5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby Hawk » May 30th 2017, 2:12am

Whatever a micro-brand is we should probably use a different name for the bullshit rogue's gallery of John House European-sounding, made in Kowloon crap. Maybe "mushroom brand" or "fucking bogus piece of shit micro-brand"?

Including production numbers in the criteria, most notably the "we didn't make shit ourselves, Zero production" number puts a kickstarter brand in the same bucket with Aragon, Invicta and Deep Blue or whatever.

Perhaps kickstarter micro-brands could be classified as "broke dick micro-brands" because they couldn't even shake enough loose change from the couch cushions to make a Millionsmart order without begging online. While the invicter micro-brands are the "rolling in cash from the rubes micro-brands"?

Then there's the "special place in hell micro-brand" perhaps singularly occupied by Ocean 7 for copying the single ugliest watch on the planet whose only saving grace was the name "Omega" on the dial.


With so many personal versions of micro-brands around I've had to resort to Hawk's Marketing Bullshit Detector which removes any product from consideration in the presence of two or more of the following:
1. The word "embossed" in close proximity to the phrase "genuine leather".
2. The words "surgical grade" anywhere near the words "stainless steel".
3. The word "coated" in the same line of text as "sapphire".
4. Any made-up word or term to describe a crystal's material.
5. The use of a web anonymizing service. Any such service is a deal killer but Domains By Proxy is taken as prima facie evidence that you're John House.
6. The phrase "luxury for less" or any derivative thereof any place in the product's description.
7. The word "Swiss" occurring two or more times exclusive of its use to describe the origin of the movement.
8. The phrase "direct to you" in the context of suggesting saving money. We probably paid the goober's business class airfare to Hong Kong a half-dozen times anyway.
9. Any suggestion of a portion of the sales going to a worthy cause so vague as to make the percentage strictly guesswork and/or no bona-fides from the charity involved.
10. A dive watch looking thing - because we already have more than enough.


All that aside, where would Steinhart fall in the pantheon of micro-brands?
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby TemerityB » May 30th 2017, 6:49am

Hawk wrote:Including production numbers in the criteria, most notably the "we didn't make shit ourselves, Zero production" number puts a kickstarter brand in the same bucket with Aragon, Invicta and Deep Blue or whatever.


Best reasoning ever. I remember the first time I saw a Lew & Huey - I looked at them when they first same out; huge, clunky, unfinished, garish, usual array of Miyota, etc - and said it right here: "It's same same as an Android, but they want 500 bucks for the same shit that Liang is asking $150 for."

Here's another point: How can any watch - any watch - be "better" or a "better value" than a Seiko, packed with a Seiko derivative movement, when you can buy an actual Seiko? Or a "startup" with a Sellita when you can buy, you know, a Swatch product?

When a micro issues a press release stating they're going to manufacture their own movements, my eyebrow will crook, but not before. Until then, in the words of Eddie Murphy, get the fuck outta my face with this bullshit.
"To really be a watch company, you have to make your own watch with your own movement. Otherwise, you're a casing company." - Roland Murphy
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » May 30th 2017, 8:36am

I don't quite share the animosity for Kickstarter brands. Sure, there are Lalo-esque fucking crooks among them, as there are everywhere. But then again, every brand has to start its existence somewhere. A respectable brand doesn't spring out of nowhere- it usually starts in a shed, after asking here and there for funds to patch up the shed's leaky roof. Or in a garage. If someone wants to make watches of his/her/their own, I can't blame them for looking for investors; and if these watches are to be good, what is there to hate about that? If someone seeks massive funds to produce shit, like various Filippo Loreti or whatnot, well, fuck them.

As to generic movements, when a micro starts with generic movements- Sellita, Soprod, whatever- it's better for the customer. When a micro-brand watch with a generic movement malfunctions, any decent watchmaker will fix it, and the parts are out there by the ton. Then, we have the scenario, where the micro-brand goes to Fiddler's Green, and the customer is stuck with a watch with an in-house movement, for which parts can't be sourced. Actually, a similar risk occurs with every in-house movement from any brand, but if an established manufacturer goes bankrupt, the supply of parts is still there for a while, and even later, spares are usually available on the grey market (as obsolete parts speculation is quite common).

For that matter, many established brands have never paid much attention to in-house movements, or made one or two and called it a day- like Breitling. One or two chrono movements, some stopwatches- that's it. When they have introduced the cal. 01, that was their first in-house movement in north of a century. There were more such cases- Jeanrichard/Aquastar, Nicolet, Wakmann, Wyler/Vetta, Rado... That said, an in-house movement is a way to show the manufacturer's capabilities, but I wouldn't treat it as a must-have for a brand. Reputation could well be built on something like a waterproof case patent, or simply a very appealing design (usually of a tool watch). Or- generally - on universality of the watches that a brand makes.
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby PiningforElgin » July 5th 2017, 5:50pm

Large corporations have economies of scale. Microbrands may well be more expensive given same specs. But microbrands tend to have a personality and that's what people go for
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby PiningforElgin » July 12th 2017, 9:11am

SaoGage wrote:Personally, I feel like most microbrands design watches purely from a spec sheet without realizing that a watch is more than the sum of its parts. They appeal to the crowd that likes to complain about the Sumo lacking sapphire. So called "catalogue watches" are antithetical to what makes watches fascinating to me, you can't just pick a few components off a shelf with a hodge podge design "inspired by" 50 other watches and end up with something compelling.

I understand that ostensibly makes me a snob, but this is something that's difficult to articulate yet clearly intuitable. I want to say I'm glad they exist for people that want bang for the buck, but I can't commit to that sentiment because I don't truly believe they offer that. I wouldn't trust a 500m microdiver on an actual dive over an SKX007.


I'm the exact opposite. I look at a watch, what are its size, movement, complications, WR rating, crystal and bracelet materials, bezel? If the boxes all check, I don't care if it says Rolex or Seiko or Huey or "Fuckshit" on it. When I get a watch, I do a scratch test and a water test
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby Falstaff » July 12th 2017, 9:58am

PiningforElgin wrote:
SaoGage wrote:Personally, I feel like most microbrands design watches purely from a spec sheet without realizing that a watch is more than the sum of its parts. They appeal to the crowd that likes to complain about the Sumo lacking sapphire. So called "catalogue watches" are antithetical to what makes watches fascinating to me, you can't just pick a few components off a shelf with a hodge podge design "inspired by" 50 other watches and end up with something compelling.

I understand that ostensibly makes me a snob, but this is something that's difficult to articulate yet clearly intuitable. I want to say I'm glad they exist for people that want bang for the buck, but I can't commit to that sentiment because I don't truly believe they offer that. I wouldn't trust a 500m microdiver on an actual dive over an SKX007.


I'm the exact opposite. I look at a watch, what are its size, movement, complications, WR rating, crystal and bracelet materials, bezel? If the boxes all check, I don't care if it says Rolex or Seiko or Huey or "Fuckshit" on it. When I get a watch, I do a scratch test and a water test



So a watch is merely the sum its parts?
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby PiningforElgin » July 12th 2017, 11:13am

Falstaff wrote:
PiningforElgin wrote:
SaoGage wrote:Personally, I feel like most microbrands design watches purely from a spec sheet without realizing that a watch is more than the sum of its parts. They appeal to the crowd that likes to complain about the Sumo lacking sapphire. So called "catalogue watches" are antithetical to what makes watches fascinating to me, you can't just pick a few components off a shelf with a hodge podge design "inspired by" 50 other watches and end up with something compelling.

I understand that ostensibly makes me a snob, but this is something that's difficult to articulate yet clearly intuitable. I want to say I'm glad they exist for people that want bang for the buck, but I can't commit to that sentiment because I don't truly believe they offer that. I wouldn't trust a 500m microdiver on an actual dive over an SKX007.


I'm the exact opposite. I look at a watch, what are its size, movement, complications, WR rating, crystal and bracelet materials, bezel? If the boxes all check, I don't care if it says Rolex or Seiko or Huey or "Fuckshit" on it. When I get a watch, I do a scratch test and a water test



So a watch is merely the sum its parts?


Sum of its parts and the quality of assembly/craftsmanship. If I take apart my watch right now and try to reassemble it, it will certainly become junk despite the quality parts from Swatch Group
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Re: 5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

Postby AlbertaTime » July 12th 2017, 6:25pm

I have great respect for G. Gerlach

http://gerlach.org.pl/list_of_gerlach_watches.html

They have a good design team, great backstories in the differing design names, and...good taste. I don't mind microbrands, but I also don't take most too seriously. But these guys are an exception to me. I think they do good work.
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