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Watching out for novelty

Watch manufacturers are thinking positive for spring. Whether introducing more technically advanced designs or sportier styling, they’re counting on novelty as the key to success and are expecting strong increases in sales.

Seiko will focus on continued promotion of the technical advancements it introduced for fall. “We will continue promoting the analogue watch — with an automatic generator rather than batteries — and the watch with a two-handed analogue chronograph alarm for spring,” said Hal Wilensky, executive vice president of Seiko.

Wilensky also expects the bulkier, sporty watch to continue selling well. “Women are choosing both man sized watch dials and oversized women’s dials,” he noted. Estimating increases in sales of between 5 percent and 7 percent, he added, “Spring is not usually our best season, but because women are changing their watches more frequently, sales are continuing strong throughout the year.”

According to Mickey Callanen, president of the Callanen Group, “Classic is still the number one look for spring.”

Guess will update its popular round case watch with a white face by casting the Roman numerals and band in red, blue green, and it retails for $50.

Callanen expectes bright colors to sell well for the season, “Women wear watches in bright spring colors to match their outfits.” He also predicted that Guess’s multifunctional watches, with date and time zone changes on the dials, will be strong for spring.

Projecting 40 percent increases in sales for the Guess line, Callanen said he felt sales would be strong for the Monet line as well. With sales 80 percent above projected figures for fall, its first season, Monet will feature a chain style for its first spring season.

“The increased space in stores has helped boost sales. It allows us to display our watches in the best possible way,” Callanen pointed out. “Macy’s was the first to give watches the space and funding, and it has really helped to maximize sales in the watch business.”

“Sports watches always become extremely popular for spring, because people are more active then,” said Steve Hitter, president of Fila Fortron Watches. He expects the F95 to be Fila’s bestseller due to the colors and relatively inexpensive price. Made of plastic in a variety of seasonal colors (aqua, pink, red, white or blue), the watch retails under $100.

Hitter projects as much as a 250 percent increase over last spring’s sales, and citing the lines official worldwide launch this November Hitter, too, sees both classic and novelty styling as popular trends for the new season.

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