Whether it’s the result of the recession or just a willingness to embrace popularity, apps from luxury-brands are becoming more common. Here's a look at what high-end watchmakers and luxury automakers offer for the iPhone.
Watchmakers keep time
Luxury watchmakers are trying hard to make iPhone users not forget to look at their wrists from time to time.
My favorite watchmaker app is Christian Dior’s Chiffre Rouge (free). Users get a close up view of the diving watch—the app has a cool water intro, too. But beyond that, the app includes a list of diving spots around the world, a diving signal flag glossary, and a Morse code feature—type in what you want to say in Morse code and the app displays the dots and dashes the words need. Tap “Morse it” and your phone blinks out the Morse code.
Bell & Ross (free) features three watch models that display current time, but unless you have the app running, there’s no way to see them. You can watch a video clip or find a retailer, but I found no specs or pricing information for any of the included models. Piaget Polo FortyFive (free) boasts an up close view of the watch, but also doesn’t provide specs or pricing.
Breitling’s Chronomat (free) app lets users view the watch in 360 degrees and customize their own, which can then be e-mailed directly from the app. Rado Switzerland’s app Rado (free) features the complete 2009 collection, with a brief write up on each model, as well as company news and an interactive touch animation.
Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Watch (free) contains no spec information on any of the four included watches, however you can “gaze at your favorite” and rotate the charms. Despite its store finder, there is absolutely no purpose to this app. The company’s better app, A Day in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels (free), promotes the company’s jewelry line Une journée a Paris by providing a tour of the City of Lights, complete with maps, music and a video tour.
Users can double tap to view each of David Yurman Timepieces (free) at actual size, a nice feature if you’re seriously considering a purchase. The app also features model descriptions, displays available colors and provides an “order by phone” option.
Luxury automakers offer fun and function
Mercedes-Benz is leading the pack with four apps boasting the automaker’s name. To promote the C63 AMG, the company rolled out Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG (free) that features video of the car as well as sounds, so users can hear the engine rev or the sound of the car at full throttle. MBF Account (free) allows Mercedes-Benz financial users to view account information, make payments, find a dealer or check a payoff quote.
The games Mercedes-Benz Quartet (free) and Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow (free) are for true fans of the auto brand, as they feature photos of vintage Mercedes vehicles and racing cars respectively. The object is to beat the computer’s card value by selecting a feature of the historic car.
German automaker Audi has two apps for iPhones. The Audi A4 Driving Challenge (free) puts users behind the wheel of an Audi as they navigate a driving course while Truth in 24 (free) is a driving game based on the film Truth in 24, a documentary about the famous Le Mans race.