Why retailers need watches that don’t sell


By Anneke Short

On occasion a brand will introduce a watch that pushes the boundaries and leaves you wondering who will actually buy it.

The answer is no one will, and this is precisely the point. Such products are called talking pieces, designed purely as a point of discussion to boost a brand’s image and help consumers to understand what the brand is about; a watch that can boost sales without ever being sold.

Story continues below

Walk into the flagship store of any major brand and the display will undoubtedly include the most expensive piece it has to offer. It is probably not expected to sell, but rather is used to convey that these watches are unobtainable to the average consumer.

The psychology behind the price proposition will make the other watches set at a lower price seem more attainable; £100,000 for a watch is expensive, but a similar piece in the display marked at £10,000 suddenly seems a far more compelling sales proposition.

Of course, this principle works well for big brands that have big budgets to spend, but how can this help you? Imagine, if you will, that you as a consumer have the choice of two watches – same brand, similar style, different price point. One is selling at £500, the other at £800, which one do you pick? Now introduce a talking piece watch that is bold, daring, outlandish and more expensive at £1,500 and the choice becomes easier. Shopper research indicates that the majority of people will choose the middle ground, not the most expensive model, but likewise not the cheapest.

This theory doesn’t just pertain to price points. Think about the last watch window display you saw. Was it bright and colourful? Did one particular watch draw your attention? Was it crazy and eccentric? Did it tempt you to look at the display at large? Chances are you may have already subconsciously experienced the power of the talking piece watch.

This column was taken from the May 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine. If you work in the watch industry and would like to write a guest column for WatchPro you can email the editor at



Leave a Response

Tags : retailwatchwatch designwatches
Staff Writer

The author Staff Writer