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Discussion Starter #1
In 2004 Seiko commissioned Gallup to do a survey on consumers' perceptions and values of watch brands.
Seiko was positioned lower than ány Swiss brand and the perceiven value of a Seiko came out on the average of $222.

The spring drive was launched as a Seíko and deliberately not as a seperate brand like Toyota did with the Lexus.
The movement was the perfect platform to position Seiko as a manufacturer of high end watches as it sidesteps all swiss products and offers hitherto unheard of performance in what is principally a mechanical movement.

It is working. Have a read in this thread on the Omega forum section!!!! of WUS:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?p=2942352

This surely must be the greatest achievement of spring drive!!

Petrus
 

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It is not only from the SpringDrive, it is a general result of people becoming more aware of the higher-end Seiko models.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Catalin said:
It is not only from the SpringDrive, it is a general result of people becoming more aware of the higher-end Seiko models.
..and the lauch of spring drive as a Seiko has achieved that.
GS and Credor had been around for decennia but had no impact; the general notional value was $222 only.

Spring drive has been the véhicle to achieve this awareness of high end Seikos.
 

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Spring Drive simply rocks!! 8)


If I were to keep only 1 watch, my Ananta Spring Drive GMT would be it. The movement is amazing and it refuses to lose time. Never seen anything like it. Having a mechanical watch that is unaffected by positional variance is a dream come true.


Spring Drive is money well spent. Not cheap but oh boy, so well worth it.
 

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minidriver said:
Spring Drive simply rocks!! 8)


If I were to keep only 1 watch, my Ananta Spring Drive GMT would be it. The movement is amazing and it refuses to lose time. Never seen anything like it. Having a mechanical watch that is unaffected by positional variance is a dream come true.


Spring Drive is money well spent. Not cheap but oh boy, so well worth it.
Send some money my way so I can buy the SD diver. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Given that the spring drive is at the top of the Seiko tree it stands to reason that Seiko lovers love it :)


Appearantly Seiko is now perceived as having watches in top of the wátch tree by Swis-Wis too.


There seems to be no data about how many high end Seikos are sóld and also the economic recession múst have had a serious impact on the development. The percéption however, the notional value, of the postion of high end Seikos has changed.
Spring drive, GS and Ananta hardly appear for sale pre-owned and when they do fetch solid prices perviously reserved for Swiss only. This refects the notional value op pre-owned Seikos and will in turn inspire confidence in buying new.
 

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I think you'll find that serious collectors have been well aware of the value of high end seikos for a long time. I think the issue is not so much changing perceptions amongst collectors, but amongst the general public, who continue to view seiko as an inexpensive to mid level "department store" brand and no nothing about what makes seiko a desirable or high end brand let alone a comparable to most of the high end swiss brands.
 

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Isthmus said:
I think you'll find that serious collectors have been well aware of the value of high end seikos for a long time. I think the issue is not so much changing perceptions amongst collectors, but amongst the general public, who continue to view seiko as an inexpensive to mid level "department store" brand and no nothing about what makes seiko a desirable or high end brand let alone a comparable to most of the high end swiss brands.

That and the "Anti-Japanese" bias shown by some collectors whom will never give any high end Seiko the time of day, no matter how good or better it may be.


My Ananta AD commented that the watches have attracted customers that own expensive Swiss watches in the likes of Patek Phillipe, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex, etc. Without hard data is hard to say whether Ananta has been truly successful at changing the established perception of Seiko as an inexpensive purveyor of solid but ordinary quartz watches.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Isthmus said:
I think you'll find that serious collectors have been well aware of the value of high end seikos for a long time. I think the issue is not so much changing perceptions amongst collectors, but amongst the general public, who continue to view seiko as an inexpensive to mid level "department store" brand and no nothing about what makes seiko a desirable or high end brand let alone a comparable to most of the high end swiss brands.
You are no doubt correct. It is thát sector which Seiko needs to, wants to influance as there is where the numbers are.
An image change like this is however most effectively started top down. At the top there are simply less customers to address.
When those few high end watches are seen to retain resale value this will have a significant effect too.
If the perception of Seiko as a more upscale brand leads to an increase of perceived value from $222 to $275 than this means a potential 50zillion $ increase in turnover for the same number of watches sold.

The appearance of Seiko boutiques is another spearpoint to enhance perception.
The snag is that when I walk through the city, through the malls, I see léss Seiko in the windows. That cannot be the purpose. This may however be an effect with a cause coming from the competitors.
 

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In all fairness, seiko is not the firs or only company to try to move their brand upmarket. I have yet to see any company pull it off successfully though (though I'd be interested in hearing of any that have). The closest I've seen to success was in the car industry, when Volkswagen tried to move their brand upmarket. they did a wonderful job of improving the feel and quality of all their cars, and introduced some very impressive models in the process. however, they didn't do it gradually, and instead upped prices across the board and jumped feet first into the very high end section of the market, with no accounting for price. the result was disastrous for the high end models, and the company took a big hit, because the lower end models began to overlap with VW's other luxury offerings from audi. It seems like VW abandoned that notion, but the end effect is the VW as a brand is now generally perceived (at least in the US) as a slightly more upmarket brand, than comparable vehicles from other manufacturers. Mixed results, but not an entire failure, and that's the best example that I can think of.

I know in watches that Omega went from being a solid higher end brand, to a dying brand, to a volume manufacturer (not that different from seiko at the time), and then back to a high end brand. But in their case their brand retained the initial brand appeal, and they had a prior high end history, so they simply returned to what people already expected of the brand. I've seen many watch brands move down market, but not up (at least not as an entire brand name). It's definitely a steep uphill road seiko is trying to travel, and thus far, their approach doesn't seem entirely cohesive.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In motorcycles I find Honda thé example of a japanese brand that entered as a volume seller of small capacity bikes and evolved into a brand that can sell in every market at the top end of the niche they choose.
It is expécted that they are priced just that bit higher.
The Honda NR is an example that they have a quality image which can outcompete anybody and be successful even at a level beyond MV Agusta.

Anyway. Seiko is long from achieving it´s goal with the geral public and may very well be at risk in the volume market because of the strategy. BUT, the sidestep with the spring drive sure had effect on WISdom.
 

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First of all, I do not personally want Seiko to be seen as high class brand, as this will lead to higher prices on the second hand market!
Secondly, I love the spring drive technology, but do you really like the way they integrate this power reserve indication?
Imho it's there to make it clear, that it's a spring drive, but from an aesthetic point of view, it should be skipped, or, at least having a more concentric scale.

But just my 2ct,

Axel
 
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