Richemont unveils new “affordable” watch brand: Baume
Richemont, the luxury giant known for its watch and jewelry brands, like Cartier, Baume & Mercier, and Van Cleef & Arpels, is branching out into “affordable” luxury – with a distinctly Millennial flavour. A few days ago, the company launched a new watch brand, Baume – an offshoot of the well known Baume & Mercier that, until now, has represented an entry point into Richemont’s watches – which will create luxury timepieces that retail between $560 and $1,000.
Richemont’s share price has appreciated by 12% so far this year
Source: Yahoo Finance
While Richemont hasn’t come out and bluntly said it, the company’s new watch brand looks strikingly capable of making a play for Millennial luxury customers. While Millennials now have more purchasing power than they did a few years ago, they’re still strapped for cash compared to Baby Boomers – if you’re struggling to afford a mortgage, putting down $20,000 on a watch is not a realistic option. But that doesn’t mean Millennials are immune to the allure of luxury craftsmanship.
Price is just one issue though – consider Baume’s branding: first, it is deemed “a genderless brand designed for a better tomorrow.” Given Millennials’ increasing feelings over gender fluidity and environmentalism, this is likely a winning proposition. It’s an honest one, too: Richemont says that the watches are crafted from “recycled, up-cycled, and sustainable materials.” It uses no animal materials and no precious metals or gems mined from under the Earth.
At present, Baume has two collections and offers customization options. It also embodies Richemont’s classic approach to fin quality watchmaking. With luxury watches making a reappearance on the scene, and Millennials having more disposable cash than they have ever had before, Richemont’s Baume may be the right brand, in the right place, at the right time.
Dominion holds Richemont in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.
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