While the instance of luxury watchmakers rolling out smartwatches is by no means a new phenomenon, there has never been one specifically catered to the Chinese market – until now. Having first made its debut in London back in March, the Montblanc Summit has now hit Chinese shores, loaded chockfull with apps catered especially to local consumers.
Modelled after a classic wristwatch, the Montblanc Summit bears the vintage-inspired case of the manufacture’s 1858 collection, replete with a pusher that resembles a winding crown. Notably, it is fitted with a curved sapphire crystal glass touch-screen (a first for smartwatches) like that found in most fine watches, and comes paired with either a rubber Nato or calfskin leather strap. Bespoke services are available upon request.
“Having easy access to all kinds of information digitally has become essential in today’s fast-paced world. The Montblanc Summit smartwatch proves that those who appreciate fine watchmaking can have the best in digital technology without compromising on the exceptional experience of a traditional watch,” explains Montblanc CEO Nicolas Baretzki on the design philosophy behind the timepiece. “This latest innovation bridges these two worlds with a simple and highly functional product, and an elegantly vintage design inspired by a mechanical watch."
That said, what is most impressive about the timekeeper is not its aesthetics but the myriad of inbuilt applications that are powered by its Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 processor. While the internationally released Montblanc Summit comes integrated with the likes of car transportation app Uber and local search-and-discover app Foursquare, the Chinese release of this timepiece is equipped with its Chinese equivalents: Didi and Dianping respectively. Other apps found in the Chinese version of the timekeeper include travel provider Ctrip and mobile payment platform Alipay.
To launch the new smartwatch in the Chinese market, Montblanc collaborated with local agency DLG China to create an integrated digital campaign on the nation’s most widely used social media platform, WeChat. Accessible through a native WeChat ad, it takes users on an interactive and experiential journey through the wristwatch’s functions.
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“The Summit was imagined as a companion for young urbanites to navigate the fast paced lifestyles of today while providing the incomparable experience of wearing a real watch,” elaborates Aris Maroulis, Managing Director of Montblanc China. “Given our target consumers, we felt that social communication was key in engaging them. Hence, we approached DLG to come up an engaging and attractive social campaign to support this launch,” he adds.
To highlight the timepiece’s inventiveness and bold take on wearable technology, DLG China commissioned the production of a series of promotional images – for use on the WeChat native ad – to online influencers renowned for their extreme photography (think legs dangling from skyscrapers and other seemingly death-defying aerial shots). Images created exuded street-style flair and featured wrist shots of the Montblanc Summit set against urban cityscapes.
While the style of shooting and imagery used here may be rather unorthodox for the watch industry, it is the very sort that today’s digital natives are familiar with. In fact, the works of these selected influencers (based across Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan) are often reposted on highly popular Instagram accounts, including Hypebeast and 24k.mag. Besides being digitally relevant, this move also hints at the Swiss watchmaker’s increasing efforts to attract a younger audience – namely, millenials.
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Coined to describe the generation Y demographic (those typically born between the 1980s and early 2000s), millenials have since become an important segment for brands with their growing purchasing power. And having grown up in a connected world, the surest way to reach these individuals is through social media channels and engaging digital campaigns.
“Digital channels allow brands to tailor their communication efforts to specific audiences. With Montblanc’s support, we have developed an interesting campaign that breaks the usual codes of the watchmaking industry,” says Pablo Mauron, Partner and Managing Director of DLG China. “And as the consumer base of brands gradually mature to include more digitally-savvy millenials, creating memorable digital content is more important now than ever,” he concludes.
To discover the campaign (mobile only), scan the QR code above. WiFi access is recommended for the viewing of this campaign and slow loading times are to be expected when accessing it from outside China.