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Thread: What are some of the declining brands or watch models?

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    Member mpnap's Avatar
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    What are some of the declining brands or watch models?

    I always liked Bell & Ross and their very distinct BR1 and BR3 lines of watches, and few years back they were very popular. Now, seems like you rarely seem them for sale, in wruw threads and so on. Tudor Black Bay and Pelagos seem like current darlings. So what other watches (models) and companies have lost wis interest in the last few years?

    On the other hand Rolex sub and Omega Speedy are as popular as ever despite being around for decades.

  2. #2

    What are some of the declining brands or watch models?

    I think as watches are worn less and less by the younger demographic, classic style pieces have become very popular. It's not any particular brand but the (for lack of a better example) overcomplicated giant paperweight Invicta type styles have lost steam. Brands such as Breitling, Longines, and JLC have enjoyed success with their throwback heritage type watches over the past few years. It's my opinion that either the classics (Sub, Speedy, Navitimer ect) or simple cleaner (AT, GS, Datejust) type models will dominate the luxury market going forward.

  3. #3
    I think things go in and out of fashion. When I started getting into this a few years ago, Seiko Knights were chatted up a bit. Never the most popular kid in the room, but certainly had more play than they do now. Part of the issue is the fact they have been out of production. Here's my three amigos, but I sold the orange one a few months ago.

    1282154d1384456069-collect-all-four-post-your-color-variants-tres-amigos-knights.jpg

    I had put them aside for a while, but recently have started wearing the black knight on weekends, and I'm rediscovering that I really like this watch!

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    Good call on the Bell & Ross. It does seem they've disappeared from the conversation recently. Maybe the frenzy over in-house movements has something to do with it. I don't think B&R ever made it beyond ETA bases, did they? Maybe their lack of design variation (or very concise vision - however you see it, whatever you want to call it) is a factor as well.

    U-Boat once seemed to be on the verge of capturing people's interests. In the end, my sense is, they became seen as large, possibly inappropriately named shells for unmodified ETA movements.

    When I became interested in mechanical watches in 2006/2007, Chronoswiss seemed to have a larger fan base. Don't know what happened there.

    In my opinion, people aren't talking about Ulysse Nardin as much as they were a few years ago.

    Graham made an interesting go of it, then were bought by someone (I think...) and seemed to have some trouble defending their tenuous origin story more than most brands' tenuous-at-best stories.

    Jacob & Co. were a garish blip on the screen before becoming entirely associated with their founder's various scandals.

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  7. #5
    Ebel has declined since 2011, certainly. When MGI bought them in 2004, they hired Thomas van der Kallen to lead the company and devise a new line. The result was the BTR line and a whole collection of new Ebel watches for men, featuring not only the exclusive caliber 137 chronograph (and its several variants) but also a range of other complicated watches. But they started their big push just as the economy tanked, and never met sales goals, leading to a succession of replacements for van der Kallen. Gedalio Grinberg, who owned MGI at the time of the acquisition, and who boasted that Ebel was owned again by a real watch company for the first time in a decade (true), retired in 2008 and passed away in 2009. I have this feeling that the real vision of restoring a great brand rested with him, and his son Efraim (now chairman and CEO) is more interested in financial performance, recognizing that MGI is a publicly traded company and is thus always under considerable scrutiny. In their recent quarterly conference calls to investors (of which I am not one), they have focused on sell-through of the Movado brand and neither Ebel nor Concord get much mention. Ebel sold the caliber 137 intellectual property to Ulysse Nardin in April 2012, and they no longer rmake any complicated mechanical watches. They no longer run Ebel like a subsidiary corporation, but rather like a brand within MGI, and in late 2013 they moved out of their traditional digs in La Chaux-de-Fonds and into the MGI Luxury Group building in Biel/Bienne. Decline, indeed. But the watches they still do produce are still excellent and interesting.

    Another great old company that has gone even more silent is Universal Geneve. They produced some very interesting highly complicated watches in the decade up until about ten years ago, adding a full calendar and a second timezone to a base 7750 chronograph, and selling a line of manufacture Microtor models. But since about 2010 they are being maintained mostly just as a service department. Perhaps times will improve, but their owner (Hong-Kong-based Stelux) doesn't seem too interested in making an investment.

    Rick "even WISes usually stick with brands that demonstrate wealth, which requires that the people around them know those brands" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Nov 23, 2014 at 05:34 AM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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    Member mpnap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RYANBROOKLYNBOSTON View Post
    Good call on the Bell & Ross. It does seem they've disappeared from the conversation recently. Maybe the frenzy over in-house movements has something to do with it. I don't think B&R ever made it beyond ETA bases, did they? Maybe their lack of design variation (or very concise vision - however you see it, whatever you want to call it) is a factor as well.

    U-Boat once seemed to be on the verge of capturing people's interests. In the end, my sense is, they became seen as large, possibly inappropriately named shells for unmodified ETA movements.

    When I became interested in mechanical watches in 2006/2007, Chronoswiss seemed to have a larger fan base. Don't know what happened there.

    In my opinion, people aren't talking about Ulysse Nardin as much as they were a few years ago.

    Graham made an interesting go of it, then were bought by someone (I think...) and seemed to have some trouble defending their tenuous origin story more than most brands' tenuous-at-best stories.

    Jacob & Co. were a garish blip on the screen before becoming entirely associated with their founder's various scandals.
    Good call on all of these. Chronoswiss is all but gone now, I remember 2006/7 time and you are right, it had some following for sure. UN is still on my mind since I liked their Maxi Marine line and always kept an eye out for one.

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  11. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mpnap View Post
    Good call on all of these. Chronoswiss is all but gone now, I remember 2006/7 time and you are right, it had some following for sure. UN is still on my mind since I liked their Maxi Marine line and always kept an eye out for one.
    Thanks. Do you know what happened to Chronoswiss? Seemed like they were respected and well collected back in the day.


    typwd bu thumv on my phpne

  12. #8
    Frank Muller? They used to be part of the Banker's uniform but I haven't seen a FM in years.
    SevenFriday seems to be another. Huge hype when they came to the scene but that has since died down.

  13. #9
    rolex pic as answer guy mikeylacroix's Avatar
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    all the above seem to have fall victim to over-marketing their 'awesomeness'...while not providing that much bang for buck..

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    Member CamB's Avatar
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    Nobody talks about Girard-Perregaux and I actually love some of their stuff.
    Regards Cam

    Watches
    Omega Speedmaster 3510.50, Oris 1965 Diver, Tissot Visodate, Helson Blackbeard, Seiko PADI Turtle, Tag Heuer F1

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