Swiss & International Watchmaking – Watch Magazines & Websites
BRANDS - A COURAGEOUS TRIO - A short tribute to three very different brands that dare to believe: VALBRAY, CHRONOSWISS and ATELIERS DEMONACO
I’m sure that of the more than three hundred or so Swiss watch companies and the same amount of ‘foreigners’ at the last Baselworld, there were dozens of small existing brands and newcomers trying desperately to get into the action, find enthusiastic distributors, make their mark, establish their brand. They participate with hope in their hearts and watches in their pockets and despite being tucked away in some corner of the more than 140,000 square metres of exhibition space available, they are optimistic about being noticed, discovered, applauded, acclaimed in the press and even fêted. Here’s a tribute to three of them.
CASIO - The World’s First Hybrid Time-Keeping System
The new G-SHOCK GPW-1000 by Casio not only receives Global Positioning System (GPS), but also radio wave time-calibration signals for accurate time keeping everywhere in the globe.
MECHANICAL - Are IN-HOUSE MOVEMENTS Important?
Lately, in-house movements are all the rage. Since the Swatch Group/ETA started talking about limiting supply, many watch companies have developed their own movements, making them in-house. Due to the high investment needed for movement development and the relatively small volume, in-house movements necessitate a premium in price. So, given the increase in price, are in-house movements important? Well, it depends on who you ask…
MECHANICAL - Who will succeed ETA?
From 2020, Swatch Group will be allowed to stop supplying third party clients with ETA movements. For Sellita and Soprod, the two biggest alternative manufacturers of entry-level and mid-range Swiss made calibres, the stakes are high. Probing the heart of Swiss watches.
AMERICAN SPIRIT - The home of industrialized watch production is back at it - in many forms
In the 1800s and 1900s, America was a pioneer in watchmaking, developing affordable watches for the masses (the famous “dollar” watches), creating supremely accurate timepieces for the railroads, pushing boundaries of design and the use of innovative materials and much more. Then, the Swiss, Japanese and Chinese kind of took over and the bulk of watch production moved offshore. Today, however, there is a renaissance of sorts going on, with American companies coming to the forefront.
BRANDS - VALBRAY Opens its Shutters
Côme de Valbray and Olga Corsini met by chance in 2009 and realized that their interests in horology, design and creativity were closely allied. They spent two years researching, developing and patenting an innovative diaphragm system for a dial, a technique whereby shutters open to reveal a glimpse of some of the mechanics of their first intriguing timepiece.
WORLDWATCHWEB - What is Driving Online Interest for THE LUXURY WATCH INDUSTRY’S “HIGH RANGE” BRANDS?
At a global level, interest in the High Range category has increased by 6% in the past year. The top most sought-after brands of the category are Rado, Longines, Montblanc, and Tudor. Searches for this category come primarily from China (29% of all searches), followed by the US (15%) and the UK (9%).
RETAILER PROFILE - TOURNEAU - Ira Melnitsky
Tourneau is one of the world’s biggest retailers, with 33 stores scattered throughout the US. During BaselWorld, we had the opportunity to sit down with this famous retailer’s chief executive officer, Ira Melnitsky, to talk watches, retail and the watch industry in general.
BRANDS - Straight Talk with GUCCI’S PATRIZIO DI MARCO
At Baselworld, I had the honour and the pleasure of sitting down, one on one, with president, chairman and chief executive of Gucci Worldwide, Patrizio di Marco. Not one to give many interviews, I was fortunate to get some time with him, and we talked about a number of key issues for Gucci and watches.
LETTER FROM USA - THE RECOVERY IS COMING, but it’s not Complete Here Yet
With China slowing down, brands are turning to other, more mature markets. The US market, in particular, is showing some signs of recovery, though the turn-around hasn’t been as fast as many would like. The American shows this year in Las Vegas seemed to have been a little slower and not so well attended, but the retailers we talked with are still optimistic about the future of the US market. Here are five key retailers and what they have to say about their home market.
BRANDS - The ATELIERS DEMONACO Challenge
When the Ateliers deMonaco was launched in 2009, the vision of the founders was to create a high-end watch brand despite that at that particular moment in time there was a small but obvious crisis within the watch industry. Against advice to the contrary, the launch took place with an in-house creation, the Grand Tourbillon Xtreme Precision timepiece carrying a price tag that could have easily broken the bank at Monte Carlo. Audacious or imprudent? Confident or foolhardy? I think not. How about courageous?
LETTER FROM CHINA - 25th Shenzhen Watch and Clock Fair "JE T’AIME, MOI NON PLUS…"
The 25th Shenzhen watch and clock fair was heavily coloured by the Sino-Swiss Free Trade Agreement. In the watchmaking sector particularly, the agreement has thrown the two countries into a maelstrom of hope and fear.
BRANDS - The Resurgence of CHRONOSWISS
Oliver and Eva Ebstein – Managing Director and Chairman - took ownership of Chronoswiss in 2012. Neither having been in the watch industry prior to that date, they showed their courage by daring to believe that they could revitalize a brand that is in one of the most competitive price ranges - 3,000 to 4,500 Swiss francs.
MECHANICAL - Simply Talking Complications with LUDWIG OECHSLIN
Ludwig Oechslin is a simple man, and he appreciates the elegance in simple solutions to problems. Oechslin is also a famous man in the watch industry, having worked with Ulysse Nardin to revive the brand, alongside Rolf Schnyder, and he was also curator of the MIH, the world’s premier watchmaking museum in La Chaux-du-Fonds. Today, he is concentrating on his own brand called ochs und junior.
SERVICE, PLEASE! - Service experiences WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD at the retail level - part 2
We continue our survey of the best and worst of customer services as experienced by the customer-facing retailers with the second part of the article that started in Europa Star April/May issue.
MECHANICAL - Entry-Level Mechanicals
Though it doesn’t get as much press as more expensive or complicated watches, one very important segment of the watch industry is the opening-price point, or entry-level, mechanical watch. This is a very broad segment, because for some companies, like Fossil or Swatch, their opening price point for a mechanical watch might be just over $100, while for other companies, like Jaeger-LeCoultre or Patek Philippe, the opening price point is in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. The report focuses on watches that are often customers’ first foray into mechanical watches.
MECHANICAL - Simply Talking Complications with STEPHEN FORSEY
Greubel Forsey recently had its ten year retrospective and this gave co-founder Stephen Forsey the opportunity to look back at how things have changed in the decade.
MECHANICAL - Unlocking ALTERNATIVE ESCAPEMENTS
In the history of horology more effort has been devoted to the escapement than to any other functional part of a timepiece. In the 18th century, when most of the current systems were invented, the escapement was not only seen as fundamental, it was also a matter of prestige. Breguet, Graham and Leroy were among those who made it a special study in the hope of solving most of the problems of reliability and accuracy that plagued timepieces of the era, including marine chronometers. As the interface between the going train and the regulating organ, the escapement is where force and frequency intersect in a complex interaction. Improving its efficiency has repercussions on the entire mechanism, its power reserve, its precision, life span and prestige.
RETURN TO SIMPLICITY - Simplicity is a Complex Business!
In the quest for the truth about what appears to be a mechanical “back to basics” movement, Europa Star asked a number of watchmakers to help navigate the complex route that leads to simplicity. With the participation of Denis Flageollet (De Bethune), François-Paul Journe (FPJ), Edouard Meylan (H. Moser & Cie), Luc Perramond (La Montre Hermès), Sandro Reginelli (Maurice Lacroix) and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht (Agenhor).