What would make CW Great?

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Laird
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Laird »

Great thread Kip - following with interest ... cogitating on some thoughts I have before putting pen to paper ...
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by golfjunky »

Wow this is a loaded question. With a turnover of £13m i'd say they are doing pretty well so far.

I agree with others about horrid cheesy marketing, QC issues (havnt had any myself and maybe perhaps this forum acts as a magnifying glass for such things), logo changes (cant see this being easy if they want/have to keep the name) , letting lines mature (just look at the submariner), i think they have been flogging a dead horse when it comes to the dressy pieces as they always use a movement that is too big and it just doesnt make a good dress watch, I applaud the effort of the SH21 but again its too fat, i'd much rather in house version of the standard eta/sellita manual or handwound this would be brilliant imo. As mentioned above being the DFS of the internet greatly devalues the company imo and Not to make fashion watches that have a coloured plastic disc in them.

For me the most it would be proper market recognition, i dont give a monkeys what some say on here until they are praised by the power houses such as Hodinkee etc then they will always be a micro, and i do not mean paid for fluff pieces or just an article on a new release. Unless i have missed it they have not been heralded as this wonder that some think they are. This point seems the very crux of the original question, they are not yet great and no one outside of the fanboys thinks they are great.

The Sealander is great and the watch that many of us on here have been asking for for years. Gentle tweaks to the big hitters would be great. I mention letting a line mature and they have done this with the C60 Trident but the logo changes have marred the evolution imo.

I do not think they have a strong enough USP, at first it was being 'the Rolex of the internet' and whilst the pricing was amazing that can and has only lasted so long. What are and what do CW want to be known for? with micro's such as Unimatic it is a strong design, with Monta it is quality, with Baltic it is retro etc etc.
Rightly or wrongly they have tried to be jack of all and now finding they are master of none. As i have mentioned i agree that they have to try things to find what works but maybe they have tried too much too soon.

Some bricks and mortar presence would escalate them imo, to be a highstreet name would be the next step as atm they are just for the nerds and bargain hunters.

I do not know what CW define as great but i imagine Bremont type success as a target, If im right then i wish them all the best in that pursuit.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Dickchins »

I think messing around with a logo/name every 10 minutes does nothing for the company. Im no expert in the matter by a long chalk, but to an average joe like me, it smacks a bit of uncertaintity, or even no real idea of how/where they want to go with it. Its like they're just winging it everytime someone suggests something. If they want to be great, they need some brand identity to start with and I dont feel they even know that themselves, let alone their customers.

Ive had absolute dramas with (lack of) customer service and without a certain couple of people at cw towers, id be long gone forever as a customer and more than happy to share my experiences with others. There definitely needs to be either better training, better staff in general, or a uniform ethos to deal with customer service as its a lottery at the mo and has been a good while now. This includes service and repair.
I got a crown replacement and other repairs done recently, in 4 weeks ish. I was more than happy with this. Around the same time, I waited 9 weeks for a simple battery replacement under warranty. I was shocked when it came back that that was all it needed.

The final thing looks as if its a very common thought. Having little or no chance of repairing or replacing parts on a watch after just a few years is a major issue from me, and has probably been the biggest feature in my attitude towards CW watches. If this wasnt an issue, I probably wouldnt have sold about 2 or 3 in the last couple of years but fearing they could literally end up as parts or worse after a few short years if they got damaged, made my decision to move them on a must.

Having read my ramblings, I can see this sounds like a bit of a cw bashing session, but the question posed does throw up these answers. I love cw and I will continue to buy watches from them, but until they address these points, I will buy a cw watch knowing it will never be something passed down to my lads, as it simply wont be around that long.

Cw need to have pride and conviction in their products, enough to stand behind them proudly for decades, knowing they will stand the test of time. Imo, thats what makes a great company great.

Aspire to this cw, but more importantly, achieve it!!!
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

As I read all these comments, I find quite a few I would agree with - longevity within a line, extensive spare parts for older watches, more of a footprint in North America (especially regarding servicing).

I can’t help wondering, however, how realistic some of those are for a company less than 20 years old. Some of these comments seem like a huge ask for a company still so young and small. These are worthy long term, aspirational goals, but I don’t see any of that as stuff that can be addressed here and now.

What can be addressed in the shorter term are the QC and CS issues some people have raised. Improvements there would make CW great. And I agree with the comments about pricing with the constant sales and vouchers. I’ve always felt that cheapens the brand. When companies or stores are constantly running sales, it makes me think their products are over priced initially.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

1. CW to become profitable
2. Collect US duties at time of purchase (no more DHL dancing)
3. Emphasize original and modern design
4. Ban fauxtina lume
5. No roman numerals ever
6. US service centre
7. Ability to support/repair watches that are out of production
8. Make the warranty 60 months without having to service it after 3 - 4 years
9. Continue with the customer interaction via forum/FB/ tradeshows bring back GTGs inc in US
10. Figure out how to sell to China/Asia without a physical presence

This is only in order of importance for 1. and 2..
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

albionphoto wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:35 am 5. No roman numerals ever
Surely you are allowing your own personal prejudice to dictate that. What about the people who like Roman numerals?

I could just as easily say no blob indices ever, or even no dive watches ever! (And yes, that’s my personal prejudice!) :D
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by stefs »

Incredibly common themes being presented here!
Cheers now, Paul
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Re: What would make CW Great?

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Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:41 am
albionphoto wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:35 am 5. No roman numerals ever
Surely you are allowing your own personal prejudice to dictate that. What about the people who like Roman numerals?

I could just as easily say no blob indices ever, or even no dive watches ever! (And yes, that’s my personal prejudice!) :D
I did say that only item 1 and 2 mattered. No roman numerals link to modern, forward looking design. it is inevitable that personal opinion/biases and more objective/actionable thoughts mix in a thread like this. CW would fail if they only make the watches I like or the watches you like. Determining which designs will sell and be profitable is the most important thing.
I could have added that CW need to raise prices and maintain volume to get them to profitability sooner. Now that would make me really unpopular.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

albionphoto wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:55 am CW would fail if they only make the watches I like or the watches you like.
True, Mark. I’ll get to that in a minute but first to deal with your point about forward-looking design. Are you implying here that Rolex, Omega and Cartier should all desist also from making watches with Roman numerals? Because they all do; obviously they are a trademark feature of Cartier but the others produce them as well (and as well as other types of index).

As to the bit I quoted, I did state in my first post on this thread that they need to bring variety back into the catalogue. As an analogy, I love cheese but I don’t like chocolate. I’m not going to go to my local supermarket and tell them to stop stocking chocolate, though I might be justified in suggesting they expand the range of cheeses. And I certainly wouldn’t walk into a chocolate fair and complain because there was no cheese. At a food fair, however, I would complain if there were whole aisles of chocolate and a couple of bits of cheese. We actually need some salad, fruit and vegetables as well as cheese and chocolate.

Yes, I understand that they need to produce watches to sell, and they need to sell watches to survive, thrive and grow. But I think they also need to bring back some variety, and by that I mean not just different colours of dive watch! Actually, if you look at the SOTC I posted yesterday you will probably see that I have fairly eclectic tastes.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

ADDENDUM

I think it’s worth noting that:
  • I am not an expert of horological,
  • I have no background in business,
  • I know nothing of marketing,
  • I’m unfamiliar with product development and product lifecycle, and
  • My experience and familiarity with supply chain logistics is zip.
Any observation I offer referencing anything outside my areas of expertise and experience must be taken with reservations.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by nbg »

jkbarnes wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:21 pm ADDENDUM

I think it’s worth noting that:
  • I am not an expert of horological,
  • I have no background in business,
  • I know nothing of marketing,
  • I’m unfamiliar with product development and product lifecycle, and
  • My experience and familiarity with supply chain logistics is zip.
Any observation I offer referencing anything outside my areas of expertise and experience must be taken with reservations.
With that list Andrew you are probably….

No different than most.

In this instance I reckon that all views are valid. It’s for CW to filter them and put in context.

Even if someone said “I work in marketing”, or “I run my own business” that still doesn’t mean that know what they are talking about.

E.g. during your career I expect you have come across teachers who you wouldn’t let anywhere near a classroom, if it was down to you. No different than any area of “expertise” - there are the good, the bad and the indifferent. :)

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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:09 pm
albionphoto wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:55 am CW would fail if they only make the watches I like or the watches you like.
True, Mark. I’ll get to that in a minute but first to deal with your point about forward-looking design. Are you implying here that Rolex, Omega and Cartier should all desist also from making watches with Roman numerals? Because they all do; obviously they are a trademark feature of Cartier but the others produce them as well (and as well as other types of index).

As to the bit I quoted, I did state in my first post on this thread that they need to bring variety back into the catalogue. As an analogy, I love cheese but I don’t like chocolate. I’m not going to go to my local supermarket and tell them to stop stocking chocolate, though I might be justified in suggesting they expand the range of cheeses. And I certainly wouldn’t walk into a chocolate fair and complain because there was no cheese. At a food fair, however, I would complain if there were whole aisles of chocolate and a couple of bits of cheese. We actually need some salad, fruit and vegetables as well as cheese and chocolate.

Yes, I understand that they need to produce watches to sell, and they need to sell watches to survive, thrive and grow. But I think they also need to bring back some variety, and by that I mean not just different colours of dive watch! Actually, if you look at the SOTC I posted yesterday you will probably see that I have fairly eclectic tastes.
Rolex, Omega and Cartier are large enough to access and sell to many different customer segments. Christopher Ward aren't (yet). Rolex, Omega and Cartier can also afford a much broader product mix (range of platforms). The advantage the big guys have is that they have high margin products such as precious metal watches which can support lower margin (and potentially lower volume) products. CW aren't in that position.

CW seem to be moving in the direction of having four product platforms C60, C63, C65 and Cxx. I keep the Apex/Concept watches as a "special" group. Each platform will have to sell. Maybe you'll get lucky and the new platform will be dress watches. Only CW can say right now. There were some hints at the last forum preview about future products that you might like in some sizeable regards. My other question is "How real is the demand for dress watches?" Many people on forums and the wider watch community profess to like and desire them but will they actually buy them? Is the watch community representative of the broader buying public? Not having done the marketing I can't say. I strongly suspect that at the current CW price points that market is relatively small.

I'm not arguing against variety. I'm arguing for profitability. If CW find that dress watches don't sell at full price, don't pay back their development costs and so on, can they afford to make them? I suspect that if they made a limited number of dress watches at a high price then they might be viable. But would CW be able to find enough customers for a multi-thousand dollar (pick your currency of choice) dress watch? Perhaps the "knock your socks off" watch that's supposed to be coming in October will answer that question.

i will be the first to admit that my tastes aren't that eclectic and that roman numerals are a particular bug bear of mine. I do own a watch with subtle roman numerals on the dial and it's a CW. But this is all immaterial. CW have intentionally limited their business model with the 3X cost v. price promise. They don't have the flexibility to support a low volume range unless it is much higher priced. Would I like to see a broader product portfolio? Yes, of course. Perhaps I've spent too long in corporate America but I can't help thinking that if the founders/backers of a company have to keep adding money to a business (750,000 GBP in 2021) then fixing that is a higher priority. What I'm not sure of is, will greater variety help.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:09 pm chocolate and a couple of bits of cheese. We actually need some salad, fruit and vegetables as well as cheese and chocolate.
Cheese and chocolate are two of the food groups...

The food groups are: beer, mushrooms, cheese and chocolate :lol: :lol:
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

nbg wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:34 pm With that list Andrew you are probably….

No different than most.

In this instance I reckon that all views are valid. It’s for CW to filter them and put in context.

Even if someone said “I work in marketing”, or “I run my own business” that still doesn’t mean that know what they are talking about.

E.g. during your career I expect you have come across teachers who you wouldn’t let anywhere near a classroom, if it was down to you. No different than any area of “expertise” - there are the good, the bad and the indifferent. :)

Neil
Ooh, now I’m worried my comment might have come off a little passive aggressive! I hope not; that was not at all the intent. And if it did, let me offer an apology to any who might have taken offense. Again, not the intent.

You are 100% right with your teacher example! And that was excellent for illustrating your point. I see what you’re saying and have to agree with you. Point well taken, thanks.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by golfjunky »

I think you mean. Beer, Pasta, sausages and chocolate
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