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Another pricey microbrand, what would you pay?


longplay
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Adrian over at Bark and Jack has recently posted a video for a new British microbrand called Van Brauge:

Not my cup of tea looks-wise, but the question was price, this retails for £2,300.

It's got an ETA 2824 in it, albeit a chronometer spec one.

So, say £600 of parts and no brand heritage. IMO very overpriced.

Especially when you take into account this doesn't do anything new; it doesn't have particularly ground-breaking looks and it seems confused as to what it is (200m water resistance, so dive territory, yet the rotating bezel is a compass only). And the lack of any brand recognition means the resell value will be peanuts. If you're a microbrand charging north of £1,000 you better have some very good reasons to offer punters.

The other question Adrian asks, is how do you get into the market as a microbrand when you're going to compete with bigger names regardless of the price you charge?

The answer, for me, is you need to offer something the mainstream isn't -- make it unique looking, make it cheaper (difficult), make it bigger/smaller/slimmer/out of unique materials. And avoid dive watches, as there appear to be a million of them.

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Yeah, IMHO the only way a microbrand can cut through is to offer as unique an offering as possible combined with VFM and a good marketing approach.  That must mean stand-out design and spec.  That Van Brauge looks nice enough, well packaged, but is it a sufficiently unique design?  Looks a bit derivative to me, which you might get away with if anyone had heard of the brand name.  But you haven't.  OK, build quality and materials spec, chronometer, etc., is worth paying for, but is it enough?

The difficulty is that low volume production for microbrands means unit costs are going to be an issue that the big boys don't face.  That's going to reflect in price points.

So, Farer has probably come closest to cutting through and they are under £1k. :hmmm9uh:

Comes back down to why you want to by a watch for anything more than just telling the time...  In the end that is a very personal thing. :yes:

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1 hour ago, longplay said:

The answer, for me, is you need to offer something the mainstream isn't -- make it unique looking, make it cheaper (difficult), make it bigger/smaller/slimmer/out of unique materials. And avoid dive watches, as there appear to be a million of them.

Or pay GQ to say it's the "hippest" timepiece to be seen with.

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Looks like the love child of a squale and a breamont. I think they will struggle at that price as non watch people who want a nice watch will want to but something recognisable and watch people will know it’s all drawers and no knickers. I do like the looks, would want a standard bezzel and for me to even begin to consider it, it would need to be sub £1000, any more and I’ll buy established brand where you can know the company has the infrastructure in place to offer customer support. 

 

 

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Overpriced I agree. I'm very interested in some micro brands and have been planning on buying a couple. The good thing is that they range vastly in price (and quality), you just need to find the ones that you like and give you good value for money. Everyone does seem to be doing a vintage style diver, this one reminds me of a Steinhart Ocean One Vintage, maybe this is a lot better than the Steinhart, I don't know...but then that's about £500

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I like everything about it except the case back which is tacky and ugly if you ask me. The whole watch is a vintage lookalike and it should have had a vintage style case back as well.

The price is a bit steep... It has a swiss movement but it's not swiss made from what I can tell...

I honestly love everything about it that I've seen in the video, even the packaging and box. But the price is a bit high and the case back doesn't match the overall style if you ask me.

For the case back they could have gone for something like this with the turtle being replaced by some explorer whatever themed drawing. I wish the crown had a slightly different design as well. Not a fan of that black paint/ink or whatever on the logo.

tropical%20champagne%20certina%20ds%20tu

This would have been a fantastic buy if it was under 1,000 GBP.

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Could we use a car analogy here?

Koenigsegg, a microbrand of luxury sports car... if you haven't seen the Regera single gear car go search it on youtube.

They didn't just start releasing multi million pound sports cars though, they sensibly produced more reasonable cars which were unique and offered high spec for comparably small money.  It was on that basis that they gained the recognition necessary to move cars to the super rich.

If you are going to try and get into the luxury watch game I would suggest you offer something fresh and competatively priced before you start edging up the ladder because who is going to part with big bucks on an untested brand?

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3 hours ago, longplay said:

The other question Adrian asks, is how do you get into the market as a microbrand when you're going to compete with bigger names regardless of the price you charge?

Sell similar grade of movement, quality and materials as the big names but for much less.

There should be a really top movement in that for near 2.5K but there isn't.

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