Markus B. from Vienna, Austria asks:
On the plus side, fashion manufacturer watches are often quite well designed and of a high quality. The component that some people dislike about such watches with famous titles is a plus aspect to other people. Also, and while this isn’t a universal rule, these brands often have access to quite good suppliers or substances that just the largest brands have use of. I’d say that in the end, it actually depends on the individual. Some people are totally OK (or perhaps eager) with the idea of wearing a watch from a significant fashion label, along with others for both legitimate motives simply will not go close to them. Because of this luxury fashion watches are among the most controversial things in the world of watches.So assuming you are the type of person who is enthusiastic about wearing a Chanel, or considering giving it a chance, there’s a lot to enjoy regarding the J12 mainly because of the black porcelain material and the layout. Though if you would like to put on a white one that is OK also. Having said that, Chanel hasn’t released a matte version of the white J12. The black versions include a few matte models, which is one of these. Matte-finished ceramic is really simpler to create compared to the polished ceramic but was not thought to be especially stylish compared to the polished ceramic that is highly scratch resistant and never loses its colour. Matte is also quite hard, but the finishing leaves it just a bit less scratch resistant than glossy ceramic – though it is still quite hard.As I discussed in the video portion of this inspection, I believe that Chanel started to release matte versions of this J12 for 2 reasons. First was because they wanted to see how they might appeal to a male demographic. Engineered ceramic is certainly a bit more masculine than glossy ceramic. Second, and I don’t have any method of verifying this, I think that the prevalence of folks giving their cars matte-finished paint jobs was a variable Chanel may have considered. Irrespective of why Chanel started to concentrate on matte versus strictly polished ceramic, how does it look?
I realized that more and more fashion brands are “poaching” in the haute horlogerie district – like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, but also Ralph Lauren, Gucci, or Hilfiger. What is your opinion on that matter? Are these fashion-watches worth anything (a few of them cost like a years income) from the watch-aficionados point of view? And: do fashion brands actually need watches in their portfolio?
This is a good question that people in the watch world bring up all the time. There is no simple answer, but it is worth understanding from a larger level why this is an issue. For decades, watches have been considered an element of fashion, in addition to objects of utility or passion. In most mainstream consumer magazines, they fall under the “accessories” category, and most watches historically were sold in department stores between the suit and sock departments.
Considering that people were buying watches to go with their outfits, clothing companies started to offer their own watches. This seems to have mostly started in the 1980s when it became very cheap to mass-produce watches in Asia. Today, most larger fashion labels have some manner of watches to sell. Though the reality is, the quality and respectability of these watches can vary dramatically. And there really isn’t a clear correlation between the value of the brand and the value of their watches.
Unless you are Michael Kors (whose watches, while extremely popular, are not particularly special – and made by Fossil), your watch sales arm isn’t that profitable compared to your clothing business. Brands like Ralph Lauren, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Louis Vuitton who have very high-end timepieces, tend to use them as halo products as opposed to major money-makers. These products are there to elevate brand image, and to appeal to certain customers who wish to have a complete “brand experience.” Though, the consumer reality is that the more expensive fashion label watches are, the less willing people are when it comes to buying them.
I think the world of haute horology merely tolerates these brands but isn’t particularly thrilled with them. It is often the view that many of these brands incorporate existing designs and try to pass them off as their own, or they don’t offer anything particularly special. However, that isn’t universally the case at all. Though, in many instances, consumers end up paying “designer-name premiums” for fashion watches that would otherwise be much lower-priced. Having said that, we are happy to admit that there are plenty of fashion brand watches we like to wear.
Brands like Gucci, Bulgari, and Chanel have very long and interesting histories making great watches. It just takes some experience and research as a discerning consumer, to learn which labels make watches worth looking at, and whose timepieces you may feel are better left for “everyone else.”
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