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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I couldn't go through the whole thing. After a little while, all the sarcasm just made this piece of crap totally indigestible. It didn't bode well from the start, when this dude spent time describing a salt water tank and then referring to it again in the article a few paragraphs later (a "salt water shrine", I think he called it).

But then I shouldn't be expecting greatness from an article written by this guy (maybe they didn't offer free lasagna at Baselworld and that displeased him?). I also was under the impression that the Guardian was a serious newspaper.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

The most interesting thing there is reading the comments to that article and seeing that 99% of people think anyone with more than a $10 Quartz watch is either an idiot or an a**hole.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I couldn't go through the whole thing. After a little while, all the sarcasm just made this piece of crap totally indigestible. It didn't bode well from the start, when this dude spent time describing a salt water tank and then referring to it again in the article a few paragraphs later (a "salt water shrine", I think he called it).

But then I shouldn't be expecting greatness from an article written by this guy (maybe they didn't offer free lasagna at Baselworld and that displeased him?). I also was under the impression that the Guardian was a serious newspaper.
The papers now are full of social media/trivia with reference to likes not news.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

Not a bad read. Some nonsense, but overall not bad. Few things I agree with, few I disagree with.
While overall there is a lot of pain in the watch industry, I think the higher range of the luxury market is doing quite well. With all the pain felt at Swatch, Seiko, Citizen, LVMH, Richemont, etc - a lot of it is felt in low to mid-range price segment, where smart watches and competition, along with economic instability are crating a big problem (oversupply plus drop in demand).

However luxury segment seems to be doing quite well. I was at Watchtime event few days ago and it was a packed house. Brands like Lange, Breguet, MB&F had big lines waiting to hear about their latest offerings. I overheard several conversations where people inquired about purchases and custom orders - with MB&F none-the-less.

I did like this excerpt in the article:
The show was a celebration of our mastery of timekeeping, and of the refinement and years of training that go into making objects of beauty and accuracy. But it was also a celebration of excess and superfluousness, of watches that exist merely because they can, like animal acts at a circus. Many worked on the most intricate levels to perform functions almost beyond usefulness: there were watches with a calendar that lasts 1,000 years; there were watches showing the phase of the moon in a different time zone. And then there were items such as the Aeternitas Mega 4 from Franck Muller, assembled from 1,483 components. This would announce the hours and quarter-hours with the same chime sequence as Big Ben. At its launch, it was heralded by its makers as the most complex wristwatch ever made, and a grandiose work of art.In addition to its 36 “complications” – a complication is essentially a nice gimmick – was the ability to tell the time. Another complication was that it cost £2.2m.

And therein lies the mystery of the modern timepiece. These days, no one requires a Swiss watch to tell the time – or a watch from any country. The time displayed on our mobile phones and other digital devices will always be more accurate than the time displayed on even the most skilfully engineered mechanical watch, yet the industry has a visual presence in our lives like few others. The storefronts of the world’s big-money boulevards glow with the lustre of Rolex and Omega; newspapers and magazines appear to be kept in business largely by watch adverts; airports would be empty shells without them. The export value of the Swiss watch trade fell by 3.3% last year, due primarily to a downfall in demand from the east Asia. But it is up 62.9% compared with six years ago. In 2015 the world bought 28.1m Swiss watches valued at 21.5 billion Swiss francs.



PS. While the article is recent, it describes events of Baselworld back in March and looks at 2015 financials. The drop-off in watch sales since 2015 has been rather drastic, so the article may not have fully caught up with the new reality yet.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I barely got past "Admission cost 60 Swiss francs a day (almost £50), for which one could have bought a nice Timex." If the author is making idiotic comments such as these, my precious time is better spent reading other, more valuable and enlightening things.


 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

Actually quite a good article.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I barely got past "Admission cost 60 Swiss francs a day (almost £50), for which one could have bought a nice Timex." If the author is making idiotic comments such as these, my precious time is better spent reading other, more valuable and enlightening things.


Amen, it's the general vibe of this article that rubs me the wrong way. In the old days, it used to be about reporting something in an impartial way, just the facts basically, and then the folks would make up their own mind about it. Now it's about trying to appease a certain target audience, and the use of sarcasm and snark just ruins everything even more.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

If you can barely afford a vacation once a year then a 3000$ watch will obviously sound like a stupid idea.

If you have 3 mansions on 3 different continents and your yacht is parked in the Mediterranean then that's just pennies and nickels. Might as well buy 2 in case one breaks down.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I thought it was ok
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I couldn't read the whole article but please allow me a question. Is this a comparison between cheap quartz watches and luxury timepieces or is at about quartz/cellphone vs. mechanical in general?? Because between timex and hublot there's a whole world of affordable timepieces. I mean loving and appreciating mechanical watches is one thing and loving luxury is another. Please correct me if I am wrong about the article
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

Because between timex and hublot there's a whole world of affordable timepieces.
The journalist is interested in extreme juxtaposition, so they can advance and embellish their argument. Anything else is inconvenient fact. It's why it's a gutter occupation.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I agree with the others in that it wasn't a bad portrayal of the luxury watch industry. There wasn't as much whining from the author as I had originally thought. "and our renewed reverence for craftsmanship in a digital world." I think this statement really nails how I feel about mechanical watches. I know a $10 quartz watch will probably keep better time than my Bernhardt but in the digital age its nice to know that craftsmanship and attention to detail still matter.

Somehow I draw an analogy between a painting and a photograph. Each has its place and either can convey an emotional response, but the ability to sit down and invest the time to develop the skills to paint a scene on a blank canvas echo's a level of craftsmanship and skill that is uncommon. I'm not saying that taking a photograph is a less skilled pursuit but anybody can take a picture, not necessarily a good one mind you, but not everybody can paint one.

Its not much different from a mechanical watch vs a quartz or smart watch, each has its place but there is something intrinsically satisfying knowing the level of skill it takes to create a mechanical watch.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

The most interesting thing there is reading the comments to that article and seeing that 99% of people think anyone with more than a $10 Quartz watch is either an idiot or an a**hole.
Mmm...no.

Far beyond the telling of time, watches tell us something about ourselves. And so the answers to these questions lie within our propensity for extreme fantasy, our consumption of dazzling marketing, our unbridled and shameless capacity for ostentation, and our renewed reverence for craftsmanship in a digital world.
That's spot on.
 

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Re: The Guardian: "Still ticking: the improbable survival of the luxury watch business"....

I for one am happy that we had the quartz crisis back in the early 70s.

In some ways, I think that it helped immortalize the luxury/mechanical watch which we all enjoy today. Why? Because it effectively rendered the technology obsolete from a practical standpoint. It killed mechanical watches, but in doing so, immortalized them. It has been obsolete technology for 40 or so years and still very much alive and kicking, and while some fear the encroachment of "smart" watches, I would remind them that you can't kill something that is already obsolete--and has been for decades!

Now tell me that didn't put a smile on your face! ;)
 
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