Trends can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. In the world of watches, it surprisingly pays off when you are slightly conservative. Yet— as in any industry— only a select few have the privilege to march to the beat of their own drum, which means that trends need to be followed for the majority of brands. The challenge with trends is that you need to ride them like a wave, and timing is tricky. If you get up too soon before the trend gets its momentum in the market, you might get a few bonus points for being an early adopter but don’t fully benefit from it in terms of sales. In that case, you might prefer being late to the party, as people might call you a copycat but probably still buy your watches anyway.
In the last few months, I have noticed that I am growing a dislike for new watches with green dials. Mind you, I loved these before they became trendy, and you can blame my name for that. Green was slowly but surely taking over the steady stream of press releases I get throughout the week. At some point, it is hard not to see it as a money grab. However, here I have to pace myself. As the Roman emperors used to say, give the people what they want. The watch industry is still a business; to survive, you must make what sells.
The tricky part of integrating a trend, like green-colored watches, in your collection is that it has to fit your DNA to remain believable as a brand. Here, you have to get creative. A brilliant example of this is the recent collaboration between Oris and Kermit the Frog. This created a good-looking watch in a vibrant green that stayed true to what Oris as a brand stands for. Girard-Perregaux did a similar thing in their collaboration with Aston Martin, whose signature color is green. These ways, you might use a trend color but have a believable connection to it. It helps when you go the extra mile like Rolex did with the palm leaf motif on the Datejust. While Rolex is one of the brands that doesn’t really need it, also because they have a historical connection to the color, it makes for an even stronger offering. So trends are not to be ignored, but the way that brands incorporate them within their collections pays off even better when done with care and authenticity.