Breguet unveils Rs 30.6m watches in India

Bangalore, May 5:

Montres Breguet, the 200-year-old Swiss watch maker, has entered India to hard sell its exclusive collection of mechanical watches, each considered a masterpiece of craftsmanship.

Making a quiet entry into the subcontinent with a soft launch in Delhi last October, the global firm of the Swatch group has brought its most expensive pocket-watch, priced at Rs 30.6 million ($6.8 million), for showcasing and promoting it as a collector’s item.

“It has taken us four years to develop the prototype and another year to manufacture the pocket-watch. It is also for the first time we have brought the pocket-watch, christened Tourbillion, to India for display and made-to-order delivery,” vice-president Rodolphe Schulthess said at a preview of the Breguet collection here late Thursday.

Weighing about 500 grams, Tourbillion is made of 18-carat gold and contains 43 jewels for movement. Based on the original design of 1907, the pocket-watch will be produced only in a 100 a year on a made-to-order basis.

“Tourbillion is known as much for its elegance as for its mechanism. We have two patents for its centrifugal strike governor and the striking piece with surprise piece lifting-lever. Its yellow-gold case is made of two secret covers, one hiding the beauty of its face and the other the movement assembly,” Schulthess said. Partnering with Ethos Swiss Watch Studios,

the country’s Swiss watch retail chain, about 400 Breguet timepieces will be on display for sale at Ethos luxury boutiques in Bangalore and Delhi.

“We have chosen Bangalore after Delhi for launching our premium watches keeping in view the city’s reputation as the most discerning place for technology and art. A Brequet watch is not a showpiece but a work of art with an emotional appeal. It is a collector’s item with aesthetics and cherished for life,” said Ethos Managing Director Yoshovardhan Saboo.

Starting from Rs 400,000 for its lowest model, Breguet watches are priced at Rs 1 million upwards, with some premium watches like the Queen of Naples for women priced at Rs 10.2 million.

Watches priced between Rs 2-5 million are in great demand in the subcontinent, Breguet officials say.

Though Breguet watches are priced in India higher than in other Asian countries due to 55 per cent of their retail price constituting duties and taxes, they are quite popular among high-flying executives and the elite. “India currently ranks among the top 20 countries the world over for our timepieces. Since our launch in the Indian market seven months ago, the response has been beyond our expectations, with high-profile customers in the age group of 30-45 years making a beeline to our retail outlets in Delhi,” he added.