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Thread: Sapphire vs acrylic

  1. #1
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Sapphire vs acrylic

    There have been many calls to make acrylic an option on several models. I decided to trial this with the lastest batch of Commandos and had 200 with sapphire and 100 with acrylic manufactured.

    As of today, this is how many I've sold.

    Sapphire: 144

    Acrylic: 23

    I'll not be making acrylic an option again.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  2. #2
    I assumed acrylic would be less popular after reading comments under some Instagram photos but wouldnít have guessed the number would be so low. But I guess as much as I like acrylic, when given the choice Iíd also choose sapphire. Best call business wise. Those who want acrylic should buy it now they have the opportunity.
    Last edited by theflyingfisherman; 20th November 2021 at 11:49.

  3. #3
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    There have been many calls to make acrylic an option on several models. I decided to trial this with the lastest batch of Commandos and had 200 with sapphire and 100 with acrylic manufactured.

    As of today, this is how many I've sold.

    Sapphire: 144

    Acrylic: 23

    I'll not be making acrylic an option again.

    Eddie
    Wow. Well the numbers speak for themselves.


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  4. #4
    Master
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    I think acrylic is something of a watch nerd preference. Most regular wristwatch purchasers would see sapphire as preferable, so I'm not really surprised.

  5. #5
    My Commando with acrylic is spot on.

  6. #6
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    RIP acrylic!

    From a business perspective, makes sense.

  7. #7
    Grand Master
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    Drop me a line I could probably be persuaded to take a hard to shift acrylic Commando off your hands in the Black Friday Sale.

  8. #8
    Master
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    It's a personal thing of course but sapphire all the way.

  9. #9
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Hasn't the acrylic only been available for one 2-minute Sunday window, and the sapphire for a couple, or even three? Or are those numbers from one week?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Hasn't the acrylic only been available for one 2-minute Sunday window, and the sapphire for a couple, or even three? Or are those numbers from one week?
    I believe acrylic has been available for two windows and the sapphire for three.

  11. #11
    Sapphire is such great stuff rather than Acrylic is bad i think. People have more confidence in it IMO

  12. #12
    Master
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    To be honest, given an option, Iíd always go for sapphire

  13. #13
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KAS118 View Post
    To be honest, given an option, Iíd always go for sapphire
    Aside from the milky ring effect, I agree


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  14. #14
    Master
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    The stats sadden this particular acrylic-loving watch-nerd, but totally understandable from a business perspective.

  15. #15
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    Sums up my feelings Neil


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  16. #16
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=TheGent;5877050]Aside from the milky ring effect, I agree
    /QUOTE]

    This is the key issue for me.

    Im not against sapphire per se - its the milk ring that I hate.

    Perhaps its more about the design / profile of the sapphire.

    The ring seems less pronounced on the Navigator when compared to the Everest.

    I had a lovely double domed a/r sapphire from Yokobies fitted to a Seiko Sarb017 and there was no milky ring at all.
    Last edited by Velorum; 20th November 2021 at 17:00.

  17. #17
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    I'm an unashamed acrylic fan myself. I had an Everest and didn't like the milky ring. I have flat sapphire in my Explorer 1 and that works fine. I think its the boxed sapphire that has the milky ring effect. I love the acrylic on my original PRS29a. it seem to open the dial up and I've had no problems with it all. A sad day...

  18. #18
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Mention of the "milky ring" always amuses me. I'd never heard the term or noticed the effect until it popped up here. Even being aware of it I don't notice it, but then I only glance at my watches to read the time, I'll probably start staring if I ever get a Sewills Ferreira or a Dornbluth, but that will be staring at the movement through the glass back.

  19. #19
    Master
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    I would go for the acrylic, less hassle when it gets scratched.

  20. #20
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    There is a time and a place for acrylic, I have a few watches with it.
    I'd happily have a Commando with plexi but as I've failed twice on recent occasions to secure anything in the brief store opening then the point is probably moot.

    Maybe there is room for a special 'Commando with acrylic' Sunday store opening. That would shift a few.

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  21. #21
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    Sapphire is such great stuff rather than Acrylic is bad i think. People have more confidence in it IMO
    Agreed, sapphire is more durable but it will shatter if it gets a hard whack. I donít like flat sapphire or mineral because they always show smears, curved glasses are better in this respect as are acrylics.

  22. #22
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne View Post
    There have been many calls to make acrylic an option on several models. I decided to trial this with the lastest batch of Commandos and had 200 with sapphire and 100 with acrylic manufactured.

    As of today, this is how many I've sold.

    Sapphire: 144

    Acrylic: 23

    I'll not be making acrylic an option again.
    Good grief, you can't argue with the numbers. All the same, I am surprised that the differential is so great.

    As a matter of interest, do you have a breakdown of TZ-UK member buyers vs. non-TZ-UK member buyers? It would be interesting to see if there is a difference in preferences between TZ-UK members and non-TZ-UK members.

    I do realise that it might not be straightforward to definitely identify forum members amongst buyers, though.

    Personally I like acrylics due to their easy reparability, but it has to be on the right sort of watch. For me, the PRS-25, especially the Commando version, is such a watch. It just feels right to me. I plan to buy an acrylic Commando in due course (and I better not waste time if they are never to be seen again!). But I'd rather see sapphire on, say, a diver like the PRS-44.

    I recognise that the buying masses now prefer sapphire everywhere. Anything else is seen as 'less' to them. So be it.

  23. #23
    The sapphire comes up first in the drop down menu and in the rush to add to your cart probably results in more sapphires being sold by default.

    I did exactly this is, but then managed to get the plexi too, that I originally wanted, all within a minute or two.



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  24. #24
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxnick1975 View Post
    The sapphire comes up first in the drop down menu and in the rush to add to your cart probably results in more sapphires being sold by default.
    Yes, I think you might well have a point. The Shopify shop structure does make some things easier to find than others, I think.

    I had been pondering, were it my shop, whether I'd use sub-products/options or to make all variations a top level product in their own right so as to maximise visibility.

  25. #25
    Journeyman fm.tz's Avatar
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    Acrylic every time but(!) that assumes the watch is slightly thinner compared to a sapphire watch. Without a watch designed for an acrylic set, and for the same price, I can see why people go for the crystal.


    Tempus non expectat virum et aestus.

  26. #26
    Grand Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxnick1975 View Post
    The sapphire comes up first in the drop down menu and in the rush to add to your cart probably results in more sapphires being sold by default.

    I did exactly this is, but then managed to get the plexi too, that I originally wanted, all within a minute or two.



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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    Yes, I think you might well have a point. The Shopify shop structure does make some things easier to find than others, I think.

    I had been pondering, were it my shop, whether I'd use sub-products/options or to make all variations a top level product in their own right so as to maximise visibility.
    Eddie, this could be relevant. Try reversing the drop down order. It may mean they shift pronto.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Two points from me

    The sapphire came out first so all those looking for one inc me went for that. Iíve been loving it and itís relegated my 124060 to the box since I got it, but Iím not going to buy a second one and Iím sure others did the same.

    I think you should make the crystals interchangeable and either including both in the sale and pricing for it, or offering a crystal on the website as an accessory.

    Would suit everyone and not cost a fortune to you.

  28. #28
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    The acrylic guys are too chill to play along with that daft Sunday afternoon carry-on.

  29. #29
    Craftsman redhed18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete-r View Post
    Two points from me

    The sapphire came out first so all those looking for one inc me went for that. Iíve been loving it and itís relegated my 124060 to the box since I got it, but Iím not going to buy a second one and Iím sure others did the same.

    I think you should make the crystals interchangeable and either including both in the sale and pricing for it, or offering a crystal on the website as an accessory.

    Would suit everyone and not cost a fortune to you.
    Cases need to be constructed differently for the two different types of crystals.

  30. #30
    Master Tenko's Avatar
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    Would prefer acrylic, especially on this style of watch.

    If the Commando was only available with acrylic, it would sell just as well imo.

  31. #31
    Journeyman
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    For me personally, with the Everest & Commando I would go plexi all day long however, I do agree with the milky ring, once it's seen it cannot be unseen so to speak.

    A flat sapphire crystal (like the current explorer) would definately resolve the issue and whilst this is a preferable option, I do love an acrylic crystal on certain models, take my CWC W10, sapphire would ruin the whole look of the peice in my opinion.

    Unfortunately I have unsuccessfully attempted to snag an acrylic Commando on two occasions and now that this may look like then end of these, next weekend I'm hoping I have better luck this time.
    Last edited by Planet Ocean; 21st November 2021 at 10:34.

  32. #32
    Craftsman petay993's Avatar
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    Sell the Acrylics on here direct to those who have SC rights.

    It's a WIS option.

  33. #33
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    To my mind, there are too many issues regarding the current purchasing process & constraints to draw any meaningful conclusions.

  34. #34
    Master Tetlee's Avatar
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    Those are surprising statistics, given the choice I would always go with acrylic. Mind you I've always been a bit out there with things I like so maybe not that surprising.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    To my mind, there are too many issues regarding the current purchasing process & constraints to draw any meaningful conclusions.
    I agree, the store needs to open with acrylic as the default option, that would help show if they're less popular or just harder to order in the time allowed.

  36. #36
    Journeyman fogar's Avatar
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    Sad times. The concentric milky ring of death prevails

  37. #37
    Master
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    I donít think website drop downs is the reason, I think itís a simple case of acrylic being a niche within a niche brand.

    Maybe do a list and not open up one Sunday to clear stock?

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by fogar View Post


    Sad times. The concentric milky ring of death prevails
    I personally have never had an issue with the milky ring. And never even noticed it until I read a comment mentioning it. I own a three acrylic pieces and do like them very very much, they have a warmth to them but I prefer acrylic on non polished cases. A polished case gets scratched up pretty easily and knowing the sapphire will stay clean of scratches and look new is my preference as I just like the appearance more of a used case but clean crystal. I would rather acrylic on a brushed case.
    Last edited by theflyingfisherman; 21st November 2021 at 19:18.

  39. #39
    Journeyman fogar's Avatar
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    better?

  40. #40
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    I'd be very surprised if the order on the website made enough of a difference to those figures to be appreciable. Personally I'd prefer the acrylic (and I'm hoping I'll get the funds together to jump before these are gone), but it's pretty clear that the general preference is for sapphire.
    Dave E

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  41. #41
    Master
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    A sad day indeed when acrylic is discontinued.

  42. #42
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fogar View Post


    better?
    Absolutely

  43. #43
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Agreed, sapphire is more durable but it will shatter if it gets a hard whack. I don’t like flat sapphire or mineral because they always show smears, curved glasses are better in this respect as are acrylics.

    Hmm I don't know about you but I've never smashed a crystal, mineral or sapphire, in 25 years of faffing about with watches, neither have I done anything to seriously mark or scratch a crystal.

    If anything it's acrylic crystals that show marks most easily though of course it's generally not a big deal as easily polished out. For most watches other than something deliberately retro I wouldn't consider an acrylic.

    As far as smears go, I carry a microfibre cloth for my specs anyway so giving my watch the odd wipe if it needs it isn't a drama.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by kk View Post
    Hmm I don't know about you but I've never smashed a crystal, mineral or sapphire, in 25 years of faffing about with watches, neither have I done anything to seriously mark or scratch a crystal.

    If anything it's acrylic crystals that show marks most easily though of course it's generally not a big deal as easily polished out. For most watches other than something deliberately retro I wouldn't consider an acrylic.

    As far as smears go, I carry a microfibre cloth for my specs anyway so giving my watch the odd wipe if it needs it isn't a drama.
    Very true, just look at Vostok, every piece is acrylic and they have some big sizes, I own a few and have never scratched them up so bad that it can't be polished out.

    However I do agree, acrylic looks great on a vintage or vintage inspired watch such as the Everest/Commando line but sapphire being the most practical for modern watches, I can see the dilemma.

  45. #45
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I just think the (sometimes) more vocal traditionalists are outnumbered by the pragmatists that see an upgrade in performance as an advantage.
    I agree that a drop down choice that defaults to sapphire may skew the figures a little, but not much, in the face of a 7 to 1 sapphire choice.
    As has been mentioned, those that really must have acryllic can get that mod achieved themselves, but I sympathise with Eddie that he may well be left with stock for quite a while before it goes, because he has listened to that minority.

  46. #46
    I've often wondered if it would be possible to make a swappable crystal in the way that some watches come with two case backs -- one solid and one display. Maybe it could be done with a removable bezel? One with acrylic and one with sapphire. I guess that would affect the WR (esp if the owner repeatedly switched between the two) but having the option to go either way might be a winner.

    I dunno. Just thinking aloud. I don't think anyone offers that feature and there may be a good reason why but on the other hand it could be a (patented?) first for Time Factors.

  47. #47
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    ...or Eddie could make a modular watch with a choice of acrylic or sapphire.

    Google Japy, for example.
    ______

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  48. #48
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    But the point Eddie makes is that the minority that want acrylic are too small to warrant pandering to. At all.

  49. #49
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    It looks pretty clear that the minority within a minority who seek to influence Timefactors to produce acrylic versions (I include myself in this group) are flogging a dead horse and probably need to draw a line under the issue and move on so as not to test Eddies patience and irritate other forum members.


    .


    At least a few models from other manufacturers are available in this configuration including CWC - these will all go down the sapphire route at some point I guess - buy them now while you can!



    Last edited by Velorum; 22nd November 2021 at 12:48.

  50. #50
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    I'm in neither camp here: the Commando isn't a watch I would buy.

    I was merely pointing out that there is a solution which doesn't involve impacting the integrity of the watch dial, hands, movement & WR by opening them to the elements (for want of a better word), as Rev-O's spitball would, when changing from acrylic to sapphire & vice versa.

    Also, I appreciate that modular would mean increased costs.
    ______

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