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Not quite custom-made commemorative clocks

Not quite custom-made commemorative clocks

Capitalising on nationalistic pride is all well, but a little consumer research about the very nation you are hoping to sell Dh60K clocks to, would have gone a long way...

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September 19, 2011 4:29 by



An article in The National today highlighted the absolute importance of consumer research, especially when branching of into foreign markets. The story focused on the new and special clocks British firm Smith of Derby has crafted in honour of the UAE’s 40th National Day.

The clock, set at an impress Dh58,000, will be made of gold and crystal and of course, will be a limited edition production. So limited, that Smith of Derby is only making 40 pieces (40, get it?)—and each of the clock will be numbered.

“They’re designed to be low volume so our clients can enjoy them knowing that they are very special pieces” the head of design at Smith of Derby Kevin Litchfield smugly contends. The clock will feature the national bird of the UAE, the falcon; and will have blue hands and a base that could be ordered in wood.

And if you don’t get just how much of a spanking big deal these clocks are, our dear friend Kevin will have you know that in order to produce one of these masterpiece, the maker has to manually polish 60 parts for two weeks, after which he will spend another two weeks assembling the clock by hand.

Sounds like the ultimate luxury item…but is it fit for UAE tastes?
Saif Al Muhairi, a photographer from Dubai was too chuffed about the clock: “The way it is built looks terrific but the blue colour shouldn’t have been there.”

Whereas Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, a digital artist from Abu Dhabi, said she would have preferred the colours of the UAE flag instead, or another precious metal that might feel more luxurious.

And sure, the two opinions cannot be counted as the word of the nation, but there is some value to their opinions. Surely the concept of using precious metals to make an item “more luxurious” on a clock is particularly unique to this part of the world.

And then there’s the question of the cost of one’s nationalistic pride. Time and again, we hear conversations of a need for more thoughtful buying during this economic crisis, so why encourage spending so much for a luxuries commemorative trinket.

Most certainly this item will be much appreciated by avid timepiece collectors but will it strike the fancy of otherwise purely nationalistic UAE citizens and residents? Suppose we’ll just have to wait till December 2.

Capitalising on nationalistic pride is all very well, but a little consumer research (and a dash of conscientiousness) about the very nation you are hoping to sell Dh60K clocks to, would have gone a long way…



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