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Fashion

Articles from WATCHES (805 Articles)

Skagen from Jarass
Skagen from Jarass
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Wear over wow

This year's watches trends will see less fuss about faces and straps, as consumers swap sparkle for wearability. BIANCA MANGION asks the top time-keepers for the score.

Fashion followers will have noticed this season's more pared-back aesthetic sweeping across everything from jewellery to dresses. A more conservative attitude toward purchasing and discarding one's fashion has meant the days of owning a different watch for every day of the week have gone - for now at least.

Despite this, style has not been lost in time. Watches for men and women are still ticking with design appeal - albeit a much more versatile, less attention-demanding appeal.

"Wearability is the key," says Andrew Coogan, managing director, ESGE Asia Pacific, which distributes Candino Swiss Watch. "We don't make products that are 'way out'."

Coogan describes the style of Candino's Basel 2009 Collection as "strong and masculine for males and functional yet feminine for females", emphasising the practicality of the new range: "The ladies timepieces are suited to any occasion, comprising beautiful, mid-size, strap models in both steel and gold colour cases, featuring easy-set day and date. They're available in silver, bronze and black dials with copper colour features," he says.

All Candino watches are made from stainless steel, titanium or tungsten and these materials are also selected for their wear-factor: "The Tungsten is scratch resistant," Coogan continues, "and titanium is great for people with skin allergies."

Other day/date models from the range have larger date display for ease of readability.

Dual time is something fashion watches didn't always boast, but with an increased emphasis on functionality, some companies have released stylish models that incorporate the special function.

"In our range, the ladies dual-time has never been seen before," says Anthony Gelgec, director of Tik Tok Watch Centre, distributor of Cover Watches Australia. "Dual-time watches used to only be made primarily for the dual-time function; however, the designers at Cover have incorporated this specialist function and modernised it with style - so now, it's also a fashion piece."

Part of Cover's Prime Time range incorporating mother of pearl dials, Swarovski crystal bezels and variations in colours and straps, these dual time watches aim to offer functionality and fashion, like many others on the market.

As Gelgec explains, "Many women travel as part of their career and a dual-time ladies watch caters to these women's needs."

Men want function with fashion, too, according to Adrian De Brock, senior account manager at Hagemeyer Lifestyle Brands, which distributes Bulova and JAG timepieces.

"The new Bulova Calypso 300 is water resistant to a depth of 300 metres with anti-reflective sapphire crystal, unidirectional rotating-bezel ring, luminous hands and markers, distinctive outlined date window, screw-down crown, and fold-over buckle with safety clasp and double pushers," De Brock explains of the timepiece.

But the 26-jewel automatic is also handsome, with exhibition screw-back case and an option of black PU rubber strap with silver-finish and silver-white or black patterned dial, and with black ion-plated case and black-patterned dial, as well as two silver-finish bracelet versions with blue or black-patterned dial.

The special edition also offers a rose-gold ion-plated case, rose-gold hands and markers, patterned-black dial and textured rubber strap.

Hand in hand with functionality and wearability comes versatility, so the merit of a watch that compliments a range of outfits and jewellery should not be overlooked this season.

This season's timepiece is not an attention-grabber - instead it blends flawlessly with jewellery to ensure match-ability, day after day, night after night.

When asked how Candino watches compliment jewellery trends, Coogan says, "Perfectly, I would assume. They would generally never overwhelm a jewellery look."

To match their timepieces well with jewellery, designers must keep abreast of what's hot in precious metals, and design their range in similar tones. And this season, things are looking rosy. Yes, rose gold is still very much in bloom - in jewellery and watches alike.

"Rosegold is still a popular colour in the jewellery trend," says Nils Rasmussen, managing director of Skagen distributor, Jarass. "With models incorporating rose gold accents, Skagen watches make a perfect match."

The pink hue is huge, but other tones will not be left on the shelf: "Rose-gold is very popular, but gold is coming back," Gelgec says.

The Cover collection, too is all about adaptability, allowing wearers to match the watch to jewellery or apparel.

"All our models are available with leather straps in various colours," Gelgec says. "Within each model, our range allows for the bands - whether they are metal or leather - to be inter changeable. Many people also like to change between gold and white gold or silver and stainless steel to match their outfits. There is a Cover watch to match every outfit, at a very affordable price."

Indeed, affordability is what keeps many watch brands ticking, particularly at a time when luxury purchases are often put last. But this, of course, does not mean skimping on style or functionality. It's really all about value for money with today's watch buyers.

Our target market wants a watch that makes it easy to tell the time, is good quality and reliable, with great design, good pricing and good value," says Rasmussen. He believes Skagen's Fall/Winter 2009 Collection reflects the signature elements of Danish design.

"There is no great departure from what Skagen does best - clean, elegant design at affordable prices," he says.

Other brands also know good value and affordability is the way to go in the Australian watch business.

"High quality, well-designed timepieces at affordable prices for the image conscious woman," is how Phil Edwards describes Sekonda's Seksy Collection from Duraflex. The Duraflex managing director says Seksy is all about "jewellery-styled, design-led ladies fashion watches for the modern female".

Gelgec subscribes to the same ethos: "Not everyone can afford to pay the thousands of dollars for Swiss made watches, therefore our watches target those people that want that high-end Swiss made watch at an affordable price point".


A theme of practicality and conservatism is present not only in price and materials, but also in watch design this season.

"Clean, crisp, classical designs that are understated and elegant," is how Simon Madziar, brand manager at Mahler Trading, distributor of Claude Bernard watches describes timepieces in the new Samba Di Janeiro and Salsa collections.

Madziar says the standout ladies model from the collection has a 40mm stainless steel case with rounded edges, black dial with silver numbers and battens, and a white leather band. It also boasts quartz chronograph with moon phase and 3ATM water resistance.

"This watch is elegant with a classical, timeless design to it," he says.

Clean beauty and function abound across many collections this season. Skagen is also sticking with simplicity with its gents' line of trademark, ultra-slim cases. For ladies, Rasmussen believes this year's apparel is more simple and masculine, a major shift from years of heavy embellishment or "bling-bling".

"The Skagen designers have looked more into industrial design in order to create a sharper look for the season," he says.

And Cover has also come clean with its gents' Slim-Line range. Timepieces in the collection feature sapphire crystal, big date, and come in various combinations of stainless steel, gold and leather strap, according to Gelgec.

To stay on the more versatile side of design, one either opts for clean and contemporary or classic-retro. Many timepiece fashions conform to one of the two this season.

Also distributed by Hagemeyer, JAG has released a range of vintage styles in geometric, rectangular and classic round dials.

Key colours for the range include polished silver and gold, two-tone and an expansion of black, brown and rose gold.

"For gents, JAG turns back the time with vintage-inspired styles featuring a genuine, calf leather band in crocodile grain and Roman numerals. The more classic men's styles feature new layered dial details, integrated PU and an extension of the multi-function from previous seasons," De Brock says.

Labelling the range as "relaxed urbanwear for the style conscious", JAG is aimed at a youthful, fashion-conscious consumer, says De Brock.

Of course, not all young consumers want plain wrist wear. Indeed, many Gen-Ys still have cash to splash and want to ensure their watch comes with a generous helping of glittering sparkle and shine.

"For ladies, big stones and detailing turn timepieces into glamour-pieces with a variety of jewellery inspired concepts," De Brock says of the JAG collection. "The range of statement models create maximum impact with details including studs, leather grains and stainless steel mesh bracelets with adjustable links and jewellery clasps."

Making a statement still comes first for many women in Sesky's target market, according to Edwards: "Jewellery this year is all about talking points and our watches do exactly that," he says. "Swarovski crystals join stainless steel and mother of pearl on modern timepieces."

Sparkle is an integral element of an evening watch and Skagen knows that all too well, producing a range Rasmussen describes as "glitz for ladies". It utilizes Swarovski Elements stones for maximum bling.

Summing up the trends from his range, Rasmussen says more colour options will be available apart from the classic black, brown and silver. Oversized round and square cases will also make an appearance - up to 43mm.

He says combinations of large cases, colour and glitz for ladies will be there to brighten winter styles, while some gents' watches will be marketed to women in a gender-bending trend.

The Seksy collection also shines with highly-polished plaiting and stainless steel and sparkling Swarovski crystals.

"Reflective/polished metals are big," Edwards says of the new collection.

Today's more spend-thrifty consumer will demand more pared-down wrist-wear that stretches further from one outfit to another; however, retailers should not be afraid to mix in a little standout sparkle to maintain interest and remind customers that a little luxury amidst a backdrop of austerity is still quite timely.

 

 

Matching watch brand to wrist

 

Skagen Denmark

"The design is simple, classic and elegant. We have different collections to fit the different needs and profiles of different people; however, Skagen tends to appeal to those who are looking for something different, who are sophisticated with have their own unique lifestyle. Our collections suit anyone aged from 20 to 80."

Nils Rasmussen, managing director, Jarass: Skagen Denmark.

 

Claude Bernard

"Claude Bernard appeals to the 20 to 35-year-old professional who is not quite ready for a more expensive Swiss brand. This consumer wants a Swiss-made watch with a touch of luxury at a striking price."

Simon Madziar, brand manager, Mahler Trading: Claude Bernard.

 

Bulova

"Bulova's target consumer is aged 25-plus with a desire for something more in quality and design. They are no longer following traditional brands, yet are looking for great design, quality and value."

Adrian De Brock, senior account manager, Hagemeyer Lifestyle Brands: Bulova and JAG.

 

Seksy by Sekonda

"Seksy is aimed at 25-40 year old females. Watch-buyers today are not only wearing watches to view the time but also to make a style statement, and therefore we aim to have something that is up to date and will still look appealing in a few years. Additionally it needs to have a dual purpose, so people are getting value for money."

Phil Edwards, managing director, Duraflex: SEKSY by SEKONDA.

 

Candino

"Candino customers typically range from 22 years up and they demand wearability, functionality and affordability in their timepiece."

Andrew Coogan, managing director, ESGE Asia Pacific: Candino Swiss Watch.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bianca Mangion
Staff Journalist • Jeweller Magazine

Bianca Mangion has been involved in the industry for almost nine years. Embarking on the trade as a retail assistant at an independent Melbourne bench jeweller, she quickly developed a knowledge and passion for diamonds, gems, pearls and high-end fashion jewellery.
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