Would you consider a homage watch the same as an open mold frame? Or would it be a Dogma replica that has another name? Or both?
I'd say an 'homage watch' would be on the equivalent in the cycling world to the open-mold frames. Many have design elements that pull from the big ones, and in some cases they were improvements (as was the case with the original Scott Foil, which had seatpost-retaining issues, but the open-mold variation improved and solved that issue from the start). So if someone buys a frame with the Pinarello shape but clearly knows it is NOT a Pinarello, and it is labeled completely differently, in no-way making itself to be a Pinarello at all, you can consider it an homage. The person buying it knows full well they don't have a Pina. If it fails they know full well that it wasn't a Pina that failed. The person buying it wanted the shape, so let them have it.
Let's give an example in the watch world: look up "Marina Militare" on google, eBay, or watchuseek (a massive watch-collector forum). You will see watches that are homage designs to Panarei watches. There are plenty of sellers of the MM's on eBay, but even better sellers have their own sites or can be had through the Chinese version of eBay and it is better to go through those individual sellers/sites for customer service, options, warranty, etc:. .... see the parallels here to carbon frames?
Now here's the crucial bit: people who are buying these KNOW full well they are not Panarei. People who buy these WANT to buy a Panarei... actually some do own the real thing too, but wear the homage on a day-to-day basis or when traveling, or for other reasons to protect their high-end watch. On eBay there are sellers who are supplying these watches with false dials, or even just the dials themselves, so they would read "Panarei" and look like the real thing. That's where the watch-world has drawn the line: there is no faking the real thing, to do so would be bad for Panarei and give others (who are not watch people) a false impression of the true quality that is Panarei.
Going back to the watches that are labelled "Marina Militare"... people love them. While not all are perfect (estimate 1/500 have issues), their movement is accurate, the mechanisms are better than one would think, and they look beautiful. When a passer buy asks "Hey, is that a Panarei" the answer is no, it's an homage to one and "I wish I could afford a Panarei, but in the meantime I'll rock this" ... for example.
Back to bikes:
Now if someone buys a frame that is labelled as Pina, then we're getting into the 'fake' territory. This is where the brand Pinarello should (and perhaps does, but other people may be extrapolating beyond it) have issue because if those frames fail, then it makes the brand Pinarello look bad in the eyes of passer-bys or the casual observer who did not know that the failed frame was, perhaps, not a real Pinarello frame.
There is also issue with the purchaser:
-Either they were duped into buying a fake, which is unfortunate because people look for a deal and it's human nature to want to attain to a status symbol with minimal effort.
-Or they purchase the fake knowing full well that the object in question is a mis-representation of the brand they are upholding.
In that latter case they, the purchaser, are doing the brand itself a disservice. They would have been better off buying a frame the 'looks' like the shape they want to have (for status purposes) and leaving it blank or otherwise.
It's also interesting to see how these conversations tend to have people get in arms about the topic and fine lines which we can actually point to get blurred and blanket statements get brought out. This is the case with open-mold vs. non-open-mold vs. proprietary frames, which should be remembered in the conversation.
In the furniture world, does anyone remember those 'floating shelves' designs? When they were first popularized (ie, non-elite furniture... in the cycling world elite-furniture might be a boutique frame, popularized would be a branded, manufactured frame for sale to the general public) DWR, Design Within Reach, started selling them. They were pretty damn expensive, something like $300-$500 USD. But they worked fabulously.
IKEA put out a series of affordable ones. They were not the real-thing. They were not DWR. Yet people bought them in the droves. And that stuff sucked. But they were labelled IKEA, not DWR, and when they failed no one was saying "oh my DWR shelf sucks!"... So did DWR get all upset over this? No. They would have gotten upset if someone was selling the poor-quality shelves and labeling them as DWR, but that did not happen.
This is were Pinarello is, or should be, upset. As for the shape labelled as something else? Let people have their desires for a Pinarello-like shape. They'll still want the real thing.
|| Other projects in the works.