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I thought Omega’s slogan was:
“A Limited Edition for every occasion”


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60 years of spinning on the Speedmaster penny and no sign that Omega is slowing down. Their CEO even had the temerity to use the word "innovation" when they released that third Snoopy Moonwatch. Nothing that's said means anything any more. I much prefer the boring, traditional De Ville line because it's not wrapped up in layer after layer of wafer-thin marketing tosh.
 

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60 years of spinning on the Speedmaster penny and no sign that Omega is slowing down. Their CEO even had the temerity to use the word "innovation" when they released that third Snoopy Moonwatch. Nothing that's said means anything any more. I much prefer the boring, traditional De Ville line because they're not wrapped up by layer after layer of wafe-thin marketing tosh.
Preach it, brother!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Let's bear in mind that the only point of a slogan as part of branding is to sell products. Most large watch companies want consumers to connect with slogans and fall in with brand identity; if and when that happens, and an affinity is created, then loyalty, buzz and a well-defined market niche follow.

Slogans and branding are, as others in this thread have said, usually the creation of marketing departments. They are based as much on market research as they are on founding principles. And sometimes, the marketing priorities of today are far removed from the principles of yesterday. Rolex is a great example of this: in its first fifty years, it innovated and took risks and hustled. It's an amazing story. In the last fifty years it's become a remarkably steady ship. That's also an amazing story, but a very different one.

While slogans and branding make me curious, I rarely allow them to pull me in. What I will do is dig as deep as possible to cut past the fluff. That means ignoring horrible Hodinkee adverticles and the like from the very start. There's nothing as satisfying as a thorough interrogation of a company's performance over a long period of time. Once you've dug as deep as available information allows, you can come away with a better grasp of what a watch company is about.

Here's an example. I have a Patek Philippe pocket watch made in 1903. I love it and cherish it. At that time, the company entered lots of independent chronometry competitions and frequently won. It was an exclusive watchmaker then as it is now but it was also objectively one of the best at timekeeping. Today, Patek Philippe avoids independent assessments like the plague and assesses itself (how convenient, no?). Instead of standing up to competition, it prefers to spin yarns about how excellent and exclusive it is. Does it still make nice watches? Of course. Do I respect them? Hmm. I have more respect for the hungry company it was 115 years ago than for the smarmy, self-congratulatory business it is today. The knock-on effects of this pivot are also unhealthy, in my view. It makes some owners of Patek Philippe insufferably smug. Some people just can't help themselves.

No surprise there, then. Slogans and branding efforts shape the behaviour of enthusiasts by the hundreds of thousands. That's why large numbers of watch enthusiasts can't get enough of Omega's Speedmaster or Seamaster, but ignore its quiet, excellent De Ville line. It's why thousands upon thousands of watch fans go crazy over Rolex sports watches and can't fathom why the brand continues to produce the Cellini. It's why Grand Seiko enjoys such popularity for its spring drive movement (well merited) but also why people are willing to overlook one of the worst executions of a power reserve indicator on any luxury watch today. If the dial on the Snowflake was the work of a single artist, that power reserve indicator was the compromise decision of a committee.

But like everyone else here, I'm biased. My bias is against larded up sloganeering and branding that intends to conceal as much as to reveal. As such, I don't accept claims of "in-house" and "hand-finished" watches unless I have a better idea the industrial processes and work flows involved. Unsurprisingly, a lot of this stuff stays hidden from public view. This creates a reality gap that is filled by carefully composed messages of inspiration and aspiration that we inject into our veins.
Thanks for sharing your view. This is exactly a discussion I was hoping for. Fashions come and fashions go and the slogans if not extremely generic in what they say come and go too as do marketing campaigns.

Like I said I am way more interested in design principles and philosophies of what a brand watches are and what a brand sees as a priority for their watches to be. This is why I love GS's clear message. Others do not make it explicit, so the only thing left is slogans. However, some of them tell at least some part of a brand destination and brand's story. For example, Omega's "Exact time for life" makes sense as they really were advancing the accuracy of the watch and had succeeded in doing do. So they are proud of achieving the goal, I guess.

I also see DeVille as a great choice and I am not a fan of many "sport" designs these days.

As for Patek, I respect JCB's opinion as he makes it clear that for him Patek is the one brand which more than others worth collecting.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Slogans and marketing don't impress me but I would be so interested in a GS if they didn't use those damn Dauphine hands on everything. They simply don't look good, IMO, with their indices. Otherwise, really great watches (that all look mostly the same).
I cherish legibility and therefore I really like the Dauphine hands and I miss them with my Rolex. Didn't they look great ? :)
 

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Thanks for sharing your view. This is exactly a discussion I was hoping for. Fashions come and fashions go and the slogans if not extremely generic in what they say come and go too as do marketing campaigns.

Like I said I am way more interested in design principles and philosophies of what a brand watches are and what a brand sees as a priority for their watches to be. This is why I love GS's clear message. Others do not make it explicit, so the only thing left is slogans. However, some of them tell at least some part of a brand destination and brand's story. For example, Omega's "Exact time for life" makes sense as they really were advancing the accuracy of the watch and had succeeded in doing do. So they are proud of achieving the goal, I guess.

I also see DeVille as a great choice and I am not a fan of many "sport" designs these days.

As for Patek, I respect JCB's opinion as he makes it clear that for him Patek is the one brand which more than others worth collecting.
I admire two brands in particular for the clarity of their vision, and the reliability with which they execute. These are Seiko and Parmigiani Fleurier. It's more than a coincidence that these are also two of the most financially stable and vertically-integrated brands in watchmaking - two factors that grant them a level of autonomy that very few other brands can match (and I count the larger independents here too).

As for Omega, it joined most of the luxury watch brands to shun the timekeeping trials of the last decade organized by the Concours International de Chronométrie, so I'm not so sure that its slogan lines up so well with its actual behaviour (let's not forget that its CEO recently touted Omega's "innovation" at the launch of its third Snoopy watch of a line it has endlessly rehashed for 60 years).

Such independent timekeeping trials have all but died three times in the last 50 years. The first time because the Japanese learnt how to win them; the second time because any US$10 quartz watch bought from Walmart can keep time better than a US$10,000 mechanical watch; and the third time because these watch companies are now in the business of selling heritage and exclusivity, which doesn't require impartial assessment. Of the brands that did participate in the Chronométrie trials, Breguet and Tissot have stood out. But it is absolutely clear that most - Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega included - shy away from competition and the illusion-bursting catastrophe of not winning.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Amen brother, seems like they use the Model T Henry Ford approach to their designs, with just a little twist. Instead of any color as long as its black, the GS selection is any color as long as its black, white, or beige/champagne.

Then they throw out a hundred LEs year with slightly less boring colors, at elevated prices, to make them seem more desirable. Or the color of the second hand is different, woo hoo!!!

Tried to buy one several times, just couldn't find anything that was interesting enough to buy once I saw it sitting on my wrist, but to be fair I only looked at spring drive. The diver wasn't boring looking, but unless you like strapping a hockey puck to your wrist (without a micro-adjustable bracelet for $7k) the dimensions may not be all that appealing to the average buyer.
Well, and here is where the design principles might help. Seems you do not care for their "Grammar of Design" language and therefore their Principle #3 - The watch has to be durable, i.e. simple and conservative enough to withstand fashion changes works against them in your case. This makes it easier IMO to then decide that you aren't interested in their Heritage line and forget about it.

For me, though, as I happen to value in a watch of any brand exactly what they outlined in their objectives for a watch - 1. accuracy, 2. legibility, 3. durability (conservative designs and reliability) I do not care about dial colors, nor do I about fashion trends with dive watches and such. I happily buy Seiko and GS with black dials (sorry GS for me not buying the Snowflake, or other LE colors) only.

As a matter of fact I was hunting for black SBGA273 as opposed to more known and available SBGS275 with blue dial. And I am glad to have it. For legibility reasons I always prefer luminous hands. I also like the red nose of the seconds hand for exact same legibility reasons. It is IMO beautiful. I whish GS would not drop it for current models.

Not the most desirable or beautiful for many, but for me the SBGA273 tops my watch list.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
...
As for Omega, it joined most of the luxury watch brands to shun the timekeeping trials of the last decade organized by the Concours International de Chronométrie, so I'm not so sure that its slogan lines up so well with its actual behaviour (let's not forget that its CEO recently touted Omega's "innovation" at the launch of its third Snoopy watch of a line it has endlessly rehashed for 60 years).

Such independent timekeeping trials have all but died three times in the last 50 years. The first time because the Japanese learnt how to win them; the second time because any US$10 quartz watch bought from Walmart can keep time better than a US$10,000 mechanical watch; and the third time because these watch companies are now in the business of selling heritage and exclusivity, which doesn't require impartial assessment. Of the brands that did participate in the Chronométrie trials, Breguet and Tissot have stood out. But it is absolutely clear that most - Patek Philippe, Rolex and Omega included - shy away from competition and the illusion-bursting catastrophe of not winning.
The thing is, as we know, quartz and esp. HAQ or better yet Radio or GPS sync'd watches killed all the importance of winning this and other trials with a mechanical watch. It is pure sport these days and nothing more than that wrt marketing value. So this is that. However, I share your disappointment, as IMO any competition is benefitting consumers. Talking slogans, I remember Ford's - "We race, you win!". Winning in any and every competition is sure one nice principle which I'd value for any brand to have :)
 

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Well, and here is where the design principles might help. Seems you do not care for their "Grammar of Design" language and therefore their Principle #3 - The watch has to be durable, i.e. simple and conservative enough to withstand fashion changes works against them in your case.
The Submariner design has been pretty much the same for at least 60 years and has withstood fashion changes, but its not as boring as most GS designs.

FWIW, the SBGA273 you showed is a very nice watch.
 

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I could agree that GS design is sometimes boring or plain. Philosophy-wise, Seiko try to tie in design choices with Japanese culture and history? From Seiko's Facebook page:
Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series.
Since time immemorial, a central aspect of the Japanese sense of beauty has been simplicity.
To create objects or images of refinement and grace with few elements and no extraneous decoration has long been an aim of many Japanese craftsmen and artists and it is this aesthetic that lies at the heart of an important new series within the Presage collection.
The dial incorporates a Japanese Asanoha or hemp leaf pattern, familiar in Japanese culture for its use in design since the Heian period over a thousand years ago.
Personally, nowadays I lean more towards interesting designs (lots of elements to look at) most of the time, but could appreciate the plain look once in awhile for a change.

Was checking out Seiko's main web page, and there's no slogan in sight. I feel one thing that's central to what they do, that they don't necessarily say, but one could see in the outcomes, is they do their own thing, go their own way, so as to come up with something original and innovative. I could kind of see that in the type of tech they come up with, or some of their unpopular decisions sometimes feel like, "Critics be damned, we're doing it this way, cause we think it's good". LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #32
At least the design matches up with the indices unlike the GS watches.
True :)
However GS indices due to them being multi-plane flat highly polished surfaces "light up" which helps to read the time :)
Rolex is sure very nice design.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
The Submariner design has been pretty much the same for at least 60 years and has withstood fashion changes, but its not as boring as most GS designs.

FWIW, the SBGA273 you showed is a very nice watch.
Which tells me you are fine with the conservative design progression, however, you aren't a fan of GS's "grammar of design" paradigm. I like my Rolex T-o-G design too, but I am not a fan of dive watches. To each their own :)
 

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Don't get me wrong, Solar, I'm not really knocking GS, I simply don't like the Dauphine on every freakin' model. I've got a couple inherited watches with Dauphine hands and they bug me on those models too.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
I could agree that GS design is sometimes boring or plain. Philosophy-wise, Seiko try to tie in design choices with Japanese culture and history? From Seiko's Facebook page:


Personally, nowadays I lean more towards interesting designs (lots of elements to look at) most of the time, but could appreciate the plain look once in awhile for a change.

Was checking out Seiko's main web page, and there's no slogan in sight. I feel one thing that's central to what they do, that they don't necessarily say, but one could see in the outcomes, is they do their own thing, go their own way, so as to come up with something original and innovative. I could kind of see that in the type of tech they come up with, or some of their unpopular decisions sometimes feel like, "Critics be damned, we're doing it this way, cause we think it's good". LOL
Plain indeed. Here is the "grammar of design" explained on Grand Seiko webpage:

"The Grand Seiko Style is a design language of simplicity, purity and practicality. It reflects exactly the essential characteristics of Grand Seiko: precision, beauty, legibility and ease of use. Form and function in perfect harmony."


And here are the design goals stated on GS's webpage "It was the determination to excel that brought about the birth of Grand Seiko in 1960. During its development and ever since, the idea that drove the designers and engineers was that Grand Seiko should be the ‘ideal’ watch with standards of precision, durability and beauty that would lead the world. "

I wish other brands would be clear on their goals too.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Don't get me wrong, Solar, I'm not really knocking GS, I simply don't like the Dauphine on every freakin' model. I've got a couple inherited watches with Dauphine hands and they bug me on those models too.
I have no problem with others having their preferences and accept any critiques about a watch (or any other product). I am sure not married to any either :)
Different views and opinions make our experiences reacher and help new ideas and innovations.
Your older Seiko is a beaut :)
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Here is new as of Sep 2020 Zenith's take:
Calling it a philosophy rather than a marketing slogan is a bit of a stretch, but Zenith CEO Julien Tornare has fleshed out his vision for the watchmaker under the banner "Time to Reach Your Star"; the star having had a constant presence on Zenith dials for decades and an element of its logo. (c) watchpro.com
 
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