There’s seemingly no end to the number of companies that are launching new ventures in the wristwatch market. You can usually find them on Kickstarter, and we have to admit that many of them are pretty interesting.
Most are even reasonably priced, which is always a bonus.
Others are looking at the luxury market, with pieces in the $5000+ range designed to attract attention. Some do it with elaborate complications, and others do it by attaching themselves to famous people.
In the case of new watchmaker Avantist, they’re taking the latter approach with a new watch that is tied to tennis great Martina Navratilova. Their new watch, named the Avantist Legend Series Martina Navratilova 1987, will sell for $8000, which is expensive, but not outrageously so, by luxury watch standards.
Of course, Ms. Navratilova will be helping to market the watch that bears her name, but her involvement is more than that. This particular watch will have enclosed within it a piece of string from the tennis racket that she used to win her final Wimbledon title in 1987.
As there is only so much string on a tennis racket, this edition will naturally be limited. In the case of this particular model, the edition will be limited to just 30 pieces.
It’s a nice watch with a Swiss-made ETA Caliber 2892 movement. The watch includes a titanium case, sapphire crystal, and displays the time of day in hours, minutes and seconds, as well as the date.
The face of the watch is shaped like a tennis ball and around the dial is a small inset window in which a piece of the string from the racket is inset. You have to look to see it, and it’s not easy to see even in the best photos.
But we’ll take their word for it that it is there.
The nice thing about this watch, at least from Avantist’s perspective, is that the ties to Martina Navratilova ensure that not only will the watch be of interest to watch collectors, but it will likely be of even more interest to collectors of sports memorabilia.
This ensures that the watch will sell out, that everyone will be talking about it, and that Avantist will get a lot of publicity out of the deal.
Your $8000 purchase price, by the way, includes an opportunity to meet Martina Navratilova in person.
No word yet on whether the watch is actually yet available, or if it has already sold out. The Avantist Website is still rather minimalist, and it will not have a formal “opening,” if you want to call it that, until later this month. For now, all one can do is subscribe to their mailing list.
Nevertheless, the upcoming release of the Avantist Legend Series Martina Navratilova 1987 seems to be attracting a lot of attention, partly because of the interesting marketing ploy and partly because Ms. Navratilova always seems to be a welcome figure in the news.
What we are particularly interested in, however, is to see what Avantist is going to do next. Launching a company with a gimmick watch is one thing, but you can’t stay in business on such products.
What they do next is going to be the interesting thing to see.