Facing Adversity

Luxury Watch BattlesFor a new watch company to be recognized on the watch scene and stay for the duration, the stars have to line up perfectly. You remember names, how prominent they once were, and how quickly they fall from grace? Their lines may still exist as a shell of what they once were, but their demise is inevitable if special consideration is not taken to ensure their future. I have been in the industry since 1994 and have kept tabs on many brands to see if they were good buys or not. Here is a dirty laundry list to keep in mind for trades and future purchases – also to steer you away from the companies facing the most adversity at this point in time.

1) Baume and Mercier – Richemont left poor Baume in the basement covered up and forgotten. I have not witnessed a new style or original product there in 8 years or so. Be careful with that purchase.

2) CORUM – After the bubble burst so did this company and how much business they used to do was amazing. They are lost at this time with little following. Sadly, the most popular watches of their collections from the past are shunned like an Amish kid with an iPhone. Stay away.

3) Girrard Perregaux – They can stay on the market and this brand has a chance for revival, if that is what they want. A company that doesn’t know if it wants to be a movement house first or a brand. Huge behind the scene hitter and movement maker to the stars in the industry. It is really their call.

4) Glashütte Original – A great watch that is totally backdoored and sold in trans-ship fashion (the worst I have ever witnessed). A shame thus far, they need to tighten up shop and quick. If they do not it will be Perrelet city for them.

There are numerous others, that I will highlight soon, but try your best to stray from these brands untilled they get their acts together.

8 thoughts on “Facing Adversity

  1. I’m going to make a very unpopular prediction here:
    The rising stars of the watch world are going to be the “rep” makers and their sales outlets.

    The quality is ever increasing ad the public is tired of the prices being charged paying for slick advertising and celebrity (read – dipstick) “Ambassadors.

    Unpopular, and will probably get deleted, but thats a prediction.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Henry. This is Watch Flipr not Time Zone. Your opinions about the watch world won’t get deleted here 😉

  2. Thank you Donald.
    I did not intend for my comment to be derogatory, just what I see in the future for consumer horology. And in all honesty, I do not frequent this “TimeZone” website.

    As the consumer becomes more intelligent and demanding for their product, there will be less and less ‘brand’ loyalty. The demand for quality will increase – but also, the consumer will become less concerned about “brand” and recognize that ‘reps’ are able to provide what they want.

    Just a general prediction and based solely on my own gut…and market observations.

    1. If quality and value means more than branding, then why do reps need to put other brand names on their dials? Your second comment makes no sense at all.

    2. If the reps are so good then why do they need to be reps? Why not slap a new brand name on them and get them out to collectors like that? Wouldn’t you rather wear a high quality homage than a rep?

      1. IMO, a “homage” is a ‘rep.’
        Making a sterile dial is just a sneaky way to go about offering a rep while blowing wind up someone skirt.
        Now I know there are some excellent watchmakers producing some high quality sterile dial watches. And each one, in my opinion, shares enough characteristics with various ‘gen’ watches to establish a link in the buyers mind.
        And understand, I am not saying this is a bad thing – far from it. I am saying that from a consumers position, we benefit from this continuous upgrade of design, quality control, materials and techniques.

        What is going to be the result if a big money Chinese company buys out one of these heritage, but near bankrupt, Swiss watch companies?

        Just speculating here.

      2. What is going to be the result if a big money Chinese company buys out one of these heritage, but near bankrupt, Swiss watch companies?

        That, my friend, is already happening.

  3. I am curious to see what your are on Mont Blanc. Years ago, it’d have been by and large, easily dismissed as a Pen company trying to sell watches. These days, I don’t believe that to hold true. MB have been making a serious effort in the world of Horology and after visiting MB boutique in Sydney, Melbourne and Tokyo, their sales rep know their products which is a good sign. And with previous CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jerome Lambert, heading Montblanc, good things are sure to come from this brand.

    I’m not affiliated with the brand in any way, just an admirer and it was them who got me interested in timepieces many years ago (when their watches weren’t so good but their designs ‘got’ me).

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