- limited to eight pieces, the diamond-encrusted (completely) Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie watch takes a 15 person team 1,800 hours of cutting plus 200 hours of quality control and sells for $1 million;
- the relatively normal looking Vacheron Constantin Tour de I’Ile has so many different displays - another time zone, an indicator of when the sun will set, a perpetual calendar - that it has an addition face...and goes for over $1.5 million;
- and then there's the Grand Complication, a function-laden, moon-phase-displaying marvel that A. Lange & Söhne sells for just under $2.5 million...
...so as you can see, in the wonderful - if wacky - world of uber-fancy watches, a mere five-figure pricetag is positively, well, downmarket. “At ten thousand dollars," notes Milton Pedraza, the C.E.O. of the Luxury Institute about the gold-encased Apple Watch Edition, "I would call that more of a premium watch."
Even the $20,000 competition seems to be getting a hallpass denied Apple in this persnickety market. "You never really own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” Their print ads thus position them like art: as an item which is likely to become more valuable over time, or, at the very least, not lose value - ie. an investment. “If you spent ten thousand dollars on an Omega gold watch, theoretically, in two years time, it should hold most of its value,” notes Bassel Choughari, a luxury-goods analyst at Berenberg. “What are you going to be left with in three or four years time with your fifteen-thousand-dollar Apple Watch?”
Typically, when purveyors of tech stuff like Apple release new products, even the most high-end wizardry is generally priced, at most, in the high hundreds of dollars. So it's understandable why tech bloggers would balk at the $10K Apple watch price. (Especially given that the guts of the gadget hidden inside the shiny casing are the same as its less spendy siblings.)
But Apple, to their credit, has been attempting to circumvent this pricepoint ghetto by placing their watch on the arms of high-profile fash types like former supa-model Christy Turlington, and thus establishing it as a must-have fashion accessory. "Apple might do well with the Edition watches to focus less on what the watch allows its wearer to do than on what it conveys to others about what the wearer has already done," adds Pedraza. “It’s about how people look at me and see me and how I want to be seen in the world...The finest luxury brands draw their prospective customers’ attention, instead, to what a product suggests about the owner’s acquired achievement." (image)
- Lesley Scott
This post pertains to the Supremium fashion tribe - spendy, style-conscious fashionistas that enjoy jetsetting, globetrotting and shopping their way across the globe. For more of my posts about the Supremiums, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.