Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

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Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby koimaster » July 5th 2018, 2:41pm

actually not a bad looking watch with an SW-200-1


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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby biglove » July 5th 2018, 4:06pm

Not too shabby but at that price point there are just too many options out there.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby foghorn » July 5th 2018, 4:40pm

Date complication,configurations.....was this written by TV shills?
Kuck Startficker fluff.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby artman » July 5th 2018, 5:18pm

Why?
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby Racer-X » July 5th 2018, 5:21pm

$500, no thanks, Not a bad looking watch, but you can get a similar looking MIDO Baroncelli or Hamilton Thin-O-Matic for that price.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » July 5th 2018, 5:24pm

The watch doesn't blow, the price blows.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby bobbee » July 5th 2018, 11:25pm

Handsome watch, shame about the price - and the PP Wannabe logo.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby Virtus_watches » July 18th 2018, 11:59am

koimaster wrote:actually not a bad looking watch with an SW-200-1

Thank for posting this!

biglove wrote:Not too shabby but at that price point there are just too many options out there.


Hey biglove, there are quite a few established brands at this price point, though not too many microbrands I think. Which options were you comparing to?


foghorn wrote:Date complication,configurations.....was this written by TV shills?
Kuck Startficker fluff.


Nope, written by me, an engineer, not much better than a TV shill at writing it seems!

Racer-X wrote:$500, no thanks, Not a bad looking watch, but you can get a similar looking MIDO Baroncelli or Hamilton Thin-O-Matic for that price.


artman wrote:Why?


MKTheVintageBloke wrote:The watch doesn't blow, the price blows.


bobbee wrote:Handsome watch, shame about the price - and the PP Wannabe logo.



Hey everyone, my name is Stefan, I'm the creator of Virtus and thought I'd chip in on the conversation here. It's thorough, so here's a

TL;DR: There's some competition for sure, but I think the price is fair, because few if any offer a movement of better quality than the V1's SW200-1 Elabore, are independent, small batchmaking and give a damn about their customers.

I think the price is actually fair and here's why. I think if we do an apples-to-apples comparison of the Virtus V1 to a Mido Baroncelli or Hamilton Thin-O-Matic,
the Kickstarter asking price is well below the respective company's asking price on their site.

Hamilton is asking for $975 https://shop.hamiltonwatch.com/american ... 35221.html
Mido at $870 suggested retail: http://www.midowatches.com/ch-en/watches/m86004101
Tissot Visodate $650 https://us.tissotshop.com/watches/t-her ... tic-2.html

What you get from both I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) is a barebones ETA 2824-2 with some decoration on the rotor.

I concede that you can find the three at cheaper prices closer or beating the V1 asking price online, jomashop, amazon. Some of them are old stock, and some are the same models listed on the manufacturer's website, the price being a reflection of the relationship of the retailers, the true wholesale price, and marketing. I think that means these watches for them are even cheaper to make.

The V1 is actually starting at $459 with an Elabore SW200-1. Better movement materials, better performance, fine decoration (for the price), regulated from the factory in three positions. These watches aren't made from what's left over in the parts bin. Most of the manufacturing bottleneck for the V1 is the months necessary for the movements to be made. Unlike ETA or some of the larger supply houses, there's no stock of the SW200-1 Elabore sitting in the back collecting dust for years waiting for use.

So I'd argue you get more watch with the V1 at the near same price. But...it's a Kickstarter which means you pay in other ways. You have to wait for the watch to be made, if it's made, and if it turns out like the Kickstarter creators said it would. The risk has been offset onto the backers, but you benefit in other ways as well.

Unlike a large brand, your watch has truly been made for you straight from the factories and in a small production number. Not one of the thousands that are in some retail store waiting to be picked by whomever. It will also be one of maybe a few hundred like it in the world. As you know, watch houses that do that tend to be an order of cardinality more expensive. I think it's needlessly expensive. Additionally, there's the relationship between the brand and backers that offer the chance to influence the product and the brand itself. For some, there is value in that, and it's something the larger brands don't seem to be interested in offering.

What else? Well, what I can offer is that you get a chance to support the underdog. Rather than pay for a watch from one of the many slick, but soulless brands of the Swatch conglomerate who could sell you the watch at an even cheaper point due to economies of scale, but don't or you can support a small, independent brand that wants to make watches for people so that more people can appreciate the art of them, and would offer more watch for a fairer price if the economies of scale would allow it.

If none of that matters to you, I suppose there's the novelty of a watch with an uncommon movement in an uncommon configuration.

Thanks for reading!

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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » July 18th 2018, 2:18pm

First of all, Stefan, coming here to face us is commendable. Seriously, takes having a pair of bollocks, because most micros get out of here quicker than they got in. A lot of Kickstarter campaigns make absolutely wild claims about the contemporary equivalents of Ruhla pin-levers, that including words like "luxury", "high-end", "high horology", and so on (by the way, thank you for not having used any of them). We hate these guys, but at the same time we like them for giving us an opportunity to do a very thorough "roast" sort of comedy here.

Before I address your reply to us, there's a few questions I'd like to ask, and which I - as much as the rest here - believe to be of vital importance, when evaluating a microbrand. Slightly paraphrasing The Clash: so you've got to let us know, is your brand good, or does it blow.

1. How does the "Swiss Made" claim on the dials of your watches stack up against reality, i.e. where are all the components except the movement made?

2. Do you have any watchmaker in the company? I don't mean "we use the services of one", I mean if you employ one to inspect the watches, be in charge of all the timing and durability tests?

3. Who will carry out the warranty work? In other words, do you have any facilities and personnel of your own to do that, or just a contractor? I'm asking, since I know that it's not unusual for a contractor to - out of a sudden - tell the principal to fuck off, and leave them with their pants down in the middle of a long-term project (or what was planned as a standing cooperation).


OK, now let me get to other matters of importance.

First of all, Sellita does not have an Elabore grade. ETA does. The grades of Sellita movements are Standard, Special, Premium and Chronometre. The Special corresponds to ETA's Elabore grade. It's not an uncommon movement in the slightest. It's a workhorse made by the ton.
The SW-200 Special might be in demand, but the supply is considerable.

Second: the price is also a matter of what comes with it, except for the watch itself. For example, Steinhart might be a like it or hate it thing, but they are around for quite some time already. Looking into far more respectable brands, Seiko will sell me something quite bloody good at the same price point. So, do tell me why should I choose a watch from a micro that has just jumped out of nowhere a minute ago, instead of choosing a watch by a company that's around for longer, has an established reputation and the facilities to live up to its promises?

Also, do note that Hammies, Midos, Tissots and the rest of the lot often get discounted in retail - at ADs, and on various Massdrops... So, it is possible to get them new for way below the MSRP.

However, the most important thing is that the brands mentioned are around for a long time. Some for years, some for decades, some - for centuries. They're there, they deliver. Tell me: why should one drop as much as a penny for a watch that doesn't yet exist, from a company that hasn't delivered anything before, because it was founded only moments ago?
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby artman » July 18th 2018, 3:38pm

Why ask "why"? That's why! You tell 'em MK.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby JAS1125 » July 18th 2018, 4:09pm

Best commentary on the negatives of Kickstarter watches ever!

Especially the lack of any track record. It's a total crapshoot
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » July 18th 2018, 4:24pm

artman wrote:Why ask "why"? That's why! You tell 'em MK.

The answer is - in theory - obvious, but the way that people formulate the obvious answer to an equally obvious question can be very telling. Not to mention, that I somehow want to be surprised by an answer that may not necessarily be as obvious as I think it's likely to be. While the "why" part was somewhat rhetorical, I nevertheless would appreciate it if Stefan would give answering it a shot.

You know me, Art, I may well roast blogs, dealers and brands as I please, but still, I'm all for fair play. If Hoodwinkee comes to the BaB threads, I hear them out, and after I've heard them out, I either do or don't (OK, in case of Hoodwinkee, I usually do) let slip the dogs of war. Here's what I intend to do: if the answers are good, I'll be sure to express the fact of being content with them, and if not, I'll appreciate the honesty, and then I'll do what I do best, i.e. deliver an epic fest of the brutal truth.

Here's my suggestion: before we do what we usually do, let's hear him out; I want answers to my questions. Then, if there's anything that calls for a barrage, we roll out the heavy artillery.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby biglove » July 18th 2018, 9:15pm

I look forward to Stephan's response to your excellent comments and questions, MK.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby conjurer » July 18th 2018, 10:05pm

Invicter and Crouton have a longer history. These kickstarter brands have nothing other than some YouTube vids and such-like. They are negligible. They are of little account. They are (generally) started by quick-buck artists who have nothing to offer but dreams of getting one over the Swiss Man.

As Mr. Bloke quite accurately states, you could get a good Seiko, or Mido, or Steinhart, or whatever, for the same amount of money. I don't care what Stefan La-la's response is. There is nothing at all interesting about his watches, other than perhaps to say that they don't make me want to vomit my fucking guts out. The fact that I want to go to the moon, and the only thing stopping me is the lack of a hundred billion dollars to fund a new Apollo program, doesn't make me a fucking astronaut.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby Falstaff » July 19th 2018, 7:11am

I've seen worse. Not that I'm defending this particular kickstart effort, nor would I buy it - especially with all those little wiggly lines on the dial, but everybody has to start somewhere. I wonder if A.L. Breguet's contemporaries told him to forget about the watch thing and stick to being a raclette toaster in Neuchatel?
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby koimaster » July 19th 2018, 9:43am

Falstaff wrote:I've seen worse. Not that I'm defending this particular kickstart effort, nor would I buy it - especially with all those little wiggly lines on the dial, but everybody has to start somewhere. I wonder if A.L. Breguet's contemporaries told him to forget about the watch thing and stick to being a raclette toaster in Neuchatel?



Exactly and as watch lovers IMHO we should encourage new brands. Yes some are crap but so are some of the offerings by established companies. At least none of them are claiming to have been designed by granny lalo. Some of these micros become established brands in time. Others do not but watches are not really purchased for investment purposes unless you are purchasing some rare watches. Marloe is still around as is Borealis, zelos and others. Some like stolis take the money and run but they did not use kickstarter but sold themselves as forum brands. Only time will tell with any of these brands.
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Re: Virtus - Pursuing Excellence in Watchmaking

Postby conjurer » July 19th 2018, 10:57pm

koimaster wrote:
Falstaff wrote:I've seen worse. Not that I'm defending this particular kickstart effort, nor would I buy it - especially with all those little wiggly lines on the dial, but everybody has to start somewhere. I wonder if A.L. Breguet's contemporaries told him to forget about the watch thing and stick to being a raclette toaster in Neuchatel?



Exactly and as watch lovers IMHO we should encourage new brands. Yes some are crap but so are some of the offerings by established companies. At least none of them are claiming to have been designed by granny lalo. Some of these micros become established brands in time. Others do not but watches are not really purchased for investment purposes unless you are purchasing some rare watches. Marloe is still around as is Borealis, zelos and others. Some like stolis take the money and run but they did not use kickstarter but sold themselves as forum brands. Only time will tell with any of these brands.


Well said, but time will also tell with, say, a Hamilton. If I saw a guy wearing a Vitus, I wouldn't look twice at the watch. I'd figure he was wearing a Daniel Wellington or something, and write him off as a hipster being ironic. However, if I saw the same guy, with a neckbeard and porkpie hat and skinny jeans, wearing a Hammy Jazzmaster Viewmatic, I'd nod appreciatively, know that he was a guy with some depth (and possibly be wrong) and might even mention something about his choice in watches.
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