Dietlin Swiss Showcases launches a new watch presentation system with no protective glass: the Free Access C-ring. A genuine, but not technological, innovation. This new concept will change customer behavior in watch sales points. Watches are displayed at height and are completely secure, with no barriers.
The Romanel-based manufacturer is renowned for its development of several groundbreaking display systems. Innovations that include Raptor, the first glassless display case with a product that vanishes when you try to touch it. Now the company is introducing an entirely new way of displaying watches. The Free Access C-ring. A product that displays watches in an airy and light way, as if worn on the wrist. Known as the “soldier", this is the most common position in the watch industry.
The system is groundbreaking in various ways. It includes no electronics, no magnets—which would damage the watch—and does not require an electric current. The product is released in a few seconds using a multi-pin key.
With no protective glass, the product is fully visible and yet completely secure. The bracelet's buckle is inaccessible which means that the watch cannot be opened.
In recent years the company, headed by Xavier Dietlin, has released the Free Access Cushion, a completely secure cushion presentation system. One that has been adopted by over 15 brands worldwide. The watch industry has now incorporated this new display method—one that is very popular with the young generation—into its sales points. Young people are reluctant to waste time on slow and pointless tasks. They want to get straight to the point, as quickly as possible and in their own way. Protective glass is now seen as a barrier to discovering the product. Almost like a prison.
This new version meets a genuine need. To display a wide variety of free access models in luxury stores. The time for animation is over. We need to seriously rethink the way we display products and reconnect them with customers.
Why is removing the protective glass so important?
The world’s leading watch brands are striving to offer in-store experiences that are, on the whole, digital. While digital is essential it has its limitations. The cell phone allows us to speak the same language as the younger generation. It acts as a translator. But a screen can never convey emotion. The ultimate experience remains the product itself. The unique sensation that is triggered when you wear jewelry. The piece’s size, weight and the materials used can never be reproduced on a screen. When we make the products directly accessible, are we treating the customers as VIPs? Several pieces of research have shown that displaying free access products changes visitor behavior. They take more time and are more likely to stop. Instead of being a mere spectator, they feel engaged in what is being offered to them.
The Free Access C-ring is the latest in a series of three watch presentation systems for the watchmaking sector with no protective glass. This latest version caters for everything that the market requires and is designed for a more accessible range of products. The Free Access Cushion was launched in 2018, followed in 2019 by a version fitted with a prism that allows customers to view the back of the watch. Thousands of these original two versions have been produced and employed in stores worldwide.
Xavier Dietlin: “The Free Access Display is, in my view, the greatest innovation for watch stores because it changes the way customers behave in sales points. So far, no experience or animation has had the same impact. We always place luxury products behind glass to protect them. So what incentive is there to actually enter a store? Place an exceptional timepiece on your wrist and you will understand.”
At present, Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, IWC, Omega, Hublot, Hermès, Roger Dubuis, Tag Heuer, Zenith, Vacheron Constantin, Ulysse Nardin, MB&F and Maurice Lacroix use the Free Access Dietlin Swiss Showcases.
A patent was filed for the Free Access Cushion in July 2018.
A patent was filed for the Free Access C-ring in September 2020.
All the products have been registered with and are protected by the Federal Intellectual Property Office (FIPO) and the European Patents Office (EPO).
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