The Rolex Forums   The Rolex Watch

ROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEX


Go Back   Rolex Forums - Rolex Watch Forum > Other (non-Rolex) Watch Topics > Watches (Non-Rolex) Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 14 September 2021, 12:28 PM   #1
Verbow
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 45
Gronefeld no longer taking orders

Dear watch aficionados,

When we established Grönefeld in 2008, our objective was clear, we wanted to make fine watches, free of compromise, made for connoisseurs. Whilst we have always been ambitious, we could have never envisaged the success we have since gone on to enjoy. Over the years, we have received significant praise from the press along with numerous awards.

However, we now find ourselves in the regrettable situation where we can no longer accept new orders until further notice. The confidence shown by our customers and retailers has been wonderful, albeit a tad overwhelming. Aware of the increasing demand for our products, we recently moved to new, larger premises and recruited five new watchmakers. However, the necessary skills we require are not simply available off-the shelf, hence we cannot easily recruit additional personnel. Indeed, we need time to train new staff and instil in them our company’s values. At no stage will we ever countenance compromising our standards.

As you may be aware, the strength of Grönefeld is that we build complicated and ingenious mechanisms, characteristics which will remain at the heart of what we do. A perfect illustration of this philosophy is the 1941 Remontoire, a watch endowed with a constant force mechanism. This limited edition model, restricted to just 188 pieces, sold out just over a year ago. Since then, we have only been able to accept orders for the 1941 Principia, our automatic timepiece. However, once again, the popularity of this model has exceeded our expectations, culminating in a lengthy lead time, currently in excess of three years.

Furthermore, we are mindful that no company can standstill. Since 2015, we have been working on a new, exciting timepiece and plan to unveil it later this year. In order to fulfil orders over the coming years, we have set aside capacity for this new creation. We invite you to keep abreast of developments by subscribing to our newsletter.

Clearly, we are conscious that some of you may be disappointed that you are unable to place an order at this juncture. Nevertheless, we hope to remedy this situation in due course. In the interim period, we would urge you to consider a timepiece from an alternative independent watchmaker and discover a world where creativity and craftsmanship often co-exist.

Lastly, we would like to thank you for your support, rest assured it is much appreciated.

Best regards

Bart & Tim Grönefeld
Verbow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 12:43 PM   #2
FrugalGreubel
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 4
I’m really happy for them as a company but as someone who was saving up for a future Grönefeld this concerns me. I worry availability will be so scarce that I won’t be able to obtain one of their watches at retail.
FrugalGreubel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 01:40 PM   #3
dchang81
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 1,276
whenever they take that long a wait i imagine people get tired waiting and give up their allocation
dchang81 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 01:43 PM   #4
DGB
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: uk
Posts: 934
Good for them,

Yet another brand to put on the shelf of the unobtainable watches.

Place your bets gents, how much will be the price of the 1941 Remontoire on the grey market?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
DGB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 02:06 PM   #5
subtona
2021 Bright Blue DJ41-2 Pledge Member
 
subtona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Real Name: gus
Location: East Coast
Watch: APK & sometimes Y
Posts: 24,205
Congratulations.

Like everything else I’m sure folks will be able to acquire on the secondary market.
__________________
subtona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 02:42 PM   #6
KKO
"TRF" Member
 
KKO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Watch: depends on the day
Posts: 42
Happy for Bart and Tim. They are some of the friendliest guys in the business.

Can wait to see what they have in store.
KKO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 02:43 PM   #7
WatchEater666
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 864
Good for them, well earned. They offer a much better product than the big three do at the same price point.
WatchEater666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 10:23 PM   #8
kunlun
"TRF" Member
 
kunlun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 1,645
Bart and Tim are nice guys. They are doing the right thing and we see this with a bunch of independents.
kunlun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 10:28 PM   #9
brandrea
2021 Bright Blue DJ41 Pledge Member
 
brandrea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Real Name: Brian (TBone)
Location: canada
Watch: es make me smile
Posts: 52,750
Quote:
Originally Posted by subtona View Post
Congratulations.

Like everything else I’m sure folks will be able to acquire on the secondary market.
brandrea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 10:51 PM   #10
Wahlberg
"TRF" Member
 
Wahlberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Paris
Posts: 2,591
Used prices x2.

Looking forward to their future. Still impressive what they are doing and I wish them well.
Wahlberg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 10:57 PM   #11
ap1
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: usa
Posts: 16,730
They sure make beautiful watches, nice to see that being recognized
ap1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 September 2021, 11:24 PM   #12
_speedmaster_
2021 Pledge Member
 
_speedmaster_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Earth
Posts: 2,041
Bart and Tim are great, down to earth people; I'm very happy for their success and well-deserved recognition. They are still budgeting time for their upcoming new release, so hold off on paying exorbitant prices in the grey market.

Side note, I love that they directed people to explore and purchase watches from other independents. Class acts.
__________________
Gronefeld | Lange | Urban Jurgensen | H. Moser | Breguet | Blancpain | JLC | Grand Seiko/King Seiko | Kurono Tokyo

instagram.com/ct_watch_guy
_speedmaster_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 01:55 AM   #13
watchucallit
2021 Pledge Member
 
watchucallit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: San Fran
Posts: 2,084
Some of their orders may be to dealers -- which means there could be some pieces available to all.
watchucallit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 05:31 AM   #14
FrugalGreubel
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by watchucallit View Post
Some of their orders may be to dealers -- which means there could be some pieces available to all.
That’s something that I didn’t consider. I hope you’re right.
FrugalGreubel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 07:31 AM   #15
eiesh
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by watchucallit View Post
Some of their orders may be to dealers -- which means there could be some pieces available to all.
+1

Sent from my SM-A515F using Tapatalk
eiesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 01:03 PM   #16
GreenLantern
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,753
You know, it's unfortunate... We're all talking about how it's a great thing for them and we're congratulating them, and I'm really, really happy that they're finally popular enough.

But, from a business standpoint, any time you have to stop taking orders, it's terrible. Absolutely terrible.

And the unfortunate thing is that you end up this way because it's too hard to hire and train watchmakers, unless you are gradually growing your team while you're growing your customer base.

All this means lower cash flow, lower hoarding of cash (for the times when people aren't treating watches like crypto investments), and lots of money left on the table.

Still, I'm super happy for them.
GreenLantern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 03:26 PM   #17
watchucallit
2021 Pledge Member
 
watchucallit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: San Fran
Posts: 2,084
So is it better to be upfront and say -- cannot take anymore orders for the time being or function like Patek and Rolex and others-- continue to take the orders ... that will never be filled.
watchucallit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 05:15 PM   #18
GreenLantern
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,753
Quote:
Originally Posted by watchucallit View Post
So is it better to be upfront and say -- cannot take anymore orders for the time being or function like Patek and Rolex and others-- continue to take the orders ... that will never be filled.
I disagree.

These are watches. Not things you need next month.

I've waited 6 years for a watch (and several others 3-5 years). It was worth the wait.
GreenLantern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 September 2021, 06:16 PM   #19
flanzig
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Irvine
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by _speedmaster_ View Post
Bart and Tim are great, down to earth people; I'm very happy for their success and well-deserved recognition. They are still budgeting time for their upcoming new release, so hold off on paying exorbitant prices in the grey market.

Side note, I love that they directed people to explore and purchase watches from other independents. Class acts.

Agree 100%. Amazing humans and very approachable. I’m super happy for their success and growth.
flanzig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17 September 2021, 10:23 AM   #20
mrarchiegoodwin
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: California/Malaga
Watch: GShock Frogman
Posts: 517
I enjoyed the few hours of anticipation between the time I placed an order on the Gronefeld website (and instantly received confirmation via email) until the next morning when I received the announcement from the brothers that has been posted at the start of this thread. I am considering placing another order on the website so that I can dream about having a fine watch before receiving that same announcement the next morning. If I do it once a week I might never have to buy another watch again.
mrarchiegoodwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18 September 2021, 11:35 PM   #21
AK797
2021 Pledge Member
 
AK797's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Real Name: Neil
Location: UK
Watch: ing ships roll in
Posts: 58,264
Shame but inevitable as forums like this, who champion alot of these once outsider artisanal brands, get more interest from the gen pop... we should all get a commission/discount for the free advertising we give these guys.
AK797 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 September 2021, 02:12 AM   #22
watchucallit
2021 Pledge Member
 
watchucallit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: San Fran
Posts: 2,084
I have two of their pieces... The bespoke remontoire and a parallax tourbillon. I purchased the first directly from the brothers and the second I had inquired but those were sold out but found one at one of their USA dealers.
watchucallit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 September 2021, 11:48 AM   #23
thekman
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Boston
Watch: 16610LV
Posts: 551
Just received my Principia this week. Such a great piece and company!
__________________
Submariner 16610LV, Royal Oak Chronograph 26331ST, Royal Oak 15450ST, Daytona 116500LN, SD43 126600, GMT MASTER II 126710BLRO, Explorer II 16570, Grand Seiko SBGW231, Cartier Santos

Follow me www.instagram.com/subs.n.scrubs
thekman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 September 2021, 12:11 PM   #24
dchang81
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 1,276
which one you get? curious too if they hit triple digits yet
dchang81 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21 September 2021, 04:12 PM   #25
flanzig
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Irvine
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchang81 View Post
which one you get? curious too if they hit triple digits yet

When I put down my deposit earlier this year I wasn’t given the option to choose a two digit edition number.
flanzig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 September 2021, 02:31 AM   #26
dchang81
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 1,276
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanzig View Post
When I put down my deposit earlier this year I wasn’t given the option to choose a two digit edition number.
you could choose??
dchang81 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22 September 2021, 04:19 AM   #27
sgrossma
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Real Name: Scott
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
You know, it's unfortunate... We're all talking about how it's a great thing for them and we're congratulating them, and I'm really, really happy that they're finally popular enough.

But, from a business standpoint, any time you have to stop taking orders, it's terrible. Absolutely terrible.

And the unfortunate thing is that you end up this way because it's too hard to hire and train watchmakers, unless you are gradually growing your team while you're growing your customer base.

All this means lower cash flow, lower hoarding of cash (for the times when people aren't treating watches like crypto investments), and lots of money left on the table.

Still, I'm super happy for them.
Luxury goods don’t operate like normal goods. As we know, scarcity and unavailability can often help drive long term brand value.
sgrossma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 September 2021, 09:25 AM   #28
GreenLantern
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,753
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgrossma View Post
Luxury goods don’t operate like normal goods. As we know, scarcity and unavailability can often help drive long term brand value.
You have to balance building brand value with actually generating sufficient cash flow, profits, and a cash cushion.

Too many watch brands are leaving too much money on the table over the past 12-18 months.
GreenLantern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 September 2021, 12:02 PM   #29
WatchEater666
"TRF" Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLantern View Post
You have to balance building brand value with actually generating sufficient cash flow, profits, and a cash cushion.

Too many watch brands are leaving too much money on the table over the past 12-18 months.
I hope this is helpful context, I don't them or their business.

I have a small consumer focused PE fund and I don't think you really realize how hard it is to scale an operation that involves skilled manufacturing up/down.

Small business owners like Gronefeld are also not really trying to scale as aggressively as possible. Operating is stressful, and immensely harder when you're scaling aggressively.

They should be commended for respecting their boundaries and operating the way they want to. If they don't feel they can grow + maintain quality + the lifestyle they want, then who are we to criticize?

Running a company in hypergrowth mode is not for everyone. Working 80 - 100 hours a week is not "fun". Would you give up your lifestyle for marginal increase in net earnings? I have (I love operating), but I don't think most people would want to work 100 hours a week for a shot at making $10m a year when they are already making $1m - $2m a year. I'd assume they are running their co ~15% net EBTIDA and banking around $1.2m - $2.5m a year? What does $10m a year buy you that $2m doesn't unless you a materialistic psychopath? Not much.
WatchEater666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22 September 2021, 12:04 PM   #30
GreenLantern
2021 Pledge Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,753
I run a medium sized venture fund, and I'm right there with you. I do not disagree.

That said, I do realize how hard it is to scale, and I believe I commented on that above somewhere (or maybe it was elsewhere regarding Gronefeld).

I commend anyone for understanding their own boundaries and respecting them.

That said, it doesn't change the fact that fully stopping all incoming orders for multiple years is potentially detrimental to any business.

I work 80 hours a week. It's fun. It's definitely not for everyone.

GreenLantern is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

DavidSW Watches


*Banners Of The Month*
This space is provided to horological resources.





Copyright ©2004-2021, The Rolex Forums. All Rights Reserved.

ROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEX

Rolex is a registered trademark of ROLEX USA. The Rolex Forums is not affiliated with ROLEX USA in any way.