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Baselworld 2017 - Competitive pricing

Baselworld 2017 Competitive pricing

Different brands take different approaches to their entry-level ranges, but there are two constants. They may be cheaper, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. And – there are more and more to choose from.

It takes considerable effort, but it has become commonplace. Entry-level prices for mechanical watches have fallen, at both the lower end and into the mid-range. They continue to fall, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. Some brands have come lately to the game, while others, old hands at entry-level pricing, continue to deploy their best efforts to beat off the competition. At Baselworld we saw a plethora of new models priced between CHF 1,500 and 3,000. At the lower end of the scale there are simple three-handed watches, some with a date. The upper end includes chronographs.

The most tempting of these is offered by Frédérique Constant. At around CHF 3,700, it is the least expensive manufacture chronograph made in Switzerland. With its sunray anthracite dial and applied indices, it has everything going for it.

Competitive pricing

Frédérique Constant’s sister brand, Alpina, concentrates its efforts in the price bracket below, focusing on a sportier aesthetic. The new Startimer Pilot Automatique, with its ultra-legible and rather smart-looking dial, comes in at around CHF 900.

Competitive pricing

Anonimo continues to develop and mature, with a new Militare Vintage model that showcases all the brand’s design codes, including the cushion-shaped case. At CHF 2,600, the price is more than reasonable for such a distinctive timepiece.

Competitive pricing

Longines is taking a different approach with its newest family, the Record. Its conservative design conceals three major new features. The first is a new automatic movement with a 65-hour power reserve; the second is its price – around CHF 1,800; and the third is systematic chronometer certification across the entire range, an approach Longines has embraced once again after a lengthy hiatus.

Competitive pricing

TAG Heuer has taken a two-pronged approach. First, the latest-generation Link, with its meticulously executed and complex design, starts at around CHF 2,600, and features one of the most sophisticated metal bracelets available anywhere. Also, while not mechanical, but not entirely devoid of interest either, the company’s smartwatch is impressive. Functionally, ergonomically and aesthetically, the Connected Modular 45 stands head and shoulders above the competition. It’s also more expensive, with prices starting around CHF 1,690. But what you get for the money is a uniquely broad range of customisation options, including the possibility of changing the strap, the lugs, the movement, the dial, and a whole host of other features. And – it’s a TAG.

Prix plancher mais top qualité

However, the prize for best value for money has to go to Seiko. CHF 1,300 for a Presage Automatique power reserve with enamel dial (yes, genuine grand feu enamel, made in Japan, like its movement...) is quite simply unbeatable. Clearly, low prices are no longer just for inferior quality watches.

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

1 May 2017
Stephane Tencer
Bonjour, quel est le secret de cette equation qui fait rêver : prix plancher et top qualité ? des baisses de marges par rapport à des marges exubérantes ? des augmentation de productivité? des délocalisations de fabrication? une amelioration de la qualité perçue vs la qualité objective? on aimerait bien avoir votre point de vue. Cordialement.


Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.

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Born in Italy, crafted in Switzerland. The history of Anonimo watches is unmistakably linked to the pioneering exploits of Italy’s naval divers and alpini militare.

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Frédérique Constant has made a successful business out of offering affordable luxury, experiencing growth rates well above the industry average. The owners have a clear mission to make fine...

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Based in St. Imier since 1832, Longines has a long tradition in watchmaking, characterised by the elegance of its watches. Using expertise gained as the company has evolved, Longines has gradually...

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The history of Seiko is a more than 130 year story of innovation. From the very start, Kintaro Hattori was determined to be at the forefront of the industry and his oft-repeated credo was that...

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Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...

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