It’s been a good week now, and we have had over 700 responses to our survey. Firstly, a huge “thank you” to everyone who took the time to participate!
The results are interesting, and here we go….
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||265|
|United States of America||127|
|Republic of Korea||1|
|United Arab Emirates||1|
That’s a pretty good turnout, especially considering that the survey was in English, and that we only asked on English watch forums to help us with the survey. So, an even bigger thank you to everyone who filled in the survey in a language that wasn’t their mother tongue. The huge number of countries also shows that we didn’t just hit a certain group of customers, but that a very broad range of Swiss watch owners took part in the survey.
This is also very comforting, as it shows that a broad range of owners took part. The split between brands (lots of Omega, Rolex, Longines, …) shows that this is a realistic sample of data. With over 700 surveys filled in, that’s what we were hoping for.
Number of watches owned
We have everything here, from a single watch to a collection of 2400! The average number of watches owned is 32.8, so it looks like most people who took part in our survey are collecting watches. No surprise, as we recruited through watch forums, and through our site.
Of those watches owned, the average of Swiss watches is 24.4 watches, so quite a few watches out there are non-Swiss, but nevertheless, over 2/3 of watches owned are Swiss made, or their movements are Swiss made.
Total value of watches owned
The average value of the watches owned by our survey participants is EUR 26,000, with the maximum value of EUR 2,000,000. Looks like we hit a vein of very serious collectors there, which also makes the average watch owned worth around EUR 810. All very realistic data, and no sign of any trolling or skewing.
Part of asking these questions was to see if the survey data was realistic, or if people were just filling it in arbitrarily to make a point. It doesn’t look like this is the case at all.
Yearly spend on service and repairs
The average yearly spend on servicing and repairs is EUR 860, with a maximum spend of EUR 30,000. If we check this data for sanity, it’s looking good again. Assuming that out there in the real world, a watch gets a service every 10 years, the average intervention (service or repair and service) costs EUR 260. All very realistic, and the further we delve into the data, the more comforted I feel that we haven’t collected nonsense data.
Who carries out the work?
A clear response here as well, with 96.4% using an independent watch repairer, and 26.7% using the manufacturer or an accredited service centre. So in real life, independent watch repairers hold the majority of the market. By far. The numbers don’t add up to 100%, as people use of course both.
Experience with independent watch repairers and manufacturers / service centres
Full marks throughout for the independent trade, and this couldn’t look much better. Even though we expected that we would get good “grades”, we didn’t think that we independents would shine so bright!
Surely, the manufacturers and their service centres have to do at least as well, especially considering that they tend to be roughly twice as expensive as we are.
This completely took us by surprise. We have been told that independent watch repairers don’t get parts from the manufacturers because we can’t guarantee a quality standard, and here we are hearing that the overall qualification of service centres is lower than ours! Never mind the value for money, and the rest. Independents are far better in every category and the manufacturer’s service centres.
Yes, there were 2 people that were very dissatisfied, and I’m sorry to hear that, but out of 572 answers, that’s not too bad.
Now for the service centres.
Ouch. I would call that a wipe-out. Again, manufacturers tell us we can’t have parts because we aren’t up to scratch, and only their accredited service centres can give customer satisfaction. Really?
Ah, yes, it looks like it. 98.3% of survey participants would like that.
But will all this have any impact on the Swiss watch industry? Maybe yes, as a lot of people aren’t willing any more to buy watches for which spare parts aren’t freely available, and they are considering taking this into consideration when they buy their next watch.
Over 83% of participants are likely or very likely to consider the spare parts situation when buying their next watch. Interesting.
Now for the individual stories (best and worst of independents and service centres). Everyone gets their fair share of a kicking, but again, the service centres come across as not caring too much, and just carrying out the work they think they want to carry out. Especially collectors are upset that all sorts of things get changed and polished, which they never wanted.
There are failures of independent repairers as well, but again, we get a lot less flack than the service centres. There isn’t really enough room here to post all the submissions, but this will be part of what we will pass on to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) later.
As we said before, the email addresses will be kept a lot better than the TalkTalk customer data, and we will not pass that on to anyone else. We will only ever use that if our data set gets questioned, and only allow checking individual sets with the permission of the person that submitted the data.
A very clear picture emerges here, and that is of an industry that doesn’t listen to its clients. It’s time to wake up, and find a compromise that suits manufactures and clients evenly, and that isn’t skewed towards manufacturers that exercise as much power as they can. It’s 2015, and it’s time to wake up to the smell of the power of customers in the age of the internet.
If you feel that the FH should know about this, why not tell them what you think? You can contact them at http://www.fhs.ch/eng/contact.html, and I am sure they will appreciate how you feel about the spare parts situation. We will get in contact with them next week as well, but a bit of nudging won’t hurt at all.
If anyone would like to check the data and make sure we haven’t fiddled with it, I am more than happy to give out the raw data set, but of course without the email addresses of those who supplied it. Just contact me.
There was a question about the weighted average for question 8, so here is a pdf with more detail…Data_Q8_151123