Time Products, the parent company of Sekonda and Accurist, has produced and sold more watches for the UK market than any other business. Inexpensive and accessible to the masses, the brands deliver on-trend wristwear that appeals to their mainly male fan base. Seksy was launched as a sub brands of Sekonda back in 2004 to appeal to a fashionable female customer, and has become a favourite for the volume retail end of the market. But with sales of cheaper fashion watches in sharp decline over the past five years, WatchPro wondered whether Seksy has an answer to the challenge.
Since Seksy’s introduction in 2004 as a sub-brand of Sekonda, it has stood out for its eccentric designs and statement timepieces for women. In the early noughties the watch landscape was beginning to see a change. Fashion brands were starting to make their mark on the industry, creating stylish watches that were both on-trend and practical. Sekonda was the UK’s number one volume-selling watch brand at the time and still is today, but to stay ahead of the competition it needed to branch out into the fashion watch market.
It was in 2004 that Seksy was born. Using the ‘Sek’ from Sekonda to create a play on the risqué word, a fashion forward brand was formed. What made Seksy stand out from other fashion brands were its designs and Swarovski crystal embellishment. Every Seksy watch featured interesting shapes inspired by jewellery and was delicately hand-finished with Swarovski stones.
One of Seksy’s first models was a trend-led style that featured a large cuff strap with symmetrical Swarovski embellishment. Sales exceeded expectations and the brand had officially made its mark on the watch market. Other early successes included the Seksy Eclipse watch with a circular style and unusual green mother-of-pearl dial, and Seksy Hidden Hearts with a celtic-esque bracelet.
The moment that Sekonda saw the true potential of what Seksy could achieve was with the release of the Elegance watch in 2012. With its rounded style embellished in 579 handset Swarovski crystals, it was unique at the time. A sponsorship deal with the ITV2 programme ‘Cheryl: Access All Areas’ in November 2012 led to overnight success.
The show itself was a bit of a flop, even by ITV2 standards (these were the days before Love Island) but sales for Elegance skyrocketed. The watch saw a 283% lift on sales, almost quadrupling in November and December compared to the two months before. Over 16,000 units were sold within its first four months of release. A string of sponsorships for high profile ITV programmes followed.
In 2012 Seksy launched its Seksy Intense Rose model, a rose gold plated bracelet watch that has a chunky style and delicate Swarovski embellishment. At the time the model saw positive sales but didn’t permeate the market as successfully as Elegance did. However, when looking at its significance over the years, the Seksy Intense Rose has sold over 100,000 units to date – a milestone for any watch brand and one that secures Seksy’s place as a brand with longevity.
The years that followed saw the brand release a number of models that featured the signature Seksy style – interesting shapes, pops of feminine colour and of course, Swarovski® crystal embellishment. The team behind the brand at Time Products has never been afraid to try something completely new and not seen before within the watch industry.
In the run-up to Christmas 2016, Seksy sponsored Meet the Parents, an hour long, primetime entertainment show broadcast on Saturday nights for eight weeks. Despite its sought-after timeslot and popular host, Holly Willoughby, the brand saw nothing like the success it had achieved with sponsorship deals in previous years. Seksy was becoming known as a Q4 brand that designed watches you would only buy at Christmas. It wanted to prove itself as an all-year-round brand.
In 2017 there was a shift in the design department. The brand was introduced to new fabrics and materials by Swarovski such as crystal fine rocks and crystal fabric. It is this factor, says brand director Trevor James, that makes a Seksy watch unique.
A collection of watches featuring these new materials was promptly designed and the brand found a collection name that perfectly suited it: Seksy Rocks. Within this range was one model that caught the attention of buyers. Model 2580, with its rectangular rose gold plated case, contemporary grey dial and stunning crystal fine rock embellishment by Swarovski® was the standout timepiece within the collection and it was quickly decided that this would be the advertised line.
Early Seksy TV advert campaigns told a love story using pretty landscapes, delicate lighting and smooth movements. With the introduction of the Seksy Rocks collection the new TV spot advert needed to reflect the exciting direction the brand was taking. In came 30 seconds of fast-paced movements, slow motion, catchy music and creative watch; the perfect advert to showcase the new range.
It was the largest spend on a TV campaign since 2010 for the brand and with the advert being shown all over the UK during December 2017, a large number of watches were initially ordered. This quantity seemed like a lot to sell over the Christmas period but no one was to predict the impact that 2580 would have. Sales of the watch blew up and all pieces sold out a week before Christmas Day. The watch was impossible to get hold of anywhere, even selling on eBay for 8 times the original retail price.
The watch became the fastest-selling watch in Seksy’s history. Not only that, the watch is the number one best-selling watch on UK airlines as well as in travel retail stores. Even after Christmas the watch continued to sell in big numbers once it was back in stock.
Off the back of the unprecedented success of Seksy Rocks, the brand has ambitious plans in place to make 2018 even more successful than the year before. The autumn/winter 2018 launch is its biggest to date with over 32 new models making it into the Seksy main range. The most exciting new addition to this is the Seksy Shimmer collection – a group of watches that feature the tried and tested 2580 shape but are embellished with unique coated crystals from Swarovski.
Following on from this success, a brand new Seksy 1 metre dynamic display stand is being launched in one of the UK’s biggest jewellery & watch retailers that holds 49 watches. These stands reflect the new Seksy style showcased in the Seksy Rocks advert and highlight the watches in a way that hasn’t been done by the brand before. Featuring a TV screen that will show the advert on loop and Swarovski crystal embellishment, these stands certainly have the ‘wow’ factor that Seksy is well known for.
Without its strong partnership with Swarovski, Time Products would not be able to make these exciting plans happen. Since joining their Ingredient Branding Program in 2017 they continually work closely with Swarovski as one of its biggest customers in the UK. As a result of this Time Products is one of the first companies to whom Swarovski showcases new materials and crystals.
It’s been another good year for Seksy, with the Seksy Rocks advert going back onto television screens in December 2018. With other brands opting for a simpler, stripped back style, Seksy isn’t afraid to stand out with its sparkling timepieces.