Cindy Novotny

Complications = Luxury = Cost More Money!


As many of you who read my blog know, I was in Geneva, Switzerland last week – the home of luxury watches.  I have been here many times but this time I received some real education in the making of watches. In horology, the study of clocks and watches, a complication refers to any feature in a timepiece beyond the simple display of hours and minutes. A timepiece indicating only hours and minutes is otherwise known as a simple movement. Common complications in commercial watches are day/date displays, alarms, chronographs, and automatic winding mechanisms.  Think of a Rolex, Patek Phillippe or Vacheron Constantin to name a few.

The more complications in a watch, the more difficult it is to design, create, assemble, and repair. A typical date-display chronograph may have up to 250 parts, while a particularly complex watch may have a thousand or more parts. Watches with several complications are referred to as grandes complications.  Therefore more expensive.

Once I learned this it made me think about the luxury hotel industry.  The more complications in a hotel, the more expensive the room.  Think about an inexpensive hotel – it can be clean, good location, nice coffee shop, a pool or fitness room and even a small business center to print tickets.  It is nice and you will have a good sleep, but there are no complications.  Now think about a five star luxury hotel.

All the complications:

  • The driver who picked you up at the airport has the cool water, fresh scented towel and mints for you along with the wireless in the car so you can immediately be on line
  • The driver calls the hotel in advance so they know you are on your way to be able to greet you with your name upon arrival
  • The front desk already has your key ready and you are checked in
  • You enter your room and the television is set up with your name and a welcome in your native language
  • The amenity of your choice is waiting for you with a personalized note
  • The concierge has made the appropriate dinner reservations for you and your confirmation is on your desk
  • The butler assists you in hanging your clothes and steam/press your suits
  • You have your bed turned down at your requested time, mints or chocolate are on your pillow, with book marks inserted in all your magazines and books
  • Your Espresso maker is stocked with your favorite coffee
  • You attend your meeting at this hotel and the table is set with individual candy dishes which are replaced every few hours with different nuts and fruits
  • The banquet server remembers how you like your coffee and it is ready every morning you arrive
  • The ‘diet’ breakfast shake that you are drinking in the morning is also ready for you

Look at how many complications there are in delivering this experience.  Hence, why it costs more.  So think about your business.  How many complications are there in your service process and is it customized.  I know that at Master Connection Associates’ we are not an ‘off the shelf’ training company.  We are a custom ‘house’ with a lot of individual customization or ‘complications.’