After a week at Baselworld studying the 2017 collections of 100 watch brands, WatchPro managing editor Rob Corder shares his thoughts on what the market has learned with a roundup of the top trends we think retailers could profit from that we saw at the fair.
Here we feature the first three including Elongated Dials, Unisex Styles and Pocket Watches.
There is a much-trusted assumption in the industry that square watches don’t sell. But stretch the shape into a rectangle and give it a heritage feel like this Banana Centenary edition reissue from Tissot and you have something that retailers will love. Tissot was not alone in stretching the length of its wristwear. We saw the design idea used with new Dolce Vita and Symphonette ladies watches from Longines, among others.
Not a massive commercial opportunity, but a few brands did say they are seeing an upswing in interest for pocket watches from the hipster community.
So, if your shop sees nothing but bearded men riding fixed gear bicycles, pocket watches could be for you. Two Swatch Group brands, Tissot and Longines were showing examples.
The Longines piece (pictured) is called the Railroad, and is inspired by the age of railway expansion across Europe in the late Victorian era.
The watch comes in a steel case, measuring 49.5 mm in diameter, and holds a manual-winding L513.2 calibre developed exclusively for Longines.
There was a general trend towards both men’s and ladies’ watches getting smaller; perhaps shaving a millimeter off 44mm oversized men’s models and introducing 28mm pieces for ladies.
There was also a space inbetween at around 38mm for watches that both men and women might buy. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Master Chronometer is a good example.
Offered in larger cases up to 41mm, it was the 38mm version that caught our eye and, while looking fantastic on the wrist of an average-sized man, it has an androgynous design that will also appeal to sporty ladies.
The Aqua Terra has a specific collection for women, but the unisex 38mm men’s model may will sell faster.