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The New York Times published an interesting report on how the market conditions today had changed the way independent watchmakers are selling their watches. While MB&F plans to cut production numbers of each of its models while shortening interval between launches, other brands such as Maitre DuTemp is extending the interval between launches. The strategy employed by MB&F is a clever but risky bet with promise of more aggressive market position if it works. By raising the awareness of its new models on a shorter stretch of time, collector's attention will be diverted away from other brands. Maitre DuTemp in contrast is the time tested conservative approach to slow down in the market by slowing down of its production of new pieces.
But the one key aspect of whether either strategy to succeed will very much depend on how retailers will respond to such strategies. As the report reflected, retailers are now reeling from the tight market conditions and they are now practising very conservative retailing.
I hope the independent brands will be able to survive and return to the market with greater strength and wisdom of lessons learnt.
Check out the New York Times article here.


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The highly respected Financial Times of London publishes an annual watch supplement and this year it features a few interesting articles - including a balanced commentary on the ongoing feud over the supply of ETA movements to Swiss watch companies.

Another article that is well worth reading is a report on how brands are now embracing nanotechnology processes to create extremely small and thin watch components. Sometime back I blogged about the potential damage to traditional watchmaking with this new technologies if the brands were not careful in how they replace their current manufacturing processes - in the name of higher automation and lowering of cost of production. So far the brands appear to have learnt the lessons of the quartz movement impact on the industry and had not gone into full replacement of complete movements with the new nano materials - yet. I am certain though, there is great temptation to create new parts and even new movement in the name of advancement of horology.

Now if only the watch brands can understand that ultimately technology is the leveler - not the guarantee of competitive edge. Its the skills of the watchmaker and his artistry that is the rare commodity that the smart money will buy.

To read these and other reports in the FT Watch Supplement, CLICK HERE to download the 35mb pdf file.


Welcome to
Watching Horology


  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
  • ©HarrySKTan2005

Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

Horolographer - Harry SK Tan

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