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The following firms found a new niche in the watch market by offering an alphabet watch:
SVIVEL & HINGE WATCHES
In addition to the once Movado reversible watch and the world-famous JLC REVERSO models where the inside case svivels and turns, we find the following brands having either svivel or hinged watches:
Gucci svivel watch (see scan) This idea is not new as we view a pocket watch, circa 1988, made by IWC (see scan).
FORM & FUNCTION
Here we view modern watch designs which are neither round, square or rectangle.
Some of the hottest designer names have become watch brands while others are still rumored to be waiting in the wings. The names on the list include: Yves St. Laurent, Liz Claiborne, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and St. John Knits.
TITAN WATCH CO. (INDIA)
The creation of Titan’s New World Watch line, a.k.a. the European collection, brings this giant watchmaker just an arms length away from becoming a serious threat to the very fine Swiss watch manufacturers. Titan entered the market with upscale steel/gold watches with fine diamonds which combines French and Swiss design, Indian and Japanese technology and Swiss and German precision.
The Andre LeMarquand watch line is back in the U.S. handled and distributed by Steve Hitter of Sportime Inc. of Beverly Hills, Calif. These timepieces are assembled in ultra-modern workshops in Switzerland. The Swiss company is family owned which takes special pride in the quality of their unique design watches ranging from quartz to mechanicals including chronographs and even tourbillons. Best wishes for success.
HIGH-TECH, HIGH-END GRAND TIMEPIECES
Chopard, Swiss watchmakers since 1860, the least expensive diamond watch in the world. At $740, the “Be Happy” watch combines three genuine, free moving 0.14-carat diamonds with plastic (yes, plastic!). Should one tire of wearing this recyclable watch, the owner may keep the stones and have them replaced in their other model timepieces.
Seiko Epson Corp. Plans to introduce women’s wristwatches which will feature the world’s smallest movements that are 20mm in diameter and 3.2 mm thick. These self-powered quartz watches will not need battery replacement as they will contain a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rather than a capacitor to store electric power generated by an arm’s kinetic movement.
UNUSUAL DESIGN WATCHES
POWER OF ADVERTISING
A record $148 million was spent on watch advertising last year in the U.S. alone. Seventeen watch companies have spent more than $1 million each in advertising in the United States in 1996. The top three spenders were: SMH, MOVADO GROUP, TIMEX. The largest revenue went for magazine ads.
Luxury consumption is up across the product spectrum, way ahead of mass merchanise gains. Today’s client of prestige watches is younger and extremely well informed about the product. They want to be assured that what they are buying is of irreproachable quality. Service information leads list of customer questions, according to trade magazine, American Time.
Here is what customers ask about watches: (Percentage of questions asked most frequently)
How it works: 6%
Where it’s made/history: 6%
Good brand: 2%