Baume & Mercier Has Mastered the Combo of Elegant and Laid-Back

Marketing lifestyle and product together isn’t always easy for watch brands

While it might seem like the makers and sellers of wristwatches have a comparatively easy time marketing their wares, it’s actually tougher than it looks. The big problem is that watches are, physically, not big. “There aren’t a lot of ways to position the jewelry,” explained Janice Winter, a veteran marketing executive who worked for brands like Judith Ripka and Estée Lauder before founding her own firm, Janice Winter Inc. The creators of luxury watch ads have basically two choices, Winter said. There’s the model shot featuring a gorgeous so-and-so sporting the timepiece on his wrist, and there’s what Winter calls the “product-as-hero shot.” But both have their problems. The former makes it difficult to actually see the watch. And the latter? “It says, ‘OK, here’s the watch’—which doesn’t communicate anything,” Winter said.