Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Time is money

Back in 1986, when the watchmaking industry was undergoing a revolution thanks to the explosion of cheap timepieces featuring quartz movement, Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes got together and began making incredibly expensive watches famous for their "complications."

Today, they make forty thousand watches a year with prices ranging from a few thousand dollars to $2,400,000 for the Aeternitas Mega 4.

I'm not sure how many of these they sell each year, but it really doesn't matter – it's a brand statement. An engineering and design masterpiece with 1483 components and 36 functions, it is the ultimate demonstration of what makes Franck Muller "The Master of Complications."

So while Rolex positions itself on performance and Patek Philippe on tradition – two very important benefits in luxury watchmaking – by owning a secondary benefit and crafting a very good story, Franck Muller found another way to differentiate his brand and create a lot of value in an already extremely crowded category.

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