Parmigiani Uses ‘Real Women’ to Promote Its Watches

Tired of celebrities paid to promote watches? So is Swiss luxury brand Parmigiani Fleurier, which is taking a new approach to promote its first-ever women’s collection of watches.

“We refuse to hire show- business types or top models to market our watches, especially our new women’s watches,” says watch veteran Jean-Marc Jacot of the Sandoz Family Foundation, co-owner of Parmigiani. “Too many brands do that now, so many that it’s boring, and consumers don’t know who represents what.

“We’ll focus on the brand name and the watches,” he said, “We don’t need a third party to promote them.”

So, Parmigiani’s new global marketing campaign materials—catalogs, press releases, events, and videos—feature “five everyday women professionals, women associated with Parmigiani Fleurier, not fake [endorsers],” he said. “These are women who play special roles in giving life to these new collections.”

The five are Michelle Veyna, president of Parmigiani Fleurier USA [pictured]; Anne-Laure Parmigiani, watchmaker, gemologist, and engraver with Parmigiani Fleurier, and daughter of founder Michel Parmigiani; Nancy Thomas, airline pilot and official balloonist of the Parmigiani Fleurier hot-air balloon; Catia Hofmann, sales manager International, Parmigiani Fleurier; and Carol Vallat, designer [pictured].

The Parmigiani Fleurier’s women’s collection debuted in January with the launch of the official Parmigiani hot-air balloon to promote them in the “Parmigiani World Tour 2006” of the globe’s best-known ballooning competitions. Parmigiani also collaborated with Sony Pictures Classic to display its new women’s collection at the premiere and after-party of the movie Friends With Money, before the collection was officially launched at the SIHH luxury watch fair in Geneva in April.

The 30-year-old haute horlogerie brand was founded by master Swiss watchmaker Michel Parmigiani.