As part of a series of interviews about the ongoing development of GMT watches and worldtimers, Oris vice president Rolf Studer explains why travel-friendly watches are an important part of the brand’s product portfolio.
WatchPro: How important is a decent travel-friendly watch offer and why are they so popular with consumers?
Rolf Studer: It completely depends on the brand, however, the Oris customer is an active and well-travelled professional, thus a decent travel watch is a must. The second timezone is one of the few complications that is actually very useful for day to day use. Nobody necessarily needs a chronograph or a tourbillon, however, every business professional or seasoned traveller will use the complication regularly. The second timezone is a technical complication yet it is, in fact, extremely practical. There are so many fantastic complications that are very technical but in reality they provide no additional value other than a respect for the craftsmanship.
WP: Are consumers’ demands from a travel-friendly watch greater these days and what functionality do they seek?
RS: Consumers demand more and more and they sometimes forget that mechanical watches have well over 100 parts and are not as simple as a quartz watch. They require more functionality and their expectations are very high but reliability is of most importance followed closely by being easily adjustable.
WP: What would you say have been the most significant technological developments in the travel-friendly watch genre and what impact has that had?
RS: Oris has created a worldtimer with it own development of a retro adjustable date with just a click. The most significant developments Oris continues to make are luxury watches at reasonable prices. We believe consumers want luxury that makes sense and Oris has been achieving this since 1904. We will carry on pushing technical advances for many years to come.
WP: How have travel-friendly watches evolved over time?
RS: I was on a trip to Paris looking at some vintage items in the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen when I came across a store that sold vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases. I noticed one example of the history of travel watches right in front of me when I saw an old Hermés Travel clock made by Oris. This is where the first travel watches were inspired from and this particular one had the Oris patented eight day power reserve movement.
WP: What developments do you expect we will see from travel-friendly watches in the future?
RS: There is such a long history within making travel clocks and watches and we will continue to offer more choice at reasonable prices. Our aim is to continue to push the technical developments with more Oris patented movements. Our dream would be to create a watch with a second timezone and alarm capability.
This interview was carried out for an article on travel-friendly watches that appeared in the October issue of WatchPro. To see the full digital issue of the magazine, click here.