The name of a watch collection is often the first thing people know about it. Watchmakers have long since grasped the importance of making the right choice in this respect.

Anyone who has already faced the delicate task of naming a model will know just how hard it is to get it right. The name has to mean something. It must also sound good, be easy to memorise and also tell a story. It must embody the product but also evoke dreams. All of which gives some idea of the new challenges watch brands face for each new collection. Some background details on these iconic names that meet all the criteria leading to success.

Altiplano, a natural choice
Whereas Piaget first unveiled its expertise in the field of ultra-thin watchmaking with the 9P calibre launched in 1957, it was not until 1998 that it created the Altiplano collection. Above and beyond the technical prowess displayed by the Maison in the ultra-thin domain, the name Altiplano is a success story in its own right, inspired by the “high plateau” stretching for more than 1,500 kilometres at the heart of the Andes mountain range. These landscapes perched at an average altitude of 3,650 m – a figure echoed by the 3.65 mm thickness of the super-slender Altiplano 900P – feature a surface that is infinitely smooth, windswept and devoid of any artifice. Beneath it lies a wealth of copper, silver and even gold. Piaget could not have hoped for a more appropriate name for this collection that pushes the boundaries of infinite thinness.

Piaget

Altiplano, red gold, 38mm and 34mm models. © Piaget

Allegra, the jewellery watch from father to daughter
While people often wonder what creative fairy may have bent over the proverbial cradle of Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of de Grisogono did not in this instance have to look any further than his daughter Allegra for the name of one of his emblematic collections. Initially introduced as rings and earrings, the Allegra collection now includes a watch featuring a design clearly inspired by a cuff bracelet. These joyful, playful models embody the quintessence of the de Grisogono spirit: unbridled creativity, self-assured femininity, along with an immoderate taste for colour and for precious stones… From father to daughter.

de Grisogono

Allegra S09. © de Grisogono

L.U.C, a return to roots
LUC is not a first name, nor indeed a name as such… These are in fact the initials of Louis-Ulysse Chopard who created his L.U.C manufactory in Sonvilier in 1860. Although it was taken over by Karl Scheufele III in 1963, the firm remains strongly attached to its roots. It was in tribute to the company founder that Chopard Manufacture was established in 1996 in Fleurier (Canton Neuchâtel) to produce its L.U.C movements that have become synonymous with innovation, precision and reliability.
 

Chopard

L.U.C Lunar Big Date. © Chopard

Carrera, more than just a race
Well before becoming a watch, it was a race: one of the most dangerous of them all, one of the legendary sports events that, long after the end of their story, leave an indelible imprint on collective memory. TAG Heuer drew inspiration from the Carrera Pan Americana in christening its chronograph launched in 1963 and which has since become an authentic watchmaking legend. Considered the world’s most prestigious car race, the Carrera Pan Americana was held just five times, between 1950 and 1954. Five days of driving along 3,300 kilometres across Mexico forged the reputation of this competition that has come to be considered as the most demanding road race of all time. Since 1988, cars are once again tearing up the tarmac in the modern version of this race, whose 28th edition sponsored by TAG Heuer will take place in October 2015. Blending high standards, sporting challenges and the spirit of adventure, the Carrera watch has inherited all the characteristics that have shaped a legend. Undeniable assets and a name that makes its mark.

TAG Heuer

Carrera Panamericana Special Edition. © TAG Heuer

The aptly named El Primero
What makes a name successful? Its evocative power? The meaning it gives to the product? Simply called El Primero because it was indeed the first of its kind, El Primero was initially a calibre – the first-ever automatic chronograph. Released by Zenith in 1969, it was built around a column wheel and a central rotor mounted on ball bearings. Since then, the calibre has given its name to an entire collection that is interpreted according to the keynotes that have built the reputation of this iconic movement: precision and performance. Since the year when Mankind achieved the feat of walking on the moon, this exceptional horological creation has been proudly encircling the wrists of aficonados the world over – often surprising them as if it were their very first time!

Zenith

El Primero 410. © Zenith