In recent years, we have all seen a significant increase in the number of limited or numbered series and special editions available only in specific geographical areas showcased in the watchmakers' display windows.
This is the result of strong demand and the efforts brands are making to keep the flame alive among collectors and enthusiasts around the world. Moonwatch afficionados looking to purchase all the releases, people traveling in order to buy a specific watch to Spain or Taiwan, for a special occasion, to make a trip special and memorable by acquiring a timepiece with a little extra touch of originality...
Moreover, watchmakers are very quickly advancing the mechanics they fit in the sophisticated cases aimed at our wrists. New materials, cutting-edge research and development... regularly the quality of the movements, their precision, their lifespan, are positively impacted by brands, which are always searching for improvements. With each new version or progress, watchmakers offer their customers a slightly different model to buy.
When a brand ambassador or supporter is also associated with a particular calibre or model, timepieces may become even more exclusive. The diversity of the countries where brands are present also explains their adaptations to unique cultural characteristics or local beliefs: Chinese New Year, dia de los muertos in Mexico… so many new territories that nourish the boundless creativity of Swiss watchmakers and their suppliers. Sometimes, a limited edition comes with a new design on the dial, an engraving on the case back, a numbered series, but it's more rarely a new model. Collaborations between watch brands and their partners also result in special editions of watches. In this case, they often have particular colours, a badge, their hands or bracelet being revised.
Of course, for brands, these are opportunities to sell new watches, to promote their models and establish their presence in terms of communication, especially on social networks.
They are perfect to appeal to the shared interest of the target audience, such as lovers of music or cinema, flowers or jazz. There is a limited edition for everyone. Many even benefit charitable causes, so that you can kill two birds with one stone: having fun while also acting altruistically. There are no rules in this area, each brand manages its limited editions as it wishes. On the other hand, some big houses never do them. Apart from unique pieces for charity sales. But in this case, we don't talk about series anymore, of course.
In any case, collectors and enthusiasts cannot be fooled. They know perfectly how to separate the wheat from the chaff, according to their tastes and desires. They only buy what they like, what they can consume or cherish and what will increase in value. In the end, they are the ones who determine the commercial success of a series, as with any collection.
However, one thing is certain: limited series watches have a promising future, as customers love them and constantly ask for new releases. This is the main reason for the rapid increase in limited series by the various manufacturers. Customers are fond of new products; they like to have and wear a watch that's different from their neighbour's. Finally, from a technical point of view, it's the small details of the limited edition that makes it so special. It's nice to have the feeling of being special, of belonging to a private club with a limited number of members worldwide, not just like everyone else, isn't it?