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Hi, all,

I see a lot of microbrands out there with some pretty elaborate stories behind them. Some of them seem legit, others seem like they're trying a bit too hard. However, no matter what the case, I never seem to hear anybody actually talking about them. Maybe I'm just a little sheltered...

When you look at a new microbrand watch to purchase, how important is the brand/brand owner story to you? Does the story make you feel compelled to buy a watch? Why or why not?

Follow-Up: What's the best microbrand story you've ever heard/read before taking the leap to purchase?
 

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Micro brands are mostly value proposition from young companies. Their history is still to be written. Focus on good original designs and finding a niche to flourish in should be the main thing to do, i dont care at all about some back story of a student of industrial design.

If somebody trained with known brands as a watchmaker that is worth something, as a mark that at least they know what they are talking about.

Sent from my rotary phone using Crapatalk
 

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For me the story is secondary. Take for instance Ball watches. I love the looks and the use of tritium, the story is awesome but let's be honest, the watch company is nowhere near what Mr. Ball started. Just my thoughts.
 

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Many of the ‘back story’s are so similar , they just kind of get mushed together in my head, which is fine because my focus is only on the watch anyway.
Exactly. There's only so many ways to creatively spin the "My whole life I've loved watches and thought about nothing but watches so now I've decided to design watches and build them with the best components made by fair trade, shade-grown workers who love their jobs and love me" spiel before it starts sounding like a broken record.

I actually just ordered my first Microbrand watch (Helson Shark Diver 38 Titanium), so to answer the OP's question: I didn't put any weight behind the brand story at all. I read it once I already decided to buy the watch, but it didn't influence my decision whatsoever.
 

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Story matters when buying a unique piece or a heritage piece. Knowing about what Ronald Murphy accomplished and having visited his museum\shop in Lancaster, made me very interested in his watches. Learning about Glashutte history of watchmaking and how companies made it through WW2 and GDR policies is interesting and makes me curious about GO watches. Abraham-Luis Breguet history and accomplishments make me interested in Breguet and help justify price for me...

But when buying a $300 microbrand, I could not care less about the story. Just get me best quality and materials with maybe interesting\original design at lowest price possible.
 

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The brand story for 95% of Microbrands is this:

1) "Let's design a watch."
2) "Shall we make something original?" "Hell no! Let's riff on a few styles of watches with actual heritage"
3) * Takes a plane to Hong Kong with a suitcase of cash *
4) "Welcome to Microbrands R Us. Please browse our fine selection of crystals, cases and watch dial options. Tax free at the register upon showing your passport, gentlemen."
5) "Prototype done, it's marketing time! Get onto Instagram!"
6) OUR STORY
 

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If by “the story” your referring to the brands history, then it’s just about the largest reason I don’t own any anymore. That and parts availability in 10 years when the brand doesn’t exist
 
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Absolutely not. Most of the background stories are just that - stories. They are made up, embellished to look legit to help sell the product.

I have seen the few micro brands on platforms like Kickstarter which use one of the following topics:
1. Watch lover, making unique timepieces for people like us as there’s nothing like this in the market
2. Swiss watch quality without the Swiss watch price
3. Charity, support us to support the underprivileged as a percentage goes to the kids...

All of these are marketing materials designed to provide a unique selling proposition to you as a buyer.

I just skip right past all of that.
 

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First, does the design appeal to me?
Second, do they spec correct?
Third, can I afford it?
Fourth, Value for Money?
Fifth, what is the Opportunity Cost of buying this microbrand offering?
Sixth, can I buy it now (good), or is it a crowdfunding appeal (bad)?
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Microbrand story.

The story behind a microbrand figures somewhere about even with "What will other's think of this watch?" and also "could not possibly care less."
 

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The history means very little to me, but the overall presentation weighs heavily. If a brand talks about “disrupting the entire watch industry with their direct to consumer sales approach” it rubs me wonky and I’m out. If a brand launching a KS campaign can’t be bothered to proofread their marketing copy and it’s loaded with typos, misspelled words and poor grammar.....I’m moving on. And finally, I recently watched a marketing/presentation video hoping to get a good feel for what a certain watch looked like in real life and in different lighting. Over the course of three-plus minutes they occasionally and only “briefly” flashed on the watch....yet they dedicated about an entire 60 seconds showing a panoramic, rotating image of a guy standing on the coastline gazing into a watch box admiring its contents. Just the guy holding the box, the watch wasn’t even visible. Wtf? I scratched it off my list.

Not sure if any of that even directly pertains to the question, but it felt good to get it off my chest.
 
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