What would make CW Great?

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
User avatar
Kip
The Administrator
The Administrator
Posts: 33247
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:45 pm
CW-watches: 147
LE-one: yes
LE-two: yes
LE-three: yes
LE-foura: yes
LE-fourb: yes
LE-five: yes
LE-six: yes
LESeven: yes
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Kip »

Since it seems that this topic has come to a halt it seemed a good time to summarize.

Summary

What would make CW Great?

Thanks again to all who took the time to respond. There have been a lot of well thought out and constructive submissions. While most of the responses are being done from the somewhat narrow perspective of a CW fan and without the intimate knowledge of cost based analysis decisions, the results are still very valid.

I would also like to say that most are very happy with CW and think they have done many very good things to date. We all just want to see them get better.

I broke things down into a few categories. The company itself, watch service and the watches themselves.

Let’s start with the company itself.

The top mentions are that CW should eliminate the constant sales and coupons. It might surprise some, but the “constant” sales were ceased a couple years ago and have evolved into a semi annual sale for the most part. What has continued is the use of vouchers. This leads us to the comments that CW should rework their pricing and eliminate the vouchers, or at least reduce the usage. It is strongly felt that the constant advertising (emailing) of vouchers devalues the image of the brand. I am sure we have all heard that one should never be paying full price for a CW watch.

We are now being told that the “Swish” is the new watch logo moving forward with the corporate name, Christopher Ward being placed on the case back and/or rotor. Will this hold true? Many hope so as they are tired of the constant tinkering/changing of the logo. To some this comes across as a brand still searching for an identity.

Another often mentioned point is to “Stop the buzzword heavy, over the top, pretentious marketing.” I take this to mean that people would just like facts. Enhancement is okay, but the current methods are just too much.

Rework/Reword or reconfigure the 60/60 program. A service should not be required to get an extra year. It is a 48 month warranty. If you are offering a 1 year warranty on service than say so or drop the requirement for service after 4 years. Some have concerns that there may be a lot of abuse regarding the 60 day returns part of the program. For example, multiple watches ordered to pick one. I suppose to a certain extent, this is a hazard of being an online business, but the concern remains. Also mentioned is to find another way to deal with returns.

Improve the website. While much improved from the early years and even from a few years ago, it is still far from appearing as “luxury” site. It needs to look more upmarket with more live and Hi Def photos. The order of the watches shown also needs to be improved. Seems quite jumbled in some areas. Navigation needs to be seamless. Live inventory levels when stock is low. The recently enacted collection of sales taxes for the USA should lead to import duty collections as well. This should also be expanded for worldwide use. Keep it simple for the customer.
Relative to the website…stop the presale/special event/launch leaks. It makes no sense how this keeps happening. It comes across, at this point, as laughable and expected.

More “physical presence” in the USA (North America) is requested as well as in the UK. This would seem to be where the majority of customers are coming from. One showroom in the UK is not enough despite the virtual appointments that are now available. This can come in several forms. Bricks and mortar, service centers and pop ups. Getting back to the GTGs, not only in the UK but in the USA and elsewhere, it is felt would be very beneficial at a grass roots level. Combining the GTGs with a pop up might work.

Other items mentioned were to Dump DHL or perhaps find/offer an alternative for some areas. Some UK members seem to prefer the use of Royal Mail over DHL.

Become a “Certified B” company to reinforce the socially conscious commitment. (Certainly this would be an admirable commitment by CW. Not sure that it is logistically or financially feasible now or in the near term, but worth looking at.)

Enhance customer ownership, via loyalty programs, special gifts etc.


The Watches

The most mentioned item are to maintain a very long term supply of parts. This would seem (at this point) to be more relative to cases and not movements.

Focus more on core models and let them evolve/mature into classics. Extend the model runs and have a few less Limited Editions. Some want more core models and not just unending variants. Introduce more colors at launch of a model.

Improve overall quality control procedures. Although we do not know the actual percentage of QC issues it would seem that there are frequently niggling things that should not happen. That said, It is far better than it used to be.

The new “Swish” should be applied on the dial as opposed to painted. It should also be lumed.

Other watch items mentioned…

Match date wheel color to dials. Don’t just use generic date wheels. Include bronze buckles with Bronze watch cases.
No roman numerals
Ban fauxtina lume
Offer only SH21 movements
Handset consistency across models to develop identity
Model Numbers on watches
Develop in house mov't à la ETA 2824/SW200
Dry Marshal (crown lock indicator) should be expanded across all model lines that use screw down crowns.
All threaded crowns
More/all COSC
CW engraved on case/rotor (I think this has begun)
Name on dial (oh the irony!)

Service

Long term supply of spare parts. (See above – Watches)
Authorized service centers so as to reduce service times and shipping costs.
Improve service time frames (be better than the industry)
Publish basic service rates and what is included.
Service should include some form of refurbishing or at least be offered as an option.
Better internal service tracking and updates to consumers
Suggested service coupons


I am sure we all realize that CW is an online company and that every company has its limitations due to logistics, money and manpower. However, the above are things we would like to see that could improve CW and/or take CW up a notch or two.

Some of the items listed above are certainly personal preferences, but it all matters. The questions that remain are what is CW already looking at? What are they wiling to do? What can they do and what affect will it have on overall pricing if it gets done?

Thank You.
These users thanked the author Kip for the post (total 5):
suicidal_orangethomcat00albionphotoDavid. S0uatiOW
Kip

"Asylum Administrator"


Visit the CWArchives for everything CW. Historical, specs, manuals and resale. It is all there.
Mikkei4
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 3165
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:20 pm
CW-watches: 0

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Mikkei4 »

Kip, Thanks for starting the topic and the summary. I didn't get around to posting my thoughts but read most as they appeared and they seemed to reflect most of what I would have written anyway.
These users thanked the author Mikkei4 for the post:
albionphoto
User avatar
jkbarnes
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 5147
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 8:39 pm
CW-watches: 2
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

That’s an excellent summary, Kip! As summarized by you, I think it’s very constructive feedback for CW. Thank you for doing this.
These users thanked the author jkbarnes for the post:
albionphoto
Andrew
“Everything’s better when you feel guilty.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

C65 Trident Vintage
C65 AMGT LE


Find me on Instagram @jkbarnes
exHowfener
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 729
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 6:26 pm
CW-watches: 1

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by exHowfener »

A service should not be required to get an extra year.
Kip, a service doesn't get an "extra year", it gets what was promised or implied in the 60/60 warranty. And it's worth noting that the warranty is only on the movement - which isn't very impressive really.
I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left
User avatar
Kip
The Administrator
The Administrator
Posts: 33247
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:45 pm
CW-watches: 147
LE-one: yes
LE-two: yes
LE-three: yes
LE-foura: yes
LE-fourb: yes
LE-five: yes
LE-six: yes
LESeven: yes
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Kip »

^^^^ I know that...they know that....poor phrasing on my part.
Kip

"Asylum Administrator"


Visit the CWArchives for everything CW. Historical, specs, manuals and resale. It is all there.
User avatar
WileyECoyote
Senior
Senior
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:34 pm
CW-watches: 8

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by WileyECoyote »

Thanks again to Kip for giving all of us a forum for suggestions on how to make a good company even better! Hopefully this isn’t considered too late, but I would like to add a few comments. I found it beneficial to read my fellow forum members ideas & Kip’s summary. As a U.S. based customer, I believe the most beneficial step would be adding a service center in the United States. Surely at this point there have been enough U.S. sales to justify one. That would eliminate international shipping costs & watches passing back & forth through customs. A service center is more feasible than establishing retail locations. Ordering direct from Christopher Ward in the UK hasn’t been a problem & is part of a sales model that works. 2) Logic would suggest having the service requirement match the length of warranty. If the warranty is 60 months/5 years, the service requirement should be the same. If CW feels that 5 years is too long before that first service, then shorten the warranty! 3) If the $125 discount vouchers are eliminated, I believe people are mistaken in thinking the company will reduce their pricing as a result. Most likely everyone will pay more without the offered discount. I don’t mind paying less. 4) This has been much discussed but I believe taking the brand name off the front is an advertising mistake! Other than the owner, few will see Christopher Ward on the back case. Outside avid CW fans, the flag motif is a meaningless symbol. I don’t mind it but prefer it placed at12 above an abbreviation like CHR. WARD. I recently bought a C8 Pilot Revival & love having that brand name logo above London. I became a CW fan after the rebranding & that logo being retired! I agree, the company does need to make up its mind & stick with it! There a fine companies like Raymond Weil with the name on the front & I don’t see why CW should be any different. Just use an abbreviation for balance at 12, which is simple enough. An even bigger mistake would be ditching the Christopher Ward name altogether after 20 years of building name recognition. 5) I agree, the prerelease/ pre-event leaks make the company look amateurish & are inexcusable. Surely the tech issues can be cleaned up. 6) If CW wishes to be a great company, then there needs to be more continuity of models! That would go a long ways towards solving the spare parts problem. 7) CW has become dive watch centered with most of the new releases being variations of that theme. They know better than I what sells for them. I do believe that there is room & a market for a fine Motorsport range of watches. CW has hit that theme in the past but mostly with quartz models. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a nicely designed Motorsport automatic chronograph? Lastly, I would like to see a possible limited edition Revival dress watch with Roman numerals & a small seconds sub dial. From forum comments & picture posts, there does seem to be some interest. Might not be a wide market, which is why I would suggest a limited edition to test the waters. Overall, I believe Christopher Ward is a great company that treats its customers well. I think that they have some incredibly talented employees & are trying to give their loyal customers what they want.

Delmar
These users thanked the author WileyECoyote for the post:
albionphoto
C60 Trident Bronze Ombre/C60 Blue Sapphire/C65 AM GT LE/C60 Trident Pro 600/C1 Morgan 3 Wheeler Chronometer/C63 GMT Sealander/C60 Abyss/C65 Super Compressor/C8 Pilot Revival
albionphoto
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 2000
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:07 pm
CW-watches: 7
Location: New Jersey

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

Thank you for the great summary, Kip. All the hard work is much appreciated and it's been very interesting to read everyone's thoughts on this topic.
Mark
Bremont, Casio, Citizen, Christopher Ward, Omega, and Oris
User avatar
rkovars
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 1247
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:56 pm
CW-watches: 4
Location: New England, US

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by rkovars »

Thanks for putting this together Kip. I was away last week and off the web for the most part so I missed the post. I don't know that I would have had anything to add. I think CW has already taken the next step and that is where my thoughts would have lain.

I had put together a post around the time the Super Compressor dropped but I don't think I ever published.

In my opinion CW needed to start sweating the details more. Half links, QC (I am talking misaligned text here - that should have never happened), better fit and finish on the bracelets. It is the small details that will make or break a brand.
These users thanked the author rkovars for the post:
albionphoto
"The cure for anything is salt water - tears, sweat and the sea."
Isak Dinesen

Current CW = C65 Trident GMT, C65 Dartmouth, C60 Trident Ombré COSC LE, C65 Super Compressor
User avatar
Alex r
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 1192
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:58 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: York uk

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Alex r »

CW deciding on a Logo name whatever and sticking with it for more than 5mins and for everyone else to stop talking about it,
Buy the watches you like for your Owen reasons if part of the design doesn't work for you buy something else there is plenty of other choices

Sent from my TA-1012 using Tapatalk

exHowfener
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 729
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 6:26 pm
CW-watches: 1

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by exHowfener »

CW deciding on a Logo name whatever and sticking with it for more than 5mins and for everyone else to stop talking about it
"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about" - Oscar Wilde.

Perhaps it's all a cunning plan?
I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left
User avatar
Amor Vincit Omnia
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 28693
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:34 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

^^^ Plan? Cunning? What are these strange words you do speak?
Steve
Linguist; retired teacher; pilgrim; wannabe travel writer

Walk a while in others' shoes...

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time
wookiechew23
Junior
Junior
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:29 pm
CW-watches: 1

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by wookiechew23 »

Thank you for putting this together, and for summarizing all the thoughts people had. Reading through those, they cover all the key ideas that came to mind for me - US presence, collecting customs tariff at purchase, consistency in design/logo across lines, and longevity when it comes to releases and supporting older watches.
albionphoto
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 2000
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:07 pm
CW-watches: 7
Location: New Jersey

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by albionphoto »

As if to prove a point. Including US Customs duties at point of sale can be marketed as a benefit. It may not be easy but it is worth doing.

Formex customs.jpg
These users thanked the author albionphoto for the post:
mvlow
Mark
Bremont, Casio, Citizen, Christopher Ward, Omega, and Oris
User avatar
mvlow
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:29 pm
CW-watches: 2
Location: Oregon

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by mvlow »

albionphoto wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:22 am As if to prove a point. Including US Customs duties at point of sale can be marketed as a benefit. It may not be easy but it is worth doing.


Formex customs.jpg

I asked Farer the same question a few months ago and this is the reply I received. I didn't end up ordering a watch from them at the time, but it appears they take care of customs duties at the point of sale.


Screen Shot 2022-05-03 at 6.45.30 AM.png
Malcolm

Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped – Groucho Marx

CW C60 Vintage Hamilton Khaki Field Sinn 104 CW C65 Vintage GMT Monta Oceanking Elliot Brown Holton
Internaut
Senior
Senior
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:07 pm
CW-watches: 2

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Internaut »

On the customer service side, perhaps if they could consider answering emails?
Watches? Beat up Swatch Irony I bought in the 90s, C5 Malvern (the original), Swiss Military Swiss Soldier Quartz, Seagull 1963, Swatch Blurang, CW Sealander GMT, Motorola 360 (broke), Huawei Sports 2 (broke), Fitbit Charge 5. Festina 8810.