Something you should know

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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Kip
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Something you should know

Post by Kip »

Although there will be no formal announcement, We have been advised by CW that, moving forward, they will no longer be using discount vouchers on a regular basis nor will they be included with the release of the Loupe magazine.

It should be noted that it has been two years since any 15% off promotions and this year CW didn’t participate in Black Friday, instead running a donation based Blue Friday. According to Mike France, the impact of the vouchers is actually very small now. CW has always offered a great value and this will continue moving forward regardless of the watch category.

Although the vouchers will be certainly missed by some, many over the years have made it known that the constant sales and voucher issues serve to "cheapen the brand" and affect the long term perception. Over the past couple of years CW has reduced both the frequency of sales and voucher usage.

As a result you may wish to pay more attention to the sales when they do happen. Again, There will be no voucher in the next Loupe magazine.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by audio.bill »

Thanks for sharing this info, Kip. It should be helpful to know this in advance which can influence our future buying decisions.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by tikkathree »

Kip wrote: Mon Jan 02, 2023 2:23 pm Although there will be no formal announcement, We have been advised by CW that, moving forward, they will no longer be using discount vouchers on a regular basis nor will they be included with the release of the Loupe magazine.

According to Mike France, the impact of the vouchers is actually very small now. CW has always offered a great value and this will continue moving forward regardless of the watch category.

As a result you may wish to pay more attention to the sales when they do happen. Again, There will be no voucher in the next Loupe magazine.
Kip, thanks for this heads-up; I'm sure we'll all look back with affection to the days of paper vouchers and discount codes.

But now I've clouded the issue.... Kip are we saying that discount codes are being phased out or is it just the paper vouchers? :problem:

I can see how the paper vouchers almost belong to a time before internet shopping but the discount codes themselves? I'd have thought that they'd be missed in a quite significant way. :(
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Re: Something you should know

Post by jkbarnes »

Seeing as how the paper voucher was essentially just a print out of the code, I took Kip’s announcement to mean the discount codes in general.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by stefs »

Good decision.
They are good enough vfm without the vouchers which I always felt cheapened the brand.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by Thegreyman »

From Kip's post, I'd read it that the actual discount codes themselves will no longer be in operation.

Following on from the success of the Bel Canto, which I think has partly allowed CW to make this change, it is probably a good move from CW to protect the brand value and it will also help maintain the residual value of used watches too.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by rc51owner »

Obviously some will welcome this news, but for me as a person looking to buy my first CW watch, this is going to negatively impact me buying a CW. As someone who does not collect watches as a hobby, the cost of a watch has to share funds with my actual hobbies. The lack of a voucher will lessen the value proposition of CW - there are a lot of manufacturers using Sellita movements at this price point. CW have just been doing it longer so had a sense of permanency as a company as a result.

I will have to definitely keep an eye open for the sales. Being on the other side of the world, the timing of them isn't great. It always felt like the good-uns had been snapped up by those in more favourable time zones and only the dregs left over.

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M

P.S. I wrote this up earlier and hit the Submit button and it never got posted.

P.P.S. It would have been nice to know that the previous voucher was the last one so that fence sitters like me might have taken advantage of it before they were phased out.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by welshlad »

Just to clarify, it's both the discount codes and the associated printed vouchers that will be stopping.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by tikkathree »

Thegreyman wrote: Mon Jan 02, 2023 3:50 pm From Kip's post, I'd read it that the actual discount codes themselves will no longer be in operation.

Following on from the success of the Bel Canto, which I think has partly allowed CW to make this change, it is probably a good move from CW to protect the brand value and it will also help maintain the residual value of used watches too.
And yet, whether it's engine oil, domestic appliances or watches of any brand the discount sale is a recognised global retail "thing".

I've never subscribed to the idea that either a periodic percentage discount offer, or the reduced price sell-off of what a car manufacturer would call a "runout model" (basically old stock) is somehow a bad thing which cheapens the brand. Crikey even Marks and Spencer have a Christmas sale :lol: :lol: :lol:

Clearly we need Kip's confirmation of what's being phased out, paper vouchers or discount codes. UPDATE: Welshlad has the answer.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by Kip »

welshlad wrote: Mon Jan 02, 2023 4:29 pm Just to clarify, it's both the discount codes and the associated printed vouchers that will be stopping.
Confirmed.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by Thegreyman »

tikkathree wrote: Mon Jan 02, 2023 4:35 pm
And yet, whether it's engine oil, domestic appliances or watches of any brand the discount sale is a recognised global retail "thing".

I've never subscribed to the idea that either a periodic percentage discount offer, or the reduced price sell-off of what a car manufacturer would call a "runout model" (basically old stock) is somehow a bad thing which cheapens the brand. Crikey even Marks and Spencer have a Christmas sale :lol: :lol: :lol:
I still do think that the perpetual £100 off did confuse what the true price of a particular watch was, better just scrap the voucher. I do hope though there won't be inflationary price rises on existing models given the scrapping of the voucher is essentially a notional price rise in itself.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by Macdaz »

Thegreyman wrote: Mon Jan 02, 2023 3:50 pm From Kip's post, I'd read it that the actual discount codes themselves will no longer be in operation.
That is my understanding and seems to be that across Facebook too. As ever a CW announcement seems to polarise opinion and I guess I have a foot, or at least an understanding ear in each camp.

I can see the the logic in the decision. I can also see precedent in either approach. ADs will offer a discount on mainstream and premium brands. Farer, for example, transparently never discount. Marloe began by stating they would never discount and then over the last 12-18 months have introduced discounts and promotions. I guess the right approach is the one that works and only CW will truly know that.

My personal view: I've posted before about the difference between normal people and us. For the normals, I don't see much of an impact as most wouldn't know about the discount before their first purchase and wouldn't be making multiple purchases. For those of us that feel the need for more, certainly for all of us here and on FB, we knew there was always a voucher so we effectively knew that real life prices were retail minus £100 and we made our decisions accordingly. In that respect this is effectively a price increase. We buy what we like, and £100 is not likely to be a deal breaker for something we really like and want

But. We also buy what we can afford. Putting aside the actual cost I think there is also the psychology of feeling you're getting a deal. (Even if deep down you know you're not). Supermarkets play us all the time and I know I'm kidding myself (and Mrs McD) when my 'man maths' includes the discount, but I still do it. It makes me feel less frivolous and like I'm getting a bargain. It's the same principle as pricing things at £595 instead of £600, so I do wonder if there will be an impact here - It will just feel more expensive. Time will tell.

I've seen some comments on FB of people saying they will never buy CW again. Do I agree? No. Will it affect my buying behaviour? Without doubt. I know CW is great value but ultimately it comes down to how much money I have and now for each purchase I will have to find a bit more, that will absolutely have an impact, even if it is just increasing the time between purchases by the time it takes to save the extra.

All that being said, my next CW will be the FLE so the discount doesn't apply and there is nothing else in the current range that I want, but don't already have so the impact on me is not immediate. In the longer term am I less likely to buy a CW? Yes, but only a little bit.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by Jkpa »

Right so let’s make sales of 2 million + pounds on the Blue and Green BC releases (and who knows how much more on the other colors), and then pull the rug out from those potential buyers in January who were waiting for the voucher before they order their first Sealander.

If you are going to make such a change, I think a warning of more than “zero days” would be smart but hey I don’t run a watch company, I’m just someone who has bought 20+ CW watches in my life, several of them with a voucher. I like a good deal. If I perceive “the deal” to not be as good, it’s harder to justify hitting that purchase button.

All the stuff about “cheapening the brand” is hogwash. Are you trying to become Rolex and Omega? Discounts are still available for many many brands, just not at the brands CW would like to be in the same bracket as.

I get it - you want to move upmarket and stabilize the brand for lack of a better word, but the timing and delivery is poor.

IMHO.
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Re: Something you should know

Post by MichaelMD »

With their recent very reasonable pricing on the Trident 300 release I tend to agree with them that gimmicky discount codes aren't really needed anymore. Typically when a company offers discounts they simply build the discounted dollars into the price anyway. And yeah, to be taken seriously as a high-end watch producer they probably need to move away from that model.

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Re: Something you should know

Post by exHowfener »

Firstly, thanks to Kip and Welshlad for the update.

And my opinion? (for what it's worth :lol: ) I think it's a good move. I like a bargain as much as anyone else, but as pointed out above - an automatic discount is surely built into the price so it's not a real discount. Given the early commitment from CW on transparent pricing, this move reinforces that.
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