Which wrist watch brand to buy?
Watch industry like most industries has evolved dramatically, thanks to the advancement in technology, internet revolution and growing GDP. While World Wide Web has made marketing and distribution a lot easier it is the third metric which has triggered this rapid change. World citizens today have surplus cash to satiate their hunger for big brands. Watches are no different. A couple of decades back very few could afford brands like Breitling, Patek Philippe, Panerai, Piquet or Rolex, but today those numbers have jumped significantly. The list of millionaires is growing and so are the fortunes of ordinary folks.
Although the number of premium brand shoppers has increased, for the majority of people it is still a dream.
So, what are the brand options available to a person who is planning to buy a wrist watch? Mentioned below is the list of branded watches and regular watches.
1. Premium brands ( Starting from $5000 ) – Breguet, Blancpain, Rolex and Jaeger Le Coultre.
2. Mid-level brands ( Starting from $2500 ) – Omega, Breitling and Panerai.
3. Low-end brands ( Starting from $250 ) – Citizen, Casio, Seiko, Tissot and Hamilton.
4. Regular brands ( Starting from $100 ) – Titan, Guess, Michael Kors, Fastrack, Fossil.
5. Unknown brands ( Starting from $10 ) – There are hundreds of names in this category.
6. Gray Market ( Wide range of pricing ) – Major brands available.
7. Replicas ( Starting from $200 ) – Major brands available.
As mentioned above, exclusive brands are not for everyone. They demand big heart and a bigger pocket. Actually, this elite category has seen several ups and downs, and today stuck in stagnancy. There are several reasons for the dormancy. Poor marketing strategy, short supply which in most cases is artificial, aged and obsolete practices and resistance to change are some of them. In a way these companies sell brand first and then the craftsmanship. The mystical aura surrounding them is maintained with great passion via simulated shortage, churning out limited numbers or “Limited Editions” making sure the demand and God-like halo continues to thrive.
Watches from this class enhance status symbol and adds a dash of success to the wearer’s personality. That these brands offer amazing resale value is secondary and irrelevant.
On the other hand mid-level and low-end brands have caught the fancy of “New rich kids on the block”. These watches, although not as luxurious, still manage to offer that sense of pride. Yes, today a watch is not just a time telling tool, it has turned into expensive jewellery which reflects character, social status and the success quotient of the wearer. Mid and low end timepieces offer this and much more.
Local brands have always been a common man’s delight. It offers satisfaction, a nod of appreciation from friends and peers, and a perfect timepiece for all occasions. After sales service is yet another attribute which makes it a sound buy.
Unknown brands are a breed apart. These watches may not offer a sense of pride or its workmanship might not be impeccable, but it does offer fantastic value for money with its stunning appearance and minimum fuss. Let us be frank! These watches are built with inexpensive movements and materials. These watches are not meant to last long. However, unknown brands are available in thousands of form factors and that too in an array of configurations, such as quartz, mechanical and digital.
Poolkart.com offers a range of extremely affordable yet striking watches for men, women and teens from this category. These are handpicked from several markets, offering only the best. Unknown or little known brands form the largest chunk of watch industry; more than 50%, but value wise premium brands walk away with the trophy ( More than 53% ).
The term gray market is often misinterpreted. There is nothing illegal about it. Gray market is synonymous with secondary sellers. These are businesses and people who buy from authorised distributors and sell it to interested buyers, often at a discount because the main dealers do not have such a liberty. Sometimes these entrepreneurs also deal in second hand products which are absolutely original and most of the time sold with a guarantee card.
Replicas on the other hand have been the nemesis of premium brands. These shoddy, badly copied and constructed lookalikes satisfy the brand hunger of many watch lovers. On their part high-end watch manufacturers have done little to curb this menace. There have been instances where replicas were publicly destroyed using a road roller. Nonetheless, a lot more needs to be done to uproot this nuisance.
Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie ( FHH ) together with the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has launched a programme to tackle counterfeit watches with its simple yet heart-stabbing slogan, “Fake Watches are for Fake People”. Is that good enough to stop people from buying fakes and crooked minds from manufacturing? Only time will tell.
Note – Brands such as Hublot, U-Boat, Audemar Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and the likes have not been mentioned. Their designs are complex and revolutionary, and construction materials innovative. It simply translates into a product which can be bought by just a handful of people. These are ultra-premium brands.