Damian Otwinowski: I wouldn’t buy the Apple iWatchBaselworld may have come and gone but the interest in every gentleman's favourite accessory, continues to remain strong. I had the pleasure to catch up with the 36-year-old member of Watches of Switzerland family, Damian Otwinowski - Retail Director of their London flagship showroom on Regent Street and get his unique industry insight into the world's biggest watch event. What was the most exciting watch at Baselworld this year? There never is one. My personal favourites include the new Rolex black and 18 carat everose gold version Yacht Master - simply chic and sporty yet an aesthetically elegant timepiece. There was also the Patek Philippe World Time 5131R in rose gold - perfect for the world adventurer and any horology enthusiast. Are we seeing enough innovation in the watch making industry? We will, more and more - Apple will change the way new generation looks at horology and this is our new future client. Most of my conversations had something in common and that was talk about wearable technology including collaborations between Tag Heuer and Google, Intel and Gucci, Will.i.am and Nixon with its Ultratide watch - all voicing their presence in the smartwatch market.
the Apple iWatch is more a gadget than timepieceWould you ever buy a watch that wasn’t Swiss-made or include Swiss movement? I would as there are superb horology brands based outside of Switzerland as well and our portfolio of brands within Watches of Switzerland includes brands from outside of Swiss manufacture. How many watches do you own? I own 2 so far. I am building my collection, from a novice who looked for perfect watch a couple of years ago, to a now passionate enthusiast who cannot decide on one watch and most likely never will. Which is your favourite? I wear a Zenith Doublematic - my mini office and travel guide on the wrist. What’s next on your wish list? A perpetual calendar on a strap. Either a Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Sohne. If you had $10,000 right now, would you buy an Apple iWatch? I wouldn’t simply because I like the story on my wrist and I like the sound of the movement. Being part of generation 'X', I am all for improvements in technology but the Apple iWatch is more a gadget than timepiece. Perhaps if I was much younger I might have felt differently. What would you buy instead with $10,000? Only $10,000? 😉 That’s £6,707 with today’s exchange rate so it would have to be one of the vintage pieces from our Watches of Switzerland selection - a vintage Rolex made in a year I was born, a vintage Vacheron Constantin or a vintage Patek Philippe.
Rolex, Cartier and Patek Philippe to Rado are of greatest interest to my Asian clienteleWhich brands in general do your Asian clientele favour? It will be impossible to pick one. Brands from Rolex, Cartier and Patek Philippe to Rado are of greatest interest to my Asian clientele. Why do you think that is? Young Asian clients will be more adventurous and more knowledgeable about timepieces and watches therefore will demand more. We often but we also speak to brand influenced clients who follow a specific brand and have that in mind when visiting our showrooms. Rado is one of the biggest advertisers in Asia and we see that when speaking with our visitors. Rolex is the brand you do not need to introduce to anyone and that is also a strong influence for first time shoppers and those who want a timepiece that highlights their status. Finally - the one watch every man should own? The one that you would never give up, change or not wear. A manual winding mechanism with a perpetual calendar. We can certainly help you find the right one at Watches of Switzerland.
For more information please feel free to meet with Damian at the Watches of Switzerland Regent Street showroom or visit their website.
Which is your favourite watch brand? Tweet Gary @garygsingh.
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