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Thread: Why don't some watch companies hit 'home-runs'?

  1. #1

    Why don't some watch companies hit 'home-runs'?

    This post is partially driven by my personal wish-list but there are several companies and I will name two here who are sitting on potentially huge sales volume if they tweak their models. This is not intended to be yet another thread on how big watches are falling out of fashion (this has been going on for a decade and they are still here!); but more on an observation on how companies could very quickly vastly increase sales (and profits).

    The two companies and models I have in mind are as follows.

    Blancpain Fifty Fathoms standard model (currently in 45mm case). I suggest a move to the 40mm case (already in manufacture with the balloon disk: https://www.blancpain.com/en/fifty-f...-5008-1130-71s), plain dial, bracelet (also in Manufacture).

    The perfect dive watch. I think it would sell in huge volume so why do they continue to leave it on the drawing board?

    The second is the Grand Seiko 600M Diver:

    https://www.grand-seiko.com/us-en/sp...ssionaldivers/

    It's big, it's expensive but the design is exquisite. I suggest a move to 40-42mm case keeping the design aesthetic would put a GS into the modern diver classic field, and not a bad competitor against my theoretical Fifty Fathoms above.

    I woulds be interested in your thoughts why they don't hit these home-runs (excuse the term) and also what other companies seem so blind?

  2. #2
    Master
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    get a job in Sales/Marketing/design with them and you'll be able to put this idea forward. They know the market. Why don't Rolex stop making Datejusts and Oysters perpetuals and just make SS sports watches for 18 months? They dont need to and the DJ's and Perpetuals are their core model/biggest seller.

  3. #3
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    I think the issue is that these brands aren't well known by the general public whereas you can stick a tacky James Bond emblem on a Seamaster and people will be queuing to get one. Ditto Rolex sell because they are Rolex. I agree with you on that GS - in 42mm I'd be all over that but that's because I'm a watch nerd. For the general public, spending £8k on a Seiko is not going to happen unless they really really like it enough to offset the perceived brand safety of a Rolex or Omega

  4. #4
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Some companies do eventually latch on, for example the Steinhart 39mm models seem to have taken a large share of the company activity in recent years after many years of focusing on 42mm watches or larger.

    A lot of people don't like change. There has been discussion on various Watch forums about the new Seiko Alpinist to be released next year with people speculating that the new model may be larger and if it is that would be dreadful etc.

    Rolex have introduced the 41mm Datejust in recent years and put the SD on steroids 😂

  5. #5
    I have a FF tribute to Mil Spec with the 40mm case & I have to say, I love it. However a 42mm version would be perfect IMHO.
    Andy

    Wanted - Damasko DA38 or DC80 Green - not the black versions.

  6. #6
    Master endo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    However a 42mm version would be perfect IMHO.
    This

    I have a Milspec as well & a 42mm Modded Seiko SNZH FFF, (had a 45mm FF until the start of the year, just wasn't get the wear it deserved)

    When I had all three where side by side, and on the wrist the Seiko was the perfect size (similar lug design makes it wear small for a 42).
    Slightly hilarious in someways, spending all that money on Blanpcain and the Seiko is the better wearer.

  7. #7
    Master
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    Tudor producing the BB58 at 39mm rather than just doing a gilt version of the standard chunky BB shows that some are getting it but we will all have our own personal wish lists from companies ...

    The marketing departments will spend many hours defining their products ... if they don't do it then they don't think there is a market ...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Tudor producing the BB58 at 39mm rather than just doing a gilt version of the standard chunky BB shows that some are getting it but we will all have our own personal wish lists from companies ...

    The marketing departments will spend many hours defining their products ... if they don't do it then they don't think there is a market ...
    You have absolutely hit the nail on the head with Tudor. They studied the market and produced the vintage inspired BB58 in smaller/thinner case and it is waitlist globally. I can imagine the same happening with the plain 40mm Fifty Fathoms. GS is different I agree, with its appeal amongst WIS but unlikely to penetrate the general market with Seiko branding.

    I am sure BP have a good-sized marketing department (and Swatch Group certainly do, depending how independent BP really are), and Seiko's must be huge. I just can't fathom how these marketing gurus can sit around and honestly believe that a 45 or 47mm watch will sell better than 40-42mm. Am I missing something?

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    They do, they market to their largest audience, which isnt pedantic loupe wearing, polishing cloth owning watch idiot savants. The entirety of this forum, WUS and most of the other watch forums would most likely not make even close to a percent of the market they target.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson_smyth View Post
    They do, they market to their largest audience, which isnt pedantic loupe wearing, polishing cloth owning watch idiot savants. The entirety of this forum, WUS and most of the other watch forums would most likely not make even close to a percent of the market they target.
    So you think the 47mm GS would sell better than a 42mm version?

    So you think the 45mm Fifty Fathoms would sell better than a 40mm version?

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by proby24 View Post
    So you think the 47mm GS would sell better than a 42mm version?

    So you think the 45mm Fifty Fathoms would sell better than a 40mm version?
    are you asking me or telling me?
    I have no opinion on either of those statements.

    If i did, it would still be irrelevant, im a pedantic loupe wearing, polishing cloth owning watch idiot savant, im not in the large demograph most companies make their money from.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Why don't some watch companies hit 'home-runs'?

    OP, I agree with you completely. 50 fathoms 40mm is an open goal. And GS could easily come up with some divers that remind people why they love vintage subs so much. The same is true of chronos, vintage Daytona prices are sky high, could that be a of a clue of some kind? There are so many obvious models that arenít made. Eg 38mm Datejust on oyster. Itís not rocket science. But for some reason manufacturers are convinced what people really want is what sold last year. Thatís not how Steve Jobs approached design, but thatís how it generally works.

  13. #13
    Master
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    OP - I think you're bang on, especially with the 2 examples of classy yet bloated pieces.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Master Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    I have a FF tribute to Mil Spec with the 40mm case & I have to say, I love it. However a 42mm version would be perfect IMHO.
    I couldn't agree more. The wide bezel makes the 40mm FF wear way too small even on a small wrist. A 42mm FF would be the sweet spot in my opinion. I would definitely buy one.

  15. #15
    Master
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    Got to wonder the same question myself with Tudor and the recent IG hints getting everyone shouting for a sub pre Basel 19.

    Iíd have made hay while the sun shone to be honest, they could have missed the boat with a downturn surely in action.

  16. #16
    Master
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    Another example is the Overseas. Do VC really think that they have covered all bases by claiming the 37mm Ladies version is Ďunisexí? Of course the standard menís model will fit some very well, but it has a large lug to lug length that will overhang for many potential customers. Perhaps they see the cost of developing a mid-size as more than theyíd get back, while a larger company like Omega who ship more units can afford to make a perfectly mid sized 38mm Aqua Terra. But I canít help thinking itís a failure of imagination and not just the economics.

    Similarly, why do Royal Oaks keep getting larger? Clearly they know the 39mm size of the original suits it best, as that remains the most expensive version. I suppose the business model must work, forcing people to pay a huge premium for one thatís the right size, but itís frustrating.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I couldn't agree more. The wide bezel makes the 40mm FF wear way too small even on a small wrist. A 42mm FF would be the sweet spot in my opinion. I would definitely buy one.
    Agree with this and I would buy one too.

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