Size alone matters as Watchfinder moves into genderless retail
Watchfinder & Co is going genderless. It claims to be the first UK luxury watch retailer to remove all gender labels from its website and stores.
It sees the rebranding of its watches to simply ‘small’, ‘medium’ or ‘large’ as such a big move, the brand is launching a campaign with music artist Tinie Tempah calling for “all jewellery and watches to be made genderless as standard”.
What’s more, Watchfinder is urging manufacturers to follow suit and refer to watches by their size alone and ditch the “redundant, restrictive and outdated gender model, which labels certain watches as only suitable for those of a particular sex, undermining people’s personal tastes and size choices”.
The retailer says the move follows a trend among celebrities and consumers "for subverting stereotypes and wearing watches originally designed for – and marketed solely to – the opposite sex".
It cites the fact that while rappers may have traditionally been associated with large, statement watches, Kanye West is regularly spotted wearing a “dinky” 22mm Cartier Crash. Meanwhile Jay-Z is known to favour a 27mm Jaeger Reverso Duo and Harry Styles likes to sport a 32mm Rolex Precision. “All of these watches would traditionally be considered ‘women’s sizes’ by the gender categorisations”, it notes.
Women are also increasingly moving towards larger watches. It says Victoria Beckham is often seen wearing a 40mm Rolex Daytona, Rosie Huntington-Whitely a 40mm Patek Philippe Nautilus and Charlize Theron a huge – and incredibly thick – 44mm Rolex Deepsea diver's watch.
Analysis by Watchfinder & Co also found that, despite a reluctance to ditch the traditional gender classifications, many watch manufacturers are increasingly catering to this trend.
Rolex has recently enlarged its 26mm ‘Lady’ Datejust to 28mm and taken its ‘Ladies’ Pearlmaster up from 29mm to 39mm – a dimension which would traditionally have been considered a man’s size. The trend works both ways. Tudor – owned by Rolex – recently launched a smaller 39mm version of its ‘men’s’ Black Bay divers watch. Meanwhile, IWC launched a 36mm version of its classic Pilot watch.
Matt Bowling, co-founder of Watchfinder & Co, said: “We feel that categorising a watch as either men’s or women’s is now both redundant, restrictive and outdated. Everyone should be able to choose whatever style they want, without being dictated as to whether it is suitable for their gender or not".
He added: “By removing the men’s and women’s categories from our business we are encouraging customers to explore and discover more watches, helping them find the right watch for them. With a large proportion of men’s watches getting smaller and women’s watches getting bigger, we feel that gender categories are now obsolete”.
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