Breitling has been a solid independent watch company since 1884. Many high-end watch brands today are part of a larger group of companies. For instance, IWC is part of the Richemont group, a Swiss luxury goods company founded in 1988, and Blancpain is part of the Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate that is now the biggest watch manufacturer in the world.
While Breitling is one of the independent watch companies that is still going strong and extremely popular, several other independent watch brands were unfortunately not able to survive the worst part of the recent recession. One of those particular brands was a company called Wyler Geneve.
Wyler timepieces are extremely cool; they have a unique shape and lie incredibly well on the wrist. The cases are flawlessly attached to the straps, and many of the watches have exhibition casebacks. I really like some of them and just recently found myself wondering why the company did not make it.
I decided to research some of the old Wyler retail prices and saw that their stainless steel chronograph on a rubber strap retailed for $10,800. Doesn’t that seem a little high? The watches do have an incaflex dial that makes them able to withstand a great deal of pressure, but it is not like they house a unique in-house movement or anything; Wyler Geneve watches use ETA base movements just like approximately 75% of the automatic Swiss watches on the market today.
I think the price point was the main reason for the company’s downfall. You are able to get a Breitling stainless steel automatic chronograph for under 5k! That is less than half of what you would have had to pay for a Wyler stainless steel chrono… Let’s be real; at the end of the day, price definitely matters. There are a lot of awesome watches out there, and in order for a company’s line of watches to sell well, they must be priced appropriately and competitively.
Do you agree with where I am coming from? Do you think Wyler Geneve watches would have sold better had they not had such a high price tag?