Movado: An Underrated Brand
Well, hello everyone! Firstly, let me introduce to you something special and in my opinion, does not get enough recognition or respect within the watch community: Movado.
Established in 1881 in Switzerland, a small watchmaker named Achille Ditesheim hustled his way through and in 1905, built a company that’s worthy enough to adopt the name ‘Movado’. Translated as ‘always in motion’ in Esperanto, they were focus on innovating, and changing the landscape of horology.
Throughout the 1900s, they followed the ‘Art Deco’ movement, focusing on timepieces as art work with visual impact and a resounding presence. By late 1990 onto present day, Movado has been focused on minimalism and simple timepieces that champions their signature piece: The Museum Dial.
The Face That Introduced the Modern Era
In 1947, an iconic face was born which symbolizes Movado to a tee: black faced dial, with clean minute and hour hands, and a single dot at the 12 o’clock mark that symbolizes high-noon.
This face was so iconic that it was chosen to become a permanent fixture in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1960. According to movado.com, it is the first timepiece to receive this distinction.
Nowadays, Movado Group Inc. owns many watch brands such as the flagship brand Movado, Ebel, Concord, etc.
My First Impression of the Movado M125
On my wrist is a Movado M125, which is characteristically different from any Movado on the market. This particular model celebrates the 125 years of innovation. The Museum dial is still present, but the central dot is flat, compared to rounded dots of regular Movado watches. The case is very slender and has a thin to non-existent bezel. It’s flat; it’s simple; an excellent example of a modern timepiece at its finest.
The leather strap has subtle design cues as well, with the wrist strap buckle housing an indented circle, representing the museum dial that created such a buzz. With a stainless steel back, and a sapphire crystal it is a discussion piece amongst people.
But not watch snobs. And I cannot fathom why.
Movado is Often Overlooked by The Watch Community
One look at this particular model shows craftsmanship and quality; selection of materials shows classiness and durability. It’s no diver’s watch, but it’ll survive a soiree or two.
The Swiss quartz movement is accurate, but it won’t make someone gawk in awe.
By most people, they see Movado as a high-end prestigious watch. To the watch geeks however, they just see Movado as a ‘fashion’ brand: Gucci, A|X, etc.
Even though in their early stages, they had beautiful pieces that changed the game: 1912 Polyplan, which had a curvaceous movement and casing. The Artist Series of the late 80s which featured the ‘Pop Art’ movement featuring Andy Warhol.
Maybe because they don’t make their own movements like Seiko or Rolex? Or they adopted quartz fully, which is not as ‘cool’ as automatic movements? Even though quartz watches are more accurate…
Perhaps it’s because they create watches for other ‘fashion’ brands like Tommy Hilfiger, COACH, etc.?
Or maybe because they have diluted the brand, by putting the museum dial in every watch they sell… And just modify the same face to sell it as ‘different’? Who knows.
The Verdict: How I Feel About The Movado M125
For me, Movado has an understated presence and it’s very incognito. It’s enough for your manager to say, ‘nice watch’ or to get someone to do a double-take.
Granted, it’ll cause heated debates amongst the watch community but asking “Which is better: Submariner date vs. no date?” will cause people to throw chairs across the room so I’ll call that a wash.
Other watches that compete with this watch are other ‘fashion’ brand watches, which is unfortunate because Movado has enough history, in my opinion, to compete with TAG Heuer or (gasp), dare I say, Omega.
Movado watches provide great value for the money but if you’re main goal is to have a collection with strong resale values, you have alternatives in the automatic market.
So fellow readers: What do you think is the main reason why Movado isn’t as well-respected within the watch community? How can they fix it? What can they change within their brand to bring their reputation into the upper echelon?