When high street fashion brands diversify into watches, they are generally quartz pieces, as in the case of brands such as Tory Burch and Michael Kors, even Versace, but some brands are showing interest in mechanical watches. An important player in this area is Fossil Group, an American company who make watches for a wide range of brands. They have a European headquarters in Basel, and watchmaking units in various locations in Switzerland.
While Burberry seem to have lost interest in watches (their contract with Fossil Group will end in 2017), other brands, such as Emporio Armani, are moving into the area. As a fashion brand, Emporio Armani has the typically rapid fashion cycle, spring/summer and fall/winter, and a company such as Fossil Group has the capability of making watches at the same speed.
Emporio Armani Swiss Made
Emporio Armani’s spring/summer 2016 collection includes this piece, named simply ARS3200 Limited Edition. This is part of the Emporio Armani Swiss Made collection launched in 2014. Giorgio Armani said, “I think the time has arrived to think of even more significant watches, with a more complex mechanism and choice of special details and precious materials. It’s an intensive goal that I’ve been working on for some time – yet another challenge, another step in the world of accessories and detail that has always fascinated me.”
Subdials for continuous seconds, date and power reserve
This piece has a dial resembling a chronograph, but that in fact shows the basic time functions, plus date at the top, and power reserve at 6 o’clock. The curves of case and lugs, the delicate fluting on the bezel and caseback, and the cabochon in the crown, give the piece a sort of classical Italian elegance. To quote Giorgio again, “I have always believed in a mix of innovation and tradition: my entire stylistic path is based on this concept. I was inspired by the shapes of the 1930s and 1940s and gave these a contemporary look, developing a refined and timeless design, which I combined with the best Swiss technology and its unbeatable precision.”
The watch is 44 mm in diameter and 12.4 mm thick, with a case waterproof to 5 bar. The stainless steel case is IP-plated in rose gold, and likewise the indices and deployant buckle. The strap is in brown alligator. It is a limited edition of 108 pieces.
Inside, it is powered by the STP 2-12 movement made by STP, Fossil Group’s movement-manufacturing facility in Manno, Ticino.
Emporio Armani Swiss Made ARS3200 price
The Emporio Armani Swiss Made ARS3200 Limited Edition costs about $2,134, about €1,904.