Today, we are going to veer off the normal review path a little. I am sure many know that Baselworld is almost over at the time of publication and Outsiders Watches apparently made a spectacle at the watch fair, or so they have said. Their first watch, the Outsiders Revolution diver is a $500 Swiss Made Submariner style homage and there is a lot to delve into when it comes to this brand and its marketing tactics. Now, let me get this out of the way. Business, in general, is hard and this price point in the watch world is a very competitive game and you need all the edge you can get. There is nothing wrong with that, but the issue is usually the product does not live up to the hype. I will comment at the end of this review if I think it does, in fact, live up to the hype or not, but l am going to lay out some of their most recent events that happen to coincide with the timing of this review.
Outsiders Revolution Specifications:
- 43mm Case Width
- 22mm Bracelet
- 13.5mm thick
- 51mm Lug to Lug
- Stainless Steel Case
- Blue or Black Dial
- Ceramic Bezel Insert
- Screw Down Crown
- Sapphire Crystal
- ETA 2824-2 Automatic Movement
- 300 Meters Water Resistant
- BGW9 Superluminova
Price $499 USD
If you have been buying and collecting microbrand watches for a good few years, have bought off Kickstarter, or even just watched a good old fashion infomercial, you have seen the style of marketing that Outsiders Watches employs. It’s over the top, it is usually too good to be true and it is what it is-audacious marketing. That is what I am witnessing with Outsiders. When I first came across the brand on Instagram, I somewhat overlooked the marketing tag lines because I have seen it before, so I decided to hold judgment on the watch until I got it in hand. I always try and stay as objective as possible. There is nothing really wrong with the watch and I wouldn’t put it in the cheap watch category, but while doing research to prepare for the review, it was hard to overlook just how over the top the company is marketing. I mean, let’s be perfectly clear here, this is not the first watch to be marked Swiss Made and sold for $500. Hell, Invicta used to do it all the time, and they had very similar marketing lingo to go along with it.
If you read and watch our reviews here at Watchreport frequently (and hopefully are subscribed to our Youtube channel), you know that most of the time the video is recorded before the written article is done. This is done for many reasons, but mostly just how it is organized with the volume of watches that come in for review and how we have set it up. Normally, that does not matter, but in this case, in the time between the video and today, the brand appeared at Baselworld. Posts on their Instagram feed showed that they were handing out free watches to Baselworld attendees and I even saw a member of one of the Facebook watch groups post that he was one of the recipients. They legit were giving away their watches. I do not how many they allotted to give way, but I imagine a decent amount of people were game for it if nothing else than just sheer curiosity. It put some eyes on the Outsider Revolution.
Well, apparently, someone at Baselworld did not like this and called the police to escort the team out of the building and out of Baselworld. Now, I was not at Basel, so I am not sure how much of this is true and how much of this is over-the-top marketing. I have not reached out to the brand for clarification and have not really seen anyone else posting about it online, save for the one individual who said he got a free watch. Giving out free watches at a massive fair such as Baselworld when you are a new brand is not such a bad idea at all. You have the press there, watch journalists, watch enthusiasts, etc. That is not bad marketing at all. How true it is that they were thrown out of the building? I am not sure. Maybe more will come out about this in the following days.
If you haven’t head over to their website yet, let me copy and paste some of what is posted on the Outsiders website about their company and the Outsiders Revolution diver:
” THE TRUTH.
Did you know that the $2,500 “Brand Name” watch you’ve seen in that fancy magazine ad didn’t cost more than $250 to make?
We’re a group of Swiss watchmakers and entrepreneurs who are fed up with the way things are.
We’re not paying a cent to all of the greedy middlemen who take their cut before you can get your hands on a Swiss-made watch.
We are selling directly to you, and we’re taking all of those savings and passing them right on back to the person that deserves it the most. “
That was just a snippet of what the Outsiders Website is filled with. Here’s the thing, the majority of us watch enthusiasts will laugh at most of that copy. It is purely directed at the uninformed. From a business standpoint, it is a good strategy. Some folks may just find it insulting though. How is the watch you ask? Well, if you have not watched the video yet, it is a nice watch. It is attractive, has some heft to it, a good movement, decent lume, and functions as it should. I do not like the proprietary bracelet and feel they are shooting themselves in the foot. Many like to change out their watch straps on a regular basis and much like the Oris Aquis, that is not possible with this watch. I imagine they wanted to do something just a little bit different, but I am not sure if it was the right choice. On the other hand, it is a $500 watch and for most watch enthusiasts will be far from the only watch in their collection.
So who are the guys behind the Outsiders brand? I am not sure, but I guess some of the attendees at Baselworld found out recently. Are they starting a revolution? Are they upsetting the watch industry? No. No, they are not. Are they making a nice watch at an affordable price? Yes. I know that might not be the catchiest slogan, but it is grounded in truth. Checking their website currently, it seems that you can get the Revolution for 20% off using the code BaselPolice at checkout. Looks like they will ride that one as long as they can. That would bring the price down much closer to the $400 mark, making it a nice option for someone wanting a solid ETA-based dive watch.