Posted by: hagerwatches | July 3, 2014

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY AMERICA!!!!

 

we-the-people-1

Let us take time to reflect on the many freedoms that have been bestowed upon us by the sacrifices of so many. And may we also remember as we are celebrating that we have been entrusted to keep that flame of Liberty alive.   America is about Liberty or it is about nothing.  We must review the principles in which we live by and the passions, aims to serve one’s country, that animates men and women into the character of a citizen. The same principles, which distinguished the sages of the Revolution and the fathers of our Union. The fifty-six men who signed our Declaration of Independence believed that the idea of Liberty, of freedom, depended on sharing in self-government, deliberating with fellow citizens about the common good. It is the loss of self-government and the erosion of community that permeates throughout the national consciousness and defines this era as our representatives have bartered away Liberty and individual freedoms.   “In attempting to make our General Government strong we make it weak. Its true strength consists in leaving individuals and States as much as possible to themselves in making itself felt, not in its power, but in its beneficence; not in its control, but in its protection; not in binding the States more closely to the center, but leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper orbit ~ Andrew Jackson”

Collectively and individually we have lost control of the very institutions that govern our lives. Americans feel a sense of disempowerment, anxiety and frustration in the current political climate and I believe that this is due to the fact that America has lost its civic voice as we have become passive spectators of political life. It seems we are divided as nation more so than ever, given all the complex issues that are front and center in the headlines everyday, be it health care, immigration, privacy rights, second amendment rights, first amendment rights or same-sex marriage. It is this dialectic that shapes us and makes us who we are so long as the power resides with the people. We must remember that there are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. Whether or not we are divided as the press seems to think we are, one thing is for certain, we are Americans, we have a shared history and a shared destiny and we are on a journey together.

 

valleyforge

“And as we continue our journey, we think of those who traveled before us… A general falls to his knees in the hard snow of Valley Forge; a lonely President paces the darkened halls, and ponders his struggle to preserve the Union; the men of the Alamo call out encouragement to each other; civil rights activist lift their voices and sing a song, and the song echoes out forever and fills the unknowing air.

It is the American sound. It is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair. That’s our heritage; that is our song. We sing it still. For all our problems, our differences, we are together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is the Author of this most tender music. And may He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound—sound in unity, affection, and love—one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world ~ Ronald Reagan”

We are that shining city on the hill, a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics, where kids throw frisbees and footballs and shoot off fireworks into the night.

John Adams, on July 03 1776, reflected on the importance of signing the Declaration of Independence:

The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with enthusiasm; but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory; I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that days transaction, even though we [may regret] it, which I trust in God we shall not.”

Thanks to all our customers and supporters and may God bless you on this day as we celebrate our heritage.

Let us stand as one today, E pluribus unum; One people under God determined that our future shall be worthy of our past.

So what do the Punisher, TNT’s The Last Ship and Hager have in common?

As one poster on our Facebook commented “They are all bad@$$”.  Well that’s true but read on…

Punisher Last Ship Hager

Shellys

Smoke swirled around the dimly lit table as three guys told jokes, discussed politics and BS’ed among each other.   A tweet went out to 176K followers that simply said “Wish you were here.”   The cabin-like ambiance was warm and inviting. The dim lighting and comfortable seating provided the perfect place for someone to remain incognito.  That was until… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

 

NATHAN EDMONDSON:

NathanI met Nathan Edmondson at the DC Awesome Con about two months ago.  My son had always wanted to go to THE Comic Con in San Diego but he knew that was out of the question.  So when I told him DC was holding a comic con he was thrilled and begged to go.  Not for the comics but to see Billie Piper; Whovians know who she is.  So we made the trip down to DC and were pretty impressed with what we saw before we even got in the Con.  After walking down each row and checking out all the artists I stopped at Nathan Edmondson’s table to check out a comic that had finally caught my eye.  Don’t get me wrong, I love comics.  I have 25 boxes in my basement and a very fine issue of X-Men 137 to prove it.  They are what occupied my days throughout my childhood, however by the time I reached college the cost per issue for 20 pages fluffed up by ads made me call it quits.  After all I had to eat.  It was either read a comic or eat ramen.  Every now and then when my kids are running around the local comic shop I’ll peruse the shelves and back issue boxes to see if there’s something that might pique my interest.   This time,  the comic that caught my eye was Nathan’s book, illustrated by Mitch Gerads, titled “The Activity”.

 

activity1The Activity, short for the organization it’s named after,  the “Intelligence Support Activity,” focuses on a group of highly-trained covert operatives sent on missions to provide support for special forces operations.  The book is very realistic with real world like ops.  The writing is tight and the art- fantastic. It reminded me of a the first Mission Impossible movie with Tom Cruise.  High Octane– see for yourself and peruse the pages here   If you like the Activity you’ll also love Nathan’s other espionage thriller titled “Who Is Jake Ellis?” and the sequel “Where is Jake Ellis?”.  The story follows Jon Moore, a former analyst for the CIA who is on a quest to discover his identity.  20th Century Fox has picked up the movie rights to the film with David Yates, director of many of the Harry Potter movies,  attached to directing and Peter Chernin producing.  Seth Lockhead will write the script for the film.

Nathan and I started chatting and I discovered he was also a watch lover which led to many other discussions and emails over the past two months.  So where does the Punisher come in?  Nathan and Mitch teamed up again back in October  to reboot the Punisher, but this time in LA.  Check out the digital issue here.   Nathan also writes The Black Widow (Marvel), The Grifter (DC) and now Deathlok for Marvel.  Check out his website here

Nathan like his characters, is larger than life and also has an alter ego.  Click on the links.  He’s called “Chip” on Rizzoli & Isles’

FANTOM COMICS:  Fast Forward to June 1st, when Nathan reached out to tell me that he would be in town for a signing at Fantom Comics, currently located in Union Station.  We agreed to meet up for lunch before the signing.  Nathan also shared with me that he would attending the premiere of Michael Bay’s The Last Ship with one of my favorite actors from two of my favorite shows: Firefly and Chuck… Adam Baldwin.  Well, this led to a number of questions, like how they knew each other and even stupid ones like was Baldwin’s personality like his characters Jayne Cobb (Firefly) and Col. Casey (Chuck)? “Arrr..You’re wasting my time moron.”  Nathan laughed and I tried not to sound like the weird fan.  I don’t watch a lot of tv and those are my two of my favorite shows.  Sad to say I still haven’t finished Chuck. I’m only 6 episodes away so don’t ruin it for me.  I just couldn’t bring myself to finish the series, kind of like Psych. I’m still trying to figure out what the heck they were thinking when they canceled that show, maybe they were smoking more than cigars in Colorado when they made that call… as Col Casey would say “Morons”.  I digress.  Love the hat below BTW.

 

Jayne-Casey

On June 4th I hopped the metro and trekked into DC where Nathan and I met up for lunch and caught up on the latest of what was happening in our lives.  Towards the end I pulled out a Hager Commando for Nathan which I had promised him earlier (with some additional swag I picked up along the way for Nathan to draw some inspiration from for his next book)  and one for him to give to Adam.   Nathan and I then went up to  Fantom where they pulled out the red carpet for him.  I was super impressed with the displays and the reception that he received.  If you haven’t been to Fantom yet make the trek to Union Station before they move.  They have great employees who are easy to talk to and joke with as well as a wide variety of books.  Below: Nathan and I outside FANTOM. As a Marine I have a hard time smiling so don’t hold  it against me. This photo motivated me to restart my workout routine.

Nate and Pete

 

THE LAST SHIP:  Later on that day I received an email from Nathan inviting me to meet him and some friends for drinks.  I left work rather late and made my way back into DC to meet up with him at one of the top 100 hotels in the world.  Who would have thought?  I’ve stayed at some 4-5 star hotels before in my career but never had I been down to one in DC.  So I walk in and I notice it’s rather crowded in the bar section for a Wednesday night. Then it hits me, this is the after party for the cast of TNT’s new series “The Last Ship”, directed by Michael Bay (who by the way can sell anything with action, even a turd as long as it’s blowing up).  The Last Ship is based on William Brinkley’s popular novel by the same name.  It’s a post-apocalyptic drama about the crew of an unaffected U.S. Navy ship, the Nathan James, who must try to find a cure in order to save humanity after a pandemic kills 80% of the world’s population.  Check out the trailer below it’s going to be on par with the Walking Dead, and again it’s a Michael Bay flick so think lots of action… BOOM

 

As I wander in I see Nathan and he introduces me to Adam, who to my surprise was sporting the classic Hager Commando on his wrist and had actually worn it to the premiere.   I soon discovered that Adam is one of the most down to earth guys out there.  I found it easy to engage with him about anything as he was well versed in current affairs and foreign events and well read to boot.  If you don’t believe me check out his twitter feed. He’s definitely not a Jayne Cobb but I did see bit of Col. Casey come out.  He has a great sense of humor.  Not wanting to monopolize his time I thanked him for the drink he bought me and moved about the room meeting the other actors and invitees there.  Normally events like this I’ve attended I end up socializing with CEO’s, heads of states and other diplomats, so this wasn’t a big difference.  Being an outsider to Hollywood I didn’t know what to expect though.  I can tell you I came away with a real positive experience after meeting some of the cast.  I met some great folks there, such as Steve Kane, Executive Producer for the show. Also a watch aficionado BTW.  Tony Mark (Series Producer) who told me a great story about his grandfather’s Gruen watch;  John Pyper Ferguson who has a great sense of humor;  Charles Parnell  who I enjoyed talking with and discovered performs classical theater and off Broadway.  If you missed him he will be back in DC performing this summer in a play if I heard correctly; I’ll be checking out his performance.   Two of the actors that I really enjoyed chatting with were two of the youngest actors.  I think we will be seeing a lot more of in the future: Chris Sheffield and  Tommy Savas.  I had a good time conversing with them.  I guess because they reminded me of me when I was younger.  Like I said, I expect to see them more on the screen in the future.   I was also introduced  to Meredith Dake, multi-media editor at CQ Roll Call; she knows just about everyone.   I recognized the name as she was involved in the radio production of one of the shows I listen to in the morning on the way to work.   I also enjoyed chatting with Capt. Brian Quin, executive officer of USS Essex, LHD 2.   It’s basically a big USMC school bus to get around in so we MARINES can spread controlled chaos to the four corners of the globe.  He served as the Navy surface warfare expert for the show and received high praise from all the actors.  There were many others that I haven’t named here that I also enjoyed socializing with.  Hats off to all the Navy personnel who attended.  You deserved this premiere.  BTW we better see some Marines in this show.  SEALS don’t count… “a ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons”.- Adm David G. Farragut.  “If the Marines are abolished half the efficiency of the Navy will be destroyed. They are as necessary to the well being of a ship as the officers.” RAdm David D. Porter.

 

Chip2

 

Adam Baldwin

So by now you’re probably wondering where the heck Shelly’s comes into this.  Well, I’m getting to it.  After about an hour or two, or three…I lost count. The funny thing is I only had two drinks.  Anyway after some period of time a bunch of us go out on the hotel patio to smoke cigars. Well more specifically Adam’s cigars since no one else had the foresight to bring any, including yours truly.  As we were wrapping up  we all agreed that we had a lot of fun and that we should do it again…the next day.  Although I couldn’t make the invite for lunch, I did agree to come to dinner.  Who wouldn’t?  It’s Adam freaking Baldwin, (imagine me saying this like Wood Harrelson said Bill Freaking Murray in Zombieland) and Nathan Edmondson, currently one of Marvel’s hottest writers.

 

CONCLUSION SHELLY’s BACK ROOM CIGAR AND LOUNGE (a local DC watering hole known for its inviting character):
It’s about 830pm when I walk into a swanky restaurant in NE D.C.   Adam, Nathan and Meredith are in the middle of drinking a bottle of red and laughing.  I pull up a chair and join in.  For the next hour we pick up where we left off the night before regaling each other with jokes and stories.  After dinner we decide to pile into my SUV and head off to Shelly’s.  If you’re in the area and you’ve never been it’s worth going just to experience the ambiance of the place.  As we are seated Nathan and Gary (more friends of Nathan E.) arrive. Nathan breaks out a stash of his own cigars and passes them around.  We are two short  but we soon remedy that  as Shelly’s has a great assortment of sticks to choose from.   So as we are smoking away I notice that the t.v. in front of us has changed to hockey.  That’s when I discover that “Cop Face”  is a HUGE Kings Fan as he yells at the television during the last two minutes of the game.  He then takes a picture of his glass and cigar (pictured at the top) and tweets “Wish you were here.”  I think the message was more for his wife as he mentioned to us he wished she was there.   As things start to settle down and we start pitching storylines and plots to one another, someone from another table recognizes Adam.  Then the floodgates let loose as they realize who Nathan is as well since there was a comic collector among them who’s nephew is a serious Punisher collector.  Instead of being aloof towards their fans, these two guys embrace the situation and take it to a whole new level of joking and laughing and picture taking.    They even try and draw the rest of us in but we aren’t biting.  I’m pretty sure there a couple of pics of yours truly out there as Nathan and Adam are showing off their watches and telling people I’m the owner of a hot up-and-coming American watch company.  This goes on for what seems like an hour.  In the end we close down the lounge, but we aren’t the last to leave.  Everyone, especially the fans that got a chance to meet  Adam and Nathan up close, were happy.   Nathan even writes a long note to the guys nephew and draws the Punisher logo on the bottom.  As we said goodbye to each other we all agreed we should meet up as a group and do this again, maybe next time in Jaynestown (LA).   So that’s it, that’s what the Punisher, The Last Ship, and Hager Watches have in common.  Three guys, a bunch of cigars and some great memories.  I guess the question that Hager Watches fans have on their minds is will we see the Classic Commando or the new Professional Commando on the Punisher or the Professional GMT on XO Mike Slattery in the future?  Who knows, I know Hager Watches made an impression on the folks at TNT.  Send them an email and let’em know.  In the end though it wasn’t about the watches, it was about making new friendships and I even got to hear Adam’s trademark grunt once or twice.  All the best Pete

Typos by SIRI

(Below two pictures: Adam and Nathan lighting up with their classic commandos.  Third picture: Nathan and Adam with a fan)

Adam Baldwinphoto 1-1 copy

photo 2 copy

 

What do the Punisher, TNT’s The Last Ship and Hager have in common?

Punisher Last Ship Hager

STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT!!  Send us your best guess at INFO@HAGERWATCHES.COM

THE PUNISHER

THE LAST SHIP

HAGER WATCHES

 

 

Posted by: hagerwatches | May 25, 2014

Memorial Day. Let’s Remember their sacrifice.

Memorial day

Tomorrow, our country will celebrate Memorial Day. We’ll cook out, relax, and visit with friends and family. But this holiday weekend is about more than barbeques, swimming pools, and family get-togethers. As we celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, let us keep in mind what we are “celebrating” — those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that Americans, and people around the world, would be able to reap the benefits of freedom.  As a Marine and Army officer I’d like to take the time to say Thank You to all who came before me, and all who will come after, and I’d like to leave you with the words of a wise man on this hallowed day below.  Semper FI.

“I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them. Yet, we must try to honor them not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”

“Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves. It is this, beyond the controversy and the congressional debate, beyond the blizzard of budget numbers and the complexity of modern weapons systems, that motivates us in our search for security and peace. … The willingness of some to give their lives so that others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery. One gets that feeling here on this hallowed ground, and I have known that same poignant feeling as I looked out across the rows of white crosses and Stars of David in Europe, in the Philippines, and the military cemeteries here in our own land. Each one marks the resting place of an American hero and, in my lifetime, the heroes of World War I, the Doughboys, the GI’s of World War II or Korea or Vietnam. They span several generations of young Americans, all different and yet all alike, like the markers above their resting places, all alike in a truly meaningful way.”

“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. … I can’t claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don’t know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: ‘O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?’ That is what we must all ask.”

“Once each May, amid the quiet hills and rolling lanes and breeze-brushed trees of Arlington National Cemetery, far above the majestic Potomac and the monuments and memorials of our Nation’s Capital just beyond, the graves of America’s military dead are decorated with the beautiful flag that in life these brave souls followed and loved. This scene is repeated across our land and around the world, wherever our defenders rest. Let us hold it our sacred duty and our inestimable privilege on this day to decorate these graves ourselves — with a fervent prayer and a pledge of true allegiance to the cause of liberty, peace, and country for which America’s own have ever served and sacrificed. … Our pledge and our prayer this day are those of free men and free women who know that all we hold dear must constantly be built up, fostered, revered and guarded vigilantly from those in every age who seek its destruction. We know, as have our Nation’s defenders down through the years, that there can never be peace without its essential elements of liberty, justice and independence. Those true and only building blocks of peace were the lone and lasting cause and hope and prayer that lighted the way of those whom we honor and remember this Memorial Day. To keep faith with our hallowed dead, let us be sure, and very sure, today and every day of our lives, that we keep their cause, their hope, their prayer, forever our country’s own.”

~President Ronald Reagan

PRE-ORDERING FOR THE HAGER PROFESSIONAL SERIES IS NOW OVER.

Thanks everyone for the fantastic support. Phase one is now complete and Phase II has almost begun. We are making sure all the engineering diagrams and technical schematics are correct so we can begin the sample process. We will send out emails to begin the caseback drawing selections. Please check the Timeline below.
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If you missed out you can still purchase the Commando or the GMT here  but not at the Pre-order price.

Shopping for a watch can be daunting.  A man needs a watch, but most of us can’t justify taking out a second mortgage to finance our horological fascinations/passions.  Lucky for you, we’ve created two watches to help you get the most watch for your money.   In our last post we discussed what constitutes “affordable watches” and “affordable luxury” in watch brands, and I said I would tell you why you should by the Hager Professional Series.    In our opinion it’s  what represents the best value for the best price (reasonable, relatively affordable, and well finished).   No hype here, no specially designed balance springs or parts made from a super alloy with a depth rating of 6K meters engineered for -50 degrees C.   As my favorite watch blogger would say “Let’s stop all the BS”.    The Hager Professional Series offers a lot for the value given what is in the package.  And to those who may want to say “They are not worth the money”: uh, have you seen watch prices lately?    Even dreaded replica watches most hated by purists are commanding prices in the $400 range and some companies are selling quartz watches in the $600 range… quartz!   The emphasis at this price point is quality because value for money is a highly subjective and personal decision.    As difficult as it is for many to hear, quality does come at a price.  The design, prototyping, tooling, finishing, assembly, testing and quality assurance that goes into producing a quality watch is often not seen by those who are purchasing and often what they really see is the cost of that production coupled with the cost of the vast marketing and branding campaign that goes along with it in the price tag.  There’s no hype here so we don’t have the marketing costs that most companies have.   The Professional Series, starting at $450 is definitely a viable alternative to comparable watches from larger companies such as Tag Heuer, Tissot, or Longines.    The Professional Series is a great entry point into the consumer-friendly, entry-level luxury micro-brand dive watch category of mechanical watches, with a bunch of crowd pleasing design elements to keep it interesting and give it its own identity and it comes with a two year limited warranty.   Did I mention that the Professional Series Commando, far more likely to see desks than depths, and the Traveler GMT,  handy for anyone who does business regularly with other time zones and for those who spend a lot of time in the air, and on foreign soil, won’t break the bank.  So do yourself a favor go order yourself one before they are all gone, you won’t regret it.  You have until the 28th to order but after that the pre-order price goes back to the retail price.  Pre-Order Here

 

GMT and Professional

Posted by: hagerwatches | April 13, 2014

Luxury, “Accessible Luxury,” Marketing and Watch Brands

What is luxury

 

luxury1

There’s a lot of discussion about what constitutes “luxury” or “affordable /accessible luxury” as it relates to brands all over forums that I’m a member of on LinkedIN, and in the watchworld these conversations happen all the time.  So what constitutes “luxury” or “affordable luxury”? Sure, the quality of the product has a lot to do with it but the majority of it has to do more with how a company markets their product/brand.  Daymond John, founder the FUBU clothing line and Shark Tank personality known as a branding genius, defines branding as “a tag that somebody puts on you”.

Branding Fubu

For example, in the watch world, the entire Swiss watchmaking industry (as an entity) was near death in the 1970’s but succeeded in making watches “fashionable” by shifting the idea of a watch from a necessary item to a status symbol, a luxury product that appeals to the emotions of the buyer. The watch you’re wearing on your wrists today doesn’t just show your “status,” it’s a symbol, rather than the tool it was fifty years ago. A symbol of who you are or perhaps, who you want to become. It’s a way to express your style, and your character.   The key element of this perception shift is marketing.  Brilliant marketing campaigns have changed the perception of the watch to become an emotional and aspirational product rather than just a tool. In essence you’ve been “tagged”.

Breitling Beckham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The watch industry has been ingenious in reshaping consumer perceptions and making luxury timepieces a collector’s item, a long-term investment that will pay dividends and a status symbol.    The watch industry is a $45 Billion dollar a year industry with 99% of the luxury market (approximately $25 billion) controlled by 3-4 Swiss conglomerates who own 6-12 brands each.  Switzerland exported 6.89 million mechanical watches last year, the most since 1982, amounting to $16.6 billion.  Exports have grown at an average annual rate of 7.2% over the last ten years, with more than 95% of production exported focused on global competition.  2.2 million Swiss watches are imported a year with a value of $2.8 billion dollars in the US.   The watch industry is Switzerland’s 3rd largest sector and accounts for 20% of Switzerland’s GDP.   Twenty-four companies employ 52,803 people.

Swiss Made

In a business worth $25 billion, image and reputation are everything. The “Swiss Made” label has proven immensely valuable as a seal of quality and marketing.  Regardless of who makes the cases, components, movements, and how they are manufactured, a watch with “Swiss Made” on it will be 100% made in Switzerland right, “haute horlogerie”? Ummm…well…no.   In 2012, the watch industry imported $2.4 billion dollars worth of watch parts from the Far East. China and Hong Kong delivered mainly cases, and Thailand, surprisingly, delivered movements, considering the “Swissness” regulations. What’s that? “Swissness”? We’ll get to that in a second. Back to the movements in Thailand for a second. Various watch companies have set up shop in Thailand and import parts and movements into Switzerland and assembled there. What? Again with the what’s. Why would they do that? The main reason parts are imported from abroad is that the production costs associated with the components is lower. Up until recently, the criteria for labeling a watch as “Swiss Made” was stipulated as having half the watch 50% (by value) made in Switzerland.   In June 2013 that figure went up to 60% (the cost of manufacturing) with the passage of the “Swissness” bill. Under the new “Swissness” criteria a Swiss watch must also have its movement assembled, cased and inspected in Switzerland. However, as prices in production continue to rise and Swiss immigration reform impacts the watch trade (Last month, 50.3 per cent of Swiss voters decided to void a pact giving equal footing to European Union citizens in the Swiss watch market), more non-Swiss parts can be used thus allowing the continued use of the “Swiss Made” label. For some I know this is surprising, it’s nothing new for those of us who know that the Swiss industry balances cost-saving production against brand image. Since quartz technology and disposable watches almost destroyed the mechanical watch industry, the Swiss redefined the purposes of owning a mechanical watch and that purpose was a savvy business sense wrapped up in luxury and emotion that appeals to almost any buyer. As Martin Green from Revolution magazine observed: “You can build the greatest, most magnificent watches in the world, but the bottom line is that the watch industry is still a profit sector, and money needs to be made in order to survive and continue to create great and magnificent watches. One way of doing that is to let the general public know how great and magnificent the watches that you make actually are. Advertising in selective newspapers and magazines have always been one of the favorite ways in which watch brands deliver this message.” In a recent study by Deloitte consulting revealed that 86% of watch brand CEO surveyed see social media as important for the watch industry. Many companies are actively participating on popular social networks as well as interacting with watch forums and providing access and samples to popular watch bloggers. In order to be considered as luxury, a watch needs a brand that is recognized and considered by everybody as belonging to the world of luxury. Therefore, a new brand entering the market is compelled to invest in huge advertising campaigns in order to gain recognition (image) from the public. A product possesses the title of exceptional and luxury only if everybody knows the brand and accepts it as a luxury object. Finally, recognition can also be a guarantee for quality. In fact, very few people would pay thousands of dollars for an unknown brand or a brand that imports its components from the Far East

Swiss Made1

 

 

Branding

In the world of luxury, the principal tool to compete between brands is the intensive use of advertising. Brand recognition is tightly tied to marketing. Luxury watchmaking relies heavily on differentiation strategies that require lots of investments in advertising and public relation (PR) events. Objectively, the product is, from a design point of view, very similar from one brand to another even though most companies claim their product is unique. It would be more correct to say that the brand and its communication bring life to the product, give it its identity and maybe has the potential to make it unique. A product is something that is made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by a customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated, a successful brand is timeless.  In 2012 ( 2013 data hasn’t come out yet), Watch brands spent more on U.S. advertising in 2012 than ever before creating brand identities. Total spending reached $399.74 million (check out the million dollar club and how much they spent here http://www.watchtime.com/wristwatch-industry-news/industry/million-dollar-club-2012-watch-advertising-all-time-high/)

 

storytelling-in-marketing-1

To sum up, brands are emotional products and emotional products are about a message– a strong, exciting, distinct, authentic message that tells people who you are and what you are and the premium you are willing to pay.  It is no longer a utilitarian product that shows the time but a piece of time that incarnates a lifestyle. Therefore, the brand is an inestimable intangible asset in this industry; it is very costly and it takes time to be established. Marketing and communication, brand equity, is undoubtedly the main differentiator between brands. Does this mean that a product is made any better, or is a better value than a competitor? Not necessarily, in most cases it just means they are better at communicating their brands message. The more uniqueness a company can build into the positioning of their product, the more they can control the price. If companies can make the product both desirable and unique, the customer, (which is you) is more likely to pay the price since you cannot get the same product image anywhere else. Or so you think. In my next post I’m going to tell you why you should pre-order the Hager Commando or the GMT Traveler.  In case you missed it you can check out the Pre-order here http://www.hagerwatches.com/PREORDER%20DETAILS/page18.html

Hager GMT Stainless Steel

Whether you’re walking down the plush carpeted exhibition halls of Basel World or sitting at home reading about watches, I’m here to tell you that the wait for what you are looking for is finally over.  While I say this somewhat tongue in cheek, the time has finally come for watch enthusiasts and lovers of great design to have the opportunity to pre-purchase the Hager Commando Professional Series.  If you’re looking for affordability and a re-imagined classic inspired by the past but built for the future, then look no further.  Prices start at $450 USD.   The Professional Series Commando and GMT are great value alternatives to some of the bigger Swiss brands out on the market.  Did I mention they won’t strain your wallet?

Hager GMT Stainless Steel

We’ve made some changes from the original designs that we feel makes the Professional Series more accessible but yet doesn’t cut corners in terms of quality, movement, and design.   A few things have changed as we realized producing custom made movements, and a custom bezel made out of ceramic and a liquid lume clear coat might price some people out of owning our watches.  The biggest change you’ll notice is the price (an Amazing $450 for the Commando Professional model), and while we’ve lowered the prices we haven’t lowered the materials we use in bringing you quality affordable automatic watches.   Get all of the details here:  PRE-ORDER LINK

 

The Pre-Order Period is scheduled to be opened from March 28 – April 28, 2014.  Again, there will only be 40 slots available for pre-order per watch and yes you may choose your very own number (Sorry numbers 001 and 007 are already reserved).  Additionally, the professional series will feature a limited edition case back design that will be developed in conjunction with those who pre-order as well as a Scuba Tank watch Case.

hager3hand1.2318

What else has changed apart from the price?  We’ve made the bezel of the Commando Professional all ceramic, and changed the movement from a custom made movement to the Miyota Calibre 9015, a very reliable movement, and high in the value department. The 9015 is the closest competitor to the ETA-2824 and is an ever-growing favorite alternative to the 2824.   We’ve also changed the movement of the GMT Traveler which is at a very.  Instead of a using a custom made movement,  we will be using modified ETA 2836 ébauche movements assembled and finished to our standard.  These are not “step down” changes in terms of quality, but changes that were made to enable us to bring these watches to market at an affordable price.  We believe in the quality of our watches so much we’ve also extended the warranty to a 2 year limited warranty.  And since we are going to be hand assembling and building these in Hagerstown, MD, we’ve also added Hagerstown, Maryland at the bottom of the dial as we take pride in building an American made product.

 

Hager Scuba Tank

THE DETAILS:

Pre-order Parameters and Conditions:* Pre-order Price: Professional Stainless Steel $450 plus S&H on bracelet (MSRP $600 plus S&H) ; Professional DLC (black model) $550 (plus S&H on bracelet (MSRP $700 plus S&H); GMT Traveler Stainless Steel  $550 plus S&H on bracelet (MSRP $700 plus S&H); GMT Traveler DLC (black model) $650 plus S&H on bracelet (MSRP $800 plus S&H).

Pre-pay a deposit of $225 for the Professional Stainless, $275 for the Professional DLC, $$275 for the GMT Stainless Steel Traveler and $325 for the GMT Traveler DLC, and pay the remaining balance due plus shipping charges owed upon our receipt of your watch before shipping.  We accept Paypal, Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover and Debit Cards.  You can also finance your purchase through Paypal’s Bill Me Later option when you checkout with PayPal.  It’s a simple process that gives you flexibility and buying power.  Enter your information, accept the terms, and get a decision in seconds.  Once you’ve been approved, you can enjoy No Payments and No Interest if paid in full in 6 months.

Posted by: hagerwatches | March 14, 2014

The Hager Triton

So I know it’s been a long wait and we’ve been getting a lot of emails regarding the Triton project after people read THE TIME BUM’s interview with me.  So we thought we would post the idea that we started with until after the sneak peak of the Triton at the Baltimore Washington GTG March 15 with other WatchUSeek forum members at the Rams Head Tavern Savage Mills Rams Head Tavern | Savage Mill    8600 Foundry St, Savage, MD 20763

Come see me  and  all our watches in person and start St. Patrick’s day off with a bang before St. Patty’s day.  We’d love to chat with you.

Here’s the link for those that are interested in showing up http://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/baltimore-washington-gtg-march-15-2014-1pm-til-981632.html

When: Saturday, March 15th from 1-3 PM or however long we want to hang out
Where: Rams Head Tavern Savage Mills Rams Head Tavern | Savage Mill
Hager Triton

Posted by: hagerwatches | January 31, 2014

Hanging out with The TIME BUM, avid watch enthusiast and blogger

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with another watch  enthusiast who just happens to be a blogger to discuss all things watches,  and of course the Hager brand.  He calls himself THE TIME BUM, an unrepentant cheapskate, who brings others reviews, photos, and assorted horological musings within the watch world.   His focus is to inform readers about watch brands that  that sell for under $1,000, which is truly needed as most of the major magazines rarely cover micro-brands such as ours or others here in the U.S. and abroad.   He has written a lot of articles about many different watch brands that I’m sure some people will find interesting and will even drive some of you to increase the size of  your collections.  I had a wonderful time chatting with him and I hope we can do it again sometime.   Without boring you to death with my ramblings here’s the interview with THE TIME BUM.

Time Bum

Hager Watches CEO

Towards the end of our leisurely lunch, two waiters approached our table. “Hey,” said one, “we were just wondering, what’s with the case?”  He was eying the big orange box in the middle of the table. It had remained mysteriously closed throughout our long lunch, but now it was open and brimming with watches, and they were curious. Who was this guy I was sitting with? Was he selling me a watch? His whole collection?  We explained that this was not a sales transaction, but that these were indeed samples of watches that are for sale. One of the waiters was a bit of a watch aficionado himself, and he asked my lunch companion what his favorite watch company was. He chuckled, “I guess I should really say my own.”

TO CONTINUE READING  THE ARTICLE THAT HAS LOTS OF PICTURES  CLICK HERE
SIgnature

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