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Thread: Military v Civilian bias

  1. #1
    Senior Member turbohobbit's Avatar
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    Military v Civilian bias

    With various new designs / developments coming out of Henley for the uniformed set, the latest being the rose gold U2, is anyone else thinking that Bremont is starting to spend more time worrying about its military sales / developement of customer base than those in civvy street? At the risk of sounding a touch bitter, it feels a bit like the military are getting all the treats and the public are getting the subsequent spin-offs. Not very bright, if you're trying to develop a brand.

  2. #2
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    I don't know, but I have a lovely military Bremont SE
    I think at present it may seem that way with the amount of military SE being produced. However IMO majority of these are standard Bremont watches with changes to the Dials and hands a bit like the alt1tude SE. Bremont get a fairly sizeable order and regular orders there after ( yes, some are LImited Edition), but also they get their name branded around in many social circles. In fact if my previous unit had chosen to use Bremont, I very doubt I'd soon be owning 3.

  3. #3
    As a Bremont AD I sometimes wish that SE variants - and if I'm honest I include the Altitude SE (although I think it's fantastic looking watch) - were not produced we may retail one or two more watches ourselves. However I think that Bremont, in these early years, must be delighted to recieve guaranteed income from the Military here and overseas to help fund the development of the business and, consequently, new models for us "civilians" to sell, buy and wear.
    The added kudos of selling watches such as The World-Timer/Globemaster and the new B2 with the story that goes with them makes them even more attractive to some buyers. Let's face it we'd all like a red MBll without the requirement to be talented enough to fly a modern fighter aircraft or suffer the pain of ejection - hence we sell more Orange MBll than any.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Alt1tude's Avatar
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    This is a good perspective from someone 'behind the lines' so to speak.

    Seeing something communicated / presented which is ultra cool and fantastic does lead to frustration if it cannot be bought (or indeed your case) sold. People automatically want to know 'how much' and 'where can I buy it...'.

    I can also understand your frustration with the SE. 25 of those watches where retailed within 24 hours... From your perspective that's potentially 25 customers who COULD have bought a regular bremont....

    For me, the military aspect is far more a compelling story and watch models associated with that are far more compelling than any limited editions which are based on historical artifacts, regardless of how excellently they have been designed and presented. I think the Ltd Editions are a great way to tell a story and the military models are fantastic to give the watches a professional 'credible' stamp of approval as being worn by military folk.

    I guess that Bremont must know this, by reacting and releasing both the ALT1-B2 and Blue U2 (based on IAFDT) this year. I think the only way to sensibly go about this is to restrict the amount of PR on military models but present this at key stages in the year rather than a constant news feed.

    What does everyone else think?

  5. #5
    I don't know for sure, but I think the military litterally going nuts for Bremont watches is actually a very good thing. Think of the other brands that have ties with aviation/military, they all seem to brag that this or that watch is used in the military.

    In Bremont's case, it seems the military actually want Bremont to make their watch and not the other way around. I think many watch brand look for cool military group so they can brag (IWC Top Gun school, JLC navy seals). So I think it's great for Bremont to have so many squadrons wanting to buy Bremont watches.

    Civilian version are not left out either. The catalog is bigger than ever. They recently launched the BLU2, the civilian B2, the CodeBreaker, a rose gold alt1, a whole line up for smaller wrist with the Solo37 and actually were kind enough to acknowledge making a unique watch for an unofficial forum!!!

    I think Bremont is going forward with afterburners glowing bright!!
    No longer a fan boy...

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    I also think they are handling it well, it must be great for their overall profit mix too, no middle man margins to speak of.
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    For some time now I have been broadly sympathetic to the view held by turbohobbit. Having said that I am now mindful of the counter argument put forward by Oracle and Andyg156. It's my understanding that military sales account for about a third of annual turnover, not only is this an important income stream but is also a valuable source of advertising and public relations. It will be interesting to see if this ratio changes as the brand gains wider recognition - for me any relative decrease in 'civi' sales would be a worrying development.

    Gavin

  8. #8

    Who pays?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyg156 View Post
    I don't know, but I have a lovely military Bremont SE
    I think at present it may seem that way with the amount of military SE being produced. However IMO majority of these are standard Bremont watches with changes to the Dials and hands a bit like the alt1tude SE. Bremont get a fairly sizeable order and regular orders there after ( yes, some are LImited Edition), but also they get their name branded around in many social circles. In fact if my previous unit had chosen to use Bremont, I very doubt I'd soon be owning 3.
    Forgive my ignorance but I am intrigued. I am guessing it is a mixture of the Army/Navy/RAF and individual. And there must be conditions from Bremont if the watch can be sold onwards it stays in the forces or not? I suppose what I'm getting at is I'm surprised really this sort of money is being spent on mens jewellery, no offence. What very good taste they have!
    A

    point

  9. #9
    Given the fact that at least in the USA 90% of all new business ventures fail and an even larger number of businesses in the higher dollar item fail. I think we must face (if one chooses) to accept a few facts. Giles and Nick have a payroll. They launched at the height of an world wide economix meltdown. They love their customers all of us. They know their business better than anyone. Period. They cannot build history in a short period of time. However they can build credibility quickly properly executed. All the marketing blah blah blah aside military units are choosing Bremont at a greater and greater pace. For those like myself that have served in the military we do no long term tolerate equipment that does not work. We may put up with it for a time because thats the only choice but it becomes vilified and then who wants it? On the other hand something you can count on rain or shine and at all other times, is hard to replace.

    In the 1980s the US Army was replacing the steel helmets with kevlar ones and you should have heard the howling at the time. I mean really why replace a helmet that provided some protection, could be used to shave, or be used to heat coffee/soup besides it had a 40 history! Then some soldiers went to Grenada and took direct AK47 fire to the helmet which the old "steel pots" never protected against. Guess what nobody wanted steel pots anymore

  10. #10
    Senior Member turbohobbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alt1tude View Post
    I think the Ltd Editions are a great way to tell a story and the military models are fantastic to give the watches a professional 'credible' stamp of approval as being worn by military folk. I guess that Bremont must know this, by reacting and releasing both the ALT1-B2 and Blue U2 (based on IAFDT) this year. I think the only way to sensibly go about this is to restrict the amount of PR on military models but present this at key stages in the year rather than a constant news feed.
    Your overall post raises some good points. It's this bit though that kinda underlines one of my issues. More and more it feels like "new" civilian pieces are borne out of military LEs. It'd be nice if we saw fresh civilian pieces borne of their own seed and not from LEs (and no, I don't count the civvy LEs like the Victory and Codebreaker in this because they're just rediculous niche pieces with rediculous niche pricetags. IMHO) from which military LEs may be created.

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