Normally the domain of fancy jewelry boutiques and high-end department stores, some of the best known names in luxury watch making are now making their timepieces available online. Authentic watches from such well-known brands as Breitling, Baume et Mercier, Jaeger Le Coultre, Raymond Weil and Movado are enticing luxury watch buyers to buy online. One reason why these online stores have been so successful in selling luxury watches how easily you can search out the style you want.
Many customers start out on the manufacturer’s web site and search out the watch they want. Others find their watch in a blog or fashion article and then click on the links to find out how to buy it. However you end up finding a virtual watch retailer, you will find it is much easier to compare prices and styles from your living room than it would be to visit several luxury boutiques. The only challenge for the online shopper is making sure that the store is selling authentic watches.
Many replica watchmakers have cropped up over the past several years, which can make it difficult for consumers to be sure they are buying the real thing. Look for an online watch retailer with impeccable customer reviews, manufacturer’s warranties, and a 30-day money-back return policy, and only buy from a store that sells authentic watches only.
When it comes to watches, especially luxury watches, customers want to get what they pay for. With the value of the dollar shrinking, many smart watch companies are making their watches bigger. Even if it is just psychological, the average person still things bigger is better.
Take, for example, the Oris Aviation Big Crown watch. The name says it all. This men’s watch features a plexi-domed sapphire crystal over a stainless steel case that measures an impressive 44mm in diameter. With a wide selection of strap and bracelet options, an automatic winding movement, and a Guilloche anti-reflective black dial, these watchesare a great example of an oversized crown.
Another aptly named watch is the Concord C1 Big Date, with a case that measures 44cm in diameter. Its exacting construction houses over 40 individual parts, including a rubber coated ring that is there to protect it from scratches. These massive and striking men’swatcheshave a fluted screw-down crown that is crafted from rubber, steel and composite materials.
Lastly, from Jaeger LeCoultre comes the Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph which, while it doesn’t have the word “Big” in its name, comes in at a hearty 46.3mm in diameter. This is one of those watchesthat looks like it is made for action; with a black rubber strap, black dial, scratch resistant sapphire crystal, and water resistance up to 100 meters.
The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is the biggest event in the luxury watch industry and now it’s about to get bigger. Jaeger LeCoultre has announced that for the first time ever, if you can’t be in Geneva to attend this event, you can still be part of it by joining Jaeger’s webcast which takes place January 19 at 10:15AM EST.
For fans of luxury watches, this is how you can see in real time the new watches and collections that Jaeger will be unveiling.
It’s hard not to notice that the watch industry, one which has been around for hundreds of years and prides itself on doing things the old-fashioned way (many luxury watches are still hand-assembled) is changing gears and joining the online world. All watch brands now have websites, some undoubtedly better and more interactive than others, Facebook pages, iPhone applications and even Twitter accounts, but this webcast is, I believe, the first of its kind.
If you would like to submit questions for a Q&A session with Stéphane Belmont, Marketing Director for Jaeger, sign up here.
Jaeger- LeCoultre was founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre and is known for producing over 1,000 different calibers and who for years, was the backbone behind brands like Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.
In the world of premium watches, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie is the gathering of the best and the most prestigious. Major horology house Jaeger-LeCoultre marks the first SIHH after their 175th anniversary in 2008 with watches and designs that bring something really new and fresh to the industry. The Master Grande Tradition upholds the tradition of fine watchmaking that the company has preserved, while at the same time exploring new ground in timekeeping technology.
The novelties in the Master Grande Tradition are few, but each one is nothing short of monumental. First of the two innovations is the world’s first minute repeater that features a regulator display. The second novelty is the first ever perpetual calendar tourbillon. These new inventions just go to show how Jaeger-LeCoultre truly deserves its status as one of the best and most highly esteemed watch brands in the world.
This new creation has quite a number of complications going on under its face. Some of the Master Grande Tradition’s complications include:
a perpetual calendar
a digital display for the month, day of the week, date, phase of the moon, the year and the century
an indicator for AM/PM
Despite all the luxurious and beautiful trappings of the Master Grande Tradition, it hides some serious brawn and feats of engineering under that elegant face. An escapement made of diamond-coated silicium minimizes the friction that goes on between all the 401 components that were finished by hand. But even with all those features in there, the watch is far from bulky. The tourbillon, for example, weighs less than a third of a gram.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that a watch like this one is immensely valuable. If you ever happen to come face to face with a price tag for the Master Grande Tourbillon, just remember that it has:
a limited release of just 300 pieces (for the yellow gold version, at least)
a strap made from crocodile leather and a buckle closure of either platinum or gold
some of the newest technologies in the watchmaking industry to date.