Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches
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  1. #1
    Member Mathy's Avatar
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    Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    Hello all. As many are, have been and will continue to do so, I am on a grail search for affordable mechanical dress / minimal style watches and notice the variety or styles and designs you get in the affordable quartz market is staggering in comparison. Whay do we think there so much more creativity in the quartz market in this sector. I have done a lot a lot a lot of research and know what's out there. I know there is stunning domestic sSeikos, Orients, a ton of indy autos (mainly divers) watches but I can't see that we get beautiful things like these examples! I tell you the market is wide open for the likes of Orient or even Fossil, or indy watch guys or anyone else to offer adorable level ( say sub $350?) watches with quirk and less typical designs (i don't mean gaudy open heart things) what do you guys think?








  2. #2
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    I suspect that the market research done by the numerous watch manufacturers has pretty well figured out the affordable dress watch buying population. As it has at all price points - think about it - you don't see Seiko, Tissot, Rolex or any other high volume seller dumping thousands of unsold watches every year or seeing them fighting to break open that particular market. if there was a need, someone would fill it I assure you.
    The fact that you want it is immaterial - you just won't/can't buy enough of them to pay for the tooling, marketing. manufacturing, shipping, costs that need to be met. Nor could all the members of all the affordable forum in the world buy enough. Just not that many.

    You do have choices - quite a few depending on what you call 'affordable', although they will always be less affordable than the same watch with a quartz movement in it. Factor in what you can find over on a few sales corners and you should be able to find a nice auto dress watch to match any style for dinner money.

  3. #3
    Member mleok's Avatar
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    Dress watches should be thin first and foremost. On a two hand dress watch, there's nothing to indicate at a casual glance that a watch is Quartz. There's isn't a particularly high demand for dress watches, and the cost of an ultra thin mechanical movement is quite substantial.



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  5. #4
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathy View Post
    I tell you the market is wide open for the likes of Orient or even Fossil, or indy watch guys or anyone else to offer adorable level
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  6. #5
    Member Mathy's Avatar
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    Too true ha ha. Didn't even notice, stupid auto correct and stupid inability to type on a phone on my part, AFFORDABLE.

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  7. #6
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    All good points raised, I can understand the challenges of entry to market at high volume for the big guys but if people can produce micro brand watches in 000's runs at affordable prices I'm sure other could. As you say slim is the game and slim autos don't come cheap. My point more I guess is about variety of style. It exists I just don't think quite as much, maybe the constraints of the mechanical movement shapes and sizes in the lower end market restricts case style somewhat? I know there are options, obviously there is a boat load of Seiko 5's I just think they could be a bit more adventurous with case shape and styling, even within the Seiko 5 ranges there's a lot of copy paste feeling for me

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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    Seiko and Orient also already cover most of this market segment, and do so quite well.

    The problem with unusual cases is that any one style is likely to have only narrow appeal. That doesn't work very well for Seiko or Citizen. Orient seems fairly conservative in their designs. Not many Swiss autos...and that I can recall, *no* dress-oriented watches...are gonna drop down to this point (normal street price, anyway).

    When ya look at it, tho...I don't really think the Japanese makers are particularly adventurous at *any* price point, or maybe, not often.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    I agree gangrel about Japanese conservatism in auto market, but not a problem I understand it's their strength and they have some exceptions. I won an orient bambino 3 and Seiko 5 more on the dressy end. I just think there is a flood of creative mini brands doing quirky designs all in quartz and wish a little bit of that inspiration would spread further to low end auto market. I have 2 kick-started watches both massively different 1 auto 1 quartz and guess which is the dress watch. It could be the market research has been done and probably has but times chnage, pardon the pun and I work for a very big company product company and know there is often lots of missed opportunities in the markets. History even more recently is littered with companies not innovating in whitespace and a newbie comes along and sucks up 5-10% share in relatively short time. Not that Seiko and orient don't innovate btw clearly not the case. Anyway it's not that I don't expect the reality is as said it's tricky but I see so many beautiful quartz watches and I keep saying damn if only that were a mechanical I'd happily pay a bit more for auto obviously but just don't see quite the same level of watch variety but a lot of styles regurgitated unless you go into major high end luxe

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  10. #9
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    My gut feeling is, trying to do a Kickstarter with an auto is MUCH riskier than with a quartz, simply because the price point is so much higher. I would also be leery about doing a Kickstarter with something quirky, as that increases the risk. That funky case might interest some...but it's also gonna turn off many. Like that Skagen. The case...kinda interesting. But they *botched* the band, IMO...it starts too narrow, and tapering it makes it worse. (Plus, silver and white is a bad mix IMO. No contrast.) Similarly, the Corniche...looks good at first glance, but once I noticed they just did the hands in two-tone paint, trying for an illusion of faceted hands with shadow...a higher end treatment...the whole thing became cheap trickery to me.

    You can pull off $100 for something funky-different; people will buy it just because. That's a lot harder sell at $350.
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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  11. #10
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    Re: Variety needed in affordable automatic dress watches

    Quartz is cheap and easy to do in a thin case, hence more of them. And more to the point, the majority of the "affordables" market either doesn't care, or would prefer the accuracy/stability of a quartz.

    I too have been looking for a thin automatic at a $100 price point that fits exactly what I'm looking for (clean white dial with silver applied line indices, 38mm, 20mm lugs, under $150) but have yet to find one. Bambino was too large, Seiko 5 too small and 18mm lugs, etc etc etc.
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