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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