Monday, February 9, 2015

Hop in the Way-Back Machine

With Armand Nicolet -
Courtesy of Armand Nicolet
Okay, I am of two minds regarding a few of the new collections from Armand Nicolet.  The above piece is referred to as the L11 Small Seconds.

It is not an obvious design choice but a wonderful one.  This is one of the pieces that Armand Nicolet is offering that features a vintage movement.  In this particular instance it is the FHF 70.  It is housed in a tank styled 316L stainless steel case that measures 48 x 29 mm.  The dial is well conceived and perhaps the only thing I would change is the text just above the hands.  

I am a sucker for the FHF movements and this is no exception.

Courtesy of Armand Nicolet
It is beautiful.  

16 jewels with 34 hours of power reserve.  The bridges are decorated with “Côtes de Genève” and gold engravings.  This FHF has been "upgraded" with Incabloc shock absorption.

And it is here where I would say - "WOW!  Amazing watch!  What's the price?"

And I might cough a bit when I hear the reply.  Priced at $4,900 US I have to question whether or not this was a well thought-out retail price point.

Armand Nicolet makes some really, REALLY cool things.  And I am in no position to offer commentary on how they do in other countries. 


Here in the US Armand Nicolet watches have often found their way a bit too quickly into the grey market in the not so distant past.  So it was hard to know if the watches were worth the asking price as they were often deeply discounted within 12 to 18 months. 


In fairness, it seems that maybe, just maybe Armand Nicolet have turned a corner and will hopefully be holding the line on their products.  That would be good, but unfortunately at $4,900 it is perhaps a bit ambitiously priced.

So herein lies the rub.  Is this a $4,900 watch?  Or is it one that at $2,500 or less, you can see yourself buying it?

It is beautifully beguiling. But suspecting that if sales don't go as well as hoped and that the asking price will possibly drop as a result - should you pay the full asking price?

I want to believe.  I want this to be the next great thing.  But consider what you can buy with $4,900?

Armand Nicolet - you are on the right path.  Keep making wonderfully interesting watches like this one with wonderful NOS movements.  

But put down the crack pipe, and calculate prices in the sober light of day.  

This is a wonderful watch.  Price it realistically and you will sell it out.

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