Business Today

Bold and Beautiful

Connoisseurs want brands that focus on craft and mechanism
Nikki Rajan   New Delhi     Print Edition: September 24, 2017
Bold and Beautiful
Nikki Rajan is Co-promoter of Time Avenue, a Mumbai-based luxury watch retail store (Photo: Rachit Goswami)

My passion for luxury watches started 15 years ago when I married into the family of the oldest luxury watch retailer in the country.

Before my marriage, whenever I visited my would-be in-laws, they showed me their vintage collection. It contained pocket watches, jewellery watches and classic watches, which looked simple but were handcrafted. That was when I realised that watchmaking is an art.

My fascination for watchmaking deepened when I visited the factory of Roger Dubuis in Geneva. The factory hardly looked like one, though. There were these colourfully dressed youngsters who were having a lot of fun while they handcrafted watches. They were painting the dials, which was a painstaking process. My heart melted when they put the clay to bake, and if it cracked, they had to do the entire painting again. Nevertheless, those craftspeople were so positive and lively. It was an amazing experience.

My first luxury watch was a Bucherer, a wedding gift from my husband. Over the past 15 years, I have become the proud owner of 17 great pieces. I love my Hublot and the classic Rolex Daytona, an all-gold baguette with a black mop.

Trend wise, I would say women are not necessarily looking at petite diamond wrist pieces. They are keen on bold, sporty watches, which would make a style statement. Some of the popular brands in this space are Audemars Piguet, Hublot, Breitling, Chopard and Franck Muller. However, women love to flaunt something unique every time. Rolex may be their hot favourite, but they are happy to try offbeat boutique brands.

For men, watches are mechanical wonders. Gone are the days when men simply swore by brand names. Now they do hours of research on the mechanisms and craftsmanship that have gone into a piece. However, top brands still hold sway. Audemars Piguet, A Lange Sohne, Breguet and MB&F are some of the most-sought-after men's brands nowadays. And I intend to get an Audemars Piguet for my collection soon.

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