Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Post in a Forum...

"I am considering a rebelde. However I saw this post in an online forum, it was brief and read: 'Who is going to pay $14K for a gold rebelde?'. Please reassure me that rebelde is a good investment. A.K."

Dear A K,

I found this advert on Craigslist the other day:

"My kid is having a birthday coming up soon, and there'll be a lot of children around, so I figured I'd better get a pony. If you have a pony to sell, please contact me, and then immediately start putting barbeque sauce in it's bedding or add some Lawry's to it's salt lick - I like to marinade it early and long, so that the flavour is at it's peak by the time I take possession."

The first point I want to make is this: online forums are fun places to visit, especially if you have time to kill, sitting at the airport lounge or while your boss is having a day off and you are left unsupervised with a tonne of important work to do but you just can't pull yourself together. However most of the stuff you find online falls into 3 categories: fantasy and wishful thinking, unsolicited advice or plain nonsense.

No one in their right mind would go online to get medical or investment advice, because the online world is *not* the real world, but mere shadow and mirage of it.

The second point is this: our opinion about the world is based on our own vantage point. Today, I arrived to work on public transport, but some of my subscribers and rebelde comrades arrived in Porsches. Others were driven to work. Many didn't even go to work because they no longer have to work. A few of them will fly large commercial aircraft today because this is what they do for a living. And one thing you can be sure of is this: the world looks completely different from the back seat of the E69 bus than from the cockpit of a Boeing 747.

We are all different. What seems like a hell of a lot of money for you or me, is loose change for someone else. Terms like "expensive" or "cheap" have completely different meanings to different people. Would you pay $600,000 for a chess set? Or $250 for a hamburger? $35 million for a 1962 Ferrari? The PrestigeHD Supreme Rose Edition TV sells for $2,7 million dollars. Pollock's painting No 5. sold for $140 million in 2006. when it changed hands between two collectors. Today, it would be worth significantly more. This is the REAL world: real people CREATING real things, selling to real buyers who have REAL money to afford them.

To answer your question: $13,980 for an 18K gold rebelde is really not that much when you take in to account a/the mere gold-content value; b/exclusivity; c/compare it with any other gold watch out there available for under $14K. I am not mentioning the story behind it, or anything else which is bit more complex to attach value to.

Asking is a rebelde a good investment is same as asking is any watch a good investment? The answer is: we don't know. Some watches do increase in value over the time, others don't. But people who buy 18K gold Rolex or Cartier or IWC or rebelde don't buy them for investment purposes. They buy them simply because they want them. I wish there was a more rational explanation to this phenomenon, but there isn't.

What makes rebelde much different from Rolex, IWC, Cartier and really any other luxury brand, is the fact that each gold rebelde is made to order. That is, unlike all other brands, I don't have a stockpile of watches sitting in a safe, waiting to be sold. You won't find a glossy advert for rebelde. The rebelde project is self-sustaining and we owe money to no one, so I don't need to assemble and sell 500, 50 or even 5. Rebelde 18K gold can not be bought on credit card because I would never exchange REAL gold for a piece of plastic. It can not be traded for another brand - I would not take a Rolex or Panerai for rebelde. This is something you may find difficult to accept or understand, but that's how it is. One day when I'm gone, things may be different, but as long as I am making them with my own hands, this is how it's going to be.

If you are going to pay any attention to what people think of you, or what they think of your product then you will end up with a very functional but very boring and very commercial product. The drip series of paintings established Pollock as a leading figure of new American painting. Pollock was an iconoclast and a rebel, which got him a reputation that made him infamous. His techniques and methods were radical. This in turn was great publicity for his work.

Project 'rebelde gold' is not conceived to please the masses -and particularly not the hordes of anonymous online forum users- but to excite a handful of true supporters. The only thing on my mind is how to make rebelde more water resistant, how to improve my polishing technique, how to get rid of dust particles which are impossible to get rid of, how to drill more perfect holes, cut finer thread, to invest in better assembly tools and equipment, where to find skilled craftsman who share the same ideas as myself, where to find better leather for straps, source more Swiss mechanisms - and then, to find time to design more dials, hands, cases, re-commence work on rebelde chrono, complete Titanium series. And these are just the top priorities on my 'to do' list. Unfortunately there is simply no time to care about other people's opinions or to convince anyone about anything. Those who have nothing to do will always find plenty of time to waste.

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