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 Posted: Sat Jan 18th, 2020 02:20 pm
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joerattz
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Joined: Fri Sep 19th, 2008
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I haven't been to this website much over the last few years. I never posted much but read often.

Coming back today, I see there is very little new content and new watches being introduced and discussed are few and far between. I don't mean to single this website out regarding that. I have seen that to more or lesser extent at pretty much every watch-specific website I visit these days. Contrast that with the fervor in the watch community from about 2005-2015, and something significant seems to have happened.

So, my questions are:

1. Is the boutique-brand watch industry dead?

2. What do you think caused the watch boom of the 2005-2015 time period?

3. What do you think brought it to such a drastic slowdown?

4. Are you still as passionate about watches today as you were then? If not, why?

My answers are:

1. Yes, I believe it is dead.

2. For me, multiple things happened that I think contributed to it. The most significant of which is that I stumbled on some people selling watches on ShopNBC. Being a bit of a geek, I love the technical precision mechanical watches require. In 1999 my father gave me an old, gold pocket watch (AWWC) circa 1890 if I recall correctly. At the time I stuck it in a drawer to protect it but failed to appreciate it. From visits to the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC (US) I learned that while it was being built, only the wealthiest in the US had electricity and that house was actually built using AC and DC power, which were competing technologies at the time. That we have the technical prowess to build a mechanical watch now is of no surprise to me. But that a mechanical watch built in the late 1800s (not to mention 1700s?), a time when most didn't even have electricity, blows me away. Within months of discovering the ShopNBC watch shows I popped the case on that pocket watch and the craftsmanship was spectacular! Simply beautiful.

There also seemed to be an explosion of small boutique brands coming onto the market that lowered the price barrier for me to enter.

3. I really don't know what happened to the boutique brand watch market. I would love to hear from some that have forums here at this website. An obvious event to point at would be the near financial collapse in the US. I don't know how significant that was to the rest of the world. Did that alone cause the collapse of the boutique brand watch industry? If it did, it would seem that the financial recovery the last few years would bring it back.

Or did we just become bored with it?

For me, I think I became very satisfied with the watches I owned. I have about 24 watches, ranging from about $150-$700. Of those, I wear 3 or 4 regularly and have come to realize that the likelihood of buying another watch that I like as well very low.

4. I still love watches. I still love the craftsmanship and technical achievement of them. I still find it very very interesting that the time regulation of the power source occurs on the other side of the hands! I doubt I would have ever thought to do that. I'm pretty sure my thought process would have been; power, regulation, display and certainly not power, display, regulation.

However, my desire for new watches has most definitely waned. I still occasionally look at new watches but it has been years since I actually cared enough to buy one.

OK, you caught me. I did buy one of the Seiko cocktail watches, the brown dialed one, for Christmas a year ago. But other than that, nothing for years, I swear. Or do I?

What do you think?

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