A recent post from someone I didn’t know kind of reminded me of something.
The post on Instagram was about a visit to a Rolex shop. And yet there was nothing to walk out the store with.
But what the poster, and his wife, said was that it was nice to be able to see the watches in person, see them and feel them and put them on.
Now this isn’t something new to many of us. It was never really that hard to see most watches. But over the craziness of the last few years and the drawing in of many people more interested in money than watchmaking, we forget that many have been left somewhat hanging.
You would more often go into watch shops to look and talk and dream more than buy. That was actually part of the charm. It would be like a kid going to a toy store or bookstore (for me) checking on something you couldn’t yet get. Seeing if it was still there waiting for you.
Now with everyone focused by algorithms on the same few pieces and a whole world of changing “grails,” a lot of that original authentic charm was gone.
So don’t look at the fact that you can’t buy immediately completely as a bad thing. The brands and shops aren’t just teasing you. They are responding to a very real market reality. And it pains them that people who would love to see and feel and touch their watches cannot do so.
For many people especially nowadays, watches are about money and bragging rights and such. But for most of the watchmaking world and industry, there is a true and authentic passion. Yes business demands must be met, but numbers are not always the drivers you may think.
I personally did not think about this when I learned the current standards of always having stock in the shops for people to see. I thought it was an intelligent response by the watch companies. And I thought about people who would look at it with frustration.
But that post I mentioned, it made me think. Perhaps I was falling into the “usual response.”
So that original poster (and his wife) was (were?) right. Now more people can go to the shops and see the watches.
Maybe the watch companies aren’t just thinking about people spending their money.
Maybe they are thinking about people spending their time.