Kirsten Crisford is the marketing manager for Seiko UK, which last year announced that it was to place more emphasis on its women’s watch collections. She also works with Binda UK on branded women’s watches such as Moschino and Ted Baker. She talks design, development and demand with WatchPro.
WatchPro: Tell us about the past 12 months with a view to your women’s watch collections – how have things been developing?
Kirsten Crisford: The ladies watch market is continuing to grow in the UK which we can see from our own sales and the data published by GFK. We believe that the female watch buyer is becoming ever more demanding about the watches they want to wear and alongside style and sophistication, they are looking for technical expertise and something a bit different. As with everything, tastes vary and so it is important for any brand to provide a broad selection of shapes, sizes, materials and calibres for people to choose from. The most significant value growth in the ladies watch market in 2012 came from chronographs and diamonds.
WP: How did the Seiko brand perform over during the festive period – have your women’s watch sales been increasing?
KC: Over Christmas Seiko saw success with its newly expanded collection of women’s watches, providing a broader choice to the market. The collection included lines with ceramic, leather straps, two tone, rose gold, Swarovski crystals and diamonds. With this we met the style requirements of the market but we also gave a little bit extra value with technologies including solar powered watches and beautiful chronographs, which were the stars of the collection. Our aim is to provide an attractive watch that gives real value for money and has longevity to outlast any passing fads.
WP: Of the brands you work with, which are placing the most focus on developing their women’s collections?
KC: We do appreciate that one brand cannot be everything to everyone and our brand portfolio allows us the opportunity to provide consumers with a fashion watch option with brands such as, Ted Baker, Kenneth Cole, Breil and Moschino.
WP: How is Seiko working to keep ahead of the trends in women’s watch design?
KC: Our variety puts Seiko UK in a strong position to be a key player in the female watch market – we have the technical expertise and heritage to create watches that are more than just a watch for those times consumers want something classic, beautiful, and functional. We also have well known and respected fashion brands that stay ahead of the trends enabling consumers to make a style statement with their watch.