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Cartier, Destroyer of the World's Finest Watches...

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An interesting example of just what a sham our whole consumerist economic system really is, with prices kept artificially high (although I'm sure some economist will justify it)

The collectable watch market is currently in it's own mega-bubble along with just about anything else that can even vaguely be classed as an 'asset'...

 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/18/richemont-destroys-nearly-500m-of-watches-in-two-years-amid-buyback-policy

 

It's not just premium luxury goods and collectables, I have a relative that used to work on the concession in a supermarket for books, dvd's, cd's and costume jewellery and every week during stock rotation she would have to destroy and dispose of (in the skip) around £400 worth of unsold stock rather than reduce it.

 

Edited by nome

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An interesting article.  I like the fact that a crackdown on corruption in Asian markets has led to a decline in sales of watches as these trinkets were used for bribes.  More good news on the fragility of our bubble economies.

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1 hour ago, nome said:

An interesting example of just what a sham our whole consumerist economic system really is, with prices kept artificially high (although I'm sure some economist will justify it)

The collectable watch market is currently in it's own mega-bubble along with just about anything else that can even vaguely be classed as an 'asset'...

 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/18/richemont-destroys-nearly-500m-of-watches-in-two-years-amid-buyback-policy

 

It's not just premium luxury goods and collectables, I have a relative that used to work on the concession in a supermarket for books, dvd's, cd's and costume jewellery and every week during stock rotation she would have to destroy and dispose of (in the skip) around £400 worth of unsold stock rather than reduce it.

 

who wears watches anymore ?

i do but only because it is a pedometer too. 

some gold thing with a leather strap that tells the time is pointless. 

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2 hours ago, nome said:

 

The collectable watch market is currently in it's own mega-bubble along with just about anything else that can even vaguely be classed as an 'asset'...

 

 

I actually started a thread about this some time ago:

collectibles still in a bubble, but the don't shift because they are too expensive.

 

I've got a shopping list for when the recession/depression comes!

 

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1 hour ago, stuckmojo said:

Classic cars are in an even bigger bubble

The Classic Car market is totally bonkers and is due for a major 'correction'....its another bubble I am anticipating will blow when our ten year recession goes mainstream..

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Expensive watches are a sham. Back in the day, an expensive watch kept time well, but technology moved on and even watches that cost a pound could keep perfect time. You would think that the  expensive watch market would have died, but instead it has boomed.

Unlike a top end car, a watch does very little - it cannot outperform a pound watch. It is like a Ford Focus that can do 0-60 in 4 seconds and hit 180mph and yet still sell for the price of a Ford Focus.

So what makes an expensive watch? Its price, basically. They are desirable because the are expensive and expensive because they are desirable. Yes, the companies still go through the charade of making them masterpieces of engineering, apparently, and I guess that Rolex would look a bit silly if it only had the workings of a cheapo watch inside. So the cost is still about $1000 to manufacture.

How do they go about making them expensive? Advertising and pricing. If you spend a load on high end marketing set the price high enough, it will be desirable.

Same goes for Louis Vuitton bags and Mont Blanc pens.

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47 minutes ago, longgone said:

The creation of scarcity. Keeps prices artificially elevated. It's why the UK has an open-door immigration policy.

Edited by zugzwang

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2 hours ago, longgone said:

who wears watches anymore ?

i do but only because it is a pedometer too. 

some gold thing with a leather strap that tells the time is pointless. 

I do...  I have a fabulous old self winding mechanical watch that carries many memories.

When TEOTWAWKI comes at least I'll be able to know what time of day it is.  To within a few minutes anyway...

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32 minutes ago, Ah-so said:

Expensive watches are a sham. Back in the day, an expensive watch kept time well, but technology moved on and even watches that cost a pound could keep perfect time. You would think that the  expensive watch market would have died, but instead it has boomed.

Unlike a top end car, a watch does very little - it cannot outperform a pound watch. 

To partly correct myself - my watch is solar powered and sets the time using  satellite signals as well as having a calendar and stopwatch. Far better than a Role. 

The Casio Waveceptor. Prices from about £100, not £10,000.

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It's interesting the affect a watch has on people that aren't wearing them especially salesman 😂. I had an Omega Seasmaster bought for me back in the early 00's by my partner at the time. A seasmaster is hardly flashy. Yet I would always get comments from strangers that frequently clocked it.  Having rarely worn it in the last 15 years I decided to sell it last year. Both my mum and my partner (different to the one that bought it) really didn't want me to. "That watch is special", "will be worth a lot of money in the future" etc etc. Meh, just another useless peice of tat to me now, Ill happily take the cash.

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35 minutes ago, BuyToLeech said:

Watches are just jewellery.

People have worn jewellery for tens of thousands of years.  

 

They tell the time too. Jewellery doesn't. 

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i miss my watch when i cant/dont wear it, i do look at it often for the time during the day, its not invasive like having to get the phone out and light it up. Its amazing how few clocks are around (in offices at work/on the street etc).

Just got used to it, isnt flash, dont particularly look after it well, its just  there.

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Watches just indicate you're still beholden to other peoples schedules, it doesn't matter if it's fancy or cheap.

True wealth means you do what you want, when you want. You don't need to know the time, or even what day of the week it is.

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after all, it is just a watch, once its buggered ill replace it with some other watch, wont be to collect/hoard it, just to use it  to be beholden to others schedules of course.

 

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27 minutes ago, Ah-so said:

They tell the time too. Jewellery doesn't. 

Cuff links hold sleeves together, but that doesn’t make them functional.

Watches used to be mostly functional. Now, they’re pretty much just jewellery.  But what’s wrong with that?

Would Mr T have been famous without his jewellery?  Would Prince Albert?

 

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I've been refurbishing and selling watches recently, as a bit of a side income. (As well as vintage and antique jewellery).

Having bought and sold Cartier's, Breitlings, Rolex's, IWC's and so on. The quality really isn't there for most consumer grade items, from around the early 2000's onwards. many/most use simple cheap quartz movements, which literally cost pennies, yet are marketed as the ultimate watch. Cartier and Breitling use Quartz movements a lot in their ranges which are manufactured in bulk by companies such as ETA, miyota, etc. 

 

As an example, a Cartier Chronoscaph can be had for a few hundred pounds on eBay, obviously needing some restoration. Easily then sold for north of £1k and they fly out! Breitlings from 2000-ish onwards are the same, B1's, Chrono's, etc all use quartz movements and are easily sold on ebay and chrono 24.

 

Of course, the real auto/mechanical movements are where the real engineering comes in, but then you tend to be at a higher price point, where the true 'collectors' pay a bit more money for the 'right watch'. 

 

Incidentally, I wouldn't wear most of the watches I have in stock, they attract too many utter thunder-c@nts. who feel the need to show you how expensive they think their watch is etc. But, while they're happy to keep paying the money I'll keep taking it from them. Saves going to work in some god forsaken office somewhere.

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Luxury wristwatches are veblen goods. Rolex produces about 800,000 watches a year, all made by machine. They are a fantastic watch, but the 4 grand starting price has little to do with rarity or handcraftsmanship. Rolex know their name is synonymous with luxury watches to the general population. They are also very strict who can sell them new, ensuring there is no discounting or leaking out on to the grey market that would cheapen their brand. 

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2 minutes ago, nothernsoul said:

Luxury wristwatches are veblen goods. Rolex produces about 800,000 watches a year, all made by machine. They are a fantastic watch, but the 4 grand starting price has little to do with rarity or handcraftsmanship. Rolex know their name is synonymous with luxury watches to the general population. They are also very strict who can sell them new, ensuring there is no discounting or leaking out on to the grey market that would cheapen their brand. 

That's exactly it, they also limit who can service or repair the watches which again creates the illusion of some watch magician working wonders in their service centres etc.

 

Of course you can join the club, if you have around £40-50k to spend on their training and tooling.

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5 hours ago, NorthernMonkey said:

The quality really isn't there for most consumer grade items, from around the early 2000's onwards. many/most use simple cheap quartz movements, which literally cost pennies, yet are marketed as the ultimate watch.

Cartier and Breitling use Quartz movements a lot in their ranges which are manufactured in bulk by companies such as ETA, miyota, etc. 

Of course, the real auto/mechanical movements are where the real engineering comes in, but then you tend to be at a higher price point, where the true 'collectors' pay a bit more money for the 'right watch'. 

Incidentally, I wouldn't wear most of the watches I have in stock, they attract too many utter thunder-c@nts. who feel the need to show you how expensive they think their watch is etc. But, while they're happy to keep paying the money I'll keep taking it from them. Saves going to work in some god forsaken office somewhere.

Great post - interesting read. 

But doesn't a quartz movement do exactly the same job as a precision engineered watch? And the workings are all hidden away anyway. 

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  • 302 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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