In December last year, Swiss luxury watch brand Patek Philippe launched a website dedicated to ladies. The Ladies Microsite gives a behind the scenes look at how the brand approaches the design and production of women’s watches and includes an insightful video interview with Sandrine Stern, who heads up watch creation. There’s also a special section that describes the inspiration and production of Ref. 4968, the ‘Diamond Ribbon’ watch, a unique way of setting diamonds inspired by a gymnast’s ribbon.
The new microsite has a primary focus on education with the assumption that ladies need to be educated on watchmaking. The initiative could well be a retort to fashion houses like Dior or Chanel which have been producing watches with a predominantly aesthetic criteria, but the new Patek Philippe fails if compared to other established luxury watchmakers, some of which have taken a more sophisticated approach. Omega, Longines and Audemars Piguet have long had initiatives targeting ladies watches, through exclusive events, celebrity endorsements etc.
One such recent initiative is Longines’ 20 year multi-million dollar sponsorship of Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), an agreement signed between FEI President HRH Princess Haya and Mrs Nayla Hayek, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group, which owns Longines. The new collaboration establishes Longines’ consistent and coherent focus on equestrian, being already the official sponsor of Prix de Diane, one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions worldwide.
FEI President HRH Princess Haya and Mrs Nayla Hayek, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group