All In The Family
CROWN Singapore|September - October 2020
If you ever begrudged brands for making many different versions of the same watch, here’s what they have to say Alvin Wong

Each year, when the time comes for watch brands to pull back the curtain on their latest releases, the people who usually have very little to contribute to the actual thinking and making of those timepieces (meaning us scribes and the rest of the watch buying world) are often the ones who make the loudest noise. And how entitled have we been. Watch companies would pit themselves against each other for our attention, trying their darndest to melt our brains with a groundbreaking this or that that defies human effort and imagination. So, like lords of our manor, we sit back and expect to be entertained. Every. Single. Time.

Truth is, such displays of never-before-seen newness, while undoubtedly exciting, are just a part of a big picture. Equally important to every brand’s annual showcase are what industry folks call ‘line extensions’ – new variations of watches that have already been introduced. These watches may feature different case sizes, materials, new dial executions, bracelets, straps or any manner of (usually) cosmetic tweaks that bring greater variety to a line-up.

Although it is always the latest novelties that hog the limelight, line extensions are the ones doing the less glamorous work of stoking the flames of what was deemed new just a few years ago. And, depending on the brand, such watches can make up to almost two-thirds of the company’s output every horological season.

Marathon, Not Sprint

“Line extensions keep a collection performing in terms of life cycle management. They also increase the consistency and the development force behind specific watches, which are usually the best-selling watches,” explains Maurice Lacroix’s managing director Stéphane Waser of the necessity of having product variants.

Christian Lattmann, CEO of Jaquet Droz, adds: “A well-thought-out collection paves the way for good line extensions. It recoups the enormous costs incurred when developing a new movement.”

Yet, despite the crucial role that line extensions play in a brand’s product development and finances, some collectors are quick to bemoan these timepieces as uninventive or repetitive. We, too, have been guilty of rolling our eyes when brands that beat their chests over ‘new’ colours and straps. But what if we were wrong all along?

Unlike how movie studios flog sequels upon discovering a blockbuster hit, eventually ending with a franchise that utterly drains the soul and excitement from the original, the making of a full-fledged watch collection isn’t quite the same reactionary process.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CROWN SINGAPOREView All

ROYAL ORDER

Tudor’s new Royal collection gets dressy while loading up on nostalgia

2 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

EXCEPTIONAL ELEGANCE

Encased in the finest metals and precious stones, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Pearlmaster holds a special place in the Oyster collection, as a watchmaking jewel expressing refinement and elegance

6 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

META METAL

Urwerk’s new UR-100 V Iron hurtles through time and space in metallic chic

3 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

BIG MECH

Commemorating Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary, innovative new movements underscore the brand’s fast-rising stature

4 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Chopard Beefs Up The Alpine Eagle Collection

Chopard beefs up the Alpine Eagle collection with a plus-sized chronograph

3 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Staying The Course

The enduring epoch of the Carrera collection that headlines TAG Heuer’s 160th festivities had always been a highly deliberate and calculated affair

5 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Double The Pleasure

The inventor of the tourbillon takes the complication to the next level

3 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

Sounds Like Family

Beyond its many technical accomplishments, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie is a labour of love founded on familial bonds

5 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

2020 Year In Review

Tenacity and hope in the face of seismic changes

6 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020

A Different Angle

Never traditional to begin with, Cartier’s new Tank Asymétrique is reimagined with modern perspectives

5 mins read
CROWN Singapore
December 2020
RELATED STORIES

From Snail To Grail

How the Patek Philippe Nautilus became one of the most coveted watches in the world

4 mins read
Maxim
September - October 2019

The Very Cheap Expensive-Looking Watch

Daniel Wellington will make about $220 million this year selling Chinese timepieces that go with everything - but look like nothing.

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 20 - July 26 2015

Cashing In On Green

We used to say green is in, but we may now have to say green is the new blue, even as blue dials become ever more pervasive

5 mins read
WOW Singapore
Issue 59

Leading Through Design

Rado collaborates with Dezeen to launch designer timepieces during Virtual Rado Design Week

1 min read
World of Watches
Festive 2020

The Big Time

The digital watch turns 50.

10+ mins read
Esquire Singapore
January 2021

Eyes On The Stars

Celebrating the Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary

4 mins read
PORTFOLIO Magazine
December 2020

Looking Good In Grey

TAG Heuer teams up with UK personalisation house Bamford Watch Department to put a fresh spin on the sporty Aquaracer

2 mins read
August Man SG
Issue 163

The Power of Three

Why Franck Muller’s Cintrée Curvex Master Banker Asia Exclusive isn’t just good for bankers

4 mins read
August Man SG
Issue 163

It's Complicated

The grand complication is back as some of the biggest names in horology crack the code to making watches both dizzyingly complex and eminently wearable.

9 mins read
Robb Report Singapore
December 2020

Double Time

The new A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone sneaks into the issue after a delayed debut for 2020

2 mins read
World of Watches
Summer 2020