Standard Features...
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Thread: Standard Features...

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  1. #1
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    Standard Features...

    I've been thinking about the evolution of standard features in cars, and how things that used to be found only in luxury vehicles have very rapidly made their way down the market. Wireless connectivity, GPS, antilock brakes, antitheft security measures, parking assist... while they obviously haven't all made it to the economy car level (yet), they are ubiquitous as options in mid-level cars.

    We've seen this to some extent in watches - sapphire crystals and display case backs are now found at the $300 level or lower - but I'm surprised that other features are still limited despite being seemingly easy to mass-produce. What I'd really like to see make it to the mid and entry-level watches are:

    1. Drilled lug holes. Updating tooling and production lines is expensive, but most cases are already mass-produced in China, including from the brands with the "Swiss Made" logo on the dials. Standardizing the cases to having drilled lug holes seems like something whose costs can be minimized via economies of scale.
    2. Quick-adjust bracelet clasps. This is still the province of the upper-middle level and higher, but this also seems like the cost can be minimized through mass production. Most companies do not make their own components in-house; they are subcontracting them to be built under their specs, often from the exact same machining companies as their competitors. Standardizing on a few different clasp designs would allow you to improve quality at a low marginal cost.
    3. Easy modifications/modularity. Start publishing design specs to allow third-parties to sell their own hands/dials/crystals/etc. and make it easier for customers to modify their watches. The computer industry didn't get to where it is today by IBM deciding what to build for their high-end corporate clients; it happened when a bunch of kids started buying inexpensive hardware and modifying it in their parents' garage. There's been a revolution in small-scale manufacturing which hasn't quite made it to the watch industry. To some extent, this niche has been filled by microbrands, but I feel like there's a future in selling inexpensive, easy-to-mod watches to individuals to muck about with. It's already a hit with the Seiko 5 (which isn't even officially sold outside of Asia); how big can this get if the big players were to actually get behind it?
    4. Antimagnetic movements/cases. This is more of a pipe dream, as is represents an engineering challenge on top of a manufacturing one, but the fact that we are all surrounded by electronics these days means that this seems like it should be a priority. How many people spend eight hours a day typing on a laptop keyboard? How many of them then go home and hold their tablets in their left hand for a few more hours? And it's only going to become more and more pervasive over time. Demand for antimagnetic watches is only going to increase; now seems like a good time to start R&D on a cheaper way of implementing it in standard movements, instead of leaving it only to the luxury brands.

  2. #2
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Standard Features...

    When I was younger hand cranking was the main way of powering your watch and non-rapid date change and lack of hacking prevailed. Now all three are the accepted norm.

  3. #3
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    Re: Standard Features...

    Like everything else, technology changes the game as you move forward.

    Sometimes good, sometimes not so, IMHO.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

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  5. #4
    Member BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Re: Standard Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by IndependentGeorge View Post
    I've been thinking about the evolution of standard features in cars, and how things that used to be found only in luxury vehicles have very rapidly made their way down the market. Wireless connectivity, GPS, antilock brakes, antitheft security measures, parking assist... while they obviously haven't all made it to the economy car level (yet), they are ubiquitous as options in mid-level cars.

    We've seen this to some extent in watches - sapphire crystals and display case backs are now found at the $300 level or lower - but I'm surprised that other features are still limited despite being seemingly easy to mass-produce. What I'd really like to see make it to the mid and entry-level watches are:

    1. Drilled lug holes.

    2. Quick-adjust bracelet clasps.

    3. Easy modifications/modularity.

    4. Antimagnetic movements/cases.
    1. Most people don't change anything on their watch.

    2. Would be nice, but for most people, a slimmer clasp is more desirable than a chunky one. I wish that I had gotten on board the Datejust train while the jubilee's hidden clasp was still the norm for the 36.

    3. Parts accountability and prevention of fakes. Frankenwatches hold little residual value anyway, just like modified cars -- only a small niche would want to buy one.

    4. Sistem51 is claimed to be antimagnetic and is one of the cheapest all-Swiss watches available. Choice of materials is the biggest hurdle, and it's been done. But the Sistem51 was basically from scratch, too; other brands would need to change much of their machinery to work with different materials, and I'll bet there are patent issues, too.

  6. #5
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    Re: Standard Features...

    I'd just like to see more makers supply their watches with straps that have the quick release spring bars (and, more vendors sell/supply said straps). Some have adopted this (FP Journe an example on the high end, Cuervo y Sobrinos an example on the lower/mid end) but would love to see this "trickle down"/"trickle sideways" to more makers.
    BarracksSi likes this.

  7. #6
    Member f2002q's Avatar
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    Re: Standard Features...

    Drilled lug holes used to be popular but have disappeared as of late.

  8. #7
    Member Rocket1991's Avatar
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    Re: Standard Features...

    Is it like all quartz is essentially anti-magnetic for most uses?
    Also some of bracelet designs do have ability to quick change.
    Sets of put your mood into your watch in lady's watches been around for some time but never gained major popularity (i seen some old Timex from 60s or early 70s as earliest example).
    Someone already came with some modular thing in men's watches too.
    https://www.eldonwatches.com
    https://www.chooseblocks.com
    https://www.tagheuer.com/en/watches/tag-heuer-connected
    https://uncrate.com/amot-modular-watch/
    https://swisspl.com/customization/
    https://www.121time.com/watches/121t...l-configurator
    It should be special!

  9. #8
    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: Standard Features...

    Some features you suggest would be useful, others would impact the overall aesthetics of the watch case I think.

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