Are you a brand buyer or a watch buyer

Hi all.. as a british watchmaker i find it very sad that in 2022 most people still buy a watch for its brand name and not for the joy of the watch itself. Rolex have done nothing new in 40 years yet there is nothing for sale at any AD in the world !! … this is a very sad place to be when i see great watches from clever people dedicating their lives to the craft yet get very little recognition because they have the wrong name on the dial . !!! Why o why is our industry so driven by brand influence rather than the skill of the watchmaker???? Let the debate begin …

·

Sorry you are so sad.

Watches make me happy.

·

Honestly, I'm a little of both. I bought most of the watches I have because I like the looks, or the story behind the watch, like my Bulova Lunar Pilot, and can afford them. There is one watch that is on the way, however, that I bought because I like the looks and the brand. With that said, there are some brands, like Rolex, that really don't interest me. I could never afford one, and except for the Daytona, they don't do much for me. By the way, I went to a microbrand show earlier in the year and bought a beautiful watch that I absolutely LOVE. Tsao Constellation. It also has a great story behind it. 

Image
·

I personally cant get into microbrands.  I just prefer to buy watches from established brands with a history. 

·

It’s a bit of both - maybe that’s sad but - let’s say a cartier Tank style watch. Can get the real deal or something almost identical for 1/10th the price. But every time i looked at the logo I’d feel a bit sad I didnt have the real thing.

but if a new brand does something amazing I can appreciate it in a different way. So (I know it’s a bigger brand now but) I’m a recent christopher ward convert. because of their quality and originality in the bel canto.

·

I assure you I have no affinity to Casio other than that they make great watches. I have a Vaer on today. This is one of the few newer brands that I don't see as Spaghetti Scametti or people solving questions that nobody asked or have already been answered.

The fact that people buy Rolex annoys me too, but I'd still take a Day-Date. It really holds up after all those decades. 

Brand is one of those things that matters much more before the purchase, when one is thinking about hopes and fears and not more practical tangible matters.

·
Justingalore

It’s a bit of both - maybe that’s sad but - let’s say a cartier Tank style watch. Can get the real deal or something almost identical for 1/10th the price. But every time i looked at the logo I’d feel a bit sad I didnt have the real thing.

but if a new brand does something amazing I can appreciate it in a different way. So (I know it’s a bigger brand now but) I’m a recent christopher ward convert. because of their quality and originality in the bel canto.

Sadly CW watch company is no longer owned by CW and is now another corporate owned toy box. The bel canto isa fantastic example of whats possible when you have a seemingly bottomless budget to create with. The designs are no longer a single mans creations but the now typical design by comittee product. Its a tough place to be and unfortunately the microbrands are their own worst enemy as most come up with some generic design then get a slack handful made in china then put their name on it and declare themselves a watch brand. Hopefully this trend will be short lived and the talented bunch out there beaverin away in their darkened caves will prevail…..

regards rob

·

I don’t think of it as buying a brand. These brands and their watches have built up reputations over the years of being fantastic mechanisms which stand the test of time. I’d rather buy from an established brand than an unknown/unproven one when I’m spending thousands of ££ 

·

Brand matters to most watch buyers, because most watches are mostly about looks/status. Most people spending thousands of dollars on a watch want a quality product, that also is recognized by others as having some form of status. It might be the "insider" recognition of a Sinn, or JLC, but it can also be the obvious recognition of Rolex or Omega.  

Lastly, what some consider a dull/stale design, others consider a timeless classic. 

·

I am one of those who does a bit of both. There are brands I gravitate to, and watches I own where brand was not really a consideration, even if the watch is a big brand. I have also had watches I got because of the watch impress me so much that I bought other watches from that brand because of the brand more than the watch.

·

Design means more to me, but so does whether I can afford it. Just yesterday a YouTube video showed me a ‘new’ Britihs Brand that is working in the same range as the Ali/Amazon Chinese watches, and it was good to see — because other brands working in that spec level (particularly movements) are many times that price range.

If I could nip round the corner, and get a reasonable watch for a reasonable price, I am more likely to ‘buy British’ as it were. But I have yet to see any that are to my liking, particularly in a design sense, let alone price range.

·

Why o why is our industry so driven by brand influence rather than the skill of the watchmaker???? Let the debate begin …

Because there are virtually no watchmakers to service watches outside of the big brands. If there were more watchmakers things would be much different, but there are not. If you buy an odd-ball or small-brand watch you are stuck holding the bag if something goes wrong, just like vintage. If one, like myself, is drawn to mechanical watches because of their longevity and repairability that's a major factor contrubuting to the joy one gets out of it. I have some microbrand (or non major player) watches and I am not looking forward to the repair. I won't lie, being able to go to the Omega boutique and dropping a off vintage watch makes me want to buy more Omega. It really is that simple.

And those watchmakers that do exist... good luck. I once tried bringing a watch to one and couldn't find him, literally, I couldn't find his house from which he works. No website, hard to contact... it seems a lost cause if I am honest.

·

"this is a very sad place to be when i see great watches from clever people dedicating their lives to the craft yet get very little recognition because they have the wrong name on the dial" 

Sounds like the type of watch someone like me will never be able to afford anyway. 

·

While the brand does come into play in my decision making process, it's certainly not at the top of my list. For me personally, I have to be drawn to the watch from an aesthetic point of view, and if the appearance doesn't stir something within me, the name on the dial doesn't come into play at all. If the aesthetics appeal to me, then other factors come into play, such as level and quality of finishing & materials, movement, etc.  

·
MegaBob

Why o why is our industry so driven by brand influence rather than the skill of the watchmaker???? Let the debate begin …

Because there are virtually no watchmakers to service watches outside of the big brands. If there were more watchmakers things would be much different, but there are not. If you buy an odd-ball or small-brand watch you are stuck holding the bag if something goes wrong, just like vintage. If one, like myself, is drawn to mechanical watches because of their longevity and repairability that's a major factor contrubuting to the joy one gets out of it. I have some microbrand (or non major player) watches and I am not looking forward to the repair. I won't lie, being able to go to the Omega boutique and dropping a off vintage watch makes me want to buy more Omega. It really is that simple.

And those watchmakers that do exist... good luck. I once tried bringing a watch to one and couldn't find him, literally, I couldn't find his house from which he works. No website, hard to contact... it seems a lost cause if I am honest.

If a watch features a standard Swiss Eta or Sellita movement it is still easy enough to get it serviced. local watch makers do exist, just hard to find. Maybe a bit of a wait depending on how busy they are.

I got a good laugh about looking for your watch maker. Reminded me of the time I handed over a Seamaster to a watchmaker on a canal bridge In the middle of nowhere. They can be a strange breed. Happy to report watch came back better than ever.

Martins jewellers in Glasgow have a good reputation for repairs and service, might be worth a trip.

·

I'm both.

To me, the MoonSwatch symbolises the importance 'brand' in this game. It's not a great watch. And you could get better for your money. 

But let's look at the other end of the scale. There's a really simple reason Rolex out sells the rest of the category put together. Or trounces the likes of Grand Seiko - who make arguable better watches if you compare pieces from a similar price bracket. The strength of its brand. 

If a Roger Smith could be picked up for a similar price (and you could actually buy one), they would never sell as many watches. Even though they're of infinitey better quality. 

Brands, marketing and cognitive bias matter are what the industry revoles around. And it will always be a (sad) reality. 

·
thekris

I was kidding. I am surprised I haven’t heard of them, but not actually mad. I’m in Mount Vernon.  Are you in the area?

I’m in Charles Village!!