August 25, 2009
Swarovski is making bold moves, ladies! (Guys, be at least idly aware).
While other brands are scaling back and trying to focus on how to stay relevant in these times – Swarovski is taking their beloved crystals and developing their own line of watches, to properly exhibit the beauty – on a timepiece.
My initial thought upon seeing the new line of watches from Swarovski was that it looks so familiar… I tried to think of the exact predominantly women’s brands that it reminded me of, and then I realized – all of them. Chanel – Dior – Nixon – Tag Heuer.
You cannot escape those immediate parallels. The comparisons to the Dior Christal Collection and the Chanel J12 are too clear. But, with changing markets and a severe change in consumer spending, it is adaptations like this – with crystal instead of sapphires or diamonds – that will really help people and brands carry through to the other side of this recession. Give them what they want – compromise a little it – and still get a great product.
And a totally wearable one at that.
While the line is still in its infancy, Swarovski is already proving how in touch they are with women, fashion, and timepiece trends, by designing various, fashion-forward and classic collections. With that in mind, Swarovski has created a Sports Collection that actually impresses me. I’m usually very critical of Sports Watches for Women – as SO many brands have created such out of touch ones. But even with the expected addition of Crystals here, it works.
Too often Women’s Sports Watches are just smaller versions of men’s models. Or, a men’s model is recreated smaller and with dashes of pink. Because all sporty women like pink… right…. Which is definitely not a fault of Swarovski, but maybe the whole subset? Either way, this new Swarovski Octa Sports Ladies’ Watch reflects the consistent trends of women’s Sports watches today, in a very moderately priced, yet visually appealing case.
The Swarovski Octea Sports Lady features their beautiful crystals encircling a 39mm case! That’s pretty big! It’s solid – hefty – stainless steel with crystals… You must be a strong woman to wear this. And an adventurous one at that! With a traditional diver’s watch as its inspiration, the Swarovski Octea Sports Ladies’ Watch is complete with rotating bezel, to keep track of your dive, and a very easy to read date indicator.
No sports watch would be complete without a comfortable and totally durable rubber watch strap. Being that this is from Swarovski, of course, there are six crystals accenting the watch strap, to complete the overall aesthetic of fun (there is a full bracelet available as well). My one concern about those crystals, though, is how comfortable/durable they would be while wearing this… If it’s a sport watch, it must be able to hold up in more extreme conditions. I would have to test this out to know for sure – but I doubt I would keep this on while, say, working out or hiking.
Either way, the watch is beautiful to behold. With varying degrees of clarity in the crystals featured, it’s very dynamic and mystifying to observe. In addition to the obvious branding of the crystals, the branding present on these models are elegant and pretty low key. The simple Swarovski Swan at the 12 o’clock position is perfect, especially when how they could have handled this is considered.
With the changing climate of consumer spending, even in the once-sacred luxury goods market, brands such as Swarovski are poised to do well – if they keep at it correctly. Everyone loves crystals… Even when they say they don’t, they do. They catch your eye when the light hits it – they match ANY outfit – and are just fun. And, when it comes to Swarovski, there really is no other brand – company – designer out there that do crystals like Swarovski does crystals. They are the masters.
And the price… wow ladies, this really can’t be beat.
Now that Swarovski is branching out into watches, though, they seriously need to improve their website. They have such an enviable product, with great name recognition, that they need to position themselves more as a luxury item.
While the layout of the site is not great – not bad, but could use some tweaking – it’s also progressive to see them featuring e-commerce already on this new line. It’s a smart way for a brand to be accessible, but still exert control over their own brand and pricing strategy. And with their retail prices fluctuating between $800-$850, it’s definitely a line that will be appeal to – and be attainable – to many more brand loyalists.
Swarovski was smart, using their materials on other brands to build their name. And as their success grows, it’s even more exciting to see the history of this brand and the beauty of their crystals being used in trendy, contemporary yet classic designs.[Ed. Note: I really like this Octea watch line. One that I am jealous is only for women (but take that comment for what it is worth). The type of timepieces that I would buy for a woman, for her to wear… so I could sort of enjoy it vicariously through her]