About Watch Ponder
One of the hottest new Watch Blogs of 2016, Watch Ponder takes a look at the watch industry from the business and history perspective. Read More about us here.
This is Article 4 of our 4 parts series on Design & Innovation. TAG Heuer Monaco. Rolex Submariner. Omega Speedmaster. Breitling Navitimer. Hamilton Ventura. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Lange 1. Over the previous 3 articles, I have argued why design is the only realistic hope the watch industry has to draw new consumers and shift preferences. I explained why the heavy investment in new movements, in-house movements, and material science are neat but don’t have the power to actually draw new consumers. Finally, in the previous article, I explained what makes a watch icon and why icons have defined watch history and encouraged watch companies to turn towards design to make new icons. In this final article, I’ll write about the watches that were icons and what them an icon, showing how much of that focused on design. These weren’t icons because of some massive revolution in them telling time better, or some genius new material. They were icons because of design. And while these designs continue to capture consumer imagination, it’s time for another bold step in design from the watch companies. Who will make the leap?
Here is a round-up of the latest watch industry news: Watchmakers hope for Trump economics rally (Financial Times) — US president-elect has proposed policies that could cut red tape and boost sales. Tilting at Windmills: the Swiss Watch Industry & Innovation (Watch Ponder) — A rebuff of the recent industry trends towards in-house movements and new materials
This is Article 3 of a 4 parts series on Design & Innovation. Rolex Submariner. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Patek Philippe Nautilus. Heuer Monaco. Hublot Big Bang. Hamilton Ventura. Gerald Genta. Jean Claude Biver. These names all share a special bond that few others deserve to be associated with. These people or companies/designs took risks to make something new, something bold. Yet, despite great examples, very few watches or designers today introduce bold new watch designs that are a risk to any watch company.
This is Article 2 of a 4 parts series on Design & Innovation. Design is the last meaningful frontier for watch innovation. The rest of the moves towards in-house movements, new materials, and new movements are all tilting at windmills and are being propped up by marketing. In this article, I will explain why most of the luxury watch industry is ’tilting at windmills’ with in-house movements or new material research and surviving off a marketing machine that isn’t sustainable. In the follow-up article I will cover some of the iconic and bold watch designs of history, and explain why design is literally the last frontier. You can read the first article of this series here where I introduced the concept of bold design being a chance to shift consumer preferences.
This is Article 1 of a 4 parts series on Design & Innovation.. What does it take to shift consumer preferences? A lot. My marketing professor at Harvard Business School used to always say “never underestimate the customer’s reluctance to change.” In today’s watch industry, many classic watches designed 50+ years ago continue to fascinate consumers and define expectations in watches. Yet, many of these companies are not exactly innovative either. While some see classic design, critics see lack of innovation. People naturally look to innovation in the mechanics of the watch, but this is hard to do and consumers can’t notice the changes. I will present a case for why design is the next revolution in the watch industry, and has a chance to shift consumer preferences back to the mechanical art.
The watch industry is one of the most fascinating industries out there. Many people assume a watch is a watch — it tells time. That is a fact. This is why in 2017, I plan to explore industry topics that fascinate me. I will explain why the industry is a fascinating one, and why any business school or economics course could write a whole curriculum about the watch industry and cover just about every topic. Finally, I let you know what you can count on from Watch Ponder this coming year.
This is my review of the most inspiring micro brand watches (producing <300 watches annually) that I’ve had a chance to take a look at in 2016. This is not an exhaustive list — there are quite a few out there and this list is a small sampling of those I have been most impressed with this year.
How the Swiss became the best watchmakers is based on a series of choices and fateful shifts. What could reshape the watch industry again? We look to the history of the watch industry to find out.
I discuss the current problems in the luxury watch industry and make company-level recommendations for improvements in 2017. It is a business analysis of the industry.
I had a chance to try out a sample Virata Watches VRT 1.2 for a few weeks and wanted to put out a quick review of it. Virata is an American microbrand that has sold over $10,000 in watches and currently carried in one jewellery store in Dayton, Ohio. As you know, I am always a fan of reviewing emerging but successful entrepreneurs in the watch space. (Update: as a disclosure, I have been allowed to keep this watch, but this has not changed my review as it was originally published)
Will you always prefer Swiss Made? In 2017, Switzerland implements a new law that will change what it takes to be considered “Swiss Made”. I will walk you through my thoughts on what it means to be “Swiss Made”, the brand equity that has, but also explore successful companies such as A. Lange & Sohne who are not Swiss. Swiss Made is the ultimate signature of quality. It is important to know the history behind it and what it means.
Swiss watch companies are facing a tough market with sales down 11% in 2016. RAYMOND WEIL is an affordable Swiss luxury watch company that is continuing to innovate themselves through this period, harkening back to the company’s DNA to look for new inspiration. RAYMOND WEIL and CEO Elie Bernheim have choices to make as they navigate this difficult slump in the Swiss watch market.
Episode 2 How the Swiss ended up as the predominant watchmakers has been the result of a series of choices and fate throughout history. However, contrary to common belief, the Swiss have not always been the dominant force in the watch industry. It has only been post-1877 that the Swiss transformed their methods and were able to compete with the rising American watch producing titans Waltham, Elgin, Hamilton, and others.
The luxury watch industry is in one of its biggest slumps in recent history after experiencing years of unprecedented wealth and growth. Is it a result of the economy? Is the industry dying overall? Will the industry fade away forever? How will companies make it through the slump? Who will emerge on the other side? Over the next two months, we will release a 15-article, three-part series devoted to the following topic:
Disruption? The future of the luxury watch industry
Buying used luxury watches is a risky venture. Selling a used luxury watch can lead to you getting fleeced by a more knowledgeable buyer. I get a lot of emails from readers asking where they can safely buy used after we wrote on this topic this summer. As a result, I’ve written this mini-post to tell you where I buy used, who I trust, and who I recommend.