Wristwatch is no longer considered to be a mere time machine it has become an integral part of the fashion accessory
A wristwatch is on longer considered to be a mere time machine. The concept of fashion has crept into the ‘tick-tick’ world of watches. For men, it is the single most accessory, and so it is no more a plain gadget that adorns the wrist, but is making a huge impact in the men’s fashion world. But, for watches to be considered as fashion accessory it must be trendy, operational and stylish.
“It is all about wearing your attitude. The fashion concept of watches revolve round personality, attitude, confidence and individuality, apart from time. A person wearing a sporty or trendy watch, catches the attention immediately,” says Rana Uppalapati from the World of Titan.
He also adds that earlier, the concept of wristwatch was associated only with time, and hardly there were a couple of racks in the watch showrooms that categorised watches basing on the straps. “One rack would display watches with leather straps, other with the steel ones and the high end would be the gold plated ones. Today, Titan itself has over 4,000 variants and every year a couple of new collections are being launched,” he says.
‘Big is beautiful’ seems to be the catch phrase in the fashion world of wristwatches. Almost every watchmaker is busy manufacturing the ‘big in shape and size’ watches. And almost every celebrity can be picked wearing one such watch and many like Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Michael Wayne and Tiger Woods have become brand ambassadors for the big watches that are manufactured by various companies like Titan, Tissot, Tag Heuer and Mont Blanc.
The big watches come in basic (needle and case) model, multi-functional chronographs or in a combination of digital and chronograph.
The demand for bigger models like Monaco from Tag Heuer or Aviator from Titan is high, especially the ones that come with colour dials and leather straps.
“The colour of the dials and the straps matter a lot in the present context. The demand is more for electric blue and ‘mother of pearl’ dials with black or brown leather straps. The appeal for multi-functional chronograph watches cuts across segments, but is predominant among the youth. They prefer big and sporty looking watches with leather straps that come in vibrant colours,” says Raghu of ‘V’ Square.
‘V’ Square has four international brands like Tissot, Mont Blanc, Tag Heuer and Rado displayed under one-roof.
Brand plays a big role in the fashion of watches. Bigger the brand, higher is the demand. But brands do not come cheap. A Tissot T-touch model starts from Rs.25,000 and can go up to Rs.1.2 lakhs, and its Titanium collection starts from Rs.70,000. Similarly the most ordinary looking Mont Blanc cost Rs.55,000, and if one craves for a multi-functional chronograph then he or she has to think of a price beyond Rs.70,000.
“Cost is not the factor. People want to associate with a brand. In the international range, both the big size sporty watches and the traditional slim type are in vogue. In the slim section the bracelet types are hot cakes. A plain and slim Rado could range from Rs.16,000 to Rs.35,000,” says Mr. Raghu.
In tune with the international fashion, Titan has launched a number of collections like Heritage, Octane, Lorient and Aviator. They come both in multifunction and traditional models.
“The looks are on par with the best in the industry but the pricing is economic to suit the middle class Indian pocket. Moreover, the Fast Track watches have made a huge impact among the Gen X. The pricing is so made up that a person can afford more than one watch. They are big, trendy, in vogue and very economical. The flip colour models are in big demand among both sexes,” says Mr. Rana.SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE