If you re into music, perhaps you hummed the headline of this column as, you know. Mary J. Blige and U2 started their duet version of “One” where the first lines say just that. Is It Getting Better.
At 0024 however, we are not as much into music as we are into wristwatches. But nonetheless the headline is well-fitted as the global watch sales are still trying to find solid ground under their feet. Swatch Group is reporting a slight increase in sales, LVMH seem to thrive on the path of TAG Heuer (re)-created by Jean-Claude Biver and the amazing Bulgari watches within the same group manufactured under the leadership of Jean-Christophe Babin seem to also enjoy quite a successful sale. But other conglomerates seem to still suffer from a global slump.
There is a plethora of unsold watches on the market. eBay and other online outlets prove that. Make a search on your preferred watch brand and I assure you that you will find many unused models on offer. But some brands enjoy unprecedented sales from new ways of selling: fans based offerings.
It is no secret that fans based sales are an effective way to sell watches. Several watch communities have produced exclusive models, i.e., Panerai for the loyal Paneristi members, IWC for the forum members and PuristPro also had several models made for their avid readers. They all sold out within two shakes of a lambs tail, however when Omega announced the launch of the SpeedyTuesday, 2012 pieces were sold out in four hours and fifteen minutes!
It was the first time that Omega offered an online sale from their own website however the watches sold via authorised retailers around the world. With more than 7500 people of waiting list for this coveted launch, Omega hit pay dirt proving that once you speak the language of the consumer, we all understand what you are saying and embrace your message. The iconic Omega Speedmaster aka The Moon Watch is not the hardest watch to sell. The classic design, the rich history and a movement that works well is never a bad idea. But selling 2012 pieces of a watch that surprised Omega’s CEO, Raynald Aeschlimann, and had him tell New York Times that “It shows how quickly a decision taken can bring success.”
Basically what Aeschlimann is saying that reacting right now is better than planning. But that does not come easy in Switzerland. Albert Einstein knew that too, when asked where he wanted to end his days. “In Switzerland. Because everything happens 20 years later there.”
Hopefully other watch brands will start to react to the current market instead of guessing what costumers want in five years time.