I'm a watch enthusiast. It is not something I live and breathe every second, however I always appreciate a worthy timepiece. For some time I was figuring out the "formula" behind the watch price. And here are the main ingredients:
Brands such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and some others have been known for the last two-three centuries. They were first to face design challenges and solve multiple issues to make their own in-house movements as well as overall watch look. This alone provides a credibility of manufacturer to consider itself an expert in field. However not always the oldest brands keep it best.
- Branding & strategy
If you watch tennis, yacht competitions, polo games you see a golden crown. You see a green background and very familiar ROLEX sign screaming at you from almost everywhere. If you go to an authorised dealer to buy your next Submariner - they will tell you to wait six months and line up in a queue. They create desire and scarcity boosted up by aggressively promoting their brand. Even though Rolex watches are not really technically advanced comparing to other brands, their prices are still in a low-medium luxury segment. Just look at their Milgauss model which is capable of withstanding magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss (where the name comes from). Milgauss is branded to be a scientific watch to resist magnetic fields. But what if I tell you that Rolex Explorer is made from almost identical components and has no mentioning of it being special? Again, branding and strategy.
This one may come under the branding and strategy umbrella, however I decided to separate it a bit. Association is highly important for a watch brand/model. This is why Paul Newman Daytona was sold for $17.8 million dollars. This is why COMEX Submariner is fetching over $50,000 in a fairly bad condition. This is why very early Omega Speedmaster Professional is fetching six digit numbers. Some watches have been on a moon, some were involved in a racing and some touched down to the bottom of the ocean. Many people want to belong to the history of events and feel themselves as a part of it.
I may say this one still comes in a list, even though there are some awesome watch brands that don't have a good branding, history and association but simply make their own movements and crazy designs. Unfortunately the power of quality alone fades in front of more marketing/hype based parameters.
This is how I decided to go with a two-dial Omega Speedmaster 9300 co-axial.
From history/association perspective Omega Speedmaster is soaked with a "First watch on the Moon" flavour. Indeed, back in a days NASA approved Speedmaster for a mission to the Moon and at some point it saved the life of astronauts by measuring fuel burn with its chronometer. And I like that. Space, exploration, adventure - everything feels spot on. For those who know the history of this watch, you may remember that the glass was actually made from plastic named "hesalite" crystal. And you may also aware that it is known to be notoriously scratch - irresistible. 9300 Omega unlike the original one has a sapphire crystal on both front and back (limited skeleton version aka "sapphire sandwich" exposing the movement, absolutely stunning) making it noticeably more scratch resistant. Another issue with original version was wind-up movement. For some it is alright, for me - always prefer automatic on-hand winding. But the most important feature would be the movement itself. The 9300 Omega Speedmaster is featuring a co-axial escapement which allows watch to be serviced less and reduce a friction of some parts inside. Less lubrication and more life expectancy for internals, which is absolutely awesome.
That's why for me it was a no-brainer to pick up 9300 Omega Speedmaster considering a unique fusion of history, modern improvements and overall elegancy.