It’s Time To Take Women, Their Watches, And Their Opinions Seriously In The World Of Horology
For many years, high-end luxury brands have flirted with courting women as an untapped consumer group of prospective buyers.
I say flirted because, for the majority of brands, the attempt hasn’t really come across as serious. And for another, the resulting watches for the most part reflected that the attempt wasn’t serious. This has not gone unnoticed by the female watch-buying public – though, I will say that I have seen a few really good, serious candidates in 2016 (see Best of Baselworld 2016: The Top 5 Ladies’ Watches).
Women are now taking more of the decision-making process into their own hands, notably by raising voices in a way to help the brands understand what they could be improving and what women consider good.
Two events set to take place in late 2016 underscore this movement.
The inaugural Eve’s Watch Awards in London
Celebrating the world of women’s timepieces, the Eve’s Watch Awards is the first exclusively female-focused award ceremony in the history of watches. The elegant invitation-only ceremony is set to take place on the 24th floor of iconic London landmark The Shard on October 20, 2016.
The awards, dedicated to celebrating and acknowledging women’s watches, are organized by the founders of the UK’s only specialist women’s watch magazine, Eve’s Watch, which was founded in 2013.
A full spectrum of the women’s watch market will be honored: high jewelry creations, complex haute horlogerie, and fashionable brands capturing mass-market attention are all included in the 12 award categories. These are: Best Jewelry Watch, Best Fashion Watch, Best Design, Best Smart Watch, Buyer’s Choice, Best Complication, Collector’s Choice, Best Innovation, Best Unisex Watch, Brand of the Year, Watch of the Year, and Woman of the Year.
The experienced all-female judging panel comprises influential, informed, and authoritative female watch specialists, journalists, fashion editors, and collectors, including extraordinary watchmaker Rebecca Struthers, Revolution UK’s editor-in-chief Tracey Llewellyn, freelance watch, jewelry, and fashion specialist Avril Groom, fashion writer Gaia Geddes, UK InStyle fashion editor Robyn Kotze, Laura McCreddie and Jane Trew of Eve’s Watch, and collector Alice Jonsdottir Ferrier as well as myself.
The Buyer’s Choice winner has been chosen by a collective of the most esteemed buyers from leading UK retail outlets including Aurum Holdings (Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Mappin & Web, Watch Hut, Watchshop), Signet Jewelers (H Samuel, Ernest Jones), Amazon, and DM London (The Watch Gallery).
The Popular Choice Award, voted for by the readers of InStyle, Marie Claire, woman&home, Livingetc, and Country Life as well as Eve’s Watch among others, will also be presented on the night.
You can vote for your favorite at www.eveswatch.com/popular-choice-vote. Voting closes on October 2, 2016, and all voters will be entered into a prize draw to win £3,000 toward a holiday of their dreams, courtesy of luxury travel experts Destinology.
“Women’s watches have long been overlooked,” says Larissa Trew, co-founder of Eve’s Watch Awards, “but the incredibly positive reception we’ve received to the inaugural Eve’s Watch Awards proves that there is an appetite for positive coverage and acknowledgement in this area of the market. The Eve’s Watch Awards judging panel is a group of women with unparalleled watch knowledge, experience, and expertise ready to celebrate the craftsmanship and innovation specifically designed for women’s wrists.”
6 female jurors at 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève
Another first occurs in the 2016 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), where the 26-person jury (excluding 2015 Aiguille d’Or winners Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey) will this time also include six women. See Reflections On The 2015 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for a rundown of all winners last year, including the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision.
These include Italian editor-in-chief of Orologi – Le Misure del Tempo Paola Pujia, Korean journalist and trainer Heekyung Jung, and myself among the specialist writers.
And two very influential female watch retailers also join the fun for the first time: Kim-Eva Wempe, fourth-generation CEO of the 137-year-old Wempe chain of stores headquartered in Hamburg, and Tina Zegg, Swiss owner and managing partner of Zegg & Cerlati in Monte Carlo.
My guess is that all of this female confidence will bring a fresh breeze to the world of watches. I very much look forward to it!