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CPO

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I came across the idea of CPO in GQ magazine. I know few people that have bought anything other than the G-Shocks in their collection for retail.

There’s a few reasons for that:

  • The watches that people like are often vintage models, it’s reverse of the hot streetwear and luxury ‘drop’ scene
  • With the exception of sought after models from the likes of Rolex; most watches suffer from a similar depreciation curve to buying a new car
  • If you’re buying a watch to wear, so I care less about the box, immaculate cardboard outer box and papers
  • A quality watch is a classic example of heirloom design. Whilst they will need to be serviced every three to five years; they can also last beyond the lifetime of the owner to be handed down in families.

Watch resellers

A number of watch dealers that were known by word-of-mouth have gone to the wall. For instance, Austin Kaye, which had been a regular fixture on The Strand longer than I have lived in London closed at the end of 2019.

Online watch resellers have taken off. Crown & Caliber and WatchBox in the US; Watchmaster in Germany and Watchfinder & Co. from the UK – are some of the biggest players. Scale, brand trust and a panel of expert watchmakers have formalised the purchase process with validation that you’re not buying a fake or a ‘frankenwatch’.

CPO

This verification is usually called certified pre-owned or CPO in the trade. At first you used to see this in the Japanese luxury resale market provided by the likes of BRAND OFF.

BRAND OFF is trusted by luxury shoppers across East Asia.

It then extended to this new breed of online resellers. Luxury watch brands have bought some of the watch resellers. For instance, Richemont bought Watchfinder & Co. Other watchmakers, now have a formal process to CPO their watches.

Previously, you would have to submit a watch in for a service to get proof that the watch was legitimate. Some brands are even reselling CPO watches including H Moser & Cie. Pre-owned items offer the luxury industry an opportunity to be more sustainable. Greater involvement in the pre-owned market also allows watch brands to get more value from their products over time.

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iPhone 12 launch

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Apple announced a four phone iPhone 12 range:

  • 12 Mini
  • 12
  • 12 Pro
  • 12 Pro Max

I looked at the event using a social listening tool and the thing that really struck me was where the people commenting on it where commenting from.

iPhone 12 event languages used in 1000s of mentions
Languages versus 1,000s of mentions

Thinking about key Apple markets; at least some of the buzz seems geographically misplaced. There was a distinct lack of discussions happening in Japan and mainland Europe for example. I watched it with a couple of friends based in Hong Kong; but realise the launch itself would be at an inconvenient time in Japan.

Where was the Japanese pre-event buzz though?

As for mainland Europe, if social discussions are a proxy for a lack of interest; Apple has a serious problem on its hands.

Here’s what the social discussions looked like during the live event.

iPhone 12 event social mentions over time
Social mentions over time.

More Apple related posts here and rewatch the iPhone 12 launch online.

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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ian Murray of House 51 takes on some marketing sacred cows such as brand purpose in The Empathy Delusion. His presentation sets out to show how different marketing and agency folk are from the general public. Positive traits, like the gumption to move to London put a difference between them and the general public. This is just one aspect that Murray touches on when talking about The Empathy Delusion.

I was recommended Economy Candy in New York. Their collection of vintage trading cards is a site to behold. The film tie-ins from Back To The Future and ET to Howard The Duck are tremendous.

Local Hong Kong group StreetSignHK are featured on this video of the process that goes into saving Hong Kong’s neon signage. The biggest threat seems to be building regulation bureaucracy rather than technology.

I loved the style of this 1980s vintage Mercedes sales training video, presumably for American dealerships.

I was reminiscing about The Site. This used to run on CNBC Europe when I was in college and provided a window into the early net. Soledad O’Brien has gone on to produce documentaries. Leo Laporte who played the Dev Null* character is now better known for his technology podcasts. (Technically it should be /dev/null* for maximum geek humour.) The programme sat at a sweet spot. The web was small, but inaccessible to many of the viewers. AOL and CompuServe were just taking off. I had net access in college and used that to take a look at their online recommendations at the time.

The Site pioneered virtual characters and offline integration of programming with its own site. Dev Null now has a kind of PlayStation 1 vibe to him. But this was all new stuff. Terminator 2 had been in the cinemas five years earlier and blow people away with its animation.

The year after we had the virtual world of The Lawnmower man. Lawnmower Man brought to life the kind of virtual world on screen that had previously only existed in the works of authors like William Gibson and Vernor Vinge.

Then in 1995, there was Hackers that tapped into gen-x youth culture (X-Games, Oakley T-wire glasses, the psychedelic side of rave culture) to create a connected world closer to our own now.

This all explains the look and feel of The Site and its role in helping the general public to experience online. What I didn’t realise is that the show was run on one dial-up modem. This around about the time when I worked in my first agency with a 1MB T1 line – and that was hard enough. I am not sure how the programme researchers, broadcast production team and web producers managed on 1 dial-up line.

More on online culture here.