Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers
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Thread: Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers

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  1. #1
    WnS
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    Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers

    There are many fantastic ideas that aren't deployed on a wide scale for various reasons, such as losses in aftermarket service revenue.

    1. User friendly timing regulation - even better if the regulation gauge was on the back but you get the idea. What will become of the overpriced Chronometer?



    2. Fine ticking quartz - the smooth action of a mechanical with all the benefits of a quartz. It won't replace the appeal of mechanical watches, but it will provide a tempting substitute. The Precisionist movement has only been placed into ugly watches so far.



    3. Non-degrading lubricants - this JLC Extreme Lab makes use of graphite for dry lubrication. Unlike conventional oil-based lubricants, graphite does not degrade over time. This could mean an ultra long service interval (possibly greater than the lifespan of the customer), thus depriving the manufacturer of the opportunity to gouge service money from the customer. It won't be cheap, but I hope it's possible to design a dry lubrication watch that doesn't cost $200K, this could justify a "lifetime watch" costing >$10K for an average WIS.



    4. User friendly battery hatch - the picture below is actually my Casio heart rate monitor strap but the idea is transferable to watches. Just twist and open. This will allow people to use quartz watches until they die of movement failure without any watchmaker intervention. Exceptions might include gasket replacement but not many of us actually swim with our watches.

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    5. Scratch resistant cases/bracelets - hard materials, typically >8 on the Mohs scale can preserve the finish of a watch and negate the need for polishing or replacement of beaten up cases. Such materials include: Zirconium Oxide based ceramics, tungsten carbide, cobalt chrome, etc. ~ these are also much more corrosion resistant than stainless steel. Hard cases have mostly been limited to fashion and microbrands; with the exception of Rado as an "established" manufacturer.



    6. Gold coloured ceramics - a billion times more durable than gold plating and cheaper than solid gold. It's a middle-class man's gold watch. It won't have the weight of solid gold, but what's to say you can't bog it down with tungsten?

    Last edited by WnS; October 5th, 2012 at 04:32.
    I'm content with my watch collection

  2. #2
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    Re: Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers

    I really think you need to start a watch company, as these are great suggestions (didn't I recommend you become a watchmaker on your "what should I do with my career" thread?) At least one of these ideas has been tried before, way back in the Sixties with early Bulova Accutrons. They had a threaded battery door to swap the coin cell. I had this in my collection for a few months:

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    WnS likes this.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

    "Watches tie people to the celestial clockwork... but people have been encouraged by their clocks to ignore the daily and seasonal cycles and to pretend that there is nothing to contend with but metronome-paced linear time. We appear to have caged the sun inside a machine." Michael Young, The Metronomic Society, p. 204

  3. #3
    WnS
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    Re: Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers

    Quote Originally Posted by skywatch View Post
    I really think you need to start a watch company, as these are great suggestions (didn't I recommend you become a watchmaker on your "what should I do with my career" thread?) At least one of these ideas has been tried before, way back in the Sixties with early Bulova Accutrons. They had a threaded battery door to swap the coin cell. I had this in my collection for a few months:
    Starting a watch company is definitely a dream of mine (if I could get enough capital). I'd certainly like to learn about watchmaking, but I don't think I'd be too keen on being an actual watchmaker by trade, all the ones in my area have cranky beat up faces and I'm assuming they're struggling to make ends meet. Accutron is quite an innovator, but their modern offerings are let down by crappy visual design.
    I'm content with my watch collection

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    Re: Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers

    Quote Originally Posted by WnS View Post
    Starting a watch company is definitely a dream of mine (if I could get enough capital). I'd certainly like to learn about watchmaking, but I don't think I'd be too keen on being an actual watchmaker by trade, all the ones in my area have cranky beat up faces and I'm assuming they're struggling to make ends meet. Accutron is quite an innovator, but their modern offerings are let down by crappy visual design.
    Regarding Bulova... well, of course the innovative American Bulova from the last century went belly-up and got bought by Citizen/Miyota a long time ago. I could never quite figure out why "Accutron" became their "Swiss" mechanical brand while they put the cool new "Accurate-Electronic" movement into "Precisionist" but then I wouldn't have a clue how to survive in the watch business, and obviously they know a thing or two...

    Starting a business in watches reminds me of a joke I hear among winemakers: "Q: How does someone manage to make a small fortune in the wine business? A: Start with a large fortune." Substitute watches for wine, 'nuff said.

    Personally I would love a watch that has many of the features you describe. Happy trails...
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

    "Watches tie people to the celestial clockwork... but people have been encouraged by their clocks to ignore the daily and seasonal cycles and to pretend that there is nothing to contend with but metronome-paced linear time. We appear to have caged the sun inside a machine." Michael Young, The Metronomic Society, p. 204

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    Re: Great Ideas that are bad for Watchmakers & Manufacturers

    Quote Originally Posted by WnS View Post
    ...all the ones in my area have cranky beat up faces...
    Almost woke my kids up laughing at that one!!!!
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    I know swatch still use the battery hatch, I have changed the battery in my wife's and it has remained water tight and she is a regular swimmer.

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