Consumer Reports for Watches
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  1. #1
    Member watchudc's Avatar
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    Consumer Reports for Watches

    Is there a publication or something like Consumer Reports (CR) for watches? I'm interested in finding out repair issues, similar to the number of repairs done by car dealers in the first few years of ownership. This would include warranty repairs at licensed repair shops. There doesn't seem to be enough, or any, information like this at all out there. We can get "reliability" results (time accuracy) from some web sites and evern Watchtime magazine when it reviews watches. But not much else.

    For example, I have a friend who has a Breitling with the first B01 movement. In the first year or two, Brietling has had to replace movement parts, the hands and the dial. We don't know how much of this is legit, as it's all under warranty. With all the new in-house movements coming out, there doesn't seem to be any objective testing and/or watchdog group to double-check and then rate the products like Consumer Reports.

    Is there anything like this I've missed? To be honest I wouldn't want to buy a watch with a new in-house movement much the same for not buying a new car with a newly developed engine, etc. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    Watchuseek, TZ, PMWF and all the other watch fora from around the world function as watch consumer resources. And some blogs are helpful. To take advantage of the information you hace to read and participate regularly. There is no click-on-the-watch online repository of testing and manufacturer data for all watches that I'm aware of.

    I don't know how a CR type product would help you and your friend determine the legitimacy of parts replaced by Breitling under warranty. To be honest I don't understand your concern over that issue.
    Last edited by John MS; June 19th, 2014 at 19:32.
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  3. #3
    Member Toothbras's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    This forum is probably as close as you'll get, some pretty honest feedback when someone has issues with anything, often blown out of proportion. I would trust what I read from other watch enthusiasts in here more than I would trust a magazine. Plus think how expensive each issue of watchtime is, now take their subscriber base (about 14 people) and whittle t down to the ones who would shell out money for a CR-type publication, if it existed it would be $1,000 an issue.

    To answer your other question, almost bought an 8500 planet ocean when they first came out, the movement was relatively new at the time and it didn't bother me. If it breaks it will be covered by warranty, I'm not gonna rob myself of new and cool technology just because it might break.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    I doubt there would be an official Consumer Reports (or a similar thing) for watches. First, it's jewelry, so it's high end and therefore there's not that much demand in the general population for them. Second, what brand wants their watches subjected to hammer blows and compression/decompression cycles. The luxury brands already have such a loyal following that they are doing well; all this will do is hurt. Now, if you're looking at cheap Seikos and Timexs, I'm sure 10-20 years ago Consumer Reports probably did something just to see. But watches are obsolete nowadays. They're like horses. They aren't needed and aren't used by the vast majority of people (unlike say cellphones). They are just a fun thing to have around if you have the money.

    However, if you want to sell any really rich people on the forum to the idea . . .
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  6. #5
    Member RBrylawski's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothbras View Post
    This forum is probably as close as you'll get, some pretty honest feedback when someone has issues with anything, often blown out of proportion. I would trust what I read from other watch enthusiasts in here more than I would trust a magazine. Plus think how expensive each issue of watchtime is, now take their subscriber base (about 14 people) and whittle t down to the ones who would shell out money for a CR-type publication, if it existed it would be $1,000 an issue.

    To answer your other question, almost bought an 8500 planet ocean when they first came out, the movement was relatively new at the time and it didn't bother me. If it breaks it will be covered by warranty, I'm not gonna rob myself of new and cool technology just because it might break.

    Sent from my Motorola Razr flip phone.

    Just kidding, it's an iPhone, but see what I mean?
    Wow.....So I'm one of 14 people?? Well aren't I special!! LOL
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  7. #6
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    The "luxury" brands have a huge stake in producing a quality, reliable product. And the "feedback system" that is in place works well. Think about it_ Joe Schmoo buys a 10,000 Romegaling and it craps out in a week. It's repaired and dies in another 2 weeks. After the third time the dealer is faced with refunding Joes money or losing a customer (who may well purchase other big ticket items from him). How often will he do that before he discontinues that brand in his store? One watch? Sure. Two watches? Maybe, but it's got his attention now. Three watches? That's all the beating most stores will take. And soon the manufacturer is out of dealers.
    And few watches are all that revolutionary anyway (though Omega did have some teething problems w/ the first Co-Axes as I recall)
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  8. #7
    Member Toothbras's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by RBrylawski View Post
    Wow.....So I'm one of 14 people?? Well aren't I special!! LOL
    You and me both!
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  9. #8
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    I can't think of anything that meets your wants but anyhow I would be much more inclined to trust the opinion of the folks here.

  10. #9
    Member dbostedo's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    If we're talking about particular properties of the watch that could be tested on an individual watch, then yes, that would be very expensive. But if we're talking about what Consumer Reports does with cars (as well as JD Power and some others), they are survey based statistics.

    Seeing these for watches could potentially be cost-effective and would let you know interesting things at a top level. For instance, you might learn how likely an Omega is to need repair in the first year versus a Breitling versus a Rolex, etc. You will never get that kind of information from a site like this, as there simply won't be a statistically significant number of participants. Many people then try to make those kinds of judgments anecdotally, which works I suppose given enough time, but isn't exactly what I think a lot of people would like to know. (And would lead many people to poor conclusions - the overall feedback to the manufacturers would still be correct in aggregate, but individual choices will be mis-guided.)
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  11. #10
    Member Bahoomba's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Reports for Watches

    I'm a big Consumer Reports fan, but the watch world is so vast. I mean, these days CR only reviews a handful of air conditioners instead of 20 or 30. I can't imagine an article rating men's auto divers that could be even reasonably comprehensive - they'd have to have someone on staff who knows and understands watches, and them folks is hard to find. It's really another reason why the 'Net is the wheel that steers the watch business.

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