What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    Theres always been a few aspects of the watch industry that I've found frustrating. At the risk of this being interpreted wrong here's a few points I've been mulling over in my head for a long time. Sort of a list (in no particular order of importance) of those things and/or what advice I'd give if some industry executive actually ever asked me for my thoughts.

    1) I want every measurable & notable spec readily available online! Don't tell me the diameter but make me search far & wide on external sites for the thickness, lug-to-lug, domed vs flat crystal, etc, etc, etc.

    2) While we're on the topic of manufacturers' sites... Give us ample photographs of every reference from as many angles as possible! A single, solid model render from your CAD program of choice is unacceptable!

    3) A logical, human readable, reference numbering scheme would be appreciated by your potential customers.

    4) Unless you're certain of your status as a trend setter (eg. Rolex, who could make nearly any design choice they want & people will fall over themselves to compliment it) LISTEN to feedback from enthusiasts and at least consider adopting suggestions (eg. maybe your design guy is actually "wrong" and by shrinking that Arabic font by some imperceptible amount so that it's not cut off by a complication may look better and sell better!).

    5) Experiment with distribution models. It's a changing world, maybe sticking to a purely exclusive AD model isn't the most effective for particular brands.

    6) Follow Seiko's lead on how to properly lume a watch. If there's going to be lume, at least make it functional.

    6b) Fire everyone involved in the design of a watch if they lume the markers but not the hands.

    7) Spend some extra time on your clasp and/or bracelet design! You could literally spend a little more engineering hours on the clasp one single time and benefit across all your watches for years & years. Everyone has had/has a watch with a clasp/bracelet that damn near ruins the experience and many also have that special watch that is a joy all day in the comfort department. Spend the time/money, just once, to be the latter.

    8) There can never be too much outreach/focus on bringing in new people to the idea of using a wristwatch these days. Whether it's through marketing and/or product lines geared for this, the success of the industry will need this more & more in this day & age.

    ...Well that's my advice and what "grinds my gears" about the state of watches. Anyone care to play along and share theirs? Or comment.

  2. #2
    Member nymfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    QC fails. There’s nothing like driving yourself nuts researching specs, looking up reviews, debating for days, weeks, months if you should pull the trigger. Then finally doing so only to have to send it back because the bezel didn’t line up, or the crown was wonky etc...

    I know nothing is perfect, but the amount of imperfection far out weighs what an acceptable level should be. Whatever that is!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Somewhere in the 20th century

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    I've never understood why markers have stronger lume than hands. So, yeah, some heads should roll for that.
    TheFavorista likes this.
    Seeking watch nirvana

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  5. #4
    Member UberDave's Avatar
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    Jan 2015
    Chicago, IL

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    Good post. However, I tend to disagree with #4. The idea of crowd-sourced design seems likely to fail spectacularly - - enthusiasts disagree vehemently on design preferences. I imagine the feedback would mostly be noise, rather than signal. This is probably why nobody does it. Also, it's not like we are hurting for choice in the marketplace.
    A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar | Glashütte Original Senator Observer | Rolex GMT-II 116710 BLNR | Panerai 00524 Flyback | Tudor Pelagos | Magrette Dual Time

  6. #5
    Member jkpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    New Jersey

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    #1 is the main one and well stated. Huge pet peeve of mine. List the friggin lug to lug!!!

  7. #6
    Member Dr.Tautology's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    Totally agree about the lack of pictures and specs on the manufacturer websites. For the prices that some of these companies demand they should have every dimension listed with a 3d interactive view of their watches.
    jkpa likes this.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Houston Texas

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    i wish they would offer models with or without a date and let the consumer decide also offer in more sizes I like some designs but over 41mm I will pass.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    I am searching for a new daily watch with about a $1000 budget and after hours of searching, I can’t find a solution... here are my holdups.

    1) needlessly thick cases. I can’t belive how many watches are 14.5mm or taller. I find a 15mm tall watch far more intrusive than an oversized diameter. As stated above, this thickness isn’t always easy to find...

    2) date movements in no-date watches. I know it may not bother most people, but I can’t stand this. It’s cutting corners. I understand the options are to either source less common no-date variant or to add labor, but it is the right way to do it. Yes, I am willing to pay the cost difference.

    3) needlessly busy dials or casebacks. My caseback doesn’t need to say sapphire crystal, 200m water resistant, stainless steel, 42mm, NH35... This isn’t an exaggeration, I’ve seen this and more. Microbrands are bad about doing this. I know these things and don’t need the reminder. Poorly engraving it on the caseback just looks and feels cheap. Nothing beats a Rolex or Tudor caseback.

    4) display casebacks on watches with completely unfinished movements. I can accept a Unitas manual with some basic finishing but something like a completely unfinished miyota auto isn’t worth looking at. Give me a more comfortable and durable smooth stainless back.

    5) undersized movements that inexplicably allow the the designer to commit #3 and #4 at the same time. Just put a closed caseback on it and call it good.

    6) watch brands that tout “affordable luxury” or say they are “revolutionizing the industry” by cutting out the middle man. Affordable luxury is an oxymoron and direct sales models have been around longer than anyone reading this has been alive.

    7) repetitive crowd-sourcing. Why would I gift money to a company that doesn’t make enough profit to support product development. If they do make the profit for product development, why are they asking strangers for financial gifts?

    8) elaborate packaging. Sure, on a high dollar limited edition I guess it’s fine, but I don’t want to pay for, or store a wooden display box for a $500 watch that will be worth $250 after I actually wear it. Just put the watch in an environmentally fridndly and protective cardboard tube/box and pass on the savings.
    Last edited by Thirdgenbird; February 8th, 2018 at 04:16.

  10. #9
    Member Gunnar_917's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    This thread just make me think of this:

  11. #10
    Member timefleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Hiroshima, Japan

    Re: What grinds your gears? ... the watch industry version.

    Surprised no one has mentioned the REAL problem in the watch industry, which is the very poor service/response time in dealing with watch repairs both on and off warranty, by "headquarters". The watch industry standard, in terms of turn around time, is 2 or 3 months, a clearly unacceptable length of time for just about any other area of modern industry--and yet, it is the "norm" in the watch making community.

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