Swiss & International Watchmaking – Watch Magazines & Websites
GALLERY - Subtle Sophistication
In an uncertain world facing wide-scale upheaval, a back-to-basics aesthetic, prizing simplicity of form, purity of line, discretion and elegance that soothe the senses, and valuing precision in movements, have become cardinal virtues, like a balm for our tumultuous times.
INDEPENDENTS - Case Studies (Part 2)
A series of portraits to illustrate the various difficulties encountered by independents, Europa Star has chosen a series of particular cases. You’ll find the second part of these studies per brand.
BASELWORLD 2015 - PATEK PHILIPPE – METIERS D’ART “Setting the Record Straight”
Métiers d’art… Métiers d’art… Métiers d’art…” These days, the phrase seems to be on everyone’s lips, as if it were a password that could magically open the doors to international renown. In recent years, artistic crafts have become watchmaking’s new frontier. Far from mourning their demise, we see enamellers, engravers, miniature painters, straw marquetry artists, plumassiers, stone mosaic specialists and embroiderers popping up all over the place.
STRATEGIES - Japanese Watchmaking Moves Upmarket
Global sales of Japanese watches reached two billion dollars in 2013, a level not seen since 1998. This growth is accompanied by a bid to reposition towards the luxury sector, a move currently restricted to the domestic market. Is this perhaps a sign of Japan’s resurgence on the world watchmaking market?
AWAITING THE NEW CONQUISTADORS
The watchmaking year doesn’t run from January to December, it is counted from one Baselworld to the next. It’s not that everything is decided at this horological World’s Fair – far from it. No, Baselworld just provides an opportunity every year to take a snapshot of Planet Watchmaking.
BUSINESS - A Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
The answer whether in 2014 the glass of wine was half full or half empty for the luxury industry is a moot point. It was, indeed, a challenging year. Obviously, geo-political developments occurring in the Middle East, Ukraine, Hong Kong or China impacted business. Also lower than expected economic growth rates in the BRIC-states plus the still sluggish economies in Europe had a negative influence.
RETAILER PROFILE - “Watch Brands in Switzerland Will Come Back to the Retailers”
The strong Swiss franc, brand relations, consumer behaviour: Vevey-based retailer Julien Meylan takes us behind the scenes of a multi-brand watch store.
THE CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE SATELLITE WAVE F900
Imagine a timepiece that provides ultra-accurate time by syncing with GPS satellites orbiting around the Earth. Introducing the new CITIZEN Eco-Drive SATELLITE WAVE F900, the world’s thinnest1 light-powered and GPS satellite-synchronized watch, featuring the world’s fastest2 signal reception speed.
GALLERY - Tourbillon of Tourbillons
While no more than twenty years ago, tourbillons were a rarity, today they have invaded watchmaking to the extent that they now risk seeming mundane. The enduring popularity of the tourbillon perhaps owes more to the complexity of its construction and the fascinating spectacle it plays out on the wrist, than to its actual timekeeping qualities.
GALLERY - Mechanical Mastery
The ‘Grand Siècle’, which saw the art of engineering reach a pinnacle of refinement, still echoes down to us three centuries later, in the second decade of the 21st century. Not all the explorers of the future have turned to the promised miracles of ‘smart’ technology. Some of them, without the slightest trace of nostalgia, continue to tread the traditional paths and pursue the art of mechanical mastery. May their quest be a long and happy one.
INTERVIEW - Antonio Calce at the Helm of the Good Ship Sowind
Four years with Piaget, eight years with Panerai, nine at the head of Corum… Trained engineer Antonio Calce’s career path has given him an insight into all the aspects of a brand, from its industrial setup to product development, not forgetting design, marketing and distribution. On the strength of this impressive CV, in January 2015 he was appointed CEO of Sowind, which comprises Girard-Perregaux and its manufacture, and the Jeanrichard brand. We met on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel.
PORTRAIT - Fossil Group, Swiss Made Watches for the Asian Market
The American giant is hoping to conquer Asia on the strength of its catalogue of prestigious brands at affordable prices. But first, a stopover in Switzerland. Explanations.
STRATEGIES - Watches & Automobiles - Petrol Power
Partnerships between watch and car brands are primarily marketing operations. But they can also result in the creation of some exceptional timepieces. With some watch manufacturers, these partnerships may also be related to the fact that the boss is mad about cars… Some examples.
INDEPENDENTS - Beyond Niche
In the small world of independents, MELB Holding stands out as a beacon of hope for the future of brands that may be too fragile to stand alone against the vagaries of the market, or to break down the barriers to entering the shop windows. Indeed, its course is being followed with attention and anticipation by many small, fragile vessels.
2015 Powerful Year Ahead for Orient
The business scene in 2014, notably the latter half of the year when circumstances such as the rapid drop in crude oil prices caused uncertainty in the global economy, proved to challenge the steady growth of the overseas businesses of ORIENT WATCH.
INTERVIEW - “The Chassis is Ready, Now We Need to Build it Up”
An interview with Aldo Magada, recently appointed CEO of Zenith.
INTERVIEW - TAG Heuer’s Strategic Departure
I feel excited to be here; I never planned to take on any responsibilities at the age of 66,” declares Jean-Claude Biver by way of introduction. Not long after he was handed the keys of TAG Heuer he invited some journalists to a meeting over one of his famous cheese platters. “But I’m only here temporarily. I’ll leave when TAG is making 2 billion Swiss francs per year… No, I’m joking!” (Today TAG Heuer is approaching an annual turnover of one billion.)
Nouveau - Parution Mars 2015 pour Baselworld: EUROPA STAR PREMIÈRE - Le journal de l’écosystème horloger suisse
Depuis plusieurs années déjà, notre société de médias publie la newsletter Première, qui donne un avant-goût en français des éditions internationales du magazine horloger Europa Star. Aujourd’hui, cette newsletter au très fort taux de lecture se transforme en un réel business journal, EUROPA STAR PREMIÈRE, qui s’adresse à l’ensemble de la communauté horlogère suisse élargie à tous les acteurs de son écosystème…
GALLERY - Ladies First
We are used to hearing about ‘ladies’ watches’, as if a watch for women should be as worthy and dignified as a ‘Lady’. But watchmaking, when it approaches women’s territory with an open mind, can shed its rigid masculine straitjacket, allowing colours to explode, shapes to transform and leaving lines free to wander. The future of watchmaking depends on it getting in touch with its feminine side.
BUSINESS - Market on the Move: A Review of 2014 and a Preview of 2015
2014 was a year of note for the watch industry. The Swiss, for instance, exported a record number of timepieces abroad. Previously untapped markets were also developed, as increasing wealth in countries ranging from Brazil to China to Russia contributed to increased global sales. But the start of 2015 has hinted that the permissive economic climate of last year will not last.
INDEPENDENTS - An Informal Chat with Two Standard Bearers of Independent Watchmaking
One is the figurehead of independent watchmakers. His strategy is simple: do everything yourself, and do it with panache! The other is the wunderkind of the new wave of independents. He creates his ‘unidentified horological objects’ with the support of a broad circle of ‘friends’. No prizes for guessing that they are Philippe Dufour and Max Büsser.
GALLERY - Skulls & Skeletons
Is it a sign of our troubled and uncertain times? Or just a passing fad? The fact remains that the skeleton watch, a distant mirror of the ‘vanities’ of the Renaissance and at one time considered old-fashioned, is enjoying something of a revival, alongside the proliferation of skulls and other symbols that remind us how little time we have here on Earth. But it is also, perhaps primarily, a way for the watchmaker to demonstrate his technical mastery, by displaying the inner workings of his movements.
CLOCKS, THE BIBLE AND A KOALA
I arrived in the big metal tube heading for Australia wrapped in an overcoat, scarf and gloves against the European weather. The problem is winter in Europe means summer down under. The twenty-one hour flight, which included two dinners and breakfasts plus a two-hour stopover in Changi Airport in Singapore, saw me arriving in Sydney feeling like the wrath of God.
THINK TANK - The Grand Illusion
Does time have a future? Yes, but how much of a future depends on what the ultimate fate of the cosmos turns out to be.
A column featuring key data and business facts, mixing numbers and statements for a condensed market overview.
GALLERY - Chronomania
If there is one complication that never seems to go out of fashion, it has to be the chronograph. Who really uses this function, intended to measure the passage of short stretches of time? Probably just a tiny percentage of those who buy them. But it doesn’t matter! After all, a chronograph, just by its appearance, gives its wearer the illusion that they are in control of time.