It’s not a heritage watch that’s lately gaining the attention of timepiece aficionados and the fashion-conscious, but one that they can customize according to their moods. In this case, more than a thousand ways.
Marc Coblen broke into the scene only last year after being unveiled at New York Fashion Week in September 2012. The secondary line of Dutch
watch brand TW Steel offers a new form of personal luxury that’s accessible to more customers: watches that sell from P10,000 to P18,000, with equally affordable customizable straps and bezels.
Sure, who doesn’t want to own a heritage watch if you can afford it? For many individuals, however, it’s less about legacy and more about the now and the fashion when it comes to watches, much like a purse or a piece of clothing.
Created by Jordy Cobelens, the man behind the now-successful TW Steel brand, known for its striking oversize watches, Marc Coblen’s proposition is to make it easy for its customers to personalize their watches in an easy and effortless process.
First, one has to purchase a base watch model, of which there are 30 styles to choose from, and come in three sizes (42 mm, 45 mm, 50 mm). They come in steel, rose gold or black
PVD-plated, with chronograph or three-hand clockwork. Price starts at P10,000 for the 42-mm three-hand steel model.
Then one can proceed with the choice of new straps, in a motley of colors that come in both croc-embossed leather (P2,500 each) and silicone rubber (P2,000). There are 60 straps to choose from, which can easily be changed with a simple slide-and-click system. No need to bring your watch to the repairman.
The bezels, with 48 choices featuring princess-cut or baguette Swarovski crystals or more understated ceramic and hammered styles, can just as easily be changed by a simple twist mechanism. Depending on the style, they’re priced from P1,500 to P4,000 each.
Marc Coblen watches are generally geared toward the female market, with 80 percent of the options serving female customers age 18-45—“students to young professionals who want to stand out,” according to brand manager Cathy Porlaje of Swiss Prestige Inc., a division of Lucerne Luxe, the local distributor.
And yet, there are enough options for customization that the brand won’t alienate the male customer entirely, especially with the oversize 50-mm style and the hammered steel and ceramic bezels.
“It’s for couples who might like to wear matching watches,” Porlaje said.
Marc Coblen mimics the XL size that made TW Steel wildly popular, and oversize watches continue to be the trend even among women, said Porlaje. The watches, featuring Japan movements and are made in Asia, are well-designed and look elegant, even as they’re accessible price-wise.
At the moment, the brand is only available in a few markets worldwide. In the Philippines, it can be found in kiosks in SM Southmall and Century City Mall, and at select Chronos, Swissgear and Wristpod branches.