For the March issue of the magazine WatchPro presented an in-depth report on the licensed watch brand market. Here Wes Suter, director of retailer Steffans, gives us his views on the subject including why a new generation will pick Hugo Boss over Rotary and the underdevelopment of the car market by watch brands.
WatchPro: Tell us about the licensed watch brands you sell. Which brands and styles are bestsellers?
Wes Suter: Oversized is the big hit still for ladies and gents. Rose gold and yellow gold are hot.
WP: Licensed watch brands appear to be growing in strength in the UK market. Why do you think this is?
WS: People feel reassured when buying a watch with a household name. The names that used to be household names to the previous generation like Accurist and Rotary have no connection with the younger market. They have been bought up with brands like Hugo Boss and Armani.
WP: How do you pick which watches you want from each brand?
WS: We keep collections tight and if we identify best sellers we carry back up stock.
WP: Which area of branding do you think is untapped?
WS: Cars are a big one and no one seems to do it properly and at the right price. I would also love to see a design-led range of watches with a bespoke feel using simple generic parts but individually designed by, say, a design student. That would be very cool.