luxury watches

The Timeless Watch Takes Off

Isaac Mostovicz writes that a new trend of luxury watches is emerging that can stop and speed up time...

A watch that doesn’t tell the time would normally be cast off as rather useless, but instead it is becoming a new luxury trend. Time is up for the flashy luxury watches that actually tell you the hour – the real luxury now is the ability to stop time or even speed it up.

Last week Perramond launched a “temps suspendu” model that, for the price of $19,700, allows its on-trend wearer to stop time at the press of a button. The Hublot version, at a steep $262,150, has the added benefit of being able to speed up time. Another is entirely black, making it difficult to tell the time at all.

Hublot Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver said, “The value of a watch is not to give you time.”

Moving away from the practical use of a watch, luxury watchmakers are focusing more on the material qualities of their timepieces. Light materials are opted for, and black is the colour du jour, with grey and matt colours also favourites. And away from the flashy trends of diamond-encrusted or chunky multifunctional watches, minimalism is now key.

Part of this change in design is down to demand from a key market: China. “The Chinese prefer classic watches, watches with heritage”, Tag Heuer’s VP Guy Semon said. Their preference is for the lighter, discreet and elegant watches.

And so, the Chinese taste for a watch that has history to it relates to the Theta desire for timelessness. What is ironic is that this new line of luxury product – the watch that doesn’t tell the time – really is timeless!

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Dubai makes its comeback

Isaac Mostovicz writes that the recession blues is over for Dubai, where the luxury market is back in full swing...

The luxury market is showing further resilience, and contradiction, from the economic crises spanning the world. In the Middle East, amongst high unemployment and rising food prices, one city is displaying a resurgence in its luxury retail sector.

Dubai was not immune to the financial crisis, and retailers reported a 45% decrease in sales in 2009, but thanks to demand by wealthy Emiratis and tourists from Russia, China and India, business activity in the UAE private sector hit an 18-month high in January 2011.  Back to indulge in their luxury delicacies, Dubai is back on track to regain its position as the second most attractive city in the world for retailers.

Chocopologie is one of the retailers that is ready to get Dubai back on the up. The chocolatier claims to sell the world’s most expensive truffle “La Madeline au Truffe”, selling for $272 a piece. Other truffles include the Antoinette, a dark chocolate heart dipped in white chocolate and French rose water.

Other products making a comeback include Dior mobile phones in a jeweled finish, and calf-skin leather bags, both from Dubai’s Rivoli Group, and platinum Breguet Double Tourbillion Classique Grand Complication watches, priced at over $440,000 apiece.  Auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s are also wanting a slice of the pie in Dubai, where they have seen some of the biggest sales.

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Oceanaut launches new luxury watch range

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

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Oceanaut, the California-based watch manufacturer, has launched its luxury range for 2008.

Luxury is always in the eye of the beholder, and something need not be expensive to be luxurious, but these classic chronographs and unique divers are certainly made with fine parts: precision gears from Switzerland, hand stitched leather straps from Italy, French alligator straps, precious metals from the United States, Swiss manufacturing and conflict-free diamonds from Africa are all combined to create the watches.

Selling from select Nordstrom stores in the US, the range features models with Latin-based names such as Cortez Limited Edition, Carrero, Baltica, Baccara, Acquatico and Conquistador; they retail for up to $14,500.

That the watches have fallen in with the celeb set hasn’t hurt Oceanaut’s profile. The company supplied celebrity newlyweds Eva Longoria and Tony Parker with matching Oceanaut Pacha Cobra diamond watches, and have a celebrity following that includes Kevin Connolly, Teri Hatcher, Courtney Cox and Venus and Serena Williams.

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