Watches vs. Eyewear

From time to time I devour the Sunday NY Times, usually on a flight to or from somewhere.  Sometimes I even buy one at home, on that rare occasion when I'm home on the weekend.  Where I live, the purchase involves a whopping $6 investment.  Yep, $6 for a bloody newspaper!  That's the bad news.  The good news is that it generally takes me a couple of weeks to read the darn thing.

So, I just found an interesting Special Advertising Section in the October 12th addition.  Its totally devoted to watches.  The whole thing.  All 66 pages.  In this interesting supplement you'll find articles about how we use our watches; how watches are made; the importance of keeping time; and who wears what watch.  Fascinating.  Even for someone like me who hasn't worn a watch for 30 years.

So what's my point?

The supplement contains about 40 pages of advertising which likely cost the advertisers a pretty penny.  I found it interesting that the watch industry got behind this project in a period of time when everyone is screaming "recession."  What do they know that we don't?

Then I thought, wow, the watch industry must be HUGE to be able to put its money behind such a project…especially in hard times.  Well, upon investigation, I learned that the U.S. watch (and clock) market generates about $7 billion in U.S. sales.  That's an interesting number when you compare it to the eyewear (frames and sunwear) market, which generates north of $10 billion.  And it's even more interesting when you consider that the eyewear business shares the same designers…like Mont Blanc, Chanel, and TAGHeuer

So, a couple of questions to ponder:

Is telling time more important then seeing the world around us…including our watches?

Why is it that the watch industry is advertising INTO a recession vs. cutting back?

Why isn't our industry showcasing it's offerings in a New York Times supplement?

Does the watch industry have a bigger vision than that of the eyewear…eh, visionindustry (sorry…I couldn't resist)? 

There's no reason, in my not so humble opinion, that our industry doesn't generate twice it's current volume.  All it requires is the sale of "a pair and a spare."  Indeed, every eyewear patient should have at least three pair (dress, occupational, sun).  With the recent great press generated by candidate Palin's eyewear selection (apparantly, she can afford seven pair of eyewear to match McCain's seven houses), perhaps it's time for the eyewear industry to step it up a bit?  I'm sure that the New York Times would welcome a call.

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