t the same time, Swiss watchmakers have been surfing the vintage wave in a bid to appeal to younger generations. Sales are on the increase. It seems that traditional Swiss mechanical watches have never been so prized as in the era of Instagram... and the Apple Watch. Who would have thought it?
The bold are now betting on hybrids: 2018 has seen the first connected mechanical watches emerge.
But those who fear the market may be saturated can breathe a sigh of relief. It has become segmented. To each their own terrain. Seven billion humans is more than enough to feed these markets. Both segments can prosper. The ultra-connected world, with its beeping wristbands, is seeing value in the eternal, ticking timepieces!
The ultra-connected world, with its beeping wristbands, is seeing value in the eternal, ticking timepieces!
- APPLE WATCH SERIES 3 (AND NOW 4)
- While its fourth edition prepares to hit the market featuring new functions for health as well as for seniors, the Apple smartwatch has become a success. Almost five million units had been shipped by the second quarter of 2018 (with a total of 17.7 million the previous year, according to IDC). The third edition was a new departure in that it could function independently, without the need for users to have their smartphone nearby for it to operate. This change was highly anticipated. Nevertheless, traditional Swiss watchmaking is in rude health. "When is a watch not a watch?" It’s a major debate! Less than 1,000$
- FREDERIQUE CONSTANT HYBRID MANUFACTURE
- 2018 marks the emergence of the first watches to combine a traditional mechanism with a connected module (rather than the full digital Apple Watch or the mechanical-smart interchangeability of TAG Heuer Connected). These include Frédérique Constant, who have followed up their quartz Horological Smartwatches with a Hybrid model featuring an automatic movement. On the outside, its looks are scarcely distinguishable from the elegance of the other creations from the Geneva manufacturer. Combined with a smartwatch, it is notable for its activity tracking capabilities. It’s a new stage in the relationship between traditional watchmaking and new technologies. From 3,000 to 5,000$
- TAG HEUER CONNECTED MODULAR
- The brand has introduced the latest modular and customisable version of its Connected model, with a smaller diameter of 41mm. The head of the watch is interchangeable, from a 3 hand Calibre 5 mechanical to a connected module, aimed at combining the durability of a mechanical watch with the obsolescence of connectivity. In doing so, TAG Heuer has positioned itself boldly among new generations, the watch having as much value for marketing visibility as for the actual sales that it generates. The brand has also launched a Full Diamond model at a price of $180,000... From 1,000 to 3,000$
- HUBLOT BIG BANG REFEREE
- A major sponsor of international football, the Nyon brand used the football World Cup in Russia to publicise their first smartwatch, taking heed from prior experience within the group. Alongside offerings from TAG Heuer, Hublot and Louis Vuitton, LVMH has confirmed its position as a pioneer in the exploration of digital wristwatch solutions among the traditional watchmaking industry. The 49mm Big Bang Referee also signals a move upmarket for smartwatches. With their extravagance, sporty identity and relative youth, Hublot are almost certainly risking less than some of their competitors in trying their hand. The question remains: is it a purely stylistic ambition or something greater? From 5,000 to 10,000$
- LOUIS VUITTON TAMBOUR HORIZON
- The travel company offers one of the most elegant connected watches on the market, moving away radically from an excessively “electronic” aesthetic. Integrated into the Tambour collection with its clearly identifiable case, the Horizon range offers very specific functions such as flight data (“My Flight”), travel guides (“City Guide”), and a new game function "City Game", as well as geolocation to identify the best addresses during your stay abroad. It is also possible to customise the dial using the brand identities: Monogram, Chessboard, Colour bands... It’s a highly targeted and well thought-out use of connectivity. From 1,000 to 3,000$
All mentioned prices are indicative and correspond to price segment.
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Europa Star Watch Curator ’18 is a selection of 147 watches classified under 13 specific trends:
Tourbillons - Globes - Sun, Moon & Stars - Purity - Open-worked - Skulls - Sport - Tough - New displays - Barocco - Vintage & Neo-vintage - Connected - Calibres.