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I am a huge KOBOLD fan - own a SEAL and it is by far my favorite watch (over Rolex, Many Seiko's, 2 Ocean7's, etc.).

I have had it for three years and purchased it directly from MK when back visiting the'burgh - love the Pittsburgh connection.

Over these past three years much has happened - and stayed the same.

There have been several new watches (LSD, AD, etc), redesigns and new movements (New SEALs), lots of publicity in magazines, an Everest climb, and seemingly awkward product launches and initial discounts. All this has happened with the primary channel staying largely unchanged - same old web site with little additions.

I do have to ask...Do you think over the past two years the KOBOLD brand value or perception has improved, stayed the same, or declined?

My current vote would have to say it has declined. The current mood of the board seems to support this. What do you think? What advice would you give to MK regardless of your brand perception? Don't get me wrong I love my KOBOLD SEAL and will never part with it.

I would start with an improved web site and some customer-focused events and services that re-energize the existing customers. I would also like Kobold to be more active in soliciting feedback from customers and taking input on new watches.

I am looking forward to other comments.

Thanks for your time.
 

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I think the perception and recognition has drastically improved with most of the public. It has declined here. Mainly because the people here have followed the brand for a while and are true watch people that care about the small things. For the general public that doesn't get quite as involved in the watch community, the brand has increased it's allure. They have done a great job with marketing the brand to a higher end consumer IMO
 

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Please don't let this thread go downhill....I think it is a valid point and could be a fun discussion, but we have all seen threads of this nature and know the slippery slope. On the one hand, many people have legit issues with Kobold right now, and the other hand people who support what MK and Kobold is doing will be called kool-aid drinkers or whatever else and then it gets nasty from there. So please, everyone discuss, have fun, but keep it respectful is all I ask.
 

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I think Watch Guy hit the nail on the head regarding "us people" on the boards and the general public. I can't really say much about the higher end consumer :-d
 

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I think the perception and recognition has drastically improved with most of the public. It has declined here. Mainly because the people here have followed the brand for a while and are true watch people that care about the small things. For the general public that doesn't get quite as involved in the watch community, the brand has increased it's allure. They have done a great job with marketing the brand to a higher end consumer IMO
Right on Watch guy... you nailed it. As for me personally i have always had a great relationship with Mike going back to 2001 he has never let me down. From all the complaints here on the forum and a few glitches i have had personally something has slipped for sure. GREAT THREAD!

Marko
 

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The reality is that Kobold has changed as a company. That may be perceived as good for some and bad for others.

I started with the original Seal and valued the personalized one to one experience that Kobold offered. The exceptional customer service, the camaraderie of being a Kobold owner and the great relationships that formed from the Kobold get togethers. These qualities are what, along with the exceptional value that the watches offered are what attracted me and keep me a fan of the brand.

The brand has changed though, the decision was made to take the brand in a different direction. Higher prices, lots of marketing to justify those prices, less personalized. On the plus side the effort to bring watchmaking back to the U.S. does is some ways justify those prices. I hope it's a winning strategy for them.

What isn't currently acceptable is the current spat of QC problems that they are having and the responses to those problems. The AD launch, while I'm sure for the vast majority was successful, for the vocal minority it was not. It's true that we here are fanatical enthusiast and hence more vocal, but where there is smoke there's fire.

I sincerely hope for Kobold that these issues are addressed, the pricing becomes rationalized. That could be offering increased value for the current pricing or in lowering the pricing given the current perceived value of the watches and their competition. I also would advocate a resurgence of the Kobold get togethers to foster that sense of community that is currently not there. While I can appreciate the MK may have other endeavorers and interest, the company needs a charismatic evangelist for the brand that can represent it amongst it's customers. A true watch person, who can discuss the differences between a 2824 and a Valgrange.

Just my 2 cents.....
 

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Yes, this is a seemingly interesting post, but for me it needs clariification to the definition of 'brand value and perception two years ago'. Has the company changed - sure, and haven't we all! For better or worse, I would say for the better as I am enjoying a company product more than I have than many others than I have in a long time. Should the website be upgraded - maybe but don't do it to a flash site like many of the big boys do. Should they listen to customers, and it seems the perception is that they don't - demand and supply is listening to customers. Maybe not to the expectation of a WIS. We all have differing experiences amd perceptions, but if my assumption of whay you're asking for is correct, then I give a figurative thumbs up to KWC. :-!
 

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Great question.
For me the Kobold experience started with my AD. I love the watch, i wear it as much as I can. Prior to the AD arrival I had sent and received many emails with KWC asking about ETA's and options on straps, and on the whole the experience has been good. I joined this forum 4 months ago to get to know fellow kobold owners and exchanging points of view. Looking at KWC at this moment in time I feel that KWC is at a junction and needs to clarify the direction it needs to go. It seems that the company is selling more watches than ever, the demand and subsequent after sales service is starting to impact and suffer in some areas. I think KWC is a victim of its own success. Mike needs to decide if he wants to run a small watch company selling superb items and offering that personal service. Or he needs to look at signing up some AD's (authorised Dealers). These dealers will handle the face to face aspects with customers and leave KWC to concentrate on making watches. At the moment Kobold seems to be trying to be all things to all people and inevitably some times the ball will be dropped. I do appreciate that margins will be reduced if you start using resellers however they do offer a value added service in dealing with the customers on behalf of the manufacturer. Maybe its time for the business model to change or consolidate the position in the market it has created.


For me, I have an amazing watch that stacks up with my other watches and carries a special uniqueness that a Rolex for example cannot provide. I bought the AD off plan in the same way I bought my Bell and Ross BR-01 back in 2005 off the back of seeing a review of the Basle watch show. On both counts I have not been dissapointed. I do feel B&R have recently turned into a jewellery brand instead of a tool watch brand but thats a different topic.

Bring on the AD GMT please (Mike if you are reading).

In answer to the original question, its a thumbs up so far. |>|>

thanks Paul
 

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I think the perception and recognition has drastically improved with most of the public. It has declined here. Mainly because the people here have followed the brand for a while and are true watch people that care about the small things. For the general public that doesn't get quite as involved in the watch community, the brand has increased it's allure. They have done a great job with marketing the brand to a higher end consumer IMO
That's much better put than I am capable of. We tend to think (this just a guess on my part) that we are it when it comes to the brand buyers. I suppose your average WIS is a very hands-on consumer compared to the silent majority who buy it, put it on, and never think a second thought about service/straps/minor QC issues. I would like to see a little less "merc" behavior towards the customers than I've read about here. Kobold needs another Dan at some point in the future.
 

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As an observer of the company, I think that they have gone down it the past two years (or at least since I joined WUS). The whole AD incident really makes me think twice about them.
 

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I think the brand is up overall, especially after the Everest publicity. I still have a space reserved in my collection, however money is tight right now.

I agree with the statement about figuring out what direction to go.
 

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Pretty simple, 2 years ago I would have purchased a new Kobold without a second thought, now I'm in a wait and see mode. The 2 main reasons , how they have handled the customer sevice issues lately and the numerous problems with the release of the AD. IMO until the red flag issues with the company get better my( New watch money) is being spent somewhere else. (new puchases directly from the Company)

I would still purchase a Kobold on the secondary market , I think there are some great buys out there right now.....
 

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I think this post can only go wrong. I would close it.
 

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I think the perception and recognition has drastically improved with most of the public. It has declined here. Mainly because the people here have followed the brand for a while and are true watch people that care about the small things. For the general public that doesn't get quite as involved in the watch community, the brand has increased it's allure. They have done a great job with marketing the brand to a higher end consumer IMO
Ditto!
 

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I think part of the Brands value is this forum and you guys!....awwwww....

Getting back to the subject, I think the brand has gone up in value although some mis-steps have happened. In either case, I look forward to future offerings and love what Michael stands for...and I dont mind helping him afford his hobbies, climbing mountains and supporting our military and police around the world....
 
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