If I had to characterize Enoksen watches, I’d go with “generic.” Not only do their designs
copy conform to popular styles, the company doesn’t brand the watch face. Enoksen makes it money selling their German-made generics at affordable prices. (The Rolexian 40.8mm Dive E02/H Oyster above runs $300.) As many manufacturers do, Enoksen switches bits to create new “models.” A bezel here, a dial color there. Only now they’re putting the process in the hands of their customers . . .
irishnews.com reports that Enoksen is opening its first bricks and mortar store today in Belfast, offering in-person watch customization
The unit will provide a customer-centred workshop in which clients can choose the components to create a bespoke wristwatch. The watch can then be assembled by Enoksen technicians and completed on site . . .
“We are a small company with an eye to personal customer service and have been successful in the online sales of our watches through our e-commerce site [Danish immigrant Hans Enoksen says] but I believe many people still want to touch and feel the item before buying.”
“The Enoksen Workshop at Lockview Road in Stranmillis, which will be operated on an appointment basis, will provide this physical interaction and engagement.”
England and France’s second COVID-19 lockdown is bound to put a damper on the debut. Even when a vaccine contains the virus and people resume their peregrinations, it’s unlikely that horophiles will travel to Belfast to buy a $300 watch.
Which is why Enoksen is also offering an online configurator for customers outside the Emerald Isle. They can now “design” their own watch, albeit limited to the movement (Mech-Quartz, Quartz or Mechanical), bezel color (17 choices) and bracelet/strap (15 choices).
As we reported in Friday’s New Watch Alert, Victorinox sells the same service for their I.N.O.X. watches.
On the other end of the spectrum, well-heeled customers can use Piaget’s “Infinitely Personal” program to customize their Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon, with over four million possible permutations.
It’s a trend, but nothing new.
Back in the day, Rolex customers chose their case, dial and strap at an authorized Rolex dealer, who’d assemble the finished timepiece while they waited. And Rolex modders like Wildman have been altering Rolex for decades.
What’s new: the technology now exists to bring customization to millions. But what does this mass customization – predicted by Alvin Toffler’s The Third Wave in 1980 – portend for the future of traditional watches, when fewer and fewer watches are alike?
The trend could drive pre-owned prices down, as there will no longer be one highly collectible model. By the same token it could drive the prices of some watches up, as watchmakers manufacture less of the most sought after configurations.
In any event, Enoksen is making customization an event. A spectator sport, if you will.
This development reflects a much more important development: watchmakers getting closer and closer to their customers, in terms of product, communications and in-person contact. A trend driven by technology: CAD-CAM and the internet. And, of course, the smartwatch.
As the market for traditional watches shrinks, each customer is becoming more and more valuable. So service will continue to improve even as choice continues to diminish. Watch industry insiders still in denial about this shift are advised to heed the old Danish proverb Ambolten frygter ikke hammeren. A good anvil does not fear the hammer.