is proving to be the year that makers of luxury watches figure out a new way to advertise their products and “a la iPhone” seems to be the venue of choice.
Bell & Ross, Breitling, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre have all come out with their own iPhone applications, each offering more advanced features than the last.
Here’s a review of what each application offers:
Bell & Ross was the first luxury watch brand to release an iPhone app and it is the most basic.
Of course the app tells time, that goes without being said and offer the functionality of being able to shake the phone to recharge the automatic winding feature of the watch. There are numerous Bell & Ross watches that can be downloaded, with a choice of different colors and designs.
Bell & Ross specifically creates high-end watches for professionals such as air force pilots, deep sea divers, and anti-mine military squads among others. The inspiration for the functional design of their watches is taken from the one main instrument that all these professionals rely on the most: the dashboard and this functional priority takes precedence over design. In other words: “the essential is never compromised by the superfluous.”
Breitling was next up and compared to the iPhone applications that came after it, is also pretty basic in its offerings.
Breitling’s approach is a bit different than Bell & Ross’s in that the app promotes a single watch rather than the whole brand. The Breitling app focuses on one watch; the company’s newest chronograph called the Chronomat BO1.
The app gives an extremely detailed and precise description of the Chronomat BO1, including technical data, video and 360 views of the watch. A unique configurator allows for hundreds of possible customized versions of the model to be visualized. A point-of-sale location-tracking system enables the person to locate the nearest authorized Breitling retailer. With the release of Piaget’s iPhone app, things start to get interesting.
The Piaget app is specifically for one watch; the Polo FortyFive Chronograph GMT. This is a new sort of watch for Piaget to produce and one that Piaget wants people to see. The PoloFortyFive is a luxury sports watch that is named after the 45 minutes that a polo match lasts and showcases what is a “first” for Piaget – combining titanium, injected rubber and steel. The 45mm sized case is made out of titanium and has a sporty silver dial, index markers, and a rubber strap with steel hinges. The automatic movement is manufactured in-house with a flyback chronograph and second time zone GMT function, sweep seconds, and big date complication. The bracelet is crafted from stainless steel, titanium and rubber.
Piaget recently gave one of these Polo 45 Chronographs to Fernando Torres, the well known Spanish soccer player who plays for both the Liverpool and Spanish national teams, to facilitate the image that Piaget can also make a great sports luxury watch.
Like the actual watch, which is quite handsome and stylish, the iPhone app gives the user an attractive way of seeing what time it is, while also being able to measure independent intervals of time. The app actually mimics the flyback function of the watch and permits the user to start a new time sequence without having to stop the central chronograph hand.
Like all other luxury watch brand apps, there is a “localization” feature which allows users to locate the closest Piaget boutique.
The last app to be reviewed here is by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Jaeger definitely takes this whole iPhone application concept to new levels.
On Jaeger-LeCoultre’s website the app is described as: “Driven by the passion for horological technologies and faithful to its avant-garde spirit, Jaeger-LeCoultre is opening the first iPhone watchmaking initiation school.”
Yes. You can actually take online classes and learn how Jaeger assembles some of its most well known watches, such as the reverse Squadra model. There are six classes to choose from. During these classes the user will learn and even get to practice certain techniques like assembling a chronograph mechanism, decorating and jewelling a movement and polishing, engraving and gem-setting the case.
The best and most enticing part of the Jaeger-LeCoultre app? If you download it, take the class and do well, you will be entered into a drawing where one winner gets selected and then sent on a trip to Switzerland to see the Jaeger manufacture.
As the these apps get better and better, who’s to know which luxury watch brand will come out with the next one and what it will offer. The competition is on. Who’s next?
Copyright (c) 2009 Chandra L Coleman