Short and sweet

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Jean-Claude Biver, the master of fusion

A couple of weeks ago I attended a presentation of a particular brand’s 2011 collection. The watches were attractive looking, well made and honestly priced. Then the brand executive described the brand, I will not repeat the description lest I give away the brand’s identity, but it went something like this (with similar emphasis):

Modern watches for the sophisticated individual seeking innovation and functionality

Most successful watchmakers, at all price segments, can be summed up in one word. They can be distilled and clarified to their very essence.  Hublot is all about fusion. TAG Heuer is sports, Breitling is aviation, Patek Philippe is heirloom and so on. This is what the brands build their identity on, what they market themselves as.

Even the successful independents can do the same, Dufour is finishing and so is Voutilainen. Urwerk is sci-fi while MB&F makes machines.

Some brands, however, can be summed up in one word that is too common. Breguet and Vacheron Constantin are both about history. That is one key reason why they have yet to rival Patek Philippe. But still, their identity is clear.

And the examples continue. Whatever it is, building a brand on being modern, sophisticated, innovative and functional is not going to do it.

– SJX 

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