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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stick a Fork in Them

They're done. 

If there was any lingering doubts as to the potential viability of Vulcain, allow me to acquaint you with the latest product dump going on over at Touch of Modern -

Vulcain at Touch of Modern

Now up until about a year ago, our best barometer for how a brand was really doing was to check resale prices for previously owned models, speak with retail stores to see what was selling and what was not.  Moreover, you could see how much product was floating around the grey market.  And what we have started to learn this past year was that all of those surveys were probably giving us skewed data, owing to the great masses of watches being swept under antique carpets in Hong Kong, or buried in various domestic subsidiary office vaults.

Vulcain has proven that you can throw money at a problem and that won't fix it.  Moreover, their various US distributors from 2011 until now have proven that point in an even more profound manner.  The US distributors proudly crowing how amazing business was,  and then a mysterious amount of Vulcain watches showing up on an Ebay store based in NYC selling brand new Vulcain models at very steep discounts.

Touch of Modern and Mass Drop have actually become very valuable tools for forecasting how a brand is REALLY doing.  Because to some extent it is nearly impossible to battle the grey market.  It is like a multi-headed hydra, chop off a head and another takes its place.  But when you see the prices offered on some brands at Touch of Modern and Mass Drop, it becomes clear that in several of these instances, it is the brands themselves who are supplying the product to these outlets.  How else do you explain discounts GREATER THAN 50%?  No retailer, unless they are going out of business, is going to let stock go for less than what they paid for it.  And in fact, most distributors will dump it themselves on Ebay.  But when brands are doing deals directly with these outlets, it is a strong indication that they are running out of options, and drowning in their own stock.  And with 12 months and 4 days left to export all of the current models currently existing within the Swiss borders before the new Swissness restricts what can be exported as Swiss Made?  Well, get on your Speedos and grab some swim fins, because a flood of product is coming.


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