Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

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Amor Vincit Omnia
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Some brilliant posts in this thread – thank you for the response. I want to pick out two of the shorter ones to comment on because I think they are very significant.
downer wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:40 pm
As a career path, and speaking generally, marketing is more lucrative than engineering. Sad, but true.

I think that could be the root cause of all this madness.
How true. People who know me well understand that I have a very uneasy relationship with marketing generally. Although it is clearly impossible, I try to see as little advertising as I can, and to ignore the bulk of what I see. I have become quite good at not seeing things.

One campaign by a watch company, a few years ago, did strike me as a clear cut above most, as you might expect. It featured in black-and-white, or even occasionally sepia, photographs of people who were clearly meant to be understood as beautiful, successful and affluent; they were always accompanied by a beautiful child of the same gender, and were embarking on some dream lifestyle experience. Driving a speedboat out of a Mediterranean harbour, being at the controls of a racing yacht, saddling a beautiful horse, boarding the overnight first class Wagon-Lit from Paris to Nice. The strapline was something about never actually owning the watch, but merely looking after it for the next generation. You know the one.

Which brings me onto...
Viognier wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:41 pm
I would add that watches, when serviced properly, can be handed down to generations.
And so they should be. And I do believe that watch companies worth their salt, who aspire to the luxury tag, should be pushing this aspect of their product much harder than some of them do.

To paraphrase another famous campaign (I changed the product): A Watch Is for Life, Not Just for Christmas.

And not just for a couple of years, for that matter.

My opinion, but I can see I’m not alone. I’ll shut up now.
Steve
The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.
Charles Babbage


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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by downer »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:34 am
Some brilliant posts in this thread – thank you for the response. I want to pick out two of the shorter ones to comment on because I think they are very significant.
downer wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:40 pm
As a career path, and speaking generally, marketing is more lucrative than engineering. Sad, but true.

I think that could be the root cause of all this madness.
How true. People who know me well understand that I have a very uneasy relationship with marketing generally. Although it is clearly impossible, I try to see as little advertising as I can, and to ignore the bulk of what I see. I have become quite good at not seeing things.

One campaign by a watch company, a few years ago, did strike me as a clear cut above most, as you might expect. It featured in black-and-white, or even occasionally sepia, photographs of people who were clearly meant to be understood as beautiful, successful and affluent; they were always accompanied by a beautiful child of the same gender, and were embarking on some dream lifestyle experience. Driving a speedboat out of a Mediterranean harbour, being at the controls of a racing yacht, saddling a beautiful horse, boarding the overnight first class Wagon-Lit from Paris to Nice. The strapline was something about never actually owning the watch, but merely looking after it for the next generation. You know the one.
Yes, advertising and promotion is one factor, although when I made my post I guess I was recalling the army of "product managers" I encountered in my life within various consumer products industries. It seemed to me that most of their energy was directed at product launches, always seeking a way to introduce a new variety (novelty) or upgrade as a perceived way to drive sales growth.

Often we would find that the "Mark 2" version achieved a similar sales level to the "Mark 1", despite having spent tons of money on product development, inventories, advertising and promotion etc. Then the argument came...If we didn't launch Mark 2, Mark 1 sales would have reduced in the future... which is, of course, very difficult to measure.

Do I miss being part of that world? Nope. :lol:
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by nathanclarinet »

Great thread, some really interesting thoughts in here. I can see a theme developing and I sit in the same camp as others generally using the 'buy well, buy once' principal. Certainly the case as I have got older! It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of some of our younger forum friends noting that perhaps those that have commented thus far may represent the more 'senior' end of the spectrum!

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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by scooter »

Nathan

I'm sure that the youngsters are too busy having fun and not worrying at all about words such as longevity and obsolescence.

That's how it should be.

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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by nathanclarinet »

I suppose you are right - and good on em!

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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by strapline »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:26 pm
I don’t know what the answer is, but I would love to see a model that achieves iconic status and is available in relatively or even absolutely unchanged form for many years to come. Thinking Speedy, Submariner, Tank, Reverso and so on.

That’s probably a bit of a pipe dream from a brand in this sector of the market, I don’t know. I just threw it out there in an idle moment. All thoughts welcome.
I think the C60 Trident has a lot going on that's right, and I say that as as someone that doesn't own one or has even seen one in the flesh. It seems to be the model that CW has built a lot of its rep and following on. Perhaps if they were to tweak that even further, offering a Grand Seiko type version of the same watch but tweaked. Perhaps a different alloy used for the case instead of 316L, certainly an in house movement SH-21 or a new tailor made offering. Do away with the 'marmite' logo at 9 and have some really strong branding at 12, again, really simple, something that denotes a higher, luxury arm of the same company. No discounts or promotions offered on them...ever, and maybe limited production runs. Perhaps, rather than trying to be all things to everyone, it's time for CW to really raise their own bar and go in search of that legacy piece.
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by jimbo »

Davy Crockett wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:19 pm
Having read peoples views above I think there is a general agreement on the buy for longevity rather than replacement/upgrade.

I was brought up in working class family in Yorkshire(flat cap & whippet jokes!!) and didn't have a lot, toys were handed down and bikes were repaired to keep running, not get a new one. I still have my Trek ZX7000 mountain bike from 1996! :)

I work hard and earn a very modest salary but there's some left at the end of the month - not having kids might be the reason?? :lol:

I did go through a phase in the 90s of upgrading my mobile each year but nowadays and just dipping my toe into my 50s I tend to buy with thought and keep. There is the odd exception and I do impulse buy at times!!

Unlike some colleagues my car is 17yrs old and I don't change it on PCP every 2 years or have the latest iPhone n+1 each year.

I've waffled a bit sorry! I prefer to buy a 'keeper' but enjoy buying a few to find it :lol:
Hey Davy Crockett, My father in law is a Yorkshire man....He was a twin, for one birthday he and his brother were given a roller skate...each, and because he was left handed, when they had a xmas present once he got the left handed boxing glove and his brother the other....I'm not kidding :) Times were tough in those days they had to climb up coal slags for coal, and he and his brother shared a bed, their cover was an old army great coat.....he hated coal/wood fires as they reminded him of his yoof !!

When he died, he left his Omega to my son....he treasures it!
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by Davy Crockett »

jimbo wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:26 pm
Davy Crockett wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:19 pm
Having read peoples views above I think there is a general agreement on the buy for longevity rather than replacement/upgrade.

I was brought up in working class family in Yorkshire(flat cap & whippet jokes!!) and didn't have a lot, toys were handed down and bikes were repaired to keep running, not get a new one. I still have my Trek ZX7000 mountain bike from 1996! :)

I work hard and earn a very modest salary but there's some left at the end of the month - not having kids might be the reason?? :lol:

I did go through a phase in the 90s of upgrading my mobile each year but nowadays and just dipping my toe into my 50s I tend to buy with thought and keep. There is the odd exception and I do impulse buy at times!!

Unlike some colleagues my car is 17yrs old and I don't change it on PCP every 2 years or have the latest iPhone n+1 each year.

I've waffled a bit sorry! I prefer to buy a 'keeper' but enjoy buying a few to find it :lol:
Hey Davy Crockett, My father in law is a Yorkshire man....He was a twin, for one birthday he and his brother were given a roller skate...each, and because he was left handed, when they had a xmas present once he got the left handed boxing glove and his brother the other....I'm not kidding :) Times were tough in those days they had to climb up coal slags for coal, and he and his brother shared a bed, their cover was an old army great coat.....he hated coal/wood fires as they reminded him of his yoof !!

When he died, he left his Omega to my son....he treasures it!
Blimey....tough times! But nice to hear your son treasures his grandfather's watch :thumbup:
We didn't have a lot but we made do with what we did have. Makes me thankful of where I am now!
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by jkbarnes »

I just came across this on YouTube. I think it fits with some aspects of the discussion in this thread. It’s about the fight against “throw away” culture.


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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by exHowfener »

There is of course a very good reason why manufacturers don't make things to last. Nest time you get the chance, watch "The man in the white suit".
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by H0rati0 »

exHowfener wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:50 pm
There is of course a very good reason why manufacturers don't make things to last. Nest time you get the chance, watch "The man in the white suit".
There are still companies that do make things to last, but alas pricing has to take that into account....however with diligence one can play the game. Cue gratuitous shot of long term repairable watch (Zenith are a pleasure to deal with) I will always treasure and hope to hand on:
IMG_0943.jpg
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by gaf1958 »

nbg wrote:For watches most of my regularly worn are designs over 50 years old.

I have zero interest in upgrading my phone, tablet, laptop or TV on a regular basis.

For footwear and clothing I take the view buy well and it lasts and despair at the disposable fashion trend.

I keep cars for far more years than is fashionable to those stuck on the hamster wheel of endless replacement PCP deals.
Neil,

You’ve largely summed up my views on most things... I tend to keep my cars for at least ten years, in some cases much closer to twenty. Clothing ... good lord, I’ve never been a trendsetter, not my style at all. If it’s comfortable and still in good condition I’ll most likely wear it - however the last few years, beachside living has meant that t-shirts and shirts are my go to outfit.

My phone is replaced when it breaks and repair costs are excessive or is otherwise unusable due to software incompatibility. Likewise for my tablet. Computers, shove some more memory in it and add a faster, larger hard drive every now and then. They can last for ages if you’re not doing bleeding edge stuff.

Watches... many of my most treasured watches are 15-50 years old. They get worn as much as the ones that are less than 5 years old. Obsolescence in a watch is a bit of a non-sequitur or oxymoron to me - unless of course you’re talking about smart watches where it can be true given enough time.

My view is ... Does it keep time? Does it look good? Wear it...
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by Thunder1 »

H0rati0 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:26 am
exHowfener wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:50 pm
There is of course a very good reason why manufacturers don't make things to last. Nest time you get the chance, watch "The man in the white suit".
There are still companies that do make things to last, but alas pricing has to take that into account....however with diligence one can play the game. Cue gratuitous shot of long term repairable watch (Zenith are a pleasure to deal with) I will always treasure and hope to hand on:
IMG_0943.jpg
I could be seen wearing that one!..
Ebels are a lot like women that lack a lowcut dress that zips up the side..neither gets the love that they deserve..
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by H0rati0 »

Thunder1 wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:43 am

I could be seen wearing that one!..
It's indeed a keeper Chuck. You can find this model in SS (or Pt for that matter) but I like gold for longevity - easily repairable and obsolescence is never a problem.
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Re: Model longevity and watch obsolescence?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

^^^ It’s a beauty and no mistake! :D
Steve
The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.
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