Complex Made Simple

Karoline Huber: The luxury watch industry ‘doesn’t follow trends’

Over the past few months, the world has witnessed the unveiling of several creations by renowned luxury Swiss watchmakers, encompassing Smart elements.

This was regarded by many as following the trend of going digital, which was regarded as a response to tech giants, led by Apple, releasing their awaited Smart watches.

Whether successful or not, Smart watches have disrupted, in one way or the other, the traditional watch industry and divided the opinions of its leaders on their impact and the potential threats they may cause.

Karoline Huber, IWC Schaffhausen’s brand director for the MENA and India regions, believes that following trends is not a habit of the luxury Swiss watchmaker.

She explains that fine timepieces have their own allure that attracts buyers, who wish to be unique and not follow the trend like the rest.

In the MENA region, luxury mechanical watches, according to her, have “not only been acknowledged, but also embraced” by consumers in the MENA region. She then moves on to explain the logic behind that notion, including the social status and other values that accompany the ownership of such creations.


When it comes to the fine timepieces versus Smart watches, Huber stands among the ranks of traditional luxury watchmakers who believe the two are mutually exclusive.

“For me, Smart watches and mechanical timepieces are very much like sneakers and heels,” she says explaining that each of them serves a purpose.

Huber discussed these topics and more during her participation in both editions of the arab luxury world conference (in 2014 and 2015). She gave her views on the how the luxury conference has evolved, especially when it comes to its content.

“The key subject was about the Arab luxury world, the Arab luxury consumer – which trends follow, which trends don’t follow which trends the industry follows,” she said.