AboutTime Fall 2020 - Page 6

E EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

E EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

MARC FRANKEL Youtube channel https :// www . youtube . com / user / islandwatchdotcom

Micro or Macro ?

Those of you that know me are well aware of my commercial site selling watches at www . longislandwatches . com , and hopefully you ’ ve also subscribed to my educational and informational Youtube channel as well . Due to my immersion into the watch world over the last 17 or so years I ’ ve experienced first-hand how the number of new brands has multiplied over that span .
In this never-ending stream of new start-ups , there are quite a few that do not want to invest in their brand and use crowdfunding with varying degrees of success , while some dive ( pun intended !) head-first into the game and fund the project themselves . These newcomers to watchmaking can come from any part of the world and often bring their own cultural look and feel to their designs that their compatriots will find appealing . Typically , these watches are priced under $ 1,000 ( usually FAR under ) and capitalize on the direct-to consumer market to avoid the excessive mark-ups that are part and parcel of a traditional distributor and retailer network .
Whether based in the USA or Australia , India or Great Britain , each new micro-brand searches for its niche . Whether that be style , price point , quality , a unique selling point or combination thereof , simply copying the last hot watch is not going to be enough in today ’ s crowded field of timekeepers .
In their hopes to become the next “ must-have ” watch you can see both rampant creativity as well as updated versions ( homage ) of past classics . While each of these brands long to achieve status among collectors and build a following ( hit it big like Daniel Wellington , MVMT ), most will struggle to sell even a few hundred watches per year and stay in business . While anything is possible and the viral successes can and do happen , like almost any business , there are far more failures than successes . In the watch industry that ’ s not usually too big a problem for the consumer as the vast majority of these micro-brands use standardized movements and components allowing their watches to be repaired by a qualified watchmaker .
On the other side of the coin are the tried and true labels that have been part of the established brands for decades . Often the “ inspiration ” for newcomers , watches initially designed 30 , 40 or even 50 years ago have become icons replicated at various price points . Great brands like Seiko & Citizen offer a superb value on the mass market , and so does Timex , Swatch , Hamilton , Mondaine , and others . Typically , these brands move more deliberately when introducing new designs , but they have a longer view for their collections and may not react as quickly , or be swayed to embrace the whimsical trends and color codes of the moment .
Both micro and macro have fans that will defend the value of the type . Which watch is right for you is always subjective , but with the variety of established brands as well as the budding upstarts popping out of the woodwork , there may have been no better time than the present to be “ watching ”.
Thank you for reading , and thank you for watching .
Marc Frankel , Video Editor
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