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Actually, no. Watches don't create anything, neither do brands.
- Watches are watchmakers' creations.
- Brands are intellectual property of the firms that own them.

Firms (their employees &/or owners) make/create watches and brands.
Fine, if you want to get into semantics, the point I am trying to make is that it is the qualities and nature of the watches that contribute to the market segmentation of brands. Take for example Montblanc, Arnold & Son and Hublot for example. They’ve all invested in exotic movements, technologies and materials in their efforts to move upmarket.

Sure marketing and promotional initiative in support of brands do this as well, but there’s a limit. Montblanc wasn’t going to get much further upmarket with its early Timewalker models that were based on ETA movements, steel cases and few complications, regardless of how strong their brand was.

So in the chicken or egg argument of brand vs product, I’m on the product side. If overnight Timex makes a hand finished grande complication designed in house with a platinum case and starts making all their watches that way, they will be high end. If Patek switches to plastic parts and cheap outsourced quartz movements they will be entry level. Consumers’ perception will gradually change as the brand capital drains from one and builds in the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
Okay point taken but your argument is flawed since your hypothetical example of Timex assumes that all Timex models are quality. This scenario would mean that their bread and butter models are also high end. In the scenario, yes, Timex would be considered high end. So your original argument that any brand can be a high end is misguided. As succinctly argued by one of the previous posters, a brand's value is based on its bread and butter model. So you can't really take their extremes and call it a good brand. That is why I condescendingly joked that if your argument were to be true, I could just start a watch company today. Invest 100k on a bespoke piece and parade around here saying that my brand deserves to be recognized as high end.
 

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I think most users on this forum had the privilege of handling many horological instrument from most of these houses. I've handled all of them with the exception of tier 4 and below. (I've handled hermes and tag tbh)
So, how do you define "most"? 51%? 66.7%? 99%?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Umm.. why do you need me to define "most" for you? I specifically stated that I handled all of the mentioned brands except for those in tier 4. Also, the parts you highlighted pertains to my guess about the WUS members. This makes me question your intent...do you just want to challenge my assumption that most members on here handled many high end pieces? If somehow I am proven wrong, do you want to use that to discredit me? I fail to see why you need me to clarify on precisely what percentage of WUS members I think have handled quality time pieces.

If you want to know why I am assuming that many members here handled high-end time pieces, just glancing at posts and pictures, as well as time pieces listed in member's signatures are enough evidence to safely assume that many people here have handled haute horological instruments. Or maybe you just began studying LSAT and realized that "OMG most is anything above 50 percent and therefore it is dubious. I should go on WUS and flaunt my intellectual prowess with my new found knowledge of the word most." Comments like this are really a waste of time and makes me respond in an abrasive way.
 

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Okay point taken but your argument is flawed since your hypothetical example of Timex assumes that all Timex models are quality. This scenario would mean that their bread and butter models are also high end. In the scenario, yes, Timex would be considered high end. So your original argument that any brand can be a high end is misguided. As succinctly argued by one of the previous posters, a brand's value is based on its bread and butter model. So you can't really take their extremes and call it a good brand. That is why I condescendingly joked that if your argument were to be true, I could just start a watch company today. Invest 100k on a bespoke piece and parade around here saying that my brand deserves to be recognized as high end.
I’d like to think that my argument is perfectly constructed. Also, I think fundamentally you and I are in agreement. In your examples, if Timex makes nothing but high end pieces or if a watchmaker makes one single high end piece, they should be high end brands.

Although, as I write this I do have some doubt as to whether it’s entirely correct. We should also probably distinguish between brand capital and high endedness. Laurent Ferrier is higher end than Cartier, but Cartier has higher brand capital for example.

Anyway, let’s put an apples to apples comparison forward. Between IWC and Zenith, which brand is higher end? I’d say Zenith because their average watch is an in house chronograph with above average technological characteristics (high beat, column wheel, silicon escapement, etc). Since discontinuing their Sellita based models their entry level pieces all use the Elite movement. Their high end complication pieces are fairly impressive. IWC has some impressive high end pieces as well, but their entry level is lower that Zenith’s, and their average level probably is as well due to the larger number of 2892 based Aquatimers, Ingénieurs or Pilots in steel, not to mention all their Valjoux based models on steel. The number of complicated pieces in precious metals is probably about the same as Zenith.
 

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Umm.. why do you need me to define "most" for you? I specifically stated that I handled all of the mentioned brands except for those in tier 4. Also, the parts you highlighted pertains to my guess about the WUS members. This makes me question your intent...do you just want to challenge my assumption that most members on here handled many high end pieces? If somehow I am proven wrong, do you want to use that to discredit me? I fail to see why you need me to clarify on precisely what percentage of WUS members I think have handled quality time pieces.

If you want to know why I am assuming that many members here handled high-end time pieces, just glancing at posts and pictures, as well as time pieces listed in member's signatures are enough evidence to safely assume that many people here have handled haute horological instruments. Or maybe you just began studying LSAT and realized that "OMG most is anything above 50 percent and therefore it is dubious. I should go on WUS and flaunt my intellectual prowess with my new found knowledge of the word most." Comments like this are really a waste of time and makes me respond in an abrasive way.
Ok.
 

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In an effort to impart some wisdom , my levels are about the watches , [all of which I owned at one time or another] as they have been as watches. For example, the Tag I own sucks. Tag , as a brand, might make other great watches, just not the one I have.
 

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In an effort to impart some wisdom , my levels are about the watches , [all of which I owned at one time or another] as they have been as watches. For example, the Tag I own sucks. Tag , as a brand, might make other great watches, just not the one I have.
"In an effort to impart some wisdom"

😂😂 ROTFL 😂😂
 

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Discussion Starter #34
First off, I am ranking watch brands and not individual watches. I am ranking them according to their perceived values which is based on their “bread and butter models.”
Going back to your original post, you argued that high-end pieces make high-end brands by giving an extreme example of Hermes Slim GMT and Zenith Academy line. AFAIK, most Hermes watches are sub 2k USD quartz watches and that is their bread and butter product. Accordingly, Hermes as a watch brand has low brand capital. Zenith, on the other hand, makes their money off El Primeros. I would say that their El Primeros are around 7K.
To be fair, there is some relationship between the quality of the watch and the brand but the relationship is rather weak.
I think where you and I differ is on the relationship between brand capital and high-endedness.
I am saying that high-endedness has almost no relationship with brand capital unless their bread and butter model is high end. Once again, I could start a watch company right now, and create a watch with 30 tiny rotors, 10 power reserve barrels with 3 gyro tourbillon. This piece would be high end but that does not make my brand high-end.
Your differentiation between brand capital and high-endedness is interesting but there is no relationship.
 

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You raise an interesting point in how you’re choosing to define your ranking. You’re focusing on the core models with the highest volume of sales and excluding any extremes in either direction I presume. Personally, I feel I look at it as an average of the pieces that a brand makes. (In either case the measure is imperfect because we only know what we see worn and reported on, but let’s put that aside.)

The first method excludes certain models as outliers, which limits the effect of high end models created in small volumes partially as advertising for the brands. I’m thinking of the Omega and JeanRichard tourbillons for example, which have been abandoned as they stretch their respective makers and their customers beyond their level of brand capital.

On the other hand, there are certain brands that are successful in doing this. They stretch their brand capital upward by releasing more high end models. There can be a virtuous cycle where brands that are skilled in building brand capital through various methods not exclusively related to product expand their high end watch offering to further move their brand upmarket. Hublot and Montblanc are key examples of that. It’s definitely a strategy in the watch industry, as well as many others.

Finally I think there’s even a third way of looking at it. I’m fairly certain that if we asked anybody at Hermes whether they are a high end watchmaker they would gladly respond in the affirmative. Some of their models certainly are high end. One could say that if a brand makes any high end pieces, they are a high end manufacturer. They have that capability. They may also be a mid and low tier manufacturer as well, they occupy more than one tier.

There are many types of customers with different perceptions and approaches to their purchasing behaviours. It doesn’t matter which model is right, it’s just a question of finding enough people who think a certain way and will make your brand commercially viable.

Anyway, in the case of the maker of a single AZN Rotore Trentenaire Reserve Tri-Gryotourbillon (to give your watch a name), I’d call them a high end watch brand according to any of the methods above.
 

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Actually, no. Watches don't create anything, neither do brands.
- Watches are watchmakers' creations.
- Brands are intellectual property of the firms that own them.

Firms (their employees &/or owners) make/create watches and brands.
Fine, if you want to get into semantics, the point I am trying to make is that it is the qualities and nature of the watches that contribute to the market segmentation of brands. Take for example Montblanc, Arnold & Son and Hublot for example. They’ve all invested in exotic movements, technologies and materials in their efforts to move upmarket.

Sure marketing and promotional initiative in support of brands do this as well, but there’s a limit. Montblanc wasn’t going to get much further upmarket with its early Timewalker models that were based on ETA movements, steel cases and few complications, regardless of how strong their brand was.

So in the chicken or egg argument of brand vs product, I’m on the product side. If overnight Timex makes a hand finished grande complication designed in house with a platinum case and starts making all their watches that way, they will be high end. If Patek switches to plastic parts and cheap outsourced quartz movements they will be entry level. Consumers’ perception will gradually change as the brand capital drains from one and builds in the other.
"the market segmentation of brands"

So here's the thing: as a business market segmentation exercise, high-endness, as WISes understand and apply that term/concept, simply isn't a trait/classification firms or economists define, much less apply, for use in market analysis of anything, including watches. The quality they use is price range and product, along with other objective traits. (https://www.segmentationstudyguide.com/business-segmentation/business-market-segmentation-bases/) But they don't combine those traits into a catchall category called high-end.

The other dimension of market segmentation, consumer/targets, classifies target customers in terms of a host of attributes (https://www.segmentationstudyguide.com/understanding-market-segmentation/a-step-by-step-guide-to-segmenting-a-market/), and the analyst performing the study may summarize (or not) the target customers' traits by calling them high-end, but only after providing an objective definition of what that term means as s/he has used it. (The exception being if s/he uses high-end synonymsly with high-price.) More likely, however, s/he will eschew the term high-end b/c what really drives a consumer's behavior are several socio-psychological attributes, and the point of segmenting the customer side of the market is to allow the firm to tailor its products and messages to most effectively appeal to their target customers. Those customers are, b/c of their values born of the noted socio-psychological attributes, may be moved to buy high-priced goods if/when they have the means to do so.

So what's high-end? The consumer. The good/service is merely high-priced and imbued w/a set of tangile objective attributes.

Of course, products and services are seen as having a host of intangible subjective traits. That's where branding and brand-level messaging comes in.

Brand messaging is very powerful. It's a key tool in convincing consumers that they are buying a variety of things & branding is the thing that helps make buyers feel good about their purchase.

Now of all the things firms say in their branding messages, that the brand is high-end just is not among them. That is a quality consumers assign to brands according to their individual definition of what that term means. The thing about that is so long as the commentator defines what high-end means and adheres methodologically to that definition in creating a list such as this thread's OP made, all there is to say about said list is "okay." One may dislike the author's definition, and if that's so, one must craft and publish one's own definition & list, even a list at the granular level of subsets of high-endness.

Having said that, IDK what be the value of consumers delineating the nature and extent of high-endness of various brands. I don't b/c I can't envision people actually choosing or preferring a watch (consumers buy watches, not brands) on account of whether it's high-end, or high-end tier 1.5, etc., or not. In contrast, buyers do choose based on price, styling, functionality and other unequivocally assessed attributes.
 

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after looking at some rankings floating around the web, I thought we need to update the rankings a bit. These rankings are my subjective opinions. EDIT *They are based on bread and butter models as well as public perception. EDIT * I got more replies than I expected lol. Here, let me add some more. Oh and btw, I took out independent brands. Lets stick to the big houses. BTW, if your argument is compelling, I will change the rankings lol.

version 1.1

-Tier 1-
Patek, AP, Lange (the new holy trinity)

-Tier 1.5-
Breguet, VC (OMG, VC is 1.5!!! Yes, VC has not done anything remotely interesting in the last few decades. Deserves a downgrade. Wants to play in T2 as evident from their gorgeous but questionable fifty six line)


-Tier 2-

Blancpain, Glashutte Original, Jaegar LeCoultre, Rolex, Hublot, Piaget, Ulysse Nardin, Jaquet Droz, Harry Winston (gasp!!! Rolex??? rubbing shoulders with the big boys? Oh, yes. Rolex has proven itself over time that great marketing can overcome anything. To my dismay, Hublot is inexorably in there due to their MSRP.)

-Tier 2.5-

Cartier

-Tier 3-
Omega, Zenith, Panerai, IWC, Grand Seiko, Franck Muller, Bvlgari (what!!! IWC is grouped with these losers??? Yes, IWC is no longer interesting. It doesn't hold value well either. On the contrary, Omega deserved this upgrade from Tier 3.5. *IWC did make a new in house movement for their portugieser so they may get a rank bump back to tier 2 next year, bvlgari got a bump from 3.5 as well due to their new Octo Finnisimo)


-Tier 3.5-
Breitling, Tudor, Chronoswiss (Tudor got a nice bump from tier 4. thanks to Rolex's popularity, it's now friends with Breitling. Chronoswiss really tumbled down over the years. Their new regulator models are really nice but I am still skeptical about the brand's future.)

-Tier 4-
Tag, B&M, B&R, ML (Tag...a watch that people buy when they realize that Omegas, Tudors and Breitlings are much more expensive than anticipated)

-Tier 4.5-
Hermes, Longiness

-Tier 5-
Hamilton, Movado and etc...(don't really care about them much...)

Care to disagree? ;-)
Dear aznseank.
I am sorry to say but your post is .... GARBAGE !!!!
 

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"the market segmentation of brands"

So here's the thing: as a business market segmentation exercise, high-endness, as WISes understand and apply that term/concept, simply isn't a trait/classification firms or economists define, much less apply, for use in market analysis of anything, including watches. The quality they use is price range and product, along with other objective traits. (https://www.segmentationstudyguide.com/business-segmentation/business-market-segmentation-bases/) But they don't combine those traits into a catchall category called high-end.

The other dimension of market segmentation, consumer/targets, classifies target customers in terms of a host of attributes (https://www.segmentationstudyguide.com/understanding-market-segmentation/a-step-by-step-guide-to-segmenting-a-market/), and the analyst performing the study may summarize (or not) the target customers' traits by calling them high-end, but only after providing an objective definition of what that term means as s/he has used it. (The exception being if s/he uses high-end synonymsly with high-price.) More likely, however, s/he will eschew the term high-end b/c what really drives a consumer's behavior are several socio-psychological attributes, and the point of segmenting the customer side of the market is to allow the firm to tailor its products and messages to most effectively appeal to their target customers. Those customers are, b/c of their values born of the noted socio-psychological attributes, may be moved to buy high-priced goods if/when they have the means to do so.

So what's high-end? The consumer. The good/service is merely high-priced and imbued w/a set of tangile objective attributes.

Of course, products and services are seen as having a host of intangible subjective traits. That's where branding and brand-level messaging comes in.

Brand messaging is very powerful. It's a key tool in convincing consumers that they are buying a variety of things & branding is the thing that helps make buyers feel good about their purchase.

Now of all the things firms say in their branding messages, that the brand is high-end just is not among them. That is a quality consumers assign to brands according to their individual definition of what that term means. The thing about that is so long as the commentator defines what high-end means and adheres methodologically to that definition in creating a list such as this thread's OP made, all there is to say about said list is "okay." One may dislike the author's definition, and if that's so, one must craft and publish one's own definition & list, even a list at the granular level of subsets of high-endness.

Having said that, IDK what be the value of consumers delineating the nature and extent of high-endness of various brands. I don't b/c I can't envision people actually choosing or preferring a watch (consumers buy watches, not brands) on account of whether it's high-end, or high-end tier 1.5, etc., or not. In contrast, buyers do choose based on price, styling, functionality and other unequivocally assessed attributes.
I find it interesting to discuss the topic of “high endedness” in watches and defining its meaning. This is a “high end” watch subforum so the term must have meaning to others as well, regardless of the framework that some economists may have defined for their own endeavours.

Personally I think the term is defined by the properties of a watch, namely things like being made of precious metals, featuring complications and/or a high degree of technical complexity in the execution of standard functions, and the level of finishing of the movement. If you’ve got all three, you’ve definitely got a high end watch. The more such watches a brand produces, the higher the market tier that it occupies. That’s the way I see it in a nutshell.
 

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"the market segmentation of brands"

So here's the thing: as a business market segmentation exercise, high-endness, as WISes understand and apply that term/concept, simply isn't a trait/classification firms or economists define, much less apply, for use in market analysis of anything, including watches. The quality they use is price range and product, along with other objective traits. (https://www.segmentationstudyguide.com/business-segmentation/business-market-segmentation-bases/) But they don't combine those traits into a catchall category called high-end.

The other dimension of market segmentation, consumer/targets, classifies target customers in terms of a host of attributes (https://www.segmentationstudyguide.com/understanding-market-segmentation/a-step-by-step-guide-to-segmenting-a-market/), and the analyst performing the study may summarize (or not) the target customers' traits by calling them high-end, but only after providing an objective definition of what that term means as s/he has used it. (The exception being if s/he uses high-end synonymsly with high-price.) More likely, however, s/he will eschew the term high-end b/c what really drives a consumer's behavior are several socio-psychological attributes, and the point of segmenting the customer side of the market is to allow the firm to tailor its products and messages to most effectively appeal to their target customers. Those customers are, b/c of their values born of the noted socio-psychological attributes, may be moved to buy high-priced goods if/when they have the means to do so.

So what's high-end? The consumer. The good/service is merely high-priced and imbued w/a set of tangile objective attributes.

Of course, products and services are seen as having a host of intangible subjective traits. That's where branding and brand-level messaging comes in.

Brand messaging is very powerful. It's a key tool in convincing consumers that they are buying a variety of things & branding is the thing that helps make buyers feel good about their purchase.

Now of all the things firms say in their branding messages, that the brand is high-end just is not among them. That is a quality consumers assign to brands according to their individual definition of what that term means. The thing about that is so long as the commentator defines what high-end means and adheres methodologically to that definition in creating a list such as this thread's OP made, all there is to say about said list is "okay." One may dislike the author's definition, and if that's so, one must craft and publish one's own definition & list, even a list at the granular level of subsets of high-endness.

Having said that, IDK what be the value of consumers delineating the nature and extent of high-endness of various brands. I don't b/c I can't envision people actually choosing or preferring a watch (consumers buy watches, not brands) on account of whether it's high-end, or high-end tier 1.5, etc., or not. In contrast, buyers do choose based on price, styling, functionality and other unequivocally assessed attributes.
I find it interesting to discuss the topic of “high endedness” in watches and defining its meaning. This is a “high end” watch subforum so the term must have meaning to others as well, regardless of the framework that some economists may have defined for their own endeavours.

Personally I think the term is defined by the properties of a watch, namely things like being made of precious metals, featuring complications and/or a high degree of technical complexity in the execution of standard functions, and the level of finishing of the movement. If you’ve got all three, you’ve definitely got a high end watch. The more such watches a brand produces, the higher the market tier that it occupies. That’s the way I see it in a nutshell.
"I think the term is defined by the properties of a watch, namely things like being made of precious metals, featuring complications and/or a high degree of technical complexity in the execution of standard functions, and the level of finishing of the movement. If you’ve got all three, you’ve definitely got a high end watch. The more such watches a brand produces, the higher the market tier that it occupies."

Okay.
 

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I am saying that high-endedness has almost no relationship with brand capital unless their bread and butter model is high end.


IMO, there is no relationship between brand capital and high-endedness, even if the bread and butter model is high end. I would never be willing to pay a premium for brand capital. I only look for value in high-endedness of specific watches - am I getting good bang for buck given the finishing, aesthetics, workmanship, movement design, etc.
 
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