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Monday, February 15, 2016

The Products That Must Make Other Institutions Writhe

Across the city of Sydney there are so many glorious looking watch boutiques with their windows filled with evenly spaced out displays of one expensive watch after another. Tag Huer, Omega, Mont Blanc, Rolex, Cartier to name but a few watch brands, are housed in jewellers such as LK Boutique, J Farren-Price and in their own individual stand-alone boutiques such as Tag Huer in the Pitt Street Mall. When I pass these shops I often wonder who is buying enough product to keep these well-dressed security with their ear pieces switched on enjoying the controlled temperature inside the boutique wearing a fine woollen black suit. I can't help but imagine what the rents look like to the landlords such as Westfield and the other shopping centre managers. Then on top of all that I consider the cost of having so much stock sitting in the store. To me it looks like a giant headache. You must drive traffic to the store, you must create interest in your products in the magazines, your staff must speak multiple languages, you have to be innovative, you need to hold your prices and never discount and every other year you need to re-do your fitout. All of it seems to be in complete contrast to the manner in which I am accustomed to doing business.

After walking around the stores and soaking up the new fashion entrants that have set up shop in the Westfield Centrepoint, I decided to stop in at Swatch. About a month ago I had stopped wearing my vintage Rolex because the Sydney summer heat and humidity had caused it to fog up twice and I didn't want to spend any more money on another service. I asked the staff at Swatch what new products were on offer and she pointed to a range of automatic watches which looked superb. I had expected her to say that they were $500.0 or more each but it wasn't to be. Just $200 AUD! That's right, just $200 AUD got you an automatic watch that looked almost as glorious as an IWC but in a more sporty manner. I decided to try my luck and I took it back to the Studio and replaced the strap buckle with a rose gold deployment clasp. 

I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I am getting from knowing I have an automatic watch on my wrist that I can thrash around with, no worrying about fog and humidity, not worrying about scratching the face, easy to read, easy to change the date and time, in fact, easier than my vintage Rolex. 

Don't get me wrong, I love gold and diamonds, sapphires and platinum, crocodile and ostrich leather and everything that goes with the turf of the high-end watch brands, but sometimes in the thick of a sporty summer you just don't need anything more than an inexpensive knock around watch. And this one is just magnificent. Take a look for yourself.

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