By and  on August 18, 2009

PARIS — Forget about diamond bezels and the splashy red carpet. High-end watchmakers are suddenly trumpeting more benevolent initiatives instead as a way to maintain their brand profiles in a tough and sensitive market.

“The crisis we are going through has brought a general trend toward sobriety and, at times, a guilt complex toward luxury,” said Manfredi Ricca, an expert with London-based branding consultancy Interbrand. “But for those brands that rely on excellence, such as the art of jewel making or the perfection of watch mechanisms, being benevolent means adding another facet to their excellence.”

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