THE LUXURY WATCH INDUSTRY is apparently on the road to recovery after a long economic squeeze. Can the basic watch industry be far behind? Industry observers pointed out that there was an overwhelmingly positive and up mood at the Basel Watch Fair recently, and that is good news for all watches, as well as all accessories.
Sales at the high end are picking up. Not that things are all hunky-dory. The Federation of Swiss Watch Industry says, “Things are still cautious.” But the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel can at last be seen.
“There’s an enormous amount of wealth sitting on the sidelines,” one watch executive stated. “They’re waiting to feel good about spending again.”
Recognizing that, many manufacturers showing at Basel produced exciting new lines, new designs, new styles, even new color waves, aimed at inducing the somewhat timid buyer back to the Buy-Now table. The lure worked.
Here is some of what Basel Fair attendees were excited about:
DAVID YURMAN showed he is truly interested in becoming an active player in the luxury watch field. Among his designs was a hot new timepiece, the new classic ladies watch, with a round case in steel or white gold, with optional diamond bezels. The line retails for $2,600 to over $10,000, but just wait. This is a style that will surely be replicated in lower prices by other manufacturers.
–Marie Helene Morrow, president of the Reinhold jewelry chain in Puerto Rico said, “I think the line will sell like hot cakes. I bought every single watch.”
MOST OF THE MEN’S WATCHES on display at Basel this year were on the conservative side. There was also strong interest in vintage designs, especially those reminiscent of the Kennedy era. “Brands are looking at their heritage and their roots,” one retailer said. “and keeping new products consistent with that over- all mystique.”
A particularly hot vintage model at Basel was the Senator Diary from Glashutte. This is a mechanical watch that you can set for 30 days in advance. Also promoting the vintage trend was Tissot, where “Innovators by Tradition” was the reigning slogan. The firm was strong on a new heritage collection.
WATCHES ALWAYS FINISH AN OUTFIT! BUT THERE ARE NEW WAYS OF WEARING WATCHES THAT GIVE THEM ADDED PIZZAZZ. TRY THESE PRODUCTS TO GET THAT NEW, TRENDY LOOK:
- Two-toned weaved cuff bracelet goes fashionably with any watch!
- Bangles with colored stones to match to your watch face. Trendy!
Color is Key
COLOR WAS A HOT FACTOR in the new watch collections, overall. Blue and grey dials were important for men, while purple and white were most important in women’s pieces.
–Swarovski said the color prune was growing into a very hot color for its women’s watches. The firm is promoting a new limited edition Rock ‘n Light watch, with a solid crystal case in white, black, and prune, as just one case in point.
–A rich green watch face was great looking in a bracelet watch from Rolex.
AVIATOR WATCHES, such as those by Bremont, a British company, planned expansions to their sportsman lines. Giving the impression that the wearer is a pilot, or yachtsman, or other exciting sport or profession apparently remains high! Men love to look hip and macho, whether or not they use their special prowess in any way!
FENDI TOOK A DIFERENT APPROACH to the traditional and somewhat safe market, putting its muscle behind the customer’s appetite for luxury.
–Uts Crazy Carat watch was a good example in point. It features a rolling mechanism that allows the wearer to change the color of the precious stones on the dial. One version alternates diamonds, rubies, and blue sapphires. Very upscale.
HhhhhHHHarry Winston continued its present line of watches, with emphasis on rotating indicators influenced by planetary movements. Hermes said all its exceptional watches were selling well and that it was increasing production for the limited edition Cape Cod Tourbillion.
Hot Trends at Basel
AMONG THE HOT TRENDS surfacing at Basel were vintage watches, especially those with historic influences. Vintage designed fonts and numerals were strong.
In materials, steel remained strong, along with ceramic or rose gold bracelets. Alligator led the popularity route for straps, fast-followed by rubber and canvas. Mother of pearl dials in a wide variety of hues were trendy. High-end watches with minute repeaters that chime were also important.
Round faces had an updated look. Square faces for men’s watches were especially modern-looking, even in retro styles. Multiple dials remained high on the much-desired list, including intricate looking faces that suggested complicated mechanisms.
— Watch the color green! It is definitely uptrending in the watch field.
GOODLOOKING WATCH FACES ARE ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT GOODLOOKING BRACELETS FOR THOSE GREAT TIMEPIECES? CHECK THESE OUT:
- Colored stones watch band. Formal and lovely!
- Colored crystals and beads watch band. A whole new look.