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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, newer member of WUS here.

Been loving my time reading the boards, which led me to my first purchase of a Sinn 856 UTC on strap. One thing that made this watch stand out for me was the added technologies (such as tegimented casing, copper sulphate capsule, etc), which I saw as easily identifiable value added (since it helps make the watch tougher, more resilient). Now I am wondering what makes more expensive brands like Rolex, IWC or Omega (not the highest, but sort of that next tier of pricing) stand out above a watch like my 856? I'm aware that they can utilize in-house movements, and can be more accurate... but are those handful of extra seconds in accuracy what drives the extra multiples in price (assuming I am looking at models that are stainless steel, instead of precious metal).

So I guess the basic question is... what is the value driver behind paying $5k plus for a watch, or is it mainly driven by buying brand?

Appreciate the responses,

Jared
 

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Having a marketing team is expensive. They like to spend money, and expect to be fed. Plus 'brand building' excersises are very difficult to apply strict roi kpis too. What was the roi you say? Well we only lost a small massive fortune this time... whats that u say, call to action, no thank you, that for crass retailers to worry about.
 

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Yikes. This thread has flame-war all over it. Let's really try to keep this civil.
Several things factor into making a certain brand expensive. Labor and materials are part of it in some cases, especially the high-end range of the spectrum where a lot of hand-finishing is involved or where very difficult to manufacture components like tourbillons are used. But more than anything it comes down to this: The market allows it.
 

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You alkways pay for a name. Sinn is a virtually unknown manufacturer. They have a very low overhead compared to the brands you mentioned.
Also, Sinn use a movement that is very much produced in huge numbers, so they save some money there.

But, as you point out, Sinn adds some very usefu ( and expense adding) technology.

I am not an accountant, but it would not surprise me that the profit for each watch is much, much lower for Sinn.
 

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I've always wondered how much R&D cost goes into it. Much like how some cancer drugs cost like $400,000 per dose...because they spent so much developing it versus a limited market (assuming it's a rare form of cancer). I assume it's the same way with the development of watch movements - otherwise what would be the incentive for a watch maker to come up with an in-house movement when they could just take one from ETA or Selitta?
 

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Rolex does not seek to do much R&D. The last major change was for the DSSD. To increase the case size is simple.

Sinn have more R&D than a lot of manufacturers.
 

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I've always wondered how much R&D cost goes into it. Much like how some cancer drugs cost like $400,000 per dose...because they spent so much developing it versus a limited market (assuming it's a rare form of cancer). I assume it's the same way with the development of watch movements - otherwise what would be the incentive for a watch maker to come up with an in-house movement when they could just take one from ETA or Selitta?
Though there are variations, mechanical watch movements are largely the same (as far as how they work). I don't think R&D costs have anything substantial to do with price differences across the market. The biggest development (in purely mechanical movements) in the last several decades is probably Daniels' Co-Axial escapement and that resulted in a watch priced similiarly to other mid-tier luxury offerings.
 

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I have a Omega PO and it's the most I've spend on a watch and heads and tails above everything else I've ever owned. With the higher priced watches you have to see them in person and hold them in your hand to get a real comparison. Then you can decide if it's worth the extra coin. I don't think you're paying for accuracy as even a base ETA 2824 can be regulated to +1 sec a day or better if you have the skills. You're paying for heirloom quality and fit & finish that I don't think can be offered at some of the lower price points.
 

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There are quite a bit of differences between the mass market watches and fine watches. Think the question should really be, do those differences merit the difference in price. That really comes down to the consumer. The only differences between the brands is marketing is flat wrong. Many of these watch makers became famous because of some sort of innovation or design they contributed to the watch universe, marketing alone didn't get them to their level of price and fame.

That being said, these are the things I find to be different.

1: Design: A high end / quality brand have original designs.
2: Fit and finish: The quality control and level of precision, not talking just movement, is higher.
3: In house or high quality movements: The R&D factor, takes quite a bit to produce a quality movement.
4: Materials: Gold, diamonds, ect...
5: Fame: Yes, marketing does play into this, but the fame is usually associated to something. design/durability/complications...

The nay sayers will still say the low cost watch makers are just as good. In some cases this argument can be made, but chances are those low cost watches are borrowing designs, movements, processes that where introduced or developed by the famous brands.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a Omega PO and it's the most I've spend on a watch and heads and tails above everything else I've ever owned. With the higher priced watches you have to see them in person and hold them in your hand to get a real comparison. Then you can decide if it's worth the extra coin. I don't think you're paying for accuracy as even a base ETA 2824 can be regulated to +1 sec a day or better if you have the skills. You're paying for heirloom quality and fit & finish that I don't think can be offered at some of the lower price points.

Thanks for that answer :)

I think that's sort of what I was expecting, but my consideration of accuracy (for functional quality) of the watch driving price didn't seem to make much sense with such small variations.
 

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As you go up the price scale watches differ from their lesser priced bretheren by finish, attention to detail, how you perceive the brand and other semi-intangible properties. Differences in accuracy really has little impact on price. For well under $1k it is possible to buy a very nice looking watch that meets the COSC standards for accuracy and can be labeled a chronometer.

The features you enumerated are important to you and it's great that you find them in a package that fits your budget. But not everyone is loking for that set of features or even that brand. Some of us like the IWC package, while others like Oris, Seiko, etc. If I understand your question correctly you are looking for some quantifiable differences between watches that justifies their pricing. Although guys like to think that there are lots of good hard reasons to justify their watch purchase, the truth is we are making emotional choices when buying wrist jewelery. There are no good hard measures to justify the purchase of a $1.5k mechanical watch that is accurate to 5 seconds per day when a quartz watch an be purchased for $300 that gets 20 econds per year accuracy.

Just enjoy your watch for the pleasure it gives you and try not to justify the purchase by comparing it after the fact to other watches.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As you go up the price scale watches differ from their lesser priced bretheren by finish, attention to detail, how you perceive the brand and other semi-intangible properties. Differences in accuracy really has little impact on price. For well under $1k it is possible to buy a very nice looking watch that meets the COSC standards for accuracy and can be labeled a chronometer.

The features you enumerated are important to you and it's great that you find them in a package that fits your budget. But not everyone is loking for that set of features or even that brand. Some of us like the IWC package, while others like Oris, Seiko, etc. If I understand your question correctly you are looking for some quantifiable differences between watches that justifies their pricing. Although guys like to think that there are lots of good hard reasons to justify their watch purchase, the truth is we are making emotional choices when buying wrist jewelery. There are no good hard measures to justify the purchase of a $1.5k mechanical watch that is accurate to 5 seconds per day when a quartz watch an be purchased for $300 that gets 20 econds per year accuracy.

Just enjoy your watch for the pleasure it gives you and try not to justify the purchase by comparing it after the fact to other watches.

I have no problem with higher priced brands or people paying for them, my question was more out of curiosity. To me at least, many other cases of "buying up" would have identifiable value adds. Whether its buying a $100k luxury sports car (which can be shown to typically handle, accelerate, etc better than a $40k sports car), or paying a couple grand for a tailored designer suit (more accurate fit, better materials, etc.) instead of hitting up Men's Warehouse seem to easily show why the price is higher. But when you are comparing a two watches that can maybe have a few seconds difference in accuracy, water resistance and both utilize stainless steel and sapphire crystal, the differentiation is less obvious for price (hence my original query). By no means was I trying to say something like "my Sinn should be as good as a Rolex", or anything to demean the other brands. In fact, my next purchase will likely be an Omega AT or PO, or possibly an Aquatimer, because I like how they look and carry more reputation. But going with that, it seems my justification for buying those is more along the lines of "fancy wrist jewelery" (which I'm honestly okay with, but more so curious if I could have other, more quantifiable reasons of why else to purchase the watch).
 

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I have no problem with higher priced brands or people paying for them, my question was more out of curiosity. To me at least, many other cases of "buying up" would have identifiable value adds. Whether its buying a $100k luxury sports car (which can be shown to typically handle, accelerate, etc better than a $40k sports car), or paying a couple grand for a tailored designer suit (more accurate fit, better materials, etc.) instead of hitting up Men's Warehouse seem to easily show why the price is higher. But when you are comparing a two watches that can maybe have a few seconds difference in accuracy, water resistance and both utilize stainless steel and sapphire crystal, the differentiation is less obvious for price (hence my original query). By no means was I trying to say something like "my Sinn should be as good as a Rolex", or anything to demean the other brands. In fact, my next purchase will likely be an Omega AT or PO, or possibly an Aquatimer, because I like how they look and carry more reputation. But going with that, it seems my justification for buying those is more along the lines of "fancy wrist jewelery" (which I'm honestly okay with, but more so curious if I could have other, more quantifiable reasons of why else to purchase the watch).
Is there really $60k worth of identifiable improvements whose value can be quantified over a $40k sports car? I doubt it very much. Paying $100k for a sports car is an emotional not a rational thing. As it is with expensive wristwatches. My brother-in-law loves Corvettes and can quote minutae about all the various models that has me in awe. He owns 2 of them in addition to two other cars in a 2 driver household. Logical?...nope. But he's having a lot of fun!
 

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We buy what we want or are convinced to buy, LOL.

Otherwise, lets all wear brown jumpsuits with mass-produced sneakers and drive, I dunno, Honda Civics (not that there is anything wrong with them) - we each wear/drive/eat/drink whatever we want!
 

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i kinda had the same question in my head as the OP, and i think the conclusion is there isn't a list of items that justify the price... for example the rolex dssd has platinum on the numbers of the bezel, a ceramic bezel, and gold hands and marker's rings, but everything else is Stainless Steel and titanium... but even if you add all that, it doesn't justify the $7k difference between a Sinn and a Rolex. I guess if you really like it and gottohaveit then go for it.
 

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You will not get this in a lower range watch:



Morelike this instead:

 

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And even if you only compare between Mechanical watches, the difference will only be maybe plus/ minus 30 seconds or so per day. If you get a COSCcertified movement, ( such a watch can cost as little as 1500) the difference is down to a few seconds.

But it is the feeling......
 
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