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Where are all the NEW watches?

4346 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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I'm a PR professional going on 8 years, and it continues to baffle me with how miserable the watch industry is at promoting its own products. YouTube videos are hard to find, reviews are hard to find, webpages suck, news is hard to find... this kind of badness would get me fired if I promoted my products this poorly.
18 years in web branding and strategy, here. The only thing worse than the overall watch industry's use of the web is niching down to the watch modders/suppliers. Good God, some of us would like to actually, I don't know, easily buy your products. Being frozen in 1999 isn't nearly as much fun as I would have hoped.

The big winners are the micros. You guys get it, which folds nicely in to your overall approaches of "technology allows me to attempt this venture in the first place, so i'll make use of it in the best ways possible".
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Anyone else remember how the Segway was supposed to reshape the urban landscape, and turn every city into a pedestrian's paradise?
Who could ever forget the ill-fated Lew & Huey ad campaign of 2002?

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