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Thread: Shocking observations after returning to the hobby.

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    Shocking observations after returning to the hobby.

    Hi guys.

    I've been away from the hobby now for at least a couple of years, just wearing and enjoying the watches I own in rotation and not really caring about anything else. That is until a few days ago when the bug really hit me again out of the blue, so I started logging on to the forums and websites I used to and I can't believe how much some things have changed and others haven't.
    For example, pricing.

    When I was kid, fresh out of school and started working, I nearly bought a Rolex submariner. In the end I didn't but the only thing that put me off was the chance it may get smashed up or robbed at one of the, erm, colourful warehouse parties I used to frequent in the north of England. Price wasn't really an issue.

    Fast forward to around 6 years ago when I got really into watches and I realised that I could never justify the price of any Rolex, not new anyway, so my attention turned to the Omega moonwatch prof as the watch I lusted and drooled over. Imagine my surprise then when I go online and realise that it's now more or less doubled in price and is every bit as unaffordable as the Rolex.

    And it isn't just Omega either. A whole host of brands have moved from just outside my grasp to well and truly out of reach like a helium filled balloon rising up into the night sky.

    So I started poking around and found what I expected to be a bland Christopher Ward website, only to be blown away be bespoke movements, inhouse complications and lots of cool designs. Prices have gone up, but they do seem to be offering a lot more watch for the money in most cases, something that I don't feel a lot of the other companies are even making a token gesture towards ( ok, maybe Omega are). Even the seriously dodgy multi fonted Chr Ward London branding is being phased out in favour of a cleaner logo that's dropped the weird London, but not from London, abomination.

    So imagine my surprise when I go onto TZUK and find there's still no love for them. Why would that be? The main gripes used to be things like they had nothing original to offer and they were a bit Ratnereque, now that's just changed to things like they hate the look of the website.

    Anyway, I'm rambling now. What I really want to know is with things changing so much in such a short time, who do you consider to be the brands with the best bang for buck? Perhaps leaving aside Rolex et al, who I realise can still be considered good value if you buy second hand then flip a few years down the line.

    Personally i'd probably look to spend a grand or less on my next watch but feel free to recommend anything.

    I notice Steinhart hasn't changed it's pricing much, but I no longer like the designs like I used to, although their resale value used to be amazing at one time. I'm not sure if that's still the case or not.
    Cheers.
    Last edited by coldwarkid; 16th July 2017 at 19:41.

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    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Sorry OP - that is just a wall of text - you might want to edit some paragraph breaks in there.

    I think your post is mainly about Carpet Warehouse watches?

    It's true they don't get much love here but they are solid enough (if a bit boring) as long as you aren't mad enough to pay retail price given the model is to have a sale every three hours.

  3. #3
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    I have 2 CW and find both have build quality in the region of my watches with 5 times the rrp.

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

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    Craftsman Frakius's Avatar
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    For around a grand and slightly over on these forums you can get second hand Omega SMP 300 which is a pretty good watch for the price, new something like Sinn 104 for a sporty watch or a Nomos Club Campus if you want something dressy with a inhouse movement, there is actually a lot of good watches in the sub 1K like Longines, Hamilton, Sinn, Oris, and of course Seiko.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Sorry OP - that is just a wall of text - you might want to edit some paragraph breaks in there.

    I think your post is mainly about Carpet Warehouse watches?

    It's true they don't get much love here but they are solid enough (if a bit boring) as long as you aren't mad enough to pay retail price given the model is to have a sale every three hours.
    Ok, agreed. That's what you get for being in a rush and not proof reading.

    Have you any idea how often the sales are?

    I seem to remember a few years ago there was a proper sale every year around fathers day, then another after Christmas with the nearly new and discontinued stuff in it.

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    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    who do you consider to be the brands with the best bang for buck? P.
    seiko , seiko and seiko. and citizen and orient, and some seiko. the turtle in particular is all the auto anyone will ever need. some time factors are still good value. buy the current stock before the prices rise.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

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    Master -Ally-'s Avatar
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    CW sales are almost as frequent as the DFS sales, you won't be waiting long.

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    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    Ok, agreed. That's what you get for being in a rush and not proof reading.

    Have you any idea how often the sales are?

    I seem to remember a few years ago there was a proper sale every year around fathers day, then another after Christmas with the nearly new and discontinued stuff in it.

    The Christopher Ward forum is the place to ask about that (and voucher codes) - they seem in the know.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    seiko.
    Yes - just think - who else can deliver an watch of quality with an in-house movement as cheaply?

  9. #9
    Master Skyman's Avatar
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    OP, are you sure you have returned to the correct forum?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    The Christopher Ward forum is the place to ask about that (and voucher codes) - they seem in the know.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Yes - just think - who else can deliver an watch of quality with an in-house movement as cheaply?
    at that level, I'm not hung up on the 'in house' thing

    they are so big its easier and probably cheaper for them to do their own.

    i just think if you are selective, they make a really nice watch for the money and are one of the few brands where prices haven't been going skywards recently as the OP observes.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    seiko , seiko and seiko. and citizen and orient, and some seiko. the turtle in particular is all the auto anyone will ever need. some time factors are still good value. buy the current stock before the prices rise.
    I doubt if Seiko will get you any banging action, unless ofcourse you include fisting:-)

    I heard a Nautilus gets your Pee Pee the most bangs

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    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    seiko , seiko and seiko. and citizen and orient, and some seiko. the turtle in particular is all the auto anyone will ever need. some time factors are still good value. buy the current stock before the prices rise.
    I had an Orient watch that was quite new when I bought it off this forum from a guy who said he'd worn it infrequently. I had loads of trouble with it, starting just a few months after I bought it, so it's put me off the brand.

    Good call with the others though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyman View Post
    OP, are you sure you have returned to the correct forum?
    Yes. Why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I doubt if Seiko will get you any banging action, unless ofcourse you include fisting:-)

    I heard a Nautilus gets your Pee Pee the most bangs
    I have no idea what that means:-)
    Last edited by coldwarkid; 16th July 2017 at 20:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frakius View Post
    For around a grand and slightly over on these forums you can get second hand Omega SMP 300 which is a pretty good watch for the price, new something like Sinn 104 for a sporty watch or a Nomos Club Campus if you want something dressy with a inhouse movement, there is actually a lot of good watches in the sub 1K like Longines, Hamilton, Sinn, Oris, and of course Seiko.
    I love Sinn. There's a guy who lives about 8 miles from me who stocks them.

    I'm not sure if he's online only though.

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    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    I love Sinn. There's a guy who lives about 8 miles from me who stocks them.

    I'm not sure if he's online only though.
    I love them too
    They have gone a bit 'upwards' in recent years though
    Not as bad as some brands that are more marketing oriented, but there's been a tendency to bloat things up a bit in terms of size and unnecessary relative price hikes
    For me though, they are still at the sweet spot
    You get enough tech and mechanical overengineering to keep your inner geek happy and you don't feel like you're being mugged. Just my 2p.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    I love Sinn. There's a guy who lives about 8 miles from me who stocks them.

    I'm not sure if he's online only though.
    If you love Sinn then a 104 is a no brainer, there are a lot of good reviews of it on youtube, resale value on them is pretty good too!

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    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frakius View Post
    If you love Sinn then a 104 is a no brainer, there are a lot of good reviews of it on youtube, resale value on them is pretty good too!
    Agreed. The 104 is lovely. If anyone is bored of theirs and fancies a 556 drop me a line.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    I love Sinn. There's a guy who lives about 8 miles from me who stocks them.

    I'm not sure if he's online only though.
    I reckon he is... http://www.chronomaster.co.uk/

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    Agreed. The 104 is lovely. If anyone is bored of theirs and fancies a 556 drop me a line.
    Agree on 104 but not the one with Arabic indices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    Yes. Why?
    Your CW preoccupation, though that is less pronounced after your edit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Agree on 104 but not the one with Arabic indices.
    I much prefer the indices too, the Arabic indices are a bit busy. I feel like the 104 with indices is the Speedmaster Pro in styling of 3 handers.Fantastic legibility to the dial with the white syringe hands, indices and black dial, oh and it's very versatile on different straps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by downer View Post
    Ye. That's the guy.

    I know nothing about him other than he's on the other side of town to me but I like the way he describes his second hand watches. He seems to go out of his way to point out anything that isn't quite how it would be on a new watch.

    Edit

    Although I've just read a thread where people are saying the exact opposite.

    What do I know.
    Last edited by coldwarkid; 16th July 2017 at 21:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyman View Post
    Your CW preoccupation, though that is less pronounced after your edit.
    I suppose I do come across a bit like I'm their knight in shining armour, riding in to save them.

    In all honesty though, I was just impressed that they hadn't rested on their laurels and were actually offering something new, improved and inventive rather than just bunging 15% per annum on the rrp and hoping they can get away with it.

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    I actually didn't realise they were in house but then I haven't really looked into them too hard. Not that it's something I think is necessarily a good thing from a maintenance perspective if you intend to have your watch for life.

    I (like a lot of people) can't get passed the name, just seems crazy to me. Even if it was some intertwined CW logo I might look into them but the previous and current branding? Not for me.

    Shame though as I was watching a vid of (I think) the new trident which looked to have a really nice case lug to lug size.

    Interestingly does it make you wonder if they had a nice logo and became popular, would they suddenly become expensive? Reading about their moon phase being well regarded etc, does make you wonder why some people will pay the amounts they do for Rolex and omega... says a lot about the image doesn't it.

  26. #26
    I do agree with the OP in that I don't think CW get a fair shake. I do find them quite well made and trying to get better.
    The Logo debacle was real as it was soundly criticized on CW fora as well even if I didn't find it to be a major issue.

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    The best advice I can give is to leave for a few more years and come back when you want to ask which Patrick Philip you should buy next.(*)







    (*) The answer is obviously the one with the longest waiting time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I doubt if Seiko will get you any banging action
    Seiko's marketing dept. will beg to differ, of course.


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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    Ye. That's the guy.

    I know nothing about him other than he's on the other side of town to me but I like the way he describes his second hand watches. He seems to go out of his way to point out anything that isn't quite how it would be on a new watch.

    Edit

    Although I've just read a thread where people are saying the exact opposite.

    What do I know.
    I bought an O&W Cougar from him years ago. After a couple of weeks the rotor started scraping. He was impeccable, paid for everything, put it right and I got it back fixed in under two weeks with sincere apologies. It's still going strong. He left me with a very favourable impression and I'm not surprised that he's prospered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    seiko , seiko and seiko. and citizen and orient, and some seiko. the turtle in particular is all the auto anyone will ever need.
    I didn't know what the Turtle was but I absolutely love it now I've looked it up.

    Is 200 from creation a good price on bracelet? Is there anything I need to be aware of in the slight product code differences?

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    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    I didn't know what the Turtle was but I absolutely love it now I've looked it up.

    Is 200 from creation a good price on bracelet? Is there anything I need to be aware of in the slight product code differences?
    I wouldn't get it from creation, price might seem good but you'll be stung on duty and more importantly if there's an issue with the watch you'll be left holding the baby. Product codes probably relate to colourways and strap/bracelet variations or in the case of a J or K suffix to the country of manufacture
    Last edited by seikopath; 16th July 2017 at 23:37.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sean View Post
    Seiko's marketing dept. will beg to differ, of course.

    Outstanding advert. Love it

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I do agree with the OP in that I don't think CW get a fair shake. I do find them quite well made and trying to get better.
    The Logo debacle was real as it was soundly criticized on CW fora as well even if I didn't find it to be a major issue.
    Which logo debacle? Logo one, two or return of the logo?

  34. #34
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    So I started poking around and found what I expected to be a bland Christopher Ward website, only to be blown away be bespoke movements, inhouse complications and lots of cool designs. Prices have gone up, but they do seem to be offering a lot more watch for the money in most cases, something that I don't feel a lot of the other companies are even making a token gesture towards ( ok, maybe Omega are). Even the seriously dodgy multi fonted Chr Ward London branding is being phased out in favour of a cleaner logo that's dropped the weird London, but not from London, abomination.
    I think some people still hate Christopher Ward because:

    (1) Lots of sales. This undermines the value proposition for some people.

    (2) The second rebrand. I.e. Third brand image! Quite a few people dislike the new brand image (although personally I prefer it overall to the second brand image which I thought had many weaknesses).

    (3) Increasing prices. Some people see this as a betrayal of the low price image that CW started with.

    (4) And last but not least: They are a British company doing extremely well and, for some people, no successful British company can ever be praised for its success.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 17th July 2017 at 13:52.

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    Recommendations? I really rate Damasko, <1k will get you a nice unmarked example on here with a trusty ETA mvt and case hardness making it a genuine tool watch.
    Best 'bang for buck' I have is probably a minty used Stowa Flieger I picked up from SC a few months back for less than half your 1k budget with a hand wind Unitas and lovely blued hands. Very impressed overall.

  36. #36
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    I spent a long time looking for a "nice" watch and settled upon my Sinn U2. I Bought it because I don't like Rolex's or other high end watches that are so often faked.

    You end up with a situation were people are looking at the watch and then looking you up and down trying to assess if you could a afford a real version. The nice thing about Sinn (for example) is that the vast majority of people, (including high-street watch dealers) don't know about the brand. Only other people who are interested in watches might recognise one for what it is..... as has happen to me several times.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    ...I don't like Rolex's or other high end watches that are so often faked.

    You end up with a situation were people are looking at the watch and then looking you up and down trying to assess if you could a afford a real version.
    Really!? I can't say I've ever noticed that. Perhaps it happens to young people? Or people who wear track suits?

  38. #38
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    I've recently had a bit of hiatus from watch buying and can actually see the OP's point, after not buying for around a year I come back (The itch returns, it always returns!) to find that prices appear to have inflated quite a bit. However that's probably more to do with not scanning every article/thread/forum for 12 months and general inflation.
    I'm now back on the market as it were, after selling my Omega last year to fund new windows. (Apparently being warm in the winter and having a secure house is more important than a fancy watch!)

    As for Christopher Ward, I'm fairly positive on them, some of the Divers look fantastic for the price, for just over 700 I think you'd be hard pushed to find more bang for your buck. But the dance of the logos, along with the constant sales seem to give off an air of home shopping channel.
    Last edited by jimmbob; 17th July 2017 at 12:00.

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    In some respects the worst offenders are fashion brands like Daniel Wellington and MVMT where a factory cost of < 5 is marked up to 100 retail by clever marketing, but at least you're only out by 100.

    The 'soft' Swiss brands like Bulova, Victorinox, Squale, Tissot, Movado, Oris, Longines etc. are where you're dropping 750 and up on watches that are ETA/Sellita based and the resale market is dire.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by J J Carter View Post
    The 'soft' Swiss brands like Bulova, Victorinox, Squale, Tissot, Movado, Oris, Longines etc. are where you're dropping 750 and up on watches that are ETA/Sellita based and the resale market is dire.
    Christopher Ward isn't in the same bracket as Daniel Wellington, as you slyly suggest.

    And you can spend a lot more on an ETA based watch. (Glances at IWC.)

    Also, what's Swiss about Bulova? Aren't they owned by Citizen, or did I miss something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    I think some people still hate Christopher Ward because:

    (1) Lots of sales. This undermines the value proposition for some people.

    (2) The second rebrand. I.e. Third brand image! Quite a few people dislike the new brand image (although personally I prefer it overall to the second brand image which I thought had many weaknesses).

    (3) Increasing prices. Some people see this as a betrayal of the low price image that CW started with.

    (4) And last but not least: They are a British company doing extremely well and, for some people, no successful British company can never be praised for its success.
    Good points. Especially 2 and 4.

    If there was to be one thing that would put me off, the re-branding would be it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmbob View Post

    As for Christopher Ward, I'm fairly positive on them, some of the Divers look fantastic for the price, for just over 700
    Madness - who plays the list price for a CW! It's like when you encounter people who pay full price for Alton Towers.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldwarkid View Post
    I love Sinn. There's a guy who lives about 8 miles from me who stocks them.

    I'm not sure if he's online only though.
    Is that the guy in westhoughton?
    I had a look on streetmap and the address looks like a residential house.

    I am in bolton as welll.

  44. #44
    For me one of the issues with CW is the fact that their prices have gone up considerably. I bought one a few years back with an ETA movement in the sale and it cost about 250-300 now many of their watches are between 750 - 1000. You could buy a nice vintage watch for that price so I would not expect to buy another. It was very well packaged though!

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Father Time View Post
    For me one of the issues with CW is the fact that their prices have gone up considerably. I bought one a few years back with an ETA movement in the sale and it cost about 250-300 now many of their watches are between 750 - 1000. You could buy a nice vintage watch for that price so I would not expect to buy another. It was very well packaged though!
    This. I've had 3 CW's, the first being a rather nice C8 pilot that I wish I'd kept hold of. Cost around 280, build quality was very good and it had an ETA movement. Looking at the range (a) there's nothing that speaks to me at all and (b) for a similar auto I'd be several hundred pounds in. Sorry but as much as I want them to do well I'll look elsewhere.

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  46. #46
    Master John Wall's Avatar
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    You've convinced me enough to have a look.
    The red ceramic GMT is really rather nice.

    https://www.christopherward.co.uk/wa...nt-pro-gmt-600
    Last edited by John Wall; 18th July 2017 at 21:34.

  47. #47
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    The in-house movement came from their merger with their watch manufacturer and part of their most recent re-branding includes an emphasis on the fact they are now an anglo-Swiss business. Most of their watches still use ETA / Sellita. Never buy at full price as has been said. I got my Trident for 374 and it now retails for 700. Also be aware of their ongoing QC issues, especially on sales watches. It's all there on the forum.

  48. #48
    Craftsman jimmbob's Avatar
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    Yep their QC is apparently complete bobbins. Hour markers not aligning, bezels out of line etc.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Really!? I can't say I've ever noticed that. Perhaps it happens to young people? Or people who wear track suits?
    +1.........I don't have that problem, or if I do I'm not aware of it! No-one's ever asked me whether my watch is fake, I guess I just don`t give off 'fake' vibes!

    Being mature/middle aged helps a lot.

    Paul

  50. #50
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmbob View Post
    Yep their QC is apparently complete bobbins. Hour markers not aligning, bezels out of line etc.
    That's very surprising indeed. SH was/is a high quality OEM and now that CW has merged with them it is surprising (and sad) if their QC is dropping off, especially for their own retail brand's watches!

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