Any common timepiece can keep accurate time, but there is something
magical about luxury watches. In addition to mechanical genius, stellar
design, and high quality materials, there are a number of intangible
qualities that simply make luxury watches special.
|Rolex 5100 By Derk Marko Reckel - DMR (own picture taken of own watch) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons|
A brand is many things. On the surface, a brand is simply all of the
logos, designs, slogans, and names applied by a company to a product,
product line, or the company itself. But, a brand also encompasses all
the perceptions that customers have about the company and products
marketed under the brand. Most companies have marketing gurus, MBAs, and
customer service specialist who try to shape that customer perception.
They try to put together products, advertising, and service to shape and
nurture positive perceptions that are fundamental to a powerful brand.
But, in the luxury watch market, the watch makers have something more
that often pre-dates MBA degrees and the marketeers. They have quality
and passion that has been nurtured for decades and in some cases even
centuries on fundamentals like craftmanship, ingenuity, and value.
Some brands embody all that a person aspires to become, but high end
watch brands announce that a person has arrived. Whether a luxury watch
is a flashy Rolex or an unattainable Ulysse-Nardin, it is a powerful
symbol of wealth, personal taste, and social status. While it is easy to
scoff at a status symbol, it isn't so easy to scoff at an achievement
symbol. When a high achiever glances at their wrist, they may see more
than the time of day on a luxury watch. They may see the results of
diligent study, hard work, faith, perseverence, risk, and long hours.
Luxury watches almost always have a story. That story conveys a sense
of connectedness to long traditions of watchmaking art and engineering.
When you buy a watch from Vacheron Constantin, you are buying from a
company that has been refining the art of watchmaking since 1755. Today,
it's refreshing to hear a story that doesn't begin with "some
entrepreneurs in a tropical city found a watch factory in Asia." When G.
Gagnebin & Cie
make a watch, they are putting their good family
name and reputation on the line. When each watch represents four
generations of watch makers, you can bet they are making a watch that
will make them proud.
Luxury watch brands stay
relevant to the passions and pursuits of their market. When watchmakers
sponsor auto racing, yacht racing, golf, and tennis, they are staying
relevant in the eyes of watchbuyers. Every week, Rolex sponsors a
television show called "Rolex Spirit of Yachting." They are an integral
part of the active lifestyle of wealthy yachtsmen.
Luxury watch buyers want their watches to be part of a broad and
authentic traditions. For many years professional mountain climbers and
undersea explorers were sponsored and prominently featured in Rolex
advertisements on the back covers of National Geographic magazine. It
was Rolex that Sir Edmund Hillary wore when he conquered Mount Everest.
The idea that real adventurers wear Rolex watches is deeply planted in
the western psyche. When the British luxury watch maker, Bremont, used
actual metal from a classic P-51 fighter plane in their limited edition
P-51 chronograph chronometer, they were creating connection to history.
It is indeed the intangible things about luxury watches that add to
their mystique and make them a magical addition to any collection. When
making a luxury watch purchase, any prestige watch buyer would do well
to use their spirit as a guide.
G. Gagnebin & Cie