Titan Watches is a top-tier Indian watchmaker responsible for a paradigm change in the industry by introducing quartz technology and Western aesthetics to the Indian consumer market. Titan is dedicated to providing its customers with timepieces that serve as a beacon for their creativity at a reasonable price point with the highest quality.
But what’s the history behind the brand? Becoming India’s leading personal lifestyle brand would not have been easy, let’s take a walk down their enriching journey.
The First Step
In 1961, home-grown brands HMT and Citizen made their first concerted effort to mass-produce timepieces in the organized sector. The original ‘Janata’ model debuted that year, in 1962. From 1984 through 1987, the market was dominated by HMT. And then came 1984, when it all began.
A Fresh Take: 1970s
A look back to the Tata Press, where the concept for Titan Watches was born in the years before the 1980s. In June 1984, Tata Industries and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) formed a joint venture to bring Titan Watches to market. From that point on, Titan’s clock never paused.
Marking the Beginning of a Significant Process
Manufacturing started in 1986, and the Titan name was introduced to the public in March of 1987. The introduction of electronic Quartz watches marked a radical change in the Indian watch industry, and the brand quickly rose to prominence. This opened the door for its application to other objects including bracelets, cases, electrical components, and step motors.
In the course of more than 25 years, Titan Watch Project evolved into Titan Watches, then Titan Industries, and finally the Titan Company Limited. Every year of production that topped 15 million units also brought new innovations and improvements to the manufacturing process. With over 150 million watches sold in 32 countries since entering the European market in 1993 (and subsequently the Middle Eastern and Asian Pacific markets), Titan is one of the world’s largest watch manufacturers. In an unprecedented move to take on the Swiss Titan, the company became the largest integrated own-brand maker of timepieces in the world by claiming 50% of the organized watch market.
An electronic sub-assembly plant is located in the southern Indian state of Goa, while additional assembly facilities are located in the northern Indian cities of Dehradun, Pantnagar, and Roorkee.
Timex, the product of a short-lived partnership that lasted from 1992 to 1998, is currently the most popular watch brand in the world, after only Titan. After the collaboration ended, Titan launched Sonata and took back their original share. After that came an ingenious selection of wristwear, including luxury watches by Fastrack, Xylys and in-house Titan watches, along with an assortment of outdoor clocks, all of which became landmarks in a number of cities.
Swiss and Japanese manufacturers were shocked by their state-of-the-art production facility, robust and constant market share, and highly skilled and dedicated staff. The township, designed by the renowned architect Charles Correa, further emphasized the Tata spirit. An outstanding school was constructed at Mathigiri, Tamil Nadu, with enough space for more than 2,000 Titanians. It also serves as a teaching resource for schools in the surrounding districts.
What Was Their Strategy To Reach The Masses?
To create an intangible bond with the buyer, they used gift-giving as a springboard.
Thus, different lines were introduced, such as Classique, Slim, Royale, PSI, Insignia, and Regalia, to meet the preferences of a broader clientele.
In 1992 the release of Raga also shifted their focus to the female market. They now paid special attention to women’s ethnic fashions as well. A natural extension was venturing into the TVC space, which led their first TV ad with Mozart and music range.
What Changed In 2008?
Titan was leading in the watch space, however, 9% of the market was owned by only one watch and they feared losing their innovative edge, thus they launched the Titan Aviator Series. This gave a fresh perspective to the brand.
How Did They Expand?
In 1993, the company branched out into the jewelry industry, launching the Tanishq label in 1996 and, a decade later, Goldplus, a standardized approach to mass marketing jewelry. Diversification was further reinforced with the launch of the slimmest watch in the universe in 2002, standing at a thickness of 3.5mm.
In 2003, the company launched Fastrack, a colorful and young watch and accessory brand.
2004 was a monumental year for the brand as it stood up for women much before women’s empowerment was fashionable through its line Titan Raga.
In 2005, it launched Precision Engineering, and in 2007, it launched the Titan Eyeglasses Division, a prescription eyewear initiative with specialized stores catering to consumers’ every need.
Tanishq and Goldplus Titan Company struck the correct chord with their selection of traditional and designer jewelry, targeting only the domestic market, which sees gold as a premium investment. Tanishq’s nearly 160 boutiques in 89 towns around the country showcase a breathtaking world of fine, valuable designer items. In the rural and semi-urban areas, Goldplus enjoys a strong 40% market share. As a result of their hard work and dedication, both India and Titan Company may take pleasure in the success of these two businesses.
Since the target demographic for Titan is adults over the age of 35, they aimed to establish a connection with the 25-year-old demographic.
Fashion (in the form of the PURPLE collection), innovation (in the form of the new TITAN), and functionality (in the form of (HTSE). They onboarded Katrina Kaif as the face of Raga to demonstrate the company’s dedication to being relevant in the lives of twenty-five-year-olds.
Towards A Sustainable Future
Apart from the rich heritage of this brand, it also paid homage to struggles closer to home. The launch of the Titan Eternal Mumbai Collection was aimed to aid the victims of the 26/11 attacks, where all the proceeds of the watch went to the cause.
Other acts towards being a sustainable brand include a limited edition watch for the WWF Tiger Convention Program.
Thirty Years And Thirsty For More
Titan’s paid homage to timeless legends in the form of limited-edition timepieces to honor the likes of Lata Mangeshkar, M. S. Dhoni, Rajnikant, Abdul Kalam and Kalpana Chawla, to name a few.
Apart from this, they also revived some of its most recognizable timepieces. Customers were lured with bonuses, such as sweets and fancy packaging, to encourage and appreciate such lavish spending with a lifetime of free service.
- Counting down to 200 million #TITANMOMENTS
- Year-long activities celebrating the millions of Titan moments
- Engaging with consumers across social media, stores, local events
- Consumers share their joyous moments that were celebrated along with Titan – first love, wedding, valentines…
- When the count reaches 200 million, a special Titan watch is unveiled.
Titan has always been a household name due to the versatility it provides. From fashion watches, and adrenaline-infused watches to workwear, they have a watch that identifies with your personal style.
In earlier days, Titan watches were the most preferred choice for festive gifting. Their advertisements were templates to encourage purchasing for a special occasion, one of the most iconic of the lot was the Titan Nebula.
The Nebula line is the crown jewel of the Titan brand, which is known for its opulent pieces inspired by India. Every Nebula watch is a celebration of India’s rich cultural heritage, including its art, architecture, and design.
Titan introduced their Mia collection in 2011; it consists of exquisite yet reasonably priced pieces of jewelry with an urban, trendy design that is aimed at professional women. Mia’s over five-hundred designs are all created in 14-karat gold. They also ventured out into belts and wallets for men.
Titan entered the perfume market in 2013 with the introduction of SKINN, which has since been synonymous with excellence in the Indian fragrance sector.
Tanishq acquired Carat Lane in 2016 to provide customers with stunning jewelry and a one-of-a-kind retail experience in line with modern values and preferences.
It had been exactly five years since Titan’s 2011 acquisition of the Swiss watch brand Favre-Leuba, a household name in India in the 1960s and 1970s, that the company reintroduced the popular Favre-Leuba line and also introduced automatic watches.
Today, Titan has a monopoly on the domestic organized watch industry, with over 60% of the market share, thanks to its steady stream of innovative new collections that speak to the many dimensions of innate human yearnings for self-expression.
When recruitment ads were what people relied on, Titan was there.
When you needed someone to keep your inner child alive, Titan’s Zoop Collection was there.
When we lived in an age of table clocks, Titan was there.
When love was conveyed through post-it notes, Titan was there.
When you needed a Ferrari for your wrist, Titan was there
When it meant gifting something one will always cherish, Titan was there.
When building a brand meant showcasing relationships, Titan was there.
And it continues to be there today, doing what they do best!