The Very Highest Quality Watches...

Why Don't Chard Sell Watches? watches.gifChard 24 Carat Home Page

What?, No Watches?
We are often asked, especially by our local customers, can we get them a ***** brand of watch.
Now, we take this as a compliment, because, with the exception of an occasional better quality second-hand piece, we do not sell or stock new watches. It these customers approach us for a watch, it must be because they would prefer to deal with us in preference to a retail jeweller.

An Explanation
There are several reasons why we do not stock watches.
We try to specialise in our strong areas.
We started out dealing solely in coins, which extended into precious metal as scrap and bullion. This gradually grew into dealing in gold jewellery and diamond rings. So we now have four main areas of activity, Collectors coins, gold bullion coins, gold jewellery, and diamond rings.
If we expect customers to come to us for gold jewellery and diamond rings, there has to be a reason why they should choose us rather than a retail shop. We try to be better, cheaper and different at all times. We believe these are three good reasons to choose us!
By designing and making our own range of diamond rings, we can offer excellent quality at reasonable prices.

What About Watches
Now coming back to watches, we do not design or make watches, so we cannot offer better or different watches than you will find in the high street.
We can't buy watches on better terms than the big multiple jewellers, so there are no price savings for us to pass on.
The watch companies guard and promote their brand images very carefully, so they would not want us to be seen to discount their watches. In any case, we try to offer excellent value without shouting the word "discount" out loud.
We know what the typical factory costs are for most watches. Because most watches are sold by promoting a high profile "quality" or "prestige" image, most of the retail price is spent on advertising and brand image. The retail price of most watches bears little relation to the manufacturing cost.
We would hesitate to suggest that watch buyers are being "ripped off", but we don't believe that most up-market watches represent good value for money. Typically, we believe that most watches only cost about 5% to 10% of their retail price, to manufacture. Put the other way around, most watches sell for between 10 to 20 times their manufacturing cost. Strangely enough, the higher the price of a watch brand, the more consumers seem to desire it, so it is not surprising that the the watch manufacturers keep their prices and profiles high!

Paying for Prestige
Some years ago, I was wearing a stainless steel Rolex, when we were visited by a dealer who had the same model, but in 18 carat gold. At the time, the retail price of my watch was about £1750, and for the gold version about £8750, so about £7000 difference. I weighed the gold model, and ignoring the weight of its movement, it contained at most £600 worth of gold. It shouldn't carry a higher labour cost, so my conclusion is that the retail to cost ratio was at least 12, and probably closer to 15 or even 20. Gold has dropped by one third since that example, and Rolex have not reduced their prices.
Now please don't think that I am picking out Rolex for any particular reason. I could have performed the same exercise with almost any other make, with similar results. I cannot think of any other consumer products where the cost/retail ratio is so high.

Cost of Branding
Unbranded jewellery and diamond rings retail for between about 3 to 5 times their manufacturing cost. This may shock some consumers, but this means that jewellery presents about 3 to 4 times the value that watches present. It also explains why we are able to sell our jewellery and diamond rings at 25% to 50% below retail prices.
I would like to know what a £20,000 car costs to manufacture. My guess is between about £5,000 to £10,000. To be fair, car manufacturers probably have high development, research and tooling costs, but even in the car industry, a high proportion of the consumer price is for brand and model advertising, to promote "image".

How Much for a Good Watch?
It is perfectly possibly to buy good quality watches from £5 or £10 to £50, £100 or more, depending on their function and design, but paying more often does not add more than marginally to the quality.
Some day, we might just add some interesting watch models to our range, but until then, we will continue to believe that most people paying more than a few hundred pounds for a watch, are paying for prestige rather than for performance.

Not Everyone Agrees
Many of my retail jeweller friends and customers will doubtlessly disagree with my opinions, but they will not change them! So, if you are looking for a watch we can't really help you, except to suggest that you save your money, and buy a good diamond ring from us instead. the Lowest Possible Price

32 - 36 Harrowside, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1RJ, England.
Telephone (44) - (0) 1253 - 343081 ; Fax 408058; E-mail:
The URL for our main page is:
Chard(1964) Ltd