E. Gluck considers the present & future of the traditional time-teller
Like its collaborators and competitors, over the last couple of months E. Gluck Corporation has participated in a number of virtual events – most notably, TRMarketplace and China Reborn. As new ways to keep the industry connected, in addition to the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo, E. Gluck commends both platforms for their offering. The watch manufacturer considered the events a success, as its team was able to connect with many companies that typically don’t have the time to meet everyone at a traditional TFWA exhibition. Although it’s generally acknowledged that a virtual event can’t replace an in-person trade show, the exploration of the digital world allows for a hybrid model moving forward. Described as the biggest challenge of this attempt: product presentation. Under normal circumstances E. Gluck relies on the ability of its buyers to be able to pick up and try on its watches in order to experience the look and feel.
Described as “the perfect complement” to the Anne Klein brand given its price and value relationship, Torgoen similarly produces watches at an accessible fashion price point. Rooted in its Swiss movement, the aviation-inspired collection is a natural fit for the duty free and travel retail category. In addition to its general appeal to the male traveler, Torgoen directly connects to those involved in the aviation industry including flight attendants and pilots who often spend dwell time at the airport.
Since E. Gluck’s portfolio features exclusively male and female offerings, there is an impact and presence of gender when it comes to overall branding and marketing. The manufacturer notes that the separate targeting of men and women allows for clarity of style and message. With so many differences in a gender-specific watch, Rob Robertaccio, Senior Vice President, Global & Travel Retail Sales, E. Gluck Corporation, says that it’s difficult to “make multi-gender brands feel like they can live together comfortably in a showcase.” Speaking from experience, he adds that men are more likely to own fewer watches and change them less frequently than women, meaning they’re willing to spend more money on one piece.
“There is a great feeling of success when you can be a top-three brand in a category, while marketing to only one gender. This has been the case of our Anne Klein brand, which emphasizes its strength as a leader in the fashion watch category,” explains Robertaccio.
The travel retail industry – and more specifically, the watch category – continues to promote and practice sustainability through virtual reality, livestream sessions and contactless methods of payment and service. With this growing concern in mind, E. Gluck responded by developing the Anne Klein Considered collection, which features solar movements and recycled components. The roll-out of this collection required the balancing of its accessible price points and message delivery. It was important to the team that E. Gluck not exaggerate its contribution to the movement.
While acknowledging the constant evolution of smart watches and other electronic time-tellers such as phones and tablets, Robertaccio believes that there will always be a demand for the traditional watch. Without being able to categorize the former as pieces of jewelry, he says that there is no emotional connection made between the individual and the item. In comparison to a traditional watch, the devices have a lifespan and will need to be replaced over time.
“People remember when and where they got their favorite or their first watch. They are often memory makers and, even if unworn, will come out of the drawer one day and have a story or a vacation to be remembered,” he states.
Furthermore, depending on the occasion, many people prefer to wear a traditional watch. Bringing up his family and friends in conversation, the travel retail expert remarks that if the younger and more tech-savvy generation still have a desire to wear the traditional and time-honored accessory, he’s confident that the category will be around forever.