What would make CW Great?

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Kip »

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.
This post was my idea, but as I mentioned, I will try to summarize the results and forward to CW for there information. Who knows it might help them. That would certainly not be a bad thing.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Kip »

Thanks to all that have responded so far. Frankly I am not surprised at most of the suggestions. I did think there might be a bit more detail relative to watches themselves but that is not for me to decide. I want to hear what you guys think.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Kip »

I will state that I really think that the "Swish" should be applied to the dial and lumed in most instances where possible. I think it would be a far classier look.

I would also like to see bronze buckles shipped with bronze cased watches.

One more thing is to always have matching colored date wheels to dial color.

To me these are the little things that make a huge difference even when some people don't notice. My justification comes from my retail background. People never notice clean windows, they only notice when they are dirty. Impressions are important.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

Let's use another lens for this. What about the commentators who don't like the brand. What are the most common criticisms and how might CW respond to become great?

No heritage - Well there's not much CW can do about this. This is also applied quite hypocritically and is seldom mentioned as a criticism of microbrands or media favourites (e.g., Zelos, no heritage, San Martin, no heritage, MB&F, no heritage etc, etc, etc).
Too many logo changes - Hopefully this will settle down now.
Always a sale (or a voucher) - I think someone else has commented on this. For some it's a good thing (especially if you as an individual customer benefit) but it is a running joke that you never pay full price for a CW.
All watches are homages/copies - This isn't true, but it is a common perception. The C63 and C65 Aquitaine don't help here. CW can do original design and don't get recognition for that.
Value not luxury - Tricky one this. CW's roots are in providing a great watch with a clear pricing model. Perhaps the world has moved on. CW used to be compared to Oris. Now Oris have moved up in price. The Calibre 400 has helped drive that. But perhaps this is something that CW can emphasize more. I heard a podcast with William Wood recently. Their marketing person was unintentionally funny because she made sure to say "luxury watch" every second sentence. Now, I don't expect that Mike France will ever do that but will being seen as a luxury product rather than a great value one make the brand great? I don't know but it is surely something to think about.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Robotaz »

Make CW Great Again!

-

MaCWaGA!

-

MACWAGA!
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by thomcat00 »

Some thoughts for now and if I have more I’ll make a separate comment.


Applied twin flags logo at 12
Christopher Ward engraved on the case, and rotor - where exhibition cases used
Model name engraved on the case
Applied index marks and/or numerals
Consistent handset, perhaps a complementary color or high contrast tip to the seconds hand
Light Catcher case is awesome! Consistent use of threaded crowns, with red stem indicator for unseated crown
More COSC options - COSC across the range?
Clear stipulation of requirements/terms of 60mo warranty and service interval
More stock of spares to maintain a watch after model retirement
Greater color variety offerings: Mk3 Trident has black, blue, or white dial - more mix & match with current bezels or added bezel colors.
QR bracelets with micro adjustment are great! Bader deployants are great! More strap variety?
Dress watches
Ditch the voucher
Bolster QC and CS. There are too many complaints in this area even if it is only anecdotal rather than factual. (I have had zero problems with my greater than 5 CW watches.) For example, the dreaded spinning rotor. Would better assessment before the watches ship catch that problem? If the Sellita movement is the problem, allow local competent jewelers to service the watch without an 8 week return transit. Better tracking of returned watches internally with regular customer updates on service progress. It should not be a black hole.

As it stands, I’m pretty happy with what Christopher Ward has done thus far. I’ve only been aware of the brand for about 3 years, and only been an owner of any of their watches for 2. I lack the lived history with the brand but I have explored the previous offerings and added some to my holdings, used of course. I can see how the improvements added quality to the watches over the years.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Lavaine »

Overall I think they are doing a good job for a young company. To improve CW needs to address the little things that come up time and time again:

-Dump DHL. The constant US duty issues are beyond ridiculous. It's clearly a DHL issue, so I'd say it's time to find a new delivery partner. Duties in Canada are a simpler affair, so we don't have the same issues, but their performance here isn't great either. When I sent my C60 in for warranty it was picked up and delivered to CW Towers in 24 hours. The return trip took 6 days. I can't really complain about that since I wasn't paying for it, but it seems (based on the trip to CW) that CW is paying for overnight service and not getting it.

-Fix customer service. What made CW great in the early days was the extraordinary customer service. It needs to be said that Wera was the biggest driver behind that, and we can't get her back, but CW need to recapture some of that Wera magic again. The last year has brought far too many CS horror stories to the forum.

-Website issues. Poor copy and spelling errors. Crashes during sales. Orders that go unfulfilled because the website STILL doesn't update in real time. Sales or new product pages leaking because of poor website security (I sometimes wonder if this is intentional).

-Parts longevity. CW are big enough now that there is no excuse for them to not have parts for watches that are still within the warranty period, if not much longer.

-Acknowledge that the 60 month warranty no longer is. Either fix it (return it to the original 60 month warranty) or call it what it is: A 48 month warranty. Paying to service your watch at 48 months just to extend the warranty by one year is pointless. I can wait until it actually needs service, and I still get the same 12 month warranty on the service. If you are going to force me to service the watch to extend the original warranty, make it worth my while. Give me a 36 month warranty extension if I service before the end of the 4th year and now you are actually offering some value.
They seem socially and environmentally conscious.
They SEEM socially and environmentally conscious, but are they? If CW truly want to be seen as such, they should be seeking Certified B Corp or similar status. This is something that could truly set them apart in a sea of otherwise similar watch companies.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Caller »

BobMunro wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 9:52 pmThey have less choice than CW
This is simply not true. Bremont have more (consistent) collections and more variety than CW. And I am not including the same watch on a different strap.

Bremont have 6 collections, with 'Altitude' having five sub collections: Solo, Airco, pilot chronographs, Martin Baker and U2. In total, not including ladies models or strap options, they contain 47 models. The next collection has 17 models and so on. The 'Mayfair' colllection is just a collection of watches from elsewhere that contain what they perceive as 'dress' watches. The 'Time Capsule' presents their LE's that are still available. Some stunning watches there.

CW currently have 3/4 collections, including 2 dive collections. In total they have 47 models.

As a side issue, the display of watches on-line is pretty awful, 2x2 with different models, dial and strap options seemingly thrown together without any coherant plan.

But my main point is you are comparing chalk with cheese. In that both brands have completely different business models. Bremont have been consistent with theirs, whereas and we all know the history, CW have had more a scatter-gun approach. Doesn't mean one is better than the other, it's just how it is.

Also, Bremont have very few AD's and Boutiques, allthough have expanded recently. Abroad, there are just a handful. It is still difficult for most to view their watches in person. Luckily, here, we have an AD in Bangkok.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by missF »

I saw a review a while back that called CW ‘the Granddaddy of online watchmakers.’ That’s an amazing accolade, and I think points to something that CW has to get right. CW’s website is their entire front of house. I’d like to see the CW website look more upmarket (I’ll leave that term deliberately undefined), and definitely with many more real life pics of the watches. :thumbup:
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

missF wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 8:15 am I’d like to see the CW website look more upmarket (I’ll leave that term deliberately undefined)
It is definitely better than it used to be, but I agree with you and others that there are still a number of issues that could usefully be addressed.

When I click on any of the collections to view the watches, they seem to appear in some sort of random order. I would like to see the individual models and strap/colour variants grouped more logically together.

A great deal has been said about the slip-ups when pages accidentally go live while they are being built, so nothing to add there. It shouldn’t happen but it does. Too often.

Final point, and I think others have mentioned this too. The shopping bag/checkout procedure is still far from seamless. I ordered a strap yesterday and had to log into my account three times before I finally bought it. I was on the verge of giving up and picking up the telephone.

Oh, one more thing as Columbo would say. Am I the only one who would like to see a return to Royal Mail Special Delivery?
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by stefs »

Kip wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:47 pm I will state that I really think that the "Swish" should be applied to the dial and lumed in most instances where possible. I think it would be a far classier look.

I would also like to see bronze buckles shipped with bronze cased watches.

One more thing is to always have matching colored date wheels to dial color.

To me these are the little things that make a huge difference even when some people don't notice. My justification comes from my retail background. People never notice clean windows, they only notice when they are dirty. Impressions are important.
Agree 100% on all three although I thought bronze buckles were shipped with all bronze watches!
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by golfjunky »

just taken this from the new Loupe, This is the terrible marketing and bile that MF spews that needs to stop.

This 25th edition of Loupe (incredible to think it’s six years
since the first) has a definite whiff of garlic about it. That’s
largely because our featured watches belong to the new
Aquitaine Collection, a range of chic retro-dive watches
named after the beautiful corner of south-west France.
The sophisticated design of the Aquitaines capture a
touch of gallic savoir-faire that’s set pulses racing among
those fortunate enough to have already experienced them
in the metal. In fact, in the 18 years since we launched
Christopher Ward, we’ve never had such an overwhelmingly
positive response to a new collection.
There’s something about the rounded sapphire bezel, the
richness of the colours and the elegance of the design
that’s utterly captivating. And if we had a franc (euros are
so disappointingly un-French) for every time someone’s
said, “This is my favourite CW watch,” we’d be living in a
suite at the George V (and having caviar and champagne
for breakfast).
Loupe 25 demanded something a bit special. The Aquitaine
Collection has delivered.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by sproughton »

^^^But it's a French name, so of course they have to mention garlic ](*,)
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Paul Drawmer »

Well....

I reckon that CW would improve their image if they had more confidence in their offering. Dial back on the marketing BS and tenuous 3rd party references and just let the product do the talking.
It's a great product at a great price but sometimes I feel they're a bit 'shouty' about it.

They should really ramp up the attention to the customer and go all out for establishing a great service record (like they used to have) Then they should be able to concentrate on exceeding the customers expectations. They have great products, all they need to be a great company is to have the back-up to go with it.
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Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by missF »

^^^
Well spoken :thumbup: