Watches Lost In Space: Poor Management and Distribution

Fortis Spacemaster

Fortis Spacemaster

Dear Flipr:

How does a watch company go from the stratosphere of the watch world to unheard of within a few years time? Some of my favorite brands have become a whisper in the wind, or discount shop pieces. What gives?

Todd in Memphis

Sometimes a really fine and solid watch brand can run into trouble. It typically launches from Europe with a good name and after some well earned attention makes its way to the foreign markets of Asia, America and so on. Quality movements and unique design brings with it a strong customer base and following (fan club). Brands like this can work for years and years, selling to the base of followers it built, then suddenly… poof, it disappears into a black hole.

We have witnessed the the disintegration of some great lines of watches and you have to ask yourself: is it the customer’s lack of interest, or company management that put these lines out of commission?  In the last 10 years, names like Ebel, Fortis, Chronoswiss, Corum, Bedat, and  Raymond Weil have been lost in space due to poor distribution and corporate take-overs. Sure, not everyone can stay on top forever, but is the job of getting this high quality product to the right hands that difficult of a task?

We hope to see a re-entry of these well known lines again, and most if not all could rebound effectively. What they really need is some sound distribution outside of Europe to keep the watches sold properly and marketed wisely. Hang in there, you may get to wear your bubble watch again in public.

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