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Vintage Heuer Discussion Forum
The place for discussing 1930-1985 Heuer wristwatches, chronographs and dash-mounted timepieces. Online since May 2003.
Here's my opinion re: the Autavia design. I think TH should expand the Autavia to 5 or so staples and build a foundation as a strategic move before creating so many limited editions. As you suggested, the LE versions pretty much overshadow the base models at this time.
A problem I have with the modern Autavia marketing and merchandising is that when you go retailer (in SoCal it's either Westime or Bloomingdales or Macy's), the Autavia sits alone swarmed in a sea of Carrera iterations. It just doesn't have enough presence. It's an outlier. I know it's a relatively new model, and perhaps there are more base model additions to come in the future. But until that happens, Average Joe won't know what the Autavia is.
I would prefer TH does this --> Create foundational Autavia designs of a 1) black dial, 2) white dial, 3) panda dial, 4) maybe gray dial + gray / stainless bezel.
Then, occasionally, sprinkle in a few LE here and there that are based on one of these foundational Autavia designs to basically create 2 groups. Group A = the 4 neutral colors that make up the mainstays of foundational Autavias. And group B = colored, limited edition options (like red, blue, maybe orange cues) that are based on promotion/theme/co-brand/etc.
Having more base models can potentially help increase Autavia recognition. Limited edition versions will increase the cool factor. In short, the LEs help feed the hype machine that supports sales for the base models. Both groups win.
Also, it would be better, in my opinion, if the Autavia LEs weren't limited to 100-150 pieces. The Autavia is not going to get popular if it costs $8k - $10k because it's so exclusive. Autavias LEs are a little more fun than the current base black and white version, but the way higher cost makes the LEs out of reach for a lot of people. How can something get popular if no one you know has one? Drooling over something online gets old fast. I would prefer seeing more Autavias (both base and LE) on more wrists.
: Seeing this new watch (or actually a teaser for a new watch),
: limited to 150 pieces and sold only in the Australian market
: raises the question -- again -- about the new approach to
: designing and selling watches.
: We see the "influencers" (such as Hodinkee, Revolution
: and Calibre 11) designing Limited Editions . . . and we see the
: same from the powerful retailers (Uae Autavia; Harrods Autavia;
: and now this newest LE in Australia). Yes, we can expect all of
: them to sell out, quickly. And the, within minutes, we determine
: the real value of the watches, in the market, when the first
: ones turn up on eBay, typically at a nice premium.
: But I still wonder whether this is a rational way to design and
: sell watches? Yes, the TAG Heuer brand get a push from the
: publicity, but what about the Average Joe who walks into a mall
: tomorrow or even tries to buy a nice Autavia online? He or she
: is left to choose between the original black and white model, or
: the Jack Heuer LE, which seems to be a bit of a white elephant.
: And what about the design team at TAG Heuer? Are they on furlough,
: as the design of the Autavias is being done through PhotoShop
: color changes of the existing portfolio?
: I really do embrace the role of the influencers and the big
: retailers, but I also wonder how the Average Joe is supposed to
: get excited about the Heuer brand. Mr. Joe will only see most of
: these more interesting models on his computer screen or in the
: watch magazines. Has the game been handed over to the insiders?