Falling out of love

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Re: Falling out of love

Post by nbg »

JAFO wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:05 pm I think if I was buying a new CW watch now, I would probably want to buy instantly the watch appeared on sale, as anything else seems to potential involve delays.
I agree David. For normal run of the mill CWs (I.e. everything excluding BC level watches) I will only buy if the item is in stock.

Well excluding the 2023 FLE! :lol:

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Re: Falling out of love

Post by mvlow »

nbg wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:33 pm
JAFO wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:05 pm I think if I was buying a new CW watch now, I would probably want to buy instantly the watch appeared on sale, as anything else seems to potential involve delays.
I agree David. For normal run of the mill CWs (I.e. everything excluding BC level watches) I will only buy if the item is in stock.

Well excluding the 2023 FLE! :lol:

Neil
I third this stance. After seeing all of the responses in this thread, other threads, and on Facebook posts etc. for quite some time now I would be very careful about what I would order from CW at the moment. I have two CW watches that I have owned for several years and still enjoy them. If I were to order a CW at the moment it would not be anything that remotely hints at limited edition, special edition, COSC certified, or has the SH21 movement.

While CW have designed some really nice watches with these "special" attributes, it would be way too frustrating for me to be caught up in the delay, delay, delay these watches seem to experience at the moment for a variety of reasons. The only CW watches I would order at the moment would be the bog standard Selitta movement in their various ranges that show currently in stock. CW makes plenty of nice "standard" watches. I would look elsewhere for anything more special until CW gets it's act together.
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Re: Falling out of love

Post by rkovars »

Chris GB wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:13 am I think that to crystallise why I am finding it difficult to sympathise with CW as a brand, it is because I have given them over £5000 this year. For that money, I have one C63 Sealander to put on my wrist and an inbox full of disappointment.
I want to be clear that this part of my response lays directly on CW:
With CWs success in the last couple of years there has been some friction between that success and keeping a lean inventory. Going forward I think they are going to have to rethink that balance in order to meet customer demands and to keep the process humming more efficiently.
The Bel Canto aside (as we are talking about larger numbers here) I think that CW should consider planning going forward that for smaller runs (i.e 300 piece LEs etc) they should budget and plan to do the entire run up front. The method in the past of building 25 or 50 and building the rest in stages is clearly no longer working. I would say they should also plan for higher availability at launch of regular catalog models. Of course all of this costs money and careful planning should be in place to ensure that there isn't too much inventory laying around that isn't selling.

I am a detail person (electrical engineer) and I don't like guessing. So when the COSC question came up it sent me down a rabbit hole on how the process works. I am also well versed in building products that use suppliers and manufacturers that I don't control and that gives me a little more insight into the whole process. CW controls very little of their manufacturing pipeline (very few watch manufacturers actually do). What they do control is the assembly pipeline. I think that the move to inhouse manufacturing by the big brands has more to do with inventory and supply chain control than it does with quality.

Also, unfortunately, in manufacturing size matters. CW just isn't large enough to move the needle with suppliers when things go wrong. That is just the reality.

I am not trying to advocate that CW is blame free in any way. CW deserves criticism for what they do control (messaging being one of them most important along with managing expectations) but I don't know how much blame they should get for stuff that they don't control. They don't appear to be adhering to the old manufacturing adage 'under promise and over deliver' though and that is a self inflicted wound.

Another good question is whether or not CW is getting a dose of 'be careful what you wish for' with the latest success. They clearly were not prepared for the growth over the last year. Will they be able to correct the trajectory? That is still to be determined. It will be interesting to see how many watches they shipped in 2023 compared to other years going back to before the pandemic. We know that they have had some popular releases but it is hard to gauge exactly how popular they have been.
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Re: Falling out of love

Post by jkbarnes »

rkovars wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:04 pm …but I don't know how much blame they should get for stuff that they don't control…

…They clearly were not prepared for the growth over the last year. Will they be able to correct the trajectory? That is still to be determined.
I think they can bear some blame for what they don’t control, though. They know what they don’t control. They know those things impact assembly and delivery and they know what they are committing to. Maybe they ought to scale back their ambitious plans about model introductions and limited run offerings. And by that I don’t mean hitting the pause button on planned offerings when they run into delays. I mean just don’t plan for so much from the get go - less trains on the tracks rather than slowing all the trains down on the tracks.

I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s ridiculous to roll out additional variations on the BC (to include limited runs and bespoke additions) when you still haven’t fulfilled initial orders. I’d be furious if CW we’re taking pre-sales on new variations while mine still wasn’t even in production.
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Re: Falling out of love

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jkbarnes wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:22 pm
rkovars wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:04 pm …but I don't know how much blame they should get for stuff that they don't control…

…They clearly were not prepared for the growth over the last year. Will they be able to correct the trajectory? That is still to be determined.
I think they can bear some blame for what they don’t control, though. They know what they don’t control. They know those things impact assembly and delivery and they know what they are committing to. Maybe they ought to scale back their ambitious plans about model introductions and limited run offerings. And by that I don’t mean hitting the pause button on planned offerings when they run into delays. I mean just don’t plan for so much from the get go - less trains on the tracks rather than slowing all the trains down on the tracks.

I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s ridiculous to roll out additional variations on the BC (to include limited runs and bespoke additions) when you still haven’t fulfilled initial orders. I’d be furious if CW we’re taking pre-sales on new variations while mine still wasn’t even in production.
But what you propose doesn't do anything but lower the number of offerings. The risk from outside suppliers stands. You get a promised delivery date from suppliers but you have to have a contingency in hand in case they don't meet it (it doesn't appear CW has a contingency). The only way to mitigate the risk is to wait to launch until you have the inventory in hand. Not always possible but if Tudor can do it then so can anyone else. Tudor routinely introduces a model and they are available at the ADs the same day.

As I said above the only outlier is the BC because the numbers are much higher than the other offerings (this is an assumption on my part given the high number of people experiencing delays). The best you could probably hope for here is to under promise by not giving such a precise delivery window (messaging) and minimizing the delay to most customers (managing inventory more efficiently).

It really makes no sense to delay the release of watches that you do have parts for just because there are some watches you have delayed parts for(why delay a new SW200 powered watch when you have delayed COSC movements). Since they are beholden to no one but themselves it should be easy to time a release with a better handle on supply at launch. It isn't like they are waiting for big shows that happen on a certain date to release things. They release on their own schedule.

Of course, this all hinges on the delays being caused mostly by suppliers (which there is some evidence of) and not a bottleneck in assembly (we don't know). If the latter is the case then slowing introductions will help. Having fewer models in the assembly pipeline will allow the pipeline to turn out more watches of a given release. The idea is that they only have so much assembly capacity (they only have so many watchmakers X that can assemble Y watches per day/week) and so you either have more of fewer models or spread assembly over more models producing fewer of each model. The end number of watches remains the same. Of course this is still contingent on the watchmakers having the parts to assemble a given watch.
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Re: Falling out of love

Post by tikkathree »

jkbarnes wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:22 pm
rkovars wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:04 pm …but I don't know how much blame they should get for stuff that they don't control…

…They clearly were not prepared for the growth over the last year. Will they be able to correct the trajectory? That is still to be determined.
I think they can bear some blame for what they don’t control, though. They know what they don’t control. They know those things impact assembly and delivery and they know what they are committing to. Maybe they ought to scale back their ambitious plans about model introductions and limited run offerings. And by that I don’t mean hitting the pause button on planned offerings when they run into delays. I mean just don’t plan for so much from the get go - less trains on the tracks rather than slowing all the trains down on the tracks.

I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s ridiculous to roll out additional variations on the BC (to include limited runs and bespoke additions) when you still haven’t fulfilled initial orders. I’d be furious if CW we’re taking pre-sales on new variations while mine still wasn’t even in production.
This^^^^^.
If it really is the case and speaking as an interested bystander rather than a deposit payer, I've seen nothing to say this isn't the current situation and I'm struggling to find a fair analogy here but taking sweeties from kids is what springs to mind first. There are times when I think about putting my name down for a BC but honestly if I'm going to buy a watch I want to wear the danged thing this side of next Christmas.

I hope that the guy hoping to build an LE supporting US Armed Forces understands how the timescale moves/slips/slides limited edition productions.
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Re: Falling out of love

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tikkathree wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:22 pm
jkbarnes wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:22 pm
rkovars wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:04 pm …but I don't know how much blame they should get for stuff that they don't control…

…They clearly were not prepared for the growth over the last year. Will they be able to correct the trajectory? That is still to be determined.
I think they can bear some blame for what they don’t control, though. They know what they don’t control. They know those things impact assembly and delivery and they know what they are committing to. Maybe they ought to scale back their ambitious plans about model introductions and limited run offerings. And by that I don’t mean hitting the pause button on planned offerings when they run into delays. I mean just don’t plan for so much from the get go - less trains on the tracks rather than slowing all the trains down on the tracks.

I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s ridiculous to roll out additional variations on the BC (to include limited runs and bespoke additions) when you still haven’t fulfilled initial orders. I’d be furious if CW we’re taking pre-sales on new variations while mine still wasn’t even in production.
This^^^^^.
If it really is the case and speaking as an interested bystander rather than a deposit payer, I've seen nothing to say this isn't the current situation and I'm struggling to find a fair analogy here but taking sweeties from kids is what springs to mind first. There are times when I think about putting my name down for a BC but honestly if I'm going to buy a watch I want to wear the danged thing this side of next Christmas.

I hope that the guy hoping to build an LE supporting US Armed Forces understands how the timescale moves/slips/slides limited edition productions.
Private/Customer LEs are tough because you have to announce on the renders because you have to get critical mass to move to production unless you have the resources to bankroll the run up front. CW doesn't have that constraint on their own releases. We did not foresee going through three rounds of prototype dials. It is what it is. In our case I would rather the dial be right than to hit a certain target with a less than perfect watch.
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Re: Falling out of love

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tikkathree wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:22 pm
jkbarnes wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:22 pm
rkovars wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:04 pm …but I don't know how much blame they should get for stuff that they don't control…

…They clearly were not prepared for the growth over the last year. Will they be able to correct the trajectory? That is still to be determined.
I think they can bear some blame for what they don’t control, though. They know what they don’t control. They know those things impact assembly and delivery and they know what they are committing to. Maybe they ought to scale back their ambitious plans about model introductions and limited run offerings. And by that I don’t mean hitting the pause button on planned offerings when they run into delays. I mean just don’t plan for so much from the get go - less trains on the tracks rather than slowing all the trains down on the tracks.

I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s ridiculous to roll out additional variations on the BC (to include limited runs and bespoke additions) when you still haven’t fulfilled initial orders. I’d be furious if CW we’re taking pre-sales on new variations while mine still wasn’t even in production.
This^^^^^.
If it really is the case and speaking as an interested bystander rather than a deposit payer, I've seen nothing to say this isn't the current situation and I'm struggling to find a fair analogy here but taking sweeties from kids is what springs to mind first. There are times when I think about putting my name down for a BC but honestly if I'm going to buy a watch I want to wear the danged thing this side of next Christmas.

I hope that the guy hoping to build an LE supporting US Armed Forces understands how the timescale moves/slips/slides limited edition productions.
Yeah, the persistent pre-orders on new products while yours still hasn't been delivered is frustrating. In my specific case, the thing that **** me off more than anything else was when the Watches@ Limited Edition - a model that opened for orders in March of 2023 - began shipping deliveries to customers before the December 2022 orders. I assumed that CW had run into issues with the dial or the hands - the two elements that differ between the normal models and this LE. But when CW pushed my release again for the second time, they said it was due to the bridge not being up to standard. The bridge is identical between the two models, and the Watches@ LE was being delivered. So the LE - which opened orders in March - got those bridges and the rest of us got delays. That's not a supply chain issue; that's a company choice.
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Re: Falling out of love

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More disappointment. Again notified of further delays. It will be no less than a year since the watch was purchased and still I have nothing to show for my money.

Am I the last to be getting a watch?
Anyone else had the notification today?
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Re: Falling out of love

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS »

^^^^ You're waiting on the C63 Sealander Blue Marine special edition, aren't you?

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Re: Falling out of love

Post by Mikkei4 »

Seems to me it doesn't matter which of the delayed special watches someone is waiting for.

The OP ordered his 2 watches in March 2023 presumably paying the money for both, had been told November 2023 and we're now close to March 2024, a year after the initial order and he still has no idea when he might receive his 2 Blue Marine watches.

If I've read other posts correctly over time this is a situation duplicated with some BC orders. Fortunately I haven't ordered any of the delayed "special" watches but had considered purchase of a Blue Marine when first released. Thank Goodness I didn't as I'd be raising the roof, banging on the Showroom door every day or I'd be in hospital with ultra high blood pressure.

So, as a total "outsider" to these orders, it seems to me that CW have royally messed up their strategy, their project management, customer service and have treated numerous customers in the most appalling way to a point where they should lose future support from potential customers.

Looks to me that it's about time somebody high up in CW got to grips with this nonsense. People have paid out serious money for advertised watches and are no nearer to receiving their order than they were on the first day of ordering.

A very poor show.

Or have I got it totally wrong?
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Re: Falling out of love

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Mikkei4 wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 8:30 pm ……….Or have I got it totally wrong?

No, it seems like you’ve got the issue correct.

It is disappointing all this. As an FLE owner that was ordered and paid for in December 22 and expected in April/May 23, to finally receive the watch a couple of weeks ago was much longer than anticipated.

Had I known at the time of ordering it would have taken as long as it did I wouldn’t have bought it, or if I had, I’d have known what sort of wait I was in for. I like it now it’s here but the whole experience has probably put me off another CW watch. At least new and I’ll certainly never order one that’s on pre order again or another made to order limited edition.

It would be much better to be honest with customers, if a watch is going to take months to arrive then tell us. I’d rather be told a watch wouldn’t be delivered until next year and it to arrive on time, than to be told it would be here in 6 months, then told another 3 months, then it to take another 3 before it’s delivered. It’s about managing expectations.
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Re: Falling out of love

Post by stefs »

For a long while I have thought the best way to buy a cw and avoid issues is used through this very forum.
Genuine people that you can trust and don’t sell watches with problems. ( sometimes knowingly and sometimes not)
A sad reflection on a company that makes really brilliant watches (sometimes)
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Re: Falling out of love

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ITCSUK wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 7:32 pm More disappointment. Again notified of further delays. It will be no less than a year since the watch was purchased and still I have nothing to show for my money.

Am I the last to be getting a watch?
Anyone else had the notification today?
You're not the last, I've had the same email today. Just further disappointment.

CW are looking a shambles. Sure the product is good, but the service level is really very, very poor. A bit more disclosure on my situation with them. I voiced my dissatisfaction at having delays on a product that was paid for and the person I was dealing with agreed to refund me until the watch was ready for despatch. This didn't happen. I'm kind of relieved about this, given the general quality of their organisation, I'd probably never have been notified and would have lost the chance to own one.

If I had ordered the watch, subject to payment just prior to despatch, I'd be a little disappointed, but not unhappy. As it's something I've already paid for though, I'm seriously annoyed. I'll say it again, if CW want a loan to fund building my watch, I'm ok with that, provided it it paid back on time. I effinhate wrigglers. This has, without doubt, cost them a number of future purchases from me.

I'll be roasting them on March 9th
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Re: Falling out of love

Post by tikkathree »

iain wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 8:53 pm
Mikkei4 wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 8:30 pm ……….Or have I got it totally wrong?

No, it seems like you’ve got the issue correct.

It is disappointing all this. As an FLE owner that was ordered and paid for in December 22 and expected in April/May 23, to finally receive the watch a couple of weeks ago was much longer than anticipated.

Had I known at the time of ordering it would have taken as long as it did I wouldn’t have bought it, or if I had, I’d have known what sort of wait I was in for. I like it now it’s here but the whole experience has probably put me off another CW watch. At least new and I’ll certainly never order one that’s on pre order again or another made to order limited edition.

It would be much better to be honest with customers, if a watch is going to take months to arrive then tell us. I’d rather be told a watch wouldn’t be delivered until next year and it to arrive on time, than to be told it would be here in 6 months, then told another 3 months, then it to take another 3 before it’s delivered. It’s about managing expectations.
Hmmm, I just wonder if this admirable sentiment flies completely in the face of some unwritten law of marketing and sales? :?

Whatever the podcast I just happen to be listening to right now, the words "expectation management" popped up and how fitting.

I've experienced kickstarter and other crowdfunding for products including watches and won't ever sign up for another: that's down to delays and qc issues.

This is such a mare's nest of an issue when we seem to accept that there's a philosophical difference between a manufacturer limited quantity production run and a customer generated LE.

How did we get into this situation and if covid threw a spanner into what were the normal dynamics of global parts manufacture, shipping and distribution are we still feeling the effects of that?

Are these delays unique to the watch industry and is CW unique in having these problems? I've never tried to buy a new Rolex but when dealers had window displays showing "display only" were dealers accepting paid orders or were they dealing with it differently?

I decided to create this reply because I don't have the knowledge to answer the question of whether this is a problem caused by CW's internal philosophies and culture or whether what we experience in trying to get our hands on what are usually relatively low-value not-quite-luxury
items is more widespread.
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