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Cousins Our High Court claim has come to an end


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23 hours ago, RichardHarris123 said:

Are Rolex just as bad? Many items are restricted. 

Yes, and many others I'm afraid. I checked the availability of parts from A. Lange & Söhne (to pick some) and they state that they don't provide parts to independent watchmakers as they would "destroy the entire watch just by opening the case back" which according to Lange takes many, many years of education and practice. Why not be honest and transparent!? "We do not sell parts because we're greedy".

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Certainly all the big high end makers haven't supplied parts in many years. Swatch will provide parts if you meet certain requirements, and for a professional those actually aren't that hard to meet (certain equipment, training etc.). Richemont forget it.

 

For a long time Rolex would supply parts to professionals who met their requirements for training and equipment. Then those requirements became harder and harder to meet, and finally they just stopped supplying to any other than Rolex dealers (who still had to meet the requirements). But they actually put in place a service network of their own during this time that works (pretty) well. Other makers tried to cut off abrubtly and suddenly "factory" service took 2-3x or more than before.

 

I do kind of get that they want to control the quality of service. But ultimately even they often mess up- I have seen and repaired the results (from upset customers who absolutely didn't want to send it back again, even under warranty). Geez 25 years ago Patek would sell you parts! Not long ago I made a ratchet wheel for a fairly recent JLC perpetual calendar; customer had dealt with JLC before and waited like a year or more just for the watch to go back again, wait again. They were happy to find someone who would/could do it. But it's nerve racking work: if any part is lost or damaged, which can happen any time to anyone, woo-boy. Mechanical parts I can make, haha, but a scratch on the dial or something is another story.

 

It actually makes more sense for car makers to restrict at least some of the parts- I was a mechanic as a very young man before watchmaking, and I've seen stuff on brakes, suspension, etc. that were definitely from a shade-tree mechanic and a definite safety issue. But you can get whatever you want and do the work however you want on your _____ car.

Edited by nickelsilver
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23 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

But it's nerve racking work: if any part is lost or damaged, which can happen any time to anyone.

Thats kind of reassuring and i bet makes most of us here feel at least a little less incompetent 😄

39 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

Maybe we should start a  list of manufacturers who restrict the sales of parts. 

I was thinking maybe more of us should start learning to make parts, some of the simpler ones at least.

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In my opinion, manufacturers should be obliged to sell parts for a "reasonable price" to anyone. If I own a product I should be eligible to handle it in any way I see fit. As the owner of a product, you should have complete control over it. When it comes to safety issues, like with cars, there must be an independent inspection authority. Simple as that!

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32 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

In my opinion, manufacturers should be obliged to sell parts for a "reasonable price" to anyone. If I own a product I should be eligible to handle it in any way I see fit. As the owner of a product, you should have complete control over it. When it comes to safety issues, like with cars, there must be an independent inspection authority. Simple as that!

I guess the big brands think that the reputation of their product should lay in their hands and not be compromised by amateur repairers and unprofessional professionals.  How that should differ from anything else mechanical purchased 🤷‍♂️

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1 hour ago, nickelsilver said:

Other makers tried to cut off abrubtly and suddenly "factory" service took 2-3x or more than before.

For a year or so I was a member of the management team of a manufacturing company. One of our main suppliers was to be replaced and a contract was signed with the new supplier promising unchanged quality, lower prices, and faster deliveries. I strongly suggested that we retain the previous supplier for a transition period to ensure reliable supplies so as not to risk our good reputation. My proposal would mean lower margins during the transition period but I firmly argued that it would be worth it in the long run.

Our CEO opposed my proposal and I was eventually fired from the management team because I refused to be a yes-sayer. The new supplier did not live up to its promises with quality degradation, delivery delays, and dissatisfied end customers. In the end, it became significantly more expensive to change suppliers and eventually the previous supplier gained renewed confidence.

Of course, it is critical to always be prepared to make changes, but there are good and bad ways to do it. A good start is to eliminate greed and dreams of a higher profit in the short term.

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51 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

A good start is to eliminate greed and dreams of a higher profit in the short term.

LOL, good luck with that. It's really just an example of the golden rule -- whoever has the gold, makes the rules. Is it any surprise that huge swaths of people can be convinced of a deep state shadow government conspiracy or whatever terminology you want to use to identify a corporate consumer rule under the guise of the "free" market.

If you truly want absolute freedom, then you must accept that people (and corporations) have the freedom to do the absolute worst without regard to others. Oh, but try to force companies to behave fairly then it's an attack against rights, liberty and quite possible your mother. For the most part your average voter gets more upset about a controversial call during a sporting event that has exactly ZERO impact on their daily life than they do a foreign trade policy that has the potential to price them out of the market for certain goods or impose restrictions on their profession.

It's no wonder that the western countries tend to vilify Chinese manufacturing. They are scared of a country with capacity and capability being able to serve the world market and not play by their rules. Now, I am not saying I approve of the "rules" that China or other countries play under, but play they do and have been winning in many respects. And that winning comes from the defensive western posture of attacking the competition rather than improving your product, service, price or process.

Let's not forget that Rolex, Swatch and Richemont are essentially a marketing companies that absorbed well-known brands of obsolete technology and turned them into fashion and status items. And they did it exceedingly well. The general watch-buying public holds the belief that if you have a Swiss made watch from an iconic brand you are somehow better than the person with the drug store Timex regardless of the fact that a $20 Casio is more accurate than a $100,000 Patek. Omega, Rolex, Longines, et. al. of the mass produced luxury watches bring some of that elitism to the masses. The harder you have to work to get that luxury, the more elite it makes you feel, which is ironic since it is the "elites" that get blames for what's wrong with everything.

Swatch is protecting the Brand and not the quality, craftsmanship or value, hence the disposable Omega moon swatch or the 50 fathoms monstrosity. The more elite and restricted it seems the more people will stand in line to throw money at them.

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8 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

Either way what's the point in laws if they can be broken so easily  

 

Don't forget; "Rules & laws are written by the rich; for the rich"

Edited by Endeavor
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1 hour ago, rehajm said:

There’s a larger galactic senate conversation to be had what would annoy the censors so I’ll save it for my tri-point tin foil hat club…

We all know aliens roll up the windows and lock the doors when they pass by this planet. Even Klatu rolls his eyes every time he recalls his last visit.

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Hearing about this court case raises feelings of outrage in me. Even though I primarily work on antique watches and must resign myself to finding mostly used parts or to making parts, I am outraged by the lack of consideration and empathy which the Swiss show toward the independent members of our honorable profession.  It is as though they are implying that, because they suspect some of us may be ham-handed hacks and they don't know who is, then NOBODY gets parts unless you're willing to be put under their thumb.

A poor repair says more about the repair technician than it does about the watch.  If the Swiss were truly worried about reputation they would understand that. Ownership should mean something.  So should a right to have something repaired.  With cars, it is a slightly different issue; a poor repair can place the lives of the owner and even other motorists at risk.  Not so with a watch.

The Swiss can argue how they like, but I suspect this has more to do with their right to take more of our money, and exclude those who do not have enough of it.  It feels like they have legislated their snobbery.

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5 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Hearing about this court case raises feelings of outrage in me. Even though I primarily work on antique watches and must resign myself to finding mostly used parts or to making parts, I am outraged by the lack of consideration and empathy which the Swiss show toward the independent members of our honorable profession.  It is as though they are implying that, because they suspect some of us may be ham-handed hacks and they don't know who is, then NOBODY gets parts unless you're willing to be put under their thumb.

A poor repair says more about the repair technician than it does about the watch.  If the Swiss were truly worried about reputation they would understand that. Ownership should mean something.  So should a right to have something repaired.  With cars, it is a slightly different issue; a poor repair can place the lives of the owner and even other motorists at risk.  Not so with a watch.

The Swiss can argue how they like, but I suspect this has more to do with their right to take more of our money, and exclude those who do not have enough of it.  It feels like they have legislated their snobbery.

Being concerned about their reputation i suspect is just a convenient excuse. Without parts a repairer is now less enabled to carry out a proper repair and will be forced into using second hand parts and bodging. A luxury watch put to bed and swapped out for a 10 quid digital watch still gives the owner the means to tell the time and almost everyone has a phone as a backup anyway. We cant do this with a car, taking it to an AD is not an option that everyone can afford with charges double that of an independent garage. Restricting car parts would cause a lot of inconvenience to a lot of people, and bodging up work on a car would be very dangerous. Tbh it's professional watch repairers that i feel sorry for, the ones that used to repair relatively recent made luxury watches. The vast majority of hobbyists repair vintage watches that are found on ebay, these parts were ceased to be made long ago. The parts that are being used now are remaining stocks and salvaged parts, thats something that most of us have been getting used to for a long time. As an aside question, do Ronda,  DCN and such companies still exist make and supply  watch parts to anyone.

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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17 hours ago, eccentric59 said:

Swatch is protecting the Brand and not the quality, craftsmanship or value, hence the disposable Omega moon swatch or the 50 fathoms monstrosity.

Yes, it's a sad, sad story and your argument is further emphasized by the fact that they now incorporate parts in plastic (cheap junk) and call it high-tech.

7 hours ago, KarlvonKoln said:

Ownership should mean something.  So should a right to have something repaired.  With cars, it is a slightly different issue; a poor repair can place the lives of the owner and even other motorists at risk.  Not so with a watch.

As I mentioned previously, the issue of safety can be handled through an independent inspection authority. That's how it's done where I live, and for the past 15 years, I have employed an independent car mechanic to repair and service my car. His work has made my car pass the yearly inspection every time. Works like a charm!

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26 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

Yes, it's a sad, sad story and your argument is further emphasized by the fact that they now incorporate parts in plastic (cheap junk) and call it high-tech.

As I mentioned previously, the issue of safety can be handled through an independent inspection authority. That's how it's done where I live, and for the past 15 years, I have employed an independent car mechanic to repair and service my car. His work has made my car pass the yearly inspection every time. Works like a charm!

That is how we operate in the UK with vehicle owners applying for a ministry of transport yearly inspection. Without that insurances can void in cases of accidents. Resistriction of parts in the instance of vehical repairs would have a major impact on the average consumer. In today's world it would make life very difficult for a lot of people. 

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1 hour ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Resistriction of parts in the instance of vehical repairs would have a major impact on the average consumer. In today's world it would make life very difficult for a lot of people. 

You're very right about that. Some 15 or 20 years ago, Volvo, the most common car in Sweden, tried to restrict parts by making warranty void if original parts were not used and installed by authorized mechanics. Fortunately, they went on a real nose burn and sanity was restored. It is beyond all reason that Swatch is allowed to continue with its anti-customer policy.

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34 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

You're very right about that. Some 15 or 20 years ago, Volvo, the most common car in Sweden, tried to restrict parts by making warranty void if original parts were not used and installed by authorized mechanics. Fortunately, they went on a real nose burn and sanity was restored. It is beyond all reason that Swatch is allowed to continue with its anti-customer policy.

Swatch and many others made this decision and set their stalls out years ago. Even if the ruling was made in Cousins favour I'm sure Swatch and the rest would still make supply difficult. How is anyone to know what suppliers have available, there will be lots of " really sorry we have run out of that item, we dont make that part anymore " i think Cousins are pretty much screwed on parts supply whatever would be the outcome. How does this leave us on the supply of mobius products ?  I definitely want to seek out a different manufacturer of lubrication 

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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7 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

How does this leave us on the supply of mobius oils ?

An interesting question.  

I refuse to wear designer clothes for two reasons, firstly I don't care less about clothes but more importantly I  refuse to pay a premium to advertise someone's clothing.  Want me to wear a t shirt with someone's name on it, pay me. 

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