Game Changing
T Singapore: The New York Times Style Magazine|September 2020
Game Changing
Known for its esoteric pursuits, watchmaker richard mille is becoming more inclusive than one would expect.

Women are a growing segment of watch-buying consumers in our current era. According to Brian Duffy, chief executive officer at Watches of Switzerland, in 2019, women accounted for more than 40 per cent of sales in its organisation, which is one of the UK’s largest retailers of Swiss watches. These days, as perceptions of femininity and masculinity constantly evolve, watch brands are expected to respond to the changing wants of its female customers in order to remain competitive in the market.

It is true that watchmakers (who are mostly respectful traditionalists) are increasingly acknowledging the fact with more timepieces designed with women in mind — a diamond-embedded collection, a scaled-down watch face or an occasional token complicated moonphase timepiece. Yet even these concessions highlight stereotypical, dated ideas of what women want in their watches. “Today’s world [has] made women as active as men in business, social media and many other life spheres,” says Marina Lunkina, who works in public relations in Moscow, to The New York Times, “It’s obviously affected our style.” Now, women are demanding complex watches with a strong, modern appeal that breaks the conventional ideas of femininity.

What then do these developments mean for an industry that periodically looks backwards?

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September 2020