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Monday, December 19, 2016

Fancy a Flutter?

flutter
British term for placing a bet on something.  (courtesy of the Urban Dictionary).

So tomorrow we get the November numbers from the FH.  Above a storefront selling carpets, no doubt the calculators are out, numbers checked and re-checked.  There are small pockets of hope that perhaps key holiday purchase periods like Black Friday here in the US and Singles Day in China - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singles'_Day will carry higher sales numbers.  So depending on your level of risk / reward sensibilities you might be inclined to either pick the over or the under.  And if we're being honest about it, isn't that really what the watch industry is predicated on?  We bet that a certain model, for a certain price, in a certain market will sell a certain number of units.  And in fairness I suspect that over the last 20 years or so that number has frequently been wrong.  The grey market, trans-shipping and the ability to dispatch thousands of watches to Hong Kong and other places made it easy to sweep these losing betting tickets under the rug.  So it seems almost poetically appropriate that the official offices of the FH are located in a building just above a carpet merchant in Biel/Bienne ; )

But it is important to note that the watches for those upticks in sales would have already been in those countries, meaning that (if we think about this logically) these sales increases would not impact the November export figures.

It has not been a great year.  Some brands are being "put to sleep".  Don't worry, that does not have exactly the same meaning as putting a pet to sleep.  It means that the company is essentially ignored, people quietly re-assigned or let go, the brand does not make or release any new watches, and there is essentially a night watchman keeping an eye on things for the next year or two.  Think of JEANRICHARD.  In this situation, there is perhaps a desire by some in the organization to get rid of a brand altogether (no prizes for the winning guess in the example of JR), but also resistance from others who feel that it could still work with better management.  
And there are several "Sleeping Beauties" out there waiting for Prince Charming to come along and kiss them.  Let's hope he's brought his check book and plenty of Chap Stick ; )

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