No one asked, but yet here it is: my take on why the Code 1159 got received so poorly.
Reason one is of course the flabbergastingly (is that a word?) boring time only and chrono configuration. But all jokes aside, the tourbillon and minute repeater looked oke. Not wow, but oke. The perpetual calendar, in contrary, was in fact pretty good. And still, the 1159 was the focus of all the SIHH jokes and memes.
The reason the 1159 backfired as hard as it did, is because they build a completely wrong hype.
They were teasing us for months with ‘the biggest release since the Royal Oak’, throwing statements like ‘you need guts to try what we tried’ and ‘never seen before revolutionary design’. If you use such teasers with a name like AP, the result will always be underwhelming, doesn’t matter what they release.
Rolex and Patek do the exact opposit. They don’t share anything, and let people just wait and speculate. No teasers or blurry video’s, no weekly e-mails, they let the rumors do the work.
Imagine if Rolex would have used AP’s strategy when they released the new Pepsi. 6 months of promises, stalky e-mails and telling us we will be blown from our socks. If they would have done that, responses would have been ‘who cares, it’s just a reissue of an old Pepsi, how unoriginal.’
They didn’t. They let people speculate, and dropped the bomb the first day of Baselworld. I know, apples and oranges, but you get the point.
If AP would have just shut it’s mouth and surprised us completely out of the blue with the 1159, responses would have been way better.
JLC was a great succes this year, because they did not promise anything, they just delivered. Imagine JLC build the same hype as AP did. Respones would have been ‘we have already seen a gyrotourbillon and a minute repeater, nothing new here, this sucks’.
They scored, because they made no promises, they delivered.