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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been getting bored lately. Not enough new bright shiny objects.

Questions:

1. Aside from the newsletters sent out by micro-brands, how do we hear about new models?

It can't just be the press releases the big brands put out at Baselworld and Hong Kong, right? I realize the luxury brands get multi-page spreads in the luxury horology magazines, but what about the more affordable end of the market?

Maybe the prices are lower, but the volume has got to be high enough to justify the expense of maintaining some sort of new model release communication channel, right? DiverBob recently posted a new square-cased, retro-looking Seiko. We were all like, "Hey! What's that? Is it new?" Why aren't we all lined up to buy the new releases from the major brands, the same way we're all eagerly awaiting the latest releases from our favorite micros?


2. Is it just me, or does it seem like most watch companies don't release new models that often?

I mean, compared to car companies, which have an annual new model cycle, doesn't it seem like watch companies are either slow to bring out new models, or do a lousy job letting us know about them.


3. Not exactly a "new model" issue, but related - why is it that if I go to, say, Seiko's website, they don't have their whole catalog or all collections available for view?

Some brands do, especially if they've got fewer collections or fewer models, but c'mon, if you're a huge brand, you've got massive resources, you can put your catalog on your website, so we've got a definitive reference source for all the current models, their specs, etc.

Why do I have to search half a dozen sites to see the "complete" catalog for Seiko and some other big brands? Seiko particularly drives me up the wall, forcing website visitors to choose a regional market, which drastically reduces the number of models available for view, when they have to know that many, if not most of their models get global distribution. Compare that to a brand like Certina. They're not even sold in America, but I can still go to their website and view their entire collection.

I'm not bashing Seiko. I'm using them as an example because I actually like Seiko, and it amazes me that they don't do a better job with this. As far as I know, they may be the only one, or it may be all the big Japanese brands (although it doesn't seem like Orient has that problem; I haven't looked at Citizen's site recently, but they seemed to be as obtuse as Seiko). I'm not aware of any Swiss brands that do the same thing. From the few Swiss brand sites I've visited (probably a dozen), none stick out in my mind as being particularly frustrating in this regard.


Discuss.
 

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Only time I notice new models is the press from Baselworld.
 

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I tend to avoid big-brand websites, because they are awfully designed, in one of two extremes - either you get a faux-shiney, video-filled slow-loading "web2.0" plethora of dark-background movie bits (boring, unoriginal, SLOOOOW), or you get "what is this internet? Here's out bulletin board!" relics that barely function (seiko, citizen, orient... they kinda have this a lot).
The only brands making good websites, imo, are *SOME* micros out there (not all, and not most even), and CW.
So, yeah, most watch brands have terrible websites, so I don't bother even going to them.

How to get news... Eh. Usually I'll browse kickstarter for new 'watch' projects, like once a week or so. Other than that, checking into the standard watch-blogs, I guess. And keeping an eye out on these forums, ofc.

WRT slow upgrade cycle - yeeeah I'm feeling the same way. I've been here since, what, 2010? And I'm seeing pretty much the same seikos and orient stars and rolexes and squales and whatnot. Again, micros kinda bucked that trend, but the big-brand stuff? Same, same, same same same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is a site I only go to for the "Industry News" section to see new model releases.
And that site is...?

Using my mobile; please pardon the brevity of my reply, and any typos.
 

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I think there's too much reliance on a mish-mash of old business press releases , starting to rely on bloggers and old-school print media (of which there's really not much for <$1,000 watches that aren't Stauer.)

Orient's global site is pretty much crap, but I must say that their USA site is one of the few that's pretty good at actually telling me what's new, and their social media presence isn't total junk either. The problem is that they tend to act as though they were the only way to get Orient in the US. "Hey I have a new model" may be a model that was on sale in Europe or Japan a year ago...
 
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I think it's because brands like seiko mostly rely on shops selling them.. if I take a tour in watch shops here in Denmark, it's mostly the same watches every shop have on display! I've often thought of that, since as you say Seiko for instance has a huge catalogue of watches, so why is it mostly the same ~20-30 watches..
I often "hate" comming here.. Cause i really wanna see that new watch that I must have!! :-D but most of the post are about the same watches.. So my wife is probably happy about this :-D

-Sent using Rock, Paper and the occasional Scissors-
 

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I have found a lot more diversity in watch brands on Instagram than I have here on the forums. I think it's a matter of keeping up with many sources, there isn't really a watch aggregator out there that combs through tons and tons of data looking for new brands and models. Obviously the watch blogs do this in some respect, but there is no single location to go and see all of the new releases. News is spread by word of mouth or by posts here or by articles on blogs, but if a brand doesn't hit a chord with watch fans, you may never hear about it.

I think the issue with Seiko is that they don't have one master collection. They have collections that are targeted for specific regions and they have a ton of watches, more than any Swiss company, maybe more than any other watch company period. It'd be a massive undertaking to catalog all of their models and then specify what region the watch was designated for.

You know the life cycle of a watch is long, so if I were to decide that I wanted to design a new watch today, it might not even be out in 2015, unless things go right from start to finish. I imagine that even the big companies have setbacks in their designs and production cycles.
 

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I don't know for sure but I think a lot of the older brands have an old world marketing model. They do a lot of brand awareness marketing but only send their catalog to their ADs. The ADs are responsible to order the watches they want to sell and they do the advertising. So most of the manufacturers advertising is directed at the retail sales channel.

I think it is short sighted on their part but sometimes manufacturers are reluctant to mess with an established retail sales chain and as much as they like the grey markets money they cannot acknowledge it or they risk upsetting the ADs

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
 

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Surprisingly quick, and very filthy, way of browsing Seikos:

  • Pick the prefix you want, eg SSB
  • Go to Google Images
  • Type in SSB001
  • Look
  • Type in SSB003
  • Look
  • Repeat again and again

I think the SSB series took me up to SSB109.

And only then did I realise that the right hand subdial is just a slaved 24-hour dial, sod all to do with the chrono o|
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think there's too much reliance on a mish-mash of old business press releases , starting to rely on bloggers and old-school print media (of which there's really not much for <$1,000 watches that aren't Stauer.)

Orient's global site is pretty much crap, but I must say that their USA site is one of the few that's pretty good at actually telling me what's new, and their social media presence isn't total junk either. The problem is that they tend to act as though they were the only way to get Orient in the US. "Hey I have a new model" may be a model that was on sale in Europe or Japan a year ago...
Indeed. Press releases are old school, but at least if a brand launches a new model and does a PR release at Basel or HK, it will get picked up by "the press" (such as it is), and relayed outward. The problem is, who is it being relayed to, and are they paying attention?

I was somewhat anticipating someone to reply by pointing out that WUS has an "industry news" section, which of course I never bother visiting. It may be there, but imagine you're an executive within one of these brands...

"Hey Joe, how are we making sure customers know about our new and exciting models when we release them?"

"Oh, Ernie tells them."

"Whassatusay? Who is 'Ernie'?"

"Oh, Ernie, he owns WUS. I send him an email sometimes, but other times he just posts on his own whenever he hears about something, or if someone pays to put up a dedicated 'official' thread on the forum. The watch buyers know that Ernie knows. He's got a special section where news gets posted, separated from where everyone's just hanging out, all cordoned off by itself..."

"..." [insert ........ Frye "Not sure if Serious..." meme here].

I think it's because brands like seiko mostly rely on shops selling them.. if I take a tour in watch shops here in Denmark, it's mostly the same watches every shop have on display! I've often thought of that, since as you say Seiko for instance has a huge catalogue of watches, so why is it mostly the same ~20-30 watches..
I often "hate" comming here.. Cause i really wanna see that new watch that I must have!! :-D but most of the post are about the same watches.. So my wife is probably happy about this :-D

-Sent using Rock, Paper and the occasional Scissors-
I don't know for sure but I think a lot of the older brands have an old world marketing model. They do a lot of brand awareness marketing but only send their catalog to their ADs. The ADs are responsible to order the watches they want to sell and they do the advertising. So most of the manufacturers advertising is directed at the retail sales channel.

I think it is short sighted on their part but sometimes manufacturers are reluctant to mess with an established retail sales chain and as much as they like the grey markets money they cannot acknowledge it or they risk upsetting the ADs

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
Here again, imagine an auto executive telling his boss "the new marketing strategy is to leave the advertising and marketing of new models up to the dealerships. Screw that advertising during the Superbowl malarkey, let the dealers pay the freight to tell customers the only exciting news we ever have. Let them all be responsible for how that message gets delivered. I'm sure they'll all coordinate to make sure the message is cohesive, clear, timely, polished, compelling, etc."

I have found a lot more diversity in watch brands on Instagram than I have here on the forums. I think it's a matter of keeping up with many sources, there isn't really a watch aggregator out there that combs through tons and tons of data looking for new brands and models. Obviously the watch blogs do this in some respect, but there is no single location to go and see all of the new releases. News is spread by word of mouth or by posts here or by articles on blogs, but if a brand doesn't hit a chord with watch fans, you may never hear about it.

I think the issue with Seiko is that they don't have one master collection. They have collections that are targeted for specific regions and they have a ton of watches, more than any Swiss company, maybe more than any other watch company period. It'd be a massive undertaking to catalog all of their models and then specify what region the watch was designated for.

You know the life cycle of a watch is long, so if I were to decide that I wanted to design a new watch today, it might not even be out in 2015, unless things go right from start to finish. I imagine that even the big companies have setbacks in their designs and production cycles.
I think you mean the development/production cycle of a watch. And yes, it is long, but it's less than a year. With cars, the development cycle is longer, and so you see radical newness less frequently. The "lifecycle" of an auto product might be 7 years (I'm guessing), wherein they may make incremental upgrades or changes, but then, after the lifecycle is up, you get the "next generation" of that model.

But with watches, if I can go from concept to delivery in 6 months, and I'm just one guy with almost no experience working in a basement office, dealing with 12-hour time zone differences, a language barrier and a shoe-string budget, you're telling me the major watch brands can't do a few annual (I'd even settle for mid-cycle) refreshes on various models, and come up with something new more often than they seem to?

And if/when they do come up with something new - why not promote it? Put it on the main landing page of their website, or if they insist on segmenting the globe according to regions, on the landing page of each regional site.

You mentioned keeping up with Instagram among many sources. Again, imagine being the marketing/branding exec at one of these brands, and having to explain the strategy of communicating new models by way of customers discovering them - accidentally!

Would it be a massive undertaking to catalog all their current models? I don't know that it necessarily would be. You'd think that a company like Seiko, which seems to have its "$h1t together" would have internal reporting capabilities such that they can drill down into different lines of business, slicing and dicing data by movement, price, model, market, etc, and then also do the reverse, aggregating and rolling all those little bits of data up into one global view, no?

You're telling me that Seiko doesn't have detailed info, including specs and pics on every product they make, and in every variation? I find that somewhat hard to believe. I imagine they'd have that info BEFORE they made something. Otherwise, who's greenlighting production, and how, based on what? How the hell would the factory know what to produce without detailed specs, artist's render, etc?

Surprisingly quick, and very filthy, way of browsing Seikos:

  • Pick the prefix you want, eg SSB
  • Go to Google Images
  • Type in SSB001
  • Look
  • Type in SSB003
  • Look
  • Repeat again and again

I think the SSB series took me up to SSB109.

And only then did I realise that the right hand subdial is just a slaved 24-hour dial, sod all to do with the chrono o|
But therein lies the rub - you knew to look for "SSB".

Suppose I'm a Seiko fan, and I want to know about the new models as soon as they come out, if not sooner, how do I know what model prefixes to look for?

I'm only aware of the prefixes because I hang out here, where our collective OCD supports their imprint on our memories.
 

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Indeed. Press releases are old school, but at least if a brand launches a new model and does a PR release at Basel or HK, it will get picked up by "the press" (such as it is), and relayed outward. The problem is, who is it being relayed to, and are they paying attention?

I was somewhat anticipating someone to reply by pointing out that WUS has an "industry news" section, which of course I never bother visiting. It may be there, but imagine you're an executive within one of these brands...

"Hey Joe, how are we making sure customers know about our new and exciting models when we release them?"

"Oh, Ernie tells them."

"Whassatusay? Who is 'Ernie'?"

"Oh, Ernie, he owns WUS. I send him an email sometimes, but other times he just posts on his own whenever he hears about something, or if someone pays to put up a dedicated 'official' thread on the forum. The watch buyers know that Ernie knows. He's got a special section where news gets posted, separated from where everyone's just hanging out, all cordoned off by itself..."

"..." [insert ........ Frye "Not sure if Serious..." meme here].
The news section on here isn't meant for those looking for a new Seiko...
I looked at the news section a few times and went rather pale. I'm back in the real world now and i've promised my psychiatrist i won't go back again.
 

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I don't know if this was mentioned already, but they have catalogs in some of their stores. I picked up a Citizen catalog when I stopped through Japan (I think it was there; it's in Japanese) and it indicates which models were new among the collection. That sounds like where the images of new models come from too, e.g. the ones posted here on Yeoman.
 
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