The latest Dolce & Gabbana timepieces show that interest in quality watches on the part of fashion designers is increasing. The new DG7 and DS5 watches are radically different to the earlier D&G Time models, in that they show considerable attention to watchmaking technology, with Swiss-made ETA mechanical movements, cases in 18-carat gold or PVD-finish steel, quality alligator straps, sapphire watchglasses and casebacks, and excellent finish throughout.
In other words, we're moving towards the possibility of buying a fashion-designer watch not just for the name of the marque, but for the quality of the watch.
Dolce & Gabbana's watches for men include the DG7 Gems, with large gemstones on the dial and a coloured alligator-type strap. Variants include ruby and emerald colours. The quartz movement is made in Switzerland, entirely gold-plated to prevent oxidization and improve conductivity. Battery life is about two years. These watches are colourful and striking: they could appeal to women as well.
The DS5 (the 'DS' stands for Domenico and Stefano) shows the same attention to visual design – the collections were designed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana – but it is also more of a watch-lover's watch, with a Swiss-made automatically-wound mechanical movement (ETA Valjoux 7750) that has COSC certification. The oscillating weight and other parts of the movement can be seen through the transparent sapphire caseback. Power reserve is about 42 hours. Functions are central hours and minutes, chronograph, small seconds, day and date. There are a number of variants with different dial, case and strap finishes. Prices start from about €3,890.
The DG7 is a more classic, automatically-wound mechanical watch, with Swiss-made movement (ETA 2892) providing about 42 hours' power reserve. Transparent sapphire caseback. The principal design features comprise the simplicity of the dial, with a brushed slate finish, baton-type hands and hour indices except for the Roman numerals at 12 and 6 o'clock, and large lugs with a brushed finish. This is made in a number of variants: steel case with black PVD sides and black alligator strap; steel case with silver-finish dial; an all-black PVD look; coloured versions in aubergine, green and brown, with steel cases and the colour used on dial and strap. Prices for the watches start at about €1,970.
The Dolce & Gabbana watches mark a developing trend: the diversification of fashion and lifestyle brands into high-quality timepieces. Montblanc accomplished this transition by acquiring the Le Locle brand Minerva. We look foward to seeing how other fashion marques handle this new direction.