Let’s talk about ourselves. Don’t worry, we won’t make a habit of it! By “ourselves” we mean the press, the media in general, and Europa Star in particular.
The press is in crisis, it’s at breaking point – it’s all over the news. It is in the throes of a systemic crisis which, with a few rare exceptions (Financial Times?), touches everyone, the publishing behemoths as well as the minnows, international news websites and specialist bloggers alike. The watchmaking press is no exception. Having survived 88 years so far, our Europa Star media group, our “Editorial atelier since 1927”, has been on the sidelines, the front line even, of innumerable crises, beginning with the 1929 crash, barely two years after its creation, followed by the war, the quartz-led collapse of Swiss watchmaking, the ‘gentrification’ of Swiss watchmaking and the inexorable rise of the groups, to name just a few. Economic models have evolved and transformed, but the particular crisis affecting the media today is different in nature, and it goes deeper. The custom of unfolding a newspaper at the beginning or end of the day survived intact throughout the 20th century, but now appears to be in terminal decline. The digital revolution hit, and new generations born with remote controls in their hands, accustomed to an inexhaustible stream of instantly-accessible virtual content, developed new habits in almost Darwinian fashion.
Nevertheless, just like the mechanical watch, whose gears are now technologically
redundant, paper, which some believed was on the way out, has adapted and lives on. Because, like a mechanical timepiece, it is reassuring. This could be precisely because of its ‘materiality’. The watchmaking world loves to talk about longevity. Paper is similar; perhaps it provides a bulwark against the unending planetary flow of information that seems to just eat time... without a pause for breath, without a hiatus to stop and simply think a little about our ceaselessly rushing world.
We don’t claim that our words should be carved in stone. But the lifespan of the product we regularly deliver actively promotes reflection, analysis and perspective. Yes, we do believe in paper, in the durability of paper. That is why, this year, we have launched a new tabloid format news magazine: Europa Star Première. It is a forum for discussion, analysis and reflection for the entire watchmaking ecosystem, a true business magazine and the only one of its kind, with a no-holds-barred style and edgy graphics, for our French-speaking readers. (A Chinese version of the magazine with localised content has just been launched by our Shanghai office.) Similarly, we believe in ‘materiality’, which is why we have opened the Europa Star Arcade, a bricks-and-mortar venue for discussion, meetings and exhibitions.
Nevertheless, we are not blinded by our love for paper. Quite the opposite, in fact. We devote equal energy to our online outlets: the internet, and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You might not remember, but europastar.com was one of the very first watchmaking websites, launched almost 20 years ago, in 1996! In order to ensure it remains topical, our teams produce incisive, well-informed and exclusive editorial content every day. The coming months will see a number of new features, including a subscription-only portal that will collate our best surveys and dossiers and include a significant amount of previously unpublished content.
The cover of this issue announces a “Breakaway”. Yes, some mavericks are rocking the boat. But there are two ways of responding to this so-called “crisis”: by shrugging and turning away, or by facing up to the situation and standing by one’s convictions – in our case, the convictions of an “Editorial atelier since 1927”.
Source: Europa Star September 2015 Magazine Issue