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Repetitive designs or is it just me?


Racso
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Hey all.

I have been wondering about the overall look of watches lately and maybe it's just me and my lack of knowledge in watches.
But I honestly feel like most brands that i know of: Rolex, Tissot, TAG Heuer, Patek and so on are doing the “same thing”. Of Course there are differences in dial design but it is often just miniscule changes to the dial. I am talking about the overall design. Most cases are the same and the dial layout is pretty much the same for most and so on (unless you spend a lot of money). 

And this is not only for established brands but microbrands often follow the same path with yet another cookie cutter “Rolex” diver watch or a Junghans bauhaus style “copycat” of a watch. I understand that prices have a lot to do with this, but some are even more expensive than the likes of Tissot with the same specs. 
What I am afraid of is that a big portion of the watch industry will become more and more uniform in design and that we won't see anything new and interesting unless you are willing to pay absurd amounts of money for a limited 1/39 piece.

Some brands are doing their own thing: Seven Friday, DWISS and REC watches (the ones I know of)

 

Is it just me? Do you also feel that the overall watch design has become repetitive? or do I just need to open up my eyes and look.

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12 minutes ago, richy176 said:

Maybe there are not enough buyers looking for something radically different.

I would agree with that. A lot of "not the norm" offerings that get posted on here often receive the "not for me" comment. Have a look at the Worn and Wound review listing and you will see how "Diver biased" it is. The same with a lot of Kickstarter stuff as well. The ratio of diver watches to actual divers must be at least 1.000.000 to 1.

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1 hour ago, Racso said:

a big portion of the watch industry will become more and more uniform in design and that we won't see anything new and interesting unless you are willing to pay absurd amounts of money for a limited 1/39 piece

Have you ever thought of going vintage? You'll have more variety and (relatively) lower prices

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6 minutes ago, WRENCH said:

I would agree with that. A lot of "not the norm" offerings that get posted on here often receive the "not for me" comment. Have a look at the Worn and Wound review listing and you will see how "Diver biased" it is. The same with a lot of Kickstarter stuff as well. The ratio of diver watches to actual divers must be at least 1.000.000 to 1.

Guilty...I can’t even swim more than a length and two of my watches are divers!

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I think there is a huge range of watches offering something different. Whether from the cheap seats, the rattle yer jewellery seats, or somewhere in between! :biggrin:

Seven Friday have been mentioned, though not for me, but what about Deitrich? Sadly, also not for me. Take a look at the CW Apex watches. Then there is Ulysee Nardin, who do something different at various price points. Some of the new Carl F Bucherer divers are great and a little different. Hoping to see some this week. The Montblanc Geosphere range is being heavily discounted over here and it's a great design. But I guess its when you get to the higher level, that the largest choice of 'different' is available - from Bvlgari to Urwerk and all letters in-between! 

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Im a bit the other way with this, there are plenty of `normal` watches that have distinct style characteristics that make them stand out, even from a distance,  im not criticising the watches the OP mentions like Seven Friday, REC, and DWISS, but they are niche, there may be a market for avante garde/none mainstream watches like this but people like regular design for a reason.

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i too find most of the big players are very samey... especially if youre talking dive / sport watches.

 

Some of the bigger players do mix things up a little though, i think the likes of Rado, Oris, Bremont & Sinn offer something a bit different.... i 've felt myself drawn to micros of late, therss lots and lots of micros doing great things but harder to come across and research.

Brands I have / had / incoming...

 

Unimatic

Armida

D Hodge

Nardi

Mitch Mason

MHD

Undone

Ventus

 

Brands I'm considering / admire...

Gruppo Gamma

Helson

Zelos

H20

Vintage VDB (£££££)

Lorier

Stratton

Baltic

 

 

 

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There is definitely a tendency for producing me-too designs because popular designs/formats are seen as a safe bet.  This is true of a vast swathe of pilots watches, field watches, dress watches, as well as divers - and that's before you look at out and out 'homages'.

A notable very recent example is the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport, which clearly apes the Daytona.

https://wornandwound.com/hands-on-with-the-new-zenith-chronomaster-sport/

I think the big players are particularly guilty of timidity in design, with some notable exceptions. To circle back to Zenith, the Defy range is far more original.

Other more original designs can, for example, be found lurking in the ranges of brands like;

  • Doxa
  • Farer
  • Girard Perregaux
  • Nivada Grenchen
  • Oris
  • Perrelet
  • Rado
  • Sinn
  • Zodiac 

Rado!!! I hear you exclaim? Well this Traditional Captain Cook Mk2 is a bit different;

r33522153_s.png?itok=jHGjiWNs

And even the holy trinity manage the odd different piece, provided you have the money of course;

1359212.png.scale.780.1275.png

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1 hour ago, RTM Boy said:

There is definitely a tendency for producing me-too designs because popular designs/formats are seen as a safe bet.  This is true of a vast swathe of pilots watches, field watches, dress watches, as well as divers - and that's before you look at out and out 'homages'.

A notable very recent example is the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport, which clearly apes the Daytona.

https://wornandwound.com/hands-on-with-the-new-zenith-chronomaster-sport/

I think the big players are particularly guilty of timidity in design, with some notable exceptions. To circle back to Zenith, the Defy range is far more original.

Other more original designs can, for example, be found lurking in the ranges of brands like;

  • Doxa
  • Farer
  • Girard Perregaux
  • Nivada Grenchen
  • Oris
  • Perrelet
  • Rado
  • Sinn
  • Zodiac 

Rado!!! I hear you exclaim? Well this Traditional Captain Cook Mk2 is a bit different;

r33522153_s.png?itok=jHGjiWNs

And even the holy trinity manage the odd different piece, provided you have the money of course;

1359212.png.scale.780.1275.png

Put it better than my attempt... and yes, rado are doing great things, I couldn't resist this!

 

My pic

20201030_184033

 

 

Stock pic that does it a little more justice , still not as pretty as in the flesh though!

 

Screenshot_20201030-195958_Chrome

 

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I consciously try to go against the herd in most things I do. It's the contrarian in me.

some of my 'different' watches... as in watches that fulfill a function without following the normal form or have gone for form over function.

Breitling Superocean Heritage - far nicer than a sub or seamaster IMO - definitely not either but the least unconventional of my 'oddballs'

ECC37-DF7-FEFB-412-E-BD6-F-623-D2-EDC99-

 

Ulysse Nardin +/- Dual Time - definitely not your GMT Master style GMT

D27-F8673-FF6-A-4513-B987-C2215-D6-DDC32

 

Something a bit cheaper that tickled my fancy - don;t wear it much as it's quite small but looks wonderfully mad 

53-EF54-C1-C909-4335-BD28-AD22-A9-E1735-

 

An accepted dive watch (Tuna) but with an unconventional dial  - This one is form over function as it's a bugger to read.

D9810-E5-E-B09-E-42-B3-B05-B-F67-E9-A64- 

 

No Oddball collection is complete without a California dial - this spinnaker was my choice as the additional dial texture is great. 

97-BA6024-AC16-493-A-83-F6-B426-AD350-D6

Then there's the 'ginger stepchild' of Seiko Monsters - the Gen 2 Orange 'superior' monster. With the extra oddballery of a factory black day/date wheel. 

331-E0-B52-FB9-C-4659-A386-4-AD78-F1764-

 

If you look hard enough there are a ton of watches that deviate from the norm and that are interesting and functional (or not). It's what keeps this hobby/curse/obsession fun for me.

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