Recent news about retail price increases across all F.P. Journe collections has been met with mixed reactions, most of which are negative. It is not news to anyone that I am a huge fan of the brand, and do not intend to spew hate in their direction… the intent of this post is simply to share some thoughts on this topic, and as always, leave you with some food for thought. As a useful starting point, I would suggest you read my previous post about the pricing of luxury watches first.
This post is about something I made up, called “The Enjoyment Gap” which arises as a result of watches being released too often. Collectors keep buying them as a result of the need for dopamine or to fuel the status drive, and the releases keep coming, likely a result of watch companies trying to take advantage of the buoyant market we’re in right now. So how does that play out?
Social status is formally defined as “a person’s standing or importance in relation to other people within a society” and yet, people often think of status exclusively in terms of wealth. The truth is, the concept of social status is at play everywhere; In every situation where we get the feeling that we are of value to other people, or where where we feel even an iota of elevation in our relative social position. The universal human desire for status greatly influences our culture, as well as our own behaviour and the ups and downs of our mood… turns out, this probably has a lot to do with our hobby as watch collectors too!
We hear stories every day about people making a difference in a quiet and unassuming way. Those are every-day heroes… demonstrating care and compassion, not expecting anything in return. This story is a beautiful example of that.
Anyone who has been collecting watches for more than a couple of years will recall a time when they were able to buy today’s most desirable watches right out an authorised dealer’s display cabinet. Today you might be labelled a “flipper” and blacklisted by a brand for selling something you rightfully own and should be able to do with as you please. Is that right?
I watched two seemingly unrelated TED talks, but I thought they were interestingly connected; One tackles how to get rid of things you already have, and the other offers advice around minimising the acquisition of new things. As watch collectors, this seems to summarise a conundrum we face daily!