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PARIS — Chaumet is expanding its watch offering, with launches in both fine jewelry and its more accessible Liens range.
This story first appeared in the January 22, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Paris-based jeweler is unveiling the novelties on the sidelines of the SIHH trade fair taking place in Geneva this week.
“We are very interested in watches because it is a form of jewelry that is more easily worn than jewelry in general,” said Thierry Fritsch, president of Chaumet. “Fine jewelry is often worn in the evening, while a fine jewelry watch can be worn all day.”
Fritsch said demand for fine jewelry watches was outpacing demand for other forms of precious jewelry, helping to boost sales in its watch division, which accounts for roughly 30 percent of Chaumet’s turnover.
Currently topping watch sales is the Liens range, launched last October. Having introduced it as an automatic watch with a 33-mm. case, Chaumet is now adding a smaller version aimed primarily at the Asian market. Available in six variations, the new version is 27-mm. wide and comes equipped with a quartz movement.
Due to launch worldwide in April, the new Liens timepieces start at 2,400 euros, or $3,250 at current exchange, for a steel version with a navy leather strap, establishing a new entry price point for Chaumet watches. Prices including tax go up to 15,000 euros, or $20,300, for a diamond-studded yellow gold version.
“We try to have accessible price points, but that is not where the majority of our sales take place. The average sale price for a Liens watch, for instance, is more in the region of 4,000 euros,” said Fritsch.
“The segment of fine jewelry watches is growing much faster than the rest of the watch division, so overall, our average prices are increasing,” he added. “The fact that we are selling increasingly expensive fine jewelry watches must not prevent us from recruiting new customers.”
The house is addressing the fast-growing demand for exclusive timepieces with 12 new precious watches, including five models in the Attrape-moi…si tu m’aimes collection and seven additions to its recently launched Hortensia fine jewelry line.
Among the latter are two diamond-set tourbillon models with floral-patterned enameled dials, one in blue and one in white, each produced in a limited edition of 12 and priced at 200,668 euros, or $271,700.
Customers preferring a daintier model can opt for a delicate secret watch covered in sculpted hydrangeas set with diamonds, pink tourmalines, pink sapphires and pink opal. It retails for 89,000 euros, or $120,500.
Chaumet is also introducing an intermediary price point for fine jewelry watches with a trio of timepieces with mother-of-pearl dials featuring the hydrangea motif. Available with a black satin or white calf leather straps, they retail for 17,500 euros to 23,500 euros, or $23,700 to $31,820.