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Thread: Boutique divers

  1. #1
    Journeyman rufus's Avatar
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    Boutique divers

    What is a boutique dive watch? What makes a dive watch manufacturer become known as boutique? What are the defining characteristics of a non-boutique manufacturer?

  2. #2
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    For me it's all show and no worry if there's a plastic quartz module inside.

  3. #3
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Oh this should be a good thread! :lol:

    I'll not address the boutique thing as I'll likely piss off too many people. I think one has to be realistic about diving these days. Most everyone uses a computer as their primary instrument. Some guys still dive with the tables and a watch, just like some guys still shoot film. I'm an advocate of dual computers or using a watch and tables as a backup (ie do a dive plan with the tables in case of computer failure. Had that happen to me once on a fairly deep wreck dive).

    That said, just look at, historically, what were accepted as dive watches, and what has been worn on many diver's wrists (while in the water). A few are quite expensive nowadays, and some call them posh, but their history has to be accepted. Others are just expensive brands and more about appearance than functionality in the water. I guess you'ld call those "boutique".

    Guys who dive everyday for a living (I'll just talk about boat divemasters and not Sat divers) don't make a lot of money. Many wear cheap digital watches, but they're also using a computer as the primary timer. Why strap some expensive watch to your wrist to get beat up everyday on dive tanks and boats and coral and .... you name it? Hell, many of those guys get together on a Friday night and pool their tip money just to afford a friggin' pizza and a few beers.

    I'll stop now. :)

    Cheers,
    Bruce

  4. #4

    Re: Boutique divers

    Depends on the definition of boutique: is it as in oferring haute horology or any small independent offering or an offering by an established fashion label? What are the examples of boutique watches with regards to the question?

  5. #5

    Re: Boutique divers

    The divemaster I know has a fantastic dive watches collection used regularly (in addition to the dive comp, of course).

  6. #6
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Artego-Watch Co
    BaliHa'i
    Benarus
    Boschett
    Halios
    Helson
    Kremke Watch
    Orange Watch
    Prometheus
    Zinex

    To name but a few....

  7. #7
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by jnike
    The divemaster I know has a fantastic dive watches collection used regularly (in addition to the dive comp, of course).
    Is he full time and does he live in a resort local? I was a divemaster with a nice collection too, but I had another job and didn't live in Cozumel or Bonaire or ....

  8. #8

    Re: Boutique divers

    Is it not attributed to companies that only sell their watches online?

  9. #9

    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by burnsey66
    Artego-Watch Co
    BaliHa'i
    Benarus
    Boschett
    Halios
    Helson
    Kremke Watch
    Orange Watch
    Prometheus
    Zinex

    To name but a few....
    But these are not expensive which somebody else said was boutique? Mind you, given that half of them are the same as the Turtle and twice the price then maybe they are expensive :lol:

    Are these not 'micro-brand' divers :D

  10. #10
    Craftsman lacroix4's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    I own a Magrette Moana Pacific diver and think this is classed as a boutique brand, i am very pleased with the quality and function of this particular watch.

  11. #11

    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceS
    Quote Originally Posted by jnike
    The divemaster I know has a fantastic dive watches collection used regularly (in addition to the dive comp, of course).
    Is he full time and does he live in a resort local? I was a divemaster with a nice collection too, but I had another job and didn't live in Cozumel or Bonaire or ....
    Indeed, he lives right at the dive site. I guess as with everyone: some choose to clime watches and some don't particularly care?

  12. #12

    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by burnsey66
    Artego-Watch Co
    BaliHa'i
    Benarus
    Boschett
    Halios
    Helson
    Kremke Watch
    Orange Watch
    Prometheus
    Zinex

    To name but a few....
    This list is what I would interpret as boutique. I'd also add Ocean7 and Orsa.
    I think they're generally watches that use the same case and components and are made by small manufacturers selling on-line.
    There will usually be a PVD version and a choice of hand and dial options too.
    As an aside they often they have ridiculous water resistance, sometimes 2000m or more (but will never go near water) and can be seen on awful 24mm leather straps.

  13. #13

    Re: Boutique divers

    A boutique diver is a pretty cool looking watch made by any number of independents.

    You usually pay in US dollars, get humped for customs, realise after you get over the initial WOW :shock: factor that it's really a piece of ....

    You spend all your time trying to allign a bezel marker with an hour marker and screwing in wobbly crowns,

    After your 6th boutique diver you swear you'll never spend so much money ever again on a 2824-2 powered watch

    Until you say to hell with it and try and sell it, only to find no-one wants it unless it's 40% of it's original cost.

    Thats pretty much a boutique diver..........enjoy :wink:

  14. #14
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by jnike
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceS
    Quote Originally Posted by jnike
    The divemaster I know has a fantastic dive watches collection used regularly (in addition to the dive comp, of course).
    Is he full time and does he live in a resort local? I was a divemaster with a nice collection too, but I had another job and didn't live in Cozumel or Bonaire or ....
    Indeed, he lives right at the dive site. I guess as with everyone: some choose to clime watches and some don't particularly care?
    Yep, you reminded me of a guy from one of the Rolex forums. Nice guy in Cozumel, Mexico with a Kermit Sub. Yet, I think he came from money. Most guys on boats in the Carribean don't make squat. Not much more than minimum wage plus group tips. Their real pay is that they get to do dive everyday in paradise, yet they're living in super expensive locals. I did meet a retired Navy captain in Turks who lived well off his retirement, had a house in Florida, but spent most of the year teaching diving in Turks. I just think those guys are not the usual.

    Btw, my idea of what "boutique divers" meant seems like it was off a bit - or a lot. :lol:
    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Re: Boutique divers

    Interesting opinions posted here. Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Boutique are Independent Owned by one enthusiast ; Usually a line of watches in one or 2 areas; Makes watches in smaller quantities; Self designed projects usually; May take design cues from other watches; Costs to customer reduced

    Mainstream Run by large luxury firms such as Swatch, LVMH, Richmont etc,; Corporate interest; Multiple lines of watches and products to cover all markets; Prices marked up to to above factors

    Just my take...I guess Eddie could chime in on his view as he himself (Precista) would be regarded as a boutique brand

  17. #17

    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by burnsey66
    Artego-Watch Co
    BaliHa'i
    Benarus
    Boschett
    Halios
    Helson
    Kremke Watch
    Orange Watch
    Prometheus
    Zinex

    To name but a few....
    OK, if this is the list to define boutique, then I'd say to me it means:

    + a small independent modern company, started by an enthusiast wanting to realise his dreams :)

    + focused on two USPs: original design and customer focus, including sometimes an option to customise your own watch, e.g. LE versions with involving potential customers in design decisions etc.

    - a standard ETA movement (with cheaper options like Myota or quartz)

    - availability is intermittent subject to limited production runs and their access to movements

    Just my 2p

  18. #18
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    I think Burnsey's list is a good start, but there are many, many others. Kiki has nailed it for me.
    Well done that man :wink: :wink: :wink:
    .
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    ​Jim.

  19. #19
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers



    To me it is any 'Diver's watch' that you wouldn't dream of diving with. This can be a cheap Chinese diver (as noted above) or even an expensive Chinese diver like the Longio Telamon 1000m Tourbillon.



    Or any tourbillon diver for that matter.

    john

  20. #20

    Re: Boutique divers

    Wow, how tall is that Longio? :)

  21. #21
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    Re: Boutique divers

    I may be discovering I am wrong, but I always assumed that a 'boutique brand' was one which looked the part but that was as far as it went. This could have meant a tough watch which wasn't, a diver that couldn't or an expensive watch with a cheap generic movement.
    In short, a watch which was a nice fashion accessory to be sold in a boutique for purposes of style rather than purpose: the opposite of a tool watch.

    By this definition, Eddie's stuff certainly isn't boutique. For example:



    I have just returned from a few days of wreck diving and can confirm that the PRS14 makes an excellent reserve.

  22. #22
    Master geordie's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    I'd always viewed them as being from smaller companies TBH - some very capable models out there, but from very small-scale operations.

    I'm rather fond of them personally - I've got a few items by Orsa, a nice big Benarus auto and a Bernhardt in my watch box :)

  23. #23
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    Re: Boutique divers

    that longio is ...well..... :shock:it's totally wrong and i should hate it...... but i find it oddly attractive, sort of like britney spears .....tell me more!
    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas


    To me it is any 'Diver's watch' that you wouldn't dream of diving with. This can be a cheap Chinese diver (as noted above) or even an expensive Chinese diver like the Longio Telamon 1000m Tourbillon.



    Or any tourbillon diver for that matter.

    john
    ktmog6uk
    marchingontogether!



  24. #24
    Craftsman freeloader's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by burnsey66
    Artego-Watch Co
    BaliHa'i
    Benarus
    Boschett
    Halios
    Helson
    Kremke Watch
    Orange Watch
    Prometheus
    Zinex

    To name but a few....
    Not wishing to be too much of a pedant, but Zinex is no more now called Zixen :wink:

    Paul

  25. #25

    Re: Boutique divers

    According to some of the above posts, Kobold watches would then be boutique divers (those of the Kobold watches, that are divers that is).

  26. #26
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Boutique = Private Label

    No :?:

  27. #27
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    Re: Boutique divers

    It's a dive watch from one of the many micro brands around. Kiki-picasso hit the nail on the head with regards to the buying, owning and selling experience.

  28. #28
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Boutique Diver: Whichever Seiko I wear to go clothes shopping in. :D

  29. #29
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    Re: Boutique divers

    :D :D :D
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Mi Shu
    Boutique Diver: Whichever Seiko I wear to go clothes shopping in. :D
    ktmog6uk
    marchingontogether!



  30. #30

    Re: Boutique divers

    The obvious way to make sure we are all starting from the same place is to agree what 'boutique' actually means. A quick hop to dictionary.com gives us:

    –noun
    1.
    a small shop or a small specialty department within a larger store, esp. one that sells fashionable clothes and accessories or a special selection of other merchandise.
    2.
    any small, exclusive business offering customized service: Our advertising is handled by a new Madison Avenue boutique.
    3.
    Informal . a small business, department, etc., specializing in one aspect of a larger industry: one of Wall Street's leading research boutiques.
    –adjective
    4.
    of, designating, or characteristic of a small, exclusive producer or business: one of California's best boutique wineries.
    I think if we ignore (or reinterpret) the thoroughly unpleasant word 'exclusive' (how this has come to have positive connotations in marketing, I will never know - 'we exclude certain types of people' :roll: ) then for example Timefactors is a boutique in the second, third or indeed fourth meanings listed. Rather than 'exclusive', 'specialised' or 'niche' might be more appropriate.

  31. #31
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Boutique means fashion. Not sure where any other definition comes in. Krug Bauman. Oceanaut. The stuff they sell in hotel foyers and so on. Doesn't have to be cheap. Arguably Chanel counts. Timefactors is so far from being a boutique, IMHO, that words fail.

  32. #32
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by barneygumble
    ...of, designating, or characteristic of a small, exclusive producer or business: one of California's best boutique wineries.
    I think if we ignore (or reinterpret) the thoroughly unpleasant word 'exclusive' (how this has come to have positive connotations in marketing, I will never know - 'we exclude certain types of people' :roll: ) then for example Timefactors is a boutique in the second, third or indeed fourth meanings listed. Rather than 'exclusive', 'specialised' or 'niche' might be more appropriate.[/quote]

    I guess it's how you interpret what is actually 'exclusive' about a boutique - in the case of the example, I take it to mean that they only use certain, possibly higher quality, varieties of grape, to give a signature taste. In Eddie's case, possibly harder to define, but it could again be an indication of the care taken over selection of high grade components and care in assembly?

  33. #33

    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by trick cyclist
    I guess it's how you interpret what is actually 'exclusive' about a boutique - in the case of the example, I take it to mean that they only use certain, possibly higher quality, varieties of grape, to give a signature taste. In Eddie's case, possibly harder to define, but it could again be an indication of the care taken over selection of high grade components and care in assembly?
    Well I guess you could certainly say that our host's target market is not the lumpen masses, it's those people with an interest in watches and specifically vintage style watches. So it's a niche or specialised market - not the mass-market approach of everyone from Accurist to Omega to Rolex to Seiko (in that you don't need to be a WIS to buy any of those brands).

  34. #34
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by Glamdring
    Boutique means fashion. Not sure where any other definition comes in. Krug Bauman. Oceanaut. The stuff they sell in hotel foyers and so on. Doesn't have to be cheap. Arguably Chanel counts. Timefactors is so far from being a boutique, IMHO, that words fail.
    Absolutely! It's just sexy. :lol:


  35. #35
    Grand Master Glamdring's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Oh come on guys. Would you go into a shop with 'boutique' in its name?
    'Boutique' means 'avoid', at least for the WIS.

  36. #36
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by Glamdring
    Oh come on guys. Would you go into a shop with 'boutique' in its name?
    'Boutique' means 'avoid', at least for the WIS.
    Not unless some good looking woman dragged my sorry arse in there. :lol:

  37. #37

    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by Glamdring
    Oh come on guys. Would you go into a shop with 'boutique' in its name?
    'Boutique' means 'avoid', at least for the WIS.
    Of course I would go! What is wrong with any nicely tailored garments? ;) btw a boutique is usually a type of a shop not a part of the name.

    Or are WIS supposed to only have taste when it comes to watches only? ;)

  38. #38
    Craftsman trick cyclist's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by Glamdring
    Oh come on guys. Would you go into a shop with 'boutique' in its name?
    'Boutique' means 'avoid', at least for the WIS.
    I feel inclined to agree to a point - using a cycling analogy, boutique bicycles are those bought from shops that don't necessarily have hardened cyclists at their heart, yet they sell some (extremely in some cases) expensive bikes that most everyday riders would not use; Pinarello springs to mind, but that is not to say that professional cyclists do not ride the brand and win on it, either, however most people would maybe buy a Specialized, they buy the bike that offers most bang for buck, even though they may aspire to the high-end.

    It could be like comparing Panerai to Seiko :mrgreen:

    (Runs and ducks for cover...)

  39. #39
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Re: Boutique divers

    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk
    that longio is ...well..... :shock:it's totally wrong and i should hate it...... but i find it oddly attractive, sort of like britney spears .....tell me more ...
    http://ablogtoread.com/longio/longio-te ... ch-review/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrLRSmfqqhs

    I like it too. I love the pointlessness of it.

    john

  40. #40
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    Re: Boutique divers

    OT, but refering to the cycling analogy, I wouldn't call Pinarello boutique - a very popular continental bike with a rich history, and ridden with success by many professional and amateur teams over the years. A boutique brand might be 'Sunday', or 'Global' with their quality titanium framesets. I think Pinarello could be a Rolex, and Specialized a Seiko :wink:

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