Giorgio Galli, head, Global Design Centre, Timex Group, says Indian youth are great potential customers; this is the customer base he is out to tap with new collections dedicated to the youth of India.
As a designer, Galli says, regular feedback from the marketing department is important for him, more so in a country like India which follows no set rules. International designs cannot always be replicated successfully here and he has to keep this in mind—for it’s the second largest market for Timex. The designer for eight brands for the group, including Versace, Ferragamo and Helix, who was in India recently, tells us how he intends to tap the youth base. Edited excerpts from an interview:
What do Indian youth want in their watches? Is it different from international trends?
It usually depends on how the buying decision is made, and that is different in India. Young people here are aware of what is happening around them. In other countries, young people want to experiment with just shape; here youngsters tend to be more aggressive—they want larger, different proportions, colours. Our approach towards this has been to focus more on the introduction of colours. Internationally, colourful watches are strong. In India, this trend is just starting. Straps, dials, everything in colour. At Timex this will be a great differentiator for us. Indians, however, do not like digital watches, which do well internationally.
Time code: (clockwise from top) Galli wants to reach out to Indian youth; and colour is a must, whether it’s brands like Helix (right) or Versace. Photos by Priyanka Parashar/Mint.
Which colours are in vogue now? Do men and women prefer different colours?
Orange and black combined is huge; green and yellow together is a strong colour palette. Colour choices depend on the sex of the buyer too. Female buyers, in addition to white, which is the top colour, are opting for purple nowadays.
We find colour is a fresh approach towards reaching out to our customer in India. It is different from what our nearest competitor Fastrack is doing.
Are watches going to get slimmer and smaller?
People like chunky, bulky watches actually. In the last few years, the tendency had been to opt for larger dials so that they can show off these watches. But nowadays, while watches for women are getting bigger and wider, for men, watches are getting slimmer. So, in reality, the sizes are getting much closer for both sexes.
The watch is no longer a utility item. It is a fashion accessory. Does that point of view dictate the way you design watches?
Yes, it does, but it also depends on which segment of society one is designing for. In the mass market, people still buy a watch to tell the time and when we design for them we have to keep that aspect in mind. As the watches get more and more expensive, the watch becomes a pure accessory. It is no longer a time-telling device. It must have more functions, and usage interfaces become important. Most (people) who can afford these watches may not even end up using these functions but they want them because it makes the watch look nice or different.
What is the hottest trend in watches this fall?
Colour is big. Also black tone-on-tone (different plating) is a strong trend.