Move Over Rolex

In recent years, many watch companies have limited their distribution to preserve their elitist status. Today, though, the once-rarefied luxury market is growing crowded. Watch brands on all levels are upscaling their product and image to gain more “exclusive” distribution, add market share, and raise their brand’s perceived value. This trend goes beyond limited-edition launches. It’s trading up on a grand scale. “Everybody’s trying to bring up the quality level,” says Michael Pucci of Wheeling, Ill.-based Genender International, a moderately priced watch company that markets an upscale, limited-edition Levi’s pocket watch. “As the world gets smaller, price becomes less of an obstacle. I call it the barber syndrome. The barber only has so many hours in a day. The only way to get more dollars is to raise prices or call himself a salon.” The logical route is to disc

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