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031-"Market Analysis"

763 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  startsomething

a couple of days back Rich pointed out that we may have a different understanding of the "urgency" of the calibre 56 QS issue. Thus I would like to briefly come back to this topic in chapter 031 and ask each of you to again state your opinion regarding the occurence of the problem.

Knowing that the results will probably not be a 100% representative from a statistical point of view IMO we still should obtain a better common understanding of what we are dealing with :)

In the problem statement, I said that approx. 50% of all calibre 56 watches with calendar had a defective QS mechanism - and I need to add, that was something of an educated guess.

I recall two noteable threads, one on this forum (quite a number of us participated in the discussion back then ;-)) and one on Seikoholics, giving the impression that almost ALL calibre 56 watches have a defective QS:

I thus checked my "collection" spreadsheet, where I document all my watches including what I did regarding repair, etc.

I have had 28 calibre 56s in total including some that have been sold again, not counting 5619s, 17 of which had defective QSs (=61 %).

Let's hear your experiences/thoughts, please :)

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I've not taken good long-term notes, but here is recent recollection:
Of the last 3 56 (5619, 5606, and 5626) I've serviced or am in the process of servicing for my own collection, all three have/had inoperable quickset corrector wheels. I've avoided collecting them historically because of this reason, going back quite a few years. I've had some that were OK, but those have seemed the exception to the rule, especially when considering "parts watches" that I've come across.
How many 56's were made? How many have survived intact over the years? I don't know where we'd find the answers to these questions, so it may be that any solution we come up with cannot be contingent upon a large number of buyers for its success.
You also mention something important, IMO: reasonable price for the part.
What would you guys consider to be an acceptable unit price?

For me it should definitely be below 30 USD, or the repair of 56 LMs will not make sense from an economic point of view.
I think the $20 mark would be even better to case a wider net regarding target audience- most people aren't used to paying that much for Seiko parts, even if they are custom-made (keep in mind they won't be plug-and-play either, likely requiring installation by a watchmaker, who if they are smart will also insist on a service with such an invasive procedure. This adds to the cost of the part, in a way). In my mind, $20 is a no-brainer if deciding whether or not to buy a well-made replacement, but $30 starts to push the envelope, I can see pushback higher than that. Maybe 2 for $30 (so that we could have a larger quantity made and recoup at a higher rate per transaction), depending on how costs look after we have a path in mind. A lot of costs are up front when having custom parts made, the quantity doesn't affect it much after a certain threshold is achieved, as I understand it.

Oh, and I agree with you, Anthony- we will have a better idea of costs once we determine what route we will take- manufacturing or repair, and what specific type of either. I guess we're trying to decide now, what's the magic cut-off number, where we would reject a quote if it is over $xx per part. I think Hermann's US$30 sounds like a reasonable ceiling, given the value of the watches in question, and the willingness of owners to spend money on them.
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