What would make CW Great?

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Amor Vincit Omnia
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

albionphoto wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 2:19 pm
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:
Sorry, wrong again. The food groups are: red wine, tiger prawns, cheese and dates. And if I can’t have Roman numerals, you’re bloody well not having chocolate! :lol:
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by exHowfener »

Can CW have realistically achieved greatness in the time they have been around? As for what would do that, I can only echo other comments that attention to detail, a sensible marketing campaign to raise brand awareness (less arty stuff and more like the classic DDB VW adverts), model longevity with spares backup and ditch the coupons and have a proper pricing strategy. And an honest approach to the warranty - if they must have discount coupons, then perhaps one towards the first service would be better as many first time buyers of mechanical watches may not be familiar with servicing.

Of course Mike France and Peter Ellis know vastly more about running a watch business than I do (which is nothing)!

Please include Cider in your food fair, it's one of your "five a day". Cheese? It's just rotten milk. I hate the stuff.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by mvlow »

jkbarnes wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:32 am
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.
I totally agree with your comments about what cheapens the brand Andrew. I also think along the same lines they should re-vamp the part of their 60/60 return policy that allows a customer to return a watch for a full refund within 60 days. I imagine that it takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and expense to pay for the free shipping, inspection of the watch, and then returning it to inventory for every single watch returned. My issue is with the policy allowing customers to buy multiple watches "to compare them" knowing they will always return at least one of the watches. I have lost count of the amount of times where I have seen people advise others to buy two or more watches at the same time so they can compare them and then return the watch(es) they don't want. I would imagine this happens a lot as well with flippers who buy multiple sale watches and return them when they fail to sell them for a profit on Ebay. Being able to return a single watch is fine, but not multiple watches from the same purchase.

If the policy were to restrict customers to only one return from a purchase at a time it would save CW considerable time and money in the returns process that could be used to improve the speed and QC of their repair and service process. I have no idea how they would implement such a rule as customers should still be able to buy more than one watch at a time, but if they could somehow stop the purchasers who buy multiple watches with the intent of only keeping one, it would be an improvement. I am not aware of any other quality watch company that has such a relaxed return policy that is open for abuse. As Andrew pointed out, there are things that cheapen the brand and I feel this is one of them. I could not see any of the established brands having such a relaxed policy. This may have been a great marketing tool in the early years of CW, but for them to move forward I think it needs to be changed.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 2:51 pm
albionphoto wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 2:19 pm
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:
Sorry, wrong again. The food groups are: red wine, tiger prawns, cheese and dates. And if I can’t have Roman numerals, you’re bloody well not having chocolate! :lol:
My wife says that she IS having chocolate.

We should start a thread on food groups...

Here's my take two

Beer, pizza (allows for cheese and mushrooms), chocolate and olives

I'll let Steve have red wine because we're only going to argue about which red wine is best. Do argue about terroire, variety, country, price, sulfites, tannin levels, label design, aging...
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

^^^But not on this thread, please. Kip will not be pleased! :escape:
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by ajax87 »

CONSISTENCY.

Long lasting core model with minimal changes. More longevity in all lines.

Pick a way to brand the watch and stick with it for good. Don’t try to be “different” about it like some kickstarter trying to rise above the rest. Use the Swish, and include the name below it. That model has proven effective I think, if you take a look at brands that most would consider great. If you’re worried about the balance of the 2 words, center the “Ward” below the Christopher like on the current Sealanders and just add a small tasteful applied swish above it. It wouldn’t be too much. My Speedmaster has a logo and 4 lines of text at the top and I’ve never noticed. But the swish only to me looks bare, and the way it’s painted looks like droplets of an accidental spill of white paint on the dial.

I hate that I’ve become a logo complainer.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by David. S »

Firstly I would like to say I think cw are great already..
When you consider the specs. and attention to detail, from the beutifuly finished cases to the adjustable clasps, they produce great watches.
However, to become next level great they need to stop using standard sellita movements, personally I could never describe a watch that is off by up to 20 seconds a day as truly great.
CW have proved they can release watches with cosc certified movements at reasonable prices, so IMHO for CW to get to the next level of greatness every watch should be COSC certified.
The next logical step in their movement journey would be to offer only sh21 movements in every watch.
I appreciate there are issues with the size of the sh21 movement, but with time and development who knows...


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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by iain »

I don’t think it comes down to the quality of the watches, it’s the ongoing ownership experience where the next improvements should come.

By this I mean as a CW owner, I like to feel as though I’ve bought a quality watch and not an expensive throw away item. CW need to commit to maintaining their watches long after production ends, so I know I can get it serviced and more importantly repaired down the line. I’d also like to see them doing more than just movement services but include a minor polish and refurb service as part of the package. Yes this would increase costs, but sending away a well worn watch and getting it back like new is a great part of the ownership experience you get with the big brands.

There is also the feeling that any watch you have bought shouldn’t be a fashion trend and should remain something you are proud to wear long into the future. If you look at the classic watches out there, they have all evolved slowly and you can clearly see the lineage going back over the years. I’m happy to have some watches released that chase current trends, but CW need some cornerstones of their collection that just slowly evolve over time. They have the trident which is as good as any to hang this responsibility on, but any updates should be less frequent then every 3 - 4 years and changes shouldn’t be too dramatic from one mark to the next. In the future you should be able feel when you wear a trident that is 15 - 20 years old that you are wearing a classic and not an outdated watch.

There will be other elements to this but these are large parts of what I mean by enhancing the ownership experience.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

iain wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 7:05 pm I don’t think it comes down to the quality of the watches, it’s the ongoing ownership experience where the next improvements should come.

By this I mean as a CW owner, I like to feel as though I’ve bought a quality watch and not an expensive throw away item. CW need to commit to maintaining their watches long after production ends, so I know I can get it serviced and more importantly repaired down the line. I’d also like to see them doing more than just movement services but include a minor polish and refurb service as part of the package. Yes this would increase costs, but sending away a well worn watch and getting it back like new is a great part of the ownership experience you get with the big brands.

There is also the feeling that any watch you have bought shouldn’t be a fashion trend and should remain something you are proud to wear long into the future. If you look at the classic watches out there, they have all evolved slowly and you can clearly see the lineage going back over the years. I’m happy to have some watches released that chase current trends, but CW need some cornerstones of their collection that just slowly evolve over time. They have the trident which is as good as any to hang this responsibility on, but any updates should be less frequent then every 3 - 4 years and changes shouldn’t be too dramatic from one mark to the next. In the future you should be able feel when you wear a trident that is 15 - 20 years old that you are wearing a classic and not an outdated watch.

There will be other elements to this but these are large parts of what I mean by enhancing the ownership experience.
I think this might be the most insightful comment yet! I agree across the board.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Jcalder68 »

For me, it would be to have a wider range of models with the option to choose case sizes and movements.

What originally attracted me to the brand half a dozen or so years ago was the fact that I could buy a Trident C60 in 38mm (as well as the 43mm, but that was too big for me). This has been carried on with the C60 range, but imagine a C65 Dartmouth in 39mm, or a Sealander in 41mm? I realise that this would be a huge cost investment, but it would also attract such a wide audience.

Also, movements. My Sandhurst is a very plain, simple watch. Three hands, no date, no frills, but it has a top spec movement and costs nearly a grand on the bracelet. How about a “standard” movement choice for this model? On the flip side, a Sealander or 40mm C60 MK3 with a COSC movement in it would be very popular, I am sure! It was mentioned by CW in a recent interview that adding a COSC Sellita movement to a watch would add approx £150 for the customer. I’d happily buy several!

Just my thoughts. Keep well,

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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by stefs »

Kip...
I don't know if this is possible but I for one would be really interested in Mike's thoughts on the responses posted on this thread. If there is a way of feeding this back to us that would be grand.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Caller »

mvlow wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:27 amI think it is time that CW brought back some kind of presence in the USA.
I think they need to consider that for the UK as well. One office and showroom in the same building after so many years isn't much to shout about. Is the anglo-swiss partnership still really the way forward? Once, it was innovative to sell on-line, now virtually every brand does to various degrees. But bricks and mortar still remains king. The amount of investment going on in watch retail outlets and the sales being generated are phenomenal, can CW really continue to say, 'hey look at us, we're different', when they no longer are?

Again, after so many years and as said infinutum above, CW are a brand seemingly still in search of a lasting identity. At times, they seem to be all over the place, choppping and changing collections, then for a while recently, not even bothering, just introducing speciality models as one off's, or introducing a few Mark II's or even III until the novelty wears off. It's all for the short short term.

I generally agree with the poster above, who said find their place in the market and stick with it. It might be better for all if that was the limit of their ambition. But I suspect that doesn't fit with the original owners modus operandi, which itself might have been sidelined with the ambitions of new investors. But if they have to stay online only, then being the Maurice Lacroix of the internet is at least realistic and sustainable.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

mvlow wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:16 pm I totally agree with your comments about what cheapens the brand Andrew. I also think along the same lines they should re-vamp the part of their 60/60 return policy that allows a customer to return a watch for a full refund within 60 days. I imagine that it takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and expense to pay for the free shipping, inspection of the watch, and then returning it to inventory for every single watch returned. My issue is with the policy allowing customers to buy multiple watches "to compare them" knowing they will always return at least one of the watches. I have lost count of the amount of times where I have seen people advise others to buy two or more watches at the same time so they can compare them and then return the watch(es) they don't want. I would imagine this happens a lot as well with flippers who buy multiple sale watches and return them when they fail to sell them for a profit on Ebay. Being able to return a single watch is fine, but not multiple watches from the same purchase.

If the policy were to restrict customers to only one return from a purchase at a time it would save CW considerable time and money in the returns process that could be used to improve the speed and QC of their repair and service process. I have no idea how they would implement such a rule as customers should still be able to buy more than one watch at a time, but if they could somehow stop the purchasers who buy multiple watches with the intent of only keeping one, it would be an improvement. I am not aware of any other quality watch company that has such a relaxed return policy that is open for abuse. As Andrew pointed out, there are things that cheapen the brand and I feel this is one of them. I could not see any of the established brands having such a relaxed policy. This may have been a great marketing tool in the early years of CW, but for them to move forward I think it needs to be changed.
That’s a really interesting point. I understand why an online only brand would institute such a policy, but perhaps it’s time to rethink it. Here in the US, L.L. Bean (and outdoor clothing and equipment retailer) had a legendary return policy for decades - a customer could return anything at anytime for any reason. It was offered as a statement of confidence in their product. Within the last 10 or 15 years they ended it because people were abusing it so much it had become a real problem.

Now I’m not at all trying to infer that people are abusing CW’s 60/60 but maybe it’s time to rethink the practicality of it? The virtual showroom certainly goes a long way towards giving people an idea about a watch above and beyond the website. Maybe instead of someone buying a watch to see if they like it in person, CW could ship out a sample model for a fixed fee and a hold on a credit card so people can get an idea about a watch. If you decided to buy, the hold is processed with a new model sent out and the sample sent back. The fee for the sample is applied towards the price of the watch. If the sample isn’t returned, the hold against the card is processed. If I was on the fence about a model, I think I’d be willing to pay a fee for an added bit of security about making a purchase with confidence.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

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stefs wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 7:48 pm Kip...
I don't know if this is possible but I for one would be really interested in Mike's thoughts on the responses posted on this thread. If there is a way of feeding this back to us that would be grand.
A good idea but unfortunately he puts more spin on the ball than Alistair Campbell.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by BobMunro »

What is meant by 'great'? It could be any number of things but let's focus on quality, choice, brand image. Here's my tuppence worth:

Quality - CW quality, in general, belies the price point and they compete favourably with brands selling at 2, 3 or maybe even 4 times the price. We know that because we wouldn't be posting on this forum, and in particular this thread. But, as others have said, QC can be a bit hit and miss. Other manufacturers, especially start ups, that sell on quality are niche - AnOrdain for example make fabulous watches at price point two to three times that of CW. They will always be niche, and to a large degree that is part of their attraction.

Choice - I consider there is significant choice with CW, but perhaps too much.

Brand Image - for me this is the elephant in the room. If you look at the age of the brand and the turnover, CW is not dissimilar to Bremont (last accounts c £19m turnover and just about break even after several years of losses due to perhaps higher levels of investment). They have less choice than CW and sell at a price point double or more than CW. What have they done differently to build their brand and what lessons could CW learn should it wish to be in that company? To a degree the cards have been shown - CW sell on value, more than quality but can match Bremont (mostly) on the latter. CW are internet only. To sell on quality (perceived or real) at higher price points they need to change from a value proposition to a quality one. Skoda, Hyundai and the like make very good cars but it has taken a very long time to shift the perception from budget to mid-range - they will never sell at high-end. Perhaps CW need to decide what business model to focus on - large value driven range or smaller range selling on quality at a higher price point. As I said the cards have been shown and very difficult to switch brand image from value to quality.

Bremont have ADs - you can look at the watch on your wrist before parting with 2,3, or more £ks. However good the returns policy may be, it's a leap of faith to spend that sort of cash sight unseen. Although interestingly they are switching more to direct online sales.
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