April 9, 2013
Luxury watch marketers are coming together to target affluent New Yorkers for Madison Avenue Watch Week 2013 presented by The Wall Street Journal.
The third edition of the event is taking place this week with the Madison Avenue Business District. Brand participants include Antiquorum Auctioneers, Asprey, Blancpain Boutique, Breguet, Buccellati, Chopard, David Yurman, De Grisogono, F.P. Journe, Fabergé, Georg Jensen, Girard-Perregaux, Graff Diamonds, Hublot, Montblanc, Porsche Design, The Frick Collection and Vacheron Constantin.
“We began partnering with the Madison Avenue Business District in the development of Watch Week three years ago to show our support of the luxury watch industry and manufacturers, many of whom are longtime advertising partners with the Journal,” said Paul Tsigrikes, executive director of business development at The Wall Street Journal, New York. “This partnership also underscores our commitment to the New York market and to our readers’ passion for timepieces and collecting.
“This program allows watchmakers to reach the Journal’s powerful and influential audience, many of whom are affluent watch purchasers and collectors,” he said. “It also leverages the power of the Journal’s marketing, promotion and creative teams to drive awareness and sales for individual brands.”
Stroll down the block
Watch boutiques on Madison Avenue are hosting watch week events up until April 13. Consumers can find a listing of events on http://madisonavenuewatchweek.com and in a special advertising section of the April 6-7 weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Special ad section
Watch brands are hosting invitation-only events such as special exhibits, seminars and receptions as well as public watch exhibits during the week.
Consumers can request invitations to private events through the Madison Avenue Watch Week site.
Daily events include a private viewing of the 2013 collection at Hublot’s 692 Madison Avenue boutique and a Watch 101 seminar at Porsche Design’s 624 Madison Avenue boutique.
Fabergé hosted one exclusive cocktail party April 8 at its 694 Madison Avenue boutique, while Georg Jensen is holding the private unveiling April 10 of the Koppel Limited Edition 925 during a reception and cognac tasting.
Towards the end of the week, Breguet will host a demonstration with one of its watchmakers April 11 and 12 at its 779 Madison Avenue boutique.
“By combining forces, these watchmakers create an event that is not possible individually,” said Kathleen Fischer, marketing manager at Boston Retail Partners, Boston.
“The watchmakers benefit by being able to introduce themselves to customers who may normally shop the competition,” she said. “They also benefit by creating an event that will gain much more interest than an individual event, both from the media and potential customers.”
Luxury marketers across all categories host private events to target their best customers and prospects.
Lately, watchmakers have been hosting private events to flaunt limited-edition timepieces.
For example, Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen is tapping consumer excitement for New York’s Tribeca Film Festival with a special-edition watch line and auction of a one-off timepiece.
The watchmaker partnered with Hearst’s Esquire magazine to host an event April 3 at its New York flagship boutique where it unveiled the one-off timepiece and encouraged attendees to participate in the auction (see story).
In addition, Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer celebrated the 50th anniversary of its iconic Carrera timepiece collection through an exclusive event to show off the watch's history along with the vehicles that inspired it (see story).
Madison Avenue Watch Week encourages both public and private events. Therefore, watchmakers are likely targeting aspirational shoppers and tourists while offering a more tailored experience to those who have the means to buy.
“This particular event teases-out the watch collector, perhaps no different than Art Basel brings out the art collector,” said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami. “This is the watch version of Fashion’s Night Out.
“There is a camaraderie amongst collectors,” he said. “The brands may be competing, but they have a common interest to ensure that their watch category keeps its buzz.
“Intelligent marketers understand the value of working with those who share a common interest. Isolation is brother to ignorance.”
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York