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Watches tell more than what time it is these days January 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion, Gadgets, Lifestyle.

There is one thing that Generation Next is always sure of: They know what time it is.

Cell phones, personal digital assistants, iPods, they all have timepieces. You’d have to be completely unwired to not know what time it is … and when’s the last time anyone under the age of 25 was completely unwired?

And yet, everyone is still wearing fine watches. What’s more, the fashion of the times calls for old-guard-looking chronographs often with “old school” Roman numerals. Roman numerals in the digital age; Einstein was right, it’s all circular … like fashion.

“You don’t buy a Cartier timepiece to tell time. You buy it to tell about you,” explained Mike Spezialetti, Assistant Vice President of Cartier. “It’s about the look,” echoed Mayors Senior Vice President of Merchandising Audrey Alvarez. “It’s not necessarily about the time.”

The industry knows that watches tell more than the time. It’s a game of exclusivity.

“We’re a designer-label society,” said Boca Raton, Fla.-based jeweler David Stern. “I’m not in the ‘need’ business. I’m in the ‘want’ business. Sure it’s a different generation now with all the computers. But the same person who drives a BMW, Mercedes or a Porsche is going to have a nice watch on. And he’s going to have his PDA too, and everything else with it.”

Stern says he carries the Swiss Dubey-Schaldenbrand brand of watches ($4,000 to $25,000) because of the exclusive limited edition qualities of the line. “It’s a watch-collector’s watch. People buy it because it’s unique and everyone wants something that’s one-of-a-kind.”

Bryan Reeves, technical research director of the Miami-based Philip Stein Teslar watches, agrees and says digital accessories aside, people love having an excuse to wear something decorative.

“I don’t care if you have a cell phone and an iPod on you, young people still love wearing beautifully designed things on their wrists. Young people love expressing themselves with their fashion and their jewelry and their electronics. They want something with all the bells and whistles; but also looks great.”

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