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Where are all the NEW watches?

4348 Views 54 Replies 32 Participants Last post by  Thrax
I've been getting bored lately. Not enough new bright shiny objects.


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.

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Perhaps the affordable watch companies are now panicking over the Apple watch, as even while it is only a v1 it is obvious that this kind of mature and elegant smartwatch will shake up the industry.
I love the wis-oriented JDM seikos: prospex, sarb, gs; but I would rather have an apple watch than the seiko models you find in western shops. Same for casio, citizen, tissot, fossil etc: they must be panicking.
The microbrands discussed here should be ok, there are enough mechanical watch fans. But the large audience brands should rather stop regurgitating and will need to reinvent themselves.
I doubt they're panicking over anyone's smart watch, or that it will shake up the industry, or that the large audience brands will need to reinvent themselves. In fact, I was thinking about it today, and I've decided (arbitrarily, and with no authority whatsoever) that smart watches aren't really watches. They're mobile devices for the wrist.

In my view, they're not a threat to watches, because people who wear watches aren't relying on a mobile device for time-telling (not exclusively, anyway), and people who rely exclusively on a mobile device don't typically wear watches.

I'm going to go waaaaaaayyyyyy out on a limb and predict that smartwatches are going to go exactly nowhere, at least not anytime soon. I like my mobile device the size it is, and where I keep it (in my pocket). I don't want it smaller, and on my wrist. I like wearing a watch, and not a smart-watch, or even quartz, I prefer an old-school mechanical on my wrist.

People who like "WATCHES" aren't going to trade in their watches for smart watches. People who like having a smart phone, but don't need to have the latest gadget, or don't want to have their smart phone attached to their wrist aren't going to trade for smart watches either. Who's left? People who MUST have the latest gadget, and people who love being connected 24/7. They'll all buy the smartwatches.

The watch industry has proven that repetitive regurgitation is not only profitable, it's obscenely profitable.

Kind of makes the smart watch look dumb, when you look at it that way.
We should never forget that we here are WIS. The large population is not. Not many will make the explicit distinction between smart/classic watches. Leading fashion magazine editors have already predicted that the apple watch will be big. For me it is the beginning of a snowball, other brands will also release classy ones. But the traditional watches, and then I mainly refer to sub $1000 quartz watches, will mainly find a reduced audience of older consumers. Trendy city slickers will more and more adopt smart watches.

After watching the Apple keynote presentation, my own collection suddenly looks "old" at worst, and "classic" at best. I see myself reducing from 30 to 3 traditional watches (from my sig the Damasko, Tuna and Steinhart pilot), and adopt an appple watch as well.
See, you're buying into the pre-release marketing hype. I don't/won't let "leading fashion magazine editors" (whatever that means) tell me what I should or shouldn't buy or should or shouldn't expect something to be. That reminds me of people I know who base their music buying soley on what Pitchfork/Rolling Stone/Paste had to say about an album...

And since when did this become a debate about smartwatches versus REAL watches? 'Cause like Doc said, smart"watches" ain't "watches", they're gadgets that happen to tell time.

I am not particularly interested myself in opinions from what the editor of say vogue magazine predicts, but I do think that they are right. The larger population will not make the distinction that a smart watch is not a real watch. With the Apple watch being the first smartwatch that a style-conscious person could conceivably wear (more will come of course), I think that the days of those regurgitated by the number quartz seiko or tissots etc in the shops are numbered.

Mind, I am WIS enough: it won't replace my own 3 or 4 favourite watches, but I can me adopting it as well.

And if by old/ classic you mean way better looking then some crappy digital Apple product.
Oh yes I do like the looks of my favourite watches, but I do expect many non-WIS people to adopt the Apple watch and other stylish upcoming smartwatches. The Apple watch, together with perhaps the Moto are simply the first smartwatch products that are aesthetically convincing.

coming back to the main topic of this thread : I answered in this vein because I think that there will be less announcements in the affordable segment while the manufacturers figure out how to prepare for the future. The future won't be for generic quartz-based chronos.
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