Saturday, 23 August 2014

Men of the hour: Timely thoughts from luxury watchmakers

Michael Meier of Oris

Michael Meier of Oris

Participating brands of an ongoing watch exhibition have their say.

The ongoing Time Kulture is chock-full of surprises. If you haven’t made a trip to the exhibition yet, what are you waiting for? Organised by Malaysian-owned regional luxury watch retailer Swiss Watch Gallery (SWG), the showcase – which ends tomorrow – is being held at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Participants are Maurice Lacroix, Alpina, Frédérique Constant, Longines, Oris, Tag Heuer, Tissot and Tudor.

Here, some of the brand bigwigs share their views.

Christophe Legaie, chief operating officer, Tag Heuer
Christophe Legaie, chief operating officer, Tag Heuer.

Tag Heuer

We’re honoured to be invited by SWG to participate in Time Kulture again this year, following last year’s success. We see this as a double opportunity: it is a great occasion to meet with our fans and unveil novelties in an environment different from the traditional watch shop.

At Time Kulture, we launched the new Tag Heuer Formula 1 automatic watch; it appeals to young professionals looking for a sporty and casual timepiece. We have also taken this opportunity to introduce our local Facebook page with an activity linked to Time Kulture.

In Malaysia, the luxury market is getting more competitive year after year with the constant introduction of new brands. The appetite for watches is still very high but consumers’ expectations are now higher. They want a nice design, with nice watch-making features but they also want a complete experience. They want their watch to have a story behind the design and this story must fit with their own aspirations. – Christophe Legaie, chief operating officer, Tag Heuer

Stephane Waser, managing director, Maurice Lacroix.
Stephane Waser, managing director, Maurice Lacroix.

Maurice Lacroix

Time Kulture is the perfect avenue for us to present the best of Maurice Lacroix to Malaysian consumers.

Visitors will get to view the Masterpiece Gravity, which features an all-silicon assortment, being presented to the public for the first time in Malaysia. We’re also presenting the new Masterpiece Mystery which depicts time in linear form, Masterpiece Square Wheel and Pontos S Supercharged.

Malaysia is a very dynamic market for Maurice Lacroix. The brand’s strong customer base and the appreciation for quality Swiss mechanical watches is a good match. We are particularly appreciated for our refined design, innovative spirit and exquisite craftsmanship.

Our key partnership with the world’s best football club FCB Barcelona and the recent appointment of our latest Asian ambassador, Korean actor Jang Dong Gun, perfectly demonstrate what our brand stands for. – Stephane Waser, managing director, Maurice Lacroix


We’re bringing novelties across the Oris range to Time Kulture. There is our Artix Pointer Moon, with its innovative way of showing the moon movement; it’s worn by actor Nicholas Tse in our new campaign.

We’re also showcasing the Aquis Red, a limited edition diving watch due to our collaboration with the Red Sea Environmental Centre. In our motorsport range, we offer the Darryl O’Young Limited Edition; only 500 pieces are available worldwide and we were able to secure some for this showcase. Last but not least, we brought our new Big Crown Timer Chronograph, a classic timepiece and must-see for all aviators.

Oris has been present in the Malaysian market for more than 50 years and it’s great to see the large number of dedicated fans and collectors in the country. Our company’s mantra is “real watches for real people”, which defines everything we do. Based on that, we will continue to offer innovative watches that Malaysians can appreciate. — Michael Meier, regional manager, Malaysia and Singapore, Oris

(subs, pls crop the rider with cap out) Ian Lee, vice president of Tissot Malaysia
Ian Lee of Tissot. 


We enjoy a wonderful relationship with SWG and the collaborative efforts to bring a showcase like Time Kulture is a great platform to share the Tissot brand story.

Key pieces we’re presenting include Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Chronograph and Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80. Malaysians will be able to get a close look and touch and feel the watches for the first time at Time Kulture.

A watch is now such an integral part of one’s everyday lifestyle. With the growth of the business, we are confident and the demand for well made watches can only keep growing. The success of Time Kulture presents us with an opportunity to reach more Malaysian consumers. – Ian Lee, vice president of Tissot Malaysia

The robust Alpiner 4 GMT has features such as anti-magnetism, anti-shock, water resistance and stainless steel construction. (Top left) From Frederique Constant, the Ladies Automatic Double Heart Beat watch.
The robust Alpiner 4 GMT features aspects of anti-magnetism, anti-shock, water resistance and stainless steel construction.

Alpina and Frédérique Constant

Consumers in Malaysia have always shown passion towards luxury watches. Our retail partner SWG has the pulse and deep understanding of the industry and what the consumer is looking for.

When you put them together, it’s an opportunity not to be missed, especially for brands like Frédérique Constant and Alpina, where the passion of watch-making is our core philosophy.

This year marks Frederique Constant’s 10th anniversary of the in-house manufactured Heart Beat collection.

For Alpina, 2014 is also a very important milestone for the brand as we will be re-introducing our legendary Alpiner 4. It features four core principles: anti-magnetic, water resistant, anti-shock and housed in a stainless steel case.

To spur customers’ connection with the two brands, we are introducing ways to spark real-time customer engagement, creating an experience via social media and a mobile game application.

Customers who purchase a Frédérique Constant or Alpina watch will stand a chance to win a free trip for two to New Zealand or Switzerland.

In Malaysia, I notice that consumers today are more aware and they demand well-crafted watches, not only in design but in movements. Deep passion drives appreciation, which will drive demand. — Tong Chee Wei, general manager for Luxury Timepieces, FJ Benjamin

The Star is the official media partner for Time Kulture.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Valiram , watch exhibit , managing director


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