Reader Asks: Where Are All The Watches For Children?
At Quill & Pad we are often contacted by readers. Most are requests for information, but some lead to an exchange of opinions. A recent message from Thomas raises a good point – one that we rarely think about but which is important to the future existence of the watch industry: where are the watches for children?
The longer I enjoy the world of watches, and the more people I meet here and the more collectors I talk to, the more I ask myself, “Why don’t we include children, children’s watches, and more attention to this group of potential collectors and customers right now to ensure the future?”
I know it’s a bit boring, but I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard the “I started my watch collection when I was six” story.
I think there might be tons of child collectors on our planet. What makes me so sure? Every collector tells the same story about his past and about his first contact with watches.
“It started in my early childhood. I got a clock/a pocket watch/a diver’s watch from my father/grandfather/grandmother when I was six years old. And from this magic moment onward I was infected with the watch virus.”
Aha. Interesting to hear. If this is so, why do we only rarely (if ever) hear about the effect of children in the media or at fairs?
Why is there no “children’s watch” category at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève?
Children’s watches need to be small. Children’s watches need to be colorful. Children’s watches need to be easy to read and to operate. Children’s watches need to be less expensive. Children’s watches need good design.
Fair enough, all aspects stated above are nothing new. Why does nobody feel the need to give at least a little bit of attention to the world of watches for kids? Try something new, be open, take some risks, maybe it works.
Lower your prices at events and entrance fees for children at the fairs and see what happens the following year. And don’t just rely on the attraction of things like bonbon watches by Richard Mille (ultra-creative, but expensive).
You might even find your own past in early collections of must haves: the candy watch, the cut-out-paper watch, and the evergreen drawn-on watch.
Children are the future collectors; children are the generation set to carry on our passion for mechanical watches; children are future customers for the watchmaking industry. Will it really make us happy if the next generations jump to smartwatches, leaving craftsmanship, art, and passion aside?
Children certainly play some role right now, and it might be nice if we pay more attention to them.
Ever forward-thinking, A. Lange & Söhne pays attention to this group by supporting a children’s fund called Children Action, even auctioning one of the most spectacular watches of 2018, the Homage to Walter Lange, to the benefit of the charity in May of 2018.
As far as I see, that might be the beginning: a single step in a very heartwarming direction. Let us all be more human.