Quantcast
Latest Stories

Affordable-luxury watch brand Savoy opens first Asia boutique in Manila

By

HOT PINK is the trend for Savoy ladies’ watch

If fashion tends to lack creativity and individuality these days, the same could be said with the cookie-cutter look of watches.

To get out of the  industry design doldrums, Pascal Savoy, president and CEO of Savoy Collections, came out with a watch with a unique casing and straps with changeable inserts.

“When retailers put out watches in their showcases, you can’t tell which watch belongs to which brand,” said Savoy (pronounced “savWah”). “We created a brand in which the watch shape is unique—the squarish barrel with a round face.”

The watch is also distinguished by the silicon straps with black or gold metal inserts that create a different look.  These accessories enable the wearer to customize the watch according to his or her liking.

“It’s completely new in the industry,” declared Savoy, who came to Manila to launch Asia’s first Savoy boutique at the New World Hotel. It is distributed by Timebound Trading, headed by banker Arthur “Chito” Bautista.

Prominent figure

A prominent figure in the watch industry, Savoy, 45,   worked for the Richmond Group, which owns luxury brands such as Cartier, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Montblanc. He then went to Florida to raise the profile of certain luxury watches and became president of Hublot in America.

In 2004, he established his own watch brand with his wife Lola as the vice president and creative director. The Savoy Collections is backed up by the Swiss-based International Luxury Group, one of the world’s leading fashion companies.

With price points of $1,000 to $2,000 (P50,000-P100,000, including taxes), Savoy positions itself as affordable luxury.

The watch appeals to two kinds of buyers—established individuals who buy $10,000 watches but are weary of overspending, and younger consumers who want to enter the luxury market without breaking the bank.

Gunmetal is this season’s color for men’s watch. Carbon fiber inserts adorn the watch.

“People who buy high-end watches don’t want to wear them often. They want to be careful in the streets. When traveling, the watch is stored in the hotel’s safe. At the end of the day, you don’t want to wear the watch. We want a quality watch that you can use. For $1,000, it’s neither cheap nor expensive.”

Savoy said many luxury brands are costly because of their high profile and image.

“The complication of the case, the movement (the mechanism that determines the time), and what you put inside influence the price of the watch. When you see Leonardo DiCaprio saying, ‘I love my Tag Heuer,’ or James Bond (Daniel Craig) promoting the new Omega, it costs a fortune to pay these people. The consumer pays for the marketing.”

Although Savoy employs the same high-end manufacturers that produce timepieces for the other luxury brands, he is conservative with his advertising.

“That’s why I created Savoy. There is no need to be expensive. You can have a nice watch that is different at an affordable price.”

Understated elegance

Although Savoy is not a fashion watch that follows trends, it is attractive because of its understated elegance. The watch styles follow the current trend for big timepieces—40-45 mm in width compared to the standard 35 mm for men.

Although the women’s watches are 35 mm, they are still big for delicate wrists, yet chic enough as a bangle. The most popular styles come in gun metal as an option for black. Men also favor the carbon inserts.

On the other hand, women can change their inserts according to the seasons, such as white for the summer and black for the fall-winter. Hot-pink watches have been selling well and turquoise is making a comeback.

PASCAL Savoy: “The watch is a personal expression.” PHOTOS BY NELSON MATAWARAN

Savoy said high-quality watches bear the “Swiss Made” acknowledgement at the bottom of the dial. A “Swiss Made” watch must follow certain criteria. Foremost, it must have the Swiss movement. This means that the parts are Swiss in origin and must comprise at least 50 percent of the movement’s total value, and that the mechanism was assembled in Switzerland in a Swiss factory.

Further, the watch must be encased in Switzerland and the manufacturer is Swiss (Savoy hails from Geneva).

“If you follow these three legal criteria, then you can put ‘Swiss Made,’” which is something that you need to be careful of. Many brands claim Swiss movement or Swiss design, but it is not ‘Swiss Made.’ When they claim ‘Swiss Movement,’ the movement may come from Switzerland, but the parts or assembly may come from China.  They lure the customer into thinking it’s a good watch because it has Swiss movement. It may be better than some because of the Swiss movement, but it’s not a ‘Swiss Made’ watch. For us, it is important that we come as a Swiss watch. I am Swiss. This is a Swiss company. Everything is made and assembled in Switzerland.”

Great on the wrist

Asked how to distinguish the watch as a well-made accessory, Savoy said: “Even if I don’t attach it, see, it feels great on the wrist. The silicon we use is extremely soft. In metal, a certain weight is important. Some ladies’ watches are light because they are made of folded steel. It’s empty inside. A good-quality watch is made of solid steel. If the ladies’ watch is very light, then something is wrong.”

The executive added that details are important. “We sell  more chronographs (watches with stopwatch functions), which have counters and pushers. In the watchmaking industry, we call it complication. It tells you more than the time. In real life, do you use a timer? But it looks good on men’s watches. Men like mechanical  and intricate things. That’s why they are drawn to the chronograph.”

Savoy said men are changing their watches nowadays more often compared to 10 years ago. Despite mobile phones now serving as timepieces, watches remain an expression of personal style, especially for men, said Savoy.

Or as the New York Times quoted a watch retailer: “It’s still the ultimate look-at-me.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Lifestyle , Savoy Collections , watches



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  • Poe, Cayetano to colleagues: Shun formalities, let’s hear Napoles’ tell-all ASAP
  • Name names, Lacson dared
  • 4.6-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
    Marketplace