Monday, 29 June 2009

gnashing of teeth at... uhm teething issues and deplorable QC

Ok so u just bought the latest n greatest complication from company X who has trumpeted its new technical marvel developed by their in-house crack team of experts or a wunderkind genius n u bring it home wif much joy n a much lighter wallet (horological wizardy does not come cheap) and then...

it breaks down....................

After the initial tsunami of dissapointment has passed, with the repeated exclamation 'why the fudge does my $X0k (or worse $x00k) watch not work rite, when a g-shock can do the same for $x0?!!?' u simmer down, put down the hammer that u had picked up ready to destroy said crap product n think of a better way forward :) [of course no hammers were involved, who'd be daft enough to strike a watch they've put soo much moolah into rite? :)]

U send it back to the AD u bought it from who expresses shock n horror at the problem (even though they've seen a lot of clients with similar problems wif the same brand/watch calibre before, a fact that they didn't look to share when they were selling you the watch) and they assure u they will get it sorted asap. But the watch has to go back to Switzerland of course n that will take some time (noting customs clearance for the AD, lots of other watches being serviced and those that are ahead in the queue, and there are some who can jump the queue but you aren't important enuff for them to flex their muscle for it etc)

U wait a few weeks, which turn into a few months... U wonder how it could be that u forked over so much for a watch that is spending so much time out of your hands when u could hv bought watches A, B & C instead which your mates have n have proven to be reliable timekeepers so far.

But u finally get the watch back n you are happy again. It was a watch u fell in love with, enough to fork out a fair amount of change for. Aesthetics, romanticism, concept, coolness ahhhh... fallen for it hook line and sinker... or lock, stock and two smoking barrels ;)

all is well in your world again. the birds are chirping a merry tune outside the window. spring is in the air... your watch works as how the watch house marketing Gods claim it should in ads...
for awhile...

Then it starts gettin a little cranky, actin up a little... workin fine some of the time or jus refusin to work right some other times. Thats just not acceptable is it now? So back to Switzerland it goes again... U cursing ever having bought it... but 'u wait and wait and wait in Casablanca'... oops wrong tale... u wait and wait and hope it comes back as good as what they said it would be and wait and wait and wait...
~ fin ~

check it
the short tale above is just that... a story... but not an uncommon one, well at least not in the circles i roll in. a number of my watch collecting mates have similar stories with some variations. some have to send the watch back 1 time and its fixed and some 6 times! yes u read right 6 $$#*%%$@ times! and some have to always send the watch from a certain brand back once before it works as per how it should have in the first place...

be it new innovative timekeepers or qc issues, be it a small boutique firm, independent or a big haute horlogerie name, one would hope they get their acts right before selling their pricey watches to us.

so for the watch companies, some words of advice (if anyone cares n is listening)
(1) trumpet the fact that u will service every watch ever made by your brand(even through ownership changes) and stand by that
(2) get your QC up to scratch so that no (or a very very very small infinitesimal number of) watches leave your manufactures/factories not as right as they should be
(3) place greater weight on prioritisation of the repair of watches based on how 'young' they are from date of purchase, meaning the younger they are the faster they should be addressed.
(4) get more or train more staff dedicated to fixing and servicing stuff. This is worth investing in..
(5) do more testing on new calibres to ensure reliability before releasing any watch with them in it for sale (yes testing and not posing in the advertisements, if you please)
(6) let people know how u r going to ensure long term servicing... this one is tough though...

some pointers for the watch buyers then
- do your research on the watch you want to buy BEFORE u buy it. if there are loadsa stories of issues with a particular brand/watch then... well... where theres smoke theres often fire. u just gotta figure if its something u're willing to live with
- don't believe everything the watch company people tell u eg. Highest level of QC, tested minimum x hours(or to get clarity check if its the movement tested on its own or the cased watch or both that goes through controls test), chronometer grade... yada yada yada
- smaller houses hv less time n resources but the problem is true for both small and big houses... some questions though between small and big are...
> mass produced but better qc vs small manufactures with limited resource to perform extensive qc?
> mass produced with good control on suppliers or even able to make everything on their own or small business which outsources all its parts to folks to provide them?
- the more complicated the watch the more things can go wrong with it. so if u r getting a complicated watch u may just want to entrust the $ to more established folks (note: the more established folks do get this wrong too on occasion) OR wait a few years for a new calibre to have its problems sorted out before buying one.

to end off, i will say that i have been pretty blessed in my purchases. and sometimes pre-owned watches have advantages... 1 being that the 1st owner may have sorted out the issues with the watch so that i didn't have to... whatever the case, enjoy your watch purchase and caveat emptor :)

cheers, raph

ps. i just noticed something... a post with not one picture... amazing :) haha

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...