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February 15, 2014

Comments

Angelo

I'm frankly mystified as to why Seiko hasn't introduced one of their luxury divisions mentioned in the article to the U.S. (not "Grand" Seiko either----but one with a name that is not Seiko).
This reminds me of Acura, Lexus and Infiniti taking on the Europeans at luxury cars. It was the most brilliant move that respectively, Honda, Toyota and Nissan ever made. Look----a Toyota Avalon is a beautifully designed, luxurious, smooth, quiet, solid, well made automobile that holds its own against German cars selling for many thousands more. But to the demographic that wants to drive around in a "luxury" car, it's still merely a Toyota. Enter "Lexus" a brand that might not have the history of Mercedes, Audi and BMW, but it does have a luxury image---chops that a Toyota Avalon wouldn't have for those buyers. The Volkswagen Phaeton was supposedly a very competent luxury car----but it sold in horribly low numbers. If they had branded that as an Audi---I suspect it would have done much better. The lesson here, from an advertising/marketing/product positioning standpoint is that in my opinion, Seiko's best of the best, highest priced luxury watches should not be named Seiko----because you can go on Amazon and buy a new Seiko watch for under $50.00, shipping included. The guy looking at Rolex and Breitling might not want to have the same name on his wrist as me----when I wear my $50.00 Seiko. A fresh introduction of their luxury brand in the U.S. might move them upmarket in a far faster way then selling the Seiko brand in this league.

jonnybardo

Good article. You're still going to find watch snobs that don't see Seiko as a "real" luxury brand. The Grand Seikos might have equivalent quality as many Swiss watches, but they don't the legacy of Swiss brands.

The vast majority of the price on luxury watches is the movement, and in this regard it seems that Seiko is catching up. But again, the name "Seiko" doesn't have the cache with the high-end world that the big Swiss brands do.

I think also the fact that they produce a wide range of watches, from your $70 Amazon beater to a $7,000 Grand Seiko, hurts the image of a luxury watch brand. None of the big names do the same (although I wish they would; wouldn't it be great if Breitling came out with a $1K watch with a relatively pedestrian ETA movement?)

Understand that in the true luxury watch world, even Omega and Breitling are borderline - considered low-end luxury watches. Of course a lot of this is silliness, and the bottom line is that Seiko makes great watches and perhaps the best value in the watch world.

MOT Milton Keynes

Really good article here. I'm not sure that you could consider Breitling "low end"

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