Philipp Plein, our undisputed king of bad taste, is launching a line of watches in November.

Initially announced in late July, Plein’s first major foray into timepieces is part of a licensing agreement with WorldTime Watches & Jewelry, a Swiss company that will work with Timex to develop the German designer’s collection. (He briefly and unsuccessfully dabbled in the category in 2016 with “Plein Time,” a range of fluorescent camouflage styles.)

Unsurprisingly, Plein’s watches are just as outrageous as his antics.

Recent incidents include: invoking Black Lives Matter to weasel his way out of a lawsuit, staging a controversial Kobe Bryant “tribute” at his Fall/Winter 2020 runway show, and responding to a journalist’s negative review by criticizing her weight.

The New York Times published a preliminary image of one particularly egregious style designed by Plein, who applied a large skull and crossbones to the dial, rendering it bafflingly difficult to read.

A rainbow crystal-encrusted bezel adds color — literally, every single color — to the otherwise all-black model, which features a rubbery-looking band perforated with a honeycomb-like pattern (trypophobes, beware).

The design of the watch isn’t particularly shocking (by now, Plein’s penchant for tackiness is obvious), but its price point is somewhat unexpected, considering the designer’s efforts to place himself at the forefront of luxury fashion.

When Googling “Philipp Plein,” you’ll notice the brand’s web store is called “The Ultimate Fashion Luxury E-Shop.” A Philipp Plein T-shirt costs anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars, and accessories — typically a brand’s most accessible product category — are priced just as lavishly.

Plein’s watch collection will range from $530 to $950, fairly conservative pricing compared to the designer’s other wares.

“You don’t expect a simple watch from Philipp Plein,” Darcey Jupp, an associate apparel analyst at GlobalData, told the Times. “You expect something extravagant.” Sure, Plein’s watches are extravagant, but they’re certainly not luxurious.

Given that his company downsized in 2020, Plein’s introduction to watches and jewelry seems to be an attempt to profit from a wider customer base. We’re not keen on giving his logic too much thought, but whatever his reasoning, we’re sure he’ll make it loud and clear.


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