Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Open Letter to the SWATCH Group

Dear SWATCH Group,

First and foremost, congratulations on your continued success.  Through the vision, determination and belief of "Papa SWATCH" Mr. Hayek, you have made the world safe again for mechanical watches, and we all owe you a great deal of thanks!

But there is something that you just let loose into the world (albeit somewhat on the sly) that I believe is something of great significance.  Something so great, that its creation (in my mind) at least, is on Parr with when the man said "What if we slice the bread before we sell it?"

Courtesy of Manfredi and Lemania
I am referring to your semi-secret/stealth release of the Lemania Chronograph.  I realize that your intentions might have been simply to use up some old stock, or perhaps some other motivation.  But I can say that I have seen the Lemania chronograph - and IT IS GOOD!
Courtesy of Manfredi and Lemania
The movement is not some haute, tarted-up motor.  Free of ostentation and artifice, this is an engine to wind the mainspring and keep the watch wound.  Basic, simple and dare I say it - painfully obvious.

So here's my idea, and I realize that it might be a bit goofy, but here goes:

This is really based in the idea of the "Ever Lasting Gobstopper" from Willy Wonka.  A candy designed for children who didn't have a lot of pocket money.  It would last forever.  So in that spirit, go beyond a one-off.  Make a nice mechanical chronograph for men (and surely some women) who don't have a lot of pocket money.

Re-launch the Lemania brand as an "anti-brand".  A nice, basic movement in a nice steel case.  A smart looking mechanical watch for people without a ton of disposable income, but still wanting a nice watch, and aren't bothered about the name on the dial and what celebrity wears it.  An honest chronograph.  No bells, no whistles.  Keep the packaging at a minimum - and spare the crazy SWATCH GROUP size advertising campaigns.  A nice solid watch for everyday people.  And you know what, it will still appeal to true watch fans as well.  Unlike a SWATCH, the case could be opened, and the movement could be serviced.  A beautiful mechanical watch with an honest, basic, unassuming movement powering it.  All at a price that could be afforded by normal folks.

Or to quote Frank Costanza - A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

Not terribly sexy, but there's my idea.  And if you need someone to help with the roll-out / running of it, my dance card has space!

In the words of Mr. Wonka - "Hold your breath, make a wish, count to three." 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your assessment....

    An honest chronograph. No bells, no whistles. Keep the packaging at a minimum - and spare the crazy SWATCH GROUP size advertising campaigns. A nice solid watch for everyday people.

    Have you heard of Christopher Ward?