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The Return of Vertex

6 posts in this topic

After a spell in the wilderness, Vertex has returned to the business of watchmaking, now being led by the late founders great grandson, Don Cochrane. I myself have had some contact with Don Cochrane and he kindly sent me a package of documentation relating to the history of Vertex. If you are interested in the history of this firm then you might like to read my topic on the company which can be found in my forum section.

Anyway, Don Cochrane has revived the Vertex name and produced a strictly limited initial edition watch called the M100. This new timepiece is essentially an enlarged version of the famous Vertex World War Two "WWW" military model commissioned by the British in 1944 and one of the 12 "Dirty Dozen" similar models, each by a different watch company.

 

 

Picture of Don Cochrane, the power behind the revival of the Vertex watch brand (pic from hodinkee.imgix.net

DonCochraneportrait.jpg?ixlib=rails-1.1. 

 

 

 

As for the new Vertex watch edition and how it is to be sold, I can tell you that the general public will not get much of a look in, at least for some time. The first 60 potential purchasers have been hand-picked by Don Cochrane himself for the launch of the watch (probably in May this year). Then, each of these individuals, providing they buy an M100, will be able to nominate up to five persons who are each then given the option to buy the M100 wristwatch and nominate a further five "lucky" individuals...

I am myself unconvinced about this method of selling watches because at the intended price level of £2,500, this sort of exclusivity appears to be inappropriate. At this price, the new Vertex M100 is competing with what are the finer middle market European companies, and I would want to be able to buy a watch thus priced unhindered, without the need to be invited by someone to do so.  I know that Don Cochrane feels that his way of selling his watches is democratic but I fail to see it in quite the same way.

The watch itself is certainly a nice timepiece. It features a 40mm 316L stainless steel case (the original WWWwatch was 35mm), a double-curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal (acrylic on the original WWW model), and 100 metres WR. The movement for the new M100 is a hand-wind ETA 7001 finished with Rhodium and Cotes de Geneve decoration - also the Vertex name is engraved on a ratchet wheel in vintage Vertex style. One important feature of the M100 that sets it apart from its older sibling concerns the lume. In the new M100, the numerals are not painted on but are 3-dimensional block numerals comprised of moulded SuperLuminova (or at least, plastic impregnated with the lume).

 

 

The new Vertex M100 (pic from watchpro.com)

vertex-2.jpg

 

 

 

It is too early to say if the decision to revive the Vertex name now was a good one. Don Cochrane has played it safe to start the ball rolling. He has a direct family ancestry to the original Vertex company and he has chosen to revive an iconic military watch as his first watch albeit in a mildly modernized form. He has already chosen his 60 initial "players," being careful to choose them from various fields, and although Cochrane has not previously worked in watch production, he has had working experience of the luxury car market.

 

 

The Vertex M100 showing off its rather good, almost 3D, lume (pic from pbs.twimg.com):C8UG6O-XoAAbMm1.jpg , I must

 

 

 

In conclusion, I must state the obvious and say that the new Vertex venture has not been tried and tested; it is not known if a viable Vertex watch concern will arise from it in the long term. I am also concerned somewhat by how I should view this revival in terms of the original Vertex concern. In the case of Vertex, we do at least have a family link, but I still feel that Don Cochrane hasn't moved far off mere reproduction of an original Vertex watch and revival of an old watch brand-name. Hopefully, the new Vertex will develop into a forward-looking watch company with a less self-conscious approach to the original Vertex firm. We need a few new companies dedicated to producing watches of real quality and style for sale at "real world" prices, and any tenuous link between a new brand name and a former reputable brand or company should not be overplayed as part of a hyping exercise. True heritage and pedigree comes from genuine continuity -  though not necessarily for a very lengthy period.

 

 

The rear view of the new Vertex M100 - no display back on this watch (pic from hodinkee.imgix.com):

Inlline_3.jpg?ixlib=rails-1.1.0&auto=for

 

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Posted (edited)

I do like the watch, but not enough to buy one at that price, or get involved in what seems like a ridiculous selling method.

Sadly (in my opinion only) spoiled by the addition of the date window, the Longines WWW reissue can be bought for half the price, and would be my choice, given the price difference.

watch-heritage-collection-l2-811-4-53-0-350x720.png

P.S. thanks for the usual informative info.:thumbsup:

Edited by WRENCH
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Posted (edited)

Good read as ever. It looks like a decent enough watch, though too pricey for what it is, and too exclusive. It's fine to make a luxury item exclusive, people already lust after unaffordable luxury watches though trying to break into the market this way is probably more of a hinderance than benefit.

Edited by Muddy D

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I do like the watch, but not enough to buy one at that price, or get involved in what seems like a ridiculous selling method.
Sadly (in my opinion only) spoiled by the addition of the date window, the Longines WWW reissue can be bought for half the price, and would be my choice, given the price difference.
watch-heritage-collection-l2-811-4-53-0-350x720.png
P.S. thanks for the usual informative info.:thumbsup:


It is a pretty watch, but I agree, the Longines would also float my boat somewhat more.

Interesting commentary- thank you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I do like the watch, but not enough to buy one at that price, or get involved in what seems like a ridiculous selling method.
Sadly (in my opinion only) spoiled by the addition of the date window, the Longines WWW reissue can be bought for half the price, and would be my choice, given the price difference.
watch-heritage-collection-l2-811-4-53-0-350x720.png
P.S. thanks for the usual informative info.:thumbsup:


It is a pretty watch, but I agree, the Longines would also float my boat somewhat more.

Interesting commentary- thank you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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