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 Post subject: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:14 pm 
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King of Ling
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I know that the Breitling people review this board. Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t watchfred work for Breitling? Anyway, to the Breitling team there seems to be a major shortage of Rolex watches, if there was ever a time to try and regain market share or bring this brand back to its glory days; now is that time.


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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:14 pm 
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Hmm... looks to me like they're trying to do just that with the Navi re-issue, the SuperOcean 57 (which brought me back to Breitling, first 'brand new' watch I bought in nearly a decade), the new Chronomat, the Zorro re-issue and several others. I know that in the U.S. one of the Watchbox hosts has pointed out that interest in Breitling has jumped significantly based upon their measurables.

IMO there was too much damage to the Breitling brand to immediately turn it around, but there appears to be real progress. Rolex is its own beast, a master of the three-hand watch which earned that reputation through a combination of marketing and bulletproof reliability and durability. That, along with decades of steady, evolutionary ownership and growth have made them an actual commodity. Breitling was a chronograph specialist which also made three-handers, and which didn't have that stability over the last 50 years. The reputation re-build is ongoing and they appear to be trying to balance everybody starving for what make Breitling so unique in the past, with the technical niche they have dominated in super-quartz, with the big watches which for better or worse, has been the identity for the past 20 years. If you're encouraging more innovation because there's a perceived opening that's great and I encourage continued new product. I just don't know if a Sub-fighter is the direction; folks who want a Sub are going to keep wanting one. If you're casting a little sarcasm at Breitling, I don't think its warranted now with the steps they're taking--would have been 3-4 years ago but not now.

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...and brand-new bi-metal Superocean 57!



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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:21 am 
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thank you, Scott; summing it up well ;)

Tough year for everyone in the industry (yes, Rolex plays in a different league in all aspects, including the fact that profit from watches is totally irrelevant to their balance sheet), but Breitling is doing relatively well, gaining market share, much of that from segments who have long ignored (or shuddered at) our models. We try to follow a concise midterm strategy (including correcting some early errors), hope to pleasantly surprise some of you ;)

just a small point: new models, even more, new in-house calibers are multi-year projects, we are today working on 2023 & 2024 launches; we can only hope that what we designed during the last years will be right for today, even if "now is that time".



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 Post subject: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:18 am 
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King of Ling
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Scott wrote:
Hmm... looks to me like they're trying to do just that with the Navi re-issue, the SuperOcean 57 (which brought me back to Breitling, first 'brand new' watch I bought in nearly a decade), the new Chronomat, the Zorro re-issue and several others. I know that in the U.S. one of the Watchbox hosts has pointed out that interest in Breitling has jumped significantly based upon their measurables.

IMO there was too much damage to the Breitling brand to immediately turn it around, but there appears to be real progress. Rolex is its own beast, a master of the three-hand watch which earned that reputation through a combination of marketing and bulletproof reliability and durability. That, along with decades of steady, evolutionary ownership and growth have made them an actual commodity. Breitling was a chronograph specialist which also made three-handers, and which didn't have that stability over the last 50 years. The reputation re-build is ongoing and they appear to be trying to balance everybody starving for what make Breitling so unique in the past, with the technical niche they have dominated in super-quartz, with the big watches which for better or worse, has been the identity for the past 20 years. If you're encouraging more innovation because there's a perceived opening that's great and I encourage continued new product. I just don't know if a Sub-fighter is the direction; folks who want a Sub are going to keep wanting one. If you're casting a little sarcasm at Breitling, I don't think its warranted now with the steps they're taking--would have been 3-4 years ago but not now.
Great post Scott and some very valid points. I will agree that the new super ocean 57 has peaked my interest as well.

There is no sarcasm here from me. I genuinely like the brand, mostly due to a soft spot I have for it as it’s my first real luxury watch. What I’m saying is that with the stupid long waiting lists that Rolex seems to have (whether artificial or real), there seems to be a hole in the market for other brands to potentially market to or scoop these customers.

Now we all know that creating a “sub killer” would be next to impossible. The sub has a cult like following and I’m not sure if that ever changes. Having something at a price point that is cheaper and closer in size would be nice. For example that 43 mm avenger in a blue dial is looking pretty sharp and for the money I think there is a lot of bang for the buck there. My one wish is that Breitling would make smaller watches. The fad of wearing big watches is passed. And a lot of people(myself included) look silly wearing most of the Breitling lineup. I bet money, if that avenger was 40-41 mm with a shorter lug to lug, it would sell like hot cakes.

@watchfred- you think you can make this happen


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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:51 pm 
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well, the only thing we are absolutely sure about when we launch a new watch is that we’ll be criticized for the watch size, about evenly split between “what, xxmm, looks like a dinner plate” and “what, xxmm, that’s girl’s size”.


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 Post subject: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:21 pm 
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WatchFred wrote:
well, the only thing we are absolutely sure about when we launch a new watch is that we’ll be criticized for the watch size, about evenly split between “what, xxmm, looks like a dinner plate” and “what, xxmm, that’s girl’s size”.
I don’t know about that Fred. When you guys launched the 42 premier, I saw a lot of praise from the community on multiple forums. Although the 42 mm size is tad on the large size for me, I feel like it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Let’s be honest, most people have a wrist size between 6.25-7.25 inches. I say most people. Yes of course we have larger and smaller sizes. I’d also say that most people tend to wear their watches too big. That said the big watch trend on a smaller wrist is not as popular as it was in the early 2000’s. Everything has gotten more fitted.

Another great example where you guys nailed it was the 38mm Navi. I loved it so much I bought my father one with the blue dial. 38-42 with lug to lug length below 50mm is a sweet spot for a vast majority of consumers.



Edit- I failed to mention thickness 13 mm and under would also add to the attraction


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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:59 pm 
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Breitling just needs to do what Rolex does..produce less than the demand is, never give discounts, rather destroy the watches that don't sell and don't let them be sold at outlet or discounters....very simple.

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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:16 pm 
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mephisto4711 wrote:
Breitling just needs to do what Rolex does..produce less than the demand is, never give discounts, rather destroy the watches that don't sell and don't let them be sold at outlet or discounters....very simple.
If I had to guess, I think they would be worried about alienating potential consumers. In the long term this could be a viable play. In the short term having to produce the profits required this would put some serious heat on upper management.

Although I have no proof, it is my opinion that Georges is trying to do everything possible to build the brand while maintaining production. I do agree that Breitling should buy back unsold inventory as opposed to letting the dealers dump it out the back door.


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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:28 pm 
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boogiebot wrote:
mephisto4711 wrote:
Breitling just needs to do what Rolex does..produce less than the demand is, never give discounts, rather destroy the watches that don't sell and don't let them be sold at outlet or discounters....very simple.
If I had to guess, I think they would be worried about alienating potential consumers. In the long term this could be a viable play. In the short term having to produce the profits required this would put some serious heat on upper management.

Although I have no proof, it is my opinion that Georges is trying to do everything possible to build the brand while maintaining production. I do agree that Breitling should buy back unsold inventory as opposed to letting the dealers dump it out the back door.


Unfortunately the demand is not there for the amount of watches that Breitling is producing. Georges is unlikely to reduce production, he want to keep the number of watches as high as possible for when Breitling is eventually put up for sale. You also have to remember that Rolex can do whatever they like, they have no shareholders to answer to. Unfortunately Georges is forced to walk a tightrope and I just don't see any changes in the near future. He has been in charge for a long enough period to make changes with respect to overall production and it does not appear that numbers have been cut at all!



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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:44 pm 
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56scooter wrote:
boogiebot wrote:
mephisto4711 wrote:
Breitling just needs to do what Rolex does..produce less than the demand is, never give discounts, rather destroy the watches that don't sell and don't let them be sold at outlet or discounters....very simple.
If I had to guess, I think they would be worried about alienating potential consumers. In the long term this could be a viable play. In the short term having to produce the profits required this would put some serious heat on upper management.

Although I have no proof, it is my opinion that Georges is trying to do everything possible to build the brand while maintaining production. I do agree that Breitling should buy back unsold inventory as opposed to letting the dealers dump it out the back door.


Unfortunately the demand is not there for the amount of watches that Breitling is producing. Georges is unlikely to reduce production, he want to keep the number of watches as high as possible for when Breitling is eventually put up for sale. You also have to remember that Rolex can do whatever they like, they have no shareholders to answer to. Unfortunately Georges is forced to walk a tightrope and I just don't see any changes in the near future. He has been in charge for a long enough period to make changes with respect to overall production and it does not appear that numbers have been cut at all!
Agree with you scooter


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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:31 am 
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mephisto4711 wrote:
Breitling just needs to do what Rolex does..produce less than the demand is, never give discounts, rather destroy the watches that don't sell and don't let them be sold at outlet or discounters....very simple.

The problem is, the Rolex model doesn't translate well (in fact, it doesn't translate AT ALL) into any other brand. Rolex is privately owned - 100% by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation which is a registered charity - which means no shareholders. They don't pay corporation tax, so essentially once they pay their employees the rest of their profit allegedly goes to charity, so in that regard they're considered a non-profit organisation. Their mission statement is effectively, "To perpetuate Rolex" - and that's it. And that gives them considerable freedom to do exactly what they damn well like! In some ways us Rolex purchasers should be thankful for that as any other "for profit" company would be hiking up their prices considerably given what grey-marketers are charging (and what some people seem to be prepared to pay) for Rolex models.

Additionally Rolex have very carefully constructed their image over many decades, and their ability to just do what they like means they've "stayed the course" by not remotely bending to the somewhat fickle trends of fashion to try to make a quick buck from the latest "big thing". Fortunately for them the anachronistic world of mechanical watches has evolved to value the things they stand for - steadfastness, the gentle evolution of iconic designs, a solid reputation for quality, an image of having "made it" in life, etc. Rolex is entirely unique in terms of being a mass producer (unlike, say, Patek), while still having demand way outstripping supply. Probably the closest any other watch company has recently come to that model IMO is Panerai as they managed to generate an image that people wanted to buy into and coupled it with reasonably limited supply. However as we've seen in recent years, that wasn't sustainable for them and Panerai's star has definitely waned to the point that they are looking a bit desperate now.

Breitling on the other hand is one of many "normal" companies that essentially just wants to make as much profit as possible for their shareholders. Obviously there are very passionate watch-people working for Breitling, but ultimately it's a business and they are looking to make profit at the end of the day. This means they've had different ownership over the years (and hence different directions), and they've sometimes followed trends which have sometimes worked, but sometimes haven't. In the end they want to sell as many watches as possible, so they don't want a situation where a buyer is standing in a shop wanting to buy a watch and it's not available. Breitling sadly don't have the same image, and thus desirability, as Rolex, so a Breitling shortage would often just mean more profit for Omega or whichever other brand had stock available.

In order to make less product and never give discounts, Breitling would first need a Rolex-esque image to generate demand, and that doesn't happen overnight, nor is it easy to maintain. And it won't happen IMO as there is always that overarching need to satisfy owners/shareholders.

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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:41 am 
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Rolex could literally stop manufacturing watches and still be hugely profitable, they are among the largest real estate owners in Switzerland.



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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:08 am 
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Guys, who already know, are there any Endurance Pro from the Professional collection already on sale, which is temperature compensated? and approximately how much will they cost?

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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:34 am 
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widely available, online, in Boutiques & at AD. One of the new credos of Kern, make sure you have watches available to buy when a new model is announced. List is US$ 3k


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 Post subject: Re: Message to Breitling
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:02 am 
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WatchFred wrote:
Rolex could literally stop manufacturing watches and still be hugely profitable, they are among the largest real estate owners in Switzerland.
Very interesting Fred. I had no idea.



Driver8 wrote:
mephisto4711 wrote:
Breitling just needs to do what Rolex does..produce less than the demand is, never give discounts, rather destroy the watches that don't sell and don't let them be sold at outlet or discounters....very simple.

The problem is, the Rolex model doesn't translate well (in fact, it doesn't translate AT ALL) into any other brand. Rolex is privately owned - 100% by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation which is a registered charity - which means no shareholders. They don't pay corporation tax, so essentially once they pay their employees the rest of their profit allegedly goes to charity, so in that regard they're considered a non-profit organisation. Their mission statement is effectively, "To perpetuate Rolex" - and that's it. And that gives them considerable freedom to do exactly what they damn well like! In some ways us Rolex purchasers should be thankful for that as any other "for profit" company would be hiking up their prices considerably given what grey-marketers are charging (and what some people seem to be prepared to pay) for Rolex models.

Additionally Rolex have very carefully constructed their image over many decades, and their ability to just do what they like means they've "stayed the course" by not remotely bending to the somewhat fickle trends of fashion to try to make a quick buck from the latest "big thing". Fortunately for them the anachronistic world of mechanical watches has evolved to value the things they stand for - steadfastness, the gentle evolution of iconic designs, a solid reputation for quality, an image of having "made it" in life, etc. Rolex is entirely unique in terms of being a mass producer (unlike, say, Patek), while still having demand way outstripping supply. Probably the closest any other watch company has recently come to that model IMO is Panerai as they managed to generate an image that people wanted to buy into and coupled it with reasonably limited supply. However as we've seen in recent years, that wasn't sustainable for them and Panerai's star has definitely waned to the point that they are looking a bit desperate now.

Breitling on the other hand is one of many "normal" companies that essentially just wants to make as much profit as possible for their shareholders. Obviously there are very passionate watch-people working for Breitling, but ultimately it's a business and they are looking to make profit at the end of the day. This means they've had different ownership over the years (and hence different directions), and they've sometimes followed trends which have sometimes worked, but sometimes haven't. In the end they want to sell as many watches as possible, so they don't want a situation where a buyer is standing in a shop wanting to buy a watch and it's not available. Breitling sadly don't have the same image, and thus desirability, as Rolex, so a Breitling shortage would often just mean more profit for Omega or whichever other brand had stock available.

In order to make less product and never give discounts, Breitling would first need a Rolex-esque image to generate demand, and that doesn't happen overnight, nor is it easy to maintain. And it won't happen IMO as there is always that overarching need to satisfy owners/shareholders.



Very well said Driver.


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