Feature Article - July/August 2014

The Best of Times

New (and Old) Trends in Watch Incentives

By Emily Tipping

Time stretches inexorably ahead of us, split into the briefest and lengthiest of divisions, and at the same time, recedes into a hazy collection of memories and sensations behind. The only moment we ever really experience is now. So, what time is it right now?

Did you just look at your watch? Or did you glance at the corner of your computer screen? Your smart phone? A desk clock? No matter. Whichever is your chosen way for knowing the time, you likely know the value of a brand-name watch. It's about more than telling time. A watch is an accessory that can tell the world something about yourself. And as such, the watch continues to hold high appeal in incentives and rewards programs.

"Watches are still a major focus in wardrobe and accessories business, and as such, this business naturally lends itself to the incentive industry," said Joe Zanone, Movado Group Inc. authorized sales agent. "Whether you're 21 and just starting your career or 65 and ending your career, a watch reflects a lot of who you are and what you have accomplished in your work life or personal life."

What's more, Zanone added, a watch is an essential component of proper professional attire. "No matter what device you own that tells time, the wristwatch is the one accessory that you cannot do without in a professional environment," he explained. "Not wearing a wristwatch is like not wearing socks with a business suit."

Adrienne Forrest, vice president, Corporate Sales, Bulova Corporation, agreed. "Nowadays, people aren't necessarily wearing a watch because they need it to tell time," she said. "It completes their overall personal style. It says something about the person wearing it. It is a piece of jewelry, an accessory. And it's fashion—an accessory that completes your overall personal statement. Because of this, if somebody's inclined to wear a watch, it has to coordinate with their lifestyle, whether for work, play, casual or dress. This is why so many people have multiple watches."

Indeed, there is a watch appropriate to every situation, whether you're ready to make a fashion statement or you're looking for an appropriate companion tool to your favorite sporty pursuits.

"Many people have a wardrobe of wristwatches that include the large oversized pieces, ultrathin vintage, sport and fashion," Zanone explained. "I have customers that joke with me that I change my watch with every outfit, but they are basically right—not only because I can, but because this is also a trend as well, a watch for every look."