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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The watch industry today in a nutshell

The constant drumbeats of scarcity! exclusivity! and ever-higher prices everywhere you look, starts to make the whole business look the way my older son meant when he said to me a few years ago, "I don't know, Dad, the whole luxury thing just seems unbelievably juvenile." Betting the farm on the capricious whims of a handful of high- and ultra-high-net-worth collectors more interested in flexing on social media than actual watchmaking might work – it's working pretty damned well so far – and depending on how this big old world of ours rolls in the next few decades, it might be the smart way to go. And let's face it, the brands didn't get to where they are alone. They're following the money.

 

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Interesting read. Surprisingly well written and objective for hodinkee.
I pretty much agree with everything in the article.
But it does omit one important point...

While a big chunk of luxury watch industry has gone nuts with demand spiking by flexers, instagrammers and ultra-rich with too much $ on hand, there is still a huge segment of the industry where quality and prices are happily married and birthing beautiful horologically significant watches.

Steel AP RO, VC Overseas, PP Nautilus\Aquanaut, entire Rolex lineup, 24,376 Omega Speedmaster models, and many others are the subject of many a discussion.
Yet nobody is forced to buy them, and desire is heavily rooted in "popularity" and perceived status.

Great watches from JLC, Zenith, GO, Chopard, GP are plentiful and pricing remains grounded considering outstanding quality.
Instead of going through insane AD obstacle courses and selling kidneys for a new color iteration of Rolex OP or PP Nautilus, true watch lovers with extra $ can enjoy truly impressive and exclusive offerings from likes of Benzinger, RGM, Kudoke, Czapek, Moritz Grossman, Lang & Heyne, and many other watchmakers.

So all is not bad. As a wise man once said: " we can't change others, but we can try to change ourselves". If people just start changing their behavior and stop chasing status, "investment return" or IG likes, watces remain a wonderful hobby full of innovation, unique designs, and art appreciation
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Surprisingly well written and objective for hodinkee
Surprised it made it past the censor board in the post sell-out era Hodinkee
 

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Very well written and a bold piece to come out of Hodinkee. Jack F has been putting out some terrific pieces lately.
Well written, honest, and about time someone of his stature addresses this issue. For me, it’s one of the biggest turnoffs of the hobby. I try to ignore it, but it’s difficult.
 

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I don't know, I honestly, since getting into this about all of . . . 8 years ago? . . . don't really feel much price creep when I consider inflation. I think it FEELS that way because even we here, as much as we like to pretend we aren't like those "uneducated masses," still predominantly want a Rolex Oyster/sports watch, RO, and Nautilus. Like everyone else, even if there are a ton of SKUs out there, there's always a small 1% that gets the bulk of the attention, and thus supply and demand drives those prices through the roof. No one cares if I were to say a Vero watch is now sold for 50% more, but a 10% increase in an OP? That's generate a new thread every week. Also one needs to take into the fact that there's a ton of wage stagnation, so real purchasing power has gone down with time.

I mean, people made a fuss about the 3861 when that thing's price went up, but didn't pay attention to the fact that it really didn't go up all that much in the 10+ years that marked the end of the 1861. It was bound to happen. Just like a price of living adjustment doesn't occur every day on your salary, it occurs every 1 or few years.
 

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Great article. I totally agree with what he is saying.


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I don't know, I honestly, since getting into this about all of . . . 8 years ago? . . . don't really feel much price creep when I consider inflation. I think it FEELS that way because even we here, as much as we like to pretend we aren't like those "uneducated masses," still predominantly want a Rolex Oyster/sports watch, RO, and Nautilus. Like everyone else, even if there are a ton of SKUs out there, there's always a small 1% that gets the bulk of the attention, and thus supply and demand drives those prices through the roof. No one cares if I were to say a Vero watch is now sold for 50% more, but a 10% increase in an OP? That's generate a new thread every week. Also one needs to take into the fact that there's a ton of wage stagnation, so real purchasing power has gone down with time.

I mean, people made a fuss about the 3861 when that thing's price went up, but didn't pay attention to the fact that it really didn't go up all that much in the 10+ years that marked the end of the 1861. It was bound to happen. Just like a price of living adjustment doesn't occur every day on your salary, it occurs every 1 or few years.
I think the issue is not the msrp, but dealers selling to flippers and brokers who jack up prices. This seems like price manipulation.
 

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Jack Forrester is (and Cole Pennington most of the time) the only really good thing Hodinkee has left, in my opinion.

Would be nice if Jack went to another publication at some point...
 
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