New App Puts Virtual Watches on Actual Wrists
Formex Swiss Watches this month released a mobile app that lets consumers try on its products using their smartphones.
The app "breaks through the biggest obstacle of online shopping … the inability to try on a product before buying it," the company stated in a media release. Using augmented reality, the app projects the image of a watch onto the user's wrist to simulate the real-life "feel" and look.
The "surprisingly realistic-looking" (according to the company) 3D model follows natural wrist movements to be viewed from different angles and distances. Users can try on different straps by printing out various cutouts and snap pictures of watches across Formex's three current model lines. (See instructional video, below.)
A privately held manufacturer of action sports-influenced watches, Switzerland-based Formex switched to an exclusively online direct-sales model in 2016 after operating a conventional retail business for 20 years. The goal was to "manufacture high-quality Swiss-made sports watches at unbeatable prices" by eliminating the increased costs involved in brick-and-mortar retailing, the company said.
Chief executive officer Raphael Granito, who took the company's reins in January 2015, is credited with leading development of the e-commerce business. The move let Formex cut its watch prices in half. Prices range from $419 to $1,580. The company offers free shipping worldwide in three days or less.
"Despite the many advantages of buying a watch online, the biggest drawback [until now] was that [shoppers] were not able to try them on," Granito said. "Even though every Formex comes with a 30-day free return policy, we found that people were still hesitant to buy watches without having had them on their wrist. That's why we came up with the idea for this app."