This is Article 3 of a 4-part 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-part 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-part series on Design & Innovation. What does it take to shift consumer preferences? A lot. My marketing professor 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.
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.
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 wanted to learn more about the used watch industry so I went down to the European Watch Company in downtown Boston for a few days to see how the industry works. The used watch industry and how it works was something I never considered. My key takeaway is that relationships and trust are critical to survival. Here is what I learned.
In September, we wrote two posts on TiMe22, a Dutch startup company currently on kickstarter with a new titanium wristwatch they have designed. This article looks back at their experience including how they survived on Kickstarter, the bumps in the road, and some of the kickstarter lessons learned. These are generalizable lessons for any micro brand watch company looking to take on kickstarter.
There are a lot of watch entrepreneurs and startups out there; this post is the story of one of those companies. This post will cover how these entrepreneurs design and produce watches, looking at their design processes, making prototypes, and finding producers. I will do my best to tell their story so that those interested in going into the watch business know the process, the difficulties, and the rewards of the industry. This is the story of TiMe22.
Can a new watch company really break into the market? Can a new company with no name and no reputation survive? Even if you have no interest in their watches, you have to be curious. Going head-to-head with the marketing power of some of these companies seems insane. Not to mention, their quality is second-to-none; does a micro brand watch company really think they can match this?
This is a basic overview of how to buy a luxury watch including the different types of movements, the basic brands and price ranges, different styles, and options of where to buy.
There has been much debate whether smartwatches could spell the end of the Swiss watch industry. Even Tag Heuer has started producing their own smartwatch. Is it possible that smart watches will win the day? I don’t think so.
Buying a used watch is by far the way to go — if you know what you are doing or you shop with someone who does. If you have no idea what you’re doing, there is a good chance you will either overpay or worse yet, buy a fake luxury watch. This post will ponder the best ways to buy used as well as how to get a good deal.