Expectation versus reality; we all struggle with this in our daily lives. I don’t know how many times I’ve taken the first bite of a meal I’ve prepared and felt a little part of me wilt at the lack of flavour burst that I had hoped for. Or how many times I’ve cycled for an hour to get back to the house only to find that I haven’t miraculously turned into Hugh Jackman.
This friction isn’t just restricted to spicy rice and chiselled abs, for it features quite heavily in other aspects of our lives; from romance, to careers and, for folk like us, business decisions. This tension of what you think or hope will happen sometimes doesn’t correlate to what actually does. It can be frustrating, disheartening, risky and oftentimes the last straw. Luckily for us, it’s none of these in the context of what we’re about to do. I would hazard that the phrase I’d most associate with our next move is probably “better informed”.
Prior to any product launch, we spend a great deal of time discussing pricing and calculating where we should position said product. The price needs to cover the cost of making the product, obviously, and also many associated costs like packaging, literature, shipping boxes and shipping itself. But we need to include enough profit to allow us to exist as a human driven business, and afford new production runs, re-orders, new team members, premises, heating and everything else in between that comes with growing a small, design-led business. It’s a vastly complicated process but to cut a long, boring story short - we ensure the number works for our needs, we align with market expectations of equivalently priced products, and we launch.
We’re 7 years old this year and since we launched we’ve operated to a strict pricing model which has served us well, and given you, our customers, competitive prices. But we’re a different business than we were back in 2015, a lot has changed, in particular in the recent past.
Over the course of those years we’ve hit some real sweet spots when it comes to pricing - the Coniston, our best seller, being a perfect example - because we priced it reasonably with all the aforementioned costs covered, the quality for what you pay is huge and the watch itself looks great. However, there are models within our range that don't seem to hit the right note and it’s been a bit of a thorn in our side for a while now. We’ve already addressed this with the Haskell price re-alignment on Boxing Day, but today we are taking a far bigger step.
We stand by the value of our watches and are proud to do so. We launch them at the right price, a competitive price, however, the market determines just how 'right' those prices are. Over the years we've found it increasingly challenging to enter the 'premium' watch space (in this case, we're talking about the £500+ space) regardless of the high spec and quality of materials used - in particular, with the Atlantic and now the Pacific collections.
Although we use equivalent components to other established, recognised brands, we now understand that doesn't necessarily offer the same value proposition. There is the price we know it’s worth, and then there’s the price our customers are willing to pay. Necessarily, sometimes the latter involves assessment of your watch as an investment. We can’t manufacture heritage - we’re very open about our youth within a prestigious industry - we are young, and we are new, comparatively speaking, but our products still carry great value; value we are confident will grow as our brand establishes, but may not be evident in the premium watch market today.
So, as a result, we are making some price adjustments to give our product range more structure and coherence, allowing our future pipeline to sit within this range more appropriately, and ultimately, to give our customers the very best value for money that we possibly can.
The following adjustments will be permanent fixtures - not temporary discounts or promotional periods - but definitive prices:
The Pacific, which launched in November at £1,195 is now priced at £975.
The Atlantic, of which the Spirit model is already at £699, will see the rest of the range follow suit.
We believe these new prices more adequately reward our early adopting customer base for investing in our premium watches, and this allows us to get on with the job we love: designing and making more beautiful watches.
For those who have purchased a Pacific (at full price) since we launched the collection - we've already been in touch to offer you a coupon for the price difference.
For those who have purchased an Atlantic R34, Flyer or Fortune (at full price) in the past 60 days - we've also been in touch to offer you a coupon for the price difference.
So there you have it - we are human. We do things with the best intentions and expectations, but like most things there’s that chance the great expectations are not met by reality. It's at this point, where we have the information available to us and decisions need to be made, that define us as people and as a business. Integrity wins the day, every day. Do we want our watches to be considered alongside the equivalent products, using the same components and movements - of course we do. Do we want our watches in glossy magazines, extolling their “value proposition”, of course we do.
But above all that, we want our watches on the wrists of people, and this move is a step in that direction.