There is marketing and then there is brilliant marketing. Go shopping for watches and you may find yourself discovering a new goldfish bowl. The large Spanish watch group Festina (and brand of course) has recently started putting water-filled clear plastic bags on shelves with the newest versions of their Profudno dive watches in them. This isn’t the first time a watchmaker has put a water resistant watch actually in water, but as far as we know it has never before been done like this. The brilliant concept is thanks to a Berlin-based agency called Scholz & Friends.
“Profundo” translates from Spanish into “deep.” While these watches aren’t deep under water, the message here is that they can stay in water for apparently very long lengths of time and be perfectly OK to be removed from the bag and be put on your wrist. It helps that the bags are filled with distilled water. What I like is that the retail packaging totally sells the concept of the watch. Nothing is said on the front except the name of the brand and the slogan “engineered for water,” which has clearly been adopted from IWC’s slogan of “Engineered for Men.”
The Festina Profundo 6692 watch is likely a brand new model as it doesn’t seem widely available yet. Coming in a few dial styles, the Profundo is 42mm wide in steel and water resistant to 200 meters. The dive-style watch has a rotating diver’s bezel and comes in orange, yellow, blue, and black dial colors. Inside the watch is a Japanese Miyota quartz movement. The divers strap is either silicon, plastic, or rubber. We aren’t quite sure since Festina merely refers to the material as “gummy.”
Will other watchmakers follow suit? Perhaps. Though it is important to recall that the Profundo is a relatively inexpensive timepiece, and we don’t expect to see $5,000 dive watches sitting for months in water. But just imagine you are a customer in a watch store and see a watch in a bag filled with water. Your inclination is going to be to pick it up, see that the watch is working, and examine it for rust. Assuming all is good it does send a powerful message about durability and utility.
The Festina 6692 (F6692) watch should be available more widely soon. We’d buy one and leave it in the bag as decoration. The collection includes the F6692/1 (black dial), F6692/2 (blue dial), F6692/3 (yellow dial), F6692/4 (orange dial), and F6692/5 (black dial with different hands and hour markers). Price is about $130. festina.com