Is heritage a big factor when buying a watch for you?

I'd like to understand why I find people in the community appreciating watch heritage or watch brand heritage so much. Sometimes even placing more emphasis on heritage than the actual watch. Personal I've never found heritage to be something I consider, but rather what the watch offers me and how good it looks to me. With the most emphasis I have being on unique, intricate & punchy dials, along with sharp hands and a small case size 38mm>. Though I'm intrested to understand y'alls POV about the subject and what attracts you to a watch if not just the heritage or brand.
251 votes

The past is in the past. I love the past, but it has little to do with a new watch.

The terms that immediately come to mind are "resting on one's laurels" and "what have you done lately?" It's all well and good that people who are now dead did wonderful things 50, 100, 300 years ago for a company that still exists. But it's just a story that is a differentiation for boring snobs at some point.

Allow me to say JLC Reverso, Cartier Santos, Omega Speedmaster. Two of these actually have some modern gee-whiz going on, but the clinging to the past tales sullies it for me.

I personally dont care for heritage when buying watches but do enjoy hearing/reading about a brands history.

Most of the pieces i own have next to no heritage...

Heritage is what you use when there's nothing else left.

Considering that the heritage of some brands includes (but not limited to) financial frauds, tax evasions, drug trafficking, strafing civilians and timing bomb raids and other unsavory activities, I really don't see the point in glorifying a past that is neither glorious nor deserve to be used to justify a purchase.

Depends, you can have a new kid on the block like Studio Underdog, however heritage is a massive thing as mechanical watches are essentially a nod to the past.

I don't think anyone puts heritage above the actual watch but rather it's just another piece of the jigsaw and also let's be real if a company has heritage it usually means they have been producing a decent product.

There are also a fair few brands that have an amazing heritage that don't cost the earth.

Agree with @DeepCmonkey its not all about heritage but it鈥檚 nice to know a watch has historical importance. Just another little + when considering a purchase. Again, if it has no heritage but the watch is cool, I鈥檇 still buy it.

Here's the thing. In today's watch market, there are watches made from parts bins in Chinese factories, with zero history/heritage behind them. Just a company putting pieces together to make a quick buck.

And then, for the same money, are watches that look similar, from brands with heritage. Brands that rose during the golden age of watches. Brands that mean something. When you have a choice between the two, why not take the one with heritage? It's certainly the one that will have better resale value in 1, 2, 5, 10 years... whenever you end up parting with it. I can absolutely guarantee you that right here and now.

YouTubers, in particular, have normalised el cheapo watches from the East for the masses, and normalised that there's no difference between heritage and no heritage but, to me at least, it's still quite a gulf.

I鈥檓 absolutely attracted by heritage and original icons. Or to put it another way - I鈥檓 really put off by things that are homages or inspired by others too directly.

complication

Here's the thing. In today's watch market, there are watches made from parts bins in Chinese factories, with zero history/heritage behind them. Just a company putting pieces together to make a quick buck.

And then, for the same money, are watches that look similar, from brands with heritage. Brands that rose during the golden age of watches. Brands that mean something. When you have a choice between the two, why not take the one with heritage? It's certainly the one that will have better resale value in 1, 2, 5, 10 years... whenever you end up parting with it. I can absolutely guarantee you that right here and now.

YouTubers, in particular, have normalised el cheapo watches from the East for the masses, and normalised that there's no difference between heritage and no heritage but, to me at least, it's still quite a gulf.

I get this and agree with it mostly . . . But there鈥檚 also the reality of that dude that did something cool once 30 years ago and keeps reminding people of it. I鈥檓 sure we all work with or know someone like that who managed to make $$$ on history alone despite not doing anything really new. Heritage can be important, but I think some brands hold onto it too much or just lean on it, which I think can make the watch space in general too homogenous and honestly a bit dull . . . It鈥檚 fine to keep your icon watch but some brands really don鈥檛 move beyond that very much. And I guess I can鈥檛 blame those brands bc they鈥檝e cultivated an audience based on safety and certain expectations.

Meanwhile a lot of the real innovation and fun is coming from micros and indies, which I guess isn鈥檛 terribly surprising since this is often the case in most industries.

SNWatchNerd

I get this and agree with it mostly . . . But there鈥檚 also the reality of that dude that did something cool once 30 years ago and keeps reminding people of it. I鈥檓 sure we all work with or know someone like that who managed to make $$$ on history alone despite not doing anything really new. Heritage can be important, but I think some brands hold onto it too much or just lean on it, which I think can make the watch space in general too homogenous and honestly a bit dull . . . It鈥檚 fine to keep your icon watch but some brands really don鈥檛 move beyond that very much. And I guess I can鈥檛 blame those brands bc they鈥檝e cultivated an audience based on safety and certain expectations.

Meanwhile a lot of the real innovation and fun is coming from micros and indies, which I guess isn鈥檛 terribly surprising since this is often the case in most industries.

The flipside to that coin is that some things come out 'right' the first time. Let's look at the Fender Stratocaster, for example. It still embodies what an electric guitar is today. Is Fender wrong to keep making them? Not on your life. Similarly, if a watch maker had a great design in the 50s, 60s, 70s, do I see a problem with them being made today? Nope, I want a piece of that action. It doesn't stop anyone trying to do something new, but to use the guitar analogy again, when competitors make Stratocaster 'style' guitars with weird headstocks or other gimmicks, I think, why not just get the real thing? Same with watches.

Heritage doesn't mean as much to me as knowing that a watchmaker will be around in the long term. I guess this is where established brands have an advantage over microbrands. If I ever need a handset, bezel, crystal etc particular to a model, then I want to know that I can find these, relatively easily.

complication

The flipside to that coin is that some things come out 'right' the first time. Let's look at the Fender Stratocaster, for example. It still embodies what an electric guitar is today. Is Fender wrong to keep making them? Not on your life. Similarly, if a watch maker had a great design in the 50s, 60s, 70s, do I see a problem with them being made today? Nope, I want a piece of that action. It doesn't stop anyone trying to do something new, but to use the guitar analogy again, when competitors make Stratocaster 'style' guitars with weird headstocks or other gimmicks, I think, why not just get the real thing? Same with watches.

Yeah, this is also true . . . But I stand by my pt that I think leaning in on only that and making the entire watch space only that is a bad thing. Puts blinders on folks. And when I walk into a room and see only the same watch in slight variations, I want something else to shake things up.

A factor? Sure. THE factor? Not by a long shot.

To a degree, yes. But the fact is Timex has "more" heritage than Rolex. So what does it really mean?

DukeMo

To a degree, yes. But the fact is Timex has "more" heritage than Rolex. So what does it really mean?

A more expensive marketing team haha.

I have said in a previous post what I think is heritage:

Heritage: A euphemism in the watch industry. It is mostly used to describe the ungodly high premium which is charged by certain brands for watches that were made in the past by a company they are loosely related to.