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Hello,

Today was announced the bankruptcy of Romain Jerome, a prolific independent brand which released every year a significant amount of new models.
While the watches were nowhere near mainstream in their appeal, I think this is kind of sad for the industry as there aren't many small independent brands who offer products that are different than your usual stainless steel sports watch or 300m diver.

Was it well known that the brand was doing poorly financially? Do you think there are currently too many "small" independents and that there's not enough space for them?

I am mostly thinking about the "entry" high end level, like Linde Werdelin, Ochs Und Junior, DeWitt, Sarpaneva, Hautlence, Konstantin Chaykin, Alexander Shorokoff or even Moser. They all offer great watches that I see heavily discounted on grey market or used. I do believe that Hautlence is not in a great financial situation either currently.

I understand that FP Journe, Laurent Ferrier, Akrivia, Romain Gauthier, MB&F, RM and such have a different clientèle, and are probably safer by relying on a different consumer target/base.

I'm curious to know what other people think. For me, the smaller independents are part of what makes the watchmaking industry so fun and exciting, and they offer fantastic value. They also have a vision for their products and they often convey it in an unorthodox way, and I give them a lot of credit for that very reason. I am tired of seeing brands releasing reeditions and copying what worked for another brand.


With the cancellation of the 2020 SIHH (Watches and Wonders Geneva), this is a sad day for any watch enthusiast.

Just my thoughts!
A.
 

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https://www.jckonline.com/editorial-article/rj-watches-files-for-bankruptcy/


Their backers pulled out, so it's unclear whether it was bad business practices on the part of RJ Watches, or something else out of their control. A question in my mind is where did they sell...if Asia was a big market, then they were in for a bad year. If their financiers had high Asian exposure, they're looking at a bad year.
 

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Did his watches have in-house movements? If not, might his demise resulted from the attitude whereby folks wont pay high prices for the art of a watch if it doesn't have an in-house movement?
 

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Thomas Prescher has been in business for a spell and he uses an ETA 2824 for many of his watches.
Did his watches have in-house movements? If not, might his demise resulted from the attitude whereby folks wont pay high prices for the art of a watch if it doesn't have an in-house movement?
 

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I grew up playing a ton of Pokemon games from the originals to Ruby/Sapphire and competed in card tournaments. I'd love to have this although definitely not for $200,000.
I really like the colour and what looks to be a cloisonné dial. The open heart tourbillon is nice as well. I’ve never really been into Pokemon though, so I’d prefer to see a different cartoon line. Maybe something like this, but with more colour.



Never liked Romain Jerome’s cases either. Those chunks on the periphery don’t do it for me.
 

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I liked his watch that could never be worn. Had to be kept in a hermetically sealed glass globe or it would rust to death; remember that one? They just don't make them that way anymore. Hard to believe that type of creativity could go bankrupt.
 

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Y'all are failing to consider a very simple aspect: WHERE were they selling?

Watch blogs are raising this point...that RJ was the first company to go bankrupt because of the necessary response to the coronavirus. And won't be the last; I've read a projection that perhaps as many as 30 brands won't make it through the economic standstill in Asia.

The backers pulling out was sudden and unexpected, so it's not anything like "excessive spending on ambassadors" or "suddenly falling out of favor." Notice would exist for these. No...a sudden pullback represents a fundamental change in market conditions. And there's only one such going on right now.
 

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Y'all are failing to consider a very simple aspect: WHERE were they selling?

Watch blogs are raising this point...that RJ was the first company to go bankrupt because of the necessary response to the coronavirus. And won't be the last; I've read a projection that perhaps as many as 30 brands won't make it through the economic standstill in Asia.

The backers pulling out was sudden and unexpected, so it's not anything like "excessive spending on ambassadors" or "suddenly falling out of favor." Notice would exist for these. No...a sudden pullback represents a fundamental change in market conditions. And there's only one such going on right now.
I don’t buy it. Large numbers of steeply discounted RJ watches started appearing on grey market sites months before the financial markets started reacting to corona virus.
 
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