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Thoughts on the replica watch discussion


John just posted a video showing how close the quality in fake watches is coming to those of the genuine ones they replicate. I want to respond here. In fact, I’m a little angry.

First, let’s get this out of the way: replicas are at once beloved and reviled. They’re beloved because they let someone with a limited budget to enjoy the experience of a nice watch. They’re reviled because, quite simply, they make people who paid full retail for a Rolex or Patek feel bad. In the language of consumerism a replica is a shortcut and we all hate folks who take shortcuts, don’t we?

Regrets… I’ve Had a Few

WUS talks about watches they regret selling.

My Vacheron Overseas Chrono was a big mistake when I sold it. I loved that watch. The funny thing was that with all the MORONS in the world everyone notices my Rolex and my Vacheron never got a compliment!!

Morons, eh?

What do you regret selling? [WatchUSeek]

The End Times Are Here: Fake Seikos


blue2.jpgI don’t even know how this sort of thing happens, but it seems someone is faking Blue Monsters now. I suppose there’s a market for them, but it literally looks like they molded the entire watch and just recast it. Very strange.

eBay: Mens Divers Watch SCUBA OCEANIC Diving Fun Splash (item 180075376765 end time Jan-22-07 18:22:22 PST)

Charlize Theron Didn’t Wear Her Weil


charlizetheron_150.jpgOh no! Raymond Weil, watchmaker to the Sears, is suing Charlize Theron for wearing another watch or something. I’m saying BFD.

In court papers filed late Monday in state Supreme Court, Weil said Theron signed an endorsement deal saying that from October 2005 through December 2006 she would only wear Weils high-end watches.

That deal allowed Weil to use Therons photographs in its advertisements in exchange for “substantial funds,” court papers said.

Meanwhile, Theron had an endorsement deal to promote a Dior perfume, Weils lawsuit said. The 31-year-old actress “was actually photographed wearing a watch from the Christian Dior line” at a March 14, 2006, news conference at a film festival in Austin, Texas, court papers said. A photo of her wearing the watch is included as an exhibit.

Charlize Theron Sued by Swiss Watchmaker [MSN]

Patek Philippe 5970 – Worthless

Patek screws up. Big time.

What? What’s the problem? Well, you simply cannot rapidly and accurately read the stopwatch time between 27 and 33 seconds as the calender cuts in to the stopwatch scale. 0/10 for function Patek. Sorry, but it’s just not acceptable to make GLARING FUNCTIONAL ERRORS on watches this expensive. However, it is becoming more and more common through the industry. I can quote other examples but why bother? Nobody seems interested. These type of watches remain sales successes with the general public and get worshipped even by the cognoscenti. Here’s the 5970 and question is, what’s the stopwatch time?

Patek Philippe 5970 – Pasta Timer or True Chronograph? [Velociphile’s Journey into Watches]

COSC Chronometer Certification Down for 2004


Timezone has some info on COSC Certification for 2004. COSC Certification is a pretty arbitrary certification of a time-piece, allowing it to be considered a “superlative chronometer” or some such pish-posh. It looks nice on the face and makes your watch more ‘spensive.

The number of timepieces registered fell by 10.4%, to 1,137,716 (1,104,691 in the mechanical category, -10.6%, and 33,025 in the quartz category, -3.8%). “In view of the behaviour of watch markets in 2004, this result could be seen as surprising,” writes the COSC in its annual report. “The findings must however be viewed in a relative context, possibly reflecting a depletion of stocks,” it points out

Read the rest here.

Chinese Tourbillions, the Snakehead of the Watch Industry


Velociphile takes a close look at the rise of the Chinese tourbillions. What was once an expensive complication is now commonplace. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Good quality watches have always been available cheap, think Seiko 7s26, and even high complications such as rattrapante and repetition have their cheap functional examples in Western makers (Nivrel, Kelek, ETA etc) and that doesn’t prevent sales of more expensive versions. But if the Chinese begin to manufacture complications like this, a) at high volume, b) with super low prices, and critically, c) provide ‘Western’ companies with these kind of high complication base movements, the question is how do the Swiss maintain a clear “luxury premium” buffer?

Read the rest here.

Price Fixing vs. ‘Spensivity


Everyone wonders why watches on-line cost much less than watches in the store, and there are a number of very complex explanations. However, when you buy at a bricks and mortar store, you create a relationship. When you buy online you send tendrils into the ether. Which is better? Even I don’t have an answer. But here’s a great thread about Price on WUS.

If your’re an AD, you don’t want to get your’re franchise pulled because
you over discounted. It’s far better to walk them instead. For most dealers,
Rolex and Cartier are their “bread and butter” lines and if there’re pulled, there’re doors may close soon afterwards. The margins on Patek, Panerai,
Rolex and Cartier are so thin, overdiscounting is like cutting your own throat. It’s stupid to discount Panerai, there’re at least five waiting in line
willing to pay full-pop, but if your’re a big customer, deals are made.

Strict Price controls? [WatchUSeek]

Beware the influencers


What is an influencer? Is it a WWR writer? A lady who wears a bikini in every Instagram shot? A guy who leans against cars and shows off his abs?

Maybe it’s none of those. And maybe that’s fine.