Nov 3, 2021HNWIs looking for upcycled twist on classic watches

Hacking and reinventing iconic luxury watches has historically been viewed as somewhat sacrilegious by connoisseurs. But Paris-based design studio Mad Paris is upcycling traditional timepieces and transforming them into one-of-a-kind versions for HNWIs to flaunt and enjoy.

Leila Zadeh

Watches ranging from Rolex to Audemars Piguet are completely disassembled and repurposed into limited-edition timepieces that feature unique twists designed by the studio’s creatives. And while watches that have been upcycled no longer have the ‘original’ certification or guarantee, that isn’t stopping luxury consumers, the likes of whom include Drake and Virgil Abloh. And Mad Paris is taking it a step further by collaborating with fashion designers like Mathew Williamson to bring even more unique twists to their designs. Some of these collaborative pieces can be found at Brown's multi-brand luxury boutique, with repurposed Audemars Piguet watches costing between £100,000 and £125,000. By comparison, to buy the models directly from Audemars Piguet costs £43,400.

With more fashion brand collabs planned for 2022, Mad Paris is expanding its upcycling challenge into the wider luxury watches market. And with 42% of French consumers saying that their appetite for luxury has grown since the start of the pandemic, brands can home in on customisation to help customers flaunt their unique sense of style. In fact, brands that offer personalised and customised products can help create a sense of ‘psychological ownership’, where consumers come to think of the product as an extension of themselves. Not only does this help drive them to buy more products, but it also encourages them to purchase at more premium prices.

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