Diamonds meet plastic in watches of ‘unconventional luxury’By Raoul J. Chee Kee
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Technomarine brand of watches, which celebrates its 16th anniversary this year, is determined to lure more female customers with its charms, using precious and fine stones polished and cut by hand.
A perfect example would be its Treasure watch, released last year, which incorporates blue and pink sapphires, purple amethysts, green tsavorite, golden spessartite, faceted diamonds and a ruby to mark a “hidden treasure.”
To lessen the “preciousness” of the piece, it is outfitted with a transparent plastic cover and a white silicone strap. The result is a watch that is both playful and unconventional.
“That’s what the brand is all about: unconventional luxury,” said Steven Sargent, Technomarine international sales director. “We’re known for mixing materials—precious and utilitarian—to come up with designs that catch the eye.”
These elements have not gone unnoticed by female buyers, who now account for 60 percent of volume sales of Technomarine watches outside the Philippines. In the country, the ratio of male to female customers is evenly split.
The brand’s local distributors recently introduced a new set of ambassadors, people whom they see as embodying the Technomarine ideal.
“These are people who are trendsetters,” said Jan Paz, assistant brand manager for Technomarine. “They do not follow the pack, they’re the ones who blaze a trail. They’re unconventional, and that’s why we chose them to be ambassadors.”
The four Technomarine ambassadors are TV host Bianca Gonzalez, basketball player Kiefer Ravena, soccer player Phil Younghusband and actress Heart Evangelista. The four were present at the launch on Sept. 17.
Sargent said that, aside from the Philippines, the only other regions that have Technomarine brand ambassadors are South America and Eastern Europe.
“Bianca, Kiefer, Phil and Heart are among the biggest names in their respective fields. These individuals are at the top of their game, and their time is now,” Paz said.
The presentation of the new endorsers coincided with the launch of new Technomarine collections, including the Cruise Ceramic line, the Dream Quest, the Steel Evolution and the Black Reef. Some of the pieces were on display at the venue during the launch party.
On the brand’s Facebook page, however, many of the styles seem to cater to women, like the Cruise Beach Collection, the Cruise Locker Range and the Cruise Dream Collection, which have details like dangling charms, precious stones and colored fish on the dials. Paz pointed out that the three collections “cater to different kinds of people.”
“The Cruise Beach Collection aims to attract vibrant travelers who have a strong affinity with the sea and beaches. The collection features different flowers from famous beaches around the world: an orange sunflower from the Mediterranean; a blue hibiscus from the Bay of Bengal; a purple orchid from the Caribbean; and a pink lotus from the China Sea,” he said.
He added that the Sparkling Locker models were released to complete the successful Locker Family, with more feminine and mature options that display the latest fashion color trends, making the watches ideal accessories for strolling along the beach or going shopping.
“The Cruise Dream Quest, meanwhile, continues Technomarine’s Treasure story from last year when we launched the Cruise Dream Animals. The collection aims to sweep you into fantasy, offering designs that are charming, refreshing and fanciful,” he said.
Lest men feel they’ve been forgotten, the Black Reef collection was inspired by one of the world’s most popular diving destinations, the Australian Black Reef. These watch models are water-resistant to 500 meters, robust, luxurious and sporty.
The other current men’s lines are the Cruise Evolution and the UF6.
“The Steel Evolution is a sporty watch that fits in with a smart environment. It boasts of Technomarine’s signature interchangeable strap system while being a fresh interpretation of a steel chronograph,” Paz said.
A unique feature is the stonewashed case that seems to have been sculpted over time.
Paz described the UF6 Chronograph Grande Date collection as one where elegance meets power. “These are refined timepieces that are the pinnacle of masculine sophistication. Each model takes design cues from the world of yachting, most noticeably in their unique high-sheen shades. Their carefully textured case sides mimic the waves of the ocean, and the arrangement of the dial resembles a yacht’s instrument panel,” he said.
The new collections from Technomarine are now available at stores.