Five Fashion Brands Making Their Mark On The Watch Industry

Logo A Go Go - Five Fashion Brands Making Their Mark On The Watch Industry

The luxury world loves logos. Here’s how to wear your heart on your sleeve.

By Rhonda Riche

Conspicuous consumption is back. Spearheaded by street style brands like Supreme and society’s love of social media, buyers of high-end goods are looking for objects both recognizable but also Instagrammable.

And the makers of luxury timepieces recognize the importance of brand recognition. This fall, companies like Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Bulgari are seeking to supply the demand for logo-friendly watches that play up their heritage while being playful with their design at the same time.

Say My Name

Although the post-2008 austerity era favored stealth wealth designs, bold-faced watch types have always had waves of popularity. Take, for instance, the Bulgari Bulgari line. The original made its first appearance in the 1975. What makes the 2018 model a little more discreet is that the logo is absent from the dial. Instead, inspired by the typography of coins struck by Roman emperors, the brand’s name is found on the bronze or black DLC coated bezel.

And even when you are sporting the Bulgari name around your wrist, you still have the opportunity to make the new Bulgari Bulgari part of your personal brand. It comes equipped with two, tool-free, interchangeable strap (options include embossed rubber, alligator leather or leather). And if you choose one of the bronze bezels, the metal will react to your individual chemistry to change the patina of the case.

Inside, the Bulgari Bulgari is straightforward with a manufacture self-winding movement (the Calibre BVL 191) and a simple hour, minute, seconds and date display.

Just My Type

Hermès, the luxury leather goods house, has a long history with haute horology. Partnering with the greatest names in Swiss watchmaking, the first watches bearing the company’s signature were introduced in 1928. In 1978 the company opened its own manufacture, La Montre Hermès S.A.  in Biel, Switzerland.

From the start, Hermès’ timepieces have always paid tribute to its origins as outfitters to the leisure class. The Clipper, for example, evokes the porthole of a yacht. The case of the Arceau resembles a horse bit. The Medor is studded like a dog collar — on of the first things Hermès made.

But the Heure H collection is based on the Hermès logo itself. Introduced in 1997. The case (created by in-house product designer Philippe Mouquet) itself is shaped like the Hermès initial. To meet the demand for typographical timepieces, Hermès is launching the Double Jeu this October. This woman’s watch will be available in two playful versions: one that is set vertically with diamonds on stainless steel case and another with stones arranged horizontally across the case and dial so that it looks like it was dipped in diamonds.

Both iterations are available with either a white or black lacquered dial and interchangeable calfskin straps.

Baggage Claim

There’re few logos as iconic as Louis Vuitton’s interlocking LV monogram. Invented in 1901 by Gaston Vuitton to decorate the firm’s famous Steamer trunks, this signature is synonymous with luxury.

And the tourbillon has become this generation’s favorite fancy watchmaking complication. Which is why the Louis Vuitton Escale Spin Time Tourbillon Central Blue (introduced in 2017) is so irresistible to status seekers. It’s fun — the dial is continually changing thanks to 24 spinning square geometric flags. And it’s smart — the graphic logo treatment is craftily incorporated into the central, V-shaped flying tourbillon carriage.

Flip this automatic watch over and the sapphire back reveals the LV 92 Calibre plus an aluminum disc paired with an oscillating weight that rotates around a big, boldly outlined “LV” monogram.

Logo A Go Go

When one considers that most monogrammed Fendi bags cost well upwards of $1,000, investing in a less expensive but still high-end timepiece is an accessible way to enter the logo game.

The Run Away is a quartz-powered watch with an elegant look even though the instantly recognizable Fendi F takes up half of the dial’s real estate. It’s a correct gender-neutral design, available in 28mm, 32mm, and 41mm case sizes. There are many versions, but the model with the satin-brushed, black-colored stainless-steel case and off-centered black sunray dial really sets off the Fendi F.

Back To The Future

Gucci was one of the first luxury brands to embrace the new logomania.  When Alessandro Michele was appointed Creative Director of the company in 2015, he mined the brand archives for signature codes such as the famed double G logo. Perhaps the most aesthetically exciting take on the monogram is the G-Timeless which features the Gucci GG logo as a floating hologram on the dial and plastic strap of the 38mm quartz-based watch.

This distinctive timepiece also features another Gucci code, an Ouroboros (an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its tail) engraved on the back.

The current craze for bold graphics and ’gram-friendly images has turned the luxury market on its ear. In case you were prone to write it off as just a trend, remember that the ouroboros also signifies the eternal cycle of renewal. This phase may pass, but it will certainly come back around again.

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