Q&A: Seiko’s Crisford on travel-friendly watches

In the latest in our series of Q&As about travel-friendly watches Seiko UK marketing manager Kirsten Crisford shares her thoughts. 

WatchPro: How important is watch that tracks more than one time zone for a watch brand and why are they so popular with consumers?
Kirsten Crisford:
It is important for travel orientated watches to form part of a varied collection. International travel is something that does go hand in hand with any executive role and, as such, those people want a watch that can keep up with their lifestyle. Something that is a style statement while providing a practical function, keeping accurate time wherever you are in the world. These watches also need to be comfortable and easy to wear, that last thing anyone wants while on a long flight is the irritancies of a watch that catches and feels clunky. This is what consumers get when they pay for a trusted brand that provides well-made watches.

WP: Are consumers’ demands from a travel-friendly watch greater these days and what functionality do they seek?
KC:
It depends on how far back we are going. Certainly since the late 20th century international travel to the furthest points around the globe has become more accessible so naturally travel products of all kinds are in greater demand. A watch that covers every time zone around the world is not just a talking point, but an essential piece of your travel wardrobe.

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WP: For you, what has been the most significant technological developments in the travel watch genre and what impact have they had?
KC:
The Seiko Astron Solar GPS watch – it is a big step forward for all watches – not just travel watches. At the touch of a button the watch will calculate your position on the earth and change the time to the local time zone, it recognises all 39 time zones on earth. It is something so simple, something a mobile phone does, and something that watches should, and now can, do. Unlike a phone, the watch is powered only by light, so no battery change required when you are 30,000 feet in the air. It is a watch you can always rely on.

WP: What developments do you expect we will see from travel watches in the future?
KC:
Who knows what other developments are around the corner, for now we are quite happy growing and developing the Astron GPS collection. As our founder stated, we always want to be one step ahead of the rest, so I am sure the watchmakers at Seiko are working on their next world first already.

This interview was part of a travel-friendly watch article that first appeared in the October issue of WatchPro magazine. To see the full digital version of the magazine, click here.

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