PARIS — S.T. Dupont is jumping into the market for timepieces, targeting younger consumers with an unusual dome-shaped watch with a clear, crystal glass face.
Executives at the French group known for sleek, luxury lighters and pens were hankering after something eye-catching, as it branches out into a new category.
“It’s different, that’s what’s important,” said Mounir Moufarrige, chairman of the label’s supervisory board.
“Who needs a new watch, the market is full,” he added.
The label’s chief executive officer Alain Crevet noted that the company first dipped its toes in the business nearly a decade ago, with a special edition for the French special police force called RAID.
“The French government wanted to mark the 25th anniversary of RAID with an object,” he said. Ruling out the idea of pens or lighters, the company set its sights on watches, selling the entire stock of 1,000 of the timepieces priced around 3,000 euros within two months.
Now, the company is seeking to appeal to a younger population with the six new Hyperdome models priced at 495 euros. Underneath the clear, domed watch face, the Swiss watch mechanics sit under a dome as well, covered in metal that appears to be oozing down the sides.
Be Exceptional comes in bright blue, while Be Elegant and Be Chic carry touches of gold.
At a launch event under a domed, glass room overlooking the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Crevet’s mother, Regine Crevet had her eye on a Be Elegant model with a white bracelet. The former Christian Dior model carried a silver-tipped cane with a handle shaped from a bat that jutted out like a gargoyle.
“They’re quite different,” she said, moving closer to a display. “I like big watches.”
Women’s handbags may be next for the Paris-based company, which tested the category in 2011 and makes an assortment of leather accessories for men, including card holders.