This morning, I am taking both a mechanical and a smart watch to Basel. And here is why.
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BaselWorld can rightfully be called the world leading event for those who move and shake the watchmaking industry. Thus, the perfect spot for those keen on researching in and learning from the luxury market through a scientific lense.
That’s why we established the Luxury Research Brownbag at BaselWorld four years ago: PhD students, PostDocs, Assistant Professors and Professors just like a handful of particularly engaged master students were kindly invited by MCH Group to join us exploring the fair and integrating what we saw in a joint workshop at University of Basel. See this page for a report on last year’s event.
The event became a little more popular every year and so we are looking forward to, today, welcoming 23 young researchers fascinated by the marketing and management of today’s ancestry of Europe’s manufacturing heritage.
Beyond our participants, we are thrilled to know that Prof. Dr. Felicitas Morhart, full professor at University of Lausanne and patron of the BrownBag, just like Benjamin Gilgen, Managing Director of the renowned brand management consultancy Metadesign are joining us for the day just as Rene Kamm, CEO of MCH Group is going to join us for the traditionally warm and sincere welcome at BaselWorld.
Throughout the day, we will be liveblogging from the fair. A key technology to preparing our workshop in the afternoon will be Instagram. Be sure to follow the hashtag #lrb for our impressions of the fair. Furthermore, I will be taking some video material and post it as I get the chance.
Finally, I promised to explain why I would bring a smart watch to BaselWorld. Two reasons: I see great potential in innovation for the luxury market. Luxury should not shy away from technology, it should reinterpret what luxury means, in a digital landscape. For smart watches, this might mean that a version of the timepiece might turn into my personal gateway to an exclusive and thoroughly brand-fitting service portfolio that might help luxury timepiece brands to finally extend their brands – not into any other, random product category, but into a more immersive, experience-driven and highly profitable and data-rich services domain. I’ll draw up my thoughts as soon as I get to it. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to miss if a sector shys away from this opportunity. However, I have not seen a convincing luxury smart watch and the golden Apple Watch surely is not the final word in this discussion. On the other hand, my smart watch lacks heart. That’s why I bring my mechanical watch. It’s my good-luck-charm. It’s a gift from my parents. It’s irreplacable. Just like the industry is, in and by itself. Second reason: it does not even look half bad.
Stay tuned for more!