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7 WATCH BUSINESS MAGAZINE EUROPEAN EDITION N°323 1/2014 FEB. / MARCH 02
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THE WORLD’S MOST INFLUENTIAL WATCH MAGAZINE EUROPE
Astronomy and practical complications BaselWorld previews Retailer limited editions
Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower, the camellia, decorates the dial in a subtle gradation of colours; it was embroidered by hand at the Maison Lesage using the traditional needle-painting technique. This exceptional timepiece has been rewarded in 2013 by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the "Artistic crafts watch" category. Limited edition to 18 numbered pieces. 18 karat white gold set with 642 diamonds ( ~ 3,55 karats).
The Swiss watchmaking industry’s POKER RISK Pierre M. Maillard Editor-in-chief The combination of computer-aided design, highprecision machining on increasingly powerful multi-axis CNC machines, high-tech materials science and… the ever thicker wallets of the über rich is pushing high-end watchmaking ever higher and ever further. Which watches stood out during the SIHH week? Without prompting, “observers” would cite the wrist planetarium developed by Van Cleef & Arpels, the Poker watch by Christophe Claret, the Perpetual Calendar with Equation of time by Greubel Forsey, the Dizzy Hands by Richard Mille, the TerraLuna by A. Lange & Söhne or the DB28 by De Bethune… All extraordinary watches, it must be said, some of which are superb, but the cheapest one costs 100,000 Swiss francs (excluding tax). There seems to be no end to this upward spiral, at the risk of one day breaking the bank. Journalists from around the world – most of whom cannot even dream of one day owning such a timepiece that costs the same as a house with a swimming pool – drool over these mechanical accomplishments worthy of being in a museum, some of which have admirable levels of complexity and sophistication. But they forget that the bread and butter of the watchmaking industry is not there. These pieces enjoy media coverage that is not commensurate with their real importance to the world’s daily watch business. They are literally talking pieces, whose main objective is to attract media attention. Of course, they bear witness to a high level of horologi-
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cal research and development and they generate an interest that should theoretically rub off on the rest of the industry. But we must not forget that these über watches represent a mere handful of the 1.2 billion timepieces produced each year. We can claim, justifiably, that they are the driving force behind all the others. But we can also claim that by focusing most of the media hype on them we create a disparity between this hyperexclusive top of the range and everything else, which gets neglected. And this “everything else” includes many accomplished products that are worthy of greater interest. Let’s take the example of the perpetual calendar. Until now, it has been confined to the elite among timepieces and you had to spend at least several tens of thousands of Swiss francs or euros to
acquire an example of the complication that is after all more useful than a chronograph, which nobody really uses in their daily life. Under the leadership of Jérôme Lambert, Montblanc has just launched a perpetual calendar for 10,000 euros (which is still a considerable sum). And what did we hear in the plush surroundings of the SIHH? “They are going to kill the perpetual calendar,” exclaimed some, concerned for their own geese that lay the golden eggs. But isn’t this the ultimate goal of any technological development: to manage to democratise it, to “share” it as Montblanc says? Isn’t this essential if high-end watchmaking wants to avoid living solely in its own bubble, as sumptuous as it may be, and avoid becoming disconnected from general opinion? Because, beyond the confines of the initiated, the most common refrain from “normal” people, the silent majority, from all those who only think about watches once or twice a year, was: “they are crazy, these prices are insane, sickening”. We may laugh and we may mock, but isn’t this a kind of warning? What if, one day, fed up with all this excess, the average consumer turned away… to buy a smartwatch for example? Then it would be goodbye to the bread and butter. p
pa n e r a i . c o m
Mediterranean Sea. â€œGammaâ€? men in training. The diver emerging from the water is wearing a Panerai compass on his wrist.
history a n d heroes. luminor submersible 1950 3 days automatic titanio (ref. 305) available in titanium and ceramic
Exclusively at Panerai boutiques and select authorized watch specialists.
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16 Astronomical sums
JEANRICHARD A division of SOWIND SA Place Girardet 2301 La Chaux-de-Fonds Switzerland Tel. : +41 (0)32 911 36 36 Fax : +41 (0)32 911 36 37 email@example.com www.jeanrichard.com
The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily Europa Star.
EDITORIAL The Swiss watchmaking industryâ€™s poker risk
COVER STORY JeanRichard â€“ itâ€™s all in the case
12 16 20 23 24 26 30
SIHH 2014 Interview â€“ Richemont to invest 300 million Swiss francs this year Astronomical sums The â€œLambertisationâ€? of Montblanc A feminine offensive at Richard Mille Practical complications for the discerning collector Diverâ€™s watch redux Ladiesâ€™ watches â€“ new crafts and old favourites
GENEVA SHOWS In the grand hotels of Geneva A horological and geographical journey
44 48 50
BASELWORLD 2014 Titoni, in China for over 50 years Ressence, recapturing the essence of a watch Pilo & Co., the journey of an independent brand
SERVICE, PLEASE! Analysing customer behaviour
RETAILER PROFILE Retailer limited editions Dakota Watches â€“ Making a success in shopping malls
WORLDWATCHWEB The WorldWatchReportâ„˘ 2014 Haute Horlogerie Preview
EDITORIAL & ADVERTISERSâ€™ INDEX
LAKIN@LARGE Youâ€™re crackers mâ€™lord!
24 Practical complications
53 Service, Please!
TERRASCOPE by JeanRichard 44mm case in polished and vertically satin-finished black DLC-coated stainless steel, matt black dial with luminescent hour markers and hands. Powered by the JR60 selfwinding movement, which operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 38 hours of power reserve. Matching black rubber strap with black PVD-coated stainless-steel folding buckle; water resistant to 100 metres.
www.worldwatchreport.com / www.digital-luxury.com
6 CONTENTS / europa star
JEANRICHARD – it’s all in the case Pierre Maillard Bruno Grande is proud of what he has achieved. Since JeanRichard came under the control of the Kering group (ex-PPR which includes Gucci and the Sowind Group, in other words Girard-Perregaux, its factory and the JeanRichard brand), whose horological guru is Michele Sofisti, he has, as COO of JeanRichard, overseen a radical overhaul of the brand, in a way bringing it back to its origins and the spirit of Daniel Jeanrichard. But who was Daniel Jeanrichard? To be simple and direct, Daniel Jeanrichard, who was born in 1665 in La Sagne and died in 1741 in Le Locle (in the canton of Neuchâtel), is the man who laid the foundations for the “factory” that triggered the industrialisation of the Swiss watchmaking industry. He was the first to understand the logic of streamlining the organisation of all the different professions that were involved in the production of a watch. And by bringing them together in a single place he created the embryo of the first “manufacture”, this “meeting” in a single place of all the “hands” that work on the production of the object. Many others added to these foundations, building up stepby-step the vast fabric of the Swiss watchmaking industry.
But going back to the origins of the brand also means going back to the idea behind the rebirth of the JeanRichard name, which was at the time under the control of Gino Macaluso and his sons: watches with unbeatable value for money and a strong heritage but aimed mainly at a younger, cultivated, urbane customer who appreciates design, architecture and mechanical art. This positioning had been lost somewhat over the years and a progressive move up range had diluted the brand’s image. As Michele Sofisti explained to Europa Star last year, when the brand was relaunched at BaselWorld: “The price positioning was quite high, at 7,000 to 10,000 Swiss francs for a manufacture watch. It was difficult to achieve volume and build for the long term.” With the arrival of Michele Sofisti and Bruno Grande, this entire strategy was revised in order to focus on a customer base that Bruno Grande considers “quite educated, looking for a highquality Swiss watch with a striking design at the right price.” “We do not claim to have revolutionised watchmaking,” he quickly adds. “But the product that we have designed is innovative, mainly because of the way the case is designed,
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since it has a strong identity and is easily recognisable, highly contemporary and offers unbeatable value for money.”
AN INCREDIBLE VERSATILITY Working with the renowned watch designer Mijat (who was responsible for Hublot’s Big Bang), JeanRichard developed a “basic chassis” that is identical for the four different product lines in the collection. This “chassis”, or the case to be more precise, consists of a container that holds the movement, a central case middle, two lateral inserts and a screw-in case back. It is a complex case that requires around 70 operations from stamping up to its final assembly, but it offers infinite possibilities for combining different materials, decoration, finishes and polishing. The result is a product with an astonishing versatility. Depending on the combination of materials and treatments used, the watch can be anything from very muscular and sporty to formal and elegant. Its shape, a harmonious mixture of a slightly convex cushion shape and a round bezel, gives it a noticeable identity.
TERRASCOPE BI-COLOUR WITH BLACK DIAL: NIGHT ON THE CHIC-SPORTY SIDE With a steel case illuminated by case sides in pink gold and a black dial, the new Terrascope bi-colour re-interprets the night in a sportive yet elegant spirit. The sophisticated construction of the case in multiple parts alternates “vertical satin” surfaces with polished bevels to play with light. The matt black caseback makes the clean geometry of the dial stand out with its applied numerals and big hands covered with pink gold and a luminescent coating. The black alligator strap, with folding clasp, completes the harmony. The mechanical movement with automatic winding ensures that the night-time and day-time hours are told with unerring accuracy. TERRASCOPE WITH BLACK DLC CASE: NIGHT IN THE OPEN AIR The Terrascope – JeanRichard’s flagship model – shares the most beautiful night-time hours for everyday explorers who wish to savour every moment of the day in a new edition finished with a sleek black DLC coating. The alternating “vertical satin” finish on the flat surfaces and sandblasted finish on the bevels subtly underline the watch’s original design, with its robust construction in several parts and its combination of a cushion case with a round glass. The indexes and hands are clearly distinguishable on a matt black dial, with cut-outs that make them stand out and a white luminescent coating. The sporty touch is completed by a black rubber strap with a folding clasp. The mechanical movement with automatic winding ensures accuracy and reliability twenty-four hours a day.
1681 WITH BLACK DLC CASE: NIGHT IN THE CITY A homage to the very first watch created by Daniel Jeanrichard at the end of the 17th century, the 1681 reinvents tradition in a new, highly original colour of the night and a dynamic, refined and urban look. The steel cushion case is decorated with a black DLC coating with a matt, powder-coat surface. Its entirely micro beaded finish adds strength to the modern but discreet style. Only essential references, the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands and the date, stand out against the black dial, thanks to a luminescent beige coating. Within this case beats a JR1000 automatic winding movement, made in-house, with a black rotor which has an exclusive décor visible through the transparent case-back.
europa star / COVER STORY 00
FOUR COLLECTIONS These different facets of the same case are seen across four collections: Terrascope, which is robust and sporty; Aquascope, which as its name indicates is dedicated to the marine environment; Aeroscope, with a technical look and the 1681, which is urbane, elegant, classic and equipped with a manufacture movement. The minor “miracle” is that even with this DNA common to all the JeanRichard watches, each product has its own strong character but, when the watches are put side by side there is a clear coherence to the brand’s image. “This coherence was also one of our main objectives,” explains Bruno Grande, “because it allows us to increase our notoriety, to improve the visibility of the brand and increase global awareness of the brand but at the same time allows us to position very precisely and very subtly each of the 50 references that we find across the four lines. Beyond this key aspect, this fully modular base also offers us a high degree of industrial flexibility. Thanks to this flexibility we can constantly adjust our range to the specific demands of the market but still keep prices under control.”
INDUSTRIAL STREAMLINING From an industrial point of view, this modular case system allows a very high degree of finishing on the watch for the lowest cost. Specifically, the different components can, for example, “easily” be polished in different ways, in order to create sophisticated interplays between light and different
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materials, which would be impossible if the same shape had been created from a single piece. This approach to production also allows JeanRichard to offer watches with a price that seems to be below the level of the quality offered, in terms of both the case and the dials, which have a meticulous finish, or the remarkable comfort of the watch on the wrist, which is nevertheless 44mm in diameter but which, thanks to its small lugs, easily fits even the smallest wrists (all the straps in the collection are interchangeable!). Thanks to this streamlining, the core collection falls in a price range between 2,500 and 4,000 Swiss francs. As just one example, an Aeroscope chronograph model with a DuboisDépraz movement, in polished grade 5 titanium, is offered at 4,200 francs! A steal at this level of quality and functionality.
RETHINK EVERYTHING “The support of the Kering group has been instrumental in this reflection and this development,” Bruno Grande stresses. “All the different aspects of a brand have been reworked entirely, above and beyond the products themselves. The brand’s territory has been redefined, its communication has been completely rethought, as has its physical presence at the retailer, its corners, its presentation material, its boxes. For each line, an ambassador has been named, ‘Sailor of the Year 2012’, Franck Cammas for the Aquascope; Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, famous as the man who landed his Airbus A320
I NEW AQUASCOPE TIMEPIECE, TO CELEBRATE 150 YEARS OF SWISSJAPANESE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS This new timepiece was conceived to celebrate the 150 years of Swiss-Japanese relations in 2014. Its special dial design is derived from a well-known Japanese woodblock print by renowned artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849). “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is amongst his best known works from “The Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji”. Polished and vertically satin-finished stainless steel 44.00 mm case. Circular satin-finished stainless steel unidirectional rotating bezel. Antireflective sapphire crystal. Case-back, screwed-down, engraved. Screwed-down crown. Water-resistant to 300 m. Movement JR60, selfwinding. Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/hour (4 Hz). Power reserve: minimum 38 hours. White, grey, blue or black “Hokusai” style engraved dial. Applied rhodium-coated indexes and hands with luminescent material. Blue or black rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet. Stainless steel folding or butterfly buckle.
U “208 SECONDS” AEROSCOPE 208 seconds made Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger a hero, when on January 15, 2009, he “landed” his Airbus A320 on the Hudson river, saving 155 people. “In situations such as those on January 15, 2009, one can only rely upon your training, preparedness and the knowledge that you are serving a cause greater than yourself,” said Captain Sullenberger. “The “208 Seconds” Aeroscope I was able to design with JeanRichard also symbolizes the values of personal responsibility and I am grateful for their support of my philanthropic work.” Available on a black Barenia® calfskin strap, the JeanRichard “208 Seconds” Aeroscope, with its polished and vertically satin-finished titanium cushion-shaped case, is a re-interpretation of the old aviators’ watches. The 208 seconds are represented by a subtle marked white and red timeline on the timepiece’s black dial. Movement JR66, self-winding. Limited and numbered edition: 208 pieces.
on the river Hudson in 2009, for the Aeroscope collection, and the famous wildlife photographer Nick Brandt for the Terrascope collection. Recently an agreement was signed with the English Premier League football club Arsenal.” Kering also played an essential role as a facilitator in the commercial redeployment that is under way at the brand. In one year, 150 points of sale have been opened, mainly in the USA – “a market that is developing very well,” says Bruno Grande – the UK and Mexico, with 25 points of sale, or Hong Kong, with 14 points of sale. “We can feel that the radical changes have considerably increased the brand’s potential,” adds Bruno Grande. “But we need to continue and strengthen these efforts, to make ourselves known and understood by retailers. JeanRichard is no longer the ‘little sister of GirardPerregaux’. It is now an autonomous brand.”
This autonomy is nevertheless based on a pooling of certain resources at Sowind, which comprises both brands, such as general services, human resources, information technology, accounting and production. The Sowind factory thus deals with the assembly, quality control and production of some of the cases, but for the remaining components (dials, hands and cases), JeanRichard works with various suppliers from the Jura region. JeanRichard also developed its own in-house movement with the Sowind factory in 2004, the JR 1000 calibre. Having proven its reliability, this three-hand movement with date and small seconds is used exclusively in the classic 1681 collection. Because the price of a manufacture movement is necessarily higher, it is reserved for the more expensive pieces, which are nevertheless reasonably priced, like the 1681 watch in rose gold for 18,400 Swiss francs. BaselWorld, this year, will bring further surprises that show off the exceptional “transformism” of the JeanRichard case. We saw a sneak peek of an astonishing watch that looks like it has been cast in bronze, as well as some other unusual materials, but we are also promised a “phenomenal talking piece”. Discover it at the show (or in one of our future issues). p
Discover more at www.europastar.BIZ/JeanRichard
europa star / COVER STORY 11
SIHH – INTERVIEW
RICHEMONT TO INVEST 300 million Swiss francs this year The following interview with Richard Lepeu and Bernard Fornas, co-CEOs of Richemont, by Bastien Buss was published in French in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps on 25th January 2014. Bernard Fornas
Bastien Buss: How did the SIHH go for your brands? Are orders up? Bernard Fornas: There were no surprises in that we continue to see a lot of interest from our customers, the retailers. They have the opportunity to admire, in the space of a few days, all the explosive creativity of our maisons, to meet the management of our brands and to have their respective strategies explained or re-explained. This level of proximity is unique and gives them chance to cover a major part of the watch industry. Richard Lepeu: Add to this all the meetings with the journalists. At 1,300, there were 10 per cent more of them this year. The SIHH really is the unmissable annual event for the brands present and all our customers, just as BaselWorld is for the others. It’s the 24th edition but we still feel the same energy and the same enthusiasm. What does the SIHH mean for the fourth quarter of your 2013-2014 non-calendar fiscal year and beyond? RL: We have just published sound results for the third quarter, so we won’t go back over those. Holding this exhibition in January is fundamental to our planning and organisation of the year. [Editor’s note: it was previously held at the same time as BaselWorld, in the spring]. BF: Moving the exhibition forward by four months has forced our maisons to deliver earlier in the year. RL: Furthermore, the SIHH strengthens the image of Geneva as the capital of high-end watchmaking and, in the minds of foreign visitors, as a key city for the country. What is the commercial importance of this exhibition for the Richemont Group? BF: Since many of our brands have to deal with demand that is higher than supply, the exhibition gives them a better overview for the year ahead. They can therefore adjust their production plans
based on the orders placed by retailers. This applies less to the brands who are more active with their own stores. RL: It is above all important for high-end watchmaking, especially for limited series production. More specifically, the general mood in the sector is very positive, at least as far as our maisons are concerned. Most macroeconomic factors suggest that things will improve further but we won’t be drawn into making any specific forecasts. Will 2014 be another record year for the Swiss watchmaking industry as some observers think? RL: At the moment, specialists and economists are saying that 2014 will be better than last year. But how can we be sure? The world economy remains very volatile and can react to the slightest economic or political news. BF: At Richemont we can only ever control half of the reality, of the situation or, in short, of the business. But we do this part very well. We create new products, manage the marketing, distribution and communication. But we have no control over the macroeconomic situation. Our role is to put ourselves in the best possible position and to do better than the others. How does the year ahead look for the luxury industry and for Richemont in particular? RL: This will depend a lot on developments in exchange rates, since they can have a significant impact on business. The dollar remains the predominant currency in terms of demand, like in the USA, China and Asia in general. So its impact could be huge. A less strong Swiss franc would also be welcome! You sound very cautious. Are the years of crazy growth in the luxury sector a thing of the past?
BF: This caution is a necessity. I repeat, we do not have control over all the elements in the equation. Why talk of single or double-digit growth? There is no point. It is up to us to put ourselves in the best possible position. What we can see is the exceptional nature of the products of our maisons, which are better than ever. Based on this, we are in the best possible position to capitalise on what might happen in the global economy. RL: What is the point of just making predictions? We are more interested in the substantive trends that will have a more long-term effect. Here, of course, the prospects are good for the luxury industry and therefore for Richemont. Several analyses have shown that they are even better for “hard products”. And since we are world leaders in this field... Experts say that the jewellery sector, which is your main business area and generates half of your turnover, should grow quicker than the watch business. Do you agree with this? BF: We share this view. There is less competition than in the watch industry, where it is really exacerbated. There are not as many jewellery brands. It is a widely held belief that 90 to 95 per cent of the jewellery market is not in the hands of the big established brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels or Piaget. Could China be a risk factor for Richemont? What is the real impact on your business of the anti-corruption campaign, with its effect on gift-giving and watches in particular? BF: It has definitely had a negative impact, but it is limited. But we often forget that the middle class is booming and has more money available to buy luxury products, regardless of what people say. The blip you refer to is therefore compensated for by new customers entering the luxury market.
u 12 SIHH – INTERVIEW / europa star
Appreciate the extraordinary MASTER SERIES
And they are above all compensated by Chinese tourists abroad. Some 150 million Chinese will be travelling all over the world in the next few years. Having said that, the majority of purchases in China are not linked to business gifts. RL: I think this anti-corruption campaign is probably a good thing. This custom could not continue. Even if there is a short-term impact on sales, the influence over the long term will be positive. But the fundamental element is the demographic factor and the confirmation of the country’s more or less liberal approach to private enterprise. So unless there is a big upset the creation of value and wealth will continue. GDP growth of 8 per cent, 7 per cent or 6 per cent in China is still phenomenal. How can you not be optimistic in these circumstances if they last for several years?! So there is no cause for concern? RL: There is still an appetite and desire for luxury products designed and made in Europe. And there will be for some time to come, especially from tourism, just as there was from the Japanese back in the day. The only difference is that this time its impact is bigger by a factor of ten. Luxury does not yet have a real presence in Africa. Why is that? RL: The continent is starting to enjoy explosive economic growth and has the biggest short-term potential. A lot is happening in this region, which has a population of one billion that will soon be two billion. BF: This continent is starting to wake up and we need to keep an eye on it. This does not necessarily mean that we are going to open a Cartier store tomorrow morning in Nigeria or Angola. But the time when we will is not that far away. There is always a risk for pioneers like us, especially on new markets, but also a bonus for the first to market. What is your strategy for this Year of the Horse in the Chinese horoscope? What are your priorities? BF: To continue to manage our maisons with a perspective on eternity. In other words to continue to build them up, develop them, respect them and above all to keep innovating. So we will stay on the same track. It’s a business model that we like and that has been rather successful so far.
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And? BF: Distribution should reach a level of excellence, whether for our own stores or for our retailers. They need to become closer partners and help us to build up our brands and project this image at the point of sale. I’m choosing my words carefully when I say that we have become a lot stricter with regard to the quality of our partners. So some are not yet at the right level? BF: Yes, this is true. RL: It’s an on-going process of adjustment. Some retailers have stopped investing and we need to correct this. Others, on the other hand, are improving. But overall we are satisfied. As proof, our network is very stable. In fact stability pervades the entire group, the management, the employees and the brands. It is this stability that allows us to develop the family feeling and the brand culture, which is why each of our companies has become a maison. BF: Furthermore, we tend to favour hiring and promoting internally for our key positions, as we have recently done at Jaeger-LeCoultre, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc. Stability is fine but there have been a lot of rumours over the past few weeks that you may sell off some brands. What is the situation? RL: Our principal shareholder Johann Rupert has been very clear about this. Richemont will not be selling any of its brands. We have no plans to do this. BF: To be more specific, it’s true that some brands that were not doing as well have been reorganised and repositioned to give them a boost. And do you plan to acquire any new brands? RL: The management is paid to create value, or goodwill. Why spend money to buy it elsewhere? Why, for example, pay a price that already includes a large share of goodwill for a jewellery brand when we already have so much expertise in-house at Cartier, Piaget or Van Cleef & Arpels? BF: In all of Richemont’s maisons the potential for growth is still very high, enormous even. RL: A policy of paying inflated prices for acquisitions also runs counter to the interests of the shareholders, unless there is a strategic interest.
By definition it involves a dilution of value. Our priority is really to concentrate on organic growth of our brands when you already have such a highquality portfolio as Richemont. Some of your maisons, like Lancel or Baume & Mercier, seem to be still in the red. Is that really the case? BF: We do not communicate results by brand. Last year you created 800 jobs in Switzerland. Do you still need to recruit more and increase your production capacity? BF: It is always a positive signal. RL: Our investments will continue, with 300 million planned this year in Switzerland, in particular to increase production capacity at each of our maisons and insource new professions. A large number of projects are either under way or have just been completed, like in Neuchâtel for Panerai, Plan-les-Ouates for Vacheron Constantin and Piaget, Meyrin for Stern and Van Cleef & Arpels and for Cartier in Couvet and Le Locle. And jobs? RL: If we are building factories, then we will need people to work in them! At the end of 2013 we had 8,252 employees in Switzerland, which represents 30 per cent of our global workforce. This is huge for a Swiss-based multinational. So the added value is created in this country. To give you an idea of the development, from 2009 to 2013 our workforce in Switzerland grew by 30 per cent. BF: We have even strengthened our jewellery activities in Switzerland, even though it is really the spiritual home of watchmaking. Our project with Cartier in Le Locle, where we have finally found suitable land, is proof of this. What are you going to do with the mountain of cash that the group has, which was 4.3 billion euros at the end of 2013? A major share buy-back? BF: Isn’t it better to have a lot than none at all? RL: This decision is up to the board and the shareholders. But we can say that the dividend was increased considerably last year and that this policy will probably continue given Richemont’s performance and its financial stability. p
W H E R E D O U. S. N A V Y TEST PILOTS GO FOR THEIR WATCHES? THAT’S RIGHT, H E N L E Y- O N -T H A M ES .
So let’s get this straight. The US Navy Test Pilot School, home to some of the world’s crack aviators, gets its watches from Henley-on-Thames? The home of cream teas, rowing and cute waterfowl? Actually, it’s not as daft as it might sound. Because Henley is also the home of a company called Bremont.
The result is a chronometer with an adjustable 24-hour hand, that can display local time anywhere in the world, together with Universal Coordinated Time (the standardized time zone used by the military). Built by hand in our workshop, the mechanical movement undergoes an arduous testing process (something it has in common with its wearers) and is 99.998% accurate.
And, over the last ten years, we have developed watches for more than forty different squadrons, both here and in America.
The case is made from a stainless steel that’s seven times harder than anything you’ll find in conventional watches. (We bombard our steel with electrons to toughen it up.)
The US Navy asked us to design a timepiece for the elite pilots who train at their school in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Then we add not one, but nine layers of anti-reflective coating to the sapphire crystal for maximum clarity and hardness.
People who cross time zones about as frequently as the rest of us cross the street.
Some might call all this excessive. But it’s just the way we do things here in Henley-on-Thames.
The question is, how do you get your hands on one of these fine watches? Well, if you’re between the ages of 17 and 34, and an American citizen, you can of course apply to join the US Navy. But if for any reason that proves problematic, you’ll be pleased to hear we manufacture a version for civilians, the Bremont World Timer ALT1-WT. For this, you need only apply within at your nearest Bremont retailer.
SIHH – ASTRONOMICAL WATCHES
A S T R O N O M I C A L
S U M S
If 2013 was in many respects the “year of the métiers d’art”, the SIHH 2014 placed the coming year under the auspices of astronomy. What could be more natural, after all, as an exhibition entitled “Horology, a child of astronomy”, presented by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and curated by the historians Dominique Fléchon and Grégory Gardinetti reminds us.
Here, we could discover with great emotion the famous Nebra disc, from around 1600 BC, which depicts 32 heavenly bodies in gold leaf on a bronze disc 32 centimetres in diameter, including the crescents of the sun and the moon as well as the constellation Pleiades. A work of art, of religious observance, a tool (according to some researchers it allows certain astronomical calculations to be made, in particular the prediction of the summer and winter solstices)… it effuses beauty, mystery and magic.
THE WRIST PLANETARIUM by Van Cleef & Arpels A mere stone’s throw from the exhibition we found the piece that was without doubt one of the most remarkable and most talked about at this year’s SIHH: the Midnight Planentarium Poetic Complication by Van Cleef & Arpels. As far as we know, this is the first time that a planetarium in relief has been reduced to the size of a wristwatch. From a technical point of view, the movement was produced in col-
MIDNIGHT PLANENTARIUM POETIC COMPLICATION by Van Cleef & Arpels
laboration with the watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, a specialist for over 40 years in watches with astronomical indications. We don’t need to explain the complicated calculations required to convert the orbits of the different planets into the subtle interplay between the gear trains of a watch (the additional module alone that drives this complication has 396 components). Because each of the six planets that are featured on this watch move in line with the genuine time it takes them to move around the fixed central sun in red gold. Saturn therefore
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takes over 29 years to make a full revolution on the dial, Jupiter close to 12 years, Mars 687 days, Earth 365 days, Venus 224 days and Mercury 88 days. Each of these planets is a sphere of hard stone that has been cut by hand – turquoise for Earth, serpentine for Mercury, chloromelanite for Venus, red jasper for Mars, blue agate for Jupiter, sugilite for Saturn – whose dimensions are in proportion to the mass of the planets. Each planet is attached to the end of a small stem that revolves around one of seven aventurine discs that make up the magnificent dial of this wrist planetarium. An eighth aventurine disc, embossed with a 24-hour scale and the months of the year, completes the dial. The time is read only approximately (to the nearest 10 minutes or quarter of an hour) off a shooting-star hand in pink gold that makes one revolution of the dial in 24 hours. Since the cosmic machinations are both a science and a symbolic reflection of our own destiny, the rotating bezel allows the wearer to choose their “lucky date” by positioning a red triangle alongside the graduated calendar. On this chosen date, the Earth appears under a star engraved on the sapphire crystal. Powered by a self-winding movement with an annual calendar, this superb piece takes pride of place at the centre of the Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic AstronomyTM collection, whose ambition, as Nicolas Bos, Chairman and CEO of the brand, reminds us, is “to invite people to dream” (but it is a costly dream at close to 150,000 euros).
Greubel Forsey A PEDAGOGICAL EQUATION OF TIME
But Van Cleef & Arpels does not stop there: with the same astronomical inspiration the brand presents two new Extraordinary Dials, the Midnight Nuit Boréale and the Midnight Nuit Australe. Two fine chiaroscuro interpretations in grisaille enamel with tiny drops of yellow gold. Yet another reason to dream. I QP À EQUATION by Greubel Forsey
O MIDNIGHT NUIT BORÉALE by Van Cleef & Arpels
Greubel Forsey proposes a much more scientific approach to astronomy – or rather astronomical calculations – with a quite astonishing piece: the QP à Equation. This watch signals the start of a second phase in the duo’s work on “fundamental inventions” in watchmaking. After tackling inclined tourbillons with their characteristic rigour, they now revisit the perpetual calendar with the aim of making it as easy to read as possible. But to achieve this “simplicity” – the perpetual calendar indications are arranged side by side in three windows showing the day, big date and month – they had to start by making things more complex. Looking back to the very origins of the perpetual calendar, the medieval “computus” that was used to determine the dates of religious festivals, they developed a genuine mechanical computer that allowed them to incorporate the equation of time within the perpetual calendar mechanism (it is not,
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therefore, an additional module but a fully integrated movement consisting of 570 components). At the heart of this mechanism is a “coding wheel” (three patents) that consists of a stack of cams with fingers that coordinate the displays on both sides of the watch: the month disc displays the month in the window on the dial but at the same time moves the equation of time scale on the back of the watch. The year disc actions the leap-year indicator on the dial and the season indicator on the back. It is on the back of the watch that we find the equation of time, which shows the continuously changing difference between mean solar time (one day = 24 hours) and true solar time. This difference, which is due to the elliptical trajectory of the Earth’s orbit around the sun, and which can vary from a few seconds up to more than 16 minutes, is displayed graphically on a sapphire disc by a “manta ray” shape with lines cut into four sections, two red and two blue. The red line indicates a positive difference between mean solar time and true solar time, the blue line a negative difference. A second sapphire disc, linked to the month wheel, has a scale graduated in minutes. The intersection between this scale in minutes and the red or blue lines on the other disc shows the equation of time at a glance. This new presentation of the equation of time apparently also has some educational value because, according to the watchmakers, when reading graphically “you understand better the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun and the arrival of the equinoxes and solstices”. This technical and astronomical piece is 43.5mm in diameter and 16mm thick and driven by a movement with a 24-second tourbillon inclined at 25° and a large, variable-inertia balance beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour. This is powered by two co-axial, fast-rotating barrels with a slipping spring to avoid excess tension, which give a power reserve of 74 hours. It is also a work of art. It bears the excellence of finish pushed to the extreme that is characteristic of all Greubel Forsey timepieces. A rare piece with a genuinely astronomical price of 670,000 euros.
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THE SAME GRAPHICAL EVIDENCE at A. Lange & Söhne
I RICHARD LANGE PERPETUAL CALENDAR “TERRALUNA” by A.Lange & Söhne
T QP À EQUATION by Greubel Forsey and the equation of time
Astronomy certainly has an important virtue: in order to represent in the most precise and clear way the complex planetary, solar, lunar and stellar movements and interactions you need to be able to think as much like a mathematician as a mechanical engineer or even a graphic designer or a poet. A. Lange & Söhne demonstrates this with brio with its new Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna”. On the dial side, this perpetual calendar with big date has a regulator display that is harmoniously divided into a large minute circle that is intersected by the seconds circle on the left-hand side of the dial and the hour circle on the right. The day and the month appear in two separate windows, at 8.30 and 3.30 and the leap year can be seen in a small circular window at 2.30. The power reserve (an exceptional 14 days) is displayed in a blade-shaped window at 6 o’clock. Graphically, these harmoniously arranged indications allow easy and structured reading of the different time and date information.
But it is on the back of this magnificent perpetual calendar that we discover the “Terraluna” that lends its name to this timepiece. This patent-pending orbital display of the moon phases presents, “for the first time on a wristwatch”, the position of the moon with respect to the Earth and the sun. The sun is represented by the balance, which is located on the same axis as the Earth, which itself is represented by a disc that completes one revolution in 24 hours, which is at the centre of a larger disc that features a thousand stars. The moon appears in a round aperture in this stellar disc and rotates anti-clockwise around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds. This ultra-precise mechanism would only need correcting after 1,058 years if the watch functions continuously. One of the great things about this display is that you understand intuitively and immediately the position of the moon in relation to the Earth and the sun-balance, and thus its appearance: the new moon, which is invisible when it is aligned with the Earth-sun axis, then waxing as it progressively moves away from this axis, full moon when it is on the opposite side to the sun and finally waning when it gradually returns to the axis of the sun. The beautiful Calibre L096.1 hand-wound movement that powers this celestial machinery with a double barrel is equipped with a constant force mechanism that transmits an invariable torque to the balance throughout the 14 days of power reserve. You will need to set aside 185,000 euros for this very beautiful piece with a pink or white-gold 45.5mm case.
Cartier THE MOON ON DEMAND
I ROTONDE DE CARTIER EARTH AND MOON
O RICHARD LANGE PERPETUAL CALENDAR “TERRALUNA” by A.Lange & Söhne
The same Earth and moon vocabulary is found in the new Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon, but the principle behind the moonphase display is totally different. Aesthetically, where A. Lange & Söhne opts for hyper-precision in its indications and an astronomical pedagogy, Cartier chooses a more baroque and playful interpretation. The main innovation in this watch is that the moon phase indication is produced on demand. You press the pusher at 4 o’clock and a circular cover in lapis lazuli in the same position moves over the tourbillon at 6 o’clock to cover the cage, creating a crescent that reflects the “exact” position of the moon in the sky. Above this is a stylised terrestrial globe (hence the name of the watch) with the hour and minute hands at its centre. A disc bearing the 24 hours of a second time zone revolves around this globe. Driven by the calibre 9440 MC hand-wound movement, whose semi-skeletonised finish creates a lattice of stars on the back of the watch, the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon has a power reserve of around three days and is available as a limited edition of 50 pieces. p
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The “Lambertisation” of MONTBLANC Pierre Maillard
Jérôme Lambert, the former CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre and A. Lange & Söhne, has been at the helm of Montblanc for barely six months but the impact of his arrival can already be seen on several fronts: a strong accent on horological values, a clearer structure to the collections and much more commercial aggressiveness. In short, a number of recipes that already proved successful above all at Jaeger-LeCoultre have now been implemented. The new “motto” chosen for Montblanc must be understood for what it is – “Share the passion for high-end watchmaking”: on the one hand it is meant to infuse the entire collection (from the grand complications to the simple threehander) with the codes of high-end watchmaking and on the other it is about “sharing” these codes, in other words offering high-end watchmaking at “very attractive” prices.
A PERPETUAL CALENDAR FOR 10,000 EUROS! The most striking example of this new policy of “sharing” is a perpetual calendar that costs 10,000 euros in steel and 16,900 euros in gold! Ten thousand euros for a perpetual calendar will upset the competition, as Jérôme Lambert did before with a Jaeger-LeCoultre tourbillon for around 40,000 Swiss francs, which caused a stir throughout the entire watchmaking community.
Will we see the same reactions from within the profession and from competitors? After all, this perpetual calendar (with a Dubois-Dépraz movement) forms part of the new Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage collection, which “is based on the quality standards of the Montblanc Meisterstuck”, the famous writing instrument of the Hamburg firm, in other words a mixture of craftsmanship, functionality and “timeless” design, as well as on the most traditional Swiss horological codes. The Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage collection comprises silvered dials in a pure style with a fine sun-brushed finish and polished, facetted appliques, above which sweep facetted Dauphine hands. The cases, in diameters of 39mm or 41mm, are very sober and delicately satin-finished on the case middle. Classic, the whole classic and nothing but the classic. We find these horological characteristics throughout the collection, from the most sober self-winding watches with three hands, with or without date, or with a moon phase surrounded by a small seconds counter, in the perpetual calendar or even in the flagship Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition piece. This classic hand-wound monopusher chronograph also has a pulsometer scale that gives it a slightly “retro” look but, above all, it is fitted with the MB M13.21 manufacture calibre, which is assembled entirely by hand at the Montblanc workshop in Villeret (the Minerva workshop). Its large balance wheel with screws -
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I From left to right: MONTBLANC MEISTERSTÜCK HERITAGE PERPETUAL CALENDAR MONTBLANC MEISTERSTÜCK HERITAGE PULSOGRAPH
which oscillates at 18,000 vibrations per hour - and its balance spring with a Philips terminal curve are produced and rated in the workshop. Fitted with a column wheel and a horizontal clutch, this monopusher chronograph (the pusher is at 2 o’clock) has a decorative finish: all the components are hand bevelled, polished on the upper surfaces and brushed on the sides; the mainplate and bridges are in rhodiumplated nickel silver with Côtes de Genève decoration and the interior surfaces are circular grained. It is a limited edition of 90 that costs 27,000 euros. A small diamond cut in the shape of the brand’s emblem and set in the case middle at 6 o’clock indicates that the watch has a manufacture movement.
AN AVANT-GARDE TOUCH We also see the signature of Jérôme Lambert in another collection presented at the SIHH, the Montblanc Timewalker Collection, which has been subjected to a makeover that gives it a more contemporary sporty look. One example is the Montblanc Timewalker Chronograph 100, which, as its name suggests, measures time to 100th of a second and is driven by the new MB M6625 calibre. This movement “with two hearts” and two mainspring barrels is fitted with a classic balance that beats at 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5Hz) for the timekeeping and a second balance that beats at 360,000 vibrations per hour (50Hz) for the 100th of a second chronograph function. But this energy-sapping balance only starts oscillating once the chronograph is activated, by means of a “whip” in the form of a steel blade that provides the starting impulse. Furthermore, this calibre is fitted with a patented control mechanism that can be used to reset the minutes and seconds for the chronograph and, independently, the hundredths of a second. (We will come back to the technical details of this invention in a future issue).
I MONTBLANC TIMEWALKER CHRONOGRAPH 100
This high-performance movement is encased in a three-piece case that shows off the “avant-garde” nature of the watch, with a black DLC coated titanium bezel, a screw-in caseback in titanium and sapphire crystal, titanium case middle with carbon fibre surrounds and a sweeping view of the movement and its contemporary architecture.
SERIOUS FACELIFTS AND PRECISION SURGERY
T From left to right: “NICOLAS RIEUSSEC” CHRONOGRAPH EXOTOURBILLON CHRONOGRAPHE RATTRAPANTE
Two other new models have also undergone a serious facelift: the new “Hommage à Nicolas Rieussec” chronograph, which reinterprets the legendary ink chronograph patented in 1822 by this pioneer of the chronograph. The fixed chronograph hand in the form of a double hour marker faithfully replicates the one used by Nicolas Rieussec and indicates the elapsed time on two separate white discs: on the left the minute counter and on the right the 30-minute counter. Above them is a subdial for the hours, with the minute clearly visible at night thanks to numerals in SuperLuminova that are invisible during the day. Finally, as a demonstration of the company’s expertise in highprecision, high-end watchmaking, Montblanc presented the ExoTourbillon Chronographe Rattrapante, a world first that has a large balance positioned outside the tourbillon cage, coupled with a split-seconds chronograph, with a three-dimensional regulator display in gold and grand feu enamel. This spectacular piece has a price that is less susceptible to “sharing”: 250,000 euros. The Lambertian revolution seems to be well under way at Montblanc, which seems more determined than ever to prove that it can excel as much in high-end watchmaking as it can in writing instruments. And which is trying at the same time to project a more contemporary image. p Discover more at www.europastar.BIZ/Montblanc
SIHH – RICHARD MILLE
A feminine offensive at RICHARD MILLE Richard Mille has decreed that 2014 is the “Year of the Woman” by presenting a series of new timepieces that play subtly with the three dimensionality of his watches, the combination of different materials that is one of his signatures and a more discreet technicality. The flagship piece in this feminine collection is without doubt the watch dedicated to Michelle Yeoh, which brings about an audacious fusion between animal sculpture and gear trains, as if the tiger and the dragon had slipped between the horological components. A short anthology.
3. RM 07-01 LADIES AUTOMATIC Powered by the new in-house calibre CRMA2, a specially developed skeletonised self-winding movement, the RM 07-01 has a mainplate and bridges machined in grade 5 titanium. Variable inertia balance wheel and 5N 18-carat gold oscillating mass with variable geometry that allows the winding system to be adjusted to suit the wearer’s lifestyle and guarantee optimum winding of the mainspring. The traditional crown, which is linked directly to the movement, has been replaced by a new patented Richard Mille crown that is impossible to dislodge or break and thus offers added protection from the rigours of daily life. Power reserve of approximately 50 hours. In addition to the 18-carat red and white gold versions, the tripartite case of the RM 07-01 is available in white ATZ or brown TZP ceramic with a red-gold case middle – a first in the Richard Mille ladies’ collection.
1. RM 51-01 MICHELLE YEOH TIGER AND DRAGON TOURBILLON A limited edition of 20 pieces in 18-carat white or red gold. Calibre RM51-01: manually-wound tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and power reserve indicator (48 hrs). Mainplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium. The hand-sculpted tiger and dragon in 3N red gold are integrated into the movement. In order to make these mythical animals as realistic as possible, there was a lot of painstaking micro-painting on some elements, including on the parts that are not visible. 2. RM 19-01 NATALIE PORTMAN TOURBILLON The RM 19-01 manually-wound tourbillon calibre is assembled around a black rhodium-plated, 18-carat white-gold baseplate set with black sapphires, a first for Richard Mille. The 18-carat white-gold spider, set with diamonds, forms an integral part of the movement: the abdomen strengthens the tourbillon bridges while its legs support the two winding barrels. Available in 20 pieces worldwide, this creation will be worn by Natalie Portman at various international events.
4. RM 037 LADIES AUTOMATIC Fitted with the calibre CRMA1, a skeletonised self-winding movement with hours, minutes, variable geometry oscillating mass, oversized date and function selector. This function selector allows the wearer to choose between the positions of winding (W), neutral (N) and time setting (H) without touching the crown. The gold pushers resemble drops of water. The first, between 10 and 11 o’clock, is used to set the date, while the second, between 4 and 5 o’clock, is used for above-mentioned function selector. The function (H-N-W) selected is displayed in a window between 3 and 4 o’clock. The RM 037 is available with white (ATZ) or black (TZP) ceramic with a case middle in 18-carat red gold, or with an 18-carat red or white gold case with a variety of different stone settings and numerous different dials in precious and semi-precious materials such as diamond, onyx, mother-of-pearl and jasper.
Discover more at www.europastar.BIZ/Richard-Mille
SIHH – COMPLICATIONS
PRACTICAL COMPLICATIONS for the discerning collector Paul O’Neil Could this be the year of the practical complication? In addition to some ingenious interpretations of astronomical themes (see Pierre Maillard’s article in this issue), there seemed to be a focus on making the familiar top-of-therange complications more practical.
ULTRA-THIN FROM JAEGER-LECOULTRE Perhaps the most accomplished example is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon. Despite adding the flying tourbillon to what is already an extremely complicated piece, the brand from the Vallée de Joux proclaims that this model is the slimmest minute repeater watch ever made, with a total thickness of 7.9mm and a movement that is less than 4.8mm thick. It is the first ultra-thin Grand Complication model from JaegerLeCoultre and the eleventh creation in its Hybris Mechanica collection. Two innovations have been combined to reduce the thickness of this watch: firstly, it is not just the tourbillon but also the balance wheel that is “flying”, since the balance wheel is positioned above the tourbillon and has no upper bridge (a configuration similar to the new Exotourbillon model that Montblanc presented at this year’s SIHH); secondly, a peripheral self-winding system is used, with a platinum segment visible through apertures in the dial that rotates around the movement to wind the watch. Furthermore, the new pushbutton used to activate the minute-repeater, rather
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I ULTRA THIN MINUTE REPEATER FLYING TOURBILLON by Jaeger-LeCoultre
than the usual slider, activates a system that hides a number of very significant innovations. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s “silent time lapse reduction system” eradicates any gaps in the striking in the absence of a quarter gong. Thus at 8.12 there is a seamless transition between the eight strikes on the hour gong and the 12 strikes on the minute gong. The brand’s patented catapult striking system also ensures a cleaner strike with greater energy on gongs that have a square, rather than circular, cross section, which gives a greater strength to the sound because there is a greater surface area in contact with the hammer. Most important of
all is the fact that you can activate the minute-repeater mechanism again as soon as it has stopped – in a traditional minute-repeater watch doing so would break the mechanism.
OVERSIZED FROM PARMIGIANI FLEURIER Since a minute-repeater alone no longer seems sufficient to impress, Parmigiani’s new Toric Resonance 3 model also lays claim to a record. This 655,000 US dollar piece has the largest instantaneous jumping date ever manufactured, which brings its own further complications. Since the two date discs are the same size as the dial, they
require a substantial amount of force to both trigger the instantaneous date jump at midnight and then immediately stop the discs. This force is managed by a double cam system in which one cam continuously arms the spring lever for the date jump while another controls a spring-mounted lever to stop the discs. The sublime 18-carat white gold dial, with black lacquered hour markers and black lacquered delta-shaped hands, has an exquisite hand-guilloché central section and its sober appearance belies an extraordinary attention to detail that includes a redesigned logo, whose curves are adapted to the shape of the dial, and unique individual numbers on both date discs (in other words, the 1, 2 and 3 numerals that are common to the tens and the units on the two different discs are not identical). Similar care is lavished on the PF359 hand-wound movement, for which Parmigiani Fleurier simply describes the finishing as “absolute”.
U ROTONDE DE CARTIER ASTROCALENDAIRE
THREE-DIMENSIONAL FROM CARTIER
T TORIC RESONANCE 3 by Parmigiani
Cartier’s 2014 crop of fine watchmaking models includes no less than four new tourbillons, of which two in the brand’s Rotonde case are particularly noteworthy. Pierre Maillard covers the Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon watch in his article about astronomical complications in this issue, while the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire offers a new interpretation of the perpetual calendar that we will take a closer look at here. The design of the new Astrocalendaire piece automatically draws the eye to the flying tourbillon, located almost at the centre of the dial, around the circumference of which the new three-dimensional perpetual calendar indications are displayed on separate
bridges. The desire to move away from the typical linear display of the day and month indications, or the use of subdials, also opened up new technical possibilities for the movement. In fact, instead of using the traditional system of stars, levers and springs for operating the date displays, Cartier has designed a system of gear trains with a special “brain” wheel (for which the brand has filed a patent) that uses a cam to push out three flexible teeth to cope with the different lengths of the months. A further advantage of this calibre 9459MC movement, which is finished to the standards of the Geneva Hallmark, is that the date can be corrected at any time without any fear of breaking the mechanism. All this can be done using the crown (with the exception of the day, which can be corrected using a separate pusher at 2 o’clock on the case). It’s refreshing to see that the research carried out by these brands is not just focused on producing complications for complications’ sake but on adding a genuine practical value for the watch aficionado. Long may it continue! p
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SIHH – DIVER’S WATCHES
D I V E R ’ S WAT C H R E D U X Paul O’Neil
Fans of divers watches were well-served at this year’s SIHH. In addition to the classic styling of Cartier’s first ever diver’s watch (see Europa Star 06/2013), brands with a strong heritage in this field used their latest models to vie for the attention of aqua sport aficionados.
IWC’s Aquatimer collection, which dates back to 1967, resurfaced in a new guise at the show, in a collection that ranges from the humble selfwinding three-hander to the brand’s first haute horlogerie complication in a diver’s watch, including all the stops in between – all fitted with the brand’s new quick-change system for swapping between straps. A new model in bronze – a first for IWC – is dedicated to the Charles Darwin Foundation, a charity that aims to preserve the unique environment of the Galapagos islands, and two Aquatimer chronographs pay tribute to the Galapagos islands themselves - the “Galapagos Islands” and “50 years science for Galapagos” (a limited edition of 500), both with a black rubber-coated stainless-steel case with IWC’s “SafeDive” rotating bezel and, like their bronze counterpart, the in-house calibre 89365 self-winding movement, which offers a power reserve of 68 hours. Like Darwin, the renowned French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau also took an interest in the Galapagos habitat, following the prehistoric marine creatures native to the island from aboard his ship Calypso. This year, IWC
AQUATIMER “EXPEDITION CHARLES DARWIN”, “GALAPAGOS ISLANDS” and “50 YEARS SCIENCE FOR GALAPAGOS” by IWC All three of these models use IWC’s in-house calibre 89365 self-winding chronograph movement, which operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 68 hours of power reserve. The Charles Darwin model has a bronze case, while the two chronographs dedicated to the Galapagos islands both have a case in rubber-coated stainless steel. All three timepieces are water resistant to 30 bar, or 300 metres.
dedicates its 6th special edition to the explorer, with part of the proceeds from sales of the Aquatimer Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau watch being donated to the Cousteau Society, which the explorer set up to help protect marine environments and which IWC has been supporting for ten years. IWC also presented two models to appeal to avid divers. The Aquatimer Deep Three is, as its name suggests, the third diver’s watch to be offered
by IWC that features a mechanical depth gauge as a back-up to a dive computer. A special crown at 9 o’clock incorporates a membrane that reacts to changes in water pressure, translating this into indications on the dial using a lever system: blue for the current depth and red for the maximum depth reached (up to a maximum of 50 metres). Divers can thus calculate their decompression stops and monitor their ascent speed simply by looking at their Aquatimer Deep Three.
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I Left to right: AQUATIMER DEEP THREE by IWC 46mm titanium case with black dial and black rubber strap, mechanical depth gauge with split indicator showing maximum depth to 50 metres. Powered by the IWC calibre 30120 self-winding movement with 42-hour power reserve and water resistant to 10 bar/100 metres. AQUATIMER AUTOMATIC 2000 by IWC 46mm titanium case with black dial and black rubber strap. Powered by the IWC calibre 80110 self-winding movement with 44-hour power reserve and water resistant to 200 bar/2,000 metres.
The new Aquatimer Automatic 2000 harks back to an era in IWC’s history, over 30 years ago, when Porsche design featured in the collection. Ferdinand A. Porsche, the man behind the iconic Porsche 911, designed diver’s watches that IWC had been commissioned to produce for commando frogmen and mine clearance divers. He subsequently designed the Ocean 2000, the first diver’s watch to be produced in titanium (IWC was the only company capable of machining titanium at the time). The 2,000 in the name refers to the watch’s impressive water resistance of 2,000 metres, which should be more than enough to satisfy the needs of professional and amateur divers alike.
A DIFFERENT EVOLUTION Just like IWC, Officine Panerai also has a history of supplying navy divers. But with the exception of the Luminor Submersible models, you will not find any rotating bezels in the Officine Panerai collection, since it has evolved over the years to epitomise classic style, with plain bezels and dials coupled with some of the finest leather straps found on any watch. The signature crown-locking mechanism of the Luminor collection, housed in its oversized protector on the side of the
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case, is the only consistent recollection of Panerai’s deep-sea connections. But the collection of three new limitededition chronographs presented in precious metals at the 2014 SIHH proves that the brand’s history still has an important role to play. The vintage look of these models is not just confined to the railway-style
T RADIOMIR 1940 CHRONOGRAPH by Officine Panerai This limited edition uses the exclusive Panerai OP XXV hand-wound calibre, which operates at 18,000 vibrations per hour and offers 55 hours of power reserve, is visible through a transparent sapphire crystal case back.
scales around the dial: the dial itself is housed behind a Plexiglas® crystal, just like the original Radiomir models from the 1940s. Panerai also appropriately uses an historical movement for this mini-series (50 in platinum, 100 each in red and white gold), since its Opus XXV hand-wound columnwheel chronograph is based on the Minerva 13-22 calibre, the original design of which dates back to 1923, when Minerva was already a supplier to the Florentine brand. (The Fabrique d’Horlogerie Minerva SA has since become the Montblanc manufacture after its acquisition by the Richemont Group in 2006.) This crop of new chronographs is completed by the Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante in a lefthanded configuration with eight days of power reserve. On this 47mm model with a brushed titanium case, the crown is found at 9 o’clock in recollection of the early divers’ habit of wearing their watches on the right wrist, since their left wrist was already occupied by their dive compass. This limited edition of 300 uses the manually wound Panerai P.2004/9
I LUMINOR 1950 CHRONO MONOPULSANTE LEFT-HANDED 8 DAYS by Officine Panerai A limited edition of 300, this model has a 47mm case in brushed titanium with a polished titanium bezel and a brown dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. It is powered by the Panerai P.2004/9 calibre, which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and has three mainspring barrels that offer a power reserve of eight days.
calibre column-wheel chronograph movement which has a single pusher at 2 o’clock for starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph.
SIHH this year, the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon, which continues the brand’s tradition of presenting concept watches that dates back to 2002.
COMPETITION IN CERAMIC
Even more white ceramic is used on the new 42mm Royal Oak Offshore Diver, for the crown and pusher, the bezel and the case middle. And with good reason. It is 40 per cent more scratch-resistant than black ceramic (1,850 Vickers compared with 1,300 Vickers). On other divers’ watches, the screw-in crown at 10 o’clock
The creative minds at Chanel will no doubt be watching Audemars Piguet closely after the manufacture from Le Brassus introduced high-tech white ceramic into its collection for the first time this year. It is used in one of the most eye-catching models seen at the
ROYAL OAK CONCEPT GMT TOURBILLON by Audemars Piguet The latest Royal Oak concept model stands out thanks to its white ceramic bezel, crown, pusher and white rubber strap set against the background of a brushed titanium case, with a distinctively shaped white ceramic upper bridge that frames the Audemars Piguet logo at 12 o’clock and the function selector at 6 o’clock in lieu of a dial. Opposite the tourbillon visible at 9 o’clock is a digital second time zone indication that uses two superimposed discs – one with the hour numerals (1-12) that completes a revolution in 12 hours and another underneath that completes a revolution in 24 hours and is divided into white and black to differentiate between night and day. The time zone can be changed simply by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock, which moves the indication forward by one hour. Timekeeping is provided by the Calibre 2930 manually-wound movement, which has a 10-day power reserve provided by two barrels that unwind in parallel and transmit their energy to the gear train via a single pinion – a lower-friction means of transmission compared with the two barrels linked in series that are found in other long-running movements.
I ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE DIVER by Audemars Piguet Even with a transparent sapphire crystal case back showing off the Calibre 3120 self-winding movement (21,600 vibrations per hour, 60 hours’ power reserve), this remains a true divers’ watch guaranteed water resistant to 300 metres. The use of white ceramic makes the 42mm case ultra resistant, with white ceramic also used for the bezel and crowns and a white rubber strap completing the distinctive look.
would be a helium escape valve, but on the Royal Oak Offshore Diver it unlocks the dive-time preselection mechanism that turns the inner bezel. The use of ceramic is also evident in the new 42mm Royal Oak Offshore chronograph models, on which black ceramic replaces rubber as the material for the crown and pushers. Although Audemars Piguet proclaims a “more technical, sculpted” aesthetic for the new pieces, they nevertheless retain the look of the original Royal Oak models from 40 years ago. Some new, more feminine designs in the Royal Oak collection are just one example, along with a new advertising campaign designed specifically for ladies’ watches, of how Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias is hoping to increase the share of ladies’ watch sales from one quarter to over a third of the 35,000-plus watches that the brand sells each year. p
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SIHH – LADIES’ WATCHES
New crafts and OLD FAVOURITES Paul O’Neil
THE NEW MÉTIERS D’ART
The lavish use of diamonds remains one of the best ways to glam-up a ladies’ timepiece and the more diamonds used, and the more complicated their different sizes, cuts and settings are, the better. But since such diamond-set pieces have long been a feature of the ladies’ collections for most brands, there seems to be an increasing need for brands to demonstrate their artistic prowess in other ways, notably through the application of traditional artistic crafts to the watch dial. Continuing a trend that started with a vengeance last year, luxury brands apply new artistic crafts to their dials to create genuine miniature works of art.
Vacheron Constantin once again demonstrated its expertise in the artistic crafts (métiers d’art) with a series of limited-edition Fabuleux Ornements pieces that will only be available in the brand’s own stores. Aside from hand guilloché, grand feu enamel and hand engraving, the art of “stone cloisonné” makes its debut on the Chinese embroidery piece. Here, the stones (pink opals, ruby, garnet and cuprite) are individually cut and lapped to create a tapestry of flowers on a dial with minute white-gold partitions to recreate the effect of Chinese embroidery. The dial of the French Lace model also recreates an effect similar to embroidery with blue and pink sapphires and diamonds set individually into an open-worked gold lattice against the background of a translucent grand feu enamel dial on a hand-guilloché base. The collection is completed by two unusual models dedicated to Ottoman architecture, with a mother-of-pearl dial adorned
LADIES AND DIAMONDS IN THE FOCUS AT RALPH LAUREN Three-quarters of the new models presented by Ralph Lauren at the SIHH this year were for women - a complete reversal of last year’s strategy. And ladies’ watches at Ralph Lauren means classic designs lavished with diamonds. Lots of diamonds. In the case of the new “Petite Link” Stirrup model, no less than 2,017 diamonds (approximately 20.35 carats) are set on the dainty 27mm by 23.30mm Stirrup case in white gold, with the intricate setting of the interlocking links of the bracelet being particularly worthy of note. This high jewellery version is the standard bearer for a new collection of six references that includes models in stainless steel and red or white gold and with or without a more sober snowfall diamond setting around the circumference of the case.
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Diamonds also form the basis for a new bracelet on Ralph Lauren’s Art Deco 867 collection, where they are set into 65 grammes of white gold in openworked and interlinked geometric shapes reminiscent of the forms used in Art Deco architecture. A total of 410 brilliant-cut and 20 baguette diamonds are used for the setting (approximately 11.70 carats) of the case, bracelet and its clasp. No surface is spared the setter’s hand, with even the 18-carat white-gold crown set with diamonds. This exquisite piece, which is also available with the diamond bracelet set into a black suede strap, is powered by Ralph Lauren’s in-house RL430 calibre, which beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of around 40 hours.
I “PETITE LINK” STIRRUP and ART DECO 867 by Ralph Lauren
U CHINESE EMBROIDERY by Vacheron Constantin
sion of half a millimetre in a process that requires six hours of work and two metres of gold thread. The dial is framed by an 18-carat whitegold case set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds and a black satin strap. Its finesse is matched by the ultra-thin Piaget 430P manually-wound movement that beats within.
with half-pearl beads, and Indian manuscript, using hand-engraved grand feu champlevé enamel. In all four models the exquisite dial decoration has to compete with the equally eye-catching open-worked mechanical movement, which is visible through an offset opening in the dial. Vacheron Constantin calibre 1003SQ is a hand-engraved manually-wound mechanical movement that is a mere 1.64mm thick, operates at a sedate 18,000 vibrations per hour and offers a power reserve of approximately 31 hours. Piaget also introduced two new métiers d’art in its “Mythical Journey” collection, which offers miniature snapshots of the landscapes, wildlife and architecture that can be seen along the legendary Silk Route and Spice Route between Asia and India. Taking a number of different cases as their canvas (Altiplano, Emperador, Emperador XL, Limelight, Polo, Protocole), the artisans have created miniature works of art using techniques such as champlevé enamel, cloisonné enamel, micro-mosaic, and stone setting. But the two techniques that stand out are the gold thread embroidery and bulino-style engraving.
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The gold thread embroidery is applied to two 38mm Altiplano models with a pine tree and plum blossom on the dial. The fine black silk that forms the base of the dial is stretched and attached to a support, on to which the motif to be embroidered is outlined in white powder applied through a tracing of the motif. Gold thread is then wound spirally to form a cannetille, which is used to embroider the motif using different styles of stitching, working to a preci-
I Left to right: FRENCH LACE, OTTOMAN ARCHITECTURE and INDIAN MANUSCRIPT by Vacheron Constantin
T 38MM ALTIPLANO by Piaget Left to right: Gold thread embroidery and Bulino engraving
The “bulino” engraving technique takes its name from the sharp, angled tool used by Italian engravers for very fine engraving. In the case of another Altiplano 38mm model it is used to bring to life on a gold dial the leathery skin of an elephant. The effect is achieved by the craftsman using finely dosed pressure and subtle changes in the angle of engraving. Even after the major focus on métiers d’art pieces at last year’s SIHH, it appears that there is still plenty of potential for incorporating new and even more intricate forms of decoration on to the relatively tiny surface of a watch dial. p
IN THE GRAND HOTELS OF GENEVA… Pierre Maillard
While the great mass of high-end watchmaking was being held at the SIHH, not far from Geneva airport, you had to wander around the grand hotels along the shores of the lake or the nearby factories to complete this seasonal harvest. Despite the cancellation of the GTE
(read our editorial in Europa Star 6/13), a number of brands had come to Geneva to take advantage of the presence of around 1,300 journalists and several thousand people from the trade (agents, distributors and retailers who were more or less “captive”). An overview.
DE BETHUNE AT THE SUMMIT One of the most brilliant demonstrations of a combined horological and aesthetic excellence can be found at De Bethune. The association between the horological expert and great Italian aesthete David Zanetta and watchmaker Denis Flageollet produces an unparalleled approach, timepiece after timepiece. “Tradition and innovation” is one of the most-heard mantras among brands, to the point where it has become just banal common ground. But at De Bethune this tension between the heritage of great traditional watchmaking from the 18th century and an innovation that is both formal and technical is taking on the shape of a veritable manifesto for the watchmaking of the 21st century. Take for example the new DB28 Digitale. The creative inspiration comes straight from the beautiful French Directory clocks of the end of the 18th century, but the setting for the indications makes the watch ultra-contemporary and sumptuously pure in its lines. What immediately stands out is the beauty and finesse of the silvered dial with its circular “barleycorn” guillochage, a handcrafted technique that was historically reserved for case backs. At the centre of this guilloché dial is a spherical moon surrounded by a blue disc set with a few small stars. This spherical moon, of which one hemisphere is in mirror-polished palladium and the other in blued steel, is extremely precise: one lunar day in 1,112 years. Above it is a large window for the jumping hours and a minute disc that appears in a peripheral opening that is itself overlooked by a blue night sky. That is all – and it is all simply magnificent.
DB28 DIGITALE by De Bethune
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F.-P. JOURNE BREAKS THE TABOO OF QUARTZ
DREAM WATCH 5 by De Bethune
To power this DB28 Digitale, Denis Flageollet chose a movement that he himself calls “simple”. Nevertheless, this “simple” movement, which can be seen through the case back, incorporates no less than seven patented innovations by the brand, in particular for the self-regulating double barrels, the circular balance in silicon and white gold, the triple “pare-chute” shock absorber, the flat terminal curve on the spring, the spherical moon and the floating lugs that allow this lightweight timepiece (case in mirror-polished titanium) to be adjusted on the wrist with millimetre precision. The Dream Watch 5 is another astonishing watch presented by De Bethune. It is neither a watch in the traditional sense of the term, nor a machine for big kids like the ones MB&F produces, but a genuine sculpture for the wrist. “One of the aims of our Dream Watches,” explains Denis Flageollet, “is to enjoy exploring shapes and allow ourselves to dream a little. In a way, this is more the work of a jeweller than a watchmaker, although it is nevertheless a technically demanding task because the space available inside this domed deltoid shape in polished titanium is very restricted. The movement therefore has reduced dimensions, with a jumping hour and revolving minutes, as well as a discreet, tranquil moon.” With its taut lines, profiled relief and large ruby cabochon on the crown, the Dream Watch 5 is all about softness and aerodynamic shapes. A watch to touch and to caress as much as to wear and to read. At BaselWorld, De Bethune will present a third astonishing watch: a monopusher chronograph crammed full of technical innovations but with unparalleled readability (discover it in the next issue of Europa Star, our Baselworld special issue).
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ÉLÉGANTE by F.-P. Journe
He said he would do it and now he has done it. FrançoisPaul Journe, one of the watchmakers who has made the biggest contribution to the renaissance in fine mechanical watchmaking, with his hyper-traditional pieces inspired by the watches of the Louis XIV era, breaks one of the taboos of fine watchmaking by using a quartz movement. He has taken this step – which has caused an outcry among the guardians of the temple of watchmaking – for his first collection dedicated exclusively to ladies, which is called “élégante”. As he himself says, “I wanted to make a nice feminine watch that was pleasant to wear and easy to use. So it made sense to use quartz. But not just any old quartz, a luxury quartz, both in terms of its technology and its finishing. It wasn’t as easy as you might think: it took eight years of research to perfect this watch. The movement has been developed entirely by us, using a very specific quartz module developed in Switzerland and everything is assembled here. The élégante actually has the only electromechanical movement that has
HUBLOT, THE LUXURY SWATCH
been designed and produced for a luxury watch, with a true vision of luxury.” So what is so special about this movement? Through a small aperture at 5 o’clock on the dial, you can see small mechanical sensor that detects the movements of the wearer. Thanks to this sensor, the watch will stop after 30 minutes when it is not worn. But during this hibernation, when everything stops moving inside the watch, the microprocessor continues to record the time. Therefore, as soon as the watch is put back on the wrist, its hands immediately return to the correct time by the shortest route – clockwise or anti-clockwise – irrespective of whether it has been “asleep” for a few hours or several years. This, together with a large-size battery, gives the élégante a power reserve of ten years, or even up to 18 years in standby mode! This quartz movement – “Geneva Made” calibre 1210 – is visible through a sapphire crystal back and has been finished as if it were a “noble” mechanical movement. Right down to the printed circuit board, whose circuits have been designed so as to create gilt volutes that meet around a heart where the microprocessor is. The “tortue plate” case is very elegant and the dial has a typical “Journian” classicism. Another “taboo” broken is the use of titanium with segmented rubber in seven different colours with a matching rubber strap. In red gold, platinum and also jewellery versions. Another innovation: the titanium version has a totally luminescent dial. At night, the entire SuperLuminova-coated dial glows, with the hands visible as a shadow. Its price: 12,000 euros excluding tax for the base model. The taboo is broken. But is the bet won? The answer will come over the next few months.
I BIG BANG UNICO “ALL BLACK” and BIG BANG POP ART by Hublot
Hublot, which took over almost an entire floor at the Kempinski hotel in Geneva, remains a hive of activity. Collections move continuously between groups of buyers, retailers and journalists who are jostling for position. We’ve lost count of the number of different variations on the Big Bang theme, which show season after season – or week after week given the rhythm at which the new products are launched – the incredible versatility of this watch that takes any treatments you care to throw at it, to the point where it has become a kind of luxury Swatch (40,000 watches sold in 2013, we are told, of which astonishingly 400 were tourbillons). This season the Big Bang goes Andy Warhol with highly colourful Pop Art models, rock with Depeche Mode models, casual with denim models such as the new Big Bang Dark Jeans Ceramic 44mm, sombrely powerful with the Big Bang Unico “All Black” or even tonneau-shaped with the “Spirit of Big Bang”. The Big Bang Unico “All Black”, a limited edition of 500, is a powerful 45.5mm flyback chronograph with an in-house Unico movement. Conceived, developed, produced and assembled entirely within the Hublot manufacture, this movement has a double horizontal– not vertical, as is usually the case – clutch
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with a column wheel visible from the dial side. The pallets and escape wheel are in silicon and a number of components (out of a total of 330) are produced using the LIGA process. As for the astonishing tonneau-shaped Spirit of Big Bang, its case uses the same sandwich construction, which allows for combinations of materials and colours, that gives the Big Bang its famous versatility. Everything has been done to ensure that the design recalls the spirit of the Big Bang in this unusual shape. Inside, the proven Zenith El Primero movement beats at 36,000 vibrations per hour. But this historical movement has been entirely “Hublotised” in its architecture and its finish. Could this be an example of future “fusions”, now that JeanClaude Biver has been propelled to the head of LVMH’s watchmaking division, taking the helm not just at Hublot but at Zenith and TAG Heuer as well?
CHRISTOPHE CLARET BLUFFS EVERYONE WITH HIS POKER
POKER WATCH by Christophe Claret
SPIRIT OF BIG BANG by Hublot
“Interactive high-end watchmaking” is the term that Christophe Claret uses for his playful watches that are not only dedicated to the world of games but which also allow you to actually play those games. Over the years we have seen the 21 Blackjack, then the Baccara. And now here is his most complex realisation yet, the Poker watch. It is a veritable labyrinth of a self-winding mechanical watch, with no less than 655 components, and includes a complete deck of 52 minuscule cards that allow three players to play a game of Texas Hold’em poker. The watch offers 32,768 card combinations, or 98,304 for three players. And the “head mechanic” ensures us that “the possibilities of winning have been calculated to ensure that everyone has the same chance.” Undoubtedly a veritable mechanical exploit. It all starts with two “closed” cards being dealt to each player. These first two cards appear at 1.30, 6 o’clock and 10.30 under a fine grille that is arranged so that the other players cannot see their opponents’ cards. Five open cards are then progressively added, which are visible to all the players. The player with the best hand of five cards, of the seven in total, wins the round. The cards are printed on four concentric discs, one in sapphire, that are mounted on ruby or ceramic ball bearings. Jumpers randomly stop their rotation. As a specialist in striking mechanisms, Christophe Claret has pushed things to the extreme by sounding a cathedral gong every time one of the different pushers is pressed to activate the successive phases in the game. Everything about the watch evokes the universe of the casino, such as the roulette-wheel oscillating mass. There is even a pin-up girl hidden in the sapphire crystal, who only appears in the condensation when you breathe on the crystal… As a limited edition of 20 pieces, the Poker is aimed only at those who have already broken the bank. p
ABSOLUTE AVIATION | Introducing the GW-A1100
A HOROLOGICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNEY Paul O’Neil
In a mere two days after the official programme of the SIHH had finished I was able to marvel at the range of creativity that continues to pervade the watch industry at all levels beyond the confines of Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition centre, from some of the craziest “innovations” to the very pinnacle of the traditional art of watchmaking. My horological journey spirited me from Switzerland’s watchmaking valleys to its alps, then on to an Icelandic volcano, a Caribbean island and a British motor racing circuit – all for the price of a day ticket on Geneva’s public transport system.
HIGH-END TRADITION… One of the biggest surprises I saw this year was from a brand tucked away discreetly in a small conference room in the Starling Hotel, just behind the hive of activity that was the Palexpo in Geneva. Like all the traditional watch brands, it is named after a renowned watchmaker, James C. Pellaton, a specialist in tourbillons who had supplied movements to the big names in the industry, such as Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux. Michel Dawalibi, a relation of Pellaton on his wife’s side, realised his dream of paying tribute to the legacy of this master watchmaker when he revived the name in 2009, launching a first collection of highly limited production. “The watches are either unique pieces or very limited series of four to twelve pieces,” he explains. “We deal directly with customers and collectors, or sometimes with intermediaries who are looking for something different, but we have no representation in stores.”
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T POCKET MARINE CHRONOMETER and “ROYAL MARINE” WRIST CHRONOMETER by James C. Pellaton
This is understandable, given that the customer can personalise the case and movement of their watch to suit their own tastes, although it means that a watch can take over a year to complete, with four to five months spent on the skeletonisation of the movement alone. The stunning results are seen in the two singular pieces offered by the brand: a 65mm pocket marine chronometer with tourbillon and a 44mm “Royal Marine” wrist chronometer. Both these pieces have movements with a distinctive architecture with bridges that sweep elegantly around the tourbillon at 6 o’clock and have a sober sand-blasted finish with handbevelled edges. The time is indicated by gold hands against Roman numerals that have been metallised on to the sapphire crystal in three layers: a red-gold base, followed by white
gold and finally the blue layer visible on the dial side. The marine chronometer pocket watch is equipped with the JCP 1895 MD calibre, which at 53mm in diameter is one of the largest tourbillon calibres on the market and offers seven days of power reserve. It is available as a limited edition of 12 pieces with four each in yellow, red or white gold and comes with an elegant case with gimbals for use as a marine chronometer. The Royal Marine model, which is fitted with the manually-wound JCP 1898 MD calibre, offers 72 hours of power reserve with a power reserve indicator on the dial and a retrograde date between 8 o’clock and 2 o’clock. It is available in a slightly more generous limited edition of 36, with 12 pieces each in the noble materials of red gold, white gold and platinum.
…AND HIGH-END INNOVATION If measured by complexity alone, the Amadeo® Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III is undoubtedly the highlight among the eight new models presented by Bovet at the start of the year. The most important aspect of the design remit for this new perpetual calendar piece was that the tourbillon cage should remain clearly visible at all times. The day and month indications are therefore accommodated on either side of a central dial, inscribed in black or white (depending on the model) on sapphire discs that are read against a contrasting white or black background instead of the usual window, which ensures that as much of the magnificent movement (656 components, five days power reserve) as possible is visible. To power the retrograde date around the dial, which must operate within quite a small arc on an already small dial, the watchmakers at the brand’s Dimier 1738 workshops even developed a millimetric rack that has been registered as an international patent. The new movement follows the highly domed contours of the sapphire crystal, with the result that the dial of the timepiece is actually at a higher level than the
bezel, which offers a much better view of the movement’s decoration. Bovet’s most important launch of the year, however, was presented discreetly with the Recital 12 model, inside which beats a new manual-winding movement that has taken eight years to develop. It is the brand’s first nontourbillon calibre and forms the basis for a strategy that will see it fitted with integrated complications over the coming years, which can easily be powered thanks to a seven-day power reserve coming from just one mainspring barrel.
I AMADEO® FLEURIER TOURBILLON VIRTUOSO III and RECITAL 12 by Bovet
T SILVERSTONE VINTAGE 44 by Graham
Silverstone Vintage 44, for example, recalls the era of the gentleman driver, when racing was a social activity and the taking part was more important than winning. Ivory and brown dials, a knurled bezel and leather straps with an authentic-looking patina evoke the vintage spirit, while Graham’s G1702 calibre self-winding chronograph movement keeps the watch running.
RACING EXTREMES FROM GRAHAM Self-styled “Anglo-Swiss” brand Graham likes to emphasise its British heritage, which it claims from a loose connection with renowned British watchmaker George Graham (16731751). Although the Swiss-registered company itself dates back only to 1995, Graham remains true to its roots with a faithful adherence to British style. This is exemplified in the brand’s Silverstone collection, which runs the gamut of different epochs in motor racing, from the vintage to the high-tech world of today. The
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Statue of Liberty, the Titanic, the iconic yet ill-fated DeLorean motor car and fallout from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Other collections pay tribute to cultural icons such as the Space Invaders® watches and, more recently, a tribute to tattoo artists produced as a collaboration with renowned London tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta.
Disregarding the fact that the “RS” in Graham’s limited-edition Silverstone RS Skeleton collection derives paradoxically from the German “Rennsport”, the watches do an admirable job of embodying the modern motor racing spirit, with its high-tech materials and sleek silhouettes. Its 46mm stainless-steel case is crowned with a black ceramic bezel with tachymeter scale, underneath which a coloured, knurled aluminium ring in red, green or blue adds an accent of colour that continues along the grooved rubber strap and is also used for the chronograph hands. Only 250 models are available in each colour, powered by the G1790 skeletonised self-winding chronograph movement.
MANIPULATING A WATCH’S DNA With its “DNA” models, Romain Jerome has made a name for itself by incorporating a physical trace of objects that are significant either from a historical or contemporary point of view, from moon dust to bits of the
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I SILVERSTONE RS SKELETON by Graham
It is therefore refreshing to see that the latest models presented by the brand have a wonderfully understated design that nevertheless manages to show off unusual materials. On the four new 1969 “Heavy Metal” models, the eye is allowed to marvel at the random structure of the crystals of silicon that make up the dial. Three models with a blue, brown or silver PVD coating to the silicon are all the more surprising when seen next to a model with a dial made out of meteorite, the structure of which is uncannily similar to that of the silicon. The absence of a date or any other figures, as well as the discreet chapter ring and small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, ensure the minimum of distraction from the fascinating glint of these unusual dials.
The people at “hydromechanical horologists” HYT, headed up by the irrepressible Vincent Perriard, have also been experimenting with manipulating the DNA of their timepieces. Mr Perriard spoke candidly to Europa Star about problems with the brand’s pioneering liquid display technology. Since the system works on the basis of pressure pushing two immiscible liquids around the hour ring, some variations in temperature had caused problems. This has now been solved with a thermal compensator in the movement and the brand offers a retrofit to any watches already sold.
u T Left to right: 1969 HEAVY METAL by RJ-Romain Jerome 43mm stainless-steel case with “Moon Silver” medallion on case back, brushed steel bezel and brushed hands with SuperLuminova inserts. Dial in brown PVD-coated silicon, limited edition of 99 pieces for each model. Self-winding mechanical movement with 40-hour power reserve. H2 by HYT Black DLC-treated titanium case, 48.8mm diameter, retrograde fluidic hours and jumping minute hand, temperature indicator. Powered by an exclusive manually-wound HYT calibre that operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and offers 192 hours (8 days) of power reserve. Limited edition of 50 pieces.
March 27th - April 3rd 2014 Please meet us at : BASEL Meeting Room Ground Floor Radisson Blu Hotel Steinentorstrasse -254001, Basel, Switzerland. Phone: +41 61 227 2727 +971 56 6038082
For more information : Tel 00971 4 7016900, Fax 00971 4 2221078 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
O GENIE 02 by Breva 44.7mm case in grade 5 titanium, dials in grained and galvanically-treated nickel silver with three-dimensional SuperLuminova numerals and hour markers, altitude scales in metric or imperial measurements. Air enters the movement through a moisture-resistant Teflon osmosis membrane and the air pressure is converted into altitude read-outs by two aneroid capsules. Powered by Breva’s proprietary movement with 65 hours of power reserve.
Since this problem was solved, the brand has ramped up production to 50 watches per month since September 2013 and aims to sell 600 watches in 2014, which will be its first full year of operation. Aside from developing new colours of liquids for use in the H2 model, which has been developed together with APRP, the brand has also been working on new prototypes for its cases that incorporate unusual materials. After infusing polyexpoxide with sand from Saint-Barthélemy in the Caribbean, the boffins at HYT have experimented with materials as diverse as cactus needles, grass and even champagne. Expect more weird and wonderful additions to the collection of 19 references this year, but you will have to wait another couple of years for the first models with luminescent liquid, which are slated for 2016.
MOUNTAINS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! Young luxury watch brand Breva wants to encourage us to take to the mountains (preferably wearing one of their timepieces) to enjoy the positive health effects of the greater concentration of negative ions in mountain air. After presenting its first timepiece, the Genie 01 last year, the logically named succes-
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sor model, the Genie 02, was launched during this year’s Geneva show week. The 44.7mm brushed grade 5 titanium case of this limited edition of 55 frames a dial that is not dissimilar to the first Genie 01. But while both feature an altimeter display around the upper edge of the dial, the Genie 02 swaps the weather forecasting subdial of its predecessor for a precision altimeter dial with an aperture that displays the barometric pressure. Although the principles for operating both displays are similar, the aneroid capsules used in the new Genie 02 were developed specifically for dis-
T LIENS collection by Chaumet
playing altitude, rather than barometric pressure, and are different to those used in the first model. A case-back engraved with the world’s famous ski resorts and their altitudes show who this watch is really aimed at. Timekeeping is provided by Breva’s proprietary movement, developed by Jean-François Mojon of Chronode, which offers 65 hours of power reserve.
BACK DOWN TO EARTH If all the masterpieces and technological innovations of the high-end, not to mention your virtual trip to the mountains with Breva, have left you with your head in the clouds, then allow Chaumet to bring you back down to earth with some simple, classic and above all affordable new models in its Liens collection. Launched only last year with a 33mm round case, it is now available in a smaller 27mm diameter in steel or 18-carat red gold with the distinctive link that encircles the case and attaches the bracelet. The new models are available with or without a circle of diamonds on the bezel and are powered by the ETA 256.111 quartz movement. Prices start at a down-to-earth 2,400 euros. p
TITONI, in China for over 50 years Pierre Maillard
Titoni is one of the rare family-owned watch brands left in Switzerland. It was established nearly 100 years ago (it will celebrate its centenary in 2019) and was first known under the name Felca. The company has been overseen by three generations of the Schluep family throughout its history and has had only three managing directors. Today it is Daniel M. Schluep who is at the helm. He joined the company 32 years ago and therefore has an excellent overview of the progressive development of the industry, especially in China, where the brand, a genuine pioneer, has been present since the end of the 1950s. This
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early introduction to communist China was made possible at the time thanks to the very close partnership between the Schluep family and the Chinese Koh family, which was based in Singapore. It was also because of a desire to penetrate the Chinese markets that the brand was renamed Titoni, a name that could be more easily recalled by Chinese speakers than Felca. At a time when everyone is rushing into China, we thought it interesting to take a wider view with Daniel Schluep, who Europa Star met up with not far from Bienne, in Grenchen, the historic home of Titoni.
I Daniel M. Schluep Hong Kong, Mong Kok district billboard A shop in shop in Hebei
Still on the positive side, the economic development of China and the explosion of Chinese tourism beyond the country’s borders has opened up new opportunities for us in the countries that the Chinese visit, thanks to our notoriety in China.
I The AIRMASTER collec-
Europa Star: Everyone is talking about China! You at Titoni have been there for decades and therefore have a historical knowledge of the place. Is this a decisive advantage? Daniel Schluep: For an independent and medium-sized brand like us – we sold around 180,000 watches in 2013 – our in-depth knowledge of the country has allowed us to maintain a privileged position in the market, despite the arrival en masse of new brands with the support of big groups and their considerable marketing clout. According to statistics compiled by Famous Watches, among the foreign brands imported into China in 2012, Titoni was 6th in terms of volume and 7th in terms of value. Its position was even better in the 5,000 to 10,000 yuan (600 to 1,200 euro) price segment, where Titoni ranks fourth behind three Swatch Group brands, Longines, Tissot and Mido, as well as in the 10,000 to 30,000 yuan (1,200 to 3,600 euro) price segment, this time behind Longines, Rado and Tudor. We achieved this thanks to our network of 676 stores in China, of which 543 are shop in shops.
tion has been sold in China for 50 years and was already available at the time of state-owned stores. This very well-known watch in China has crossed generations thanks to the various adaptations that have been made to it. It costs between 1,000 and 3,000 Swiss francs.
T The MASTER SERIES consists of COSC-certified mechanical chronometers and is the most expensive Titoni line, with prices from 2,000 to 5,000 Swiss francs for these very beautiful timepieces with a classic allure and small complications such as moonphases, power reserve, date indication by hand and second time zone. The Master Series watches are available in steel, steel and gold or gold. Some models are set with genuine diamonds.
And on the “negative” side…? DS: Everyone has been gripped by this crazy move up range, even the retailers. For them it is a question of prestige, especially after decades of being left wanting, so we were forced out of the windows of some retailers who only wanted to offer space to the big luxury brands. But this did not prevent us from developing within our own segment by working more with those who we call “happy retailers”, in other words those who have the highest sell-out. But this race for luxury may well be slowed down by the anti-corruption campaigns, which do not affect us in our category. I can also understand, from a social and political point of view, the need for such a campaign against the growing inequalities in the country. But don’t the problems that a brand such as yours face now come from closer to home – in production? DS: Of course, and in 32 years I have seen things change dramatically. Before, the problem was access to international markets. Now the problems are here in Switzerland, “at home”. Despite our good relationship with suppliers, mainly ETA and Sellita, we cannot obtain the quantities we need. The figure is going to shock you: we
How has the mass arrival of high-end Swiss brands transformed the retail landscape in China? DS: On the positive side, one of the consequences of the opening up of the luxury market in China is that it has allowed us to move up range. This is something that we wanted to keep within very reasonable proportions. So between 2003 and 2013, we doubled in quantity but tripled in turnover. This general move up range has also allowed us to launch new collections, like the Master Series, which consists exclusively of COSC certified chronometers, watches that nobody in China was interested in ten years ago. Furthermore, 90 per cent of our watches are mechanical.
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have had to refuse 90 per cent of purchase and distribution orders! In China alone we could easily double or volumes. This is a shame, of course, but on the other hand I think that unlimited, rampant growth could be very dangerous as well. In general, our philosophy is to proceed with caution and look for stability. But it’s difficult to find stability in the current climate… DS: We know in theory what we can expect up until 2019. Beyond this it is a different story, but I remain quite optimistic. I’m sure that by then the Swiss watchmaking industry as a whole will have come to some arrangement because it’s a fallacy to think that every small brand should produce its own movements. The most important thing is the regularity of deliveries. If there is no assurance of a constant supply, this could be dangerous, especially since the alternatives – and by this I mean reliable and affordable mechanical movements – are still few and far between, or even non-existent in certain categories, such as that of the ETA 2671, a small ladies’ self-winding movement with a diameter of 17.2mm that has no equivalent on the market.
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I Titoni Guangxi Guilin Dept. Store
U MISS LOVELY is a new ladies’ collection that consists entirely of self-winding mechanical watches. The intricate dials express a style that combines traditional touches with those aimed at a new generation. Their prices: between 1,200 and 1,800 Swiss francs, depending on the model.
And you also have to contend with Swiss Made at 60 per cent... DS: For our self-winding watches, 60 per cent is an achievable objective. But for the quartz models (which only account for 10 per cent of our range) it will be a lot more difficult given the problems of supply and the cost of cases, dials and straps. Having said this, Swiss Made must be protected because too many people are abusing the label. But “soft” factors such as quality, customer service and design should also be taken into account in the criteria… This whole business is still too vague at the moment. p Discover more at www.europastar.BIZ/Titoni
CH A N GE. YOU C A N.
Hall 1.2 C02 www.ice-watch.com
RESSENCE, recapturing the essence of a watch Paul O’Neil
With the continuous flow of new movements and complications in high-end watchmaking, it’s easy to forget that the main function of a watch is to tell the time. Belgian brand Ressence puts this back at the heart of watch design. It is largely thanks to the BaselWorld Palace, the unassuming marquee that becomes the temporary home to some of the brightest minds in independent watchmaking during BaselWorld, that Belgian industrial designer Benoît Mintiens managed to get his brand Ressence off the ground after several years of trying to find partners and suppliers at the show.
Like many successful watch concepts, that of Ressence (the name is a contraction of the French expression “renaissance de l’essentiel”, literally the rebirth of the essential) starts with a simple precept: to concentrate more on the display of time itself and less on the way that it is achieved. “I’m not a watch freak but as an industrial designer I find the watch a very interesting product because it is very rich, it has a lot of dimensions,” says Benoît Mintiens. “One of these is the technical side, where you can do what a lot of brands do and buy a movement, add some hands and it’s finished. But you can also go much further and that was one aspect that interested me a lot. Then there is the aesthetics, the brand, which requires its own identity, the sociological aspect (what type of person is going to wear the watch) and ergonomics… Few other products are so varied and so interesting from a design point of view.”
“I’m not a watch freak but as an industrial designer I find the watch a very interesting product because it is very rich, it has a lot of dimensions.” Benoît Mintiens Before Ressence came into being, Mr Mintiens had already been visiting the BaselWorld show since 2006 and had already worked on a watch design project as a sideline. He admits to a certain naivety in thinking that BaselWorld would be the place to find suppliers, especially in the years before 2008 when the watch industry was doing very well. “I was disappointed in the levels of creativity that I saw, but I hadn’t yet seen the Palace,”
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he says. “I had done the typical tourist thing of visiting the main halls, but I hadn’t seen the smaller exhibitors. Then in 2009 I absolutely wanted to see an Urwerk in the flesh and somebody told me that they were in the Palace. And there I found young, savvy people who were not all watchmakers but who had an aesthetic vision of things and were living in the real world. And they were doing it on their own, without the backing of a big group. That was a revelation for me and when I returned to Belgium I decided that was what I wanted to do, too. And the following year I arrived with my prototypes.” These prototypes were produced with the help of aerospace companies in the Antwerp region of Belgium where Ressence is based, with some DIY touches from Mr Mintiens himself, like sewing needles inserted into syringes for the arbours. Things have since evolved a lot, with all components apart from the crystal and the strap now produced in Switzerland and the watches assembled by Centagora with a base movement that is an ETA 2824-2 calibre modified by Sellita for Ressence. “It’s modified because I take the drive from the minutes,” explains Mintiens, “so the movement is actually quite rudimentary because there is no date and everything on the display is calculated based on the minutes. It really is a genuine tractor that just drives the watch.” Astonishingly, there is no physical connection between the movement and the rotating, handless dial, which are separated by a titanium membrane. Because of this the independent time module, which consists of a grade
5 titanium plate with three eccentric biaxial satellites and a shock-absorbing system, can be immersed entirely in a liquid similar to naphtha, which has an index of refraction closer to that of sapphire crystal than air does and thus eliminates any impression of depth on the dial, making it look as though the indications are being projected magically on to the glass. The Type 3 model, a limited edition of 50 pieces costing €35,000, that offers this visual feast deservedly scooped the new Revelation prize at the 2013 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. It has been particularly well received in the USA, which is just one of a surprising number of markets on which Ressence is present, given its relatively small size (the brand has a retail presence in most major European markets, North and South America and Asia, with Japan being the company’s biggest market).
I You switch between the winding and time-setting systems of the crownless Type 3 using the force of gravity. With the dials facing up, the time can be set by turning the sapphire crystal case back in one direction and the date set by turning the back further in the opposite direction. Turn the watch back over, with the back facing you, and you can wind the watch in the same way, by turning the case back.
Ressence will present the next evolution of its signature design, the Type 1, at BaselWorld 2014. The model numbers refer to the price segment of the watch, rather than the order in which they are produced, so the Type 1 will retail for around €16,000, less than half the price of the Type 3. It will essentially be a successor model to the SeriesOne, the first collection produced by Ressence in a limited series of 150 pieces that is now sold out. “It will have the same diameter but it will have a domed three-dimensional display that will look 20 per cent flatter,” explains Mr Mintiens, “it will not have a crown [editor’s note: the SeriesOne had a crown] and will be produced in nickel silver rather than aluminium.” All this has been achieved largely by Benoît Mintiens working on his own, with a little help from his brother on the many supplier contracts he has. The main objective for 2014 is to start reaping the rewards from the investment and hard work of the past few years. “Hopefully this time next year I will have a small team, or at least someone alongside me who I can rely on,” he concludes. p Discover more at www.europastar.BIZ/Ressence
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PILO & CO, the journey of an independent brand Pierre Maillard Media coverage of the watchmaking industry is overwhelmingly dominated by the big global luxury brands on the one hand and the independent brands of über mechanical watchmaking on the other. It is these two poles (whose respective economic clout is nevertheless completely different) that provide the image of the Swiss watchmaking industry. Far from the media spotlight, there is however an entire sector of the industry – let’s call it the “mid range” or simply “affordable” – that gets hardly any opportunity for press coverage. The mid-range sector is suffering, caught between the hammer of the big brands, whose might has multiplied over the past decade, and the anvil of markets and distribution, which have increasingly been locked up. Pilo is one such small independent brand in the mid-range segment. In order to understand better how these “affordable” brands manage to survive in the current climate, Europa Star met up with the brand’s founder, Amarildo Pilo.
THE BEGINNINGS After almost ten years of experience as a distributor (from 1991 to 2000 at Dalinter SA, in Geneva, which at the time distributed brands such as Raymond Weil, Doxa, Favre Leuba, Baume & Mercier and Revue Thommen mainly in the eastern European markets, in particular Poland (with 400 stores)), Amarildo Pilo set up on his own account and opened his first store in Geneva, from where he managed the Swiss distribution for a handful of mid-range brands. At the same time, he set up his own watch brand, under the name Pilo & Co. His first collection was entirely mechanical (as a reminder, we are talking about the year 2001 when mechanical watches were not as predominant as they are today). It consisted of small, elegant watches with a diameter of 39mm and a very classic design, in steel or PVD, with an opening in the dial to allow a glimpse of the balance in the manually wound movement – a novel idea at the time. The movement was a simple and reliable three-hand calibre that was made in Asia. At an unbeatable price of 200 Swiss francs, he sold 4,000 in Switzerland in one year. The brand was born. But access to international markets proved to be very complicated.
REMAIN AFFORDABLE I DOPPIO ORARIO and TEMPO Collections
Today, over 12 years after it was established, Pilo & Co offers 11 different collections, which now cover a variety of styles and, little by little, have acquired their own particular “style” in which colour often plays an important role – which no doubt explains why women account for 65 per cent of sales. Although the prices for the range remain affordable (the 180 references go from 360 Swiss francs for a sumptuous small quartz ladies’ watch up to 2,860 Swiss francs for an “exceptional piece”, an annual calendar based on the self-winding ETA 2832 calibre, excluding the gem-set models that can reach 11,000 Swiss francs), the gradual move up range became inevitable, primarily because of “the vital need to have the Swiss Made label on international markets,” as Amarildo Pilo explains. Pilo & Co’s flagship collection is the Tempo. With a very classic look, it consists of self-winding mechanical watches (ETA 2846, ETA 2824) with a diameter of 43mm, in steel or PVD, fitted with a screw-in case back, a screw-in crown and a sapphire crystal. The tonneau-shaped Tempo models have a large opening at 12 o’clock – a distinctive design code of the brand – that shows off the partially engraved movement (or fully skel-
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etonised in the case of the round Tempo models). The average price of this collection: a surprising 1,170 Swiss francs. But the best-selling collection and the one which Amarildo Pilo says “best encapsulates the spirit of the brand” is the Doppio Orario collection. This highly original line displays two different times, “My Time” and “His Time” (or “Her Time” depending on whether it is a gents’ or ladies’ model), which are shown on two separate dials applied to a coloured mother-of-pearl base. The two times are provided by two Ronda quartz movements, one of which has been modified to display the seconds common to both movements, which are encased side-by-side in a kind of cage. This original watch sells for the very competitive price of 630 Swiss francs.
THE INTERPLAY OF COLOURS AND SHAPES Among all the other collections, the main stylistic features of which are the range of colours available – in a palette ranging from dark greens to blues, reds, orange and smoked tones, the variety of shapes – different sizes of tonneau shapes, rectangle or rounded squares, cambered shapes and facetted crystals, and the “vintage” touches to the dials, we would like to highlight the tonneau-cushion shaped Invidia collection, with a very retro look and a guilloché dial (from 420 to 5,600 Swiss francs for a version with a bezel set with almost three carats of blue or pink sapphires), the Illusione collection, which offers pretty quartz chronographs for ladies with mother-of-pearl dials available in five colours (630 Swiss francs) and the original gents’ chronograph collection, whose imposing tonneau case sports a very thick bevelled crystal that is almost one centimetre thick on the sides and gives a dif-
David Van Heim, a complementary brand Alongside Pilo & Co, Amarildo Pilo has set up a second brand, under the name David Van Heim. As its name suggests, the watches are designed in Geneva but made in the Netherlands. The product range is mainly mid-range but very technical watches. For example the Etika collection, which has an original construction: the watch consists of a case back with lugs on to which the case proper is inserted. The case can be round, tonneau-shaped or square. You can see the David Van Heim collection at BaselWorld, where the brand will be presenting a number of new products.
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I ILLUSIONE and CORLEONE Collections
fracted look to the vibrant colours on the dial (790 Swiss francs with a Ronda movement). The provocatively named Corleone collection, which was launched in 2012 (and takes its name from a village in Sicily and the Godfather played by Marlon Brando in the eponymous film), consists of bold watches in black or pink PVD equipped with the ETA 2846 self-winding calibre (1460 Swiss francs).
FRANCHISES AND STORES Nevertheless, despite this diversity, this originality and this competitive price policy, distribution has, over the years, become a major stumbling block for all “median” brands. The greatest achievement of Pilo & Co., which sells around 8,000 watches per year, is to have opened forty points of sale in Switzerland, which is one of the most competitive markets in the world. Beyond this, Pilo & Co. is present in China (with nine franchises), Japan, Vietnam, in the Middle East and, more recently, in Turkey. In addition to this traditional distribution model, Pilo & Co. has also done something that you would think is reserved solely for big brands: invest in its own stores. It is thanks to the brand’s experience in Geneva, where Pilo & Co. has had two stores in its own name for a number of years (one of which is in the heart of the Saint-Gervais quarter, the historical home of Geneva’s cabinotiers), that it has recently opened two of its own stores in Italy, strategically located in less important tourist towns that are more affordable for a mid-range brand. This is a strategy that Amarildo Pilo aims to develop in further in 2014 – a year that could therefore be decisive for the brand. p Discover more at www.europastar.BIZ/Pilo-Co
Analysing CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR Paul O’Neil
I The round table of experts. From left: Prof. François Courvoisier, Dean of the International Institute of Watch Marketing, Christian Francesconi, Customer Service Manager, TAG Heuer, Christian Piguet, former World Service Manager, Rolex, Joël Grandjean, Editorin-chief, Heure Suisse – JSH.
Each year, the international watch marketing days, organised by Kalust Zorik, co-founder of Switzerland’s Watchmaking Marketing Institute, allocate a day of research and a day of presentations to a particular theme related to the watchmaking industry. The 2013 edition focused on the issue of customer service, in particular using the huge amount of data now available on the Internet to present various analyses of customer behaviour.
Marco Gabella, co-founder of the watch website Watchonista, set the scene for the day by presenting the results of his site’s survey of 150 of its users spread across 17 countries. Taking watches in all price segments into account, the respondents in this survey gave customer service an overall score of 6.97 out of 10. This is not a bad score in itself and looks even better when you consider that those responding are mainly bloggers, moderators, collectors and watch fans – what Mr Gabella refers to as the “communicating minority” – who are more likely to take a deeper, more critical view. With the industry wrapped up in its own microcosm, it is, however, often easy to forget that alongside this minority there is a silent majority of largely satisfied customers.
Given the demographics of Watchonista’s survey, it is hardly surprising that 90 per cent of respondents thought that customer service should not be a profit centre. After all, how many watch collectors want to think that a brand is making extra money from their passion for fine mechanics? But as François Girardet, former customer service manager for Breitling, pointed out, this equates to customer service departments funding an advertising campaign (their objective being after all to ensure a positive image for the brand) but at break-even – a task that no marketing or advertising department would be expected to accomplish. Whether or not they operate as a profit centre, customer service departments need watchmakers. According to Maarten Pieters, Director of the WOSTEP watchmaking school, these watchmakers will be increasingly hard to find. Using projections of future returns of new watches each year, added to those already in circulation, which will of course still need servicing, Mr Pieters predicted a chronic shortage of watchmakers. His startling revelation that only 200 people in the United States (population: 317 million in 2013 according to the US Census Bureau) are interested in becoming a watch-
u europa star / SERVICE, PLEASE! 53
maker shows the massive amount of effort required to promote the different watchmaking professions as attractive career prospects. The Swiss watch industry may be delighted at the 6,200 tourbillons it exports every year (according to Mr Pieters), but who will be able to service or repair them?
Two of the presentations made at the research day were presented at the international watch marketing day. Like all but two of the presentations made at the research day, they both used the Internet as a resource for measuring customer behaviour. The winning presentation, by Nathalie Veg-Sala et Angy Geerts, from the Université du Maine, Le Mans (which earned its two authors the prize of a TAG Heuer timepiece each), sought to classify customers into various groups ac-
2012 to July 2013 gleaned using the resources of eCAIRN, a company that offers social media marketing solutions, which trawled 110,000 comments from 313 sources such as blogs (by far the dominant source), Facebook pages, specialised websites, forums, brand websites and brand news sites for comments regarding the brands concerned. (It is worth noting that Twitter was not considered in the analysis because, according to the authors, at the moment it “simply relays news from other sources”). For the most relevant example to customer service, the index of reliability puts brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin in the same group with a high level of awareness but a low level of penetration in dis-
BRANDS IN THE MANUFACTURE CLUSTER, COMPLICATION AND RELIABILITY
cording to their likelihood to voice their concerns about customer service – perhaps one the of the most useful tools that could be put at the disposal of brands. Another presentation, by Raphael Ly, from the company Virtua, used a complex methodology to produce a series of tables on a number of themes, each dividing the same 47 watch brands into four distinct groups for the purposes of comparison. This “Fine Watchmaking Digital Awareness Index” is based on the results of an analysis of online comments over the period June
The Fine Watchmaking Digital Awareness Index goes to great lengths to validate its findings and remove “noise” from the data it samples. One of the most important aspects of this was to establish whether there was a correlation between discussions in English and French about the same brand. To do so, the index used the so-called Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. The equation below looks daunting but is relatively simple to calculate from a sample, since it merely involves working with squares of the sums of the two values in the sample (in this case, the occurrence of discussions in French and English) and produces a value between -1 and +1 to indicate the level of correlation between the two. A result of -1 indicates a total negative correlation, 0 means that there is no correlation and +1 indicates a total positive correlation. In the case of English and French discussions on the same watch brand, the correlation was 0.881, suggesting a strong link between the number of discussions in the two different languages.
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√ �ni=1(Xi–X)2 √ �ni=1(Yi–Y)2
cussions about reliability. But a meaningful analysis of this information requires the context provided by the full index, for which you will have to put down a hefty 2,500 Swiss francs for a brand-by-brand analysis and recommendations. One of the main issues related to the huge volume of data about customers’ activity that is available on the Internet is how to aggregate and evaluate this information. IBM, which is generating more and more of its revenue from services to customers rather than selling hardware, proposed its solution at the day’s conclusion. Using the same level of technology that saw the company’s robot Watson beat human competitors to win an episode of the famous US quiz show Jeopardy in real time, IBM has the capacity to bring together numerous disparate sources of information, make them available across an entire company, and search them in an instant. It may be a while before watch brands manage to harness this technology in a meaningful way. But giving everyone at the company instant access to any information they may need – from the watchmakers to the sales department and the CEO – could provide the crucial advantage as customer service gains ever more importance. p
Retailer LIMITED EDITIONS Keith W. Strandberg
Vanity projects? Marketing tools? Successful and meaningful collections? It depends on many variables. At the end of 2013, I went to a press conference at Geneva retailer Les Ambassadeurs where they announced the launch of their first collection of limited edition timepieces celebrating their 50th anniversary. This impressive event, where they had the heads of the watch companies involved introduce each limited edition, got me thinking about retailer-themed limited editions in general. As a result, Europa Star has decided to take a closer look at retailer limited editions – how they are created, why they are attempted, what makes them special, what the keys to success are and more.
THEY HAVE TO BE SPECIAL First of all, any limited edition has to be worth the limitation. Customers have grown tired of and see through faux limited editions – a change in colour, a small variation to make a watch different, too many pieces for a limited edition (c’mon, 5,000 pieces in a limited edition?) and such. Most retailer limited editions are done to celebrate something special, like an important anniversary, a new store, a milestone in cooperation with a brand and more. As an example, Pisa Orologeria in Milan, Italy has done a number of limited editions: in 2009 for the opening of their Dreamroom Vacheron Constantin; in 2008, a limited edition of the Calatrava celebrated the opening of their Patek Philippe
boutique; in 2005, they marked 10 years of partnership with A. Lange & Söhne with a Datograph in platinum; in 2005, 60th Anniversary Panerai Radiomir Rattrapante; and in 1995 a special IWC Portuguese to celebrate Pisa Orologeria’s 50th anniversary.
“We believe in the importance of tradition and history; so to celebrate some of our fundamental milestones, we have realized limited editions.” Chiara Pisa “The history of the Pisa family is founded on the passion for high-value watches and a careful choice of brands offered to its customers,” explains Chiara Pisa, CEO of Pisa Orologeria.
“These values have created a solid collaboration with the most important watch brands in the world. We believe in the importance of tradition and history; so to celebrate some of our fundamental milestones, we have realized limited editions. “Our limited editions always respect the aesthetics of the specific individual watch, while trying to make sure it has value,” Pisa continues. “We start from the design of the model and propose some unique elements. The change of a particular detail can be an interesting opportunity to make a new product memorable. All our limited editions have been great successes. We have always sold them out.”
THEY HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT T PATEK PHILIPPE for Pisa Orologeria
There is so much product on the market that special watches can really stand out. If a retailer limited edition is done well, it can be a winning proposition for everyone involved – retailer, brand and customer. “Today, so much of the product that is in marketplace is available to everyone, so it’s very difficult to differentiate yourself from other retailers when you carry the same product,” says Ron Jackson, USA and Caribbean Agent for DeWitt (North America). “If you come up with a concept, a charity, or some call to action about why this limited edition makes sense, you have to marry the product and the price to the activity. “It’s not something you should go into thinking it will be easy,” he continues. “The challenge is to find the right concept, then the right product and
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the right price and quantity. You don’t want to do a limited edition that doesn’t work, which means you have all this inventory in stock. The best concepts are ones where there is a way to promote the limited edition, an organization or an event. Limited editions don’t sell unless there is a way for you to let people know they exist, especially outside your client base. A great limited edition can bring you new customers.” Wempe, who has done two special collections, one for the 125th anniversary of the company and another for the 100th anniversary of the Wempe Chronometer manufacture, was careful to make changes to set these collections apart. “We developed designs based on our collective experience in the watch business and approached manufacturers with our ideas,” says Ruediger Albers, president, Wempe Jewelers (NYC). “It was essential that all models had technical modifications which would clearly distinguish them from standard models. A watch with just a different dial colour with our company name on the dial simply was not what we had in mind. We wanted more. The inner rotating bezel in the Audemars Piguet Scuba, the first divers watch in the Offshore line, was born this way, for example. This way, we were able to offer our clients and watch enthusiasts some truly unique timepieces that had the brand’s DNA, yet their designs and technical modifications made them easily identifiable as part of the Wempe Anniversary collection.” Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam, Holland, has never done a limited edition for their stores. “We feel a limited edition for a retailer should be different, really different,” explains Alon Ben Joseph, CEO, ACE Jewelers. “A new complication to an existing model, a complete
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I LANGE & SÖHNE and JAEGER-LECOULTRE for Wempe
and unexpected redesign of the dial, a material or case shape not explored before – something truly new, that will spark sincere enthusiasm amongst the valued clientele and watch-collecting community. “In times gone by, long before the days of limited editions, the name of a prestigious retailer where the watch or jewellery item was bought was often nearly as important to the customer as was the name of the manufacturer,” he continues. “Nowadays, while we believe
“A watch with just a different dial colour with our company name on the dial simply was not what we had in mind. We wanted more.” Ruediger Albers the name of our own company is prestigious, it is more than ever the brand name on the dial that indicates the significance of the purchase. And adding a line of print to the dial and/ or changing the colour scheme of a watch is done way too often in the
last decade to genuinely surprise the discerning buyer. As a result, we have so far refrained from such limited edition productions.”
THEY HAVE TO BE TRULY LIMITED Choosing the right number of limited edition pieces to offer is a challenge. Too many and the collection might not be valued by collectors, too few and it could sell out too quickly, disappointing people and leaving money on the table. Les Ambassadeurs, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, did six different limited edition pieces, with different quantities and at different price points. “None of these watches exist like this anywhere else,” says Joachim Ziegler, CEO, Les Ambassadeurs (Switzerland). “We wanted to do something at different price ranges, so we could offer something for all our clients. Not everyone who loves watches is a millionaire, so we wanted to offer pieces for several thousand up to half a million. There are a lot of limited watches on the market, but these are very limited
then took the watch to that player and got him to sign the box and papers.” Paul Sheeran, owner of Sheeran Jewellery in Ireland, is on the fence regarding how successful a limited edition for his shop would be. “I think it depends on the amount of watches you make,” he says. “If you have a multitude of shops, it can be an interesting thing, but as we only have one shop, it might be more difficult for us here in Dublin. I am conflicted about it. I know others have done it, but I don’t know how successful they have been. I don’t know what the resale value would be.”
EVERYONE SHOULD BENEFIT – three unique pieces, one set of five, one of eight, one of 15 and one of 50. I expect them to be valuable as collector’s pieces in the future.”
THEY HAVE TO HAVE CUSTOMERS...AND SELL Offering limited editions is a great idea, but they have to sell. If you are still trying to sell the remainder of a limited edition you introduced five years ago, it might not look so good. Retailers who do well with their own limited editions have customers in mind already for these pieces and choose brands that are already performing well in their stores. “We are quite interested in these limited edition projects, since they give us the opportunity to present our clients with interesting, unusual and hard-to-get pieces that are not available elsewhere,” says Michael Sandler, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Merchandising, Tourneau (USA). “For the most part, these limited editions have been very successful, and more particularly so when they’ve been done in collaboration with very
high performing watch brands. Success has come as a result of strong design, strong brand partnerships and excellent demand from our customers.” Mark Gold Jewelers in South Africa did a limited edition of 22 pieces with Franck Muller, to commemorate the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and dedicated to the South Africa side, the Springboks. “The project was a success – all the pieces were sold, partly due to the fact that South Africa was the reigning champion at that time, so there was much hype prior to the tournament. One of the critical factors I feel is that it is important to have quality design and well thought out reasoning as the basis of the design and not just an added logo onto an existing model. For example, the piece we did with Franck Muller incorporated green stitching to match the correct pantone green numerals of the Springbok team on the dial of the limited edition piece. An interesting thing to point out as well was that I had one client in particular who wanted a specific number in the collection, as his favourite player wore number five. He
I GREUBEL FORSEY and GIRARD-PERREGAUX for Les Ambassadeurs
T FRANCK MULLER SPRINGBOKS
The best retailer limited editions help everyone – the retailer gets unique editions to help promote an event, a partnership, a cause or an anniversary. The brand gets additional exposure and the chance to reward a good and loyal partner. And, the customer gets a valuable limited edition that enhances his collection.
europa star / RETAILER PROFILE 57
“With our limited editions, we are able to offer to our clients an exclusive product, and we stimulate the passion of the collectors through the brands we choose,” explains Chiara Pisa from Pisa Orologeria. If your store is well known, this can really have an impact on the value of the limited edition. “First of all, these limited editions show to the outside world how close we are with the brands we featured, and secondly it offers our customers something they can’t get anywhere else,” explains Les Ambassadeurs’ Ziegler. “It certainly helps with the awareness – we have a reason to make noise, and we have a new message to communicate. Also, Les Ambassadeurs is a famous name, so it benefits the brands to be chosen for our first big anniversary limited edition collection. It is quite an honour for both sides.” Wempe’s limited editions did well, selling out, and Albers knows how valuable they are. “I personally own the Patek Philippe 5125 in white gold – no. 88 signifies the year I came to New York and my certificate bears the signatures of Philippe and Thierry Stern as well as Hellmut and Kim Wempe,” he says. “The best investment of my life as the price has tripled. Only one problem: I love the watch and what it stands for so much that I could never sell it.”
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BRANDS Independent retailers have a number of brands in their stores, so how do you choose the right brands for the various limited editions? “We choose the brands depending on the occasion or event, the price and the style,” says Ayman Nassif, managing director, BTC (Egypt). “We have worked with Corum, Bovet and Ulysse Nardin in the past. We worked to satisfy our customers, who like exclusive and unique things, and make them feel unique.”
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a number of other variables. If a brand asks why they weren’t included, we simply explain that we are extremely selective when it comes to limited editions, and that not every opportunity or proposal is right for Tourneau, whether based on timing, model choice, etc. We do our utmost always to be honest and upfront with our brand partners.”
QUALITY BEFORE PROFIT
I CORUM for BTC
It is the nature of the beast that if you choose one brand, there are several others that you did not choose. Sometimes, these brands ask why they weren’t chosen. “This sometimes leads to long discussions,” admits Les Ambassadeurs’ Ziegler. “There is no easy explanation for that. Sometimes you have to make a choice, but there is always an opportunity for the future.” There will always be brands with whom you have better relationships, and disappointing other brands is par for the course.
“We choose the brands depending on the occasion or event, the price and the style.” Ayman Nassif “These limited edition projects are collaborative efforts,” says Tourneau’s Sandler. “In some cases, the brands approach us with proposals to produce limited edition models, and in other cases, we reach out to specific brand partners with ideas. Decisions are based on brand productivity, distribution, product availability, aesthetics, price point and
All the retailers I spoke with made it a point of emphasis that they were not charging premiums for these watches, but rather merely passing on the costs of the special work. “Many of these limited editions are produced at a higher cost as compared to the standard models, because special dials need to be made, custom cases or casebacks need to be produced, etc.,” details Tourneau’s Sandler. “That customization comes at a cost, both to the manufacturer and to the retailer. The customer is often willing to pay the premium because the watch he/she is purchasing is more rare and desirable.” “The main goal is not a commercial one, it is really to offer something special to our clients who have been true to us,” adds Les Ambassadeurs’ Ziegler. “Thanks to them we are still around.” Finally, working on retailer limited editions is something different, a change in the routine that can be a really good experience. “Doing our limited editions was great fun and it really enriched our daily business life,” says Les Ambassadeurs’ Ziegler. “If you are just thinking of the bottom line, don’t do it. This really worked for us because we linked it to our 50th anniversary, and we may do others in the future. I will be much smarter next year, when I know how this all turns out.” p
DAKOTA WATCHES Making a success in shopping malls Keith W. Strandberg
Dakota Watch Company started business in 1945, when Al Cooper leased counter space in department stores after World War II for servicing watches and other products. This morphed into a fix-it business and kiosk concept in the middle of enclosed shopping malls in the late 1960s. When sons Martin and David Cooper took over the fifteen “Cooper’s Fixery” stores in the early 1970s, they decided to concentrate on the sale and service of watches, and to make that the focus business – and the stores were renamed “Cooper’s Watch Works.” Today, the stores are called “Dakota Watch Company,” and there are more than 115 spread across the USA. I caught up with Martin Cooper in his Cincinnati, Ohio offices.
and place them into stores much quicker and more efficiently than the big guys.
Europa Star: How’s business? Martin Cooper: We’ve been improving every year since the 2008 recession. We’re expanding again and looking for other partnering opportunities. What do you like about watches? MC: Everything. Watches are about design and function and they’re an extension of the wearer’s personality. Wearing a watch really is a personal statement. How has your business changed in recent years? MC: Smartphones and the Internet have had an effect on all business, but not so much the service business. Since the recession, it has been more about how the mall business has changed. The malls
and surrounding retail were overbuilt in the 1990s and 2000s and the recession brought about a weeding out of the weaker malls which affected all retailers. What is the secret of your success? MC: Location, service and friendly, well-trained associates offering a unique product that sets itself apart from the mainstream watch manufacturers and retailers. The service and these unique products help to make our stores a destination. What is your relationship like with other retailers? MC: Because of our service and individuality we have an excellent relationship with other watch retailers and jewellers in and around the malls. Plus, we now design and produce exclusive timepieces for other national retailers and catalogue houses. What makes Dakota Watch special? MC: Being a smaller, fast-moving design group with our own retail testing grounds, we can turn ideas into product
Dakota Watches has been doing it since malls began.
What do you like about your job? MC: Being the head of a design group and watching trends to ensure consumer needs are met at the retail level is what I like the most. I love the outdoors (fishing and jogging) and I’m always thinking of watch designs and new product to fit various activities. Five years ago my father was having trouble organizing and taking his medication on time. This led to a monthly organizing system and talking alarm clock called the MedCenter System. In addition to helping my father and many people with medication regimen, it also created a nice side business that fit right into our design and manufacturing expertise. What don’t you like? MC: Getting asked if people still wear watches! Any advice for other retailers? MC: Build strong relationships with your employees to make customer service a common goal for everyone’s success, whether in the retail stores or the home office.
What is the biggest challenge facing your stores right now? MC: Keeping good benefits for our employees and keeping up with the new opportunities for expansion. What is the biggest challenge facing the watch industry right now? MC: Keeping watch designs fresh
u europa star / RETAILER PROFILE 59
Casio (one of the hottest watches in the world) seems to only get a few feet of counter space in most department stores, while Timex might have one or two on-counter displays, and Swatch is only in the hottest tourist malls. We are also looking forward to supporting one or two of the “smart” watch manufactures in the future – they will also need to be represented with a good information/sales and service representatives in the malls.
and fun while keeping the technology relevant. How do you market your store? MC: Strong visibility in the malls since millions of shoppers walk past our stores, we maintain a continuous flow of new product and promote it with dynamic signage. The customers recognize the Dakota name and are greeted by our professional employees who provide a positive experience. Our reputation helps establish loyal customers, so in the end a significant part of our marketing is our customers, through word of mouth. Have you tried to distribute Dakota watches in other retail outlets? Was it successful? MC: We market our watches and other products we design on our Dakota website and MedCenter Systems website and on Amazon.com. Are you open to working with other watch companies to sell their watches in your stores? MC: Yes. We think it’s the right time to partner with other interesting brands that are not represented properly in the malls. There are many Swiss, Indian and American brands that would benefit greatly from the exposure of our mallbased stores. I am surprised that there are so few European or Asian fashion watch manufacturers serious about building their brands in the US malls. Our kiosk store concept is a perfect way to promote new ideas, service, and to build a brand. It’s a “shop in shop” in the middle of the malls, all where thousands of customers walk by each day. These brands must feel that the only way to penetrate the US mall market is through the department and jewellery stores, which now seem dominated by all the Fossil brands.
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Facts and Figures How long: Established in 1945 Number of stores: 115+ Employees: 500 to 550 Size of stores: 144 square foot average Range of price: $30 to $300 Best-selling watch: Dakota Spider and Angler Watches
Is there a certain kind of watch in a particular price point that would work best? MC: We carry all styles but pricing may have a limit. It depends on the demographics and quality of the mall, but I believe a kiosk operation may be limited to watches that retail for under $1,000. Have you considered taking your operation international? MC: Yes, but for now there are still too many opportunities in the US and really no need to go overseas at this time. Who is your customer? MC: We have something for anyone who shops the regional malls or visits our website. Our watches fall into a wide range of price points, for men, women, kids, outdoor, health, fun, novelty, dress, accessories and more. How important is customer service? MC: Customer service is everything in retail. How you greet and treat your customer is always the most important task. So, training our people to be experts in service and sales is our number one job. Do you do repairs at your store? If not, how do you handle repairs? MC: All battery replacement, pressure testing, bands and adjusting, are done on
premises. Major repairs are sent to our trained watch repair team in Cincinnati. How do you do training? MC: We have an excellent training staff in place in the field and at our home office. Most is done on-site with our Area and Regional Management and followed up in Cincinnati with higher levels of training. How important is security? MC: Most malls are very secure and we have had only a handful of incidents over the past forty years. We have effective alarm and camera systems throughout our organization. Are you optimistic about the future? MC: We are very optimistic about the future. The wrist will always be a showplace for fashion and the most convenient way for people to tell time and receive important acknowledgments from their phone or even about their health. We think the connection of the watch and phone will be a huge part of our business in the future. What will the watch industry look like five or ten years from now? MC: Check back with me, but I’m sure Keith Strandberg will have climbed Mt. Everest wearing a Dakota Watch! What does time mean to you? MC: Time moves much too fast for me, we need to work on a watch to slow it down! What is your favourite watch? MC: My favourite has to be the Dakota Classic Chrono with an International Time crocodile band, but I also love most of the designs from Swatch, IWC and Titan. p
THE WORLDWATCHREPORTTM 2014 HAUTE HORLOGERIE PREVIEW Laetitia Hirschy, International Intelligence & Communications Manager, Digital Luxury Group
The preview of the Haute Horlogerie section of the WorldWatchReportTM 2014, which was presented by Europa Starâ€™s Digital Partner, Digital Luxury Group, at this yearâ€™s SIHH and covers 18 brands, confirms that interest in high-end watchmaking remains healthy, with 12 per cent growth in the online interest for high-end watch brands, continued strong interest in China (despite decreasing sales) and signs of recovery in the US and UK.
Patek Philippe consolidates its leadership in the segment, while GlashĂźtte Original and Vacheron Constantin showed the biggest year-on-year improvements, with Richard Mille failing to capitalise on its astonishing 61 per cent growth last year. Haute Horlogerie brands continue to grow rapidly (+12 per cent). Interest in Haute Horlogerie is here to stay. The highest-end category of luxury watches experienced double-digit growth in
global interest. â€œThis marks the fourth year in a row that weâ€™ve observed the category increasing in the WorldWatchReportTM, showing the continued strength of Haute Horlogerie within the overall market.â€? Comments David Sadigh, Founder & CEO at Digital Luxury Group. Despite decreasing sales in the mainland, interest for luxury watches still booming in China. Chinese consumers showed the strongest global interest for Haute Horlogerie with a 57.9 per cent increase versus last year, accounting for over 30 per cent of total interest in the segment. According to David Sadigh, Founder & CEO at Digital Luxury Group: â€œDespite lower reported sales in the mainland, Chinese consumersâ€™ interest for Haute Horlogerie watches continues to grow. This love story is not ready to end anytime soon and will continue to drive a substantial amount of sales outside of China.â€?
US and UK showing signs of recovery. The second and third biggest players in the segment showed signs of rebound since last yearâ€™s decreases.
u HAUTE HORLOGERIE SEARCH MARKET SHARE AND GROWTH RATE IN 2013
p Haute Horlogerie brands continue to grow rapidly (+12%) p BRIC markets retain high growth rates (Brazil +7%, Russia +15%, India +20%) p Mainland China on its own consists of 34% market share, increasing by +58% vs. 2012 p UK and US rebound after slow-Âdown the previous year.
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00 WORLDWATCHWEB / europa star
ÂŠ Digital Luxury Group, DLG SA, 2014
THE MOST POPULAR HAUTE HORLOGERIE BRANDS IN 2013
p Patek Philippe leads the Haute Horlogerie segment, by a landslide with over Âź market share.
ÂŠ Digital Luxury Group, DLG SA, 2014
The United Kingdom had the strongest increase in Europe, posting a healthy +7.7 per cent evolution (vs. -8.5 per cent last year), whilst the US market stabilised at -1.5 per cent (vs. -11.6 per cent last year). Patek Philippe consolidates leadership of the Haute Horlogerie segment. Patek Philippe remains by far the leading Haute Horlogerie watch brand with 28.1 per cent of brand interest share, growing an impressive 21.4 per cent since last year. Not to be dismissed, Vacheron Constantin in 2nd place this year and Audemars Piguet in 3rd position. Itâ€™s a tight race at the top - both brands having very close market shares (13.4 per cent and 13.0 per cent respectively).
Among the Top 10 most popular Haute Horlogerie brands on selected watch forums (PuristSPro, TimeZone and iWatch365), Vacheron Constantin showed the strongest increase in interest, up 53.4 per cent in total number of views, followed by GlashĂźtte Original (+48.7 per cent). Haute Horlogerie brands tracked in the preview report: A. Lange & SĂśhne, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Bovet, Breguet, De Bethune, Franck Muller, Girard-Perregaux, GlashĂźtte Original, Greubel Forsey, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaquet Droz, Parmigiani, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin. Brands which belong to other categories, exhibiting at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (such as Cartier, IWC, Panerai, and Piaget) have not been analysed in this yearâ€™s Haute Horlogerie preview research but are included in the full WorldWatchReportTM 2014, results of which will be released in March at the time of BaselWorld.
Interest in last yearâ€™s rising star Richard Mille slows down (-2% vs. +61% the previous year). Last yearâ€™s fastest-growing Haute Horlogerie brand, Richard Mille, which saw an impressive 61 per cent growth at the time, sees signs of a slowdown in interest experiencing a 2.7 per cent decrease. Swatch Group brand GlashĂźtte Original was the fastest-growing in the category this year, with +40.2 per cent. Amongst the bigger brands, Vacheron Constantin displayed solid growth increasing by 33.9 per cent.
Markets analysed: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States
GlashĂźtte Original and Vacheron Constantin, which had strongest year-to-year evolution, also showed the strongest rise in interest in forums.
The full edition of the WorldWatchReportTM 2014, covering 60+ brands in 20 markets worldwide, will be available in March at BaselWorld. p
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EDITORIAL & ADVERTISERS’ INDEX 7
EUROPA STAR HBM
Europa Star HBM SA, Route des Acacias 25, CH-1227 Carouge/Geneva - Switzerland Tel +41 22 307 78 37, Fax +41 22 300 37 48, email@example.com • www.europastar.com Publisher: Philippe Maillard EUROPA STAR EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Pierre M. Maillard • firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: Paul O’Neil • email@example.com International Editor: Keith W. Strandberg • firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Editor: D. Malcolm Lakin • email@example.com Editor China: Jean-Luc Adam, Woody Hu • firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Spain: Carles Sapena • email@example.com Art: Alexis Sgouridis • firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Consultant: Casey Bayandor • email@example.com Asst. Publisher: Nathalie Glattfelder • firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS • France: Antoine Menusier • Australia: Martin Foster • Italy: Paolo de Vecchi • Germany: Gerhard Claussen, Timm Delfs • Russia: Vyacheslav Medvedev • Portugal: Miguel Seabra MARKETING & CIRCULATION PRINT/E-MEDIA Marketing & Circulation Director: Nathalie Glattfelder • email@example.com Marketing & Circulation Manager: Jocelyne Bailly • firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING / INTERNATIONAL SALES DIRECTORS Switzerland / Italy / US: Casey K. Bayandor Tel: +41 22 307 78 37 Fax: +41 22 300 37 48 • email@example.com Europe & International: Nathalie Glattfelder Tel: +41 22 307 78 37 Fax: +41 22 300 37 48 • firstname.lastname@example.org Spain: Carles Sapena Tel & Fax: +34 93 112 7113 • email@example.com Asia: Maggie Tong Tel: +852 9658 1830 Fax: +852 2527 5189 • firstname.lastname@example.org Ukraine: Julia Mostovenko Tel: +38 044 205 4088 Fax: +38 044 205 4099 • email@example.com PUBLISHING & PRODUCTION PRINT/E-MEDIA Advertising Manager: Laurence Chatenoud • firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial, Production & Advertising Coordinator: Talya Lakin • email@example.com MANAGEMENT / ACCOUNTING Business Manager: Catherine Giloux. Tel: +41 22 307 78 48 • firstname.lastname@example.org Credit Manager: Alexandra Montandon. Tel: +41 22 307 78 47 • email@example.com MAGAZINES Europa Star - Europe - International - USA & Canada - China Latin America / Spain - Ukraine, Europa Star Première, Bulletin d’informations, Eurotec, CIJ International Jewellery Trends & Colours WEBSITES www.worldwatchweb.com, www.europastar.com, www.watch-aficionado.com, www.watches-for-china.com, www.horalatina.com, www.europastar.es, www.europastarwatch.ru, www.CIJintl.com, eurotec-online.com E-newsletters: www.europastar.com/newsletter MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION One year 6 issues, CHF 100 Europe, CHF 140 International. Subscriptions: www.europastar.com/subscribe firstname.lastname@example.org Printed in Geneva by SRO-KUNDIG – Audited REMP/FRP 2013-2014 Copyright 2014 EUROPA STAR All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Europa Star HBM SA.
A A. Lange & Söhne 4, 18, 19, 20, 55, 56, 62 Audemars Piguet 29, 54, 62 Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP) 42
ETA 42, 45, 46, 48, 50, 52
B BaselWorld COVER III (Eur.), 12, 34, 48 Baume & Mercier 14, 50 Blancpain 62 Bovet 39, 58, 62 Breguet 62 Bremont 15 Breva 42
G Girard-Perregaux COVER IV, 38, 57, 62 Glashütte Original 61, 62 Graham 39, 40 Greubel Forsey 4, 17, 18, 57, 62
C Carl F. Bucherer 7 Cartier 12, 14, 19, 25, 62 Casio 37, 60 Centagora 48 Chanel COVER II, 1 (Int.), 2-3 (Eur.), 29 Chaumet 42 China Watch & Clock Fair (CWCF) 51 Christophe Claret 4, 36 Chronode 42 Citizen 27 Corum 58 D Dakota Watches 59, 60 David van Heim 52 De Bethune 2-3 (Int.), 4, 33, 34, 62 DeWitt 55 Digital Luxury Group 6, 61-62 Doxa 50 Dubois Dépraz 20 E Ecko Unltd 60 Emile Chouriet 21
F Favre-Leuba 50 Franck Muller 57, 62 François-Paul Journe 34, 35
H Hublot 35, 36 HYT 40, 41 IBM 54 I Ice-Watch 47 IWC 26, 28, 55, 60, 62 J Jaeger-LeCoultre 14, 20, 24, 56, 62 James C. Pellaton 38 Jaquet Droz 62 JeanRichard COVER I, 8-11 L Luminox 60 M Montblanc 4, 14, 20, 22, 24 O Obaku 60 Orient Watch Company COVER III (Int.) P Panerai 5, 14, 28, 29, 55, 62
Parmigiani 24, 25, 62 Pascal Vincent Vaucher 31 Patek Philippe 38, 54, 55, 58, 61, 62 Piaget 12, 14, 32, 62 Pilo & Co. 50, 52 R Ralph Lauren 30 Raymond Weil 50 Ressence 48-49 Revue Thommen 50 Richard Mille 4, 23, 61, 62 Richemont Group 12, 14 Roger Dubuis 62 Rolex COVER II (Eur.), 1 Romain Jerome 40 S Sellita 45, 48 SIHH 4, 12, 22, 24, 29, 30, 33, 38 Suunto 60 Swatch 60 Swatch Group 62 Swiss Made Settings SA 43 T TAG Heuer 36, 54 Timex 60 Titan 60 Titoni 13, 44-46 U Ulysse Nardin 38, 58, 62 V Vacheron Constantin 14, 30, 32, 54, 55, 61, 62 Van Cleef & Arpels 4, 12, 14, 16, 17 W, Z Westar 41 WOSTEP 53 Zenith 36
You’re CRACKERS M’LORD! D. Malcolm Lakin Once a year, around Christmas, is usually enough for me. I know many Americans do it at Thanksgiving, but it’s a yuletide event for me. However, this Christmas I had to do it not once, not twice or even three times, but four times! Four times I sat down to roast turkey, roast potatoes, sprouts, peas, chestnut stuffing, bread sauce, mince pies and cream and as if that wasn’t enough, a Christmas pudding doused with brandy. But not just any Christmas pudding, no, it had to be the Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal’s Hidden Orange Christmas pudding that weighs in at 1.2 kilos and contains 550 grams of mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel), 1 grated carrot, 1 grated Bramley apple, 100 ml of ale, 3 eggs, 1 tablespoon of black treacle, 115 grams of dark brown sugar, 115 grams of plain flour, 1½ teaspoon of mixed spice, 115 grams of ground almonds and 115 grams of suet. Calories did I hear you say? A few: three thousand nine hundred and seventy-two – yes that’s right, 3,972 calories! I think my waistline bloated two belt notches just writing about it. In the U.K. and Guernsey we totalled 16 adults and 10 children and all went as smooth as clockwork but in Geneva, the day I was supposed to collect the turkey, the hairspring must have snapped because the butcher telephoned to say that he didn’t have the five-kilo beast that I had ordered some four weeks earlier. He went further and confessed that he didn’t even have one small turkey. Personally, I could have made do with steak and chips, a cheese fondue, or even a tin of Heinz beans and sausages, but my youngest daughter had
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taken the distressing ’phone call in my absence and was close to tears as this annual turkey-fest and present-giving orgy has been a hardy perennial since her birth. I eventually found a fresh turkey (no frozen or defrosted poultry is allowed to cross the threshold) in a supermarket just across the border in France and the late Christmas dinner passed off without any further calamities although, sadly for the girls, there were no Christmas Crackers. In the U.K. Christmas Crackers are inexpensive and in abundance but in Geneva, if you can find any, they cost an arm and a leg and if you try and bring them in on a flight from Heathrow either in your suitcase or your hand luggage, despite their relative innocence, you risk being taken for a suicide bomber. Christmas Crackers are a very English tradition. They were invented by Tom Smith, who on a trip to Paris in 1840 discovered sugared almonds wrapped in a twist of paper called bon bons and began selling them in London just prior to Christmas. To improve sales he sought something different and added a printed love poem for the ladies, but his eureka moment was when he threw a log on the fire and it started to crack cracktribule. By 1847 after many trials and tribu lations, that crackle became a cracking mechanism and the cracker was born. Tom’s son Walter introduced paper hats and small gifts into the crackers and the little bits of paper with love poems evolved into corny jokes and riddles such as: What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? A Christmas Quacker! And why was the broom late for school? He over swept.
However, my favourite story about the origin of a Christmas tradition is how many, many years ago Santa Claus was told by his wife that her mother was coming to stay for the holidays. A little vexed by this news he went into the workshops to see how the elves were doing with their production quotas for the children’s toys only to discover that several of them had gone on strike for more wages and others were off sick. Santa stormed out of the workshops and went to the stables to feed the reindeer where he found two of them were heavily pregnant and the males had broken down the fence and disappeared into the forest. By this time Santa was furious so he went into the pantry for a calming glass of his very old malt whisky to discover that someone had been there before him and emptied the bottle. It was at this point that there was a knock on the front door. Santa opened it to see a gorgeous-looking fairy standing there holding a very large and beautiful Christmas Tree. “Good morning Santa,” she said with a lovely smile. “I’ve brought you this magnificent Christmas tree, where would you like me to put it?” Which is why, tradition has it, there is a fairy at the very top of the Christmas tree. Well you’ve got to laugh haven’t you?
marcH 27 – aPrIl 3 2014 BrIllIaNce meeTs
With more than 1,400 brands and exhibitors presenting their finest collections and their latest creations, Baselworld is the leading event on the global watch and jewellery sector’s calendar. For eight spring days, the city of Basel becomes the industry’s capital, and its spectacular exhibition hall – designed by world-renowned local architects Herzog & de Meuron – hosts over 150,000 specialists and show visitors.
We look forward to welcome you at Baselworld 2014 27 March to 3 April, Basel, Switzerland
Ba se lw o r l d.c o m
C O N S TA N T E S C A P E M E N T L . M . THE GREATEST INVENTION SINCE THE TOURBILLON GIRARD-PERREGAUX 09100-0002 CALIBER, MANUAL WINDING MECHANICAL MOVEMENT HOUR, MINUTE, CENTRAL SECOND, LINEAR POWER RESERVE INDICATOR 6-DAY POWER RESERVE - 48MM WHITE GOLD CASE WITH SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL CASE-BACK, ALLIGATOR STRAP WITH FOLDING BUCKLE
February / March 2014