The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

Thread: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

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  1. #1
    Moderator Emeritus Crusader's Avatar
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    The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    Hello all,

    Here is an update on my contact with the Sinn company: a meeting with Sinn representatives has been arranged for later next week, and of course a full report will be posted on the Forum. But since the idea to investigate the opportunities for closer collaboration with Sinn originated among the Forum members, I thought it would be appropriate to ask your opinion about the agenda of the meeting, and the points that would be of particular interest to the Forum members.

    What do you think the forum could benefit from the most, and in what ways could Sinn benefit from closer contact with the Forum?
    (Please keep in mind that in co-operation between the Forum and Sinn, both sides should benefit, which will ensure the continued interest of both sides. )

    Reasoned suggestions will be more helpful than a poll, and we'll keep this thread as a "sticky" for a while. I am looking forward to your ideas.

    A word of caution: I would sincerely request that the suggestions in this thread be limited to the subject of the future co-operation between the Forum and Sinn, and not to individual customer issues, orders or complaints – as a volunteer watch forum moderator, I would be in an awkward position to intercede or arbitrate between business parties. (My co-moderator Tim and I reserve the right to edit the thread in order to keep it on target in this respect.)
    Cheers,

    Martin ("Crusader")

  2. #2
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    I'm new around here, and I don't even own a Sinn yet, but one of the things thats been holding me back is the lack of a good dealer network and the service issue. I've read a couple of posts here in my short time that detail sending watches back to Germany for repair; thats not really something I'm interested in doing...

    ... but I freaking LOVE the watches. I'll probably end up with one anyway at some point but it would be nice if they had a North America/US service faciilty.

    And it appears that WatchBuys is the only US authorized dealer? I understand that eveyrone likes to protect their prices, but a little competition/choice might be nice.

    I think the benfit for Sinn spending quality time here is that this forum represents a huge market for them. The market here might be much different than the European market, and we might want different things.

    That, plus there's just lots of love here :)

  3. #3
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    Hi Martin. There's something neat going on with Citizen of America and the Seiko Citizen watch forum. Citizen monitors the forum and every once in a while, a forummer will ask a question regarding servicing and such of their citizen watch directly to C.O.A. Citizen will direct them to the right place, or give out the proper e-mail addy or phone no. or will attempt to answer their question. If no answer is available at that time, they will be directed to where the question could be answered.

    I'd like to see that kind of thing on this forum as long as their isn't 400 questions asked of Sinn every day. There doesn't seem to be that kind of problem on SCWF, and there are millions of watches sold to Americans every year, so it should be able to work here.

    If we could set up a section here for questions for Sinn, and Sinn reps could periodically come and check the site out, then maybe some questions could be answered. The beauty of this is that someone asks a question that others have been wondering about and when Sinn answers it, that helps everybody out and saves Sinn from repeatedly answering the same questions. It's good for everybody.

    It's called a pro-active role and that would be really neat. If you could ask Sinn if they could have someone check out the board everyday and maybe attempt to answer the questions in the designated section and explain the benefits to everyone, that would be great. We could set it up and monitor how things are going and move from there.

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  5. #4
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    Thanks for spearheading this effort Martin. I'm sure whatever results from the meeting with Sinn can only prove to be positive.
    As far as mutual benefits, Sinn will of course benefit from customer comments on their products. All "reasonable" concerns and accolades expressed here will help Sinn determine what they are doing right and what some of us may feel can be improved. Since we are a global community, the comments from the forum members should represent global concerns. We as the forum and consumers will benefit if Sinn uses the information from forum posts to improve current products and apply some suggestions to future products.
    My current concern with Sinn products is the lack of a fully equipped (Argon and oil refilling capacity) north American service facility. I understand that North America is not the only market for Sinn, but I'm sure it's growing very quickly. I know this issue is being addressed, at least for the argon filled watches, but the lack of a facility and the cost to send a watch to Germany for service is causing me to move Sinn products further down my wish list.
    I'll look forward to hearing what comes of the meeting.

  6. #5
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    I think that the idea is great. I have always liked Sinn watches but my German is about poor at best. It would be nice to have a way for me (and the other forum members) to present ideas to Sinn. Of the ones I have read here a EZM 1B, black U1 and 2 would be great. I would like to see a larger Sinn with a Unitas movement other than the one in their new regulator watch. I would love a 44mm Sinn with a 656 style dial and no date or seconds with a solid back. Ideas start somewhere and I can't think of a better forum of Sinn fans. I do think that Sinns can be serviced here but I just hope that while they grow they try not to grow into something else. There are many companys out there that get a ETA movement and stuff it into a case and market it but Sinn is not one of them. For example, I think that my 756S is worth twice their price but I hope that they don't have so many marketing bills etc. that would make them charge that.

  7. #6
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    First off - don't let them see the scary picture of that great white north fella that assists in monitoring this forum - he be real scary... scary lookin' only, I'm sure.

    I wonder how many offers to join a forum Sinn can afford. It might be a moderator could weed thru the forum posts and forward specific posts to Sinn - offer an intermediary between the forum and Sinn. For most, if not all of us at the forum, the forum does not cost us money, nor does it make us money - whereas for Sinn, there are concerns both ways - time and energy wise. Perhaps Sinn can commit to answering a half dozen posts per week from the forum - which the moderator can cull and post responses. These could be collected from week to week as the process continues such that a question may take a month to answer during times when lots of questions are asked, and then during slow weeks, the past questions can fill in the dozen commitment. Questions about how business runs and why they do business the way they do are quite proprietary, it seems. I would be interested more in the minutae that makes Sinn - Sinn. The people, the design processes, the parts acquisition, the parts preparation, the parts assembly, the final inspection, the quality control, the rejects, etc, etc - informative, technical, but not exposing their business propriety - I'm sure this is quite a cut throat business what with offshoring, etc. But, make the forum offering as a potential business booster for Sinn - whereby we can get out the word about what a fine product Sinn produces - as if they don't know already...

    I liked the pictures and tour that the paneristas had at Sinn - perhaps there is benefit for Sinn to formalize this tour into a nice picture expose about the Sinn product manufacture - again, I guess business propriety could be at stake. Indeed, the picture expose may be more than many would want, and perhaps be detailed enough to satisfy the seriously curious about a lot of things, such as how does the Ar get introduced, etc.

    My interest is in an expose of the technical aspects of how a watch becomes a watch. Maybe it doesn't take Sinn to expose this - but since you are establishing dialog with Sinn - why not ask, I say.
    DanG

  8. #7
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    Hi Martin -

    Simple: Sinn depends on direct sales. We can aid them with a really good english translation of their website, make it more interesting to the North American buyer. Further, we can also act as a sounding board for watches that Sinn might make for the North American market solely, much like the Japanese-only watches that Sinn has offered in the past.

    We're not going to be able to influence the horological qualities of Sinn watches: that is their job, as it rightly should be. But we can certainly help them *understand* what they need to do in order to tap into the North American market, and I would definitely agree that they need to have first-class servicing and support in the US for that market. But this is, nowadays, standard operating procedure for any industrial company entering any advanced market.

    My experience - going on 20 years now - with German companies trying to establish themselves in the US market is that almost all the failures are due to three factors: 1) fundamental ignorance of the market, the market makers and demand; 2) failure to make the necessary effort to fine-tune the product to reach the greatest number of potential customers with the lowest expenditure of marketing funds; 3) failure to understand that great products and great prices don't sell themselves.

    Our greatest contribution would be in helping Sinn make the best entry possible, with the kind of support and service that would make German watches at least the equal of Swiss watches, and help them understand the market so that they can sell gazillions of watches.

    JohnF
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    Dear Martin and Tim,


    Thanks for this wonderful effort of yours. I am truly delighted to know that the first step is now being taken to "cement" the relationship between Sinn owners/lovers, Sinn Forum moderators and Sinn as the company.

    What has been suggested so far has been excellent. I have only the following to add which I may be humbly be allowed to do so...

    1. Feedback/Suggestions. I think I have mentioned this to Martin previously. As rightly pointed out by others, Sinn depends much on "word of mouth" as their main advertising platform. As such, if Sinn makes good use of this forum, then will gain much in terms of reputation and profits. Which I am sure, there will be negative experiences as well, but the whole point is to see how Sinn handles the accolades as well as criticism, or shortcomings in a open and transparent manner. This hopefully translate to profits in the long run if Sinn is able to handle it well in a public forum like this.

    2. Collecting consumer feedback. I have alss mentioned previously, that a forum like this could be useful to collect consumer feedback in terms of what they would like to see and what future Sinn watches should be and what technical features included. While it is understandable that not all consumer feedback would be implemented or considered, it is hoped that Sinn would at least take into account what watch lovers like/dislikes and see how they can manage expectation and yet balance their profitability, match business philosophy and other considerations like (maintain trade secrets). I think it helps if on an annual basis, someone senior from Sinn appear on this forum to ask what consumers would like to see in the coming 1-3 years in terms of products/designs etc and without the usual complaints or brickbrats thrown in. In short, welcoming constructive comments or criticism.

    3. More information. I think Tim raised a good point about how someone from the technical department and/or the PR department from Sinn can from time to time appear to answer questions not picked up by Sinn forum moderators. Perhaps after a 48 hour period if the Sinn forum moderators do not answer those "technical" questions, the Sinn folks can interject or even be requested to answer them, provided the questions raised in the first place are good, sensible questions that have not been answered previously.

    4. More information in various langauges. I think information is key to any business and they way they disseminate that information is vital. Some of us don't read German or less fluent in English. For example, the Japanese market is a huge potential market if info is made available in Japanese for instance. Likewise for the Chinese market, like China, Taiwan, HK and Singapore.

    5. Cultural Differences. Also, as mentioned above, when collecting feedback on consumer taste etc, I think it is important not to miss out on cultural differences. While most of you here are in either Europe or the North American markets, there is quite a huge following of the Sinn brand right here in Singapore and SE Asia. As such, I hope Sinn would consider cross-cultural aspects when they factor in the various inputs from across different continents and not make cultural mistakes. In fact, with market segmentation across different cultures, they maybe even more niche and be more focused in meeting consumer needs in different markets. The type of watch strap for instance as in different climates, as people prefer different type of watch straps, be it leather, rubber, metal sharkskin etc to suit the climate they are in rather than for different functions/events.

    I know what I have mentioned here may seems quite a lot to digest for Sinn but it is hoped that I have raised enough points for Martin when he meets with the Sinn folks. At the end of the day, it is hope that it will be a positive experience for Sinn, Sinn owners and the Sinn forum. That is the most important aspect. While balancing the needs and wants of consumers, assisting the Sinn forum moderators in their duties, protecting intellectual property and business profits are fine balance which will not be easy to maintain nor achieved. But I certainly do hope that Sinn will not find this balancing act too mammoth a task.

    Cheers!

    Jeff aka Kool Cat

  10. #9
    Moderator Emeritus Crusader's Avatar
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    Hello all,

    I met with Lothar Schmidt and the Marketing/Communication head person yesterday, and I will a submit a full report (with some pictures) to the forum shortly.
    Cheers,

    Martin ("Crusader")

  11. #10
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    Re: The Sinn Forum and the Sinn Company

    I visited the Sinn headquarters in Frankfurt on 28 April 2006 and met with Lothar Schmidt, the owner and CEO, and Simone Leseberg, in charge of marketing and communication, to discuss forum-related issues.

    We established that for the time being, the moderators will pass on specific questions raised on the forum to a contact at Sinn, from which point on the question will be routed to whichever department of Sinn will be appropriate, and will be publicized on the forum through the moderators. We agreed to review this procedure after about three months to determine whether it serves the needs of the parties concerned, and what adaptations to the procedure could or should be made. I would like to remind the forum audience that while this procedure is not as far-reaching as some have suggested in this thread, we are in a dynamic development, and nothing is cast in stone. I, for one, am happier with a flexible system that develops organically in response to positive effects for both sides than a "perfect" system instituted already in its final form.

    I have also passed on the suggestions as outlined in this thread, especially the interest of forum members to have Sinn take note of the actual uses Sinn watches have been put to use to.

    In addition, I am working with Sinn on the project of a tour to the Sinn facilities in Frankfurt for WUS members – the point in time will be dependent, among other things, upon the completion of the remodeling of the Sinn headquarters including their meeting room. The Sinn management was very amenable to the idea of hosting a tour of their facilities for the WatchUseek community. I shall keep you posted about this project. Watch this space!
    Cheers,

    Martin ("Crusader")

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