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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:25 am 
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I am sending this in to Breitling, and thought I would share it with the forum. Please do help me edit it, it might have an impact.

I apologize in advance, this will probably seem overly emotional, and maybe even corny to most. But I am very emotional about my passions, and I am very emotional when it comes to Breitling. Odd as it may seem, I am more emotionally attached to Breitling than my other more substantive watch collections from Patek, Panerai, or AP.

Dear Breitling

Hello, I miss you. Yes, I know you are still here in the flesh, but ever since you got Alzheimer’s, you just haven’t been the same. I’m not angry with you, I’m sympathetic.
My father had a stroke two years ago, unfortunately it affected his brain, he has been forgetful, often times unable o do the most basic of daily tasks. It’s his pride that was really damaged, he was a giant of a man, towering above all others. Strong willed, successful, hansom and built like an athlete. He used to take care of others, now he has to be taken care of. I see the same has happened to you.

I remember when I first met you, I grew up in a household filled with corporate executives. My father, uncles, brother, all walked the same path. I was surrounded by Rolexes. Whenever someone achieved anything, they where given a Rolex. Graduated college? Here a Submariner. Got married? Herse a Yacht Master. Got that big promotion? Herse a GMT Master. And so on it went.

And then, one day in my late twenties, I saw you. I was always a little different than my very conservative father and somewhat conservative brother, they poured blood, sweat, and tears into the company we all worked for, but I was a little different, I would open a restaurant here or work with friends on startups there, I took chances and wanted to be different. They wouldn’t have given you a second look, since you where not known in our culture, and everyone wanted to fit in. I wanted to stand out, and you where my choice.

I gawked at all the pretty models, the Bentley 6.75 was a dream of mine. I got it. The Chronomat Evolution became my everyday office watch, just the right amount of bling but still acceptable. I was young, I was an idiot. All I cared about was how blingy my watch was. If someone asked what time it was, I swung my arm so far our I could have knocked an innocent bystander out.

As the years went by however, I got to know your history. I understood the value of a watch came from its heritage, the quality and ingenuity of its mechanical movements, and the innovations that came with it. No one came close to Breitling historically. The Winged B logo was a sign of first-class quality throughout, in the first years of commercial flight generations upon generations of pilots depended on your dependable and purpose-built Navitimer. Most enthusiasts would give the Speedmaster the nod as the greatest chronograph of all time, having assisted in the first manned mission to the moon. I saw you had a more profound impact on humanity. Flight is far more important than the impressive yet symbolic moon landing.

Fast forward to today, I went in to see your latest models. I was reminded again of my dear father, one moment there he is, good old dad, charming, strong willed, intelligent. Then his mind goes, we don’t know what it is, the stroke, the diabetes, something else. We persevere. Stay with him, hoping we can bring him back. I see your new Premier line, Classy and draws upon historical designs, a sliver of hope. I am thrown back into realty when I see the blinged out Emergency with gigantic black diamonds. I see how well you maintained the Navitimer, updating it while keeping it historically accurate, displayed next to a slew of bright yellow monstrosities.

I hope you and my father recover Breitling. I love you both and will stick by you to the end. My Navitimer will never leave my collection, but I’m not going to buy anymore Breitlings until I know you are back to who you where, the innovative, elegant, quality-obsessed brand you always where. It’s not easy for my father to forego the gratification of desert, but his Diabetes demands it. And its not going to be easy for you to forego the cash influx rap music executives could bring in, but you must, if you really want to survive. Less is more Breitling, less is more.

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Last edited by Altair on Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:45 am 
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Altair, this is quite a letter. Very sentimental how you draw the comparisons of your father to the brand.

Not sure what the plan is for these guys as I am not up to date in the WIS world. That said when it comes to being successful in business I share the school of thought that “you can’t be everything to everybody”.

The launch of the premier line looks to be that move in the right direction. So I’m excited to see how this company maneuvers in the years to come.

I have owned quite a few of their models but now I’m down to just one, a chronomat evo.

Breitling if you really do watch this forum I hope that stay with this new premier line as I think it’s going to bring a lot of attention from other watch enthusiasts.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:18 am 
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I think if this was over a year ago, I'd send a similar letter but you have to give the new regime some time to clean up the mess they inherited. I'm glad to see the trimmed down product line and I don't think you can put much blame on Kern and Co. on a blinged out Emergency that I'm sure has been sitting around for quite some time. The brand isn't going to turn around in a year, 2 years, or maybe even 3, it's going to take time. I can read through some of the posts from Fred and I have confidence that the best is yet to come.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:33 am 
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I’ll have to agree with Justin on this one, Altair. While I certainly can appreciate the sentiments expressed in your letter, Breitling’s new management has already indicated that the gaudy bling thing is on the way out. I trust them on that — and that is a very good and much needed thing.

Justin, while it may well be true that it might take a while for things to gel, I find that I am growing more and more impatient as the brand tries to find itself. I have some more specific thoughts on this, but that’s for another thread — and, hey, it’s the holidays!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Moana43 wrote:
I’ll have to agree with Justin on this one, Altair. While I certainly can appreciate the sentiments expressed in your letter, Breitling’s new management has already indicated that the gaudy bling thing is on the way out. I trust them on that — and that is a very good and much needed thing.

Justin, while it may well be true that it might take a while for things to gel, I find that I am growing more and more impatient as the brand tries to find itself. I have some more specific thoughts on this, but that’s for another thread — and, hey, it’s the holidays!


I think there are going to be some swings and misses while the brand tries to right the wrongs of the previous years. I know what you mean Jim but I'm going to give it some time. If I was in the market for something, then I'd be concerned.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:35 pm 
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I totally agree guys. I do think there are generally good moves these days, and it will definitely take some time. At least five years before we are close to where we want Breitling to be.

This was in the spirit of pushing them along, reminding them that Breitling enthusiasts are still around. One thing Breitling doesn't do as far as I am aware that some other brands do is hold client events where they meet the most loyal of their followers and exchange ideas. JLC held such a meet up in Dubai a while ago where I was invited, it was a true pleasure meeting the designers, engineers, finishers, and all the other people involved in developing the watches. Brands need to connect to customers and get their feedback. I actually emailed Lange a while back and was invited to Glashutte to meet their head of product development, I actually might make a vacation out of it and head over. Have a tour, buy a watch, and tell Lange what I wish they would do next. They welcome it.

Again, this is in the spirit of nudging Breitling along. If enough people sent them letters I have no doubt it would make an impact.
.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:32 am 
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Altair, much of what you address is corporate strategy today. bling is dead, respect for history and heritage rules - and this includes the icons Schneider era too, of course.

And Breitling listens - Georges Kern is extremely active on social media, just not on forums (yet, working on that).

If we like it or not, facebook and instagram are the platform to communicate today, although they do lack much of the structure and "longevity" that make (or made) forums so useful.

Follow Georges Kern on instagram @georgeskern, comment on his posts with constructive criticism or even praise - and he'll listen and respond.

Join the facebook group "Breitling Owners 1884" - Georges and many other people from Breitling are active there.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:14 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
Bling is dead, respect for history and heritage rules - and this includes the icons Schneider era too, of course.

:thumbsup:

WatchFred wrote:
If we like it or not, facebook and instagram are the platform to communicate today, although they do lack much of the structure and "longevity" that make (or made) forums so useful.

Slightly off-topic, but I think the downturn of forums in general is a huge shame. Most FB watch groups I'm a member of just seem to be a never-ending stream of owners posting up pictures of their watches for likes. The linear structure also doesn't help as an information repository, and it's all too easy to miss something useful or interesting in the flood of dross. Social media is fine (in fact it's great) for announcements, but IMHO it's next to useless as a community or as an information resource. I also think a lot of social media encourages almost voyeuristic lurking as opposed to active participation.

Then again, maybe I'm just a miserable old git, who needs to move with the times! :wink: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:23 am 
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Driver8 wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but I think the downturn of forums in general is a huge shame. Most FB watch groups I'm a member of just seem to be a never-ending stream of owners posting up pictures of their watches for likes. The linear structure also doesn't help as an information repository, and it's all too easy to miss something useful or interesting in the flood of dross. Social media is fine (in fact it's great) for announcements, but IMHO it's next to useless as a community or as an information resource. I also think a lot of social media encourages almost voyeuristic lurking as opposed to active participation.

Then again, maybe I'm just a miserable old git, who needs to move with the times! :wink: :lol:


absolutely agree, a shame indeed. searching for anything older than a week in an active facebook group is useless - forums still serve as the knowledge base, but traffic and new, structured content have dwindled.

we need to try and revive that, at least for this forum and „our“ Breitling.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:25 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
Driver8 wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but I think the downturn of forums in general is a huge shame. Most FB watch groups I'm a member of just seem to be a never-ending stream of owners posting up pictures of their watches for likes. The linear structure also doesn't help as an information repository, and it's all too easy to miss something useful or interesting in the flood of dross. Social media is fine (in fact it's great) for announcements, but IMHO it's next to useless as a community or as an information resource. I also think a lot of social media encourages almost voyeuristic lurking as opposed to active participation.

Then again, maybe I'm just a miserable old git, who needs to move with the times! :wink: :lol:


absolutely agree, a shame indeed. searching for anything older than a week in an active facebook group is useless - forums still serve as the knowledge base, but traffic and new, structured content have dwindled.

we need to try and revive that, at least for this forum and „our“ Breitling.

I agree with you 100% Fred.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:54 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
And Breitling listens - Georges Kern is extremely active on social media, just not on forums (yet, working on that).

If we like it or not, facebook and instagram are the platform to communicate today, although they do lack much of the structure and "longevity" that make (or made) forums so useful.

Follow Georges Kern on instagram @georgeskern, comment on his posts with constructive criticism or even praise - and he'll listen and respond.

Join the facebook group "Breitling Owners 1884" - Georges and many other people from Breitling are active there.


I think it's great that Kern is actively engaging with Breitling enthusiasts -- that's a good thing.

I would love to be part of that, but I have never been active on Facebook or Instagram, and never will be. It would be nice to see Breitling dipping into forums from time to time, but I suppose all of the action is on social media these days.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:01 am 
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Driver8 wrote:
Slightly off-topic, but I think the downturn of forums in general is a huge shame. Most FB watch groups I'm a member of just seem to be a never-ending stream of owners posting up pictures of their watches for likes. The linear structure also doesn't help as an information repository, and it's all too easy to miss something useful or interesting in the flood of dross. Social media is fine (in fact it's great) for announcements, but IMHO it's next to useless as a community or as an information resource. I also think a lot of social media encourages almost voyeuristic lurking as opposed to active participation.


I think this sums it up nicely, Driver.

That being said, Forums only work to the extent that people are enthusiastic about engaging with one another and building a community of common interest.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:04 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
forums still serve as the knowledge base, but traffic and new, structured content have dwindled.

we need to try and revive that, at least for this forum and „our“ Breitling.


Couldn't agree more.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:13 am 
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It's not an age thing either driver... I'm in my mid 30s and I don't use social media. I find it relatively useless and lacking info and very surface level. People just after likes and approval from others. I feel the forums, with active engaged users, are much more interesting and deeper and catch my interest. I find social media (and I'm completely generalizing here and this doesn't apply to many many people) to be too much self promotion which I have zero interest in participating in.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:57 am 
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Like Nate, I'm in my mid 30s, and don't use any real form of social media. I do look at Mr. Kern's instagram account to see what he's posting but I don't have an account. I also refuse to sign up for Facebook for the reasons mentioned on here, people just trying to get likes to justify everything they do. Forums are great but they need people to participate. I know I can probably post more. The only forum that seems to be busy is the Rolex Forums, but all that is lately is about people complaining how they can't get any SS models or they can't believe the premiums people are charging.

I guess I do use one form of social media, but I don't know if I'd consider LinkedIn social media or not. I am connected on there to Mr. Kern and he does post quite a bit on there. I sent him a note about the service I received from the NYC boutique in regards to my strap order and he replied within an hour. It may have only been a thumbs up, but at least he replied. I'd love more brand themed events, but my AD is also a 2 hour flight away so I don't know how often I could attend. I thought they used to run a tent at the EAA show in Wisconsin that I'd go to but I don't know if it's run by a local AD or not.

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