More than ever, military influences sell timepieces
Fans of military-style watches captured more than a few new brands and
styles in the past year. From the newly Vendome-owned Panerai to the newly
expanded (in the United States) Tutima, military influences go beyond style
and into substance and specifications.
Choices are wider than ever for what consumers typically accept as the
military look big Arabic numerals, generous use of tritium or other
glowing indices, black dials, deep water resistance and, in some cases,
a 24-hour UTC (universal time coordinated, an international time standard)
indicator or dial.
Myriad brands rightly claim authentic military roots: IWC with pilots,
Breguet's French Air Force designs, Hamilton's use by the U.S. Army in World
War II, Panerai's watches for the Italian Navy, Bell & Ross/Sinn in
Germany and others.
Seen and requested just as often these days are brands with military
style but no direct military connection beyond a licensing agreement. Check
out the Timex Humvee or Citizen's Navihawk.
"Consumers want products that have been used by the government and
professionally," says Tutima President Jens-Deiter Halle. "Military
items give consumers instant respect and are sought after for their style."
Tutima, for example, distributes the German-made NATO Air Force Chronograph
and other watches for military use but also to jewelry stores. Tutima has
seen enough growth in recent years to add U.S. distribution and move to
larger facilities. The new address is Tutima USA Inc., 20710 Manhattan Place,
Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90501; (310) 381-2929, fax (310) 381-2930, www.tutima.com.
by Michael Thompson
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.