Montblanc Aims for Younger Crowd
The makers of luxury Swiss watches are looking to the future and figuring out ways to appeal to a new, tech-savvy generation that has come to rely on smartphones rather than wristwatches to remind them of the time. One of their biggest challenges is combining smartwatch function with the style and craftsmanship of traditional fine timepieces but Sylvain Costof, managing director of Montblanc Korea, thinks the company has the right stuff to make it work.
On Thursday, Costof laid out a plan to appeal to the younger crowd, starting with the release of the digital e-Strap next month and continuing with an updated marketing campaign.
“The e-Strap was introduced in January at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogie Geneve. It is expected to be out in the market sometime in between late August and early September, including Korea,” said Costof.
With the e-Strap, Montblanc is taking a different approach from that of other traditional watch brands that are developing their own digital devices from the ground up. The e-Strap is an addition to the standard Montblanc watch with an OLED system that displays notifications at the bottom of the watchband.
“The development of e-Strap has created a lot of interest in our brand, and got us closer to the young and contemporary clientele,” Costof explained. “It has different modalities that fit into different watches. It is apt for sports and other performances, and also goes together with the Internet of Things era when everything is connected to each other.
“I am proud to say that Montblanc was the first mover in the business. Our history with new technology dates back to when we first developed e-StarWalker an e-screenwriter with Samsung (in 2014).”
This foray into the wild world of technology is even more impressive when you consider that Montblanc is a company that got its start making fountain pens.