Wednesday, October 8, 2008

11 September 2008:- Titan has collaborated with World Wildlife Fund India to launch a
unique range of watches inspired by some of India’s highly endangered
species. The idea is to spread awareness
in the country through a
collection of exclusively designed watches..

The Titan-WWF collection is inspired from six endangered species namely
the Tiger, Indian Rhino, Gangetic River Dolphin, Red Panda, Whale Shark
and Oliver Ridley Turtle. Novelist Shobha De unveiled this collection in Mumbai.

Titan has been a household name in India ever since it stepped in the world of horology. At first they collaborated with the American watch making giant Timex which eventually broke in the year 1998 and now Titan and Timex are the 2 main competitors in the lower and middle class strata of Indian watch industry.

Titan has a market share of 65% in the organized watch sector in India which is way ahead of its closest rival Timex. The success story of Titan has been a case study of all Management Courses. How Titan broke the Monopoly of HMT and more importantly changed the perception of Indians towards watches is purely exemplary.

That said apart the strong point of Titan was always Quality at an Affordable price. Titan was never priced unreasonably high though Tatas could have easily asked for a higher price point keeping in mind the Quality of their watches. On the other hand they never priced their items so low so they loose their aspirational value in the minds of consumers. Their pricing strategy is just too perfect which made Titan gain the Numero Uno position in which it is in now.

But it is not that Titan hasn’t had their share of failures..Titan failed miserably in Europe.Explaining why Titan failed to make a mark in Europe, Harish Bhat COO, Titan said in an interview that "Europeans are very conservative when buying watches. They look at it as as durable.If they were to spend money, they would go for a traditional Swiss brand. If people wanted a disposable, they picked up a Japanese watch. Italy and France have a marginal designer watch market, but that’s about it.We miscalculated on that. We spent (millions of rupees) on advertisements which we thought would help make a dent in the European market. It didn’t happen. We have learnt our lessons".

That said apart Surely Titan learnt their lessons and become one of the largest selling watch brands in the Middle East. Titan has been doing constant up gradations in their portfolio. They just never let it stale. Starting from Edge and Regalia; they gradually moved to Nebula which no doubt is the most affordable luxury watch in the world. Recently they added another feather to their cap by launching Nebula Gold Mechanical Watch which is the first from the stable of Titan which otherwise manufactures only quartz watches.

Talking about the latest WWF Collection it is an extension to their strategy of novelty. First they launched Heritage Collection about a year back based on the beautiful monuments of India including The Taj Mahal, Stambha, Lakshmi Vilas Place, Jharokha,Konark, Jantar Mantar, Ajanta, Mandala and Kurukshetra. This year Titan chose endangered animal species of India to be put on the dials. The result is this unique unisex Titan WWF collection. The collection based on 6 animal species has made inroads for 13 new designs in the already vast Titan portfolio.

Now coming to the actual review of the Titan WWF collection, I bought a Brown circular dialed leather strapped beauty. It’s base animal is Tiger so the claws are all over the dial to represent the carnivore.The most striking aspect of the watch is the second hand which is absent but still present..Sounds like an oxymoron...Well it isn’t...Because Titan has placed the seconds hand as in a chronograph but the needle is missing...Instead of the needle their is a tiny bulging dot which has got a circular movement which is a sure shot visual treat..Technically there is nothing new in this watch and it is a regular Titan quartz watch with no exceptional design..But the exceptional quality is the thought behind its making which surely deserves an applaud..Well done Titan...

Pricing wise as always it is justifiably priced between Rs 3000/- to Rs 3800/-. My watch model made me poorer by Rs 3250/- but made my collection much richer than the amount I paid. I don’t see much TV nowadays so can’t comment whether they have started airing a commercial for new collection. But I read somewhere that they are planning so in the near future. I hope it will be as good as their previous commercials which will bolster the sales of this niche Collector’s Collection..Best of luck Titan..Way to go..

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