Watch what you wear

Watches today no longer just tell time, they announce your arrival in fashion circles

The good old HMT is almost pass�. That perhaps is the case with those cheap - literally so, with prices ranging from a measly Rs.10 to Rs. 30 - and gaudy electronic 'use-and-throw' Chinese watches that used to flood the roadside markets. It is time now for designer stuff as people are setting out to buy better and more expensive watches to suit their tastes.

If Titan could take pride in pampering people with precision and accuracy at affordable prices, a lot of foreign brands and big names, have joined the fray to have their share in the lucrative Indian watch market.

The trendy Fastrack watches were a roaring hit with the youngsters, especially the college-going kids who simply loved the thin shiny steel case. Now renewing focus on the youth segment, Titan has launched an entirely new range of watches that is distinctly younger, fashionable and trendy.

The product range for girls is inspired by sexy silhouettes and fashion trends like halter necks and spaghetti straps. The new avatar, christened Fastrack Masala Collection has over 80 models in over 25 styles. What have others got? Tommy Hilfiger has rolled out its limited one-time collection of watches for the Indian women with classic contours and designer outlines.

The range has two distinct types 'Gracie' and 'Scarlett'. Dainty leather straps and meshed metal bracelets featuring crystals come in a palette of elegant colours. While 'Gracie' comes with soft pink and blue straps, 'Scarlett' has smart square dials with intricately crafted metal brackets. Curiously Titan has entered into an exclusive sub-licensing arrangement for the distribution of these watches that are priced in the range of Rs. 4,495 to Rs. 6,995. Gucci has enhanced the G Bandeau watch collection with some special editions. Introduced in 2004, the G Bandeau has a polished steel Gucci G bezel punctuated with decorative screws and a GG canvas band. Then there is this Movado Automatic Cushion that captures the essence of sophisticated vintage design.

Another exclusive one to arrest one's attention is the watch from Fredrique Constant Geneve. The watch boasts a variety of features - stainless steel, round, individual number convex sapphire crystal and screw-down, flat sapphire back, WS Diamonds Top Wesselton, water-resistant to 50 metres, Arabic numerals{lcub}hellip{rcub}the list goes on. That is the case with another watch line - New 1911 - from Ebel. If that is not enough we can have a look at TAG Hauer, the world leader in luxury sports watches and chronographs. It has introduced the two-tone link pair of watches for both men and women. The watches have a solid 18 K gold case and bracelet 20 microns with mother-of-pearl dial. The price range? Rs. 80,400 to Rs. 93,800. And the world famous Citizen has unveiled its Eco-Drive revolutionary watches that come with 'three years, three months and three days guarantee'. Revolutionary because it "never needs a battery", it simply utilises the power of light from any source and transforms it into energy to recharge itself! Now take your pick and watch time ticking away merrily!

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