Why is today's watch market dominated by throwaway watches?

Or, in other words, why we started Curtis+Richard (story time):
The watch market today is at both an all time high and an all time low. The high is that more people than ever are interested in owning a watch, thanks, most likely, to the vast popularity of the Apple watch. The low is a moral low of watch manufacturers. Many popular brands, and I won't name any names, are endemically purchasing incredibly cheap and poorly made watches from Chinese factories with substandard work conditions, taking these watches, and stamping their brand name on the dial to command a (literally) 6000% price increase*. The worst part is that these watches are often being marketed in such a way that consumers feel they are buying a quality or good value product that will stand the test of time, when in fact, these watches were designed to be thrown away after a few months or years' use (In fact, we've personally seen such watches fall apart 12 months after purchase). It's sometimes difficult to asses the level of quality as you can't see it in a picture before you buy. And even then, much of the lack of quality is under the surface, inside the watch itself. You can see why this business strategy is attractive to new brands - virtually no effort has to go into design, research, or development and profits are huge. In fact, the only real effort necessary for such brands is in the deceptive marketing. But we wanted to do something different.
We wanted to create a marketplace for watches that actually keep their promises - watches that were made by passionate, skilled (and fairly paid!) workers to truly stand the test of time and ascend beyond the fashion of the day. When you buy a watch from us, you can be confident that if it needs a service several years into its use, there will always be a watchmaker that is able to fix it. With regular service, a well-made mechanical watch will do its job for longer than you or I will be around to appreciate (and most of our watches have already been doing their job perfectly for 50+ years!). And on top of that, by supporting the vintage watch market, you're helping to curb the damaging environmental and health impacts of modern manufacturing.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you like what you read, we'd love for you to consider liking us on Facebook or following us on Instagram (we're also on Pinterest!). You can find the links for all of our social media at the bottom of this page. And if you have any friends that are looking to purchase a new watch, maybe urge them to consider purchasing an old watch instead! 
*Take a look at DHGate or Aliexpress for proof. Just search "watch" and you'll see some very familiar watch designs, except the price tag says $4 rather than $250. That price reflects how much those watches are actually worth. Crazy!

Share this post

Leave a comment