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E-commerce brand sees historic Swiss watchmaker take on Indian market

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Ecommerce-based direct selling company QNET has brought a historic Swiss watch brand to India exclusively for its network of customers and distributors.

The move has seen QNET launch Mugnier in India, a Swiss watch brand founded in 1786 by watchmaker Etienne Mugnier in France, who went on to be appointed watchmaker to the Emperor in the early 1800s.

QNET has introduced three new collections under the revived Mugnier brand for its India market – Semper (Classic), Mode (Fashion), and Invictus (Sports).

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These new timepieces are inspired by historic Mugnier creations with Swiss-made movements and components.

In a first of its kind initiative for a Swiss watch brand, these timepieces from Mugnier will be assembled in a high-tech facility in India in line with the government’s Make in India campaign.

The new Mugnier collection features timepieces that range from INR 86,000 to INR 1,80,000.

Vintage timepieces from the centuries old Mugnier brand, as recently revived by QNET for its Indian market, are today only available in museums and elite auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

A masterpiece created for Emperor Napoleon by House Mugnier in 1812 —an 18 ct. gold, half quarter-repeating, self-winding watch with power reserve indicator and the gilt initial ‘N’ for Napoleon — sold for $285,000 in 1993.

Swiss historian Yves-Pierre Donze, whose expertise is global business history, and who has worked extensively on the history of the watch industry found in the course of his research that Charles Mugnier, a descendant of Etienne Mugnier, was listed in a directory published in Paris in 1812 which refers to him as among the ten most important clock and watchmakers of the city, specifying that “he manufactures haute horlogerie himself”.

The new collection of Mugnier watches launched by QNET in India carries the same brand promise with designs that bring to life the unique blend of complexity and detailing previous Mugnier creations were known for.

The watches feature state-of-the-art craftsmanship with the finest materials and scrupulous attention to detail in accordance with exacting Swiss standards, adopted by the production facility in India.

QNET’s global CEO, Malou T Caluza, commented: “We have seen a shift in the Indian consumer in the last decade or so. As disposable incomes have grown for the upper-middle class, the watch has evolved beyond being an instrument of utility. We are witnessing a steady increase in those who proactively seek out watches as items that signify a lifestyle; pieces that are a symbol of professional and entrepreneurial success.”

India’s luxury watch market is a trending movement. A new brand of watch aficionados is emerging particularly with a greater and more educated appreciation for details which constitute a fine example of horology yet maintaining price sensitivity unlike ultra-luxury brands.

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