Forget About Tourbillons! Watch Aficionados Finally Embrace Technology

Seiko Astron GPS Watch


by John Sealander  

A Brief History of High-Tech Watches

There have been high-tech timepieces for almost as long as there have been advancements in technology. First to become popular in the early 1970’s were watches that displayed the time using LED diodes like the Hamilton Pulsar worn by Roger Moore in “Live and Let Die.” Later, calculator watches, fitness watches, and hiking and adventure watches became popular for a time.

Although some of these timepieces are still prized by collectors, very few were ever taken seriously by watch aficionados. Sophisticated watch fans have always preferred the precision gears, jeweled bearings, and tiny springs found in traditional mechanical movements.

The love of old world craftsmanship is still strong, but there is a new appreciation for technology among fans of luxury timepieces. High-tech timepieces are finally beginning to be taken seriously.

A New Generation of High Tech Watches

The current crop of high-tech timepieces has caught the attention of prestigious watch journals and sophisticated fans with their unique combination of great design, superb craftsmanship, and advanced features. Watches like the Casio Pro Trek PRW6000, the Seiko Astron, and the Citizen Skyhawk AT are getting rave reviews by offering battery-free solar power, atomic clock accuracy, and sophisticated chronograph features in a beautiful, well-designed package that rivals the best high-end mechanical watches.

In a world where your cell phone and computer always display the correct time to the exact second, many younger watch aficionados are starting to expect the same type of accuracy from the watch on their wrist. Unlike earlier generations of technology watches that displayed their information in an ugly plastic case, the latest high-tech watches are beautifully crafted masterpieces.

Seiko’s Foresight and Continuing Excellence

When Seiko introduced the Astron, the first commercially available quartz timepiece in 1969, they said “Someday, all watches will be made this way.” Now Seiko is saying the same thing about a brand new Astron. This amazing timepiece, housed in a stylish titanium case, is powered by the sun, automatically adjusts to the time zone you’re in using GPS satellite signals, and features a perpetual calendar that is always correct until February 28, 2100.

The Astron recognizes all 39 of the world’s time zones by determining its current location using GPS, then comparing that information with an onboard database that divides the Earth’s surface into one million squares, each of which is assigned to a particular time zone. This is something even $100,000 mechanical watches can’t do. Even the most sophisticated mechanical watch will only display 37 time zones with a manual reset.

High-Tech Watch Popularity Continues to Grow

Less expensive high tech watches like the Casio Pro Trek PRW6000 and Citizen Skyhawk AT use radio signals from an atomic clock instead of GPS satellites to maintain split-second accuracy. What they share with the Seiko Astron is great design and superbly crafted cases. Maybe that’s why they are showing up on the wrists of more and more sophisticated watch aficionados.

The latest generation of high-tech timepieces has raised the bar for all timepieces. When it becomes possible to provide more, people tend to expect more. There will always be a place for traditional mechanical timepieces, but these types of watches are already becoming fashion items instead of functional tools. Although the best mechanical watches are already just as collectible as a vintage Ferrari or couture gown, you might not be wearing one to work much longer. They are ultimately museum pieces. When you can wear a precisely crafted, impeccably styled timepiece that runs forever on solar power and tells you the exact time to the millisecond even if you are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, why would you want to wear anything else?

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, watchmaker and wholesale watch distributor, is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury and Swiss watches and trendy fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Can Home Shopping TV Channels Transform The Way We Sell?

A Family Home Shopping


by John Sealander  

What Watch Retailers Can Learn From Home Shopping TV Channels

Now that people are becoming more comfortable with non-traditional ways of buying their favorite things, home shopping TV channels, such as ShopHQ, are experiencing unprecedented growth. As these new sales channels grow more popular, merchants and retailers are learning that the conventional sales strategies they’ve used for years aren’t always effective in an interactive TV environment.

Home shopping TV requires a different approach to be successful and retailers who have mastered selling their products in this interactive environment are discovering that the lessons they’ve learned from interactive selling can be applied to almost every aspect of their business.

The 60-Second Sale

Shopping channel retailers don’t have much time to make a sale. With less than 60 seconds to make your pitch, success is typically measured by how many sales you make per minute. This is a huge change from the weeks or even months it might take for customers to make a decision about something inside a glass case at their favorite jewelry store. To deal with the faster pace of the decision making process in a home shopping environment, retailers have become much better at recognizing the signals that people send indicating whether they are interested in buying a product or rejecting it.

The Importance of a Compelling Story

You need a compelling story to sell a watch in 60 seconds on TV. Simply listing product benefits is not enough. Successful TV sellers have learned to capture the attention of the viewer with an interesting story that gets them engaged with the product. A compelling story is so effective at generating a sale that many retailers are starting to employ the technique in their brick and mortar stores as well. Any great watch has a great story behind it and customers want to know about it.

Walking Away From a Loser

In a home shopping TV environment, you know immediately what sells and what doesn’t. If the phones aren’t ringing after your 60-second pitch, your product isn’t going to sell. To succeed, you need to quickly cut your losses and move on. This is very different than what happens in most retail stores. Brick and mortar stores can succeed selling luxury goods with a 25% conversion rate. To succeed on TV, you must convert a much higher percentage into sales. Retailers have learned that the best way to do this is keep selling your winners and quickly walk away from the losers. If you can’t get a viewer excited about a watch in 60 seconds, you probably aren’t going to get them excited period!

There’s More Than One Way to Sell a Watch

The most important lesson that shopping channel TV has taught luxury retailers is that there is more than one way to sell anything. In today’s digital age, you need to engage customers on-air, via the Internet, by phone, by magazine advertising, as well as by traditional face-to-face interaction in the store. Retailers who have made the effort to master all these new sales channels are seeing dramatic increases in sales along with a much faster turnover rate.

Home shopping TV is teaching retailers that selling is a two-way conversation. In today’s fast paced world, it’s not enough to simply tell people about your product. You must engage them emotionally. The success of interactive selling has proved that when the customer feels they have become part of the conversation, you have made a sale.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog digest.



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