FEATURE: Pandora prepares to bolster business with new bracelet offer

It was the year 2000 and suddenly almost every woman was wearing the same bracelet, adorned with different charms. Or at least, nearly everyone knew someone with the iconic accessory.

Yes, that was when Pandora launched its signature charm bracelet concept – Moments – which took the industry by storm and became the centre of the brand’s universe.

Many believe the charm bracelet was the brand’s rst product, but in fact it was the last. Pandora started out first with a ring, followed by necklaces and pendants, with the charm bracelet joining the line after the founders discovered consumers were buying the necklaces and pendants to wrap around their wrists.

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After this discovery the original charm bracelet was created and has been credited for the brand’s global success.

Over time the initial sterling silver bracelet has been transformed and updated to offer consumers leather, cord, and gold options, and today consumers can make their piece unique with over 800 charms crafted in sterling silver, 14ct gold, Murano glass and enamel — ten of which are original designs from when the concept first launched.

While Pandora is currently on a mission to become a full jewellery brand known not only for its charms and bracelets, but rings, earrings and pendants as well, it will never neglect its roots. Charms still, and always will, remain at the heart of the business, so much so that its factory in Chiang Mai, which opened last year, is shaped like a charm bracelet.

Furthermore, charms and bracelets still account for a large proportion of profits.

In Q1 and Q2 of 2018, charms and bracelets combined accounted for three quarters of the brand’s global revenue.

While the brand says the charms category has been challenging this year, something attributed to consumers now wearing the charm-carrying bracelet with fewer pieces, it still represents a significant slice of the jewellery giant’s profits.

This year Pandora launched its first products designed by new creative duo Francesco Terzo and A. Filippo Ficarelli. While the biggest launch of the year so far has been Pandora Shine – a trend-driven collection of fashion jewellery crafted in sterling silver with 18ct gold plating – new silver designs across the brand’s categories have revealed a design direction leaning towards more modern and stylish pieces, which have been positively received in the UK. Now, the designers are hoping to bolster business with the launch of a new charm bracelet.

As Pandora is committed to leading and innovating the wristwear category, the company says it will launch new bracelet platforms as part of its 2022 strategy. The first of these being ‘Pandora Reflexions’, which hit the shops today.

The first new charm bracelet concept in five years hits the shops today.

Chief creative officer at Pandora, Stephen Fairchild, tells Professional Jeweller: “In 2000, we took the jewellery world by storm with the launch of our iconic charm bracelet, which was a truly global success and a coveted accessory all over the world. Now we’ve decided to do it again with the launch of a brand- new bracelet: a confident new design that speaks to the women of today.

“Pandora Reflexions is designed for unlimited self-expression; it’s a flexible new way for women to reflect their unique style.”

Available in sterling silver, Pandora Rose and Pandora Shine, the new charm concept features a mesh metal bracelet, which presents an updated and minimalist take on the original piece that boosted the brand’s global status.

Featuring a mesh design, the bracelets are flexible, sleek and comfortable, and can be worn alone or stacked together on the consumer’s wrist. They can also be locked to one another to create a statement cuff or choker.

Charms have been kept simple, with motifs including open circles, infinity symbols, and nods to love, and they feature built-in silicone grips that keep them in place. Consumers can also buy a clip on charm version of the popular Pandora floating locket.

As the name implies, the ultimate idea is for consumers to use the new charm bracelet to ‘reflect’ their style, creativity and personality.

The creative directors say of the concept: “It’s a new kind of bracelet that reflects the femininity and personality of its wearer. We wanted to offer women something that truly reflects them; their personal narrative, creativity and personality. Something that inspires them and other women. The bracelet’s clean aesthetic allows more room for playfulness and expression, and the fluid lines and clean look of the bracelet reflect modern femininity.”

Inspiration for the entire AW18 collection comes from the Renaissance.

Francesco Terzo and A. Filippo Ficarelli explain: “There are many parallels between the Renaissance and women’s empowerment.

“Renaissance is a French word that means ‘rebirth,’ a start of a new era. During the Renaissance, women started to step into their power, whether in art, literature or science. There were also many strong and inspirational female leaders like Elizabeth I of England and Caterina de’ Medici, queen of France, who helped pave the way for other women. Already then, jewellery was a vital part of self-expression.”

To celebrate Pandora Reflexions the brand will be hosting two launch parties, one in London and another in Manchester, for 200 press, celebrities, and influencers.

When asked how Pandora thinks the new concept will perform compared to the original, the CCO responds: “You cannot really compare. We have created a completely new platform for women to express and personalise their style with and share their inspiration, with modern mesh bracelets and statement charms in a range of metals.”

While Reflexions won’t be the brand’s only launch this season, it will be the main focus.

Stephen Fairchild concludes: “Charms will always be a key part of the brand. Charms have existed for thousands of years, and will continue to be a key part of our jewellery world.

“We are now proud to offer three bracelet platforms — Pandora Reflexions, Moments and Essence. Each collection has a distinct look, allowing women to express their unique style and themselves in different ways.”

For Pandora in the UK and Ireland, October will also see the brand welcome new managing director, Kate Walsh, to the helm.

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