NEW DELHI, November 2
The idea is to create a one-world online time zone.
It's the sort of thing that will appeal to anyone who wants to know the time on the other side of the world in an instant. With this aim in mind, Swatch, the flagship brand of the $ 3.5-billion Swatch Group, launched its .beat range of watches on Wednesday. The watch introduces the concept of Internet Time in India.
Swatch's Internet Time measures a 24-hour day in 1,000 'beats', enabling users to watch the clock on a common platform. One Swatch 'beat' is the equivalent of 1 minute 26.4 seconds. In other words, each day has 1,000 beats. Thus, 12 noon in the old time system will be @500 beats BMT (Biel Mean Time) based on the time in Biel, Switzerland.
Swatch .beat, the cyber watch, displays both the 'beats' as well as local time on luminous dials. In such a scheme, conventional time zones and geographical borders are disregarded to a large extent. Thus, a surfer in Bangalore will know that it is @500 Beats in Prague or Colorado, since Internet Time is the same worldwide.
"The concept of Swatch Internet Time has already given a single, global time-zone for the entire cyber community. As India is among the leaders in the IT revolution, the market potential is immense for the .beat," says Deepa Chatrath, regional marketing manager, Swatch, South Asia.
Obviously, Swatch sees a huge market for the Internet watch worldwide. For example, the Internet watch could inform all involved parties, across different time zones, exactly what time to log on without confusion over time zones. The watch will bear a price tag in the Rs. 2,950-to-Rs 3,300 range.
Swatch Internet Time is available in the .beat Alumini and Plastic watch ranges. The .beat Alumini is an add-on to the internationally established Alumini collection. Among the other features that the company is trying to cash on are the sleek cyber-friendly styling, flashy colours etc.
In India, the Swatch Plastic .beat range comprises of the internationally popular Netsurfer, Download, Provider, Net-Time and Site watch models, while the Alumini .beat range offers the Floating Dot and Webstream models. In addition to the Internet Time, Internet Alarm and Internet Date, the product simultaneously indicates current time in two zones, allowing split second timing of any event.
Swatch entered India earlier this year and today has a presence in over 35 outlets across eight cities. Swatch outlets are designed for a unique and novel interface with its customers using innovative retailing concepts, which include kiosks, coastlines and non-conventional outlets.
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