Friday, September 26, 2014

Telling the Truth is a Dangerous Business - IWC

Before we begin, please take a moment and view this video from IWC's Georges Kern -

Now, this presentation raised the ire of a LOT of people - several bloggers among them.  They found George's attitude a bit insensitive to the customer because he actually admitted that IWC and other "luxury" watches were ridiculously overpriced, and that the customer buying the watch was (perhaps) giving into irrational thinking when making the purchase.  Ever have that awkward conversation with your wife/husband/partner - "Do you really NEED that?"  Seems pretty accurate to me.

But unlike the other "Big Ballers" out there running Hublot, Zenith, AP and others who never met a partnership they didn't like, Georges had the intestinal fortitude to own up to the truth.

Don't get me wrong, IWC is one of the worst offenders in the "speed dating party" that is what has come to characterize the watch partnership.  I hope they find someone nice someday and settle down ; )

With a wink and a knowing smile the brand would have you believe that their watch is "priceless".  Well, in that you will often find that Zillion Dollar watch cunningly crafted of "Unobtainium", its dial varnished with the tears of Arcadian Nymphs taking up space in the grey market… they are absolutely right!  How could you put a price on mindless, inane and in the end inexplicable waste in terms of marketing dollars (and product) flushed down the toilet of ego?

Sure, Georges could have been a little more sensitive, and some of his comments were a bit "ill advised".  But the truth is, while it might seem to some that a sudden bout of Aspergers beset him, the truth is that he was doing something radical in the luxury watch market.  He was giving a very honest assessment - The Emperor is in fact, naked.

Did Mr. Kern break faith with the faithful?  No, I think what Mr. Kern revealed was something that has always been there but is hard for many of us to admit, and even harder to accept - the brands ultimately are here to do business, and to make money.  We all latch onto a brand because we feel some sort of unexplainable connection.  The Paneristi and his even more incurably romantic cousin the Anonimisti.  We feel that we are making choices with our heads - but we are making many of these choices and commitments with our hearts.

Think you're special?  Think again - you are a number.  You are replaceable.  And really, that's okay.
We are talking about watches, not curing cancer or feeding the homeless ; )

So was it sort of a "Dick Move" to say what he said?  Sure, but it remains to be seen if this will divert the sheep from the "shearer".

Enjoy your watches!

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