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Thread: Crystal-Ball time

  1. #1

    Crystal-Ball time

    We live in uncertain times. Who knows what the next few months will bring but it is looking increasingly likely we are heading towards a worldwide recession. I believe we will see huge changes in society, corporates will fail, (some) banks and governments as well. And I think this earthquake will cause significant changes in our hobby and the watch market.

    So gaze into your crystal-ball and what do you see for April 2021 in the world of watches. Here is my go (and please don't make this a thread for sniping at other's tastes):

    1) Discretion. This goes for all luxury goods as there will be a huge backlash against conspicuous consumption in an era of jobs losses and worse.

    All my other points stem from this.

    2) Smaller watches. A return to 40mm and below. Larger watches becoming obsolete in a world of discretion.
    3) Yellow gold and rose gold losing any shine (excuse the pun).
    4) Faux vintage has had a good run. I think that run is over. Same with colourful dials (I own a 1969 Omega Speedmaster 2 with Racing Dial, and that is staying). Plain black dials with little text, plain or no bezels.
    5) A torrid time for some watch companies. I am particularly looking at some of the Swatch stable (Breguet, Blancpain - I own watches from both). Omega will get hammered with its 10k RRPs. I also think some of the cheaper premium brands (Oris, Tissot etc) will get pressured by further adoption of smart watches.
    6) How can I not mention Rolex? I see a shift to non date and other non-cyclops models. 36mm Explorer to be king!


    What do you see?

  2. #2
    Master
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    Interesting thoughts, but I don't really see larger watches as being conspicuously associated with luxury or ostentation, so I think they will persist. I don't usually like them myself either way.

  3. #3
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    The govt's C'virus measures e.g. NHS increased expenditure and ££subsiding people to stay at home will cost £billions … and we do not get 'nuffink fer nuffink' … so eventually all has to be paid for by taxpayers … thus likely that VAT could increase to unprecedented % …maybe to 30% … which would increase luxury watch prices by 8.3% i.e. £5000 watch increases to £5400 ish. And direct taxation will likely also increase so we'll have less spending ££. How this might affect the new and s/h watch market is anyone's guess. Rolex and Omega ain't gonna flood the market with new watches they cannot sell … dealers' new sales will suffer … But with a demand for s/h models they'll find buyers. Some manufacturers e.g. Rolex can likely afford to hibernate … others will either weather the storm or sink.

    dunk
    "The energy expenditure of most people's weekly gym class workouts equates to the reward of one large doughnut afterwards" … Prof. Tim Spector, 'The Diet Myth' author

  4. #4
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    My two cents are this is an event driven recession, not a systemic one like the Great Depression. Like 9/11 and 08 fiscal measures and bailouts will save us from economic catastrophe. I predict a sharp shock and an equally sharp rebound into Q3/4 this year.

    Imagine the collective relief once society recovers from the hysteric headlines and realises this is not Armageddon. The boom once we can return to shops and pubs will be unprecedented and into the summer months. Yes, there are job losses, but look to 08, the world did not end. People (especially The City), have short memories.

    Once the bonuses start to flow again, luxury watches will sell as they always have. Rolex won’t suddenly release their tap on supply, they will maintain their usual practice of maintaining waiting lists as it’s the most successful aspect of their branding.

    As for large watches, I concur. I think the fashion is on the wane, ditto for heavily branded chapter rings and dials (I’m looking at you Rolex with the DSSD!). Just like the fashion for the awful RL Polo shirts with the giant logos passed (apparently created by Polo so they were visible on the ball boys at tennis tournaments), so too a fashion for more discrete watches may emerge. Though I think that was occurring anyhow, regardless of Cyrus the Virus.

    I visited Blancpain and Bregeut (ironically as this crisis unfolded). Both confirmed they are likely to announce new models soon and hinted strongly to a return to 40mm cases. I have a BP Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary (please DM with panic buying bids...), which to my eye is so much more wearable than the 45mm version. As was the Breguet Type XX as compared to the XXi

    There are my thoughts. In summary, plus ca change for Boutiques after a rough 2-3 quarters (most people will divert their war chest into markets than luxury watches as the opportunities emerge).

    Continuation of fashion for more discrete, smaller watches. On the latter, I sold a Patek to Xupes last year. Their runner (also a dealer), said the demand for the Nautilus was largely driven by footballers who wanted smaller watches....
    Last edited by daborg; 27th March 2020 at 10:53.

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    I predict very little change, people who can afford luxury watches will be the last to change their habits or suffer hardship.

    It will be a miracle if they cancel this years holiday abroad except if they are forced to.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by daborg View Post
    My two cents are this is an event driven recession, not a systemic one like the Great Depression. Like 9/11 and 08 fiscal measures and bailouts will save us from economic catastrophe. I predict a sharp shock and an equally sharp rebound into Q3/4 this year.

    Imagine the collective relief once society recovers from the hysteric headlines and realises this is not Armageddon. The boom once we can return to shops and pubs will be unprecedented and into the summer months. Yes, there are job losses, but look to 08, the world did not end. People (especially The City), have short memories.

    ...
    Agree with most of this, albeit the rebound may take a little longer, but who knows. I'm not convinced there will be any impact on conspicuous consumption whatsoever. If anything, I suspect many will go a little splurge happy with relief once there are clear signs things are on the mend. Longer term trends as regards smaller watch sizes are a separate matter but I imagine will continue since these normally play out over many years.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I think people are reading too much into this.

    Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I think people are reading too much into this.

    Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.
    Succinctly put and absolutely agree.

  9. #9
    What I am hoping for is a post-C19 babyboom to help pay my pension

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I think people are reading too much into this.

    Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.
    US initial jobless claims came out this afternoon: 3.28 million. Just in case you think this will blow over.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...mentsContainer

    (Written a week ago but will give those who don't follow the market, Neil obviously doesn't, a taste of the scale).

    Call me Nostradamus but I expect a crash in demand.

  11. #11

    Crystal-Ball time

    Perhaps we all become saintly vegan nuns....

    Or we go crazy after this boring lockdown is over and party hard and buy in excess

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ac11111 View Post
    Perhaps we all become saintly vegan nuns....

    Or we go crazy after this boring lockdown is over and party hard and buy in excess
    This could be possible, witness the roaring 20s after the horror of WW1.

  13. #13

    Crystal-Ball time

    Quote Originally Posted by proby24 View Post
    This could be possible, witness the roaring 20s after the horror of WW1.
    Doesn’t feel like a WW to me, I’m sitting at home talking watches with you and other watch enthusiast

  14. #14
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by daborg View Post
    My two cents are this is an event driven recession, not a systemic one like the Great Depression. Like 9/11 and 08 fiscal measures and bailouts will save us from economic catastrophe. I predict a sharp shock and an equally sharp rebound into Q3/4 this year.

    Imagine the collective relief once society recovers from the hysteric headlines and realises this is not Armageddon. The boom once we can return to shops and pubs will be unprecedented and into the summer months. Yes, there are job losses, but look to 08, the world did not end. People (especially The City), have short memories.

    Once the bonuses start to flow again, luxury watches will sell as they always have. Rolex won’t suddenly release their tap on supply, they will maintain their usual practice of maintaining waiting lists as it’s the most successful aspect of their branding.

    As for large watches, I concur. I think the fashion is on the wane, ditto for heavily branded chapter rings and dials (I’m looking at you Rolex with the DSSD!). Just like the fashion for the awful RL Polo shirts with the giant logos passed (apparently created by Polo so they were visible on the ball boys at tennis tournaments), so too a fashion for more discrete watches may emerge. Though I think that was occurring anyhow, regardless of Cyrus the Virus.

    I visited Blancpain and Bregeut (ironically as this crisis unfolded). Both confirmed they are likely to announce new models soon and hinted strongly to a return to 40mm cases. I have a BP Fifty Fathoms 50th Anniversary (please DM with panic buying bids...), which to my eye is so much more wearable than the 45mm version. As was the Breguet Type XX as compared to the XXi

    There are my thoughts. In summary, plus ca change for Boutiques after a rough 2-3 quarters (most people will divert their war chest into markets than luxury watches as the opportunities emerge).

    Continuation of fashion for more discrete, smaller watches. On the latter, I sold a Patek to Xupes last year. Their runner (also a dealer), said the demand for the Nautilus was lergely driven by footballers who wanted smaller watches....
    I more or less agree with this, but I think it will take a bit longer, as in the ressesion will last longer. But once the bounce starts I think it will be a large bounce, people will start spending again, business will hire again, etc.

    I expect in April 2021 it will have started to recover but we'll still have some after effects.

  15. #15
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I think people are reading too much into this.

    Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.
    This ^^^
    It's just democracy.

  16. #16
    Craftsman Curtis's Avatar
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    I dont think any of your observations are relevant. What's the diameter of a watch got to do with a pandemic??
    Watches will always come in all shapes and sizes.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by proby24 View Post
    US initial jobless claims came out this afternoon: 3.28 million. Just in case you think this will blow over.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...mentsContainer

    (Written a week ago but will give those who don't follow the market, Neil obviously doesn't, a taste of the scale).

    Call me Nostradamus but I expect a crash in demand.
    Unemployment hit 10% in 2009 following the financial crash, yet you'd scarcely believe there had been one in the following years.

    We all just borrow our way out of trouble, it will certainly catch up with us at some point, but we arent close to collapse yet.

  18. #18
    A lot of wishful thinking here in name of Corona&:-)

  19. #19

    Crystal-Ball time

    So no no to this


    Where as explorer looks kinda ordinary so you won’t get disapproving glances and tut tut


  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ac11111 View Post
    So no no to this

    That no is nothing to do with COVID19 😉

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I think people are reading too much into this.

    Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.
    My thoughts exactly as long as we don't all die, which we won't.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    A lot of wishful thinking here in name of Corona&:-)
    Stay safe Covid-19 is real

  23. #23
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    Without wanting to spread the doom and gloom.

    1. Next 2 to 4 months.....massive deflation in all asset prices.
    2. If you wish or can, buy many watches at bargain prices
    3. Buy gold case/bracket watches (maximum Au content). Not Pt. junk. Not the model or make.
    4. +4 months....hyperinflation, gold to the moon
    5. Melt the watch down, sell for scrap and be ok.

  24. #24
    I’ve seen this variously described as:

    A toilet that badly needs flushing

    and

    An obese diabetic who having lost 15 stone due to an illness is prescribed by doctors a junk food diet to get them back to their previous weight.

    My own view is that the event will be over reasonably quickly but people have plenty of time now to take stock on what’s important to them. I think for most of the population you’ll see a more cautious and prudent approach to their finances. I think you’ll see people spend more time with their families and particularly exercising. I also think there will be a “sigh of relief” factor when people will treat themselves. I can certainly imagine people thinking “when this is all over I will get myself that special watch I’ve been looking at for years”.

    On a micro scale, after my simultaneous divorce and redundancy twenty years ago I ended up with no house, no job and no funds. That refocused my mind and I think this event will do the same for a large part of the world’s population.

  25. #25
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I think people are reading too much into this.Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.

  26. #26
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I think people are reading too much into this.

    Once everything is back to normal I can imagine a lot of people having a real spend up and we won't all be cowering in our hovels wearing small, plain minuscule cheap watches.
    Been a perfect storm for the banks once again. Force more people, businesses and governments to get into more debt through CV measures, saving jobs, NHS etc.

    Once the austerity has lifted people and markets with rebound extremely quickly and people will spend spend spend!

    Its a win win for the banks and nothing will have been learned from society.

    More debt, less jobs, millions more reliant on the state yet people will still keep spending. The next generation will be paying for this for the rest of their working lives. Very sad indeed!

  27. #27
    Master aldfort's Avatar
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    I have only one prediction.

    Everybody will still want a Rolex. Some of those people will sell their granny to get one.

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