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Fame for hire is hardly a new mar­ket­ing ploy but watch brands are start­ing to stay clear of tra­di­tional am­bas­sadors to tie up with “friends” who are able to go be­yond the sense of a sim­ple cash-for-cred­i­bil­ity re­la­tion­ship. We catch up with two such ex­am­ples: Ser­ena Williams (p.83) and Ragheb Alama (p.79). down­turn was tem­po­rary, were proven right with a small re­cov­ery of their own. Given the eco­nomic con­text, it was there­fore hardly sur­pris­ing to see a gen­tler pace this year, with no­tice­ably fewer new mod­els. Still, ma­jor trends in­cluded a strong skew to­wards vin­tage-in­spired pieces, and com­pli­ment­ing this was a resur­gence of slim­mer case widths and di­am­e­ters. Fe­male cus­tomers are prov­ing ever more im­por­tant to pos­i­tive growth and fi­nally, her­itage brands are re­spond­ing to the de­mand for bet­ter value for money with low­ered en­try price points, while newer brands upped their game with at­trac­tive and com­pet­i­tive new prod­ucts. It’s very much a buyer’s mar­ket, so en­joy it while it lasts.

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