With Smartwatches disrupting the watch market, it is hard to imagine any real demand or desire for traditional analog watches. Yet, with the overload of technology being forced on consumers, many style gurus, fashionistas and collectors are actually begging for more traditional-style and unique, clothing and accessories in order to stand out in a cluttered world.
A ‘high-profile’ look
Following the rise of reality television shows and books like Girl Boss, America Pickers and Storage Wars, there has been a new peak in interest of vintage items and watches – and clocks are no exception. Many have caught on to the craze by buying older and more antique style analog watches and selling or wearing them for a ‘high-profile’ look with a price to match.
While Apple may not be worried about this steady shift in focus, it means that traditional watchmakers have raised the bar in style and market appeal in order to play in the leagues with their digital craftsmen counterparts.
An anticipated shift in focus
For the team here at Adina, Australia’s longest-running and last remaining bespoke analog watchmaker, the shift in focus has been something we hopefully anticipated, adding tailor-made and bespoke timepieces to our collection in recent years. Ranging from high-profile red-carpet looks through to industry-specific models suited to activities such as mining, deep-diving and high-altitude mountain climbing – all the while, keeping in tune with the elegance and sophistication of a traditional analog watch.
Run by father and son duo, Bob and Grant Menzies, Adina have steadily been able to grow capacity to a team of 20 workers, producing over 40,000 hand assembled watches a year, despite the increase in sales and the growing competition from the digital realm.
“Watchmaking has always been a competitive industry. When my father started the business back in the early 70’s he was producing watches on his own. The passion and the ability to continually reinvent ourselves (Adina) is one of the many reasons that have enabled us to grow the business into the success it is today and keep it thriving through any disruption over the decades,” says Grant Menzies, General Manager for Adina.
“We have had to be forward-thinking to ensure our timepieces reflect the needs of collectors and buyers – no matter the era or trend,” he adds.
Tailoring contemporary vintage style watches
And with the expectation that the sleek, and contemporary style watches will be joining the “modern-vintage” trend in a few short years, the focus has been split; tailoring contemporary watches flavored to today’s market, while also keeping in tune with the “vintage” style that seems to consistently creep back in into circulation.
Adding further weight to the vintage style debate is Adina’s latest product release, to be exhibited in August at the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney. It is a dome glassed 200m Amphibian dive watch on a boldly stitched, distressed leather strap that just exudes 70s charm while maintaining all the expected modern functionality.
“The definition of what’s traditional and what’s vintage is constantly changing. The hottest and new-to-market items from today are next years’ classics,” Grant says.
“Watchmaking is about understanding your market and tailoring your products to meet that, while still retaining your company ethos and brand values.”
Making a statement
So, whether you are looking to spice up your look or join the latest trends, it really is a case of out with the new and in with the old when it comes to making a statement on your wrist.