Tuesday, March 16, 2021

"I want to say one word to you, Benjamin. Just one word."

The older members of the peanut gallery out there will recognize today's title from the 1967 film - The Graduate. Here's the quoted piece in context to today's topic:

Mr. Maguire: I want to say one word to you, Benjamin. Just one word.
Benjamin Braddock: Yes, sir.
Mr. Maguire: Are you listening?
Benjamin Braddock: Yes, I am.

Courtesy of DOXA
Mr. Maguire: Plastics.

Okay, in fairness, carbon fiber, but visit various DOXA and dive watch discussion forums, and you will find that the word plastic is being bandied about more than a little bit.

Well pals and gals, there's a fair bit to unpack here. In all honesty, this product release was, to be kind, not handled particularly well. As of 7:21in the AM (NYC) today, a visit to the DOXA online web store you would have seen that a lot of the product details had not been uploaded yet to the site. Apparently the SUB 300 carbon (apparently not a proper name designation, hence not capitalized) DIVINGSTAR has a movement, albeit one with ZERO description. But not to worry! There is an abundance of information on the strap -
FKM rubber strap, folding clasp, black PVD coating, with ratcheting dive suit extension, exclusive DOXA fish logo Lug width: 20 mm
And it's all yours for the low, low price of $3,890!

But wait!  According to A Blog To Watch, the price is -  3,790 CHF.  As I write this at 7:30 AM (NYC), that equates to $4,097.89 per XE Currency's conversion.

You may remember DOXA's run-away success with carbon fiber with their limited edition SUB 300 Sharkhunter -
Courtesy of DOXA
That SUB set sail a year ago, limited to 300 pieces. Let's say that this one sold more like the hotcake's sexier cousin, the waffle, as in not so hot. If the DOXA website is anything to go on, 300 pieces have not sold yet.
Courtesy of DOXA
Now once again, to be fair, DOXA is being managed with a vision of what they feel DOXA could be (a big time, popular in retail watch), and how they think they can get there. They have invested in advertising, and the more "malleable" members of the Fourth and Fifth Estate are more than happy to keep barking like seals so long as the fish keep getting tossed their way.

If the new SUBs turn your crank as a watch you want to own, you should not let ANYONE (yes, that includes me) dissuade you.
Shamelessly Borrowed

But I do want to hop in the WABAC Machine and take you back to the thrilling days of yesteryear when I worked for DOXA's North American license holder. The recipe for successful DOXA sales was actually a lot more simple than you might think -
  • Launch either an Orange (Professional) or Black (Sharkhunter) first. 
  • Remember that a HUGE number of your potential customers do not care one bit about watches, but have a visceral connection to Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt.
  • Conduct a "we want your opinion" poll on the forum that would artfully (albeit not so subtly) direct participants to choose the details that had  already finalized months before.
  • Keep it relatively within the range of what people continually buy - which if I am being brutally honest in retrospect was the 1000, 1200 and 300.
  • Build up anticipation - the majority of folks often flip their previous DOXA watches to pay for the new DOXA offering.
  • Price it at something in the range of $2,300 BUT pull a Ron Popeil - 
Shamelessly borrowed from the world-wide info-web
  • Use language like "special introductory price" and "pre-order" price.
I don't claim to know or really understand what motivated this latest offering from the folks in Biel/Bienne. And to be abundantly clear, I am neither on Team Jenny or Team Marei in the DOXA wars - I am a conscientious objector firmly on the side of Team Henki ; )

It is indeed possible that the other DOXA SUB watches are selling well. It may well be that retail in the UK is big, bold and beautiful! And in truth, it might be that DOXA is playing the long game, and willing (and able) to wait out the nay-sayers on the forums and win them over in the end.

We will wait, and we will see. But I don't think that this is the SUB that's gonna' move the needle.

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