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Thread: retitled: Watches are becoming too expensive. Please discuss

  1. #101
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    I think RRP on a lot of Richemont brands are away with the fairies at the minute.

    Im a bit torn on this really.
    Yes, overall I think they're becoming too expensive and thats taken a lot of the "f about and find out" fun of taking a punt to try something different out.
    But the mad prices have also thrown up a lot of comparatively really well priced pre-owned bits.

  2. #102
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    I have pretty much given up on mainstream brands, they are taking the micky.
    I put my name down for the Pelagos 39, and when they eventually offered me one, I didn't take it, the price had increased enough, and my will to drop that much on a new watch had decreased enough for me not to be bothered about it at all.
    And guess what? I do not miss having one on the slightest.

    On the other hand, I have bought perfectly lovely micro-brand offerings with impressive specifications for about 5% of the cost that Pelagos would represent.
    And compared to some other brands, the Pelagos is a bargain.
    I have a kickstarter watch arriving soon made from Grade 5 titanium, DLC coated etc etc that cost £300.
    Omega (amongst others) would have you believe that Grade 5 titanium commands a premium over the normal models of about £450 (judging my the master 300).

    And don't let the invested blow the smoke that "prices will always rise". They won't, the emperors clothes will be revealed in all their glory, and prices will eventually drop. Not today, or tomorrow, but they will.

    Now, it is watches like the upcoming Smiths Traveller that excite me, rather than anything mainstream. I am constantly, and consistently impressed by what smaller brands can offer in terms of value, and I am pretty sure all of my spending will remain there, barring a trade or two.

    It is true that smaller brands do not offer the (dubious) justification of being an investment, but at least with microbrands you can be assured that a much larger proportion of your money is actually in the watch on your wrist, rather than propping up the marketing edifice of a large brand.

    So in regard to the OP, yes and no

    Many mainstream brands are too expensive, by a margin, but there are plenty of watches out there that aren't

  3. #103
    To be fair I do think it depends on your definition of a “nice watch”. If that means only Omega, Rolex, IWC etc then yes, they have reached the point where I wouldn’t buy one. That being said there are still plenty of nice watches out there at the 1-3K price bracket. Nobody is forcing you to pay 11K for a watch so someone can price something at whatever they wish.

    Perhaps there is an element of greed in the buyer here as well as the seller. If the buyer is demanding watch brand X because he says so then do you blame the seller for putting any price they like on it?

  4. #104
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Goodness. I am getting depressed reading this. I was having a nice day until I opened this thread. Watches are expensive - like everything - at least they have not doubled in 6months unlike some other things.

    Off to cut back some olive tree branches - I won't say which watch I am wearing, as it may scare some.
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 14th April 2023 at 13:05.
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  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Goodness. I am getting depressed reading this. I was having a nice day until I opened this thread. Off to cut back some olive tree branches - I won't say which watch I am wearing, as it may scare some.
    Iím sure the G Shock will be fine

  6. #106
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    I'm just surprised that no-one has used the term 'veblen' yet!

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    I'm just surprised that no-one has used the term 'veblen' yet!
    Ha! Where's Zilla when you want him

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    Goodness. I am getting depressed reading this. I was having a nice day until I opened this thread. Watches are expensive - like everything - at least they have not doubled in 6months unlike some other things.

    Off to cut back some olive tree branches - I won't say which watch I am wearing, as it may scare some.
    Not a boring old Roger Smith by chance?

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    I think RRP on a lot of Richemont brands are away with the fairies at the minuteÖ..

    But the mad prices have also thrown up a lot of comparatively really well priced pre-owned bits.
    Richemontís price escalation is bonkers, and there is nothing new from the group that interests me.

    I think you are right about pre-owned. Paneraiís resale values have at best flatlined for the last decade, so the two older models I have recently added represent good value.

    Dave


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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    Richemontís price escalation is bonkers, and there is nothing new from the group that interests me.

    I think you are right about pre-owned. Paneraiís resale values have at best flatlined for the last decade, so the two older models I have recently added represent good value.

    Dave
    Im of the opinion that while the prices on panerai have gone up, quality has gone down. I much prefer the older tanks.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Im of the opinion that while the prices on panerai have gone up, quality has gone down. I much prefer the older tanks.
    Havenít they now stopped finishing the movement as well? I was tempted by one recently but reports of a drop in quality put me off.

    Personally I find the prices have put a halt to my purchasing. When watches were £2500 I could stomach the loss on selling it after 12 months for £1750. But when that watch is now £6500 and the resale after 12 months is £4000 then itís just too much of a loss - Iím looking at my Planet Ocean ĎOreoí in particular there!

    Iíll still buy Rolex when offered them as theyíre not quite the financial suicide thatís buying an Omega, but Iím basically done with the mainstream brands now.

    I guess if youíre someone looking for that one nice watch, like a 40th birthday or something, then the prices donít matter as much and youíll still pay it. Itís the serial collectors that are being hit. Thereís a still a big market for them.

  12. #112
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stix View Post
    Ha! Where's Zilla when you want him
    Presumably with a 'lady friend'... (Assuming you mean 'Cilla?)

    M
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  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonj View Post
    Havenít they now stopped finishing the movement as well? I was tempted by one recently but reports of a drop in quality put me off.
    Snap back and spring bars on base models, the Brooklyn bridge fiasco, "in house" P9200 movements being eta with dd modules bolted on and smoked case-backs to hide it, the removing of hacking seconds on the 9010 to be cheap, list goes on but pre-owned and older models are excellent vfm, ones with external movements that have just been decorated by panerai in particular. Viva Unitas!

  14. #114

    Yes!

    Of course they are too expensive, but there is a lot of spare money in the world so it is a predictable situation. Quantitative easing after the 2008 crash fed an inevitable inflationary cycle and the big brands have been cashing in on this ever since.

    As for investment - watches are not a good investment. Some may land lucky with rarity and odd peaks in sentiment lifting values now and then but over the long term they are generally a terrible investment.

    I am lucky enough to own a vintage Rolex bought by my Dad in the '60's. Of course I will not sell it, but I reckon in its current condition and given the good provenance I would get maybe £2000. He paid the equivalent of about £800 back then. Now if he had have put that £800 in the bank and received only a rather tame return on it, it would now be worth about £15000.

    And this is the brand that has perhaps best managed to increase its overall brand value in that period. Now I accept that if he could have managed to buy a Submariner at that time then it would have increased much more than his standard Oyster, but no one could have predicted that back then and more to the point, he didn't much care for the Submariner.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by faken View Post
    I'm in a similar position, the only "value" buys I see at the moment are 2nd hand Breitling. Everything else seems to have inflated out of my comfort zone
    Itís funny you should mention that!

  16. #116

    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Snap back and spring bars on base models, the Brooklyn bridge fiasco, "in house" P9200 movements being eta with dd modules bolted on and smoked case-backs to hide it, the removing of hacking seconds on the 9010 to be cheap, list goes on but pre-owned and older models are excellent vfm, ones with external movements that have just been decorated by panerai in particular. Viva Unitas!

    As a Panerai fan I have to agree, with a heavy heart, about all of those observations on how Richemont have sullied the brand beyond belief in the last few years. Makes me cherish my 233, 422, 605 and 690 all the more when I see the latest releases from the brand.

    I only pray that AP stay in private, family ownership and not sold to Richemont or LVMH to be butchered as well.......

  17. #117
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    Itís just the perception of value that makes them seem expensive, when my dad died in 94 I bought a blue bi-metallic sub and a year old Carlton 24v GSi the car was 3 times the price of the watch and I got more discount on the watch than the car, I lost the bezel and Rolex charged around £650 for a new one and I sold it because I was standing in the queue at the cinema and there was a few others in the queue with the same watch, Teesside oil workers had good taste. David Duggan paid gave me £1800 for it in about 99. Watches are just like cars, they will sell at any price as there will always be someone that wants to pay that price. Whether the Rolex frenzy will come to a crash is anyoneís guess.


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  18. #118
    Having just spent £5k on an average 7 days in the sun, Iím inclined to think a Rolex at £10k seems good value. Might just be me, but Iíd still be wearing that watch in 20 years and the week on a sun lounger fades in to a long distant memory. Iím sure thatís not the right way to look at things, just another perspective.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by tz-uk73 View Post
    Having just spent £5k on an average 7 days in the sun, Iím inclined to think a Rolex at £10k seems good value. Might just be me, but Iíd still be wearing that watch in 20 years and the week on a sun lounger fades in to a long distant memory. Iím sure thatís not the right way to look at things, just another perspective.
    A bit of sense at last. Men have been moaning about the price of things ever since money was invented. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Just wear the Explorer Mick, enjoy the sense of adventure, managed risk, after all thatīs what the watch is meant to embody, crafted in the tradition of... and pay a little more attention to your surroundings, avoid crowds especially pikey markets, if youīre really fearful stick to main thoroughfares where the Police patrol...leastways in Cartagena they do. Canīt speak for your burgī but having lived almost 20 years in that London and now having spent a good dozen here, Iīve a strong conviction itīs safer here...Iīve yet to experience either the same sense of incipient violence or indeed violence as we experienced in London, typically a lot less anger on the roads here too in my experience.
    Yes I think I will wear the Explorer. I will take a nice heavy walking stick with me which is a perfectly normal thing for a man of 74 to use.

    Spain does have a low crime rate but the problem is these old expats who wander around wearing Rolex. I spent the afternoon today in Aguilas and I counted two old geezers in their seventies wearing a yellow gold DayDate or DateJust. It's just a rich picking ground.


  21. #121
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    Watch prices have been slowly growing more expensive for the big brands over the last 10 years or so, the Speedmaster being a great example. But then more recently they have had well below inflation price rises. I do wonder if some brands unrestricted by volume limitations will have to lower or flatten their prices. Or more likely start to discount heavily.

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by tz-uk73 View Post
    Having just spent £5k on an average 7 days in the sun, Iím inclined to think a Rolex at £10k seems good value. Might just be me, but Iíd still be wearing that watch in 20 years and the week on a sun lounger fades in to a long distant memory. Iím sure thatís not the right way to look at things, just another perspective.
    Iím the opposite. In my 20s and early 30s I used to scrimp on stuff and my big purchases were all watches. As Iíve got older, having an expensive watch mostly sat in a box in my wardrobe is about as exciting as seeing my bank balance on a computer screen. Iíd much rather spend money on sports, experiences or products that actually give me something back. It doesnít necessarily have to just be holidays but things like tennis lessons, a piano, bicycles, concert tickets. Iíd even value an expensive coffee machine more than a watch these days. Iím still into watches, but I see less ďvalueĒ in them these days and I seem to have lost that desire to chase the next purchase.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by tz-uk73 View Post
    Having just spent £5k on an average 7 days in the sun, Iím inclined to think a Rolex at £10k seems good value. Might just be me, but Iíd still be wearing that watch in 20 years and the week on a sun lounger fades in to a long distant memory. Iím sure thatís not the right way to look at things, just another perspective.
    Travel broadens the mind and is a luxury to be enjoyed whilst one has the will to do it, healthy enough to enjoy it and the means to pay for it.

    As you say, perspectives.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  24. #124
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    Preowned breitling only seem good value BECAUSE they are too expensive new, absurdly so!

  25. #125
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    Are these people the same people saying they won't be ripped off with a new BMW because the last 3 series they bought cost them 12k

  26. #126
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK View Post
    Travel broadens the mind and is a luxury to be enjoyed whilst one has the will to do it, healthy enough to enjoy it and the means to pay for it.

    As you say, perspectives.
    itís all relative though - some travel and experiences are incredible experiences, others are like picking up the same cup of over priced coffee at one of the main high street coffee shops on the way into work; nothing special, not very memorable, and done just for the sake of it.
    It's just a matter of time...

  27. #127
    No, plenty of ones worth having sub £500, unless one is trying to impress.

  28. #128
    Quote Originally Posted by notnowkato View Post
    No, plenty of ones worth having sub £500, unless one is trying to impress.
    Just bought a couple of Zeno watches recently but aside from Timefactors are there any others out there?

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Presumably with a 'lady friend'... (Assuming you mean 'Cilla?)

    M
    Haha yes, good ole Cilla!

  30. #130
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    The other issue that annoys me to add to my earlier comments is that the corresponding price increase has not lead to an increase in quality. Take the recent IWC Ingenieur, the exact same movement as the Baume & Mercier, albeit the worse variant as its not even the COSC variant and also unfinished as its behind a closed case back costs more than double of the B&M. It costs substantially more than IWCs own Pilot Mark 20 which is essentially the same watch....This is just 1 example but so many watches just went up in price. I get that luxury, by definition has to be exclusive to an extent and one way to do that if your product doesnt sell like Rolex is to just increase the price and exclude out people who can't afford it...Not sure how sustainable this strategy is...

  31. #131
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    Watches v holidays. If youíre good at ďliving in the momentĒ then holidays are very special providing your memory retains the experience for a long time. On the other hand a decent watch can last as long as you want and you can appreciate it every day. Moderation in both seems best. Fanaticism often leads to discontent.
    But given the choice of what to spend 5K on - Iíd have the watch (just one though)

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    itís all relative though - some travel and experiences are incredible experiences, others are like picking up the same cup of over priced coffee at one of the main high street coffee shops on the way into work; nothing special, not very memorable, and done just for the sake of it.
    Of course, you (or should I say 'one') has a choice in the experience when planning it.

    Would you buy a watch just 'for the sake of it'?.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  33. #133
    It's all relative, someone older, in poor health, unsure about future mobility or even how long they have, a 5k holiday now whilst they can enjoy it would mean everything, a watch probably not.

    A kid in the city treating themselves with their first bonus that fancy Rolex means a lot , their next holiday they spend mostly p1ssed

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  34. #134

    brand is king

    yes prices have increased but what a watch represents is an extension of identity, to expand we live in a world where we wish to be seen as unique so watch brands try and identify certain characteristics that we wish to emulate.Quality and finishing are of course important and they go hand in hand with brand identity. Can rrp prices be sustained the answer is yes . Like it or not the population has risen with the amount of people that can afford to spend £10k on watch increasing. watches like every other luxury good are status. there was an interesting article on the jewellery shops in the south of France by the beach alway selling out (before hype watches),of expensive watches to fat rich men because how else were they to differentiate themselves and show their wealth when all they are doing is sitting by a pool/beach in there swimming trunks, we all look the same ,this article was about 6-8 years ago. In a world where average joes spend 1000's on trainers , watches are not that a step up , some trainers sell on the grey market more than a Rolex Daytona does on the grey.

  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pan16520 View Post
    yes prices have increased but what a watch represents is an extension of identity, to expand we live in a world where we wish to be seen as unique so watch brands try and identify certain characteristics that we wish to emulate.Quality and finishing are of course important and they go hand in hand with brand identity. Can rrp prices be sustained the answer is yes . Like it or not the population has risen with the amount of people that can afford to spend £10k on watch increasing. watches like every other luxury good are status. there was an interesting article on the jewellery shops in the south of France by the beach alway selling out (before hype watches),of expensive watches to fat rich men because how else were they to differentiate themselves and show their wealth when all they are doing is sitting by a pool/beach in there swimming trunks, we all look the same ,this article was about 6-8 years ago. In a world where average joes spend 1000's on trainers , watches are not that a step up , some trainers sell on the grey market more than a Rolex Daytona does on the grey.
    I think you make a good point. It does appear to be about perceptions, projections of status, identity.

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Iím the opposite. In my 20s and early 30s I used to scrimp on stuff and my big purchases were all watches. As Iíve got older, having an expensive watch mostly sat in a box in my wardrobe is about as exciting as seeing my bank balance on a computer screen. Iíd much rather spend money on sports, experiences or products that actually give me something back. It doesnít necessarily have to just be holidays but things like tennis lessons, a piano, bicycles, concert tickets. Iíd even value an expensive coffee machine more than a watch these days. Iím still into watches, but I see less ďvalueĒ in them these days and I seem to have lost that desire to chase the next purchase.
    this is what has happened to me - I've got more money that I ever had but I'd rather do stuff with it than buy stuff. I was looking at the new Oris Coulson and while I liked it - I liked the idea of the holiday or adventure I could spend it on more.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Yes I think I will wear the Explorer. I will take a nice heavy walking stick with me which is a perfectly normal thing for a man of 74 to use.

    Spain does have a low crime rate but the problem is these old expats who wander around wearing Rolex. I spent the afternoon today in Aguilas and I counted two old geezers in their seventies wearing a yellow gold DayDate or DateJust. It's just a rich picking ground.
    Good for you Mick and I like the heavy walking stick idea, it's something I'm considering should I be fortunate enough to get old enough to carry it off, maybe even a nice swordstick. Hope you enjoyed Aguilas, cracking weather at present...if it continues we'll have the pool open in a couple of weeks.
    Last edited by Passenger; 15th April 2023 at 09:28.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    Just bought a couple of Zeno watches recently but aside from Timefactors are there any others out there?
    Vario, Spinnaker, Scurfa, Helm, Unimatic, Draken, Circula and probably a thousand other Microbrands, no shortage really.

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    The other issue that annoys me to add to my earlier comments is that the corresponding price increase has not lead to an increase in quality
    This is a couple of the Richemont brands, IWC and Panerai who are using very basic movements from Valfleurier, Richemontís movement division, trumpeting them as in house, and thinking no one will notice. Once this escapes from WiS-land and becomes widely known those brands risk irreparable damage. Luxury has many elements, but it does include abundance and excess, not what they are doing. I am astounded they can be so short sighted.

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  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    This is a couple of the Richemont brands, IWC and Panerai who are using very basic movements from Valfleurier, Richemontís movement division, trumpeting them as in house, and thinking no one will notice. Once this escapes from WiS-land and becomes widely known those brands risk irreparable damage. Luxury has many elements, but it does include abundance and excess, not what they are doing. I am astounded they can be so short sighted.

    D
    The new Ingenieur is a case in point, as far as I know the in-house IWC movement is an ETA clone. Does it really matter if itís cloned by IWC or Sellita?

    The other issue with high priced watches is that for £8k+ it should be possible to design watches with no glaringly obvious flaws, eg too thick, date floating in the middle of the dial etc. Itís amazing how many watches would be great but for the obvious design flaw, unacceptable when the price suggests no compromises.

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Good for you Mick and I like the heavy walking stick idea, it's something I'm considering should I be fortunate enough to get old enough to carry it off, maybe even a nice swordstick. Hope you enjoyed Aguilas, cracking weather at present...if it continues we'll have the pool open in a couple of weeks.
    Word of caution - be careful about carrying a sword stick and even worse using it in a skirmish. I know quite a few policeman back in the UK and their advice is that if you defend yourself in an attack, an old man will get away with using a walking stick. However if you use a sword stick, it carries an element of premeditated use and that is a definite no no.

    Stick with the stick if you get my drift.

  42. #142
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    The price increases to us hobbyists can be frustrating but ultimately these are businesses aiming to maximise profit so you have to assume the market is absorbing it and boosting their bottom line.

  43. #143
    'don't use a sword during fisticuffs' is generally very good advice tbh

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  44. #144
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Word of caution - be careful about carrying a sword stick and even worse using it in a skirmish. I know quite a few policeman back in the UK and their advice is that if you defend yourself in an attack, an old man will get away with using a walking stick. However if you use a sword stick, it carries an element of premeditated use and that is a definite no no.

    Stick with the stick if you get my drift.

    Almost reads like a Viz top tip. Imagine having to take advice about the legality of carrying a sword.

    Not having that kind of insight is where all those poor zombie killer carrying youths are going wrong.

  45. #145
    Quote Originally Posted by kace View Post
    Almost reads like a Viz top tip. Imagine having to take advice about the legality of carrying a sword.

    Not having that kind of insight is where all those poor zombie killer carrying youths are going wrong.
    Unless antique (>100 years) illegal to buy/sell in the UK, let alone carry one.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Word of caution - be careful about carrying a sword stick and even worse using it in a skirmish. I know quite a few policeman back in the UK and their advice is that if you defend yourself in an attack, an old man will get away with using a walking stick. However if you use a sword stick, it carries an element of premeditated use and that is a definite no no.

    Stick with the stick if you get my drift.
    Wise words.

  47. #147
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    Some unneeded sarcasm in this thread .


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  48. #148
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    Everything is relative, I was in New York with the family for 5 days and it was the price of a decent Rolex, a few years since I have been in the US, but that was punitively expensive everywhere you went exacerbated by the tipping cultureÖ

    The thing is, like London, you can sense the wealth, itís everywhere and the demand for high end watches wonít dampen in the short term

    I was getting a taxi back to JFK and was chatting to the driver, told me he worked 12 hour days 7 days a week, but made £175k minus £35k costsÖa taxi driver! He had sold 6 subway stores for $2.4m but is still working as he has 3 kids in college, costing $60k per child per year - two are studying to be doctors and will earn $300k within 5 years of qualifying in the US - absolutely wild numbers in a U.K. context

    As a final point, I am about to collect a new 911, 18 months wait list, base price of the car increased by 7% or £8k, fully loaded like for like was a £16k differentialÖ..there will still be wait lists!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  49. #149
    Journeyman
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    Everything is getting too expensive, Greggs sausage roll used to be 42p. Quid now. shambles mate

  50. #150
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbonick84 View Post
    Everything is getting too expensive, Greggs sausage roll used to be 42p. Quid now. shambles mate
    The world truly has gone mad!

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

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