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Dazzling Time!
Extensive use of diamonds in the watch industry
By: Diamond World News Service
Jun 14 2013 5:53PM
Reference: 7894  

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Few decades ago, watches were used to check the exact time but in today’s world, watches have become much more than just checking the time. Designers today have created sumptuous time pieces to complement the ever-changing style and fashion, and to add to the glamour quotient, diamond studded watches are the most in-thing in the watch industry. The appeal of diamond watches seems to have been derived from the combination of opulent luxury and elegance. This new-fangled trend is fast picking-up owing to its glittering and ever-lasting style. For the diamond industry, altogether a new avenue seems opening up which is waiting to get explored and flourish. To know its various facets and to explore how the watch and diamond industry complements each other, Kunjal Karaniya, reviews this new and up-coming trend.

Time is precious? No correct that... Your watch is! The latest must-have in your closet these days is the luxury diamond-studded watch. These luxury diamond-studded watches are not only for telling the time, but also for symbolising the owner's status and the taste in fashion. Today, a diamond time-piece is one of the many sought after luxury watches. With its astonishing diamond splendour that is carved in the surface it surely catches the attention. “Luxury watches have become more and more a jewellery piece that is desired by both men and women. Recent years show that watches set with diamonds are more popular the ever,” says Piet Rijk, Sales Director & Partner at IGC Group. Stating the market statistics of these luxury watches, FranckDardenne, General Manager, LVMH Watch and Jewellery Indian Sub Continentstates, “Market for luxury watches is still small, even if the perspective of growth is huge. Today the 24th watch market for the Swiss industry, is expected to grow quickly. Typically in the case of TAG Heuer, we want to establish strongly so that it becomes part of our top 10. Around 40,000 luxury Swiss watches are sold in India, out of which I would assume that about 10 to 15 per cent are with diamond.”

Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend couldn’t have been more right! Diamond jewellery is considered the best bet when buying gifts for women. The same holds true for watches, diamond-studded watches holds a special place in a woman’s closet. Women’s desire for diamonds have resulted the trend of diamond-studded watch getting so highly popular. To this, Franck Dardenne,says, “Diamond watches are a fast growing category and I expect to see more and more beautiful watches for women with diamond. Watches are a category driven by innovation and watch-making innovation can be through diamonds as well. From this view point, a premiere was the TAG Heuer diamond fiction, a talking piece introduced in 2005; time was displayed with 879 tiny diamonds over 54 red LEDs. Diamonds were the central part of the innovation. Most recently, I have been amazed by the success of some Christian Dior watches, since Christian Dior has patented the snow setting. And one of the best watches for women is definitively the Christian Dior Grand Bal with diamond. The rotor of the watch, instead of being behind the case is visible on the dial, and makes the mechanical movement extremely beautiful. The diamonds add light and brightness and the watch movement gives birth to a marvellous grace.”When quizzed about target customers, he added, “It covers different targets, from the women who want pure jewellery to the women, as I said who do not want mere jewellery. But in all cases, the diamond will add femininity. Then it can cover another difference among the targets of the watch purchasers, old money and new money. In the case of TAG Heuer, half the clients are more old money, with a level of repeat of the watches which is very high compared to international standard, at more than 30 per cent; on the other hand, some new young professional want to come to us to have the watch which embodies their success. TAG Heuer Link was launched with four women that we considered essential TAG Heuer women because of what they did, giving to the society and achieving: Ritu Beri, Saina Nehwal, Sara Pilot, Pia Singh; all of them chose the Link lady diamond dial diamond bezel I mentioned before. They could correspond to different targets but beyond the differences, they embody a new femininity that TAG Heuer hopes to stand for.”

Diversity is all-important among Swiss jewellers too, as this was justly witnessed at the Basel World 2013 recently. While the watches were unveiled, this year confirms the innovation is out in force. Demand for bespoke creations hasn't waned; women want to wear jewellery that reflects who they are, and is theirs and theirs alone. Diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds emblazon fine jewellery, while gold, palladium and platinum allow just as much creativity, at a more affordable price. Used sparingly and with imagination, they have no limits.Talking about the Indian markets, “For jewellers in India, both are areas of growth, fast growing segments which complement gold and in which they see the future. In the case of watch brands, having diamonds is a way to add value to our watches. The ladies demand for watches, even if smaller than men’s, is a fast growing category. In the case of TAG Heuer, which is originally a masculine brand, the recent success of some ladies watches, often with diamond, has been amazing. Most of the luxury watch brand follow the same passage as TAG Heuer: initially making timing instrument, with a precision coming from TAG Heuer involvement in sport, the mechanical aspect of the timepieces has appealed to men, then fathers, husband or brother play a role of advisor for women. Out of TAG Heuer's top five best-sellers in India for women, three are diamond set, and the best seller itself is a TAG Heuer formula 1 with diamonds on the dial. The fastest growing series, the Link Lady introduced in February this year, endorsed by Cameron Diaz, has a best seller watch with 47 diamonds on the bezel and 11 diamonds on the dial. Why this success? Among watches, TAG Heuer stands for strength and beauty: not mere elegance, but elegance with a strong presence. That’s why independent, working, young women turn to us and is not interested in watches which would be mere jewellery. The success stands here I think: the diamond also is the strongest material, while the purest and the most beautiful for many. The fit between the nature of diamond and TAG Heuer DNA is at the origin of the commercial success,” informs Frank Dardenne.

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