Commemorative items usually have more value in their ‘collectability’ than practical appeal. More often than not they’re emblazoned in dates and logos, losing the piece its timelessness – it becomes a snapshot of a moment, rather than something you can use day in, day out for years to come.
Fine if it’s a band tour t-shirt or the World Cup ’98 football I kicked into a tree and never bothered to get back. But when it’s something like a quality timepiece, you want to be sure you can still get away with wearing it once the event in question is over.
Gucci seemed to have nailed it with their Beijing Olympics limited edition watch. Part of a new range taking influence from Chinese culture (including a mahjong set, oversized leather bag, trainers and er, bicycle and stuffed panda) the 8-8-2008 I-Gucci watch is Gucci’s first digital timepiece.
The only Olympic-related branding is subtly incorporated on the back of the watch in classic red and green colours, alongside a monogram-engraved watch strap. It’s not completely free from commemorative gimmicks though – it displays Beijing time alongside your own.
There’s nothing that should convince anyone to buy it over the next watch, especially at £1,415, but it is a good example of a commemorative piece that can be worn long after the closing ceremony.