Luxury brand TAG Heuer has paid tribute to
its Middle East market with the worldwide launch of its MERIDIIST II mobile
phone at an exclusive event in Dubai.
In the new edition, TAG Heuer has given the iconic design a slight facelift. The contemporary version is thinner,
lighter and more powerful, with a full sapphire key pad, dual SIM slots and an
exclusive 24/7 worldwide personal concierge service.
The mobile is offered in 10 refined
exterior options which include full stainless steel, genuine alligator leather,
5N gold accents or 0,9275 carats of diamond keys and shutter logo.
TAG Heuer, which is best known for its
distinct luxury watches, takes second place as the global key player for luxury
phones after the British mobile phone manufacturer and retailer Vertu.
Serge Simon, the General Manager of
Modelabs , the manufacturer and distributor of TAG Heuer mobiles, said the
MERIDIIST had been the most iconic phone for TAG Heuer since its launch five
years ago, representing 50 percent of total mobile phone sales by Modelabs.
He said although the trend was to
smartphones, TAG Heuer chose to take a different route and opt for a simpler
“All our distributors where happy to see
that it was not a smartphone, they said ‘this is the product that we
expected’,” he said.
And even though TAG Heuer chose to take the
basic feature route, attention to detail was their primary concern.
“In the basic, you need to be perfect with
no compromise,” Simon said. “Our biggest challenge is how to merge two different
worlds - the world of luxury that is timeless and mobile phones which are fast
moving consumer electronics.”
The Middle East represents 15 percent of
Modelabs’ business, making it the company’s third biggest market after Russia
“The Middle East is well perceived for
luxury consumption and luxury goods for consumer electronics with good
visibility for people who are traveling,” Simon said. “What we see is our
customers from Russia and China travel a lot and do their luxury shopping in
According to Simon, mobile phones are the
fastest moving segment in the technology industry, with sales of approximately
1.9 billion units a year. By comparison, the luxury mobile industry represented
a tiny fraction of that number with sales of about 150,000 units per year with
a price range of about $4,000 - $5000.
“In the race of technology, you see even
Nokia, the biggest player in the world for about ten years is about to
disappear and be sold by Microsoft,” he said. “In this industry, every year is
a new challenge. “We are not in this game, we cannot enter this game, we have
never been and we will never go in this game because we cannot win.”
The MERIDIIST II has been pitched as a
second phone for a customer who is not necessarily looking of the latest
technology when shopping for a luxury mobile phone. It is priced at
$5,460 to $19,100, depending on the chosen exterior and is distributed by Ahmed
Seddiqi and Sons.