I can't shake the feeling that the OffShore is going where I don't want it to go. Limited Editions have been going insane and the way the OffShore is marketed simply does not relate to me. Every year I hear the same ol' story that the indiscriminate LEs will be stopped and every year at the fair the thing gets worse and worse. Even thought the color combinations seem endless I just can't get excited by an OffShore anymore unless it is a piece like the EOD, Survivor, Barrichello II, Alinghi Team, Singapore F1, etc... Regular color-moded OffShores are stating to get tiresome at best. Many of these LEs are for dealers that get complacent when it comes to doing their job and selling the regular collection. This is not the way to go. Right now there are more Limited Editions than regular collections models under production for 2009. Insane. To top this there about 8 LEs expected for this year that have a very similar color combo (Red and black). A real pisser. It's clear now to many that this could sooner or later kill the Goose of the Golden egg. Strange enough, commercially successful brands like Rolex or Patek Philippe that have a close to NO Limited Edition policy, still sell. I get the feeling that the regular pieces are being devalued and easily tagged as regular or less important. A very counterproductive side effect over the long run. I am pretty certain that the same level of sales can be achieved even if Limited Editions are stopped. Listening to customer would be a good start.

Fortunately for many (myself included) there is still the RoyalOak. Its reputation is still untarnished and has not varied much over the years. It almost seems to belong to a different line altogether. The Jumbo, the Dual Time and the Chrono are more and more attractive to me. Oddly enough I have been seeing a transition back to the RoyalOak in the last few months.

There is also something to be said regarding the direction which the Offshore is taking as well as the marketing decisions taken lately. I find the recent choice of "ambassadors" questionable at best. The latest is this "Masato" edition. Don't know the guy and will not discuss his proficiency at what he does yet lately AP have gone from Garry Kasparov to what is in essence a glorified thug. The "Masato" is just another tuned OffShore that brings nothing in terms of horology except a fashion statement. This is very much in tune with the Millenary marketing placement. It seems that they have achieved with the OffShore what they intended to do with the Millenary. What a great excuse to kill the Millenary... Just do the "bling" to the max and keep milking away. This would be a fantastic opportunity to bring the "John Schaeffer" back into a regular production model line.

Now, to the Howard Stern mater. Fortunately for whoever decided to place AP at that show, little is known about and of Howard Stern in Europe. I personally was a listener back when I lived in the US and I have no problem in saying that I respect the guy. He was refreshing although vulgar most of the times. Quite a rare bird in an otherwise restricted and over-controlled media. However, the product placement at the "Howard Stern Show" is the least adequate place for AP. Seriously, would you place your product next to the "star-guest" of the show that was invited for her remarkable ability to stick a 12 inch sausage down her throat and still whistle dixie-doodle while being topless? I think not. I would not be surprised if things where to "hAPpen" once Switzerland get a sample and idea of what the show is like. I have a feeling they will not be hAPpy...

Audemars Piguet...

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