Swarovski Watches is setting itself up to become a serious player in the branded watch market in the UK.
The brand appeared at BaselWorld last month with an extended watch collection that contained men’s watches for the first time, and it is with this more complete offer that it is planning to target the UK retail market.
Swarovski has been creating women’s watches since 2009 but the addition of a men’s collection is new for 2012, and Swarovski Watches vice-president of marketing Hanspeter Hanschick told WatchPro that it has been a long time coming adding that the brand has “always wanted to do it”.
The first offering of men’s watches from Swarovski was a mixture of both quartz and mechanical timepieces. The addition of automatic watches to the range in its first year was a conscious decision made to make sure that the collection is seen as a serious watch brand rather than just a fashion accessory, according to Hanschick.
In creating the men’s collection Hanschick said that Swarovski carefully studied what had worked well in the ladies market and then adapted some of the bestselling lines for the male market.
Swarovski own stores account for two-thirds of its worldwide distribution – it has 100 in the UK – but the development of Swarovski Watches as an independent brand rather than just another facet of the Swarovski offering will see it place more focus on working with independent retailers which Hanschik said is “a key focus for us”.
Hanschick said: “We would like to find a more balanced distribution. We have met with all the big UK players in Basel. The credibility we are gaining from men’s watches [will help us] to be taken seriously.
“We started men’s jewellery a year ago and there is demand for men’s products in our boutiques. It has huge potential.”