Sometime in the 1880s, a Swiss culter named Karl Elsener designed a soldier’s knife for the Swiss Army. The finesse of the knife was beyond perfection and he went on to design the officer’s and sports knives. Later, he ventured into designing watches and that’s how the world famous Swiss watches were born and the brand Victorinox became an iconic symbol of style and perfection the world over.
I listen to this story from the salesperson at the newly opened high-end Helios watch store in Madurai’s upscale Anna Nagar, as she shows an exclusive wrist watch from the Alliance collection of Victorinox. Neatly encased in a sophisticated box, the watch is one of its kind and comes along with a Swiss knife. It’s a status symbol to wear a luxury watch and there’s no dearth of options at the store.
Over 1700 exclusive wrist watches are displayed in plush glass cases and each piece unique with a story behind the design, mechanism. Housing more than 25 international watch brands under one roof, the store is a collaboration of World of Titan and Helios and is the second multi-brand outlet in the luxury segment in the State after Chennai.
The 1,200 sq.ft retail outlet has redefined luxury in the city apart by bringing in a wide and enticing range of watches from across the globe. “The store is one-stop-solution for all watch lovers of people from the southern districts. For long, people from Madurai shopped for luxury goods only while travelling. Or they would go to Chennai and Coimbatore. We wanted to tap the potential of the customers and thought a high-end watch store will fit in that space,” says Sridevi Suresh, the franchisee of the store
“A growing town like Madurai was in need of such a store for long and we thought of encashing on the growing market. Lifestyle of the people are changing and watches are now primarily a fashion accessory than a necessity. The brand awareness and consciousness and the aspiration of the people in small towns have gone up after globalisation and online retail,” says Dinesh Kumar, Area Business Manager of Titan.
The store houses brands including GC, Police, Skagen, Tommy Hilfiger, Victorinox, Swarovski, Guess, Fossil, Anne Klein, Seiko, Tag Heuer, Citizen and in-house brands of Titan such as Nebula, Xylys, Fastrack etc. There are also special edition pieces and exclusive collections such as Raga, Purple for Women, Octane and Regalia apart from a range of SKINN fragrances. Children’s watch brand Zoop offers watches costing Rs.500 while the most expensive piece at the store is a Nebula gold watch, made of 18 carat solid gold and studded with resaleable diamonds costing over Rs.5,00,000.
“During the inauguration of the store, we sold three out of eight Tag Heuer pieces that were priced in the range of Rs.2,00,000 to Rs.3,00,000. There are customers in Madurai who go by the brand and are style conscious,” says Sridevi Suresh. “Our aim is to provide our customers with the best brands and services. Often customers from small towns are clueless about the after-purchase service. So, the store also houses an exclusive service centre that’s authentic and reliable. Even if someone wants a specific brand and model, we will try and get it for them. Our idea is when someone thinks of watches in Madurai, they must think of the Helios store.”
Among the highlight editions housed in the store is the Edge Ceramic from the house of Titan, said to be the world’s slimmest watch with a case measuring just 3.5mm in thickness. “There’s also the first edition of Edge that measures only 1.15 mm which won the Red Dot Design Award. Another enticing product is the Reflex watch in Fastrack. It’s a smart watch that calculates calories and heartbeat. It’s easily chargeable and is a hit among the youth with a competitive pricing. The next edition Reflex N will soon be launch in the Madurai store. It will be having updated features like motion sensor,” informs P Vaidyanathan, retail executive. “The store will also housing a premimum range of Seiko wall clocks from next month. We also offer facilities like credit card EMI and gift cards.”
The store is located on HIG80 Feet Road, Anna Nagar. Call 4360600
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