TAKE 30% OFF + FREE SHIPPING WITH CODE: MEMORIALDAY30

The Watch Bubble

January 17, 2016

The watch industry has changed forever.  The proliferation of so called "micro-brand" watches has permeated every watch forum, review site, and Facebook group.  Additionally, a weekly search of Kickstarter or Indiegogo will reveal a new watch product going live at a staggering rate. We are existing at the height of a watch bubble.

Just as we learned from experiencing the tech bubble of the early 1990's and the housing bubble of 2008-2010, irrational exuberance (I am borrowing the phrase form Mr. Greenspan) has taken over, and is running a muck in the watch industry.  We learned the hard way when government policy embraced the notion that "every American deserves a home" and similarly, in the watch world, it is beginning to look like industry is expounding the notion "everybody deserves to start a watch company."

While the explosion of creativity across the mid to low end watch market has been impressive and entertaining, one must question whether or not there is enough room in this segment of the market to all for all these companies to share a piece of the pie.  Put another way, just how many Miyota 9015 dive watch options need to appear on crowdfunding platforms and watch forums before every person with wireless and the ability to use Skype and Alibaba will own a watch company?

Much of the creation of this watch bubble stems from social media and crowdfunding, but also from the increasing desire of millennials to strive for individuality and luxury in a notoriously stuffy watch market. The same forces that are behind the gentrification of urban neighborhoods are behind the inflation of the watch bubble.

The major problem with these Kickstarter watch companies or second-job start-ups is not that that they offer an inferior product, but that they over value their own designs and do not have adequate facilities to service the watches that they have built over seas and therefore have to outsource the warranty work or worse yet, send their wounded watches back to China.  Without a strong infrastructure to handle warranty work and service, it is difficult to have a true watch company.  

Will all of the micro-brand watch companies importing and selling non-OEM designs as their own survive for a year or become a legitimate company?  Probably not, but this is the upside of the watch bubble.  The companies in the micro brand space today that embrace original design and actually build their watch and perform their own service can survive and become major players in the low to medium priced watch market which the major international brands have easily dominated in the past. 

The major take away from the impending watch bubble is to dig deep into the company that makes the watch and make sure they will be able to go the distance.  

Building Watches at Smith & Bradley

 




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in S&B™ Watches Blog

The All-New SANS-13
The All-New SANS-13

May 20, 2019

Since its inception and debut on Kickstarter in 2013, the SANS-13 Tactical Sport Watch has evolved over the last few years. From top-shelf Swiss movement to a new 300 meter water resistance rating, here's what we've done to make it a better watch.

Continue Reading

S&B™ Watches in Ballistic Magazine
S&B™ Watches in Ballistic Magazine

May 04, 2019

S&B™ Watches is excited to be included in the tactical watch round-up article in the latest issue of Ballistic Magazine. Devoted to the modern firearms enthusiast, Ballistic Magazine is packed full of great articles, exclusive interviews, and fantastic photos.

Continue Reading

The Atlantis on the Discovery Channel
The Atlantis on the Discovery Channel

October 08, 2018

Our products are just now starting to take off in mainstream. On October 7, 2018 our product was used in the new Discovery Channel show, Discovering water. The entire season will be featuring our Atlantis series and Prima Executive series watches. Be on the lookout in every scene and you will see our watches.

Continue Reading