Originally founded in 1923, Lucien Piccard has a long-standing history with watchmaking for hand made Swiss watches. Founded by an American watchmaker, Mr. Lucien Piccard, the company produced high-end luxury watches before crumbling to the Quartz movement.
During the brand’s glorious reign, celebrities and royals adorned the watches with pride and style, taking Lucien Piccard to the pinnacle of its success. Boasting of narrating a modern take of classic luxury, Lucien Piccard perfected the art of precision time making. Although enriched with vintage watchmaking heritage, the price of the watches doesn’t weigh heavily on the wallet.
Owing to the company’s illustrious past, the loyal customer base keeps the brand alive. Yet, it continues to face immense criticism from watch aficionados for its current standards and technology used.
Lucien Piccard History
The brand today boasts of manufacturing multi-layered dials and uniquely designed cases to reflect its heritage. But, looking back at the history of Lucien Piccard for what is it today, the company has seen all highs and lows. Yet, even today, the brand continues to produce watches to take back its lost seat amongst top watchmakers in the industry.
Rise and Fall of the Brand Lucien Piccard
An American watchmaker took to Switzerland to produce specially handcrafted luxury watches that symbolizes traditional swiss watchmaking methods. This is how Lucien Piccard, the company, came to be formed in the 1920s.
Up until the 1970s, Lucien Piccard came to be known for its meticulous technique, updated designs, and skillful craftsmanship. At that time, the Lucien Piccard was one of the first watch brands to design skillful timepieces with precious gems, crystals, and diamonds. Most of the collection featured in gold as well, making the timepieces likable by young and old alike. To the extent that famous movie stars, business people, and members of the Royal families who wore Lucien Piccard took the brand’s name to all corners of the world.
Known for heavy marketing, Lucien Piccard also went on to sponsor the American 24-hour motor race, Le Mans, in 2007, and the events of the American Executive Golf Association. Without an ounce of doubt, Lucien Piccard grew to be one of the most respected and celebrated brand all around the world. The superior quality became synonyms with genuine luxury watches.
In 2010, the company filed for bankruptcy, paving the way for the end of traditional handcrafted Swiss watches. Currently, the Swiss Watch International Group owns Lucien Piccard and, resultantly, moved its headquarters to Florida, USA. Ever since the change in leadership, the latest collection features watches made from the Miyota quartz movement in Japan.
Lucien Piccard Watch Collections
The company today sells a mix of vintage and modern timepieces. This list showcases some of Lucien Piccard’s top collection preferred by watch enthusiasts.
A limited-edition for men, the Matador collection features a twin balance wheel automatic timepiece to celebrate the brand’s history. Available in rose gold and stainless steel 46mm dial with a black strap, the watch comes with a GMT power reserve. The open heart skeletal displays the dual wheel mechanism that craftily sits with the sword hands and Roman numerals. Up to 50 meters of resistance in the water and limited to just 200 watches, the Matador collection is a modern incarnation of Lucien Piccard’s contemporary watches!
Much like the Triomf, the Trevi collection comes in two editions. The First edition comes with a convex-shaped crown and contoured stainless steel or rose gold case. The Trevi collection is Lucien Piccard’s effort to redefine elegance and sophistication. With a fluid design and patterned dial, the watches under this collection make for a handsome purchase.
The second edition is a spin-off of the first, but Lucien Piccard has ensured a higher degree of attention to detailing and styling on the dial. The open face dial preserves the brand’s vision to redefine a timeless classic by showcasing the mechanical functioning of the watch. Both the editions come in a variety of gold, rose gold and stainless steel case with black alligator design leather strap.
Sophisticated in design and rich in heritage, the Sultan collection is an ode to Lucien Piccard’s watchmaking know-how. Rigged with automatic movement, the case displays the intricate heirloom inspired skeletal dial. To add to its aesthetics, the skeletal hands and Arabic numbers complement the black crocodile pattern leather strap. Currently, this collection features four timepieces, two in a stainless steel case with black and white dial, and two with a golden case with black and blue dial.
Powered with automatic self-winding movement, the Nebula collection is Lucien Piccard’s new edition watches. Showcasing the brand’s promise to reinvent design proudly, the 24-hour moon accent comes with an open heart to view the multi-layered dial. The luminous and black dial complement each other in the dark to provide an accurate reading. Currently, there are five timepieces under this collection, all with crocodile design black strap with an option of black, rose gold or stainless steel case, and black and white dials.
One for the ladies, the Balarina collection sets itself apart from the typical Lucien Piccard design and styling. Simple, classic, and elegant, the Balarina collection comes in a variance of stainless steel, gold, or rose gold strap with black or white dial. Boasting of a fluid smooth design and iridescent pearl shine, the dial showcases sword hands, Roman numerals, and crystals marking the hours. With a 36mm diameter, the timepieces under this collection are water-resistant up to 50 meters.
The Triomf collection comes in two parts. First, designed to resemble contemporary watches with a simple black dial and three hands. With 44mm diameter, the dial is handsomely round and comes with options of black or white, with either stainless steel or rose gold case with a black leather strap. Second is the chronograph edition that allows you to read seconds and minutes, and other similar features of its contemporary counterpart. However, this edition offers blue in addition to black, white, and gold dial with a black strap.
Recalling the brand’s old school design, the Valarta collection is an elegant and multifunctional watch. With 44mm diameter, the timepieces under this collection are water-resistant up to 30 meters in water. The dial features a simple design with sub-dials that provide seconds and minutes reading. Currently, the collection is available in stainless steel and rose gold case with black, white, or blue dial.
Lucien Piccard Brand Reputation
Lucien Piccard reached its pinnacle of success too soon, only to fall too soon to the quartz movement. Nevertheless, the distinguished years of glory help keep the brand’s name alive even today. One should not disqualify the rich heritage of the brand, based on its insufficiency to meet those standards in modern times. For over 90 years before its relocation to the USA, Lucien Piccard gained significant market control for its superior quality.
During that time, celebrities made Lucien Piccard a household name. Iconic figures like Elvis Persley and Frank Sinatra proudly wore Lucien Piccard, only to increase the brand’s fame and sales at the same time. If celebrities wore Lucien Piccard, it only meant that the brand keeps its promise to produce high-end luxury watches. But the company also priced the watches to make them accessible for all. Lucien Piccard meant affordable and yet high-end watches that last long, redefine style and remain timeless.
In reality, however, the brand stands for a different reputation today. As the SWI Group took over Lucien Piccard, the company continues its effort to regain its lost power. Though, the use of quartz movement in their watches makes this a difficult feat to achieve. Customers who purchased a Lucien Piccard back in the day will vouch for its quality but ask a customer who invested in their latest collection. They will narrate a different story. While some of the latest collections keep up the old school design and styling, its durability and precision can not seem to match what it once was.
Is Lucien Piccard A Good Brand?
The answer to this question depends on the age of the timepiece. If you get your hands on Lucien Piccard’s vintage collection, then be sure it will stand the test of time. This is mainly because of the traditional hand-assembled Swiss techniques for precision time reading and durability.
On the other hand, if you are getting your hands on their latest collection, it could be a hit or miss. While the modern collection retains the same multi-layered dial design and style, the timepiece in itself uses a quartz movement, manufactured in Japan and then assembled in China.
The watch forums complain about either the hands falling off or damage to the stem. Moreover, the warranty does not extend to these parts, making customers skeptical about the overall quality of the watches. This has created the image of Lucien Piccard as a “necrobrand” trying to resurrect to its original stature, after taking a devastating hit from the quartz movement. A similar brand would be Invicta, with many shoppers questioning the elevated “suggested retail” pricing and frequent discounts.
Besides, the fact that the brand does not have features like sapphire crystal or higher water resistance, discourages many from considering Lucien Piccard as a worthy brand.
Although, many watch enthusiasts are ever loyal to the brand. The forums discuss the reliability of quartz watches to last for years at a very nominal cost. Hence, they feel it is okay to overlook the switch from Swiss watchmaking methods to a quartz movement, much like many other watch groups (Eg: Hamilton watches), and yet remaining widely popular.
However, these watch lovers also feel that the brand isn’t doing enough to market its name the right way. Marketing strategies that use “illustrious old brand” as part of their advertisements undermine the current value of the company. As a result, the customer base tends to decay as well.
Lucien Piccard Watch Warranty
All watches by Lucien Piccard have a five-year limited warranty. The warranty takes effect from the date of purchase and not from the date of receiving the timepiece. The warranty covers all manufacturing defects that include functionality, craftsmanship, and material. However, the warranty does not cover the watch case, battery, crown, or stem.
The five-year warranty will not apply in the cases of:
- Damage arising from accidents, negligent use;
- Damage arising from normal wear and tear;
- Battery replacement.
For warranty claims, contact the company at 1-866-746-7794 or email us at email@example.com. Lucien Piccard reserves all rights to inspect and take a final call on whether the damaged timepiece requires repair or replacement. Where the exact model is unavailable for replacement, another watch of equal value and style will be provided in its place.
If you wish to repair or service parts not covered under the warranty, your nearest service center may undertake it for a charge based on your model and type of work. Ensure you purchase the original Lucien Piccard from only authorized dealers for a valid warranty certificate. The warranty shall not apply if purchased from unauthorized dealers.
Where to Buy Lucien Piccard Watches?
Lucien Piccard makes for a good gift for others or to treat yourself, given its affordable pricing. If you are interested in their latest collection, the website offers a good overview of all their collections and its functionality. Under each collection, the watches have different dials and colors to choose from. However, the purchase cannot be made directly on the website, but you can look for an authorized dealer to place your order.
You can also pick up new and pre-owned Lucien Piccard watches on eBay.
Word of Caution: It is easy to get your hands on a fake or damaged Lucien Piccard. Given that the brand uses only quarts movement, many fake dealers easily rip off the design to make it look like an original. Most importantly, the warranty will not apply when purchased from an unauthorized dealer.