When it comes to lifestyle watches, people behind Puma Time believe there’s nowhere to go but big—from ladies’ watches with a standard 44-mm dial to unisex timepieces with an attention-grabbing 50-mm dial.
Hong Kong-based Puma Time, a licensee of Germany-based Puma sports and lifestyle brand, recently launched its holiday collection of Ultrasize watches in Manila. The brand is exclusively distributed locally by L Timestudio.
Consisting of timepieces made of brushed stainless steel and matte cases combined with polyurethane, stainless steel link or leather bracelets, the collection comes with a number of features unique to Puma Time’s Ultrasize line: elevated hour/minute marks; oversized 3 at 15:00; and leaping Puma cat logo at 12:00.
Taking inspiration from timepieces used in motor racing, the brand has also introduced more styles with crowns positioned on the watches’ left-hand side.
Puma Time has been around producing tough and responsive performance watches for various sports activities. But its foray into lifestyle watches began fairly recently. To keep up with trends and in response to the market’s demand for watches with exaggerated proportions, it introduced its first line of Ultrasize watches sometime in 2012.
“We’re really mindful of the 65 years Puma, the motherbrand, has been around,” said Yael Marcus, brand executive of Puma Time Global. “It has a strong influence in everything we do as a watch company.”
Women also have a lot to do with Puma Time’s move to beef up its Ultrasize line. As its press material puts it, the ladies have been “begging, borrowing and stealing” their men’s watches for some time now to make a statement.
Ideal for women
“The 44 mm is ideal for most women,” said Marcus. “I wouldn’t say that the 50 mm is designed just for men. It’s more unisex. I’m a big woman, so I’ve made it a habit to wear a 50-mm statement piece.”
Marcus’ 50-mm analog accessory with an olive green leather strap even complements the color of her nails. Not a few women in Asia are happy with a 44-mm watch, but a growing number are now opting for the bigger 50-mm version, she said.
A seasoned and well-traveled design team based in Europe does all the designs. Puma Time’s Ultrasize watches are all battery operated and come with a Japanese-made movement.
Each piece is designed to withstand everyday activities of the wearer, including recreational runs in the park or routine visits to the gym.
If you have a more active, outdoor lifestyle, or are fond of extreme sports and weightlifting, Marcus recommends that you wear one of Puma Time’s sturdier performance watches.
The Ultrasize line may be waterproof up to 100 meters, but Marcus doesn’t encourage you to wear one while deep-sea diving. It can certainly withstand the swimming pool, but why would you want to wear one in the water, she asked.
“If a watch is something you value, you would want to take care of it by taking it off before going into the swimming pool,” she said.
To entice more women to literally go big time, Puma Time has also introduced Ultrasize watches in pastel shades with a “poppy” side to them. One of its more attractive items, for instance, comes with a blue green dial, white numerals, brushed rose gold case and brown leather strap.
Marcus even owns one with white numerals set on a hot pink dial and black polyurethane strap. Their decision to introduce watches with stainless steel link bracelets in shades of gold and ion-plated black was in response to market demand, particularly in Asia.
“Most men are still into solid colors,” she said. “But our initial approach featured a line of watches with a black case, dial and strap. In short, all black. Now, we’re starting to mix it up. We’ve become more adventurous, but not too adventurous to continue to remain relevant in the market.”
In the meantime, the brand isn’t keen on making diamond-encrusted watches for such markets as Asia and the Middle East. Such a move would surely jack up prices and elevate Puma Time into the luxury watch category. That’s definitely not part of the motherbrand’s DNA.
“When you’re talking about design, it’s partly about trends and what the market wants,” she said. “Unless you want to be avant-garde and niche, you follow certain established ways of doing things.”
But it doesn’t mean you should play safe, she added. Not when you’re, like Puma Time, also selling fashion, lifestyle and a certain attitude.