The Strategy Behind Philipp Plein’s Entry Into The Luxury Watch Market

Philipp Plein presented his newest line in luxury timepieces during Paris Fashion Week Men’s.

The Spectre Collection named after the 24th Bond movie features Skeleton and Chrono models with automatic movement and flat stainless steel casing. The timepieces are created with license partner Timex.

The $900 price point and strategic positioning are classic Plein. “I studied the market,” he says, noting that while fashion watches retail from approximately $150 to $350, entry level Swiss watches, Tag Heuer for example, start at around $1500. “I fill the gap.”

“I’m a rule breaker,” he says. “I’m interrupting the industry. I did it in fashion and now I’m doing it in watches.”

Tapping into an under-exploited area in the market is a tool he deployed recently for the launch of his new Plein Sport brand where sneakers start at $200, the top end of more typical sports shoe pricing.

Plein entered the watch market last year with license partner Timex which had initially leaned towards a lower price point. However, the (educated) gamble paid off.

While wholesale turnover was $9.7 million due to pandemic related production issues in China, the projected figure for 2023 is is around the $22 million mark he says. “When you buy a fashion watch you buy into the brand.”

Ultimately, he says, “we sell a very cool sophisticated product that looks very expensive for a good price.”

The face of the advertisement campaign for Philipp Plein timepieces is Irish entrepreneur and former F1 motorsport team owner, Eddie Jordan.

Later this year, however, he will launch a more elevated, this time, Swiss-made model. And while he admits that this market will be more difficult to crack, he’s confident that the buzz generated by the higher end line will also impact favorably on sales of his fashion models.

The Swiss made collection will be named Crypto King$ after the art collective Plein launched with digital imager maker Antoni Tudisco last year. As with the rest of his output, it will be available on his e-commerce site in both traditional Fiat and cryptocurrency.

The launch activation took place during Paris Fashion Week Men’s at Paris’ Hôtel de Crillon overlooking the city’s Place de la Concorde.

The immersive experience featured a holographic installation produced by the Antoni Tudisco studio alongside a more traditional string quartet.

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