Last week I was perusing a few different watch websites when I came across Watch Time’s pronunciation guide – a “how to say it” for the most well known watch brands as published by the American watch magazine.
As I sat afore my laptop forming ‘oos’ and ‘ees’ and limbering my mouth around the more unusual watch brand names, I realised that a number of the pronunciations sounded even further from what I thought when said following the guide.
Case in point: Jaeger-LeCoultre. I stumbled over this one a few times as, according to the guide, it is said “zhey ZHER leh KOOLT”. Eh?
Having posted a little tweet on Twitter about the guide – in many ways, good for those who may be less confident about their brand names – the replies I received highlighted the real variation in watch brand pronunciations. The industry might find it can deliver Cuervo y Sobrinos, Glashutte Original and Ulysse Nardin with a slick roll of the tongue, but the hoi polloi will probably stammer over most.
While James Gurney of watch magazine QP warned that its native French readers say the list is about 80% correct, Oli Peppiatt of watch retailer Michael Spiers said “I’ve never been comfortable pronouncing Jaeger as zhay zher, however I cringe every time someone says Bretlin”.
For Peppiatt, Breitling is one brand that causes repeated pronunciation problems. He’s heard everything from Bretlin and Breetling to Brittling. Peppiatt adds that “statistically [it’s] the most mispronounced watch brand in our showroom”.
OK, so I will hold my hands up and say that yes, Meccaniche Veloci was one I stumbled over for a while, while Parmigiani Fleurier still makes me think of eating Italian food more than it does watches but nevertheless, it was brave of Watch Time to take on the challenge to outline brand pronunciation – something put to it by one its readers.
I must say, though, that Watch Time’s pronunciation guide came a little bit of light relief during my busy WatchPro Watches of the Year schedule, pulling together our list of the 100 standout watches available in 2012, something that hopefully I’ll be able to write without having to enunciate out loud.
Are there any watch brand names you’ve struggled with, or had a customer say that might have caused a giggle or two? We’d love to find out. Comment and let us know.