So….are there fewer GEC SFO’s in the future? I have a feeling that may be the case.
In the last couple of days I started getting email requests and inquiries about the upcoming 21’s and 06’s. GEC posted an updated production list and both of these were listed. I talked to Chris and my understanding is we could be looking at late March or April before we see the 16’s. She also informed me these would again be released on an allocation only basis.
At this time it also appears there won’t be any SFO’s on either of these patterns. I asked if it was a fair assumption that we would be seeing fewer GEC SFO’s in the future and I got a cautious ‘possibly’ for an answer. My gut tells me it’s most likely a pretty good bet. I’ve heard it for several years and I’m thinking it may be happening.
When you consider the time it must take to dye all of the additional bone for the variety of SFO’s it has to get expensive. Then think about swapping handle material every hundred knives for each of the SFO’s. Handling, labeling, etc. all adds up. Without a doubt, setting up to run 1000 knives that are identical is a lot more efficient financially and time wise. A colored Bone, Ebony Wood and a Stag, done deal.
So the question is IF we see fewer GEC SFO’s, what will that do to the collector market? Is it going to fuel the prices on the older (pre-2013) knives? That’s when many of the true ‘rare’ pieces were built. Runs of 25 were common. Mammoth Ivory and other unique handle materials were used.
OR will the prices of the more recent SFO’s continue to rise? It never ceases to amaze me to see the prices of the newer Barlows double and triple in a matter of days post-release. At the same time a stunning stag handled knife from a run of 10 or 11 pieces will struggle to bring the same price.
I have not doubt we’ll see a few SFO’s come through on a very limited basis. I can’t imagine GEC would abandon the Barlow craze as long as the demand stays at current levels. My feeling is the days of 10 or 15 dealers/individuals/clubs tagging onto a run with their own twist are limited.
A concern I have going forward are the incredibly boring handle offerings. As I said above, for the current regular production runs a colored bone, Ebony Wood and a Stag pretty well covers things. For now, that seems to be working. But what happened to nicely figured Rosewood, Bocote, Snakewood or Cocobolo? How about shaking things up a bit with a G10. I think GEC is going to have to be careful with these long runs that they don’t get complacent and keep feeding their collector base the same thing thinking they’ll stay interested.
Are there fewer GEC SFO’s in the future? It’s going to be interesting to watch.