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Thread: Job losses

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Job losses

    Never completely convinced by the big Swiss manufacturers when they pump out the sales and profit stats, always seems to be a little bit of smoke and mirrors to maintain the illusion of luxury goods demand.

    With the news, that has taken a very back seat from the PR departments that Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux are cutting 25% of staff due to steep decline in sales with possible further cuts to come as they do not see sales levels returning to pre Covid levels for a number of years, this maybe a real barometer of the health of the watch market and the players within outwith the hype surrounding Patek and Rolex etc.

  2. #2
    Master
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    I think the decline was always going to be there. Especially for the non hype brands out there. But having said that I have a feeling that Rolex and PP will sail past covid or no covid. There is more (perceived) demand than ever for these brands that are becoming impossible for the everyman to have as time has gone on.

  3. #3
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Not wishing to sound flippant - I can only deplore the job and skills losses - but in the circumstances I do wonder if GP, and especially UN, might consider making a few watches that are not various shades of fugly? Even that would probably make little difference to their prospects - there's no shortage of decent Swiss brands churning out pretty fine watches, many of which barely get a mention on forums such as this from one month to the next, and if they do, it's in the context of "That's nice. How much? Wouldn't pay THAT for it!" The single-minded obsession with a handful of extremely heavily-promoted brands has a lot to answer for...

  4. #4
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Not wishing to sound flippant - I can only deplore the job and skills losses - but in the circumstances I do wonder if GP, and especially UN, might consider making a few watches that are not various shades of fugly? Even that would probably make little difference to their prospects - there's no shortage of decent Swiss brands churning out pretty fine watches, many of which barely get a mention on forums such as this from one month to the next, and if they do, it's in the context of "That's nice. How much? Wouldn't pay THAT for it!" The single-minded obsession with a handful of extremely heavily-promoted brands has a lot to answer for...
    Very flippant, just saying.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  5. #5
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    Job losses

    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Not wishing to sound flippant - I can only deplore the job and skills losses - but in the circumstances I do wonder if GP, and especially UN, might consider making a few watches that are not various shades of fugly? Even that would probably make little difference to their prospects - there's no shortage of decent Swiss brands churning out pretty fine watches, many of which barely get a mention on forums such as this from one month to the next, and if they do, it's in the context of "That's nice. How much? Wouldn't pay THAT for it!" The single-minded obsession with a handful of extremely heavily-promoted brands has a lot to answer for...
    Each to their own and taste is personal. I personally love the majority of designs from GP and UN. And I applaud both brands for daring to be a bit different.

    I do hope this does not spell the decline of more “fringe” or WIS brands like GP, UN etc. The watch world need more brands who dare to experiment and be different!

    A 25% cut in staffing is significant.....

    BW,
    Chi Kai


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Ctam; 15th September 2020 at 23:07.

  6. #6
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctam View Post
    ... I applaud both brands for daring to be a bit different.

    I do hope this does not spell the decline of more “fringe” or WID brands like GP, UN etc. The watch world need more brands who dare to experiment and be different!
    Fair point, well made. There is indeed far too much me-too-ness out there. Not that it seems to work too well for the smaller brands - the majority produce pretty "safe" offerings, but still struggle to get any attention. It does all seem to boil-down to relentless product promotion a-la-Rolex, Omega, etc.

  7. #7
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Not wishing to sound flippant - I can only deplore the job and skills losses - but in the circumstances I do wonder if GP, and especially UN, might consider making a few watches that are not various shades of fugly? Even that would probably make little difference to their prospects - there's no shortage of decent Swiss brands churning out pretty fine watches, many of which barely get a mention on forums such as this from one month to the next, and if they do, it's in the context of "That's nice. How much? Wouldn't pay THAT for it!" The single-minded obsession with a handful of extremely heavily-promoted brands has a lot to answer for...
    I'll agree with you to a point but I think that other brands have designs that appeal to a much great audience not that the others have designs that are completely worthless.

    If everyone, but a small segment, likes round watches why would you spend your time making square watches and not everyone prefers function over design either so making both is a requirement.

  8. #8
    Journeyman M1011's Avatar
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    I for one think it doesn't have to be a mutually exclusive decision. Nothing to stop a brand having a few safe earners to help keep the lights on whilst churning out some imaginative offerings as well. Take Zenith - they'll churn out El Primero's for days to keep the lights on, doesn't stop them coming up with some funky innovations like the Defy Inventor.

  9. #9
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    Zenith

    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    I for one think it doesn't have to be a mutually exclusive decision. Nothing to stop a brand having a few safe earners to help keep the lights on whilst churning out some imaginative offerings as well. Take Zenith - they'll churn out El Primero's for days to keep the lights on, doesn't stop them coming up with some funky innovations like the Defy Inventor.

    Unfortunately for Zenith, if rumours coming out are true, they are not keeping the lights on. Appears that Zenith sales are not doing well within any of their models but obviously under the umbrella of LVMH the mounting losses for the brand can be hidden within the Group’s full revenue. Zenith’s future could well be a mirror of it’s past.

  10. #10
    Journeyman M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flasher View Post
    Unfortunately for Zenith, if rumours coming out are true, they are not keeping the lights on. Appears that Zenith sales are not doing well within any of their models but obviously under the umbrella of LVMH the mounting losses for the brand can be hidden within the Group’s full revenue. Zenith’s future could well be a mirror of it’s past.
    That'll be sad if it happens.

  11. #11
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    Job losses

    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas View Post
    They all think they are high horology. GP could produce a terrific in-house for £1k and still make a profit. But they won't. UN could do the same. But they won't.

    I wish I had a crystal ball.
    They are both what I would consider haute horology brands. I am not sure if the £1K segment is what they are about. And that space is very crowded with very similar products.

    I know both brands produce some super high end stuff with a limited market such as the GP three bridges tourbillons or UN Freaks or Jacquemart minute repeaters. However, they have both got some more accessible pieces of high horology for the low 5 figure mark such as the GP neo bridges or UN Sonatas. These are very interesting and I think the market needs more of these.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Ctam; 16th September 2020 at 15:17.

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