Ball Watch Co. Interview with Daniel Alioth
At the SIAR in Mexico last month, WorldTempus caught up with Daniel Alioth, Chief Operating Officer of Ball Watch Co., to talk about the brand’s development.
WordTempus: What sets Ball watches apart from the competition?
Daniel Alioth: Ball Watch has always been linked to the history of railways and the establishment of railroad standard time but nowadays we communicate around the kind of exploration that was first made possible by the railways connecting the world.
If you take a piece such as the one Olivier Müller tested on his trip, you can see that it is extremely robust, shock-resistant and has very masculine qualities. We are not afraid of saying that we have a collection that is 95 per cent masculine.
Unlike many brands who work exclusively on developing the movement, we work on both the interior and the exterior, aiming to improve precision by eliminating the impact of factors that can affect it, such as shocks and magnetism. We have a reputation for working a lot on cases. If we consider the two major new launches this year, the Slide Chronograph and the Magneto S, both have patented improvements to the case.
Tell us more about the new Magneto S…
With the Magneto we worked on the anti-magnetic properties of the case. We did not want to enter the titanic battle in which Omega and Rolex are already engaged and we felt that the customer is already a little lost when we start to talk about resistance to magnetic fields (or even sometimes about water resistance). We like to remain down to earth and honest.
The concept of an anti-magnetic watch is not something new. The Rolex Milgauss has been around for a decade, I think. What we wanted to do was introduce a more playful element to it. The idea behind the Magneto S was for the customer to understand the concept of anti-magnetism by playing with the watch.
What are the important markets for Ball Watch Co.?
Asia is by far our biggest market, with the USA in second place. But we have done things a little differently. A lot of brands started with their Swiss Made philosophy and initially targeted Europe, then expanded to Asia and the USA. We are an American brand but with a philosophy that remains very Swiss. So the idea was to redevelop the brand in the USA and take a bet on Asia long before other brands.
We have been present in Asia since the early 2000s so for us it is an established market. It may sound surprising, but our investment to develop the brand is now being made in Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
"Ball Watch’s timepieces are available from 1,000 Swiss francs upwards and only less than one per cent of the collection is non-mechanical"
And what about the local market in Mexico?
As you may have seen the level of watchmaking knowledge here is very high. But there is also an important aspect related to notoriety. Customers have a high purchasing power and not only do they want something different, they often want something that meets their needs for a mechanical watch but is perhaps not as well known. I had a customer here who purchased a watch from me because it was less well-known than some of the bigger brands and he was worried that if he wore one of the more recognizable brands he would be exposing himself to robbers.
What can we expect from Ball Watch Co. over the next twelve months?
This year we worked on anti-shock and anti-magnetism. I think next year we will continue along these lines but perhaps adding other functions. We will also work on reducing the size of some of our robust watches and adding the Magneto function to a chronograph, for example.
Since 1891, the Ball Watch Company has been making mechanical timepieces that meet the most stringent criteria in terms of accuracy, quality and reliability. Having led the way in chronometric standards – and on the strength of a past that is closely linked to the history of the American railways – Ball Watch is one of the best-established and most highly respected watchmaking brands in the United States.Find out more >
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