Trends: Interchangeable watches

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Let your shoppers play with time by offering versatile watch brands.

Whether it’s switching a strap or popping on a different bezel, interchangeable watches are big news for fashion brands and even a handful of luxury watchmakers. And with several watches in one, consumers will appreciate the versatility and value they offer.

The interchangeable phenomenon started with jewellery – versatile bracelets, pendants and even earrings that had charms and elements that could be mixed and matched to create a whole different look at each stage.

Now watches have followed suit with an influx of brands offering fun and adaptable timepieces with plenty of pop colour to boot.

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The most typical method of altering a watch’s appearance quickly and easily is a change of strap, and brands such as Moschino and Gucci are offering secondary straps with a number of watches, allowing wearers to slide out one style and pop in another. At Moschino the strap doubles up as a printed silk scarf featuring some of the brand’s recognisable icons such as the peace sign, hearts and chain designs.

American brand Glam Rock has a collection of watches with interchangeable metallic bezels in hues from silver and gold through to purple and green. Giving an element of playfulness to both gents and women’s timepieces, the brand enables its wearers to clash the style of their watch, or swap the bezel to match a particular outfit – great for seasonal, fashion-conscious consumers who might love to wear a forest green colour in winter but would prefer to switch to a sunny orange in summer.

The ability to pop-out the bezel and place it into a different coloured strap has been picked up by fashion-led brands Playwatch and Oclock. The latter has even signed a deal with Disney and has produced a collection of pop-out dials featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, pastel colour and tri-tone 80s-inspired neon timepieces.

Following on from its jewellery collections, Pandora has a line of watches made versatile through interchangeable faces, bezels and straps. Watches in the collection retail for up to £800, targeting a similar customer to its jewellery collections. The latest design to be added to the collection is called The Icon and has options of two-tone bezels and double-length wraparound straps.

Gucci’s U-Play watches have been on the market for a while and offer a high-fashion interchangeable watch. The timepieces allow the wearer to swap embossed Gucci logo leather straps for other styles such as black patent leather studded with the brand’s classic horsebit buckles, blue ostrich skin and leopard-print ponyskin straps.

Baume & Mercier has brought back its interchangeable Linea women’s collection, which was first released in 1987. The watches feature steel bracelets that unclip to be switched with leather straps, allowing the watch to either dressy or casual depending on the chosen strap retailing from £1,320. While the watch caters for fashion-conscious shoppers Baume & Mercier director Alexandre Peraldi said that it was also important for him that the timepieces are fitted with automatic movements to offer its customers a luxury touch.

So it would seem that while versatile watches are popular at the fashion end of the market, there is also a demand for watches that can offer multiple looks at the higher end of the price scale, as Baume & Mercier has shown. With watch shoppers becoming ever more price conscious interchangeable watches tick more than one shopping trends box, whether leather, steel or silicon.
 

 

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