December 12, 2020
The revolutionary watch brand BA111OD introduces its second timepiece family with the Chapter 2 Diamonds Collection. It is a watch that builds on the success of the popular BA111OD Chapter 1, in a unisex form that opens up the wearing experience to female wearers. Founder Thomas Baillod of BA111OD watches explains that the Chapter 2 watch was designed as proof that women can appreciate an exciting, value-priced and Swiss-conceived watch as much as men. Early success seems to suggest he is correct.
In large order, Switzerland’s women’s watches feature basic dials with uncomplicated or unremarkable mechanisms on the inside. The BA111OD Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 watches feature an automatic movement with double balance wheels and an off-centered display of the time. Most of the movement is displayed dramatically through the open dial work. To further add a sense of elegance, the Chapter 2 watch removes the central seconds hand of the Chapter 1, with visual emphasis being on the dual “beating hearts.”
The Chapter 2 arrives in three variations that play with traditional notions of jewelry decoration on the watch dials. This includes mother-of-pearl, aventurine, and frosted finishing. The case is 42mm-wide in polished steel, with an AR-coated domed sapphire crystal over the dial that is much nicer in appearance than those on the majority of other timepieces at this price point. Ba111od opted to go with the beauty and values of laboratory-grown diamonds for each of the Chapter 2 Diamonds Collection watches. The pieces each have a total of 0.68 diamond carats set into the bezels. These are full-cut, VS to VVS clarity diamonds that are chemically identical to natural stones, just not with the cost and danger of mining them from out of the earth. They look like beautiful diamonds because they are diamonds.
A native of the Swiss watch industry himself, Thomas Baillod is an activist among his people. BA111OD is not just a new watch brand, it is also an advocate for a new community sales concept that could be valuable to a large swathe of brands out there. To buy a BA111OD watch (and thus benefit from the high-value proposition and Swiss brand characteristics) you must first sign up for the online Ba111od Community, and then purchase a watch via previous consumer who refers you or grants you a “right of purchase.” aBlogtoWatch Audience members are pre-qualified for a limited time. Via a link below, BA111OD Community guests coming from this article will have access to purchase watches without having to first be referred.
Thomas BA111OD espouses the wisdom of transparency in an industry that has been long known for a culture of intense discretion. Born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland’s “watch valley” (where most of the population works in watch industry professions), Baillod understood early on how a connected community of consumers — notably empowered by the Internet — has utterly changed the face of how watches in our modern era are bought and sold. This background and 15 years of experience working in international distribution for Swiss watch brands helped reveal to Baillod that the old strategy of building a stable, yet faceless “luxury maison” was cold and outdated as judged by today’s corporate image expectations. The new face of brand success are highly engaged companies that listen to consumers they wish to reach and build to match those community expectations.
For Baillod, all the logistical know-how, and highly-skilled talent base in Switzerland could easily adapt the art of making watches to contemporary business concepts. The manifestation of that is BA111OD watches, but the passion is also the community sales concept. It’s admittedly an experiment, but one that so far has captured more consumer momentum than many other competing online wrist watch sales business models. Accordingly, BA111OD does the exact same thing as most of its Swiss colleagues, which is leverage Asian-based manufacturing with Swiss-conception and oversight to bring a world-class product to highly discerning consumers. As Baillod puts it, “what people should understand is that the point of BA111OD was never to reinvent how watches are made. The revolution was to change how watches are accessed by consumers, passing cost savings on to buyers because the business model doesn’t require the traditional distribution network.”
Bailllod’s approach to sales is highly contemporary because it is predicated on the fact that many buyers will learn about watches they eventually purchase from other owners — versus product discovery in a retail setting. Participating in the concept to buy a timepiece can require a handful of additional steps when compared to simply visiting a normal e-boutique website. The principal differences are having to make a community account and the need to contact an existing owner for access to purchase. The extra investment of time tends to be more than worth it. Baillod coined the term “afluendor” to describe the role community members take. The word is a conjunction of “ambassador, influencer, and vendor.” It implies that on the Internet, consumers naturally play multiple roles, so why add middle-agents when it isn’t necessary. If a consumer is ultimately responsible for getting another consumer to buy a watch, shouldn’t that referring consumer be rewarded? More so, the concept isn’t meant to avoid the cost of marketing. Watch brands still need to inject their message into culture. Rather, it demonstrates a viable way to close the loop between watch sales and manufacturing — a viable long-term solution for many timepiece makers. Enduring because it both empowers the buyer and gives them a monetary benefit for buying and interacting with the (in this case) BA111OD Community. Baillod’s model has also gained the attention of some major traditional Swiss watch brands that may soon use his system to creation their own Community Sales Concept experiences.
Members of the BA111OD Community get points that (in short time) can translate into free watches and more, simply for granting others the right to purchase a BA111OD product. Each afluendor is both an enthusiast and a gatekeeper. This dynamic also adds an interesting social element to the status of being in a product ownership club.
Approximately 70% of BA111OD customers reside in the watchmaking part of Switzerland. Most other watch makers cannot make this claim, and this fact alone is a powerful signifier of how well the watchmaking community itself has responded to both the BA111OD Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 product, but also the community sales concept itself. Ba111od is now ready to broadcast the brand message to more markets, including the United States, where shipping is currently free.
BA111OD customers are ultimately responsible for the long-term success of the brand. Their satisfaction helps them refer more business, and making them happy ultimately improves brand values and product quality. BA111OD is a win-win for company and consumers. Next up for the company is BA111OD’s first Swiss Made product, a sports watch coming in the first quarter of 2021. Again, at a price no one will have expected.
Chapter 1 pieces are currently available, and the Chapter 2 Diamond Collection watches are starting to ship from, Switzerland mid-December — in time (for many customers) for Christmas. To make buying them easy, aBlogtoWatch Audience members who click the link below, can immediately purchase a BA111OD Chapter 1 or Chapter 2 watch after signing up for the BA111OD Community (a short, information-lite process). Price for the BA111OD Chapter 1 starts at 360 Swiss Francs (approx. $400 USD). Price for the BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds Collection is 595 Swiss Francs (approx. $670 USD). There is no VAT or customs for orders to the USA, where shipping is also currently free. Follow the steps below to learn more or order (below promotion is for a limited time only. Ordering otherwise simply requires approval from another BA111OD Community member, which can be requested from any Afluendor).
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