Although the invention of the watch conforms to the logic of pragmatism, to this day, ‘high-end watches’ have become pure luxury. In fact, they determine the price at the beginning. For many companies, this is already a matter of brand pride, but when the world of luxury and utility collides, there will naturally be something ironic or confusing.
1. Accuracy is not important
Perhaps for most watch lovers who are obsessed with watches, the most emotionally unacceptable thing is that mechanical watches are not as accurate as quartz electronic watches, and the gap is not small. Quartz watches with low cost and often rough design, although not aesthetically pleasing to our eyes, do perform better than high-end mechanical watches. Watch lovers have made intrinsic value judgments, and believe that the traditional design and beauty of a watch are more important than precision. Ironically, we wear watches to watch time.
This issue is not so important now. No matter where we go, we are surrounded by high-precision digital clocks, and their times are often calibrated according to higher-precision clocks. So if our watch is a few seconds slower, we can either manually calibrate it or simply look at the clock around it-if the time must be accurate to the second. For some, however, obsessed with precision can lead to some degree of cognitive dissonance. In most cities, you can buy a quartz watch for up to $ 10. Its battery can be used for at least two years, and the time display error of each month is within 15 seconds. Of course, there are many quartz watches with much higher precision, and many high-end mechanical watches will be professionally tested by the Swiss company C.O.S.C. (Swiss official observatory testing agency). The watchmaking brand sends the movement of the product for inspection, and the movement that reaches a certain standard will obtain the COSC precision timing certification. Precision watch-certified watches usually have an error of about 5 seconds per day, which is very different from the cheap quartz movement with an error of 15 seconds per month. In terms of time display, watch lovers do not put precision first, which may be a bit ironic, after all, expensive high-end watches should be extremely enjoyable. But this does not detract from our love for high-end watches, and it is just as good.
3. The additional functions that people value when buying watches are rarely used.
In watch terminology, the so-called ‘additional functions’ refer to functions or features such as timers and calendar displays. Additional features make the movement of a mechanical watch more interesting, potentially more useful, and more complex … On the one hand, it increases the interest of collectors, on the other hand, it also increases the value of watches, so the more additional functions, the better. If it is a timepiece of investment value, which is only occasionally worn, then such a design cannot be better. But if it is a daily-wearing watch, how practical are those various additional functions? It turns out that it is not as practical as people think.
Of course, the irony is that, despite the fact that these additional functions or features are not practical, people are rushing to do so. In addition to time display, date display, timer (stopwatch), and perhaps a dual time zone time display function, most of the additional functions of high-end watches are just furnishings, the purpose is to convince you how worthy this watch is.
4. Sorry, do you want the manual?
Tools and instruments are usually accompanied by instructions. Clothing and jewellery are not included-this may be because they do not require much explanation in themselves. Watches are somewhere in between, and a few merchants provide exquisite and detailed user manuals (even if the manual is not perfect, it is at least more practical). But most businesses will not teach you how to use this new tool worn on your wrist, except to sell you a watch. Experienced watch lovers take it for granted. After all, the knowledge of the use of mechanical watches is often universal, knowing how to use a watch, other watches will naturally be used. But this does not always apply to exotic clocks. Watchmakers seem to have drawn too much inspiration from the fashion and jewellery world (perhaps because watches have been mostly sold in jewellery stores for many years) and often overlook the need to provide customers with proper documentation guidelines. Questions from customers flew like snow flakes. Most of them asked how to set the time, how to use the timer function, why the mechanical watch did not leave after one week, and how to set the calendar.
How did the watchmaker respond? Watchmakers generally claim that whether it is to instruct customers to use a new watch, or to adjust the size of the strap according to the customer’s wrist circumference, this is a retailer’s business. It’s not unreasonable to say so, after all, people usually buy watches as gifts, and many people think about it after reading the manual. It is not like a general instrument brand and has a technical support call center. Therefore, watch lovers often can only resort to the Internet, using the Internet as a universal manual for high-end mechanical tools.
5. The waterproof rating is often confusing.
If your watch is water-resistant to 30 meters, you may be able to wear it to wash your hands at best, because it is generally believed that such a degree of water resistance can ensure that the watch does not enter water when it is splashed with water . If the water resistance is 50 meters, then you can put it in the pool and gently dip it in water, or wear it to bathe, there may be no problem. If the water resistance is 100 meters, the watch company claims that you can wear it to swim in the sea, as long as you dive down to a few feet. However, if the watch is water-resistant to two or three hundred meters, diving with it may not be a problem. Don’t forget, most waterproof ratings are the results of tests under static conditions. When people play, the pressure on the watch’s seal will be much greater.
Interestingly, most people will never dive below 100 meters in their lifetime. What’s more interesting is that some watches have a water resistance of 500 meters, 1000 meters, or even higher. Under such a deep water, even if the watch does not enter the water, most people will lose their lives.
2. Pricing based on customers’ psychology.
To some extent, watches and older pocket watches have always been luxury items. The first timepieces that came out were extremely high-end, and only the elite among the elite could afford it. This is because every watch requires the craftsman (watchmaker) with great skill to make it by hand. In the era of the industrial revolution, the manufacture of wristwatches began to follow the trend of the times, and most of the Americans promoted the invention of watchmaking machines to mass produce mechanical watch movements. Since then, low-volume production tables and high-priced limit tables have co-existed in the market, and are targeted at various types of consumers.
In the 1980s, with the appearance of cheap, mass-produced quartz movement watches, this trend began to intensify. Quartz movement is not only less expensive than mechanical movement, but also has superior performance. The mechanical watch industry has changed and began to transform into the high-end luxury goods industry. The competition between mechanical watches and quartz watches is not performance, but grade, design, elegance and status. Mechanical watches have become a symbol of status, wealth, and they have begun to price accordingly. Ironically, most mechanical watch makers, like quartz watch makers, rely on a number of cost-reducing industrial technologies, which have left many of the unique features of mechanical watches from the start.
The mechanical watch has ushered in a new era. In this era, the clock is no longer a pure timing tool. Its function is to firstly show the identity of the wearer to the people around it, and secondly to display the time. In order to attract ‘savory’ buyers, watch brand pricing does not necessarily depend on the cost of the watch, but on what type of customers they want to attract. Pricing is both a psychological battle and a valuation based on design standards. Watchmaking brands reflect on: ‘What kind of people do we want to wear our watches? Is it someone who can spend $ 5,000 or $ 50,000 on a watch?’ This strategy works surprisingly well, but many brands are A little overheated when locating the target customers.