2017 | aBlogtoWatch()

  • Mark1884

    Sorry, I have to disagree about the Breitling comment. My opinion is that Breitlings are quality Swiss watches, not on the same tier as Rolex, Breguet, AP etc. They have a very rich heritage and connection to aviation.

    I have never been a fan of the Tag watch offerings, so we agree there! The Rolex thought is valid, but they are built on tradition and timeless designs. Yes they may seem old & tired to some. The classics never go out of style, and that is the Rolex way.

  • Watch Ponder

    Ariel, I think design (for me) is the last best chance for the Watch Industry. Blockbuster designs like the Royal Oak, Big Bang, Navitimer, and Speedmaster were all avantguard at one point and shifted preferences to become icons. I put out an article this week on bold designs called “IS DESIGN THE NEXT BIG REVOLUTION IN THE WATCH INDUSTRY? YUP.” @ https://watchponder.com/2017/01/13/design-next-big-revolution-in-watch-industry/