In the recent weeks, we have heard a lot of good news from the SIHH in Geneva. You are all excited but find that the new watches are not yet on the market and - alas - not within this year's watch budget? Maybe you want to have a look at some interesting, sporty and robust entry-level watch I came across last year.
Are you getting overwhelmed about all the good news from SIHH? So let's do a Monty Python's and "talk about something completely different" ...
Alexander reported that the brands are reconsidering their entry level price point. And he shared with us some interesting new watches in this segment, e.g. Baume & Mercier's Baumatic with new silicon regulator and increased power reserve for a price somewhere near 2'500CHF. This is to show that innovative watches do not have to be expensive. But if your watch budget this year still falls short, you may want to read on.
When you listen to Alexander's analysis, it is clear that the watch brands are looking into new opportunities online. Certified pre-owned watches - probably sold through the internet - is only one of the ideas that are being tried. Some brands are moving to online sales of new watches, to a resized retail network and to a wider network of mono-brand boutiques. We will see how this will be to the benefit of the end customer. Call me old-fashioned but I still think a watch-purchase needs - at some point or another - a visit at your trusted point of sale to get a better feel for the timepiece on your wrist. And I believe that a knowledgeable independent retailer can add a lot of value by giving you a better overview of the options which may include - dramatic drum roll - looking at other brands you originally considered.
Let me take you to a different market segment: Formex Swiss Watches in Biel have already moved ALL their sales - unless you stumble over one of their pop-up stores - to the online market. You may say that this is no wonder as they play in a different league than the brands at the SIHH. And you may be right. But I admire how they made the decision to rethink their business and find a way how they can offer their fans a collection of well dressed, sporty, robust watches at an interesting price point. And they try to make the online shopping experience an enjoyable and save one by including the delivery and offering a 30 day return policy.
The watches we have added to the database are the ones driven by the well known mechanical chronograph Valjoux 7750 and the automatic ETA 2824-2. Both are reliable and robust movements from well greased production lines at Swatchgroup's ETA factories. The Valjoux 7750 has been around for many years and is known for its robustness as the heavy oscillator keeps the beat even through confusing situations where some excessive movement by the watch owner add centrifugal forces to a situation where earth's gravity is no longer where it was supposed to be. It is no wonder that the Valjoux has been and still is chosen as a base movement for more complicated watches.
Formex has packaged the movements into a case protected by a patented shock-absorbing system. All in all, I think this is a lot of solid Swiss watch making for the entry level watch enthusiast.