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JoT

Watch Brands Who Have Lost Their Way

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Do you have any opinions on watch brands who have "lost their way"?

For me, Zenith always come to mind

From this 1969 chronograph:

0dea7b72-a54f-429d-8072-438d16abf9a6.jpg

 

To this recent offering where function has been sacrificed for what the designer thinks is form

03.2040.4061_69.C496_image_standard.png

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1 hour ago, WRENCH said:

Movado. 

 

And LIP.

I don't think that Zenith has lost its way.

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I think Zenith offer some really nice modern watches.  They have made some stinkers too though.

Many older brands like Rotary, Avia, Accurist, Sekonda and Certina made nicer watches than the current range back in the day.    This does hurt the value of the older watches, so bargains can be found.  Oris have gone the opposite way

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Most of the brands that Swatch has acquired over the years: Certina, Hamilton, Longines, Mido.

+1 for Zenith not losing their way.

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1 hour ago, Lampoc said:

Most of the brands that Swatch has acquired over the years: Certina, Hamilton, Longines, Mido.

+1 for Zenith not losing their way.

I don't know enough of their history to comment in any depth but Iove what longines, Certina and Hamilton are currently doing.

 

A brand that I don't think has lost its way (evolved) enough is Tag, with the exception of the Monaco range I really don't like anything that they do and I can't see their offerings appealing to a younger audience (20/30/40 somethings)... Living on name alone for too long?

 

Edited by Jonesinamillion

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When my interest in watches & horology started in the early 70’s many brands, that existed before the quartz intrusion invasion, had changed very little styling wise, in 30-40 years.

Those established brands, including those that Scott mentioned above, at the time, offered (for me) in their 1940’s-60s models,  traditionally styled, quality movements, at very affordable prices!  

These are a different story now, good quality examples of the same are are rising steadily.

Many of those manufacturers that couldn’t adapt, compete with the quartz arrival have sadly collapsed.  Those that have been resurrected by new investors/consortiums are driven by a whole new agenda, “make ‘em as cheap as possible & flog for as much as the herd will pay” ?

However I look forward to new innovations, mechanically & design.  Along with those relatively new manufacturers (& Kickstarter) bringing fresh, quality, affordable timepieces to the market.

Believe we will see more traditionally styled timepieces by Swatch, from my favoured era, in the future ?

Vintage is best!

:biggrin:

 

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1 hour ago, Karrusel said:

mechanically

It's interesting, and I'll stand corrected, but If I remember correctly, you mentioned the mid 20th century as being the "golden age" of watch making which I completely agree with. Many watches I own/have owned from that period, have been extremely durable, reliable, and accurate. In terms of movement technology, the advances in accuracy are only going to be miniscule. The big improvements have been in materials used in the rest of the package ( case, bracelet, crystal, etc) With the improvements in movement technology (coaxial for example) the costs greatly increase out of proportion. This of course is my own personal opinion, but the beauty of decent mid 20th century watches was their robust simplicity. The ETA 2824's conception can be traced back to the 1950's, but still can be offered as a chronometer spec movement. In real world terms, perhaps the ever increasing hunt to improve the mechanical watch movement is like trying to reinvent the plough, when it's already doing the job just fine. :thumbsup:

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16 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

 In terms of movement technology, the advances in accuracy are only going to be miniscule. The big improvements have been in materials used. With the improvements in movement technology The ETA 2824's conception can be traced back to the 1950's, but still can be offered as a chronometer spec movement. In real world terms, perhaps the ever increasing hunt to improve the mechanical watch movement is like trying to reinvent the plough, when it's already doing the job just fine. :thumbsup:

I’m of the same opinion!

When speaking recently with Roger Smith, this was pretty much his shared opinion (professional experience). His personal favourite ‘golden era movement’ was the robust, accurate/efficient, ease of maintenance, Omega 30T2 series!

Fairly confident his tutor would have agreed also ?

Who are we mortals to disagree with such endorsement of vintage movements. :biggrin:

:thumbsup:

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6 hours ago, JoT said:

Do you have any opinions on watch brands who have "lost their way"?

For me, Zenith always come to mind

From this 1969 chronograph:

0dea7b72-a54f-429d-8072-438d16abf9a6.jpg

 

To this recent offering where function has been sacrificed for what the designer thinks is form

03.2040.4061_69.C496_image_standard.png

have to compete with the Chinese tho

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21 hours ago, Lampoc said:

Most of the brands that Swatch has acquired over the years: Certina, Hamilton, Longines, Mido.

+1 for Zenith not losing their way.

It's an interesting view and in respect of Longines, MIdo and I would add Rado to that list, then until recently I would have agreed with you - and I suspect someone at swatch would have done so as well. As in the last 2-3 years, firstly Longines then Mido and latterly Rado have upped their game. Often with resurrected classics being given an update. I hope the apparent extra investment being thrown their way continues! 

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Heuer lost its way in the late-1970s and finally became irredeemable in 1985 when it became TAG Heuer - a textbook case of how to devalue a brand :yes:.  100,000 estate agents can't be wrong :laughing2dw:

A watch brand needs a reason TO BE.  The mistake the big groups make is throwing together watches with inexpensive stock movements, simple shiny cases, me-too dials, at silly prices.  The Swatch brands seem to be trawling through their back catalogues to 'reimagine' their watches from the past - especially true of Longines and Rado atm and some are well executed.  But look at the RRPs!  Ouch.  To me, price is also a factor in losing your way.  If you're trying to squeeze the buyer for every penny, it hurts the sense of value.  This may be one reason why 'lower end' luxury brands are seeing the steepest fall in sales volumes.

Zenith being in the LVMH stable, along with TAG, Hublot and Bvlgari, does suffer from group think.  It's one key plus for me is its hi-beat 5hz El Primero movement.

I wonder how much of this waywardness is down to fixation with selling to China?

The most successful in defining their own way, IMHO, are the likes of Oris, Zodiac, Chopard, GP and Perrelet.  I'm not saying they're all great, but they do define themselves well.

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56 minutes ago, Hayballs said:

IWC 

IMHO 

Great watches , just twice as expensive as they should be most of the time given the base movements they use and the case finishing they employ.

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On 01/03/2020 at 21:19, Jet Jetski said:

have to compete with the Chinese tho

Might be something in that!

95.9000.8812_78.M9000_image_standard.png

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On 01/03/2020 at 14:59, JoT said:

Do you have any opinions on watch brands who have "lost their way"?

For me, Zenith always come to mind

From this 1969 chronograph:

0dea7b72-a54f-429d-8072-438d16abf9a6.jpg

 

To this recent offering where function has been sacrificed for what the designer thinks is form

03.2040.4061_69.C496_image_standard.png

https://monochrome-watches.com/zenith-el-primero-a384-revival-review-price/

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12 hours ago, RTM Boy said:

Heuer lost its way in the late-1970s and finally became irredeemable in 1985 when it became TAG Heuer - a textbook case of how to devalue a brand :yes:

 

Meanwhile ... 

https://www.lvmh.com/news-documents/press-releases/record-results-for-lvmh-in-2019/

https://www.lvmh.com/news-documents/press-releases/record-results-for-lvmh-in-2018/

https://www.lvmh.com/news-documents/press-releases/2017-record-results/

 https://www.watchpro.com/tag-heuer-and-hublot-help-lvmh-increase-sales-by-5-to-e37-6-billion/

 

Maybe Tag like the idea of lots of people wanting their watches.  And making them, too, so you can have one!  (Hublot is the big surprise there, have you seen them?  I suppose that is the LVMH token for the weirdo watch fiends lol)

11 hours ago, JoT said:

Might be something in that!

95.9000.8812_78.M9000_image_standard.png

Many a true word Mr. JoT, many a true word.  Not that I am prone to jesting.

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10 hours ago, Jet Jetski said:

Maybe Tag like the idea of lots of people wanting their watches.  And making them, too, so you can have one!  (Hublot is the big surprise there, have you seen them?  I suppose that is the LVMH token for the weirdo watch fiends lol)

Feeling controversial today, so here goes; TAGs may well be available and they may sell well to used Audi drivers, but to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it's extraordinary how potent a 'cheap' watch is. :partytime::laughing2dw::laughing2dw:

Also, not sure it's looking quite so rosy for LVMH now, or going forward, though; https://www.ft.com/content/85ce58be-534b-11ea-8841-482eed0038b1

I'm going a bit off topic, but thinking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, buying a TAG isn't going to be as high on your list of things to do if you live in China, South Korea, northern Italy or any other current or future hotspots for COVID-19.  Even if it doesn't get worse, sales are going to take a hit.

But whatever, a vintage Heuer is always better than a TAG! I'm off to my bunker to await incoming...:thumbsup:

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21 minutes ago, RTM Boy said:

vintage Heuer is always better than a TAG!

Possibly applies to a lot. Like vintage Breitling. And modern day triple calender watches, can't compare,

ae42d150-e51a-4ddc-8039-e3103597a9d0.jpg

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47 minutes ago, RTM Boy said:

Feeling controversial today, so here goes; TAGs may well be available and they may sell well to used Audi drivers, but to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it's extraordinary how potent a 'cheap' watch is. :partytime::laughing2dw::laughing2dw:

Also, not sure it's looking quite so rosy for LVMH now, or going forward, though; https://www.ft.com/content/85ce58be-534b-11ea-8841-482eed0038b1

I'm going a bit off topic, but thinking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, buying a TAG isn't going to be as high on your list of things to do if you live in China, South Korea, northern Italy or any other current or future hotspots for COVID-19.  Even if it doesn't get worse, sales are going to take a hit.

But whatever, a vintage Heuer is always better than a TAG! I'm off to my bunker to await incoming...:thumbsup:

I think the problem is possibly branding itself, which is essentially to command a premium, whether on cornflakes or watches.  Perception then becomes more important than facts. Let's blame Hans Wilsdorf (rude not to).

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It is an interesting thread and it would be good to find out what the 20 somethings, and 30 somethings buy based on what they like rather than looking at watches from years gone by.

Thankfully from my own experience as a guy in his 50's (early 50's...honest) it is nice to see the next generation being interested in watches. I have a number of step-sons, and son-in-laws that all have a 'decent' watch, albeit quartz, and not one automatic. (not that there is anything wrong with quartz)

The main watches they own are Tag Heuer, Tissot, and Festina. My view on the 'brands that have lost their way' is the brands that are not being bought by the next generation, and the brands that are spending too much time looking at their back catalogue. Just an opinion.

So well done all the 'decent' brands that are been bought by the next generation of collectors....but not the likes of Daniel Wellington or MVMT hyped watches that are style over content.

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, tick-tock-tittle-tattle said:

It is an interesting thread and it would be good to find out what the 20 somethings, and 30 somethings buy based on what they like rather than looking at watches from years gone by.

Thankfully from my own experience as a guy in his 50's (early 50's...honest) it is nice to see the next generation being interested in watches. I have a number of step-sons, and son-in-laws that all have a 'decent' watch, albeit quartz, and not one automatic. (not that there is anything wrong with quartz)

The main watches they own are Tag Heuer, Tissot, and Festina. My view on the 'brands that have lost their way' is the brands that are not being bought by the next generation, and the brands that are spending too much time looking at their back catalogue. 

I too was thinking that our opinions possibly demonstrate a demographic skew!

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When I was part of the "next generation" I didn't have a clue :laugh:

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