Should we be worried ?

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
student80
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Should we be worried ?

Post by student80 »

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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by julywest »

It's been discussed to death on the Lum-Tec forum.
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by Russ-Shettle »

Do I look worried? :grumble:
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by student80 »

I am not trying to set fires over here,
but reading on CW web site parts " The story so far" and " Why Christopher Ward" I was impressed buy the fact that he is not only a good watchmaker, he is also a good bussines man - haven't had the chance to read more about it but it seems to me that they wathces are derived from their bussines model and not the other way around

Swiss made is inherent to the brand and if you take away that only thing left are Chris drawing of watches that lie around his desk - in NYT article it is evident that Swatch is trying to put a stop to such practise

Selita is not the answer because it also get's 50 % of their parts from ETA - they are also one of to companies that is taking legal action agains Swatch

It is posible that CW is to small to be affected by the Swatch move but some others will be in trouble, no doubt about it
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by jmarchitect »

Thanks for the link to the article. Very interesting. I had read that the change to movements provided by Selita would protect the smaller companies, like CWL from the move by the Swatch group but if Selita are one of the plaintiffs, then I am mildly worried.

I would be interested to hear Chris's thoughts on this issue, perhaps in the next live chat?
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by ndabunka »

It was posted elsewhere that selitta buys certain components from Swatch in order to produce their finished product. If swatch restricts this then even selitta will have difficulties producing the limited volumes they have been (up to this point). Therefore, it appears that companies like CW will have to rely on their relationship with companies like selitta to get the few internals that will still be available at that point in time.
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by Mortis »

I suspect that Sellita are suing partly because they lost the right to make ETA movements under licence. This was actually more of a revenue stream for them (prior to, I believe, 2007) than selling their "own" movements (which we all know are copies of existing ETAs). Quite a large portion of ETA movements (labelled as such) were made by Sellita until a few years ago. Some CWL ETAs may even be Sellitas - who knows?!

It's interesting that Tag Heuer, who were originally a plaintiff, have now withdrawn their legal challenge. I suspect this is because their "in house" movements have arrived sooner than expected (partly by virtue of stealing / copying a Seiko movement - see elsewhere for details) thanks to pretty hefty investment on the part of LVMH with which smaller companies like CWL can't hope to compete (Zenith and Hublot, as well as Tag, are hardly low-volume sellers!).

All that said, I foresee a few years of panic while Sellita and the likes get up to task and prices may reflect that.
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by student80 »

to Mortis

I read article Tag Heuer - Seiko and all I can say is all that marketing about "Swiss made" designed to protected them from competition and give them higher margins, is coming to bite them

I think that Swatch move is legitimate bussines move. You are right saying that smaller companies are at bigger risk because you have to sell a lot of watches ( or have very high average price per watch sold ) to make it worth while producing your own movement

For me, it not about "Swiss made" as long it is a design that to my taste I' ll buy CWL watches even with japanese movement ( or better, from Tag Heur :) ).
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by Russ-Shettle »

No, we shouldn't be worried!
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by alphajet »

Before the "Quartz Revolution" in the late sixties/early seventies there were a lot of poor quality Swiss watches on the market, I know I owned one in 1961, don't remember the brand name but it was a 17 jewel hand wound, utter crap.
The Swiss watch market eventually came back stronger and better after, so I believe this could be a good thing for the industry. :D
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by Kip »

alphajet wrote:Before the "Quartz Revolution" in the late sixties/early seventies there were a lot of poor quality Swiss watches on the market, I know I owned one in 1961, don't remember the brand name but it was a 17 jewel hand wound, utter crap.
The Swiss watch market eventually came back stronger and better after, so I believe this could be a good thing for the industry. :D
This was part of Nicolas Hayeks reasoning..that the industry would get stronger as a result of these moves by Swatch.
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Re: Should we be worried ?

Post by Russ-Shettle »

Should we be worried? No but CW could be. Selitta purchases 50% of ETA's movement to sell to companies like CW, according to the article however, they do plan on building additional production facilities but that's a few years off, also according to the article. Selitta is second to ETA in size and that's good to know. Swatch is likely to win and do what they want. They could keep supplying to only certain companies while fully cutting off others. It may come down to all politics with whom they (the Swatch Co.) like or don't like. A company who issues lawsuits against an industry they depend on doesn't put them in good standing, does it? CW is not part of that group, as far as I know. You have to wonder what the real reason is, why CW changed his logo which basically removes any reference of "From London". Why did Tag withdraw their lawsuit? Good question and they're not saying. Perhaps they realize it's better to be a friend rather than a foe with the Swatch Co. since they'll loose anyway. Swatch may decide to keep the supply lines going for a few companies who are worthy of their business and perhaps Swatch will someday absorb a few companies of their choice to become like, another Omega. That could be good for CW maybe, I don't know and I can only imagine where this industry is heading. CW will do whatever it takes to survive or close business or rely solely on Selitta to stay in business and that will surely raise demand and prices due to limited productions. There's a lot of uncertainty with the Swatch Company being in control like this. They will win the lawsuits because they have the capital to win and like the article points out, they have every right in a free market to pull the plug on whom they wish. Kiss ass and hope for the best because you have no choice otherwise.