Old dead resurrected brands

Old dead resurrected brands

Postby Pubbie » September 25th 2017, 4:04am

I don't buy and sell watches as often as others but I have landed on a Glycine for regular wear and a couple of cheap LIPs bought slightly drunk on holiday because I liked the look of them. Here are some toss photos of the two French ones.

These LIPs aren't from Fred Lipmann's company but from whoever bought the name and set up an import-export business. I'm pretty sure the parts weren't fabricated in France although final assembly and boxing might have been carried out there. The movements in particular are spectacularly cheap and unreliable, so bad in fact that you can reportedly fuck them just by trying to change the battery.

Questions: are watches like these utter shit? Is it pointless to resurrect dead watch companies or better to start something disruptively innovative? Or is it some comfort that these low-end reissues, priced roughly at Daniel Wellington levels, are at least available from a company that is using a once-proud name legitimately? Pile on.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » September 25th 2017, 4:49am

There isn't a pattern, that would dictate that all necromanced brands are shit. Depends on who resurrects them. Frankly, with so many "fresh", non-necromanced brands being complete and utter rubbish, it's even harder to bash brand necromancy. It's just about the choice of a name - it's harder to build your own brand, its philosophy, its logo, than to use existing ones.

I can see where the anti-brand-necromancy approach comes from, though. When you look at Doxa, Enicar, Cyma, even LIP, it's hard to like resurrected brands, as that shit gives them all a bad name. That's because a lot of them are owned and/or made by the heathens of the Orient. But when we think of, for example, Angelus or Edox, it becomes clear that of some necromanced brands we can't really think badly, as they have given us anything but a reason to hate them.

As to LIP itself, I didn't really look into the watches the current LIP company makes, so I can't really verify the rumours of them being shit.

It isn't pointless to necromance a watch brand - it does make sense when one does it right. Pointless, when done wrong, but isn't that the case with just about everything?
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby Pubbie » September 25th 2017, 5:14am

The modern LIPs are either with STP 111s (one-offs and special editions), or Miyotas with a slightly naff open dial, or truly terrible ISASWISS quartzes. ISASWISS went bust last year, and its French subsidiary (ISAFRANCE - whaddyaknow) also got canned at the same time. So they are putting some real dreck - and now unsupported and effectively non-replaceable - into most of their watches. No matter; I will rip out the original ISA when the battery dies, stamp on it with furious vengeance, and fit a $3 Swiss-parts ETA F-series instead.

And with an eye on your .sig, here is another new-LIP copy of an old LIP, something called a Churchill (named Churchill by a French company? Really?)

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All their designs - Churchill, Himalaya, Panoramic, de Gaulle - are pretty close to the originals, including the sizes (ignore the two oversized ones in my post, most are in the 34-37mm range). Other new brands often try "channelling the spirit or yesteryear" or some other bollocks like that, and it comes across as unimaginative. Movement choice aside, I like that the modern LIP is just basically making cheap good-looking watches.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby biglove » September 25th 2017, 5:17am

Resurrection of a brand isn’t an issue, in my opinion. I understand utilizing heritage to sell a product.

The issue, for me at least, is lack of transparency in ownership and manufacturing. As long as the quality is maintained and there isn’t the usual shenanigans, is all good.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby Hawk » September 25th 2017, 6:52am

One necromanced brand that many seem to like is A. Lange & Sohn. It can hardly be considered anything but the purchase of a name given that they never made a wristwatch until the 1990s and the facility had been bombed into subatomic particles.

Ball is necromanced but at least keeps a museum of sorts with the originals. Also, since Webster Ball was in the business of peddling re-branded product the bar is set pretty low heritage-wise.

Like anything else, there's some good, some bad and some indifferent. People still buy Indian motorcycles with no connection to the original other than the name.

A. Lange has been so damn successful there's a small but growing selection of goofy fucks that list it as having "heritage and pedigree". About the only thing they had that Invicta didn't was a non-watch making shirt-tail relative in a broom closet. Well, that and a really superlative product totally not reliant on Hong Kong assemblers. I remain of the opinion that no list of resurrected brands can be complete without Lange even if it doesn't fit into the usual abusive role of such marques.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby koimaster » September 25th 2017, 8:34am

In 2002, Sensemat signed a LIP world license contract with Jean-Luc Bernerd, who created La Manufacture Générale Horlogère in Lectoure Gers for the occasion.


Mostly a fashion brand now. Look into the past for a quality one.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby Pubbie » September 25th 2017, 3:47pm

Ace, thanks. Yep what I thought, real shit innards; and before about 2014 they could be had with Ronda quartz movements which are reasonably robust (at least you can change the battery without the movement frying itself!).
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby bedlam » September 25th 2017, 5:00pm

To me it comes down to the quality of the product and the level of honesty.

If someone puts out a great watch for the money and they highlight the fact they love the history of the brand they are resurrecting and want to take it forward, I have no issue at all.

When they pretend to be the old company through claim or omission of facts then they are frauds. Enter the Synchron family of fakes; ISOfrane, Aquadive, Doxa, Jenny, etc. At which point it is not relevant if they are well made as I won't deal with frauds.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby TemerityB » September 25th 2017, 5:18pm

bedlam wrote:
When they pretend to be the old company through claim or omission of facts then they are frauds. Enter the Synchron family of fakes; ISOfrane, Aquadive, Doxa, Jenny, etc. At which point it is not relevant if they are well made as I won't deal with frauds.


Well noted. Virtually any brand that begins the hype with "Since 1891" (or words to that effect) are full of the brown stuff.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » September 25th 2017, 6:28pm

bedlam wrote:When they pretend to be the old company through claim or omission of facts then they are frauds. Enter the Synchron family of fakes; ISOfrane, Aquadive, Doxa, Jenny, etc. At which point it is not relevant if they are well made as I won't deal with frauds.

Synchron... Care to illuminate me? The only Synchron I've heard of was a brief episode in the history of a few brands in the 1970s... If the name is in use today, then Synchron alone must be something of a "reboot." I am definitely not familiar with any contemporary Synchron company/holding/whatever.

Sounds like that name must have been necromanced, if it has anything to do with "reboot" frauds. The original Synchron was founded by Aubry Freres SA of Le Noirmont, with the earliest registration date in Mikrolisk (for Aubry) being 1928.
The holding was sort of a union between Cyma, Doxa and Ernest Borel - but it was founded before any of them went belly up; guess it was an attempt to save them, when the quartz crisis began to take its toll on the Swiss manufacturers.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby bedlam » September 25th 2017, 8:25pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
bedlam wrote:When they pretend to be the old company through claim or omission of facts then they are frauds. Enter the Synchron family of fakes; ISOfrane, Aquadive, Doxa, Jenny, etc. At which point it is not relevant if they are well made as I won't deal with frauds.

Synchron... Care to illuminate me? The only Synchron I've heard of was a brief episode in the history of a few brands in the 1970s... If the name is in use today, then Synchron alone must be something of a "reboot." I am definitely not familiar with any contemporary Synchron company/holding/whatever.

Sounds like that name must have been necromanced, if it has anything to do with "reboot" frauds. The original Synchron was founded by Aubry Freres SA of Le Noirmont, with the earliest registration date in Mikrolisk (for Aubry) being 1928.
The holding was sort of a union between Cyma, Doxa and Ernest Borel - but it was founded before any of them went belly up; guess it was an attempt to save them, when the quartz crisis began to take its toll on the Swiss manufacturers.

An investor group bought into a resurrected Synchron AG. They inherited some names from the old Synchron and bought up others. They then set up a strong viral marketing process through, primarily, online means like forums to sell retro-themed releases of classic watches and straps with big mark-ups. Worked a charm.

I think most of their stuff is well made. Its swissese but generally with decent finishing. The problem is they trade on borrowed heritage to claim top-dollar and try to obfuscate when you push into who they are and any genuine connection to the watch companies they claim to be.

The classic example is the ISOfrane. Its a Benetto Cinturini synthetic compound that has been pressed to make the straps. They then ask 3x more than an equivalent strap from BC costs at retail. You are paying a premium for a supposed connection to the original that doesn't exist. I note that Borealis is now selling ISOfrane like straps too. Its exactly the same compound at a third the price - I have tested them on a dive and they are the equal of the Synchron stuff. You'd be certifiably mad to pay top dollar these days.

I'm not saying these products don't work well. I just object to the 'stolen glory' aspect of their business model.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby gerdson » September 26th 2017, 10:54am

Very well written, a pleasure to read this thread. I don't give a lot, since I am into vintage, but there is one thing I would like to point out: As long as the "true traditional" brands can get away with selling replacement leather straps for 800 USD and upwards, I would not want to blame the rest for trying to get a share of the market. I mean - my wife is a saddlemaker, a true artist of her trade. With her knowledge of leather, production of leather goods, and a little bit of common sense, one can easily figure out what it costs to produce such a strap... even if it is all cut out and stitched by hand (which is not the case, when You do produce more than 100 of the same size).
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby bedlam » September 26th 2017, 5:14pm

gerdson wrote:Very well written, a pleasure to read this thread. I don't give a lot, since I am into vintage, but there is one thing I would like to point out: As long as the "true traditional" brands can get away with selling replacement leather straps for 800 USD and upwards, I would not want to blame the rest for trying to get a share of the market. I mean - my wife is a saddlemaker, a true artist of her trade. With her knowledge of leather, production of leather goods, and a little bit of common sense, one can easily figure out what it costs to produce such a strap... even if it is all cut out and stitched by hand (which is not the case, when You do produce more than 100 of the same size).


Paying 800USD for an Omega OEM rubber strap qualifies you unquestionably as a moron. Similar mark-ups on their OEM NATO straps don't even pass the giggle test...but there are morons buying those too.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby conjurer » September 26th 2017, 9:58pm

bedlam wrote:
gerdson wrote:Very well written, a pleasure to read this thread. I don't give a lot, since I am into vintage, but there is one thing I would like to point out: As long as the "true traditional" brands can get away with selling replacement leather straps for 800 USD and upwards, I would not want to blame the rest for trying to get a share of the market. I mean - my wife is a saddlemaker, a true artist of her trade. With her knowledge of leather, production of leather goods, and a little bit of common sense, one can easily figure out what it costs to produce such a strap... even if it is all cut out and stitched by hand (which is not the case, when You do produce more than 100 of the same size).


Paying 800USD for an Omega OEM rubber strap qualifies you unquestionably as a moron. Similar mark-ups on their OEM NATO straps don't even pass the giggle test...but there are morons buying those too.


"Moron" is such a harsh word, Carl.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby bedlam » September 27th 2017, 2:17am

conjurer wrote:
bedlam wrote:
gerdson wrote:Very well written, a pleasure to read this thread. I don't give a lot, since I am into vintage, but there is one thing I would like to point out: As long as the "true traditional" brands can get away with selling replacement leather straps for 800 USD and upwards, I would not want to blame the rest for trying to get a share of the market. I mean - my wife is a saddlemaker, a true artist of her trade. With her knowledge of leather, production of leather goods, and a little bit of common sense, one can easily figure out what it costs to produce such a strap... even if it is all cut out and stitched by hand (which is not the case, when You do produce more than 100 of the same size).


Paying 800USD for an Omega OEM rubber strap qualifies you unquestionably as a moron. Similar mark-ups on their OEM NATO straps don't even pass the giggle test...but there are morons buying those too.


"Moron" is such a harsh word, Carl.

You'd prefer 'douche'?
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby conjurer » September 27th 2017, 7:31am

bedlam wrote:
conjurer wrote:
bedlam wrote:
gerdson wrote:Very well written, a pleasure to read this thread. I don't give a lot, since I am into vintage, but there is one thing I would like to point out: As long as the "true traditional" brands can get away with selling replacement leather straps for 800 USD and upwards, I would not want to blame the rest for trying to get a share of the market. I mean - my wife is a saddlemaker, a true artist of her trade. With her knowledge of leather, production of leather goods, and a little bit of common sense, one can easily figure out what it costs to produce such a strap... even if it is all cut out and stitched by hand (which is not the case, when You do produce more than 100 of the same size).


Paying 800USD for an Omega OEM rubber strap qualifies you unquestionably as a moron. Similar mark-ups on their OEM NATO straps don't even pass the giggle test...but there are morons buying those too.


"Moron" is such a harsh word, Carl.

You'd prefer 'douche'?


Douche is OK by me.
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Re: Old dead resurrected brands

Postby Mortuus » September 27th 2017, 8:17am

There's also the issue of borrowing an historical name from the past, one who may never have actually built a watch, such as the guy who inspired the "Stuhrling Aboriginal" brand moniker. Sthurling's shill pitchman, Larry "Beggin' Strips" Megin, also loved to invoke the name of the late Louis Charles Breguet every time he brought up Sturdling's use of the blued hands as "an homage" to the great man himself.

While it's not exactly "necromancing," as the term is (mis)used here, it does represent two examples -- and I'm sure there are many more -- of this "association by invocation" of famous or revered watchmakers (or plant assistant managers) from horology's long-ago past to buff up the sale of many a shitty fucking cheap brand in the hope of somehow adjusting the smoke and mirrors just right to earn the company some free 'Brequet cred' or 'Stuhrling starpower'... and, of course, the further you go back into histoire, the less chance of there being a living direct descendent who might take issue and bitch-slap you in the ever-sympathetic civil courts.

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