Dear TPM Members Past, Present and Future!
Hope this finds you well. We wanted to send out an update on some items that will change how our processes work (for the better) in the coming weeks…
1) BIG SYSTEM UPDATES
We will soon (1st October or before) be shifting to a brand new subscriptions system, which will offer much better subscriptions tracking and a ton of systems options we’ve been wanting for a long time, including:
✅ ABILITY TO UPDATE BILLING METHODS
✅ OPT IN (OR OUT) OF BUNDLED ACCESSORIES DEPENDING ON YOUR PREFERENCE
✅ ABILITY TO PAUSE DELIVERIES
✅ MORE PAYMENT OPTIONS THAN BEFORE
✅ NEW PLANS (SEE BELOW)
✅ DIFFERENT FREQUENCIES (E.G. BI-ANNUAL SUBS)
✅ MOVE BETWEEN PLANS
…AND JUST A LOT SMOOTHER OPERATIONS. EXPECT MORE DETAIL ON THIS IN THE COMING 2 WEEKS, BUT WE’VE BEEN WORKING HARD ON THIS IN THE BACKGROUND FOR A WHILE.
2) NEW PLANS & TIERED OPTIONS
We currently offer 11 plans. This may seem like a lot, but when it’s broken down, it consists of 5 core plans and 6 double-watch or premium plans, all between $149 and $1599. To filter out any hint of confusion, we offer the “Plan Finder” system. Just answer a few key questions about your desired collection style, frequency, budget and experience, and our system will show you the ideal 1-2 plans, matched just to you or, if Mystery boxes aren’t your thing, you’ll be recommend our micr-brand focused store. Very simple.
2A) INTRODUCING THE TPM ACCESS PLAN
Using that system of course means we can offer any number of plans, but historically our entry plan has been “Nato” at $149. We now extend that price down and offer the brand new “TPM Access” plan which is the entryway to the TPM experience, from just $89. This plan will largely consist of established Brands such as Seiko, Citizen, Nautica, G-Shock, Timex and is the perfect plan for new collectors and those looking to learn about horology from great pieces at amazing prices, while experiencing all the joy of a mystery experience.
There will be no fake/mushroom Brands on this plan and it therefore represents a new entry point to the Mystery experience.
The ”TPM Access” plan will launch on November 1st and you can pre-register your interest here. Spots will be strictly limited as we will class this a Beta Launch for supply chain testing purposes.
2B) NEW PRICES, TIERED PLANS, ACCESSORIES BUNDLES & MORE FREQUENCIES
We always only offered monthly or quarterly options. NOW, you can also choose a 6-monthly option (e.g. two-deliveries annually) on any plan in our range.
Our plans will now also be tiered within each plan, so those who opt for monthly vs. quarterly vs. bi-annually, save even more per subscription! As an example, you can now get a Sapphire Plan as low as $569 monthly, $589 quarterly or $599 bi-annually! As an example, that will get you an Ocean Crawler or Gruppo Gamma which retails at $950-1000 or even an Alpina Alpiner 4 at $1495!
This tiered approach will be applied to every plan we offer, so the more frequently you sub, the more you’ll save! Stay tuned for all details on each plan!
HOW THE PRICING WORKS…
⚡️NATO – $129 per month, $139 per quarter, $149 per six-monthly (Bundle for $9.99)
⚡️⚡️CROWN – $209 per month, $229 per quarter, $239 per six-monthly (Bundle for $19.99)
⚡️⚡️⚡️BEZEL – $329 per month, $349 per quarter, $369 per six-monthly (Bundle for $24.99)
⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️CRYSTAL – $449 per month, $469 per quarter, $499 per six-monthly (Bundle for $29.99)
⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️SAPPHIRE – $569 per month, $589 per quarter, $599 per six-monthly (Bundle for $39.99)
⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️TOURBILLON – $1049 per month, $1099 per quarter, $1199 per bi-annual (Bundle for $49.99)
As per the pricing above, bundles are changing slightly, with the introduction of the new tiering system and plans.
In our surveys we had a number of members express they didn’t always need more bundled items. So the bundles option will become an “opt-in” component of all the plans, with the launch of the new system in October. When you add a plan, you can choose the bundle add-on. Each bundle is worth approx 3-5x the price of the bundle, so savings are huge, but it’s a simple click-button choice now as you add a plan, and you can always opt out, or in, to bundles in the future. We believe this offer maximum flexibility for our members to tailor their plans in the ways that suit their collection styles best.
We always did offer gifting options (e.g. so you can let your partners or family members know a membership is what you want for your birthday, or special occasion!), but that option was always hidden away in a different area of our site… No longer! We’ve re-sequenced the plan setup within our new system so that with a simple click of a button, you or your gift-giving loved one, can mark the sub as a gift; totally seamless and click-button-simple as it should be 🙂
5) UPDATE TO SHIPPING PROCESSING
As you may know, we recently had to shut our shipping team down for 10 days due to COVID protocols. Silver linings and all that, but this time gave us valuable space to analyze our logistics and shipping procedures, which have been our biggest weakness to this point and something we are committed to improving.
First, it’s important to be aware that global logistics have become more and more challenging in the wake of COVID-19. Believe it or not, right now as I write this, they are less reliable, slower, more prone to interruptions and incredibly tardy in customs, than at any point in the past 18 months. You can see expressions of this across just about every industry, from the restaurant industry, housing industry, to Fedex’s status updates on their very own site.
Check out this article by Forbes for more information – READ ARTICLE
Sure, this is due in part to COVID, but also elements like higher-than-ever e-Commerce orders globally, production delays at watch factories, weather events and so on. We have polled our members regularly in an attempt to always strive to improve across the board, and while many members are getting watches shipped within a few days (we’re currently shipping most sub plans up to the 3rd-10th September renewals), unfortunately we are seeing others waiting longer than we (or they) would ultimately like. This, we have identified, is a result of a combination of 5 factors…
– Delays in shipping, distribution networks, customs (huge), all of which are sadly outside of our control. These have become more prevalent and with longer delays than previously experienced.
- CASE STUDY 1 – A large shipment of Crown/Bezel and Sapphire subs and store purchases from a manufacturer in Singapore is currently processing customs. Previously, this size of shipment left their facility, were customs-processed in Alaska, and reached our offices within 4-5 days total, max, consistently, via DHL Express. Nowadays, we experience the following, regularly… this shipment left the manufacturer 3 weeks ago, travelled to Germany from Singapore, then to the UK, and has been in customs “processing” for 8 days. By the time we receive it for processing it will easily have been 4 weeks from shipment to receipt (and this is via what “should be” the fastest global service). When these watches have been mapped to members, you can imagine the knock-on delay this causes.
– Our fantastic mystery watch facility that members get to use to control a selection of watches they may receive this month. Great facility, but often we are moving order schedules around or having to order individual pieces from select Brands, or bulking those single unit orders in with others. It has meant Member’s Choice members often experience MUCH longer ship times than Mystery members. That is something we’re looking at currently.
– We ship throughout the month at non-designated times (e.g. shipping multiple days each week instead of at pre-selected windows). With a pretty small team instead of a distribution company (e.g. due to the hand-wrapped, hand-curated nature of what we do), this is tricky with deliveries arriving in such a haphazard manner.
– Watches and planned accessories often do not arrive on a reliable schedule due to the above factors. In some cases we have been waiting for accessories for 6-weeks longer than originally anticipated and (good for members as it may be) our team is often heavy handed in adding extra accessories to boxes lol, so we have sometimes run out while waiting 😱🤦♂️.
– Some of the watches in our portfolio are on pre-sale, or custom order (e.g. hand-finished per batch), or simply expected much sooner than they end up being. Delays in production due to COVID, materials availability/cost, shipping/logistics and so on, can conspire to greatly delay availability for many of our manufacturers, both micro brands and established Swiss Brands (see example below).
- CASE STUDY 2 – A large batch of Sapphire & Bezel watches ordered in April were due in May. Production slipped way back to the point where they were delayed almost 2 months coming out of the factory, compared to what they originally expected. This meant a re-sourcing of appropriate watches from other manufacturers.
- CASE STUDY 3 – In addition, Quality Control processes have subsequently been an issue, for many microbrands as they have an excellent standard. I was speaking with one of the larger Microbrands in the last few weeks and they were bemoaning these frustrating delays that impacted their own launches and deliverability and asking whether we knew if other Brands were experiencing similar issues (they are btw). They had to TWICE send back hundreds of watches to be refinished due to issues with dial consistency, while performing their own QC on the products. Ultimately, what happens is, the factory does QC, the microbrand does QC, and then WE do QC before shipping. The goal is that everything ships out perfect as a result of this triple-QC approach, but of course this can be a laborsome process and one that is prone to hiccups.
In view of these mounting challenges we are facing, we will be trialing the introduction of a new shipping schedule with 2-monthly windows for shipping, so that members always know what they should expect. This should chunk our distribution down, and allow the team to better plan from the order process with each Brand, through to shipment-in, QC, and distribution-out. It won’t fix the global logistics delays which are beyond our control, but it trustfully will improve batch shipping for us and get members tracking sooner. Please understand almost all of the issues with shipping delays have been one or multiple factors detailed above. We WANT to get your watches out faster, and this new method will hopefully achieve this.
As a beta test in September we will be operating 2 shipping windows, as follows:
Window 1 – 10th-13th of the month
Window 2 – 28th-30th of the month
This is a trial, so please bear with us, there may very well be hiccups as with all trials, but our ultimate goal is long-term improvements and refinements. The support team has been absolutely slammed with “where is my order questions” through our COVID-induced shut down and as we work through the backlog created by that, please be patient (we know, it’s HARD with watches, we feel you!) and allow our team the time to process incoming orders, accessories, and hand-package everything for outgoing distribution, in the sequence they arrived; your watch WILL arrive and it WILL be amazing.
DEALS & MEMBER EXPECTATIONS
Please also bear in mind that, with ALL shipments, both store and subscription, given the world-beating deals we offer (fact 🙂), the nature of our pre-order and custom bundle configuration, and the fact that much of what we do is hand-curated, hand-wrapped bundles, please note we run in general on a 28-day average shipping schedule.
This can extend longer, or equally can be as little as 3-7 days if items are already in stock at our offices, depending on the above factors. If your shipment is approaching 45 days or longer, please reach out as this can sometimes be a system issue (one that the new systems will eradicate!), otherwise, it is in schedule and will be processed, bundled, wrapped and shipped in due course and you will be notified as soon as it ships via email. Please do not block up our support team if the shipment is not outside a 45 day window. If this isn’t agreeable to you, we totally understand.
We firmly believe these pivots to our process will greatly refine the experience of Timepiece Monthly for all members across the board and allow more people to get amazing watches in their hands and on their wrists, in more enjoyable, experiential ways than ever before experienced in this community.
Thanks for being the greatest part of TPM; the community!
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