When will the watch industry start looking forward again?

  1. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 8, 2018

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    TAG Heuer are one of the few companies actually that do look forward I think, but even when they came up with a completely new design they branded it 'Carrera'... (annoying some people in the process too). I've been thinking this for some time, but I didn't want to post about it because I don't want to get deluged with the standard 'you just want every new watch to be about you and blah, blah, blah...

    But I've just read a piece in the new edition of QP magazine where the author pointed out that the trend of endlessly looking backwards is starting to get old now and when is the watch industry going to start looking forwards again?

    So it's not just me then...

    I'm not saying there should be no re-editions or watches that look 'classic', but it does seem that there is a disparity between constantly revisiting old models and a lack of genuinely new models. As the article states, modernity seems to have to mean skeletonised Richard Mille or Hublot pieces, surely there is room for a third way?

    As I said, TAG certainly can't be pilloried for this, since they are one of the few watch companies that do seem to have a forward looking eye (albeit with one eye focused on the lucrative re-issues market). But even then, when was the last time TAG launched a 'new' model? I'm guessing it was the Aquaracer, which was actually a rebranded 2000 series... I guess there was the Microtimer, which was a genuine stand alone, and the SLR too I guess. But those are quite a long time ago.

    Again returning to the piece, the author points out that some of the companies who are creating the most interesting watches these days are the ones who don't have a long history to endlessly recycle - Ressence, Nomos and Chopard. As he says 'I don't have a problem with the visuals, rather the complete lack of imagination'.

    I guess, the market will decide, but as there becomes more 'retro' watches flooding the second hand market I guess eventually the watch industry will have to find something new to 'sell' to keep the till ringing...

    Okay chaps, you can discuss that while I go and hide in the bunker.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. imagwai

    imagwai Mar 8, 2018

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    Yeah, I think I mentioned this recently. I don't mind the new skeletonized models. I mean they're not for me personally, but I like that they're creating something new, and they do look special. But calling it a Carrera shows a lack of confidence I think. Call it something new, and don't confuse what the Carrera was/is all about - clean, simple, readable.
     
  3. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Mar 8, 2018

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    Well said that man!
     
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  4. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Mar 8, 2018

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    I totally agree with you my friend. What is really bugging me right now is Kern, the new ceo of Breitling. Their new strategy is to look back in their catalogue, stop using the modern wing logo etc. 2018 (!) they will start looking back when people are already getting tired of the concept of re-issues ::facepalm2::

    I have always admired Alexander Shorokhoff for having the balls to do something new and different. Wish more brands would do the same to some extent at least
     
  5. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Mar 8, 2018

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    A good example of thinking new and going out of the comfort zone?

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Mr_Orange

    Mr_Orange Mar 8, 2018

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    It maybe new and outside the box for Cartier but not for the watch industry as a whole.
     
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  7. TonyStark

    TonyStark Mar 8, 2018

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    Phew.... where to start on this one.

    This depends a lot on what you are seeking as 'new' or innovative... cosmetics or the underpinning engineering? And at what price?
     
  8. dtf

    dtf Mar 8, 2018

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    Kirium?
     
  9. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 8, 2018

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    Yes indeed, it's a complex issue... and like the car industry I think we've gone through this period now (remember when Beetles, 500s and Minis were de rigeur?) and there must come a time where the customer wants something 'current', and I don't mean a Speedmaster in ceramic. Admittedly there's only so much that can be done, and it's not necessary to make things aggressively modern... I guess we can look back even in TAG's recent history to the mid 00s when the line up consisted of Kiriums, Links, 2000 Series, F1s and Alter Egos to remember there was a time before there were 200 different Carreras available.

    Who knows, maybe Baselworld will surprise us?
     
  10. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 8, 2018

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    The Kirium was concurrent with the 2000 series, so the Aquaracer must have come after... oddly Watch Wiki says the Aquaracer arrived in 2003, yet there's no mention of it in the 2004 catalogue (Still called 2000 series). Kirium appeared first in the 1999 catalogue...

    Still, that the Aquaracer was merely a renamed 2000 is beyond dispute. So the last new model must be the SLR? Or the Grand Carrera... oh wait!
     
  11. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 8, 2018

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    I like this, although I must admit I really liked the Santos 100 black DLC.
     
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  12. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 8, 2018

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    I think we need to be talking £3-6000. There's plenty of crazy 'modern' watches from Roger Dubuis and Richard Mille but they are way out of 99% of people's budgets, and there's plenty of cheap 'modern' looking watches but it's the luxury middle ground that seems obsessed with watches from 50 years ago.

    Still, I guess the watch industry is risk averse and a new model is a risk, far easier to re-release something they know will sell... like that guy said, the brands with no history are the ones making the running because they have to.
     
  13. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 8, 2018

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    Oddly enough, I think the F1 Kirium (not so much the standard ones) has aged really well, when I compare mine with the 6000 series I bought, the 6000 looks way more dated.
     
  14. Hubert

    Hubert Mar 8, 2018

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    Even though most of my TAG Heuer watches are Vintage themed, I am a big fan of bold modern designs too. The Carrera 50th Anniversary is a good example, as well as the Heuer01, though I have to acknowledge, it took me a little while to get over my original shock.
    [​IMG]

    Personally, I'm very excited to see TAG Heuer innovating again with new and exciting movements like the Heuer-03XT and in my mind that merits new and exciting cases and designs.

    Finally, I still think the current interpretation of the Connected watches are ripe to undergo a hybrid fusion with mechanical movements, and could be augmented even further by adopting other exciting technologies.
    [​IMG]
    #NoRiskNoReward
     
  15. OttoWilliam

    OttoWilliam Mar 8, 2018

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    Maybe now i should buy that Poljot tourbillon with;)Seagull (Chinese) movement. It is owned none other than that Alexander Shorokhoff.
     
    Screenshot_20180309-080347.jpg
  16. Hubert

    Hubert Mar 10, 2018

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    Speaking of looking forward. This seems to me like a Connected watch. Thoughts?
    Screenshot_20180310-012155.png
     
  17. Gambba

    Gambba Mar 10, 2018

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    I’m not of the same opinion about watch manufacturers having to look forward. It’s consumers that have determined what’s needed and whilst some may criticise manufacturers at looking back I can’t understand why.

    Every consumer product goes through these same cycles and watches I think need to continuously do the same, as clearly classic designs win through.

    I look for designs which I believe I will not get bored of or want to stop wearing in many years to come, and so people like me are the issue.

    A Submariner I think is a typical example of a design classic and forgetting the brand still loved by so many. So why would manufacturers have to change a design dramatically or go all RM radical.

    Using classic names for new models is a bit annoying and never really understand this for watches that aren’t truly following in the theme of the originals.
     
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  18. TonyStark

    TonyStark Mar 10, 2018

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    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/in-depth-complete-guide-to-modern-watchmaking-joe-thompson

    The attached hodinkee article series "four revolutions" does an excellent job of describing the market forces shaping the watch industry and how mechanical watches have positioned and repositioned

    Heritage and brand are inextricably linked with the survival of mechanical watches but also no shortage of innovation and reinvention

    All sections well worth a read but in the context of this thread the sections on mechanical watches and the rise of the smartwatch.
     
    Edited Mar 10, 2018
  19. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Mar 10, 2018

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    But isn't it a bit defeatist to imagine that all the best designs have already been made? Again, I'm not saying watch companies should stop making their classics, but just regurgitating things they've done before is a bit lazy and like the article said - modern and new doesn't have to mean Hublot and Richard Mille. Actually maybe I should give some props to Omega for the Aquaterra...

    And yes you are right, consumers have indeed fueled the retro/vintage/re-issue bonanza... but it's a phase which is probably coming to a natural end. I mean obviously different companies are different and some companies are more historically rooted than others, but even Rolex (that most conservative of companies) came out with a brand new watch in recent history (2012 I believe - the Skydweller). Now I happen to think it's pretty awful, but a lot of people like it, and I applaud them for doing something new. Also while we're on the subject of Rolex, one thing I will say about them is that they, in their own little way, are quite forward looking. In that while they stick with the Submariner etc they do (gradually) modernise and introduce modern materials (silicon, ceramics etc) and they haven't been tempted to jump on the whole bandwagon thing as far as I can tell.

    I mean there's room for all kinds of watches obviously, but it's getting to the point where I'm expecting TAG's Baselworld surprise to be a range of 48mm Flegers... (not really). ;)

    Also I agree with you, TAG should have not called the new watches Carreras.
     
    Edited Mar 10, 2018
  20. calibre11user

    calibre11user Mar 10, 2018

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    A Zenith connected watch is possible, but is there space in the LVMH group for another connected watch?

    Further, Zenith's specific responsibility in LVMH is for innovating on mechanical movements, not on digital.

    Finally, Zenith is probably trying to build momentum for its new Defy Lab (the one with the new oscillator), and bringing out a connected watch would distract away from that effort.