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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Saw this on another forum and I'm shocked this hasn't spread to F71 yet. Sea-Gull has clearly -- CLEARLY -- ripped off a publicly posted design by our very own Chip (om-4), founder of Aevig and the exceptionally talented designer of the Balaur.

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This is unbelievable! Sea-Gull would never dare do something like this to a non-micro brand. [This really, really isn't the point of this thread. RTT before you stop here to make a pedantic point about Sea Gull's history of copying.] But I guess that's China for you. If you can get away with it, it's legal.

I don't know exactly what happened here, and I doubt Chip would be so impolitic as to comment, but this is a clear case of design theft, no matter the details. That's obviously a new model (it's barely available anywhere), and the Balaur has been "coming soon" for quite a long time. I remember seeing Chip's first renders in 2013. No way the copying is reversed here. Chip designed the nicest watch Sea Gull has ever made, and it makes me sick. :rodekaart

I'll never buy a Sea Gull watch after this. Period.

EDIT:

TL;DR: Here's the bottom line, folks:

... they didn't just see it on his website and copy it. Chip sent their OEM shop the design to produce for his brand, not their own. They took it, the result of his design effort, and made it, without even paying him as the designer, and in the process have diminished his ability and incentive to produce it himself.

... They were giving a job to do, make the Balaur for Chip. They screwed it up, then went ahead and made the design for themselves, with the most minimal of changes, and before Chip was able to make it himself.

That's not an homage or imitation, that's strong-arm robbery.
Edit 2: Yes, it really is Sea Gull, the Sea Gull, the Sea Gull Chip asked to make the watch for him. RTT, there is no doubt. It is the Sea Gull 816.582.

See this post for Chip's (om-4's) input.

See these posts for some ideas on how to make our displeasure known to Sea Gull. Blogs and such. Social Media. Other ideas.
 

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This is unbelievable! Sea-Gull would never dare do something like this to a non-micro brand.
You don't think so?



I've wondered if this would eventually happen, with all the micros sharing their designs long before they're available. Not surprising really (but that doesn't make it right).
 

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it's.. close, but tbh I've seen far worse (just look at the millions of rolex clones). Tbh if they did copy chip's design, they did a really bad job of it.

But as for seagull not copying designs? Haha, really? Their "rodina" (clone of a somewhat old stowa/nomos/whatever design) watches are pretty blatant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
You don't think so?

I've wondered if this would eventually happen, with all the micros sharing their designs long before they're available. Not surprising really (but that doesn't make it right).
I get your point, but that's different. The AT is a classic, and the Sea Gull is an homage at best, rep at worst. But the AT already existed. Here they completely stole a "coming soon" design and beat the designer to market. What's next? Are they trawling Kickstarter for popular designs that haven't been funded yet??
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
it's.. close, but tbh I've seen far worse (just look at the millions of rolex clones). Tbh if they did copy chip's design, they did a really bad job of it.

But as for seagull not copying designs? Haha, really? Their "rodina" (clone of a somewhat old stowa/nomos/whatever design) watches are pretty blatant.
It's not just close. Look at the hands, and in particular the seconds hand. It's even orange, for crissakes. And look at the chapter ring. It's the same font! There is no "if" here.

Like I said above, stealing a design from an established brand that's made millions from that design is a completely different animal from stealing that design from a micro-brand before the latter even has a chance to make it himself. Both are despicable, but cutting the legs out from under the little guy is dirty. This isn't little-ol' Chinese maker Sea Gull giving Omega or Nomos the finger. It's giant (by comparison) Sea Gull squashing a nascent competitor. I refuse to accept that as "business as usual". You should, too.
 

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What's next? Are they trawling Kickstarter for popular designs that haven't been funded yet??
Hm.. would be nice if they started stealing the carbon-clone minimalist quartz kickstarter watch "designs". They could flood the market and maybe people would finally stop putting those up for KS campaigns.

Edit: ah, missed the orange/white/orange/white on the seconds numerals. Yeah, that's a giveaway, they def. took the design and just tweaked it a bit (for the worse).

I still consider it business as usual, because (imo) that *is* business as usual for sea-gull / alpha / parnis (same thing far as I'm concerned) - stealing designs. I don't care if it's from big to small or big to big, design theft is design theft. *Neither* should be acceptable (and, hey - their companies won't be seeing my money).

Anyway. This reminds me when another KS project nicked the Huldra's handset and styling. Maybe an issue with parts suppliers reselling designs of their clients, who knows. Only thing we can do is stay aware and not buy clones/copies/homages.
 

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Unfortunately this isn't the first time a large brand has copied/ripped-off a smaller brand, and beaten them to the market. It may be the first time the larger brand has been as brazen, if you know the back-story.

When Chip first started his business, he sent a number of designs out to be prototyped by a number of OEM manufacturers. He actually sent the Balaur design to Seagull's own in-house OEM. The sent him pics of the protos, and they were truly awful, so Chip moved on. He never even received the protos from them, just pics:



They messed up a number of things in the design, obviously, but beyond that the quality was just very poor.

The pics of the Seagull 816.582 appear to be better quality than what they made for Chip, but they still missed on a number of cues.

In retrospect, it makes me wonder if this wasn't their plan from the beginning, or if they haven't been waiting to see if he produced it elsewhere, and if not, revive/refresh it for their own brand.
 

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I'm still going to wait for the Balaur - not just on principle, but also because it looks a thousand times better.
If you were Chip, would you still produce it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately this isn't the first time a large brand has copied/ripped-off a smaller brand, and beaten them to the market. It may be the first time the larger brand has been as brazen, if you know the back-story.

When Chip first started his business, he sent a number of designs out to be prototyped by a number of OEM manufacturers. He actually sent the Balaur design to Seagull's own in-house OEM. The sent him pics of the protos, and they were truly awful, so Chip moved on. He never even received the protos from them, just pics:



They messed up a number of things in the design, obviously, but beyond that the quality was just very poor.

The pics of their new model appear to be better quality than what they made for Chip, but they still missed on a number of cues.

In retrospect, it makes me wonder if this wasn't their plan from the beginning, or if they haven't been waiting to see if he produced it elsewhere, and if not, revive/refresh it for their own brand.
I want to say this is unbelievable. It should be. It is definitely sickening. They clearly just took that case, hands, and bezel and put in a "different" dial.

Screw Sea Gull. They can choke on it.
 

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Unfortunately this isn't the first time a large brand has copied/ripped-off a smaller brand, and beaten them to the market. It may be the first time the larger brand has been as brazen, if you know the back-story.

When Chip first started his business, he sent a number of designs out to be prototyped by a number of OEM manufacturers. He actually sent the Balaur design to Seagull's own in-house OEM. The sent him pics of the protos, and they were truly awful, so Chip moved on. He never even received the protos from them, just pics:



They messed up a number of things in the design, obviously, but beyond that the quality was just very poor.

The pics of their new model appear to be better quality than what they made for Chip, but they still missed on a number of cues.

In retrospect, it makes me wonder if this wasn't their plan from the beginning, or if they haven't been waiting to see if he produced it elsewhere, and if not, revive/refresh it for their own brand.
Damning images
 

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I honestly don't know, but I would hope he does. I know there are quite a few people on here hoping he makes it, even if it is in a limited run......I'm sure the quality will be better than what Seagull ships out, and the design is still better in my eyes.

If you were Chip, would you still produce it?
 

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I want to say this is unbelievable. It should be. It is definitely sickening. They clearly just took that case, hands, and bezel and put in a "different" dial.

Screw Sea Gull. They can choke on it.
It's worse/funnier than that.

They didn't get what Chip wanted in his design. The two outer sets of numbers were both supposed to be on the rotating bezel, giving you both a minute timer and a second time zone functionality (Chip is brilliant).

Their proto messed that up, plus inverted the lume on the minute hand.

They never figured either out, obviously, as they kept those two mistakes for the 816.582 (Seagull is not brilliant).
 

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Much as I love super compressor styles (no big shock there), I'd written off the Balaur simply on the balance of funds available. Now, I'd buy one on principle.

The bigger question for me is, do I now take this as a cue to wholly boycott Sea-Gull? Is this blatant? Yep. Is it shameful? Yep. Is it new? No, not by any stretch. Is it different because now it applies to one of our own? Well, I'll give you a qualified maybe.

However, the ethical stance of "I won't buy one because they ripped off someone's design" didn't apply to us before (since we regularly gush about Rodinas and a variety of other homages/ripoffs) and thus I'd say this changes nothing. We liked SeaGull just fine when they were ripping off other brands, and even if every WIS in the world writes them off, I somehow doubt that will really hurt SeaGull's bottom line.

It pisses me off no end on Chip's behalf, and as a result, I think the right answer is to provide increased support to him rather than try to lash out at Sea-Gull, who simply will not care. So, you really want to do something helpful in this situation? Go buy an Aevig.
 

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Saw this on another forum and I'm shocked this hasn't spread to F71 yet. Sea-Gull has clearly -- CLEARLY -- ripped off a publicly posted design by our very own Chip (om-4), founder of Aevig and the exceptionally talented designer of the Balaur.

View attachment 4829145 View attachment 4829161

This is unbelievable! Sea-Gull would never dare do something like this to a non-micro brand. [This really, really isn't the point of this thread. RTT before you stop here to make a pedantic point about Sea Gull's history of copying.] But I guess that's China for you. If you can get away with it, it's legal.

I don't know exactly what happened here, and I doubt Chip would be so impolitic as to comment, but this is a clear case of design theft, no matter the details. That's obviously a new model (it's barely available anywhere), and the Balaur has been "coming soon" for quite a long time. I remember seeing Chip's first renders in 2013. No way the copying is reversed here. Chip designed the nicest watch Sea Gull has ever made, and it makes me sick. :rodekaart

I'll never buy Sea Gull again (watches or movements). Period.
I saw this too and it's unquestionably a ripoff. I will never but a Sea-Gull watch either.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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Much as I love super compressor styles (no big shock there), I'd written off the Balaur simply on the balance of funds available. Now, I'd buy one on principle.

The bigger question for me is, do I now take this as a cue to wholly boycott Sea-Gull? Is this blatant? Yep. Is it shameful? Yep. Is it new? No, not by any stretch. Is it different because now it applies to one of our own? Well, I'll give you a qualified maybe.

However, the ethical stance of "I won't buy one because they ripped off someone's design" didn't apply to us before (since we regularly gush about Rodinas and a variety of other homages/ripoffs) and thus I'd say this changes nothing. We liked SeaGull just fine when they were ripping off other brands, and even if every WIS in the world writes them off, I somehow doubt that will really hurt SeaGull's bottom line.

It pisses me off no end on Chip's behalf, and as a result, I think the right answer is to provide increased support to him rather than try to lash out at Sea-Gull, who simply will not care. So, you really want to do something helpful in this situation? Go buy an Aevig.
I understand your logic, Scott, but I disagree, and I think it does change things.

Maybe this is convoluted logic, but as JakeJD alluded to, there's a big difference between what you're talking about - generally smaller companies replicating a design from a large brand that's been successful with that design for years, and charges an arm and a leg for it, by making a more affordable model - and this, a large company literally stealing a design from a young up-and-coming designer before he can produce it. One is after-the-fact copying, the other is just short of corporate espionage.

You're in the midst of producing/releasing your River Tiber, a design you drafted in full view of this forum, starting more than a year ago, if I recall, and it's taken you a while to bring it to reality. You'd be up in arms if you asked Seagull to prototype it for you, then they released the design 6 months before you were scheduled to hit the market with it.

The Seagull 816.582 isn't just a clone of an existing model, they stole the DNA right out of his cells, and made a test-tube baby with it.
 
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