Niche HAQ brands
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Thread: Niche HAQ brands

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  1. #1
    Member Tom-HK's Avatar
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    Niche HAQ brands

    I see from their website that Hoptroff have changed tack and no longer appear to be in the watch business.

    Given how little Morgenwerk's stock levels have changed, I wonder how much longer they will hang on for.

    The De Havilland site does not seem to have changed for a couple of years but I presume they still have watches for sale.

    Of all the niche businesses to go in for, when the watch world is awash with Kickstarter projects sticking inexpensive, readymade mechanical or low-grade quartz movements into an array of cases to suit (almost) all tastes, what sort of business plan could make developing a new, in-house HAQ look like a viable proposition?

    If anyone knows of a successful HAQ microbrand then please do share!
    Ask me about 4 MHz watches

  2. #2
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    Re: Niche HAQ brands

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-HK View Post
    I see from their website that Hoptroff have changed tack and no longer appear to be in the watch business.

    Given how little Morgenwerk's stock levels have changed, I wonder how much longer they will hang on for.

    The De Havilland site does not seem to have changed for a couple of years but I presume they still have watches for sale.

    Of all the niche businesses to go in for, when the watch world is awash with Kickstarter projects sticking inexpensive, readymade mechanical or low-grade quartz movements into an array of cases to suit (almost) all tastes, what sort of business plan could make developing a new, in-house HAQ look like a viable proposition?

    If anyone knows of a successful HAQ microbrand then please do share!
    Perhaps, if Hoptroff had tried a little less hard to be a niche, with a less eccentric seconds display, they could have developed a wider market for their HAQ watches. As for the CSACs, that technology needs a lot more work before it's ready for the wrist.

    I often see Kickstarter project watches that offer absolutely nothing new, except maybe an interesting design, and wonder how much extra they'd have to charge for a TC movement that would give them something to shout about.

    Then you get this: https://www.a-13a.com/shop/en/content/6-the-watch

    He uses the 251.264 but only the PowerDrive, not the PreciDrive because he's removed the running seconds hand and it's not worth it. Presumably the function programmability makes it useful for his application, but it seems such a waste of time, effort and money (€800).
    ronalddheld likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: Niche HAQ brands

    Hoptroff must have a few watches left.

    Might be worth dropping him an email to grab a bargain.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Niche HAQ brands

    2 major strikes.

    #1: demand's not that high.
    #2: all the limitations associated with a new brand.

    I agree that both Hoptroff and Morgenwerk had huge inherent problems, from a business perspective. And one issue is, how hard is it to build an HAQ from scratch? There are companies that, I believe, do their own quartz; I'm thinking Frederique Constant, for example. They had several quartz models well before Citizen's involvement. But I'd argue...their specs were not impressive. Like, 25 month battery life. That's pretty low these days. No idea about accuracy. I'm just suggesting that developing something from scratch, may not be that easy.

    And of course, as we've discussed at length...is TC or RF/GPS the better way to go? What about Bluetooth?

    Worse, how much effort is going into connectivity? Anyone see FC's hybrid? Mechanical movement with electronics for stuff like the activity tracking. Strange piece for the time being, but it does involve the major functionality like activity and sleep tracking. And right now, the smartwatch *is* the elephant in the room to which the Swiss feel they must respond. (At least in the low and mid ranges.) And from a venture capital standpoint, important for a startup, the state of the classic watch industry and the threat of the smartwatch are both working against a longer-term investment into any non-connected piece.
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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  6. #5
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    Re: Niche HAQ brands

    Quote Originally Posted by hughesyn View Post
    Hoptroff must have a few watches left.

    Might be worth dropping him an email to grab a bargain.
    I Just did, and will report back on any responses.

  7. #6
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    Re: Niche HAQ brands

    You might want to ask how you can set it without an apple app. Is the android app still there and work?

  8. #7
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    Re: Niche HAQ brands

    Quote Originally Posted by wbird View Post
    You might want to ask how you can set it without an apple app. Is the android app still there and work?
    Should I get a reply, I will.

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