French brand Yema has some summer sale offers on right now, which end in about 12 days’ time.
We like the idea of 30% off the Superman Steel Grey Bronze, which is 990 euros RRP. Plus a 30% discount on the Superman Heritage, which has 300m dive resistance, classic black dial/steel case design and a Swiss quartz movement. At 39mm it’s an everyday watch you can wear easily. 490 euros RRP, so that comes to 343 euros on our calculator.
Even with UK import duty and VAT on top, that’s still a decent deal we think.
Just a heads up as they say on Instagram, so you can bag some swag online. Both Casio G-Shock and H Samuel have watch sales on right now.
The G-Shock Sale has discounts on the official RRP of up to 50%. A G-Steel model with Bluetooth, 3 band options and a battery health indicator at £199, rather than £399 is tempting. More here.
Meanwhile H Samuel has watches from fashion brands like Armani, Hugo Boss, Hilfiger, Kors and all the usual suspects.
Plus how about a Citizen Red Arrows for £179, or a Seiko Prospex Special, with Pepsi bezel colours for £344? If you want a Swiss brand then a Tissot Classics automatic at £235 is basically Indie watch brand money. To be fair, the entry level Tissots have quite a basic movement inside, but you expect that at this price level.
Two Victorinox models in the Sale are sold out already, so we say move fast on this one.
This new service from F.P. Journe is something we would love to see from Rolex, IWC, Hublot, AP, Breitling and other Swiss brands. Basically FPJ are buying up some of their pre-owned watches, giving them a complete refurb, if they need it, and then selling them via their boutique network with a three year warranty. Yes, we know, Rolex would never do that because they just wanna starve the market to keep demand at Glastonbury ticket levels, but hey, we can dream.
Here’s the word from FPJ;
The Patrimoine Service offers the F.P.Journe collectors the opportunity to acquire a timepiece from past collections that are no longer in production. When the opportunity arises, F.P.Journe purchase their own rare watches and restore them as new. They then become available upon request in the F.P.Journe Boutiques and qualify for a new 3-year sales warranty.
If you haven’t got the watch you wanted for Christmas, or just fancy picking up a bargain, then there are plenty of Sale wristwatches around right now. In fact many brands started their online sales early because of the endless lockdowns, but here are some interesting offers we spotted online today. For the sake of clarity, we aren’t covering Michael Kors, Armani, Hugo Boss, Daniel Wellington or a ton of other fashion brands – why? Because they mostly they aren’t really collectable.
So what did we spot?
CW Sellors are a specialist watch retailer and their Sale has some interesting items amongst stuff like Bell + Ross, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Bremont and Raymond Weil. Now you can buy any of those brands if you love the watch and they are beautifully built of course. But if you’re looking to get more than about 25% of the retail price back when it’s trade-in time, then think again. You can love a RW Freelancer, or a Bell + Ross BR diver but you will see many of thse watches gathering dust in watch dealerships or pawnbroker’s windows. So buy it because you want to wear it every day and the retailer has knocked a grand off the RRP!
TAG HEUER Formula 1 Automatic
Only a £150 discount on this automatic Calibre 6 powered TAG but it’s solid value at £1350. You get a decent 38 hour power reserve, date window, superlume and of course a sapphire crystal. It isn’t cutting edge, but neither is this a watch that you have to apologise for, or explain who the brand is to your mates – everyone knows TAG. That also means that if you look after it then you can PX it at 100s of outlets in five years time. Handy.
TUTIMA SAXON ONE M
It’s a leftfield choice and you may end up losing a bundle on the Tutima name, as not many people know about it – or that it’s been revived. Using movements made in-house at Glashutte, the modern Tutima watches are really back home where they were being manufactured before the Cold War happened and the Iron Curtain came down. So it’s a quality, well built automatic, with a 38 hour reserve, day/date dial and available in a maroon dial option, which is something different. With a over 500 quid off the RRP this is worth considering at £1190 because we are now into entry level Swiss watch territory. At that money, this Tutima is worth the gamble.
BREITLING AVIATOR CHRONOGRAPH
How does almost two grand off the price of a Breitling grab you? Yeah, that made you spray your coffee all over that back issue of QP magazine didn’t it? This is another great deal at CW Sellors site and it’s a Breitling with a dial that isn’t too busy with 200 numbers, plus has those classic 70s style chrono pushers. This one is £4361, which compares to a £6200 price tag at Mappin & Webb.
BULOVA GENTS STEEL AUTOMATIC
This classic gents Bulova automatic is everyday value. Owned by Citizen the Bulova brand obviously shares some movement tech and that’s no bad thing we say. This one looks like a run-out model, basically last year’s stock but you’re getting a watch that retailed for £400-£500 new for £185. Not bad at all. This deal is at H Samuel by the way and the Archive Oceanographer retro 70s model is also available for £249.
IWC PORTUGIESIER YACHT CLUB
Goldsmiths have reductions on some TAG, Omega and IWC models, and those brands DO have some re-sale kudos. OK, you may not want the words Yacht Club on your watch dial, it is a bit Sleeping With The Enemy we admit, but this beefy, 44mm case chrono has a bold, striking style that’s obviously IWC, which is a good thing. It also has an in-house movement, (see-thru caseback) which almost justifies the 10K price tag. But with a price of £8063 it looks a bit more tempting if you’re still on the Rolex waiting list and want something right now, that is genuinely prestige. The IWC Pilot’s Top Gun model is £7570 on the Goldsmiths site too by the way.
We cannot resist a watch sale here, and Goldsmiths still have a summer sale on – not bad considering it’s pretty much winter out there. Some of the watches are just fashion models, but there are useful discounts of prestige brands too. So what do we think are the real bargains there?
Let’s start with a Seiko Prospex Street solar model for £260, rather than the £370 list price. The Tuna style case gives it a retro feel and it’s a genuine dive watch, with 200m of resistance, plus that accordion style strap. A Tissot automatic, with the day window at the top of the dial is an elegant everyday Swiss watch, and at £290 it’s priced at Hugo Boss levels. Plus this has the ETA2836 movement inside, which is a proven, reliable unit.
The Omega Railmaster is a Marmite watch for some, as it features the denim blue dial. Some might think that devalues the Omega a little bit, although we love it. So different from the usual Seamaster blue dials. A 40mm case size is just the right compromise and the co-axial movement inside is a longlife engine, which will last you a lifetime – cheers Mr Daniels. At £2920, instead of £4170 list, this is a true bargain.
What else? An Oris Diver Sixty-Five at £1320 is decent value, or how about a Rado Captain Cook at £1350? The list on that Rado is two grand by the way.
Not everything is a bargain in our humble opinion. A Breitling Bentley at £7600 is still a waste of money, even with £2500 discount, when you look at the pitiful PX prices being offered for pre-owned Bentley models at watch shops and online portals. You can buy a mint used Bentley for about 4K, and many dealers find them slow sellers, which means that you’ll get offered about £2500, depending on whether you’re trading in or just looking for a cash sale.
The old maxim holds true, if you’re buying a watch for investment then Rolex, Patek or AP Royal Oaks are your winners. The rest are usually also rans. Buy because you love it and want to wear it. Oh and buy when there’s a sale on.
We love Indie watch brands here because it’s all about making a dream reality; manufacturing on demand basically.
So a scout around Boldr Supply’s website today highlighted some limited edition models that are still available and may tempt you. Love bronze? The BOLDROdyssey Bronze comes with a Marine Grade CuSn8 bronze case, which will develop a unique patina with time and use – creating a distinctive character for each and every Odyssey Bronze watch that’s worn.
This organic individualization perfectly represents the BOLDR ideal, letting each watch and wearer tell their own unique story. The Odyssey’s signature bezel, which has also been updated with new markings for added functionality.
Featuring an extremely robust bronze case meant for actual diving, the Odyssey can ride rough with an ultra-tough high-resistance screw-down case back, rated for up to 500m water resistance, and a screw-down crown with triple lock mechanism. A resilient Japanese Automatic movement and special helium escape valve also make sure your watch stays strong under any pressure and is tried and tested for your toughest challenges.
There’s a 45mm case size on this model and an NH35 Seiko auto movement inside. At $649 we think that’s a very impressive dive watch for the money. Just the blue dial and green dial options left in stock on the BOLDR Odyssey model by the way.
The slimmer Expedition Everest model has a 41mm case, Sellita SW200 power, 200m depth, plus SuperLumiNova on the dial. Plus inner rotating bezel and rubber strap. Great go-anywhere tool watch for $599.
We thought it was time for a quick round-up of various watch related news items;
The Portuguese watch brand has a summer Sale on right now, so if you are on the email subs list then you can unlock discounts on the RRP website price, until 6th July, using code; FMDJUL20.
The famous Jaeger le Coultre brand has a new Cal 956 movement in its Memovox model. This has an alarm function upgrade so you can set the hour for the alarm, or set a given number of hours, whichever you prefer. It’s also a slimmer movement, with a new peripheral mounted gong inside the case, and it features a JL cut-out rotor to power the automatic winding, which is decorated and polished – you can view this voia the see-thru caseback naturally.
Get 40% off the list prices at Deep Blue, today only.
Yes, just apply a 4th July special code; BLUE at checkout – and that gets you a very nice reduction in price. The Seiko powered auto Master 1000 Deep Blue dive watch is already good value at $249, so another 40% is definitely worth having. You may have to pay extra shipping for EU delivery of course.
H SAMUEL SALE
The well known UK High Street jewellery chain has a Sale on right now, with a maximum of 50% off some watches. We spotted some nice Citizen Eco-Drives and Bulova models (also owned by Citizen) with 50% off, plus a handy £130 off a Mondaine SBB Backlit model, which is a decent price if you’re a fan of the Swiss Railyway inspired design.
Bronze case watches, especially dive models, are right on trend now as they say on TV shopping channels, and there’s a great deal to be said for the wonderful ageing process that bronze offers as a material. Your watch tells a story of the key moments in your lifetime, so the colours and hues of bronze are a kind of family shield in some ways. Cool.
What’s cooler is that Florida based Aragon have some discounted prices on their Parma II Bronze model, which features an ETA 2824 Swiss automatic movement, see-thru caseback, depth rating of 200m and comes in 50mm man-sized caseback, or a more everyday 45mm.
The 50mm Meteorite dial model is now $645, although you will have to add some imprt duties and shipping charges on top if you are a UK buyer. The 45mm model is $595, or about £473.
There’s a mother-of-pearl dial option on the Parma, and the Parma Damascus model features a kind of ridged sand pattern on the dial, as if you were viewing the seabed via scuba type goggles.
Great value watches, and Aragon are also on Kickstarter if you want to take advantage of early bird discounts when new projects are announced.
Watches of Switzerland has shrugged off the effects of Corona and reported a rise in group revenue by 5.9 per cent to £819.3 million in the year to April 26.
Watches of Switzerland owner Jewel Holdco S.A R.L, which also owns Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths in the UK is one of the big names in prestige watch retailing in the UK, and already well placed to expand its online operations
Watches of Switzerland said it experienced particularly strong trading pre-lockdown during the first 46 weeks to March 15 with UK and US sales rising by 9.4 per cent and 36.4 per cent respectively.
In the final six weeks of the year, Watches of Switzerland was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as the lockdown resulted in store closures both in the UK and US, says the statement from the Group. However, its ecommerce channels performed well with a 45.8 per cent uplift in sales.
Watches of Switzerland now expects its full year adjusted pre-IFRS 16 EBITDA to come in at between £75 million and £78 million.
“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the group had been on track to deliver double-digit sales growth, reflecting our strong brand partnerships, favourable market conditions and accelerating momentum in the US,” Watches of Switzerland chief executive Brian Duffy said.
“Despite the current challenges, demand for luxury watches has remained strong with online sales performance ahead of our expectations.
“Through our longstanding partnerships with the most prestigious Swiss watch brands, we have further enhanced the online customer experience with the introduction of additional brands which we had previously only transacted in our stores.”
It will be interesting to see if some of the Swiss brands follow the lead taken by car manufacturers and sell direct online to the consumer, relegating the authorised dealer to that of distribution role and service centre combined. For now, many Swiss watch retailers stand or fall on their online performance, but as many collectors know exctly which Rolex, Patek or Audemars model they want, the only issue is the price, it’s hard to see how bricks and mortar retailing can remian immune from the Corona effects on the High Street in the longer term.
Time for a Spring Watch Sale with huge reductions? Definitely, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if H Samuel, Beaverbrooks, Chisholm Hunter or Goldsmiths suffered a collapse into administration later this year given the carnage that is unfolding on UK High Streets. Swiss manufactuers are ramping up their online sales direct to the consumer so many will ask the question later this summer, `do we actually need all these High St dealerships?’
We are also entering a three year long recession, because millions of people in the UK are going to lose their jobs – forever. Taxes will also rise this November to pay for the `free’ money that is being helicoptered into the UK economy to keep people from losing their houses or flats, leased cars etc. That means less disposable income for jewellery and watches, higher food, fuel and other utility costs, new green taxes, more Council Tax rises etc. You get the picture.
So if you’re in the mood to buy a prestige Swiss watch right now, drive a hard bargain and remember that the long established jeweller you are buying from might not be around to honour the warranty next year. Be lucky.
Here’s our top picks online;
Annoyed I missed the Samuel Sale as they were giving away Seiko 5 automatics for £59.99. Everything else that is auto/mech is sold out, so unless you want a mainstream fashion quartz forget it.
Sister company to Samuels, EJ has the Alpina Startimer Pilot in carbon black, with a grey dial and 44mm case, at £700, which isn’t too bad. Alpina claim they use an in-house movement but it is based on the Sellita SW200 and that is a fairly steep price for a movement that’s generic you might say. Again, the nice Seikos have been snapped up and even the Timex mech models have sold out, but given they have a Miyota movement in there and cost just £85, you can’t blame the bargain hunters.
A TAG Heuer Carrera Cal 02 at £4600 is a hefty saving on the RRP, and it’s nice to see one with the blue accents on the sub-dial. It’s a sporty TAG, that might not ever be truly collectible, but will take a lifetime of use – with regular servicing – without too much trouble. There is a downside however, which is this watch has a ceramic case – I hate wearing watches made from pottery, they crack too easily, and I have no idea why TAG chose to make a sporty watch with a rubber strap out of ceramic materials. Too fragile, end of story.
If you have nearly 5K to spend I would say buy a pre-owned Heuer chronograph instead. Better chance of holding its value over the next 5 years by a long chalk, although you have all the problems of authenticity and no guarantee to contend with with vintage 60s/70s watches.
No Sale on, many watches on the website listed as being unavailable.
Over a grand off a Zenith Cronometro Flyback is a bit of a tasty treat if you like retro style aviator watches, with that famous El Primero movement inside the case. Priced at £5,184 the Zenith has the see-thru caseback, lovely nubuck green strap and you have to guess that it will hold a fair percentage of its value long term, which some automatic chronograph models from other brands like Montblanc, Rado or Baume & Mercier fail to do – at least in the UK. I have worked in watches and jewellery for six years and nobody has EVER asked me, ‘can you find me a nice Baume & Mercier, Montblanc or Rado?’
Big watch Sale on right now, but 18-20% off a Nomos Glashutte model doesn’t do it for me. These minimalist German watches are definitely an acquired taste and frankly, they don’t look like two grand on the wrist, which I feel is their big marketing weakness.
A Tissot chronograph with three sub-sec dials and a chunky brown leather strap for £250 is very good value indeed. my feeling is that this is a quartz model, but the info on the website is incorrect – wouldn’t be the first time.
OK, a Bell & Ross watch isn’t everyone’s cup of Bovril, but I like the vintage Garde-Cotes colour combo of grey dial with orange markings around the edge. It looks modern and vintage at the same time. A sapphire crystal, good water resistance, 41mm case size all make this a great wear-it-anywhere watch. On the downside, it uses a modded Sellita SW300 movement, which is nice, but you can get something more interesting – an more of an investment – for £2600 if you have the budget. Tudor Black Bay springs to mind.