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Discussion Starter #1
I just read this interesting article on the deficiencies of the watch industry:

Explaining What's Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014 | aBlogtoWatch

My question is, if design innovation is currently so lacking within the watch industry, why are there so few critical or negative reviews of particular watch models in the blogosphere (WUS excepted)? It seems like some articles will point out small negative aspects of watches, but inevitably and on balance (at least IMO) they are overwhelmingly positive about just about every watch out there. I for one would like to read a review every now and then that concludes "no, this watch is a dog, don't buy it". Have I overstated the position? What do you think?
 

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I just read this interesting article on the deficiencies of the watch industry:

Explaining What's Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014 | aBlogtoWatch

My question is, if design innovation is currently so lacking within the watch industry, why are there so few critical or negative reviews of particular watch models in the blogosphere (WUS excepted)? It seems like some articles will point out small negative aspects of watches, but inevitably and on balance (at least IMO) they are overwhelmingly positive about just about every watch out there. I for one would like to read a review every now and then that concludes "no, this watch is a dog, don't buy it". Have I overstated the position? What do you think?
You don't buy watches you hate. People don't go negative...just how it is.
 

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I'm under the impression that most blogs do not own the pieces they review and loan them either from an AD or the manufacturer themselves.
A full blown negative review would probably jeopardise this relationship.
 

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Coming to think of it, I don't think that I've ever read a negative watch review done by a serious website, blog or magazine. My guess would be that's because the writers are paid by the company that produced the particular watch to be reviewed.

Not too long ago a famous watch journalist posted a picture to Instagram were he was rewarded a Nautilus by Thierry Stern.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You don't buy watches you hate. People don't go negative...just how it is.
Just to be clear, I wasn't referring to forums like WUS, just the sites that purport to provide independent reviews.
 

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Because a watch exists to tell time.

So far, none of the reviewed watches have failed in that function, I think.
 

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I'm under the impression that most blogs do not own the pieces they review and loan them either from an AD or the manufacturer themselves.
A full blown negative review would probably jeopardise this relationship.
This.

Coming to think of it, I don't think that I've ever read a negative watch review done by a serious website, blog or magazine. My guess would be that's because the writers are paid by the company that produced the particular watch to be reviewed.

Not too long ago a famous watch journalist posted a picture to Instagram were he was rewarded a Nautilus by Thierry Stern.
I don't know about paid, but as per the quote above you it's a symbiotic relationship.

Ablogtowatch did recently blog about why the reviews are in fact for the people and not the manufacturers, but I can't find it now. Anyone got a link?
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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I know some bloggers do get paid (my knowledge is from my wife who does a makeup blog). Not sure about watches but i imagine it is similar, they either get paid, get free product (probably unlikely with watches given cost), or get free events which can sometimes involve travel, a behind-the-scenes looks at things, probably with goodie bags and plenty of booze! I know with makeup there are usually a few big PR companies that you want to keep on your side as they represent a lot of brands... or just a brand you like.

This can predispose some people to writing only positive reviews, particularly if it is a paid review. I think readers can usually see through this over time. What those with a bit more tact might do is not take on products that aren't likely to suit you, if you've got tiny wrists then don't review giant watches! So what some bloggers probably do is only take on offers for products they are likely to like. But at the end of the day you'd still expect a good review to list pros and cons, if the blogger themselves doesn't like the watch, maybe there might be more in the cons column, but the overall review might say something like it doesn't suit my personal taste, but i can see how it might work for someone with larger wrists for example.

In short, if you're taking on products that you are likely to like, and watches are generally well made as geoffbot says above, it would take something major to get a bad review. If this happens and there's a major fault some bloggers might try and get a replacement product before blogging about it, but those with integrity should mention that the first one they got was faulty.

cheers,
Ben.
 

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They also only have the watch for a few days or a week, can't get a good feel for something in that short period of time.
Sometimes they only see the watch at a show, they give their impressions on what they saw.
 

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What exactly is there to give a completely negative review about a watch? Does it run? Does it tell time fairly accurately (within the acceptable +/-)? Does it have all its physical components (dial, hands, crystal, case, band)? If yes, then everything else is just a matter of preferences to aesthetics. The size of the watch, the materials the watch is made of, the makeup of the band and the style are all subjective things. All the reviewer can do is tell you what the watch is and what it's made out of and the price and then it's up to the consumer to decide if he wants it.

Like, how do you review a solid gold chain? Here is a solid gold chain, it cost X amount, is X long and X thick, and looks like this. Can't really say whether it's a good chain or a bad chain... It's a gold chain.
 

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I have yet to see a watch thats so bad as to deserve a "critical" review.
It's a watch ferchristsakes, not an opera performance.

And, besides, who's gonna take the time to sit there and take apart everything "not right" about any given watch?
If you're gonna write a review at all, it's usually bcz it's got something that is appealing to you to begin with.
And then, you just add a small inconsequential "negative" to sound like you were being objective.

As for so-called "lack of design innovations"? - Have you noticed how often the same watches / designs appear here?

I see plenty of great diversity in the industry as a whole - many of them wonderfully done.
And many are done in/by what many people call "Fashion" brands - but using the same parts that are found in, or even MADE BY, "legit" watch brands.

But a lot of people (especially here on WUS) seem to simply shut them down because they irrationally believe that "fashion" = "bad" in every way.

Take Seiko for example: Hundreds of models, yet only the same few ever get mentioned repeatedly.

A shame, really, given how well-made so many models are design-wise, but have not been "approved" by the "hive".
One simply cannot underestimate the power of mimetic desire to fit in.
 

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But a lot of people (especially here on WUS) seem to simply shut them down because they have not been "approved" by the "hive". One cannot underestimate the power of mimetic desire to fit in.
That hasn't been my experience of WUS at all, in fact I've been a bit blown away at the way an Audemars or JLC owner will say genuinely positive things about a Hamilton or Victorinox. In a market that you would expect a HIGH degree of snobbery, I've been really amazed by the lack of it around here.

Regarding the lack of negative reviews, sure there may well be an element of conflicted interests and sponsor bias, but I'm inclined to agree with the folks that mention the lack of anything to really pan a watch over. Unless the movement was a dud, the fit and finish had issues or some aspect of the design made it unusable or uncomfortable, it's really just an issue of aesthetics. Not something that we need expert opinion on. It's really just them bringing the watch to our attention, pointing out the nice features we might not spot in the press release, and giving us their thoughts.

It's not like we need Jeremy Clarkson to wear the thing for an afternoon before dissing it for being too economical or having a flappy paddle gearbox.
 

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I don't need a review to be critical in order for me to take the information presented and decide if I don't want or like a particular watch.

They can gush as much as they like, but we all have the ability to glean the information we need and not be swayed by the hype.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Granted there is a huge degree of subjectivity about assessing watches. Of course that is true of many things, including opera performances IMHO, if that is your thing. But if you are capable of liking something, then you must also be capable of disliking. We read reviews because we are interested in hearing other opinions, especially informed and reasoned ones, even if we disagree with them. I'd just like to see more forthright opinions from the range of WIS sources of information, including negative ones where they are genuinely held.


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