In this week’s episode of Fratello On Air, we ponder what’s wrong with the watch industry. Before you jump to conclusions, we’re not upset. We have a wish list and think that certain areas within this sector could use further thoughts or updates. Get ready for a lengthy episode!

So, what’s wrong with the watch industry? Maybe “wrong” is too harsh a word, but we do see opportunities for improvement or alteration. Don’t worry; we keep our suggestions above the beltline, but we do think we score a few points. We love watches and want to see brands continue to do well, so we share our highly esteemed (well, not really) opinions. As always, feel free to share your thoughts below!

Handgelenks Kontrolle

We kick things off with a short disclaimer about last week’s episode about the three watches we’d save from a burning house. Once again, folks, no one was hurt in that scenario, and we felt it was more catchy to come up with such a title. When several of you suggested that taking the insurance money was a better idea, I guess we lost you! Next, there is a bit of sneaker news. The Nike Air Tech Challenge II in Lava is coming again! These were Andre Agassi’s famous shoes, and there’s a nice history video clip here. Before talking about the watch industry, Balazs shares a new watch he has in for review. The new Vulcain Grand Prix with a champagne dial and 39mm case is on his wrist. Mike is wearing a new arrival as well. It’s the 1939 Omega reference 13322 with a sterling silver case and a 30T2 movement. More to come on that one!

watch industry boutique

Bucherer boutique — Image: Bucherer

Our wish list for the watch industry

Next, we discuss opportunities for the watch industry. We talk about several different topics, including:

  • The industry still moves at the pace of an aircraft carrier, which makes keeping up with trends difficult at best.
  • Pricing has become so high that the five-figure mark is no longer sacred. This has to stop.
  • Celebrity endorsers — has the industry gone overboard with them?
  • Brand-owned boutiques are often empty and can feel intimidating to enter. Plus, they’re expensive and contribute to high watch prices.
  • The gray market is a problem that brands should own and control by making watches that people want to buy.
  • Anyone can become a watch dealer. Why do some people buy from known felons or fly-by-night hucksters?
  • Overuse of artists or collaborators from outside of the industry — what was once unique becomes tired.
  • Influencers — who needs them, and what is their real value?
  • Finally, we love retro designs, but we’d love to see more fresh designs and new ideas. Save the reissues for truly special models.

We hope you enjoy today’s lengthy episode, and thank you for listening. As always, if you have any show ideas, feel free to let us know!