The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry
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  1. #1
    Member Tedward's Avatar
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    The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    In one word....GREED.

    I have a Tag Heuer Formula 1 Red Bull, which is a really cool looking watch. I got it on the bracelet because I thought it would be more practical and also cheaper to buy the fabric strap as an extra later.

    So I got a quote for the fabric strap....I was expecting £100ish...But no...£235. Two Hundred and Thirty-Five pounds for a few inches of fabric and a couple of bits of metal. What is the mark up on that? It can't cost Tag more than a pound or two to make.

    You can buy a high quality fabric, leather or rubber strap for £30 odd pounds from Hirsch / Di Modell and others...Why do Tag (and I am sure most other similar brands) take their customers for mugs. It shows a real lack of respect and basically assumes we are stupid enough to pay anything for something simply because it's from them rather than a third party.

    Watch sales are down generally and, whilst I haven't done any particular review of the reasons it wouldn't surprise me if a reason is the fact that most brands have tried to move upmarket over the last few years by increasing prices without really changing the product significantly, pricing more people out.

    Anyway....Rant over!

    I didn't buy the strap so if anyone has any good suggestions for an alternative let me know!

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  2. #2
    Member rosborn's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    I can't argue with that. Just be happy you purchased your watch on a bracelet because purchasing a TAG bracelet would really set you back - $400 to $1,000 USD.


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  3. #3
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Made in CH has marketing value. It's the same reason why a 100% made in China iPhone sells for a premium over equivalent Android devices. Because they can.
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  4. #4
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Quote Originally Posted by rudykruger View Post
    Made in CH has marketing value. It's the same reason why a 100% made in China iPhone sells for a premium over equivalent Android devices. Because they can.
    Can't argue with this either. No one is twisting our arms to purchase TAG Heuer watches.


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  5. #5
    Member Tedward's Avatar
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Quote Originally Posted by rosborn View Post
    Can't argue with this either. No one is twisting our arms to purchase TAG Heuer watches.


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    I agree with both points, although I would also be surprised if the fabric strap saw Switzerland until it is fully made and ready to be put on the watch.

    I accept you have to pay something for brand recognition etc...above actual value and that's why some brands are able to offer better value than others for the same price (look at the range of watches and prices with an ETA 2824 movement as an example), but sometimes (such as charging over £200 for a bit of fabric) is just taking the p**s out of their "valued" customers.

    I suppose someone has to pay for the graffiti artist to spray some watches and strut about dressed like Zorro.

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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Where did you get the quote for the NATO strap? I'm looking to pick it up as well.

    I bought a navy NATO from crown and buckle for like 15.

    Congrats on the watch! It's my favorite!

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  7. #7
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedward View Post
    In one word....GREED.

    I have a Tag Heuer Formula 1 Red Bull, which is a really cool looking watch. I got it on the bracelet because I thought it would be more practical and also cheaper to buy the fabric strap as an extra later.

    So I got a quote for the fabric strap....I was expecting £100ish...But no...£235. Two Hundred and Thirty-Five pounds for a few inches of fabric and a couple of bits of metal. What is the mark up on that? It can't cost Tag more than a pound or two to make.

    You can buy a high quality fabric, leather or rubber strap for £30 odd pounds from Hirsch / Di Modell and others...Why do Tag (and I am sure most other similar brands) take their customers for mugs. It shows a real lack of respect and basically assumes we are stupid enough to pay anything for something simply because it's from them rather than a third party.

    Watch sales are down generally and, whilst I haven't done any particular review of the reasons it wouldn't surprise me if a reason is the fact that most brands have tried to move upmarket over the last few years by increasing prices without really changing the product significantly, pricing more people out.

    Anyway....Rant over!

    I didn't buy the strap so if anyone has any good suggestions for an alternative let me know!

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
    I see what you mean. It feels sort of insulting to know that you have to pay a certain amount for something that is priced with a ridiculous markup.

    In all honesty, you would get more satisfaction from a quality bracelet that is more affordable. Yes, it won't be from Tag, but you will buy it knowing:

    a) it's still quality (perhaps not to the extent of Tag Heuer, yet still quality nonetheless)
    b) you will be buying into the ethos of what is likely an emerging brand, rather than fuelling corporate greed

    I did a search on Google and saw the strap of the Tag. I couldn't find anything that resembles the blue strap with red stitching. However, I found this one and I think it would look quite nice

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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    I know what you mean. The one that always makes me cringe is the cost of battery replacements (more that £125) and yes you might be lucky enough to find an independent jeweler that will do it for a fraction of the cost however depending on where you are that can be hard. Then after charging that much some will take six weeks to do the work.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Battery, any good watchmaker and no more than 25 USD; avoid jewelers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium_Link View Post
    I know what you mean. The one that always makes me cringe is the cost of battery replacements (more that £125) and yes you might be lucky enough to find an independent jeweler that will do it for a fraction of the cost however depending on where you are that can be hard. Then after charging that much some will take six weeks to do the work.

  10. #10
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    Re: The Problem with the Swiss Watch Industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    Battery, any good watchmaker and no more than 25 USD; avoid jewelers.
    That's what I was thinking...battery change and WR testing.


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