CATEGORY: 2018 WATCHES
INTERVIEWEE: ANTON JANSSENS (MANAGING DIRECTOR/CO-FOUNDER)
What are the current big trends with watch retailers need for 2018?
I don’t like the word “trend”. Trends are followed or chased. I want KOMONO’s design team to look past things like that, and make stylish, adaptable objects. Things that you can wear to work, to the skatepark, to a festival. Style isn’t a trend, you have it or you don’t.
This season, KOMONO is focusing on evolving the aesthetic of our bestselling Walther, Winston, Estelle, and Moneypenny lines. We’re adding more styles to the cognac leather and gold effect mesh strap ranges, as well as statement dial colourways. We’re also doing an all-black update to many of our most popular shapes.
What are your main price points for next season?
As a brand, we work to make luxury style accessible. This means creating innovative designs that reflect the unique personalities of our customers at a competitive price. We also know that our customers like to change their looks from day to day, so we’ve introduced a line of leather straps: now any KOMONO watch is customisable for under 40€.
Each season, we release a handful of styles with particularly special materials. These land at a higher price point, just under 200€. We purposefully keep the rest of our collection near to the 100€ mark.
How are you segmenting your watch collection?
We have two lines for our watches: Black and Silver. The Black styles are more accessible colourways, like the All Black or Blue Cognac. The Silver styles are our design lab pieces. It’s where we play with new materials, and look for ways to innovate what the concept of “luxury watch” could mean. These stories – like the Slate, Mirror, and Midnight series – are available for select retailers who we know will understand and promote the KOMONO concept.
What are your main stories in terms of styles and materials for 2018?
We are really excited about our Metropolis collection. The brushed metal dial and embossed numbers are a very subtle statement next to the Italian leather strap. We’re launching Metropolis with our larger styles (Lewis, Winston, Orson, and Magnus II) so that the dials’ texture pops. We’ll also be putting a good bit of focus on the Estelle Royale Marble update. The metal mesh wristbands contrast with the cool marble dials in a way that immediately suggests timeless style and luxury details.
For the Midnight series, we’ve harnessed the captivating glow of the Northern Lights in a reflective blue coating layered on the watch’s crystal. Designs like these are what make our Silver styles so intriguing.
What makes this product category important to your brand?
At KOMONO, we keep our focus entirely dedicated to two categories – eyewear and watches. Focus and quality go hand-in-hand. And we concentrate all our attention on crafting precision pieces of innovative, contemporary design.
What are the main features customers demand from a watch?
It’s funny: now watches are more like fashion pieces than functional devices. It’s not just about telling time anymore, it’s about capturing an aesthetic and bringing customers innovative design features. And as I’ve said, that’s where we focus our energy.
Which technical features are you the proudest of?
With each new collection, we build on what came before – this means constantly introducing new features to our collections with the goal of advancing our aesthetic. With the Slate series, we’ve used the stone itself as our total concept: both the dial and wristband are made from paper-thin authentic slate. We’ve also developed an entirely new, seven-sided shape – the Orson – that challenges traditional circular watch designs.
We’ve recently introduced the Walther Retrograde that updates the dual-sub dial format, with a modern aesthetic: the Walther Retrograde subs are an energetic Monday-Sunday index system. Details make the difference!
Please name and describe your 3 highlight pieces and items that retailers should definitely order.
Naming just three is a tough task! I would recommend the Walther Retrograde, Blue Cognac/Black Cognac series, and All Black series from our Black segmentation. From Silver, I’d stress Metropolis, Midnight, and Slate. Retailers should buy into stories rather than select shapes: this gives their customers the opportunity to shop an aesthetic and suit their personal style.