Swiss replica watch maker Mido has recently launched a unique promotion that members of the watch industry likely understand is a rare occurrence for such a company. The promotion is watch design contest where members of the public can vote on one of three watch designs created by three important watch industry designers. Reportedly, the winning watch will be produced as a limited edition model and in addition to selecting the winning watch designs, some of the contest entrant voters will be eligible to win a either a trip to London or one of the completed limited edition watches.
What makes this promotion so uncommon is that large watchmakers like Mido Replica, who exist under the mega watch conglomerate The Swatch Group , traditionally shy away from giving credit to a specific person for a watch brand’s designs. Even though the Swatch Group has thousands of employees, only a few top people who are part of the group’s managing family are able to speak on behalf of the company as well as the brands. Likewise, at brands such as Mido, Omega, Hamilton, Longines, and more that are owned by the Swatch Group, often, only the brand CEO is even able to speak on behalf of the company.
That means that such a watch design contest which features and promotes the work of independent watch designers is both rare and an interesting shift in the overall communication style of the Swatch Group and its entities. I would go so far as to consider this Mido design contest to be a fundamental shift in how the Swatch Group perceives its relationship with both the watch design community and watch consumers in general.
A good question to ask is why would Mido choose to feature the designers in this contest as opposed to merely their designs? As in the art world, in the luxury watch world, people are attracted to people and stories as much as they are to a final end product. Focusing on the watch designers, their previous work and inspirations, as well as their contributions to the luxury watch community is a tried and true tactic of galvanizing the interests of collectors. The goal for any watch maker is to emotionally inspired “desire” in the hearts of potential consumers. Timepieces in this price category are “want” items versus “need” items, so it is important for watch brands to consider the more emotionally gratifying element of wearing timepieces as opposed to the mere utilitarian or fashionable dimension of wearing them.