Ecommerce-based direct selling company QNET has brought Mugnier a Swiss watch brand in India exclusively founded in 1786 by watchmaker Etienne Mugnier in France, who went on to be appointed watchmaker to the Emperor in the early 1800s.
QNET has introduced three new collections under the revived Mugnier brand for its India market – Semper (Classic), Mode (Fashion), and Invictus (Sports). These new timepieces are inspired by historic Mugnier creations with Swiss-made movements and components. In a first of its kind initiative for a Swiss watch brand, these timepieces from Mugnier will be assembled in a high-tech facility in India in line with the government’s Make in India campaign. The new Mugnier collection features timepieces that range from INR 86,000 to INR 1,80,000.
Vintage timepieces from the centuries-old Mugnier brand, as recently revived by QNET for its Indian market, are today only available in museums and elite auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. A masterpiece created for Emperor Napoleon by House Mugnier in 1812 —an 18 ct. gold, half quarter-repeating, self-winding watch with power reserve indicator and the gilt initial ‘N’ for Napoleon — sold for USD 285,000 in 1993.
Swiss historian Yves-Pierre Donze, whose expertise is a global business history, and who has worked extensively on the history of the watch industry found in the course of his research that Charles Mugnier, a descendant of Etienne Mugnier, was listed in a directory published in Paris in 1812 which refers to him as among the ten most important clock and watchmakers of the city, specifying that “he manufactures Haute Horlogerie himself”.
The new collection of Mugnier watches launched by QNET in India carries the same brand promise with designs that bring to life the unique blend of complexity and detailing previous Mugnier creations were known for. The watches feature state-of-the-art craftsmanship with the finest materials and scrupulous attention to detail in accordance with exacting Swiss standards, adopted by the production facility in India.
QNET’s global CEO Malou T Caluza commenting on the launch of Mugnier in India said, “We have seen a shift in the Indian consumer in the last decade or so. As disposable incomes have grown for the upper-middle class, the watch has evolved beyond being an instrument of utility. We are witnessing a steady increase in those who proactively seek out watches as items that signify a lifestyle; pieces that are a symbol of professional and entrepreneurial success.”
India’s luxury watch market is a trending movement. A new brand of watch aficionados is emerging particularly with a greater and more educated appreciation for details which constitute a fine example of horology yet maintaining price sensitivity, unlike ultra-luxury brands.
“By assembling the Mugnier watches in India under strict quality control measures comparable to Swiss ateliers, we not only offer affordable luxury to our customers we are also supporting the government’s Make in India initiative and supporting local industry. We are targeting the emerging demographic of watch lovers in India who are priced out of the high-end luxury watch market but have an appreciation for watches with provenance and story. We estimate our overall watch product portfolio in India, which also includes the CHAIROS brand of Indian watches, will constitute 25% of our entire sales volume by 2023,” said Rishi Chandiok, Director (South Asia) for QNET.
Mugnier expects to launch between six to eight new models in India in the next 24 months.