How is CW doing? A personal view.

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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by Thegreyman » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:46 pm

A fine quartet of watches there Steve.

My own impression is that CW has remained fairly true to its original ethos, of producing an interesting and wide range of value for money watches.

Where the company is now, they have possibly narrowed the range slightly, but have certainly increased the quality (and of course price) of their watches, however still representing value for money in terms of bang per buck. A couple of examples of recognition of this being the recent Urban Gentry review of the C65 Trident GMT, the GPHG inclusion of the C7 Apex.

I think CW had to up their game in terms of quality and average selling price, as it is fairly clear from their accounts of the last few years, they are not making much, if any profit, which of course for the what they have achieved in terms of building a popular watch brand, they deserve to. So if they can up the price, but justify that through improved design and build quality, then it should be win win hopefully for the consumer and their financial results.

As others have said, when you own some of the higher end pieces, you do feel there are some marginal gains in terms of quality of build and finish but they are very fine margins, especially when compared to the CW current range. Only each of us individually can judge whether the cost of the Tudors, Omega, Rolexes of this world are justifiable to us.
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by rcherryuk » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:31 pm

Personally I think they are doing well, new advertising campaign will drive a new generation of customers their way.

And, if they keep up their newly improved customer service and low cost repairs on 10yr old pieces they will do well there too.
Just no more Logo-Gate eh?
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by Watchamacallit » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:14 pm

An excellent collection and thanks for posting them. It helps brings home my own personal taste in watches, in that if you had asked me 5-10 years ago which of these four models that I liked best it would have been the Omega Speedmaster and CW GMT diver without question. Ask me today and it would be the opposite, meaning I most prefer the Cartier Tank and C65.

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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by Mikkei4 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:54 pm

CW are doing pretty well IMO.

The cases are 100% better than the original releases as they have much better and more attractive profiles now (i.e. less straight sided) and the vast majority of the dial designs are excellent, although not necessary to my exact taste but that's to be expected.

I haven't seen the releases since the C65 Diver came out as I've not been to the Showroom recently but the quality of what I had held prior to that was very good and still VFM.

For me there's been a few snippets of information regarding 2019 releases that keep me interested although everything else about anything new would have to look perfect for me to buy so I could hopefully ignore the logo at 9. That's my problem I know as it's not an issue to hundreds of other buyers but it's just my mind's and eyes' need for symmetry.

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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by gaf1958 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:56 pm

Mikkei4 wrote:....anything new would have to look perfect for me to buy so I could hopefully ignore the logo at 9. That's my problem I know as it's not an issue to hundreds of other buyers but it's just my mind's and eyes' need for symmetry.
Although I wasn’t particularly vocal about it on the forum, I was quite hesitant about buying anything with the new logo, as in the photos, it just seemed ... wrong. I’ve only owned two - the latest FLE and a C65 diver.

In real life I only noticed the logo when I specifically looked for it, then my reaction was that it was largely irrelevant. It’s there, but I really don’t notice its placement, certainly don’t notice the font - it’s quite small really.

Placement is the big question mark for me - still. The watches I own have other things that distract the eye from the logo placement. The FLE has two subdials at 12 and 6 and the C65, likewise, has two large numbers at 12 and 6. These divert the eye and attention from the 9 o’clock logo placement - I still can’t help but wonder whether a watch without this will still look fine to me. I guess I’ll find out, as it certainly doesn’t seem to be a reason not to buy one. Hopefully Image
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by gaf1958 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:07 am

.... and to bring it back on topic, I feel that CW is doing very well, albeit appealing to a different market segment than they did 10 years ago. They’ve gone somewhat upmarket, but the quality has undoubtedly improved along with that move, as has the design maturity, with the new cases being something many of the more established brands could be producing. The dial designs have matured, and bring a more consistent brand “DNA”, although at the expense of some of the “fun” designs that marked their earlier models.

One of the big things that they’ve achieved is that they’ve always been a broad spectrum company, with quite a range - they’re not simply a dive watch company. They still produce a wider range than many more established brands and I think that is one of their biggest strengths.
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by Willf » Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:07 pm

Hi, new here and thought I’d add a few thoughts re my first CW a C65 GMT which was a surprise Xmas gift from my wife.

My daily wearer has been a 2004 Rolex Submariner 16610 bought in 07. In that time I’ve owned a Rolex date and explorer 1, IWC MK xii, Zenith rainbow flyback, O&W chronograph 7750, Omega seamaster, Seikos, Smith W10 amongst others so I feel I’m well placed to compare quality.

I have wanted a GMT watch for sometime now, but a watch that had a conservative but fresh design with a modest case size and had been looking at CW for a while, obviously overlooked by my wife!!
I’ve spent time looking through the forums and YouTube reviews of the c65 GMT and other than the 41mm really appreciated the fresh take with the slight homage nod to the Exp 2 1655 orange 24 hr hand. I liked the retro look as well as the thinner bezel and yes I love on this CW the name at 9. I think the balance of the dail layout is superb. Is it worth £960 though? My wife thought so seeing how taken I was overall and also used a discount promo offer of £100!

So what do I think 4 days in?

Well the build, fit and quality are superb. It’s the most comfortable watch I’ve worn and the 41mm case doesn’t appear too large on my wrist. The dial is lovely with the markers precisely inset, crisp hands and font. The black enamel 24 numbers are also superb.

Every element of the case is also superbly finished, from the coin edge of the bezel, it’s precise and positive operation to the logo on the crown, caseback, sharp defined edges with polished and brushed finishes to a real quality bracelet with the 8mm ratchet adjustable clasp. Very impressed overall here.

And what about that ETA movement? Has CW refined it? Because as I type and after it was synchronised on Xmas morning it is less than one second slow. Correct less than -1 sec and I’ve been wearing it constantly!

There is however one big problem that is a real issue for me and thats dial legibility.

The hr and minute hand are very slender, same width and in low light it’s hard to read the time as the other issue is the old radium lume. Sure this helps give a lovely vintage look but it is frankly useless. If I artificially charge it up for 30 secs it is legible for less than 10 mins. Or move from a naturally light space to a darker room for instance there is no discernible glow. This is a near on £1000 watch also marketed as a diver, where you go from light to dark as well as a dual time watch! The orange hand is gorgeous in daylight but again is difficult to read again the small black 24 hr numbers in the bezel and suffers the same lume issues.

I have read about poor lume quality on CW but only since owning this watch. Old Radium super LumiNova should be fine so I assume it’s due to poor application as in not enough coats? I’m really sorry to pan this beautiful watch in this way but at this price point and how the watch is marketed it’s just not good enough CW. Have you saved here to spend elsewhere on the watch or you’ve just gone too far with style over functionality?? I’d be interested to get their reply when I contact them.

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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by jtc » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:01 pm

^^^^^
Perhaps needs to be in a new thread to encourage discussion! Oh, and pics...... ;)
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by Willf » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:07 am

I’ve put my review onto the C65 GMT thread but starting a lume thread maybe the way!

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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by DerekMc » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:07 am

Well, I hadn't seen this thread till now, and it is very apt, as I have just landed here, and with three CW watches I feel as a lover of time pieces I am able to make some initial remarks.
I bought an immaculate C60 old logo ceramic Trident sold originally in Sept 2016, a NN Blue C60 Pro December 2018 and a June 2012 C9 Harrison. I have experience with many makes of watch from Breitling to Omega and know the feel and slickness of expensive watches is something that can be elusive as I also have experience of cheaper brand watches (Tissot) and straight luxury (Ebel)

I adore my CW watches all of them but sadly they are not without some minor dissapointment, the bezel is a fraction off on my black, but I am the only one who would ever see it, but sadly I do see it and every time I wear it! it's the kind of thing you canoot un-see. If I were pedantic I would have insisted the crown tighten up alligned too, but hey I am anal retentive!
The rest of the watch from the heft (I adore that) the bracelet smoothness and clasp, the dial design and the crown, all truly impress me. It is so far my go-to watch.
My blue C60 new logo, well I can see and appreciate the fuss about the new logo it is, how can I put it, dissapointing as owning the black old logo it does have so much more instant presence somehow, but, in saying that, I really do have to admit, the new logo doesn't offend me I like the new crown more and the new clasp design logo, so a difficult one.
Build quality? Both seem a league ahead of other watches at this pricepoint (Hamilton) and have a bespoke or more boutique feel that suits me, so much so, I'd really like to mount a campaign to see James Bond wear a CW instead of a Planet Ocean next outing :lol: I have to admit, I am here to stay inless they do actualyl resort to the pink dials and fluffy bezels,,,,,,,,,,
I haveno't said much on my impression of the C9, but as it is on the wrist as I write this I have to mention being a used watch it has some "wear" marks but it is just stunning the dial in silver with chrome numerals as a second choice to white but in reality looks all the more classy for being unusual, it wears incredibly nicely and I look forward to the next big social event as I plan to wear it with my full Dress Kilt regalia! I have put it on a mesh today but am waiting for a new leather and will post some pics in another post.

Overall, I am not the most experienced owner or user, but for the money, these watches are just about spot on if the quality was thay tiny bit better on the bezel alignment I would have not a bad word to say so far. I can still look at and lust after other brands but now I don't feel I am wearing something lesser or cheap, I feel I am in good company (if that makes any sense?) and yesterday when in Glasgow, we wandered through the Argyll Arcade (anyone who knows watches and knows Glasgow,,,,) and we did spot comparisons and my wife felt that there was little visually in gain between my CW and the aforementioned Oris, Omega and a Breitling. I know many will disagree but from where I have come from to be here now. I am truly very happy indeed.
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by H0rati0 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:24 am

^^^^^
Derek, I agree with your CW assessment. Quality is on a par with the best, punching well above price point, however there are some design elements that I for one do not feel are altogether comfortable at CW and I think that is because they are nowadays trying to appeal to a "fashion conscious" market rather than following their own harmonious path. For me also, these are not deal breakers but give a feeling of restlessness. This has not been a problem in the three CWs I own, eg the C8PR uses the new logo but classically placed on the dial and my future purchases will be considered accordingly.
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by DerekMc » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:48 am

H0rati0 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:24 am
^^^^^
Derek, I agree with your CW assessment. Quality is on a par with the best, punching well above price point, however there are some design elements that I for one do not feel are altogether comfortable at CW and I think that is because they are nowadays trying to appeal to a "fashion conscious" market rather than following their own harmonious path. For me also, these are not deal breakers but give a feeling of restlessness. This has not been a problem in the three CWs I own, eg the C8PR uses the new logo but classically placed on the dial and my future purchases will be considered accordingly.
Well said indeed, I have to agree, the latest dial design just loses "something" that indescribable "X" factor for so many that it is a surprise why they are not paying attention, as there is a brand new marking opportunity to sell a C60c (classic) and C60i (innovator) side by side surely? as it is just a dial print after all,,,,,,

Or as an engineer am I over simplifying watch making again LOL,,,,,, :lol:
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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by H0rati0 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:13 pm

DerekMc wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:48 am

Well said indeed, I have to agree, the latest dial design just loses "something" that indescribable "X" factor for so many that it is a surprise why they are not paying attention, as there is a brand new marking opportunity to sell a C60c (classic) and C60i (innovator) side by side surely? as it is just a dial print after all,,,,,,

Or as an engineer am I over simplifying watch making again LOL,,,,,, :lol:
Well, also speaking as an Engineer, good design is no more expensive than bad - but what is good and what is bad is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, which comes down to target market. CW seem to think a younger demographic is the way to go but I guess many of us here with a lot of watch experience disagree - Patek Phillipe vs cellphone anybody? Of course CW have to find what works for them, so I will be picking and choosing what works for me and therefore rather discriminating, but each to his own.

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Re: How is CW doing? A personal view.

Post by timor54 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:23 pm

I've been pondering this for the last few days.

I'm the owner of one CW watch, a C60 Trident GMT, purchased new in April this year (I did purchase a C11 from the SC but didn't keep it for long), therefore my observations are somewhat limited and very personal. From the outset I was somewhat conflicted about the watch: it took me two attempts to get a colour I was happy with, having decided my initial white dial didn't work for me, I returned it for a black dial; I'm not happy with the composite dive/GMT bezel which I think should be either one or the other; and I also find the onion shaped hands too busy for my liking, particularly with a GMT hand in the mix.

Having said that, there is inevitably a degree of compromise involved, I'm nevertheless very impressed with the watch and have grown into it. It's build quality and finish is superb, time keeping is excellent as it's clearly been regulated to near COSC standards and having recently added the bracelet I feel it is equal to just about any other GMT watch I looked at within comparably price ranges. The only other GMT watch that would tempt me away would be the Tudor Black Bay GMT which is more than three times the price. To me this speaks volumes about CW quality, value for money and opportunity in the market.

Referring back to AVO's original post I've been looking at it alongside my 'quality' watches (define quality...?). I've three that I would put in this category: an Omega Seamaster 300M, Tudor North Flag and a Sinn 104. My CW is probably not quite up there with my Omega and Tudor, although this may be false pride, subconsciously influenced by what I paid for them compared to the CW. Whereas, I believe it's equal to the Sinn and certainly is a better time keeper. The one aspect in which I think CW triumphs all three is the bracelet. It has transformed my C60 and I think the micro adjustment bracelet trumps anything else I've personally seen and tried on.

What is impressing me is CW's boldness in developing new in-house complications and movements at sensible prices. I've recently been lusting over moonphase complications and the JJ04 movement in the C1 Gand Malvern Moonphase is a pure work of art with a smooth moon movement and the ability to set the moon with the day position of the crown. The nearest comparable watch I've seen is the Meistersinger Lunascope (which uses the same JJ04 movement) that I tried on last week, but it's also more that twice the C1 price. The modular SH21 movement is also a brave thing to have undertaken and whilst none of the current SH21 models do it for me I'm hopeful that there'll be something in the future; maybe a true GMT or a Chrono?

CW are clearly moving upmarket with these movements which is great, but these will always come with a price premium. As long as they do this alongside also offering high quality and good value watches using OEM ETA and Selitta movements then I think the market opportunities for CW are excellent.

My criticisms, and they're not unique to me, are the reliability and functionality of their website. CW as an eCommerce business live or die by their IT infrastructure. I don't know what the recent problems were; DoS attacks, H/W failure or just traffic volumes? but in the 21st century it's not that difficult to build a resilient eCommerce service: a fat network pipe with load-balanced front-end web servers and replicated back-end database servers. Hosting companies such as AWS have been offering this as a service for years with the ability to dial up/down capacity with a 'flick of a switch' to match predicted business peaks or troughs.

Also the functionality is archaic. I bought my first watch online in 1997 and that experience was broadly similar to buying from CW 20+ years later. The online end-user experience with CW needs to be end-to-end: configuring and purchasing your watch, tracking it's delivery, requesting and managing a return, requesting a service, communications with customer support, and so on... Not just for the UK, but for all international markets where CW want to play. In fact it's probably more important for the international marketplace if that's where they see the future growth.

That's my two pennyworth, it's been fun this year and I wish everybody a healthy and happy new year.
Tim

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