x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bulova timepieces worth watching

Before the US watchmaker rolls out its full range in UAE stores next month, the president Dennis W Perry tells us what sets the brand apart.

"Nobody does diamonds better than Bulova in our price point," says Dennis W Perry, the present of Bulova. Satish Kumar / The National

Think owning one watch will suffice? The US-based master watchmaker Bulova is looking to change your mind. With more than a century of expertise and innovation behind it, the brand is rolling out its full range of timepieces in the UAE next month.

How will you address the fact that people in the Middle East don't know Bulova as well as watch aficionados in the US do, for example?

We're fully aware we don't have a large identity in this part of the world. However, in other geographical regions, we've been able to break through by leveraging the fact that we have been in the watch industry for 135 years - and in our business, duration leads to the implication of quality and trust, which gives consumers confidence. So I have history on my side. But of course I also come with the expectation that every market is a challenge and it's going to take time.

The UAE watch market is highly competitive, so how do your watches compare in price with similar brands?

We have pricing that in today's economy is very friendly. We're not a terribly expensive brand. We start at somewhere around Dh600, we end at about Dh4,150.

What about the designs? What's unique about the ranges you offer?

We bring very attractive designs within the package of unique technology. We are the only people in the world to have precisionist technology, which means we can deliver the world's most accurate watch. It's accurate to 10 seconds a year, whereas other watches are accurate to around 15 seconds a month.

Do you mean the world's most accurate watch within your market segment? More expensive designer brands also boast technology.

No, I would say worldwide. I can say that comfortably and legally because we're the only ones with a continuously sweeping second hand. So the consumer gets the visual reinforcement of this unique technology inside the watch.

Technology aside, what about the all-important look and feel of the watches you'll be debuting here?

We have both traditional and contemporary styles, all of which stand out. We also do a fair amount of work with diamonds - bezels, dials, etc. And I can tell you I arrived in Dubai a few days early to have a walk around and basically "learn by seeing". I discovered there is no shortage of interest in bling. What we offer is consistent with what people are looking for and are buying - and, by the way, nobody does diamonds better than Bulova in our price point.

Men in this part of the world are known for their love of watches. What's new from Bulova that might convince them to invest in one of your timepieces?

Last month in this region we launched the world's most advanced chronograph. It is accurate to a 1,000th of a second over 12 hours, so it gives you fractional accuracy over a duration that nobody else offers. It costs about Dh2,100, which is a lot of value and technology. The things men anywhere can invest in are limited: watches, cars and maybe boats. So we have something to offer. For men, it's technology; for women, diamonds.

Bulova watches will be available at 50 watch stores in the UAE by the end of next month. For more information visit www.bulova.com