Europa Star Europe 2.12 April/May

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In 1839 Vacheron Constantin created several machines, among them the famous pantograph, a mechanical device which meant that for the first time in history principal watchmaking components could be reproduced with total precision, raising the quality of its timepieces once again. This invention carried the brand into the future and would revolutionise Swiss watchmaking. Faithful to the history for which it is renowned, Vacheron Constantin undertakes to maintain, repair and restore all watches it has produced since its foundation: a sign of excellence and confidence which still today gives the manufacture its reputation.

Patrimony Contemporaine Perpetual Calendar Hallmark of Geneva, pink-gold case, ultra-slim mechanical movement with automatic winding, calibre 1120 QP, moon phases. Reference: 43175/000R -9687


A powerful aesthetic unites with watchmaking excellence in the J12 Calibre 3125. Exquisitely crafted in 18K yellow gold and matte black hightech ceramic, a highly scratch and stain resistant material. This arresting timepiece features a selfwinding mechanical movement custom-made by AUDEMARS PIGUET exclusively for CHANEL. The CHANEL-AP 3125 (40 jewels, 21’600 vibrations per hour) comes fitted with a high-tech ceramic rotor visible through a sapphire crystal. This threehand Haute Horlogerie movement pays homage to the roots of the highest watchmaking tradition.

8 EDITORIAL europa star

Watch shows, the big transition R Pierre M. Maillard Editor-in-Chief Everyone who comes to Basel this year will be surprised to find a completely transformed Messeplatz. A large building hangs as if suspended in mid-air above the large square where dozens of trams pass underneath. And this is only the beginning of the major changes that are happening at the exhibition halls, work that will be finished only next year. Estimates for the new construction are around CHF 430 million. To this enormous amount of money, we should add the budgets required for the dozens of new stands that will be constructed, also in the millions. We can just imagine all the negotiations that must be in full swing—negotiations that are undoubtedly laborious since the outcomes will determine the watch industry hierarchy for the next ten years. The size, the location, the architectural prowess of the stands, and even the neighbours are all very important signs that will be carefully scrutinised by the entire industry. By making such an investment, BaselWorld is sending a clear signal. Not only does the fair intend to maintain its supremacy but it also intends to strengthen it. We might ask, however, if these changes will ultimately be to the detriment of the current mix, which is one of the strong points of BaselWorld. Contrary to the SIHH, where a brand is “among friends”, in other words, in good company at a comparable level, BaselWorld maintains a delightful “show” atmosphere in which royalty mixes with the mere mortals, where you can find a timepiece for a million francs or one for two francs. For lunch, you can grab a quick veal sausage or dip a silver spoon into a plate of caviar.

During this time, it seems that the SIHH is reconsidering its configuration. But, the recent decision by Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard to join BaselWorld has nothing to do with it for the simple reason that since these two brands entered into the PPR fold, they would logically and logistically want to be with the other brands in the group, especially Gucci and Boucheron. But the problem of timing complicates matters once again. The provisional dates for the next SIHH have been set for January 21 to 25, 2013. Next year, however, BaselWorld will only open its doors at the end of April (April 25 to May 2) because of the construction work. This is a good three months later than the SIHH. Since the large brands that are not at the SIHH do not want to “lose” three months, it is a safe bet that the “phagocytosis” phenomenon of the SIHH by a number of private shows held in the luxury Geneva hotels will get a big boost. As the inviting organisation, however, will the SIHH tolerate these other shows riding on its coattails? As one of the managers at the FHH, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (the organiser of the SIHH), says rather philosophically, “Even if we are unfailingly allied in time, since all watch brands share a common interest, it’s dog eat dog on the ground…” And, once again, it will be the most fragile and the most modest companies that run the risk of paying the heaviest price. On one hand, the most coveted locations at BaselWorld will quickly be snapped up by the most powerful brands, and no doubt prices will rise for everyone. On the other hand, the GTE show, organised for independents in Geneva in parallel with the SIHH,

did not fare so well, and it is probable that it will not take place again next year. Because of a lack of resources and available space, not all of these same small companies can rent space in the hotels around the lake. Everything is accelerating towards a gradual unravelling of the watchmaking fabric (as is also being seen in the economy in general). There will always be those who succeed in reaping the benefits from this change, but for many medium-sized brands that have been managing up to now, the challenges will be great.


Life is in the movement

10 CONTENTS europa star


N° 312 2/2012 APRIL/MAY


EDITORIAL Watch shows, the big transition





32 34 36 38 40 42 44

HIGH-END WATCHMAKING Exploring the world with Rolex Breguet continues its “Tradition” Chanel, haute horlogerie for the ladies De Grisogono’s first tourbillon for ladies Harry Winston and the tourbillons, what a story! Chopard – Revisiting the classics Bovet – a rising star in fine watchmaking

46 48

GALLERY Tourbillons (1) Tourbillons (2)

50 52 53 54 56

COMPLICATED WATCHES Speake-Marin – Watchmaking renaissance HYT – Liquid Display Devon – one year under its belts Technotime’s tourbillon on the podium Eva Leube brings high horology to Australia

58 59

GALLERY Complicated watches Classic watches


COVER STORY Ref. 5204, The latest in Patek Philippe’s stable of “house” chronographs


80 82 84

STRATEGIES The H1837 movement, at the heart of the watch strategy of Hermès Jean-Claude Biver – passing on the knowledge at Hublot TAG Heuer, going beyond Huygens Bell & Ross 2012 – Keeping an eye on the horizon Eterna’s new Chinese blood A first glance at Seiko’s 2012 collections The Omega Seamaster celebrates 50 years of James Bond films Longines: 180 years young Hamilton in buoyant mood for anniversary Tissot’s 2012 watchmaking medley

88 89

GALLERY Ladies’ watches Diamond watches

60 64 66 70 72 76 78

DIGITAL-LUXURY.COM media partner

(Continued on page 12)

SPLIT-SECONDS PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH REF. 5204 by Patek Philippe 950 platinum, 40mm timepiece equipped with Patek Philippe’s Calibre CH-29-535 PS Q with 65-hour power reserve. Manually-wound mechanical movement, split-seconds chronograph, subsidiary seconds, day, month, date and moon phase. Patek Philippe Seal.

Patek Philippe 141 Chemin du Pont-du-Centenaire P.O. Box 2654 1211 Genève 2 Switzerland Tel: +41 22 884 20 20 Fax: +41 22 884 20 40

12 CONTENTS europa star

90 92

LADIES’ WATCHES Century’s sparkling ballet David Yurman – Classic, ceramic and red gold


GALLERY Mechanical watches

95 96 98 99 102 104 106

MECHANICAL WATCHES Carl F. Bucherer – staying strong Epos – a family affair Frédérique Constant – and the heart beat goes on Ernest Borel – Classic, romantic, timeless Vulcain – The Cricket conquers Graham London – Oversize and on the right track Keeping time the Chinese way


GALLERY Sports watches (1)

109 110 112 114 116

SPORTS WATCHES Bremont – taking on the world Victorinox Swiss Army – Light in the dark Linde Werdelin – Skeletonised spidos Hanhart – 130 years of real history Alpina – Retelling the pilot story

118 120

GALLERY Sports watches (2) Sports watches (3)



DESIGN WATCHES Gc – Swiss automatics, high water resistance and new matte finishes The rise and rise of Ice-Watch

126 128

GALLERY Design watches Watches with colour


RETAIL WORLD Retailers have their say


DIGITAL-LUXURY.COM media partner


Europa Star HBM SA 25 Route des Acacias P.O. Box 1355 CH-1211 Geneva 26 Switzerland Tel +41 (0)22 307 78 37 Fax +41 (0)22 300 37 48

134 138

WORLDWATCHWEB® Brands use digital to make an impact at the big watch fairs WorldWatchReport 2012: China overtakes, Omega closes in on Rolex and other key findings



© 2012 EUROPA STAR Audited REMP 2011


LAKIN@LARGE Seeing is believing

The statements and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily Europa Star.


O F F I C I A L T I M E K E E P E R O F T H E 34 T H A M E R I C A’ S C U P


Automatic chronograph with countdown function manufactured in Louis Vuitton’s watchmaking workshops in Switzerland Sold exclusively in Louis Vuitton stores and on



RPierre Maillard

AAA. A It is AA i the th word d off the th year. Or, O att least, l t the th three th

E f ti the fl th latent l t t crisis, i i absorbed b b d only l 29 Europe, reflecting

most coveted letters of the moment. Well, there are

per cent, while the United States held its own sur-

the AAAs and then there are others. Those that are

prisingly well, maintaining its second place position

“only”AA+ are already a bit suspect. We won’t even mention the infamous B, C, or the definitive D, for “in default”. At this time, There are only twelve countries in the world

The watch industry has maintained its triple A rating.

that have the AAA rating: Australia, ny, ny y, Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany,

with an increase of 18.4 per cent, for a total of near-

Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore,

ly CHF 2 billion, in Swiss watch imports. Having

Sweden, and Switzerland. And, in Switzerland, you

said that, the USA is still far behind the first market,

can be sure that the watch industry has also main-

Hong Kong, which imported just over CHF 4 billion

tained its triple A rating.

worth of Swiss watch products.

The numbers speak for themselves (but the numbers do not always tell the entire truth): In 2011,

Crushing domination of the groups

Switzerland exported CHF 19.3 billion worth of

In this landscape, the large groups are becoming

watches! This represents 19.2 per cent more than

more and more dominant. The Swatch Group

the previous year, 2010, which itself saw an increase

crossed, for the first time, the threshold of CHF 7

of 22.2 per cent over 2009, even though it was a

billion in turnover—CHF 7.143 billion to be pre-

more or less a “return to zero” after the downward

cise—which represents an increase of 21.7 per cent

slide of 22.3 per cent in that fatal year.

at constant exchange rates, but “only” 10.9 per cent

Admittedly, the Chinese infatuation with Swiss

if you consider the increase in the value of the Swiss

watches played a major role in this rather amazing

franc. The group’s profits are also up: CHF 1.276 bil-

result. By itself, Southeast Asia—more precisely in

lion that join the war chest of more than CHF 8 bil-

decreasing order, Hong Kong, China, Singapore,

lion of the group’s own funds.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand—account-

Richemont (whose fiscal year ends in March)

ed for CHF 8.81 billion or nearly 50 per cent of the

enjoyed the same spectacular rise in sales. Watches

total of Swiss watch exports. More than ever, the

account for nearly € 1.8 billion (CHF 2.18 billion) in

growth engine for watches remains mainland China

turnover, although this number does not include

with the highest increase of 48.7 per cent.

the sales of € 3.480 billion (CHF 4.2 billion) for

her mè s . time r ein v en t e d

a r ce au. le temp s sus pendu l a montre hermès reinvents time and sets it to the tempo of your desires. press on the pushbutton and suspend time. beneath the dial, time continues to run within the heart of the mechanism. another push on the button sets the date and hands running again. time resumes its march, and you the course of your day. this exclusive hermès calibre is a world première.

For information : +41 32 366 71 0 0, info@montre -her


Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, which fall under the

Comco (the Swiss Competition Commission) gave

jewellery category. In all, counting its other activities

the Swatch Group the right to start decreasing

(Montblanc, Lancel, etc.), Richemont’s turnover was

deliveries to third parties beginning in 2012. This

€ 6.9 billion (CHF 8.3 billion), even greater than the

decline can vary between 5 and 30 per cent in rela-

Swatch Group. This is a first for Richemont since,

tion to the level of orders placed in 2010. This deci-

in 2010, its turnover was still below this level at €

sion involves the key elements of movements and

5.17 billion.

regulating organs. Mathematically speaking, diffi-

The world’s largest luxury group, LVMH, announced

culties will certainly follow. This is especially true for

a total turnover of € 1.2 billion (CHF 1.4 billion) for

the mid-range, which will most feel the pain since

its watch segment alone.

suitable alternatives are not yet available, despite

To these watchmaking mastodons, we must add the

the announcement by the Swatch Group already in

king Rolex, whose sales are around CHF 3 billion.

the early 2000s, and officially reiterated in 2009, that

So what is left for all the others?

it would start to reduce deliveries. For every brand like TAG Heuer, which has already

Investing is more necessary than ever

announced an agreement with Atokalpa (Sandoz

We can easily imagine that, sitting on this considerable

Family Foundation, which also owns Parmigiani

war chest, with a nice outlook on the horizon (the

and Vaucher Manufacture), thus allowing it to total-

“emerging” economies that are gradually supplant-

ly forego Nivarox balance springs, how many other

ing the former bastions, such as Europe), the groups

companies will be seriously affected by the difficul-

will do everything to consolidate and strengthen

ties in procuring supplies? Having said that, alternatives are

Suitable alternatives are not yet available for movements

nonetheless in the pipeline. The Festina group has stated that it will move to true industrial production of quality escapements, with the goal of manufacturing

inv n estnv their pre-eminence by making maximum invest-

one million uni units per year. This is crucial since no

ments in the production tools of the future. And, it

brand today can produce all the parts required for its

is a future that is approaching by leaps and bounds

escapements. Other alternatives are coming from

with the planned and progressive stoppage of

Sellita, Technotime (which also makes its own bal-

deliveries of component parts and movements by

ance springs, see the article in this issue), Soprod,

the Swatch Group and its industrial muscle, ETA

Lajoux-Perret, Vaucher Manufacture (partly owned

and Nivarox.

by Hermès), and Dubois-Dépraz. Taken all together,

Investing in the future has become more necessary

however, these enterprises still cannot fill the void

than ever. In mid-July, the expected decision by

left by the ultra-powerful Swatch Group. And, it is

europa star


hardly surprising that the Swatch Group currently

CHF 15 million on the table. The biggest slice, how-

has many close friends who repeat over and over

ever, is being put into the crucial sector of move-

that they “are on very good terms” with the group.

ments. ValFleurier will thus spend CHF 100 million on the construction of a fourth production facility,

Opening large building sites

spread over 10,000 square metres.

Industrial investments have thus taken on consider-

Also at the Swatch Group, it is the industrial and

able importance and 2012 will see the opening of

manufacturing pole, according to the Bilan article,

many new building sites. An in-depth investigation

that will receive the greatest share of the CHF 200 to

by Michel Jeannot and Serge Guertchakoff, pub-

CHF 250 million that will be invested this year. On

lished in Bilan magazine, indicates that CHF 685

the menu are the expansion of Omega, a new head-

million will likely be invested in 2012 alone by some

quarters for Swatch, CHF 66 million to enlarge

twenty industry players, because not everything will

Breguet’s ateliers, and the lion’s share going to ETA

be completed this year. Rolex took the lead a decade ago and invested “more than a billion” Swiss francs over the last ten years. The brand will probably spend CHF 100 million this year alone to

CHF 685 million will likely be invested in 2012 alone by some twenty industry players

complete a 230,000 cubic-metre ns of assembly, y y, site grouping together the functions

to construct two factories that will make dials and

machining, and thermic treatments, as well as an

assemble mechanical movements. The Swatch

automated storage system that would be worthy of

Group also continues to improve its industrial verti-

James Bond.

cal integration and has not forgotten to invest in the

Richemont is also making large investments. Cartier

modest but vital component that is the watch hand,

has announced that, over the next fiscal year, it will

with a new structure for Universo.

invest CHF 100 million in a new production site,

Over at LVMH, they are piling up packages of “25

designed to increase the number of in-house

million”: CHF 25 million for Louis Vuitton and a

mechanical movements. Vacheron Constantin is not

new industrial facility in Geneva, which will bring

remaining on the sidelines, either, and is planning

all its activities together under one roof. Another

on investing CHF 130 million over the next few

CHF 25 million is being spent on Zenith for the

years, in order to double its watch production,

restoration of the historical part of its manufac-

reaching 30,000 per year. Panerai is putting CHF 25

ture, which requires an upgrade in order to accom-

million into its new manufacturing facility, current-

modate new workshops for ten different skills.

ly under construction, in Neuchâtel, while Piaget,

Another investment of CHF 25 million is also des-

with the goal of doubling its production, is putting

tined for TAG Heuer’s new production site. Finally,


LVMH is allocating CHF 30 million for Hublot to

Audemars Piguet, that is spending CHF 25 million

double its facility.

on construction in Geneva for Centror.

As can be seen, these overall investments amount to

With this massive hiring, training has become the

more than CHF 700 million for what we might term

keystone of the edifice, and there are countless ini-

the “back office”. As for the “front office”, the win-

tiatives in this domain. Each large brand, or nearly,

dow to the world, we must mention the CHF 430

has its own “academy”, its own school, or its own

million invested jointly by taxpayers of Basel and the

centres for apprenticeships. The arts and crafts skills

MCH Group to enlarge and renovate the structures

are making a large comeback—enamelling, engrav-

that welcome BaselWorld. In this case, it is not only

ing, stone-setting, etc. The rarest of techniques and

watches that are concerned, but clearly the eco-

skills are being revived, such as the recent amazing

nomic importance of this sector has played a large

“straw marquetry” being showcased by at least

role in the decision, following a popular vote, to

two brands. But the greatest portion is being allo-

invest this colossal sum of money.

cated on the industrial level, for cutting, machining, polishing, and assembly. And this does not include

The importance of training

the globalisation of operations being carried out by

Obviously, with these investments also come jobs.

the groups.

The upturn in watch sales mainly concerns the lux-

Although impossible to know with precision, funds

ury sector—the most expensive watches, those with

to create networks of brand-name boutiques and other increasingly monumental

Selling an expensive watch has in itself become increasingly expensive.

flagship stores also exploded last year. The race for the best location has become a primordial part of a brand’s strategy. Selling an expensive watch has in itself become increasingly expensive. And, in this

price tags above CHF 33,000 000 ex-factory ex-factory, r hav ry have a e seen av

regard too, too continuous co regard, training has become vital,

the greatest increases, with 20.5 per cent by quanti-

especially since clients themselves have become

ty and 27.1 per cent by value in December 2011

very well informed. Often, they know more about a

alone—and the accompanying increase in invest-

30-degree inclined tourbillon than your average

ments are directly translated into new jobs.

salesperson in Sichuan.

The Swiss watch industry is hiring on a large scale. The Swatch Group alone created 2,800 jobs last

The erasure of secondary roles

year, and that’s not all. Approximately 2,000 new

The reverse side of this shiny coin is the gradual, but

positions are planned for this year by the various

increasingly noticeable, erasure of the secondary

large groups and independent brands, such as

players in the industry, who are seeing their share of

Watch with linear power-reserve display, grade 5 titanium case. Sapphire crystal back. CORUM superlight titanium baguetteshaped movement (7 gr).


the market eroded by the unequalled power of

In full concentration mode

the large groups in terms of distribution, location,

In the same manner that the big players in Silicon

recruitment, training, and especially communication.

Valley—the angel investors—focus only on the

Apart from the large well-known brands, with

most promising small enterprises, so that they can

established distribution networks, such as Patek

take them over as soon as they achieve the desired

Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Chopard, and in the

results, the major watch brands take the best ideas

mid-range, Raymond Weil (no need to mention

from the independents, or even poach the people

Rolex that all retailers dream of carrying), we hear

behind them. The goal is to occupy all the positions,

more and more independents complain bitterly

including the most unexpected niches.

about the growing difficulties in cracking open the doors of retailers. The dominant impression is that the markets are being locked down, one after the other, at an alarming rate, that all the niches

The overwhelming tendency today is a further consolidation of power by the already powerful

are being filled. In a recent article r ry entitled Killing the Competition, in the February

The race to acquire know-how has become a central

2012 edition of the American magazine, Harper's,

element in the vast reorganisation currently hap-

Barry C. Lynn, director of the Markets, Enterprise

pening in the industry. Sub-contractors are also

and Resiliency Initiative in the New America

being acquired at a rapid pace, accelerating even

Foundation, analyses in detail the strategies for sti-

more the concentration in the industry, since mas-

fling competition. He focuses on the examples of

tering the supply chain is essential. LVMH has thus

Silicon Valley, the intensive factory farming of chick-

bought the movement designer, La Fabrique du

ens and the world of publishing. In these three very

Temps, which now works first and foremost for

different domains, he observes that the same strate-

Louis Vuitton, and the dial maker Arcad. Hublot has

gies are rigorously used to try to strangle the compe-

acquired Profusion, a specialist in carbon, while

tition. “Instead of a disruptive melee like that of the

Hermès has invested in the case maker, Joseph

late 1990s, with its diversity of players and voices, the

Erard. The Swatch Group has notably purchased

overwhelming tendency today is a further consoli-

Novi, specialist in the assembly of movements. And,

dation of power by the already powerful,” he writes,

the list goes on and on.

referring to the way that the large players in the information technology world, Apple at the head,

Painful distribution

have locked up the market for products just as they

Where the strategy of total occupation of the play-

have frozen the job market. Isn’t the Swiss watch-

ing field is most painfully felt by the independent

making industry suffering from the same syndrome?

brands is at the level of distribution, which is also

europa star


becoming concentrated at a rapid pace. Recently,

watchmaking since, like social evolutions that have

one watchmaker, breaking the usual silence, declared

resulted in an increasingly “two-speed” world (or,

in no uncertain terms to our colleague Bastien Buss,

one speed on one side, and no speed on the other,

of the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, “Retailers are

see our article in the previous issue, Europa Star

being suffocated by the big groups. They impose the

1/12, on acceleration as described by the German

brands, the quantities; when you arrive as a ‘small’

philosopher, Hartmut Rosa), watchmaking does not

brand, you have almost no chance or, at best, you

advance as a single block but at very different

may get a small space in the third drawer on the left,

speeds. While some brands accelerate down the

but only if you agree to give your products on con-

highway, others are stuck on the side of the road.

signment,” explained Pierre Dubois, owner of the

Independent watchmakers who benefit from the

brand Pierre de Roche.

greatest media coverage are essentially those whose

We are hearing this type of complaint more and

models are the most extravagant, stylistically differ-

more frequently this year. As another small inde-

ent, or with exceptional workmanship. While this

pendent confided to us, the distribution of his

veritable laboratory for watchmaking of the future is

pieces is becoming increasingly more expensive

essential for the entire industry, these toys for bil-

since retailers, pressured, on one side, by the big

lionaires represent only a few thousand pieces sold

brands to reduce their margins under threat of los-

per year. These “brioches” are not the daily bread

ing the account, are demanding, on the other side,

of the watch industry. The large brands understand this. Although they strive to

While some brands accelerate down the highway, others are stuck on the side of the road.

present talking pieces and concept watches as well in order to attract media attention, the real reasons are to better sell their models that are simpler, more classic, and more sensible.

margi g ns from gi f om a lesser known brand. Can fr enormous margins this increasingly difficult situation be sustained?

Take the snuffbox, for example

We often hear that one of the side effects of opening

Even in the domain of conceptual watchmaking,

a monobrand store, and therefore of re-qualifying

there is a certain feeling of lassitude—too many

the distribution networks for independents, is that

mechanisms presented as trophies, too many stylis-

new opportunities are created where everything

tic complexities, too many combinations of baroque

had previously been locked up. But the very high

materials. An era seems to be coming to an end.

numbers of companies trying to take advantage of

We can bet that, within one or two decades, we will

this situation also create fierce competition there.

certainly admire the creative explosion that hap-

We must also distinguish between two types of

pened at the beginning of the 21st century, but we will


also wonder how anyone dared wear such things?

Hopefully, this will serve as an example for other

An editorialist in Le Monde, aptly described this idea,

similar initiatives elsewhere.

not for watchmaking, but rather for the snuffboxes of the 18th century. He cites a historian who wrote:

Swiss Made: 100 per cent or nothing

“Under Louis XIV, one had a snuffbox for storing

Among the most important topics of the 2011 watch

tobacco, while under Louis XV, one used tobacco

year is one that has largely fallen by the wayside—

in order to have the pleasure of owning a beauti-

the debate over the term Swiss Made. Hardly any-

ful snuffbox and showing it off to people.” Couldn’t we say the same thing today about a watch, or at least some watches? Snuffboxes disappeared a long time ago. Of course,

100 per cent or nothing—or it will resemble a plaster cast on a wooden leg.

this will not be the fate of watches, which have a different utility.Yet, the explosion of

l about it anymore ly any n more since most have ny hav a e av one talks openly

smart phones and the changes in consumer habits

realised that the debate is a trap, that Swiss Made is

run the risk of gradually making the traditional watch

nothing more than a G-string barely covering the

as an object obsolete, relegating it to the ranks of

essential, that a level of 60 or even 80 per cent of

collector’s pieces. Fortunately, we are not at this

“Swissness” of a watch doesn’t really mean much.

point and, in fact, are far from it.

Either the decision is radical—100 per cent or noth-

Yet, there are some changes in distribution that offer

ing—or it will resemble a plaster cast on a wooden

interesting opportunities for independent watch-

leg. By introducing its own quality seal, Patek

makers. The recent inauguration of the Maverick

Philippe has shown the way. It is not so much the

boutique at the Kempinski Hotel in Geneva is a

Swiss Made label that is important or that will make

good example. Besides some showcase pieces such

a real difference to consumers (the law leaves a lot

as Zenith or Piaget, we find a mix of very different

of latitude for claiming a watch is officially Swiss

brands such as Alpina, Ateliers DeMonaco, Badollet,

even though its component parts come from else-

Borgeaud, Ellicott, Frédéric Jouvenot, Frédérique

where), rather it is the brand that must provide a

Constant, Hautlence, Ladoire, Maîtres du Temps,

guarantee of true quality, much like the automobile

MCT, Milus, Raymond Weil, Roberto Coin, RJ-

industry in Germany.

Romain Jerome, Rudis Sylva and Snyper—watches

From an industrial point of view, the example of the

that are sold for a few thousands, or tens of thou-

German car is very instructive. The German indus-

sands of francs, or even hundreds of thousands of

try has not only secured but also strengthened its

francs, all mixed in together. What a wonderful way

pre-eminence because it assures a high level of qual-

for the consumer to find unusual watch products.

ity for all of its cars, whether an entry-level model or

Taking center stage: Manero CentralChrono.

The Manero CentralChrono from Carl F. Bucherer is a technologically advanced chronograph that takes a slightly different approach to design. The chronograph’s seconds and minute indicators are both center sweep hands that not only guarantee perfect legibility but also give the wearer precisely what he expects: the time of day and a chronograph, all at a glance.


one at the very high end (and this despite the fact

Today, the world is not sheltered from other such

that the component parts come from Romania, or

cataclysms, and the dependence on China scares

Portugal, or wherever).

more than a few watchmakers who have put all

The considerable industrial investments that are

their eggs in the bamboo basket.

planned in the years to come are thus essential for

While it is imperative that brands diversify their

Switzerland to preserve its qualitative pre-emi-

markets, it is also important to be able to offer a

nence. This means, however, that the funds must be

palette of diversified products. (We at Europa Star speak from our own modest expe-

It’s essential that Swiss watchmakers do not, like American car manufacturers a few years ago, continue to offer only enormous SUVs

rience, since we suffered only a small decline in 2009 because, unlike many publications which are devoted only to the high-end market, we cover the entire watch industry, from the most modest to the most famous.)

expensiv i e watches as well as iv used for both the most expensive

happe Whatever happens, history moves forward and

the most affordable ones, since the winds can

watchmaking with it. In fact, it seems to be moving

always change direction. It is, therefore, essential

faster and faster, like the craze for high frequencies

that Swiss watchmakers do not, like American car

that literally took the industry by storm in 2011. 50

manufacturers a few years ago, continue to offer

Hz, 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz... The “regulating

only enormous SUVs when the demand is turning

organs” are racing ahead, with or without a bal-

towards smaller models.

ance, thanks to the effects of resonance or even by means of “vibrating beams”. In turn, TAG Heuer, de

At the mercy of opposing winds

Bethune, Montblanc and Zenith raised their fre-

But why should the winds change? Because nothing

quencies. TAG Heuer has even developed a proto-

is impossible. The watch industry—we say it in

type that can mechanically indicate 1/2,000th of a

these columns year after year—has a short memo-

second. Over at de Bethune, they are laying the

ry. It has already forgotten the infamous day of

foundations for a new science, the “résonique” that

September 14, 2008 when the symbolic—and liter-

could theoretically reach 1/10,000th of a second. At

al—fall of Lehman Brothers signalled the dramatic

the other end of the speed spectrum, Hermès has

worsening of the banking and financial crisis, a crisis

been mechanically suspending time in order to not

that still bitterly affects many today. The following

have to count it.

year, 2009, saw a decline of more than 20 per cent in Swiss watch exports, and thus reshaped a large part

Watchmaking—a mirror of our time and of our con-

of its industrial fabric. All of that, forgotten…

tradictions. O

BASELWORLD Hall of dreams 1.0 – Pavilion C27 Century Time Gems Ltd. Zihlstrasse 50 CH-2560 Nidau Switzerland Tel. +41 32 332 98 88

28 COVER STORY europa star



Since 2005, Patek Philippe has consistently carved out a new space for its chronographs. Up until that time, the only basic movement whose ébauche came from outside the Geneva-based manufacture was the chronograph calibre 2770. Produced exclusively for Patek Philippe by Nouvelle Lemania (Swatch Group), this calibre was made in accordance with very strict specifications and was then finished and assembled in Geneva. Even though it was considered to be one of the most beautiful and best performing chronographs in the world, Patek Philippe was determined to surpass it by producing its own chronograph calibres. The brand’s decision took on the form of a veritable offensive. The effort paid off, however, and, in a little more than six years, the family-run manufacture has developed no less than four new basic chronograph calibres.

In 2005, the first “house” chronograph Patek Philippe introduced its first entirely inhouse manufactured chronograph calibre in 2005. Inspired by an historic movement dating back to 1902, the CHR 27-525 PS calibre is a manual-winding split-seconds movement with column wheels and the thinnest ever produced (5.25 mm in thickness). With two column wheels, two single pushers, and the possibilities for maintaining a reference time, as well as its numerous other technical and aesthetic characteristics, this calibre was placed in the highly prestigious timepiece, the Reference 5959P, presented in a limited series of ten pieces in a platinum “officer’s-style” case. The following year, in 2006, Patek Philippe revealed a new calibre, the CH 28-520 IRM QA 24H, the first chronograph movement— automatic this time—that was totally designed, developed, and produced by the manufacture. With the addition of the famous and patented annual calendar mechanism, this new automatic column-wheel chronograph has a splitseconds function, power reserve indicator and day/night indicator. With its original construc-

tion, this calibre drives the Reference 5960P, to which it offers an elegant, dynamic, and balanced dial with its very characteristic single counter that regroups the chronograph’s hour and minute counters. This same movement also equips the Nautilus Ref 5980/1 chronograph, with the same single counter, but without the annual calendar. In 2009, the first manual-winding classic chronograph, the Calibre CH 29-535 PS, was produced. At its introduction, this manual movement—crafted 100 per cent in the Patek Philippe ateliers—surpassed and thus replaced the Calibre CH 27-70 based on the hitherto utilised Nouvelle Lemania calibre. It equipped the famous Ladies First Chronograph, before being used the following year in a men’s version, the Reference 5170. A few details of this superbly designed classic calibre, consisting of 269 components, are: column wheels with polished cap; a toothed-wheel clutch with an Sshaped lever; Breguet balance spring; large fourarm Gyromax balance with four inertia-blocks and a frequency of 4 Hz or 28,800 vibrations per hour. Its six patents pending not only deal with improvements relating to better energy

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transmission, reduced friction, increased precision, and a reduction in vibrations of the hands, but they also simplify the work of the watchmaker. By allowing for optimal adjustment, these innovations offer the timepiece greater operating reliability while contributing to a deeper mastery over the art of the chronograph.

The following year, 2010, marked both the definitive retirement of the Calibre 27-70 Q in all its versions (after 25 years of very good and loyal service), and the arrival of the Patek Philippe Triple Complication Reference 5208P. The quintessence of the Patek Philippe style, it has an uncluttered dial that conceals a selfwinding movement, the Calibre R CH 27 PS QI, which integrates a number of complications: minute repeater, mono-pusher chronograph, an instantaneous perpetual calendar with apertures, and moon phases.The addition and combination of three major complications requires not less than 701 component parts, all housed in the small diameter of 32 mm with a height of 10.35 mm. Moreover, for the first time in the family of Patek Philippe Grand Complications, this calibre beats to the rhythm of an escapement and balance spring made of Silinvar®, derived from silicon.


5204: perfecting the mastery over the chronograph In 2012, Patek Philippe continues to perfect the mastery over the chronograph with the introduction of the split-seconds perpetual calendar chronograph Reference 5204. Developed on the Calibre CH 29-535 base introduced in 2009, this movement includes many new developments, among them a new splitseconds mechanism as well as a newly created perpetual calendar. It is now at the pinnacle of the new generation of Patek Philippe chronographs developed since 2005. Right from the beginning, the basic CH 29-535 was designed to accommodate future developments such as the split-seconds hand and the perpetual calendar. Since 2005, progressive and continuous improvements have been made to the calibre, thus creating a “top” product, as Marc Lemonnier, constructor, and Philip Barat, development director, say modestly, even too modestly. At first glance, these improvements—added over time, one after the other—may seem limited, only dealing with the details of the construction or of the mechanical functioning. Yet, it is the patient addition of these accumulated devices that has led to real and decisive advances, and that makes the new generation of Patek Philippe chronographs truly exceptional pieces.

A new lifting-lever As an example, let’s look at the changes made to the CH 29-535 basic chronograph movement (created in 2009), which allow it to accept the split-seconds complication. The main originality of this split-seconds hand is the use of a completely new lifting-lever system. Normally, when you activate the chronograph, the loss of amplitude is around 30°, to which you must add a further loss of amplitude of 30° when the split-seconds hand is activated. The lifting-lever system developed for this

30 COVER STORY europa star

new calibre avoids the friction on the heartpiece when the split-seconds hand is started, thus gaining 30° in mechanical amplitude. Instead of the traditional “octopus” and its arms (which, because mounted on the column wheel of the split-seconds hand, always turns in the same direction and must be equipped with a spring allowing it to return to zero), the new system developed by Patek Philippe is composed of an arm in the form of a swan’s foot commanded directly by the column wheel, thus preventing the two hands from separating. For its return to zero, the watchmakers replaced the roller with a flat, thus reducing the friction and providing better stability for the two hands. The heart-piece has been slit in order to accept the runner with flat, which no longer touches the shoulders of the heart-piece. Finally, the spring no longer rubs, since it is now placed at the end of an arm. The polished cap of the split-seconds column wheel now becomes the eccentric spring of the split-seconds arm. This patented mechanical architecture adds to the six patents that are already pending on the basic movement, allowing these innovations. Moreover, the two bridges of the chronograph that were earlier separated have been reunited into one single bridge, thus offering a solid and unique base for the split-seconds bridge. The hammer bridge has been extended and the wheel of the split-seconds has been rebalanced so that ultimately the mechanical phase difference between the two chronograph seconds hands has been reduced by 75 per cent.

An ultra-flat perpetual calendar The perpetual calendar module integrated into this calibre is identical to that of the preceding Reference 5270, the first triple complication wrist chronograph presented last year. Remarkably thin (1.65 mm), this mechanism, comprising 182 component parts, combines “large levers, star-wheels for the date, day, and month, cams for the year, movable cams for leap years, jumper springs,” or in other words, 182 parts that have been tooled to the nearest micron and then hand finished—straightgrained sides, smoothed surfaces, chamfered and polished edges. Even the teeth in the gears and pinions have been “polished by hand, one by one, on a hardwood buff wheel”. This has all been done, not only with a concern for beauty, of course, but also with the goal of optimising the entire chain of energy transmission.

Elegance and readability With its 496 component parts, of which 60 are used for the split-seconds hand alone, this chronograph movement vibrates at 4 Hz and has 65 hours of power reserve. It is housed in a superb platinum case measuring 40 mm in diameter with a thickness of 14.25 mm (not counting the noticeable curvature of the pro-

tective sapphire crystal). This relatively thin size demonstrates that not only is this complex movement housed in a very small space but that it evokes truly timeless elegance. This timeless quality is emphasised even more by a series of small but striking details that range from the curvature of the crystal to the affirmed form of the pushers that recall the grand historic era of the chronograph.We must also mention the lovely concave shape of the bezel—a shape that is particularly difficult to polish—and the fine elongated lugs that enhance the harmonious proportions of this timekeeper and give it its timeless allure. This distinct classicism is also seen in a number of small contemporary touches such as the hour and minute hands with three faces in black oxidised gold, whose centre is coated with Superluminova. Four counters share the dial in a manner that allows for the greatest readability, with a total of twelve separate displays housed on the silvered opaline background. Encircled by twelve white-gold applied hour markers, the day and month are indicated in the traditional manner in two apertures lined up at 12 o’clock. The date hand is integrated into the aperture of the moon phase display at 6 o’clock, while the small seconds and 30minute counter are placed in off-centre azure sub-dials at 9 and 3 o’clock. The leap year and day/night indicators appear in two small round openings at 4:30 and 7:30. Mounted on an alligator strap with matte black square scales and a platinum foldover buckle, the Ref. 5204 is, of course, endowed with the Poinçon Patek Philippe (Patek Philippe Seal). And, as with all the platinum cases from the very sophisticated Geneva watch brand, a small Top Wesselton diamond is discreetly set in the case middle at 6 o’clock. Noblesse oblige. O For more information about Patek Philippe click on Brand Index at

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Exploring the world with Rolex OYSTER 1926

By the 1950s, thanks to continuous feedback from the adventurers and explorers in Rolex’s real-world research laboratory, the brand was able to further refine its designs and produce its first “professional” timepieces specifically designed to cope with severe conditions. The Oyster thus spawned new offspring in the form of the Submariner (1953) that offered water resistance to a depth of 200 metres. In the same year, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to conquer the summit of Everest. Since they were wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches, Rolex was quick to capitalise on this historic event by launching a new watch dedicated to these intrepid adventurers. It was named, quite simply, Explorer.

RPaul O’Neil


The visionary founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, was an early pioneer in watch marketing. Barely had he succeeded in producing the world’s first water-resistant wristwatch in 1926, which with his inimitable knack for a catchy name he baptised the “Oyster”, than it was hung around the neck of cross-Channel swimmer Mercedes Gleitze on 21 October the following year for her “vindication swim” – her attempt to relive her swim across the English Channel two weeks previously, after a hoax by another swimmer had called her achievement into doubt. While Gleitze’s attempt to reconfirm that she was the third woman (and the first Englishwoman) to swim across to France from England was unsuccessful, her testimonial regarding the performance of the Rolex Oyster, which “proved itself a reliable and accurate time-

keeping companion even though it was subjected to complete immersion for hours in sea water at a temperature of not more than 58 and often as low as 51 [10-14 degrees Celsius]” was just what Hans Wilsdorf needed. He promptly brought out a front-page advertisement in England’s Daily Mail newspaper on 24 November 1927 to boast of its “greatest triumph in watchmaking”. The secret behind the Oyster’s superior resistance was its patented case design, in which the bezel and case-back were screwed on to the case and the crown was also screwed in, hermetically sealing the movement inside the watch. Its clear readability both day and night also made it perfect for the early Himalayan expeditions, with the Oyster accompanying the British Everest Expedition, which reached an altitude of 28,150 feet (over 8,300 metres) in 1933.

Not content with conquering the ocean’s depths and the highest peaks, Rolex also dispatched the Oyster in the air, accompanying the first flight over of Everest in 1933 and the first flight from England to Australia, by Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller, in 1934. The Oyster was also on board the X-1 when it became the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in 1947. At the time no one was even

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THE HILLARY TENZING EDITION The Hillary Tenzing Edition is a strictly limited edition of 88 packages that are sure to appeal to Rolex collectors and born explorers. Each package consists of a replica expedition crate like the one used on the 1953 expedition, weighing a total of 19 kilogrammes, that is filled with replica items commemorating the historic expedition of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The centrepiece of the package is three special-edition Rolex Explorer models (in three different case sizes: 36 mm, 39mm and 42 mm) with specially designed leather straps and a vintage look and feel. The company behind the package, Hillary Tenzing Edition Ltd., stresses that is not affiliated in any way with Rolex and when contacted by Europa Star Rolex had no comment to make on this issue.

sure whether the pilot, Chuck Yeager, would be able to withstand the pressure of such speeds, let alone his wristwatch. Rolex kept in step as transcontinental flight went commercial, becoming the official watch of the pilots of Panamerican World Airways (PanAm) and ushering in the era of commercial supersonic flight on the wrists of both the English and French test pilots of Concorde. The ultimate test of resistance for a Rolex watch came on 23 January 1960, when an experimental Deep Sea Special watch was fixed to the hull of the Trieste bathyscaphe, which set a record that has not been beaten

since by descending to 10,916 metres below sea level in the Marianas trench. After the ninehour expedition at unimaginable pressures, the Deep Sea resurfaced in perfect working order and paved the way for the development of the Sea Dweller production watch, launched in 1967 with a water resistance to 2000 feet (610 metres). More recently Rolex has plumbed the depths even further by launching, in 2008, the Rolex DeepSea, which is water resistant to a depth of 3,900 metres (but is actually tested at a simulated depth of 4,875 metres in a hyperbaric tank developed by COMEX, Rolex’s partner in deep-sea exploration since 1971).

Since the turn of the century, the classic Rolex models associated with exploration have been subtly refined, including the GMT Master II in 2005 and the Explorer II at BaselWorld last year. We look forward to the latest BaselWorld product news from Rolex—which the brand always keeps firmly under wraps until the start of the show—and a continuation of Rolex’s involvement at the forefront of exploration on Earth. O For more information about Rolex click on Brand Index at GMT MASTER II


Breguet continues its“Tradition”

RPaul O’Neil


Between the years 1793 and 1795 AbrahamLouis Breguet fled Paris for Switzerland to avoid a particularly nasty period during the French Revolution known at the “Great Terror”. It was during his stay in Switzerland that Breguet devised his “subscription” watch, which customers could secure by paying a deposit. Breguet’s aim was to get sufficient orders to be able to produce an affordable watch that nevertheless had a high level of quality and

reliability. The relative simplicity of the movement’s design compared with Breguet’s other creations also meant that the watches could be serviced and repaired by any watchmaker. The subscription watch movement had a distinctive arrangement, with the barrel located in the centre and the going train arranged symmetrically. Like all other watches produced from the 16th to the 19th centuries it was also fitted with a fusee and chain transmission to ensure a constant force was delivered to the going train, regardless of the level of winding torque in the barrel. The fusee and chain’s elegantly simple design involves a chain (early examples used gut) winding around a spiral groove in the conical

fusee. When the mainspring is fully wound, the chain is wrapped around the fusee from bottom to top and the reduced radius of the top of the cone reduces the torque acting on the barrel. As the mainspring unwinds, the chain moves towards the bottom of the fusee, with the increased radius increasing the torque on the barrel and therefore compensating for the reduced torque of the unwound mainspring. Fusee and chain mechanisms proved themselves in pocket watches over a period of three hundred years but it was not until 1994 that the design was first incorporated into a wristwatch by A. Lange & Söhne. Breguet later incorporated the traditional technology into its Tradition line in 2010, with the platinum version of reference 7047, combining this nearly 500 year-old design with the brand’s pioneering advances in the use of silicon for watch components. The latest incarnation of reference 7047, presented by Breguet at BaselWorld 2012, is the 18-carat rose-gold version using the Breguet calibre 569 with a silicon balance spring and escapement, as well as Breguet’s patented titanium balance. The off-centre dial at 7 o’clock in 18-carat gold, which has the traditional Breguet engine-turned decoration, is coated with a new black galvanic treatment. The 60second tourbillon is visible opposite the dial in the 1 o’clock position, while the 50-hour power reserve can be read off Breguet’s patented power reserve indicator that is housed directly on the barrel drum and is connected to the barrel by a system of differential gears. The rose-gold version of reference 7047 completes the materials available in the four references of the Tradition collection, which upholds the historical technologies of the company’s founder and continues his fervent quest for innovation. O For more information about Breguet click on Brand Index at

Tissot Tradition Perpetual Calendar

chosen by Tony Parker – Professional Basketball Player Classic timepiece with exclusive perpetual calendar movement. 316L stainless steel case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and water resistance up to 3 bar (30 m / 100 ft).

in TOUCH with your time Get in touch at


Chanel, haute horlogerie for the ladies RPierre Maillard


Chanel made its entry into the very closed circle of haute horlogerie in 2005 with its J12 Tourbillon. This complication was followed in 2010 by a very original and amazing timepiece, the J12 Rétrograde Mystérieuse. A world first, this grand complication was combined with a tourbillon, a retrograde minute hand, digitally displayed minutes, and a retractable, vertical crown. Today, armed with this patiently acquired watchmaking expertise, Chanel is taking an additional step by offering women the opportunity to enter into the world of grand mechanical complications. But, Chanel oblige, this first feminine incursion into the universe of timekeeping complexity must, of course, be as poetic as it is mysterious, as pure in appearance as it is complex and exceptional in its construction. It is thus natural that the brand turned its attention to the tourbillon, but not a traditional tourbillon, a flying tourbillon.

The particularities of a flying tourbillon Traditionally, the carriage of the tourbillon— in which the regulating organ of the watch, i.e. the escapement, the balance and the balance spring, is suspended—oscillates between the base of the movement, the plate, and the upper bridge that together support the carriage on its axis. In a flying tourbillon, there is no upper bridge and the cage seems to be whirling around weightlessly. But this freedom is not exempt from technical constraints because, even without the upper bridge, the flying tourbillon must still be able to withstand shocks at least as well as a traditional tourbillon. It is therefore

necessary for the watchmakers to pay even closer attention to the precision of the tiny construction and to the three-dimensional assembly of the carriage. As the brand always does with its haute horlogerie pieces, Chanel worked closely with the constructors, engineers, and master Swiss watchmakers at Renaud & Papi (APRP), the advanced research and development arm of Audemars Piguet, to develop this flying tourbillon.

A floral carriage in motion Chanel decided to introduce this flying tourbillon into the heart of the Première watch, and this union was carried out with the utmost grace and discreet refinement. While many

complicated watches show off their complexity by boldly displaying the movement, the Première Tourbillon Volant maintains a certain degree of reserve. The flying tourbillon in the Première functions nearly in secret, its carriage having been transformed into a camellia, the favourite flower of Mademoiselle Chanel. The stylised motif of the camellia rotates magically above a very pure dial in ceramic. While the eye might catch a glimpse of the complexity of the elements that make up the flying tourbillon in between the movements of the camellia, it is especially drawn to the floral spectacle. The carriage of the flying tourbillon was designed to be as large as possible, in order to

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emphasise the animation. The edges of the camellia’s petals are made of metal and the heart of the petals is filled with a lattice that gives the flower its delicate texture. In order to keep the carriage as lightweight as possible, this lattice was designed using the Mimotec process. (This process is used to make micro-components that offer an exceptional degree of precision as well as superlative surface finishing.) The external elements that make up the camellia are screwed in at three points directly onto the flying tourbillon carriage. At the centre of the tiered flower is a cabochon delicately set with diamonds. The camellia makes one revolution per minute, with the petals indicating the passage of the seconds. The hour and minute hands have been placed off-centre higher up on the dial. The baton-shaped hands, characteristic of the

Première timepiece, have been slightly raised since they must pass above the flying flower. Moving around a black ceramic dial, the hands have also been decorated with diamonds, which represents a feat in itself, given their size and the meticulous manner in which they are set. The impression of depth is reinforced by the shadow formed by the CHANEL signature.

A place for light While preserving the perfectly balanced proportions, the case of the Première Tourbillon Volant has taken on new dimensions: 28.5 mm by 37 mm, as compared to 19 mm by 26 mm in the traditional Première. Its stylised geometry is on two levels. A bezel is fitted on top of the case middle and surrounds the entire perimeter. The corners have been truncated, conferring additional dynamism to the piece,


providing plays of light that emphasise the beauty and value of the rotating floral sculpture. The two levels of the case also offer the possibility of creating many variations for stone setting. The base of the case can be set with vertical baguette diamonds, for example, rectangular along the entire perimeter except on the truncated corners, which are highlighted by square baguette diamonds, and the side of the bezel can be set with round diamonds. Alternatively, the bezel can be set with baguette diamonds or diamonds combined with coloured precious gemstones, thus mixing the fire of their colours and sparkle, and creating many different harmonious arrangements. The possible variations and combinations are endless. On the side of the case, the large crown is also set with baguette or round diamonds. Its size permits easy winding of the manuallywound mechanical movement (TDC 10) that drives the Première Tourbillon Volant. With 40 hours of power reserve, this movement has been mounted on a rectangular bottom plate, decorated with a blackened Côtes de Genève pattern. The other finishing touches are exceptional: the various component parts are chamfered, drawn and circular grained by hand in the highest tradition. Finally, to maximize comfort for the wearer, the Première Tourbillon Volant is mounted either on an alligator leather or satin strap that is perfectly integrated into the case. The integration of case and bracelet offers remarkable suppleness. Available in three different lengths, the bracelet comes with a fold-over clasp whose cover is set with baguette diamonds. The watchmaking complexity of the Première Tourbillon Volant, combined with the extreme artisanal care in the stone setting and finishing, make this a very rare object. In 2012, Chanel has thus planned to create 20 of these remarkable timepieces set with diamonds. For more information about Chanel click on Brand Index at


De Grisogono’s first tourbillon for ladies

RPaul O’Neil


The exceptional new piece that De Grisogono ogono will present at BaselWorld this year is a genuine enuine treat for ladies. The Tondo Tourbillon Gioiello oiello is fitted with the brand’s first manual winding nding mechanical tourbillon movement. Furthermore, more the novel position of the tourbillon carriage, which is visible in the 8 o’clock position, sets the watch apart and leaves room for an equally novel dial design. Using the “XL” version of the Tondo case in 18-carat white gold, with the imposing dimensions of 60.49mm by 45.35mm, this diamondset piece weighs in at over 100 grammes (82 grammes for the case and a further 35.38 grammes for the white-gold buckle) and thus cannot fail to catch the eye. The traditional yellow-gold screws on the balance wheel and the warm red of the ruby jewel settings and pallets are the only colours present on the dial among the gloss of polished stainless steel and the shimmer of mother-of-

pearl. They immediately draw attention to the tourbillon mechanism, which is powered by a mainspring that offers a 72-hour power reserve. Despite its understated look, the dial elegantly illustrates all the interactions within the watch. A polished bridge at 3 o’clock shows the connection between the crown, the winding stem and the ratchet wheel at 12 o’clock (which is engraved with the de Grisogono coat of arms at the centre and the name around the circumference) and the elements responsible for transmitting the energy to the balance to drive the white-gold Dauphine hands are all clearly visible beneath the tourbillon carriage. Mother-ofpearl sections complete the space to provide a harmonious transition to the sparkling bezel.

A total of 8.57 carats of diamonds are set on the Tondo Tourbillon Gioiello using the “à quatre grains” invisible stone-setting method. The bezel accounts for around 3.52 carats alone, with 33 white diamonds set into it. A further 469 white diamonds (4.2 carats) are set into the rest of the case and the lugs, and another 140 white diamonds grace the 18-carat whitegold butterfly clasp. The watch is completed with two signature de Grisogono elements: a deep black diamond (0.1 carat) set into the watch crown and a white galuchat strap. O For more information about deGrisogono click on Brand Index at


RICHARD MILLE CALIBER EXTRA FLAT AUTOMATIC RM 033 Diameter: 45.70 mm x 6.30 mm Free sprung balance with variable inertia Monoblock micro rotor in Platinium Power reserve: 42 hours Baseplate, bridges and balance cock made of titanium Balance: glucydur, 4 arms Inertia moment 5.75 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53Âş Frequency: 21,600 vph (3hz) Spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the bridges and the case Upper flange in carbon fiber Baseplate in hand-ground grade 5 titanium, wet sandblasted, TitalytÂŽ treated Bridges wet sandblasted, top surface polished by hand, grade 5 titanium PVD treated Locking sections hand polished Sapphire blasted surfaces


Harry Winston and the tourbillons, what a story! RPierre Maillard


Harry Winston began telling its own story about the tourbillon in 2009, with its “Histoire de Tourbillon N° 1”. The first story was already complicated since this first model, which has since become part of a veritable compendium of stories, consisted of two single-axis tourbillons weighing 0.46 grammes, inclined at 25º, each making one revolution in 36 seconds. It was an attempt to neutralise the effects of gravity as much as possible. The second story, told in 2011, is about a biaxial flying tourbillon.The absence of the upper bridge of the carriage in the model called “Histoire de Tourbillon N° 2”, provides a spectacular scene. The double concentric carriage is housed in a dome which makes a full revolution in 120 seconds, while the inner carriage makes its revolution in 40 seconds. For its third story, which is being told this year, Harry Winston comes on very strong, if we might say, with its “Histoire de Tourbillon N° 3”, featuring a bi-axial double tourbillon whose inner carriage—which supports the balance, balance spring, and escapement—makes one revolution in 40 seconds while the external carriage revolves in 120 seconds. Beside this, a single-axis tourbillon calmly makes its revolution in 36 seconds. The ensemble is connected by a differential “that gives an average of their two rates”. We can imagine that this must have been a “great headache” for the engineers and constructors, challenged to find the best balance

between the b t th rotational t ti l speeds, d the th weights i ht in play, and the effects of inertia and even resonance, without even counting the various materials that Harry Winston likes to work with. We can also easily imagine the difficulties in finding a way to connect three tourbillon carriages and two escapements in such a very small three-dimensional space. This is what makes the story of the “Histoire de Tourbillon N° 3” so compelling and aesthetically unlike any other. Architecturally, the case is a threedimensional assembly of 77 distinct component parts composed of Zalium, an alloy of zirconium—which is lighter but harder than

titanium—and white gold. The rectangular titanium—a case, in brushed grey Zalium, is quite angular. brus The tourbillons tourbillo are placed in a rounded whitegold ld container t i that protrudes above the case and over its sides at 9 o’clock and 6 o’clock. Above and to the right, the hours and minutes are indicated by two rotating discs placed side by side. The indicator for the power reserve (50 hours) in this manual-winding movement is placed in the lower right-hand corner of the case. Its disc is set with sapphires and citrines. The story of this tourbillon, like the others that preceded it, will only be intimately told to 20 people around the world. O For more information about Harry Winston click on Brand Index at

Master Series


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Chopard – Revisiting the classics

RKeith W. Strandberg


This year at BaselWorld, Chopard is going deep into its areas of expertise—fine watchmaking, classic styling and high jewellery making.

Classic interpretation The new Classic Manufactum by Chopard has been designed to be a bridge between the past and present, a link between the pocketwatches that forged the reputation of brand founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard, and Chopard’s modern-day wristwatches. Everything about the design of the Classic Manufactum reflects the classicism of the Belle Epoque: the porce-



lain-type dial, the shiny black Roman numerals; the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock with a “railtrack” graduation typical of the pocket-watches of the era; and the slender gold-toned hands. This timepiece is powered by Chopard Calibre 01.04-C, a new mechanical self-winding movement entirely developed in-house and produced in the workshops of Fleurier Ebauches, the Chopard Group unit in charge of the industrial production of movements not destined for its L.U.C Haute Horlogerie collection.

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L.U.C. Lunar One redesigned Speaking of L.U.C, the L.U.C Lunar One has undergone a transformation—the rounded 43 mm-diameter case, with its polished and satin-brushed lugs, has been entirely redesigned to ensure aesthetic balance and enhanced comfort. The crown, engraved with the L.U.C logo, is slender while remaining perfectly ergonomic, and the case-back with its generous sapphire crystal central opening is engraved with the inscriptions “Chopard Manufacture”, “Lunar One” and “L.U.C”

For the ladies In 2011, Chopard introduced the surprising Mille Miglia Racing In Pink model. This year, Chopard offers women a sporty and elegant chronograph simply named Mille Miglia Lady, powered by a COSC-certified mechanical selfwinding movement with a 42-hour power reserve.


Imperiale Tourbillon Full Set The new Imperiale Tourbillon Full Set embodies a concentrated blend of high watchmaking and high jewellery—Chopard’s twin areas of expertise. Its chronometer-certified tourbillon calibre bearing the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark is housed within an 18-carat gold case and dial entirely set with diamonds, illustrating almost the entire range of gemsetting techniques.

Chopard clearly preferred not to choose between making this a watch or a jewellery creation. The gem-setting work is a demonstration of the brand’s jewellery-making skills; while the L.U.C 02-14-L (4T2I) movement is entirely designed, developed and crafted inhouse and equipped with a tourbillon. O For more information about Chopard click on Brand Index at


Bovet – a rising star in fine watchmaking RPaul O’Neil

OTTANTA DUE Reversible and detachable case in 18-carat red gold, 45mm in diameter, hand-wound tourbillon movement with sevenday power reserve and inversed hands on the back, rubber strap, buckle and chain in 18-carat red gold.


History has a habit of repeating itself and it is worth noting that the development of the watchmaking industry in the small village of Fleurier is in no small part due to the work of Edouard Bovet and his brothers, who from 1822 practically monopolised imports of watches into China as trade with the country improved. The Fleurier heritage, as well as a nod to China’s help in the company’s original success, now pervade the Bovet brand, which over the past decade has been elevated to the summit of fine watchmaking by its owner Pascal Raffy. The company today employs around 140 people spread across its head office in Plan-lesOuates in Geneva, the historic Château de Môtiers in the Val-de-Travers, purchased by Mr Raffy in 2007 (which houses the company’s Haute Horlogerie Artisanale workshop) and the Dimier 1738 company (formerly Progress Watch) in Tramelan, in the Bernese Jura. Building up this mini watchmaking conglomerate has allowed Bovet to amass a considerable amount of expertise in the world of fine watchmaking (Dimier 1738 alone masters 41 different crafts) and produce exquisite timepieces that are both highly complicated and sumptuously decorated. Although the emphasis on the brand’s heritage and traditional watchmaking skills are evident in all its timepieces, this has not precluded an interesting collaboration with Pininfarina, which dates back to the 80th anniversary of the renowned Italian design house in 2010. The original Ottanta model that Bovet presented in celebration of this anniversary was followed by the Cambiano chronograph last year. For 2012, a new Ottanta Due tourbillon,

fitted with a completely revised tourbillon movement, further enhances this small collection. The unique Amadeo case is the cornerstone of the Bovet collection. With the crown at 12 o’clock and a special strap attachment, the watch can be worn either as a pocket watch or a reversible wristwatch. The hinged case AMADEO FLEURIER 0 Reversible and detachable case in 18-carat white gold, 45mm in diameter, hand-wound tourbillon movement with seven-day power reserve and inversed hands on the back, hand-crafted Fleurisanne decoration, black alligator leather strap, buckle and chain in 18-carat white gold.

also means that it can serve as a stunning miniature desk clock. To celebrate its 190th anniversary in 2012, Bovet presents the new Amadeo Fleurier 0 collection in which the Amadeo case houses a completely new tourbillon movement with a 19th century-inspired design that will be the basis for all of Bovet’s new complications. With the tourbillon carriage now located at 6 o’clock and all components other than the tourbillon housed on two three-quarter plates, more space was available for the regulating organ and the power reserve could therefore be increased to seven days. The power reserve is indicated at 12 o’clock on the dial and is the only other indication on the dial apart from the hour and minute hands, as well as the seconds hand on the tourbillon carriage.

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AMADEO FLEURIER RISING STAR Reversible and detachable case in 18-carat white gold, 46mm in diameter, hand-wound tourbillon movement with two additional independent time zones, day/night indicators, two 24-city discs and inversed hands on the back, blue guilloché dial, black alligator leather strap, buckle and chain in 18-carat white gold.

Whilst the dial side maintains a discreet elegance, the movement side shows off the talents of the craftsmen at Dimier 1738. An offcentre sub-dial at 12 o’clock shows the time using inversed hands and is surrounded by the exquisite hand-chiselled Fleurisanne decoration on the three-quarter plates, with the tourbillon carriage visible directly below it at 6 o’clock.

The true rising star The Amadeo Fleurier Rising Star takes things a step further by adding two additional independent time zones to the guilloché dial on the three-quarter plate, each with its own separate day or night indicator and a window indicating the chosen city for each time (out of a choice of the 24 cities representing each of the world’s time zones). The choice of three different time displays alludes to the three places that were instrumental in the success of the three Bovet brothers: Fleurier, Canton (China) and London. While the 463 components within the movement remain skilfully sandwiched between the guilloché dial on one side and the chis-

elled three-quarter plates on the other, every effort has been made to show off in the best possible way the 66 components of the tourbillon carriage. The result is a tourbillon that is clearly visible from both sides, allowing a critical view of the black polished tourbillon bridge, which requires a full day of bevelling work alone. Beneath this beats an aluminium balance chosen for its lower weight (to improve the power reserve) that has three hatchetshaped movable weights in blued steel screwed to it in order to allow optimum adjustment of the going rate. The distinctive shape of these weights was first seen on the balances of timepieces manufactured by Edouard Bovet in the 19th century. The Rising Star is a limited edition of 190 pieces to commemorate Bovet’s 190th anniversary. Furthermore, nine pairs of unique pieces will be produced with miniature paintings on motherof-pearl (which Bovet claims produces a better finish than on grand feu enamel) on the movement-side dial in recollection of those found on 19th century timepieces in the private collection of Bovet. The idea of producing watches in pairs harks back to the practicali-

DIMIER RÉCITAL 8 The eighth model in Bovet’s Dimier Récital collection uses the same tourbillon architecture as the Amadeo models but in a more conventional 48mm diameter case with a crown at 3 o’clock. Hollowed discs in mother-of-pearl are used for the principal and secondary time displays and the city for the secondary time zone, contrasting with the Côtes de Genève decoration on the grey anthracite dial to produce a much more technical look. Case in 18-carat red gold, 48mm in diameter, hand-wound tourbillon movement with seven-day power reserve, second time zone indication, 24-city disc and day/night indicator, black alligator leather strap, 18-carat red-gold buckle.

ties of exporting watches in the 19th century: because any repairs would require a fourmonth boat trip back to Switzerland, Bovet shipped watches in pairs so that their owners had a spare if they had to return a watch for any reason. This quaint detail serves to illustrate just how much both watchmaking technology and transport links have improved over the past two centuries! O For more information about Bovet click on Brand Index at


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TWENTY-8-EIGHT SKELETON TOURBILLON by DeWitt The absence of a dial and the skeleton work on DeWitt’s new model are designed to show off the brand’s DW8028 calibre – DeWitt’s first 100 per cent manufacture movement. Round 43mm case in 18-carat rose or white gold, DeWitt calibre DW8028 manually-wound movement, 18,000 vibrations per hour, 72-hour power reserve, chocolate-brown or matt black alligator leather strap with 18-carat white or rose gold pin buckle.

FVT N°1 PLANETARY TOURBILLON by Franc Vila Franc Vila’s first tourbillon developed specifically for ladies uses an “Esprit Unique” case in “DieHard Extreme” tempered steel that houses a flying tourbillon with spherical differential gear and inertia control mechanism. Manuallywound FV N°1 movement, 21,600 vibrations per hour, 120-hour power reserve, black mother-of-pearl with Clous de Paris decoration and a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. This limited series of eight pieces comes with a hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with a steel buckle.

GTS GRAND TOURBILLON SPORT by Antoine Preziuso A sporty tourbillon with an aerodynamic shape and a large 52 x 45mm tonneau-shaped case crafted in the unusual alloy of ChromeCobalt (Co-Cr), which is highly resistant. Manually-wound APG/28T tourbillon calibre, 21,600 vibrations per hour, 110-hour power reserve, black Porosus crocodile leather strap with red top stitching and folding clasp. Only available directly from the brand in Geneva.

HALDIMANN H2 Resonance Working away from the major watchmaking centres in his workshop in the small town of Thun, Switzerland, Beat Haldimann has produced a central double flying tourbillon movement that takes pride of place in the most classic of designs. Round 39mm or 42mm case in 950 platinum, manually-wound H-Zen B calibre with three barrels, 18,000 vibrations per hour, hand engraved, platinum balances, hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with buckle or folding clasp in 950 platinum.

Red is the new Black

Make your own statement in a world of uniformity.

Hardened stainless steel Automatic movement Two sapphire crystals Water-resistant 10 bar Meticulously developed on the basis of the legendary orginals from Tutima Glashütte, a Tutima Classic will always be just that – a classic. From 1927 until today.



B A S E LW O R L D Hall 2.0 · Stand A 40

Tutima Uhrenfabrik GmbH · Postfach 1153 · D-27770 Ganderkesee · Germany Tel. +49(0)4221 / 98 83 20 · Fax +49(0)4221 / 98 83 77 · ·

48 GALLERY - TOURBILLONS europa star

MASTERGRAFF DOUBLE TOURBILLON GMT by Graff Amongst 306 diamonds totalling a staggering 30.61 carats set all over the 48mm case and dial on the MasterGraff Double Tourbillon GMT nestle two tourbillon carriages with their own seconds scales, as well as a second time zone display at 9 o’clock. The watch has a 72-hour power reserve and is fitted with a black leather strap with gold buckle. Limited edition of 10 pieces in pink or white gold.

WITNESS ONE by Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin A skeleton tourbillon with a depth to its design, the Witness One shows off sandblasted surfaces and black-gold bridges. Round stainless-steel 45mm case, manually-wound calibre MRC800, 21,600 vibrations per hour, 72-hour power reserve, black alligator leather strap with matching folding clasp.

SECOLO TOURBILLON by Vasto This unique piece features a tourbillon at 9 o’clock with a tourbillon bridge in the form of a treble clef set with 50 Top Wesselton VS diamonds (0.11 carat). Cushion case in 18carat pink gold, manually-wound TT 791.00 tourbillon calibre with twin barrels, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 120-hour power reserve, brown alligator leather strap with 18-carat pink-gold buckle.

ARACNO TOURBILLON PUR by Erick J. Exertier Geneva-based Erick J. Exertier uses a Chinese tourbillon movement in this model, which retails for CHF 7,800. Round 45mm case in stainless steel with two-tone gold and PVD treatment, calibre 3900 – PTS, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 55-hour power reserve, off-centre hours and minutes at 6 o’clock with 24-hour counter at 3 o’clock and power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, tourbillon carriage visible at 12 o’clock, black leather strap with pin buckle.

Wir laden Sie herzlich ein zur Baselworld, vom 08.-15.03.2012 / Halle 2.0 - Stand A80

Independence IN 3106 SL

CRISTANO GmbH / Robert-Bosch-Str. 14a / D - 77815 B端hl / Germany / E-Mail: / INGERSOLL Ltd. / 39, Waterloo Road / London NW2 7TT / United Kingdom / E-Mail: Zeon Far East Ltd. / 6A Tai Tak Ind Bldg 2-12 Kwai Fat Rd Kwai Chung NT / E-Mail: /


Speake-Marin – Watchmaking renaissance avenues. For myself, these unique hand engravings complete the Renaissance on both technical and aesthetic levels.” “Engravings of this sort are also a classic Speake-Marin element,” he continues. “Many of the early pieces I created were dragonorientated, working with either Japanese artists or European engravers but often in an Asiatic style and the first two Renaissance pieces bear beautiful dragon engravings. Although my style is very gothic, I feel that it complements that type of art well.”

Good times

RKeith W. Strandberg


The times they are a’changing for Peter SpeakeMarin. He is moving away from the focus on Peter Speake-Marin the watchmaker and putting it on Speake-Marin the brand. The newest piece is the Renaissance Tourbillon Minute Repeater. Says Speake-Marin, “I wanted a bold statement watch that encapsulated what Speake-Marin is, something which incorporated elements from my previous work and projected them in a single piece, both complications, the foundation watch and the engraving work all wrapped in the Piccadilly case. This then marks the beginning of a new period in the development of Speake-Marin, moving away from being Peter and directed to become the Speake-Marin brand.” The Renaissance Tourbillon Minute Repeater, featuring a striking open-worked dial, is limited to six pieces for the world. “I hope that as

with the Shimoda and the Serpent, this piece will garner a reputation as being an iconic timepiece marking this new period for our brand,” Speake-Marin says. The back of each Renaissance movement is decorated with a different intricate handengraved design making each one a unique piece. “I designed the back movement bridges so that the whole of the surface of the back of the Renaissance is like a canvas where I could fully maximize the possibilities of engraving,” Speake-Marin details. “It gives me the liberty to be able to explore many different artistic

Times have been good for Speake-Marin recently, with 2011 having been the brand’s best year ever. The brand is now developing new collections and making an evolution in watch design and production much influenced by the success of Speake-Marin’s Marin-2 Thalassa. “2012 is likely to be even better for us although my impression is that the industry as a whole may be unsure, as selling small numbers of high-quality watches is easier than selling a mass volume product in a market that remains volatile,” Speake-Marin points out. “I think in general prudent remains a key word in relation to optimism.” O For more information about Speake-Marin click on Brand Index at


19A rue de la Croix d' Or • CH-1204 Genève-Suisse Tel. +41 22 310 8770


HYT – Liquid Display

high-tech bellows driven by a bespoke mechanical movement by Jean-François Mojon and Chronode. Part of the oil is fluorescent green to indicate the hour, while the other part is transparent, and the oil retrogrades back to zero every 12 hours. Due to their unique properties, the oils will not mix, making the hour reading extremely simple.The minutes are indicated by a traditional hand.

The concept

RKeith W. Strandberg


For many companies, the idea of incorporating liquid into a mechanical watch has been very intriguing. I first heard the idea four or five years ago from a young designer who was trying to figure out exactly how to do it. Since then, rumours have circulated throughout the watch industry of several companies working on a mechanical watch that uses liquid in its display.

Well, Vincent Perriard and HYT have beaten everyone to the punch, introducing the H1 from HYT at BaselWorld. Perriard was informally in Geneva in January to talk about the concept, but BaselWorld will be the first place that a prototype will be available to see and touch. The H1 features a circular sapphire crystal capillary tube through which oil is pressurised, via

“Our goal was to make a watch that made competition irrelevant,” Perriard says, smiling. “We are in a place where no one else is, capturing a new market. This watch is so innovative and totally different, I just present the watch and it sells itself.” “Most people think the watch is way more expensive than it is, which is a pleasant surprise and good for us as a company,” Perriard continues. The H1 will be available for delivery by September of this year, in an estimated limited production run of 180 pieces for the first year, for CHF 39,000/USD 45,000 and Perriard is taking orders at BaselWorld. O For more information about HYT click on Brand Index at

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Devon – one year under its belts

RKeith W. Strandberg


Devon turned heads with its first watch, the Tread 1, and now the company is back in Basel with the Tread 2, using the same belt drive system as before, but in a different configuration. “The Tread 2 uses the same ground-breaking movement technology as first seen in our debut timepiece, which was developed within the United States Aerospace industry by people who supply technology and know-how to companies like Boeing, the US Military and NASA,” says Ehren Bragg, managing director of Devon Watches. “The Tread 2 has a smaller, sleeker design than the Tread 1 and incorporates innovative features like a one-of-a-kind clamp system that secures the bezel onto the case. Rather than using a standard crown

design on the Tread 2, we've included an articulating arm that is used to interface with the electronic brain of the watch.” Both the Tread 1 and Tread 2 timepieces showcase an intriguing mix of mechanical and electronic technologies, which was embraced by retailers and press at last year’s BaselWorld show. “Last year was our first year exhibiting at Basel and the experience was overwhelming,” Bragg explains. “The press, retailers and collectors in attendance told us that the Tread 1 was a truly innovative and different timepiece. This year we hope to prove that Devon is serious about making a lasting impression on the watch world by launching our second distinct line of timepieces.” So far, Devon has sold more than 400 pieces of the Tread 1 and the company has 60 retailers in 15 different countries.“We've kept the value of the Tread 1 high by judiciously limiting our production and retailer inventory,” Bragg details. “There are certain markets where we would like to add retailers. We are not interested in

adding additional retailers where we already have points of sale because we know this could encourage competition on price. Instead, we want to add retailers in world markets which we don't currently serve such as the Middle East, India and the Far East as well as the United States' Pacific Northwest.” The future looks bright for Devon, due to its unique offerings. “We believe we've only just scratched the surface of consumers' brand awareness about Devon and our timepieces,” says Bragg. “As we sell more watches and get the word out, we hope to create a need in people for a timepiece which is truly innovative, different and eye-catching. We're already working on a completely new model which will follow-up Tread 1 and 2 using the same Time Belt system in a way that hasn't yet been seen. We have a lot of tricks up our sleeve,” Bragg promises with a smile. O For more information about Devon click on Brand Index at


Technotime’s tourbillon on the podium

RPierre Maillard


It was a resounding success for Technotime, whose manual-winding tourbillon movement TT791.50 won third place in the recent International Chronometry Competition held in Le Locle. Technotime was born in 2001 from the ashes of France Ebauches, of which it had acquired the assets and the machine park during the bankruptcy of the last French company to produce ébauches and movements, both mechanical and quartz. In 2004, Technotime turned its attention to high-end mechanical watches and launched an ambitious and complete series of new mechanical movements derived from a “basic tractor” that featured a double barrel and a 120-hour power reserve. Following this came a column-wheel chronograph, the 741, equipped with an additional module for the date. At the time, the company claimed to have the capacity to produce 50,000 mechanical movements per year. The following years were difficult, however, and Technotime gave up on its too costly plans for an almost complete integration and instead

set up a network of partner sub-contractors specialised in their respective domains. (Among others, these included Mercier SA, a specialist in the finishing of movements and in the assembly of calibres.) This strategy allowed Technotime to produce more reliable movements and, in 2010, the brand obtained its first COSC certification. Moreover, Technotime strengthened its independence in the strategic sector of the balance spring.The company is one of the few to master this type of production, and its in-house balance spring, made of Elinvar, equips the tourbillon watch that just successfully participated in the International Chronometry Competition. The brand’s third place showing in this competition garnered 791 points, behind Greubel Forsey (with a Double Tourbillon Technique that was attributed 915 points out of 1000) and Chopard (with an L.U.C Tourbillon Tech Twist All Black that received 855 points). This recognition marks an important step for Technotime in terms of its watchmaking legitimacy. The manual-winding calibre TT791.50 has a thickness of 4.65 mm, and features a oneminute tourbillon with small seconds on its axis. It is 13 ¼''', has a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), a double barrel and a power reserve of more than 120 hours. It has been designed to be perfectly adaptable to different demands of the client, both in terms of finishing and in terms of display. It is available

either with a power reserve indicator at 3:30 or with a power reserve indicator at 5 o’clock and a retrograde date at 1:30, with or without small seconds on the axis of the tourbillon.

Europa Star will come back to Technotime in more detail in the special issue on mechanical watches, no. 4/12, to be published at the end of August 2012. O For more information about Technotime click on Brand Index at


Eva Leube brings high horology to Australia RMartin Foster


Eva Leube can claim to be Australia's first bespoke watchmaker but she certainly enjoys a special honour as she appears to be the first to have arrived of her own free will. Thus she is a far cry from the English convict James Oatley who arrived on a transportation ship Marquis of Wellington on 27 January 1815. The extant records are unclear why he was transported but it may have been as simple as taking possession of a few olives from which to extract his clock oil or some simple bed linen. Regardless, he quickly became the Keeper of the Sydney Town Hall Clock and was commissioned by Governor Macquarie to install the turret clock in the pediment of the Hyde Park

Barracks which clock functions to this very day. His work soon included making long case clocks for the colony's leading citizens. Notwithstanding this dubious colonial start James Oatley is now remembered by a Sydney suburb named after him, a railway station and some roads and parks. Far removed from this, Eva Leube was born in Berlin, Germany in 1972. When she was 16 years old she began to study watchmaking

Eva Leube working with the superb Aciera F1 universal precision milling machine. All the table and head movements can be by screw or lever feed and the machine, together with its wide range of accessories, is designed to enable the small workshop to cope with as wide a variety of super-precision work as possible. Eva’s workshop equipment includes a high-speed Swiss precision Schaublin 70 lathe with overhead milling capability. This legendary equipment is a mainstay of the atelier of bespoke makers across the industry.

and she recalls “it is a beautiful old handcraft in which I had a keen interest”.

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The curved forms of both the case and the movement present special problems of angular engagement of the various moving parts of the watch and requires special relieved angular milling to the wheel teeth. Note that the winding crown sits neatly between the horns allowing clean lines along the sapphire sides of the case revealing all the internal details including the free-sprung balance.

Having a keen interest is one thing but converting this to a successful career of making bespoke watches is a very lofty aspiration requiring a solid gold determination to succeed.

This historical retrospective is the way Eva went about this: 1988-1992: Apprenticed as a watchmaker in Berlin, Germany. 1992-1994: Employed as a watchmaker in Antique Watch and Clock Store in Berlin. 1995: At the age of 23, Eva achieved her Masters Degree in watchmaking from the chamber in Hildesheim. 1995-1998: Worked as Master Watchmaker in a 4th generation family-owned watch company in Lucerne, Switzerland. 1998-2000: Joined Chronos Master Watchmakers in Cape Town, South Africa which included training with Rolex in Geneva. 2000-2004: Engaged by Rolex Australia workshop in Sydney, Australia Square and undertook further training with Rolex in Geneva. 2004: Completed 8 months training at chronometer and complications specialist Ulysse Nardin in Le Locle, Switzerland and in Boca Raton, Florida. 2004-2007: Manufacturing of handmade, customdesigned watches with Thomas Prescher in Twann, Switzerland, including double-retrograde time indication and flying multiple-axis tourbillons. 2007: Eva moved to Australia with her Australian born husband John (of Swiss parents) and established Eva Leube Watchmaking in Manly, near Sydney.

Eva has gained her experience, working amongst some of the world's best watchmakers in Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, the USA and Australia and over these years, she has restored countless wristwatches, pocket watches and clocks to an active and in many

cases, a beautiful life. But now in Australia, sourcing services, materials and equipment creates a new adventure and in the meantime anything she doesn’t already have is available by mail from European supply houses. Eva set up her own workshop following the birth of her son Ari and named her first watch after him. Making a curved mechanical movement has its own particular problems and perhaps from a horological viewpoint this is one of the most technically challenging aspects of the “Ari” watch. All the parts must accommodate an angular engagement with the next functional part – wheels to pinions, escape wheel to the pallets and the pallets to the balance wheel. But the form of the case is also a major element of the shape and function of the watch and requires machining case parts from the solid block of casing metal – gold or platinum, a time-consuming and difficult process. Eva Leube’s “Ari” introduction timepiece is unique for quite a number of reasons. The long contoured case fits snugly on the curve of the wrist much as a bracelet and it feels good and comfortable to wear. The case with clear sapphire windows allows a view of all its intricate movement parts and gives entertaining wonderment to its owner. She says she “always wanted a watch that curved to fit my wrist, and one where you could really see the movement. Many big watches lie awkwardly on the

wrist – and a lot of beautiful watches, particularly traditional Swiss watches of the late 20th century, hide the mechanisms from the owner’s eyes.” She exhibited the “Ari” watch at the 2011 BaselWorld Fair as part of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) and is an applicant for membership of this prestigious academy. Eva has now joined the rarefied ranks of independent watchmakers and her exclusive company specialises in the manufacture of unique handmade watches and the development of new and unusual mechanisms. She will shortly give birth to her second child and perhaps we may then hear what will be the name of the second series of Eva Leube watches. The “Ari” watch is priced at €76,000 in gold and €93,000 in platinum. Ariel Adams ( makes the very astute comment that “If you haven't yet realised it, the allure of independent watchmakers is the watchmaker themselves. If the same watches came from large established brands they would not have the same effect. Some of the watches might actually sell better if they came from the larger brands, but they would not be as memorable and our emotional connection to them would not be as great. The allure of the little guy (or girl) is as much in their personality as it is in their craft.” This perceptive comment says much about the makers of individually conceived watches such as those of Eva Leube. Like James Oatley she will certainly make an enduring mark in the Australian horological profession and she is the more especially welcome as she chose to come to Sydney of her own accord. O For more information about Eva Leube click on Brand Index at


ICONS OF THE WORLD by Jordi Swiss Icon Three watches only are dedicated to each of the eight places featuring in Michel Jordi’s Icons of the World collection. Jean-François Mojon has developed a unique chiming mechanism for the watch, whose gong recalls the deeper tones of a mountain chapel bell. Round 46mm case in titanium and 18-carat red gold, manually-wound mechanism with twin barrels (a separate barrel is used for the striking mechanism), 28,800 vibrations per hour, 65-hour power reserve, black leather strap with steel folding clasp.

QUANTIEME PERPETUEL QP01 by Antoine Martin After setting up its manufacture in Alpnach, in the heart of Switzerland, Antoine Martin has taken two years to develop this new model with a case designed specifically to accommodate the large movement. Case in 18-carat pink gold, manually-wound AM 39.001 calibre, 18,000 vibrations per hour, 6-days power reserve,

PAPILLON VOYAGEUR by Bulgari The new Daniel Roth Papillon Voyageur for Bulgari features two time zones that are read off centrally. The hour of the local time is shown in a jumping hour display at 12 o’clock, while a central 24-hour hand moves around a guilloché disc to display the second time zone. Case in 18-carat pink gold, self-winding DR1307 calibre, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 45hour power reserve, brown alligator leather strap with 18carat pink-gold folding clasp. Limited edition of 99 pieces.

HARMONIOUS OSCILLATOR by Rudis Sylva Rudis Sylva claims that its Harmonious Oscillator offers better isochronism than a tourbillon, since most tourbillons compensate for gravity over a one-minute period, whereas the Harmonious Oscillator offers instantaneous compensation. This is achieved in a world-first design that links two toothed balances to a single escapement. Since the energy and symmetry of the two balance springs are constantly opposed, this eliminates the effects of gravity in the vertical position. Round 44mm case in 18-carat pink or white gold, Harmonious Oscillator movement, 21,600 vibrations per hour, 70-hour power reserve, large-scale alligator leather strap with 18-carat pink or white-gold pin buckle.

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273° by Zeitwinkel Beneath the classic design of the Zeitwinkel 273° beats the brand’s manufacture movement, which displays the big date, small seconds and power reserve. Round 42.5mm case in stainless steel, self-winding calibre ZW0103, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 72-hour power reserve, hand-sewn alligator pattern cowhide leather strap with folding clasp.

ROYAL GRAND SPORT by Pequignet The Calibre Royal movement in the Royal Grand Sport, which was developed entirely in-house by Pequignet at its workshops in Morteau, France, offers a number of significant features, such as a triple instantaneous day and date jump, as well as date setting via the crown with no prohibited times for setting the date. Round 46mm case in stainless steel, self-winding movement, 21,600 vibrations per hour, 88-hour power reserve, large-scaled chestnut alligator leather strap with pin buckle.

GRAND DOME DT VINTAGE 1946 by Dubey & Schaldenbrand This vintage interpretation of the unmistakable Dubey & Schaldenbrand case has an ivory dial with elegant tonneaushaped chronograph counters and a moon phase display. Tonneau-shaped stainless-steel case, 52mm x 37mm, Valjoux 7751 self-winding chronograph calibre, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 48-hour power reserve, padded black alligator leather strap with folding clasp. Limited edition of 65 pieces.


VILLERET COLLECTION by Blancpain The impressive depth of colour on the blue dial of Blancpain’s retrograde small seconds model comes from a flinqué lacquering process that builds up successive layers of colour. Round 40mm 18-carat white-gold case, new self-winding 7663Q calibre, 72-hour power reserve, alligator strap with alzavel lining to match the dial, 18-carat white-gold folding clasp.

HISTORIADOR PEQUENOS SEGUNDOS 130° ANIVERSARIO by Cuervo y Sobrinos Cuervo y Sobrinos celebrates its 130th anniversary with this ultra-thin model in pink gold. The classically understated design of this piece—a limited edition of 130—is broken only by the unusual Arabic numerals “1”, “3” and “0”, which are applied in the 1, 2 and 3 o’clock positions in commemoration of the anniversary. Round 40mm 18-carat pinkgold case, ETA 7001 manually-wound movement, 42-hour power reserve, shiny black Louisiana alligator leather strap with 18-carat pink-gold buckle.

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The H 1837 movement, at the heart of the watch strategy of Hermès RPierre Maillard


Contrary to many other watch brands, which— having hardly hatched from the egg—loudly proclaim that they have produced their “inhouse calibre” in record time, Hermès has taken a bit longer—34 years to be exact—to reach this decisive step. And, as we have emphasised on many occasions in our columns, Hermès’s slow and steady progress is a cardinal virtue. “La Montre Hermès” was founded in 1978 by Jean-Louis Dumas who, for the first time, relocated one of the professions of the family firm. In this case, the new location was Switzerland since it was necessary to go to the heart of the watchmaking industry in order to acquire, step by step, the required know-how. This date was, however, not the first foray of Hermès into the world of watches. What many people do not know is that the French house ventured into the realm of timekeeping nearly 100 years ago. A famous photo from the 1920s shows the petite Jacqueline Hermès (the grandmother of Guillaume De Seynes, who managed La

Montre Hermès from 1999 to 2005 and is today its president) wearing, on the wrist, a small leather-covered pocket watch, mounted on a bracelet. Later, in the 1930s, Hermès expanded its collaboration with a number of large Swiss watch brands (Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Audemars Piguet, Cyma, Minerva, and Universal Genève, among others), and demonstrated extraordinary creativity in many innovations, such as the first interchangeable watch

straps, the first watches for golfers, and the famous Hermeto that was wound using slides.

Progressive strength in mechanical watches In the beginning, the Bienne-based La Montre Hermès produced essentially ladies’ watches, which were mainly driven by quartz movements. The developments in the mechanical domain have been gradual, but the brand

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reliable. At Hermès, we don’t launch a product unless it has been completely finalised and tested.”

The H 1837

Luc Perramond

took a decisive step in 2006 when it acquired a 25 per cent interest in Manufacture Vaucher. Hermès has thus been working on a project to create a basic mechanical movement that the brand can call its own. “The work took three years longer than what we had planned,” explains Luc Perramond, CEO of La Montre Hermès since the beginning of 2009, “but we wanted to create a basic calibre that not only has good performance but that also is totally

This calibre, named H 1837 (the date that Hermès was founded—the brand celebrates its 175th anniversary this year) was designed in collaboration with Vaucher Manufacture to be a basic calibre, a “tractor” that would serve as the base for an entire family of calibres. It is 11/½ lines (a diameter of 26.6mm), has a thickness of 3.70 mm, a double barrel, runs at a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour), and has a power reserve of 50 hours. “We have made a series of significant improvements to our initial developments,” continues Perramond. “We have therefore slightly increased the thickness of the calibre, going to 3.70 mm from the original 3.50 mm in order to increase rigidity and thus reliability. We have also designed a new system for winding, improved the oscillating weight, revisited


the attachment points of the movement, and boosted the specifications so that it could obtain Chronofiable certification, which it has now done.” On this entirely autonomous base, of which all the component parts are produced “inhouse”, including the regulating organ and the Atokalpa balance spring, Hermès intends to gradually develop small complications, perhaps even grandes complications, as well as a chronograph movement, in order to offer a complete range of manufacture timekeepers. The complications will not be integrated into the movement but rather mounted on additional plates.

Equipping the Dressage For its introduction, the H 1837 is equipping a new timekeeper in the Dressage collection, “the fifth watch pillar of the brand”, designed in 2003 by Henri Dorigny. For the occasion, the 40-mm model has been redesigned. More rounded than earlier, its

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years ago of a specific network of Hermès boutiques selling only watches. “These are stores of around 50 square metres to 100 square metres, which all display the Hermès codes, but are specialised in watchmaking. They are important for us because we can present the ensemble of our watch universe—masculine and feminine, arts, jewellery, etc. Since we still suffer from a lack of visibility on the watchmaking front, these boutiques are important as they showcase the genuine horological substance of our offer, which is presented by a very well trained personnel. We initiated this new

opening has been reworked and its bezel has been enlarged so that it now harmonises better with the Dressage’s very characteristic lugs, which have preserved their line but have been slightly softened. The dial has also been revisited, guilloched in the spirit of watch classicism, but with its characteristic encircled large numbers. On the back side, the very classic architecture of the movement, with the very recognisable “H” motif and other special finishes, can be seen through the sapphire crystal. Two versions are available, with a choice of a silvered or black dial. One option has a date, while the other has a small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. The steel version of the Dressage 1837, which also comes on an integrated metal bracelet, sells for €8,000. A rose-gold version with a silvered dial and small seconds is also available. A special limited series of 175 timepieces in rose gold will also be produced in celebration of the brand’s 175th anniversary.

Timekeeping affirmation The new Dressage is a key element in the global strategy put in place by Hermès in terms of its autonomy and the progressive affirmation

of its timekeeping abilities—which received an extraordinary boost last year with Le Temps Suspendu, an emblematic watch that allowed Hermès to define its very special, unique, and poetic type of timekeeping (which could, we hear, soon come out in a ladies’ version). Beyond that, the new strategy is an additional step in the brand’s efforts to create more men’s watches. Today, the mix is 40 per cent masculine (compared to 20 per cent only three years ago) and 33 per cent mechanical watches.“Our entire mechanical line has been improved,” adds Luc Perramond, “with an entry-level piece selling for around €3,000 in the Arceau collection, and with the Clipper chronograph equipped with a Valjoux movement. Our average price has thus rapidly increased everywhere in the world. It is now €2,600, or even €4,000 in Asia.” Hermès is also demonstrating its watch ambitions through its distribution, which is rather particular in that it consists of three different types: a network of specialised retailers, comprising approximately 700 sales points; the multi-product Hermès boutiques that number 325 in the world; and the recent creation three

concept in Asia in 2009 with eight boutiques in China, one in Taipei, two in Singapore, one in Kuala Lumpur, and one in Paris in the Galeries Lafayette. We are also going to expand this to other regions of the world, notably the United States, a market that I believe in very much, as well as in Dubai and Moscow, in order to reach a total of around 30 watch boutiques.” As part of Hermès’ strategy to present value and not volume, the new H 1837 in-house movement will undoubtedly be a central pillar. O For more information about Hermès click on Brand Index at

Baselworld, Booth B33, Hall 5.1. Miss Avantgarde

“It is not enough to be creative in planning and producing something outstanding; it takes also courage to realise it. And it takes even more courage to accept the unusual thing and to make use of it.� Alexander Shorokhov

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Jean-Claude Biver – passing on the knowledge at Hublot

RPaul O’Neil


In our survey of various retailers from around the world in this issue, several include Hublot in their “must-see” brands at BaselWorld. Hublot has emerged from near anonymity a decade ago to become a major player in the luxury watch market as part of the LVMH group. Jean-Claude Biver was the man at the helm, until the announcement came late last year that his right-hand man, Ricardo Guadalupe, would be taking over as CEO of Hublot from 1 January 2012. But is the visionary Mr Biver really taking a back seat? Europa Star put this and other questions to Hublot’s Chairman of the Board at the brand’s manufacture in Nyon. Europa Star: How was business in 2011 for Hublot? Jean-Claude Biver: Fortunately, it was exceptional. If I couldn’t say this it would mean that

our results were below average, because the average was exceptional. If we look at the 24 per cent increase over 2010 for the industry as a whole, we have outperformed this, so we have outperformed the industry.

per cent of sales. This year we are aiming for 3 per cent of sales.

ES: Everyone is talking about China. How important is this market for Hublot?

J-C. B: It’s quite well balanced.They come from the USA, South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Asia excluding China, in particular Singapore and Japan where we are very strong. In a way we are running on five cylinders instead of six. China is the sixth cylinder and the piston is broken. But even with only five cylinders we are doing better than our competitors who are running on six!

J-C. B: I would say that we don’t really exist there. We have been building up the market over the past 18 months but even after 18 months you don’t really exist on the market as a brand. Of course we have sold some watches, but last year they represented 0.8

ES: So if your sales aren’t coming from China then where are they coming from?

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ES: In the wake of the SIHH and in the run-up to BaselWorld there is a lot of talk of a return to classicism. We have seen this to some extent at Hublot with a refreshed design for the Classic Fusion model. Would you agree that this is becoming a trend? J-C. B: I would agree in the sense that what you say is true. But is this what the market wants? I would say no. Is it what the Chinese


because that this is the case in China that we can speak of a global trend. ES: You launched Magic Gold in November last year, which promises to be scratch-resistant and keep its look forever. At the time you mentioned discussions with Ferrari on the use of the same production technologies for aluminium. Can we expect further developments in this direction in Hublot timepieces, too?

our production, but this depends on our internal production capacities. Because we are the only ones in the world to produce this material, we cannot depend upon anyone else. ES: Ricardo Guadalupe officially took over as CEO of Hublot at the start of this year. To what extent will you be retiring from life at Hublot, if at all? And how easy or difficult is it for you to do so?

market wants? Then yes. It’s clear that if you sell a large proportion of your production to China (and remember that a lot of Chinese tourists buy their watches abroad, so we can assume that perhaps more than 50 per cent of production is bought by Chinese) and more than 50 per cent of your market wants classic watches, then everyone will start producing classic watches. But do the Argentinean, the Brazilian, the Mexican, the Russian and the Indonesian want this as well? No! So by concentrating on classic designs you are losing a lot of interest from customers in some important markets. I can understand brands wanting to serve their biggest markets but it’s not

J-C. B: We can now produce a superlight aluminium here in-house. It is 35 per cent lighter than standard aluminium, which is a huge difference—it is a third of the weight. It is also harder, scratchproof and rustproof. We could use this in the movement, too. We could even produce a “full aluminium” watch. I think the trend towards superlight has already begun, so we will move more and more towards ultralight components. Not just for mobile phones, computers or spectacles but for everything— including watches. This is the future and at BaselWorld we will have watches in Magic Gold and Magic Aluminium. These materials could end up accounting for 50-60 per cent of

J-C. B: It’s very easy because it is my wish.Why do I want to do this? Because it’s a responsibility I have not to take what I know to the grave with me. If we all did this without passing on our knowledge there would be no development. Scientists do this by publishing books, which is why we have libraries—they are our memory of knowledge. I don’t write books, so I pass this knowledge on to my personnel. So it’s my responsibility but it is also the right of my employees to know this. And finally it is in the interest of the brand, because Jean-Claude Biver is not Hublot. For more information about Hublot click on Brand Index at

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TAG Heuer, going beyond Huygens RPierre Maillard


Radical changes and unprecedented innovations, new horizons in the art of timekeeping… Moving into the future sometimes begins by a giant leap into the past. In this case, we need to go back to 1747 when d’Alembert published his Recherches sur les cordes vibrantes (Research on Vibrating Strings). It was Guy Semon, Head of Research and Development at TAG Heuer, who went back to these theories. Historically, d’Alembert’s equation was the first wave equation to describe the variation in space and time of an undulating quantity, of a theoretically perfect “vibrating string”. Finding no practical application for many years, the equation finally began to be used in civil engineering, where it was the basis for the creation of “vibrating string extensometer” gauges, which could measure deformations in concrete due to constraint variations of large buildings, towers, dams, and nuclear power plants. The equation is also used to calculate movements that can affect the cables of a bridge, the catenaries of a train, or… the strings of a guitar. No one, however, had thought to introduce the notion of a vibrating string—or vibrating beam—into the regulated universe of mechanical watchmaking. No one, that is, until Guy Semon came along. He embraced the idea, not only because of his vast experience in physics and mathematics, but also because TAG Heuer, in its race for high hertz, found itself suddenly confronted—above 500 Hz—with the insurmountable physical limits of the traditional balance spring (the one invented and developed in 1675 by the famous Christiaan Huygens, the father of modern mechanical timekeeping).

From 1/100th to 1/2000th We will not detail here all of the many steps in the long history of Heuer, then TAG Heuer, in its research for precisely measuring short time intervals. Briefly, however, it is a story that began in 1916 with the Mikrograph, which measured 1/100th of a second. That early beginning continued into the 21st century with the introduction, in 2005, of the TAG Heuer Calibre 360, the first modular mechanical wrist chronograph capable of measuring and displaying 1/100th of a second, reaching 360,000 vibrations per hour. Then, in January 2011, came the Heuer Carrera Mikrograph integrated chronograph, also displaying 1/100th of a second thanks to two separate assortments, one oscillating at 28,800 and the other at 360,000 vibrations per hour, or

50 Hz. Hardly three months later, at Baselworld 2011, TAG Heuer amazed even more with the presentation of its Mikrotimer Flying 1000 that multiplied the frequency by a factor of ten, to 500 Hz, or the astronomical figure of 3.6 million vibrations per hour, allowing the chronograph to calculate and display a thousandth of a second. To achieve this spectacular result, TAG Heuer continued down the path of the double escapement. The brand developed the first escapement without a balance, because, at the rate of 3.6 million vibrations per hour, not only does the seconds hand make ten complete revolutions per second, but at these high frequencies, “the spring must be so taut [in this case, it has only four turns, and is approximately ten times more taut than a normal spring]

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that the balance is no longer necessary for the return,” as Guy Semon explained at the time. The first breach in the Huygens dam!

Going beyond Huygens What happens above a frequency of 500 Hz? “The miracle of Huygens’ invention", according to Semon, “is that the spring regulator is very tolerant when it comes to variations in the frequency of the order of a few hertz that are produced at the moment of impulsion, between 230 and 320 Hz. At higher frequencies, however, things change considerably. The pallets begin to have difficulty following the cadence. Since they cannot rotate over the long term at constant speed, they cannot meet the rhythm required by the regulator. The result is a dynamic and energetic imbalance because the limits of the system have been reached.”

Vibrating beams It is here, then, where the principle of “strings” or “vibrating beams” comes into play. The thought process began with the theoretical notion of the “perfect vibrating beam,” or a wave with infinite flexibility with constant tension that is transmitted uniformly along its entire length, with ideal elasticity, and insensitive to the effects of gravity. It is a wave that vibrates isochronously. So much for the theory! In practice, however, it was first of all necessary to get as close as possible to the perfect wave described by d’Alembert’s equation. In broad strokes, the principle seemed simple

enough: it combined three “vibrating beams” —an exciter beam attached to the pallets and an oscillator comprised of a thin “beam”, united by a “coupler” that is also a “beam”. By exciting the oscillator so that it approaches as close as possible the “perfect wave” of the theory, it begins to vibrate at perfectly defined frequencies. It can be adjusted using an eccentric, which lengthens or shortens the vibrating beam, a little like tuning a guitar. This new type of oscillator, this “non-Huygens” type oscillator is thus linear, like a string. As in every classic movement, however, the mechanical power is transmitted in a nonconstant manner to the pinion of the escapement. In order to compensate, as far as possible, for this lack of constancy in the energy transmission, the angle of the escapement must be the smallest possible. The escape wheel thus has twice as many teeth, 40 instead of 20. Consequently, the traditional function of “rest” acts to limit the speed and prevent any racing out of control. The geometry of the point of contact of the pallets and escape wheel was also revisited in order to complete this compensation. For the inertia of transmission, a “system of decoupling the pinion linking the escapement and the wheel” was designed in the shape of a spring that is armed when the transmission is under load and that, at the moment of the drop, re-establishes the stored energy so that “the acceleration of the escape wheel reaches its maximum, independently of the transmission”.

The kinetic energy propagates in the exciter, and transforms into potential energy transmitted to the “vibrating beam of the coupler”. The latter transmits an “exciting energy” that reaches the end of the “oscillating beam,” resulting in a displacement according to the vibratory mode, which is that of the desired frequency. There is very little inertia and practically no amplitude (it vibrates very quickly but the vibrations are very low), thus the system consumes less energy than a regulator composed of a balance spring and balance. Another advantage of these high frequencies is that the power reserve can be much longer. The system is also versatile, and can be adapted to all frequencies, but below 50 Hz it tends to block. While on paper this new type of regulator seems entirely suitable for short time intervals, it is clearly less so for the simple reading of the hours, minutes, and seconds.

Displaying 1/2000th of a second The TAG Heuer Mikrogirder concept watch thus “oscillates” at the astounding frequency of 7,200,000 vibrations per hour, or 1,000 Hz, allowing it to measure 1/2000th of a second (TAG Heuer prefers to call it 5/10,000th). Thanks to the dual escapement system, the “normal” Huygens chain indicating the time and the non-Huygens “oscillating” chain of the chronograph measuring 1/2000th of a second do not at all interfere with each other. What about reading these times? The fractional times of 1/100th, 1/1000th, and 1/2000th of a second are indicated by a central hand that makes 20 revolutions per second on a circular scale around the dial. A second scale, located at 12 o’clock, is divided into fractions of three seconds while a third scale, at 3 o’clock, displays the tenths. Ten patents are pending on this remarkable timekeeper. The future will tell if vibrating beams will replace all the other systems in the race for the most advanced and precise chronometry. O For more information about TAG Heuer click on Brand Index at

Made in France Chenonceau

Mouvement Maison ‘MPB1010’ 11½ automatic 28800 frequency p/hour 31 jewels Stop seconds – rapid date corrector High resistance mineral glass and case-back with anti-glare treatment Water resistance to 50 meters 5 Years international guarantee

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Bell & Ross 2012 Keeping an eye on the horizon RKeith W. Strandberg


Bell & Ross has made its reputation on being able to take aircraft instruments and translate them faithfully to the wrist. The iconic and ultra successful BR 01, the BR 01 Compass and the BR 01 Radar are just a few examples from this very popular brand. Well, Bell & Ross has done it again, with the limited edition BR 01 Horizon. One of the most vital instruments in the cockpit of any plane is the attitude indicator (also known as the artificial horizon), which allows pilots to monitor the aircraft’s position relative to the horizon, regardless of visibility. This year at Basel, Bell & Ross’s designers have borrowed the layout of an attitude indicator to create this striking timepiece, which is limited to 999 pieces for the world.

Two-level dial Like the instrument from which it draws its inspiration, the 46mm BR 01 Horizon has a two level dial, with the grey (the sky) and black (the earth) portions split by a horizon line on one level and the indices on the upper level. The bridge at 12 o’clock of this upper dial A. Dial B. Hour hand C. Raised dial D. Bridge for raised dial E. Minute hand F. Minute hand counterweight





mimics the actual instrument, while a window in the top allows the hands to still be read when they are underneath.

Instruments on the wrist The BR 01 Horizon continues the instrument nature of Bell & Ross, truly translating aeronautic dashboard instruments into very popular timepieces. O For more information about Bell & Ross click on Brand Index at

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Eterna’s new Chinese blood

RPierre Maillard


After 156 years of being a Swiss company, Eterna has passed into Chinese hands. Symbolically, this is quite significant not only because Eterna is a true manufacture that produces its own calibres and movements, but also because it has a rich historic heritage and thus has a legitimacy that is far from negligible. Eterna was established in the town of Grenchen, near Bienne, the fief of the giant ETA, and is thus a part of watchmaking history. [As a reminder, ETA, which now belongs to the Swatch Group, was created after the fusion of a group of Swiss ébauche manufacturers (ASUAG), that Eterna joined in 1932, the year its ébauche division was renamed ETA. ETA was historically the name engraved on the Eterna movements destined for third parties.] Yet, even with its 25,000 watches sold per year, including Porsche Design watches of which 20 per cent are equipped with in-house movements and are produced by around 75 people, the brand is not as powerful as it was during its golden age. With the acquisition of Eterna and Porsche Design, sold by the Porsche family for a price that seems relatively modest (officially HK$214

Chronograph from 1938

million or CHF 25 million), China Haidian Holdings seems ready and willing to push its pieces right into the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

What, then, is China Haidian? Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since 1991, China Haidian is a group that, along with the brands Ebohr and Rossini, claims to have 43 per cent of China’s domestic watch market. Acquired in 2003, Ebhor—located in Shenzhen —produces approximately 800,000 watches per year, which are equipped with Japanese and Swiss movements. Rossini, acquired in 2008, sells 1 million timepieces per year. Actively working in cases and assembly, China Haidian has developed a very large distribution network in mainland China since 2009, through four distinct labels totalling 2500 points of sale. This network consists essentially of the mid-range with, besides its own brands, a number of Swiss brands such as

Longines, Titoni, Baume & Mercier and Tissot. In Switzerland, China Haidian recently created and launched a Swiss Made brand, Codex, located in Bienne. Its beginnings, under the leadership of René Kohli—who has since resigned—were flamboyant but then chaotic, to the extent that, once again, doubts were expressed about the “cultural compatibility” between Swiss watchmakers and Chinese investors. (We might recall notably the examples of Universal, whose relaunch has been waiting for years, and Milus where Jan Edöcs and his team, even though very deserving, had to recently abandon the project.)

Will the brand work this time? To learn more, Europa Star met with Patrick Kurry, the “CEO ad interim” as is written on his business card. Born in 1971, this young economics and management graduate, with a Swiss federal certificate in watchmaking, worked for the Swatch Group before passing to Eterna in 2005 where he was responsible for technical development and served as deputy executive director.

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Patrick Kury

Europa Star: What was the main reason that China Haidian purchased Eterna? Patrick Kury: It was primarily because of its history and its technical competencies. In the current circumstances and the uncertainties that still reign in the domain of movements, industrial capacity and the technical knowhow are of the utmost importance. Right from the beginning, China Haidian clearly made known its ambitions for wanting to produce its own mechanical movements, and a plan for industrial investment was established with a view to strengthening our teams in this strategic domain. Moreover, the acquisition of Eterna and Porsche Design are part of a broader strat-


egy of investments in Switzerland and Europe. I would like to immediately stress, however, that on an operational level, China Haidian gives us complete freedom. While its management supports us financially and opens the Chinese market to us, it does not directly intervene in our daily affairs. It respects as much our tradition and methods of working as it does our network of suppliers, which remains totally unchanged.

for a chronograph, while for a collection equipped with 100 per cent in-house movements, the price starts at CHF 5,600. For Porsche, the situation is a little bit different. It is a name that is prestigious and thus very attractive for the Chinese market.

ES: Furthermore, for Eterna, this acquisition opens the doors to the gigantic Chinese market where you were not present before‌

PK: Yes, it has. With a large expenditure in terms of energy, we have succeeded in achieving major advances in terms of the design, development, and production of movements with very interesting mechanical propositions. I am thinking notably of the planned and progressive development of the Calibre 38 family with its Spherodrive system. Yet, undoubtedly we have not been as successful in terms of finished products. We are thus at present engaged in a vast effort of revisiting and enlarging our collection. We are gradually going to have a new and extended offer comprised of products in all price ranges, whether equipped with in-house movements, thirdparty movements, or quartz movements.

PK: Yes, that’s true. Confronted with problems in its distribution over the last decade, Eterna had a problem with its network, with the markets that were traditionally strong such as northern Europe, but as well large virgin territories like China. China Haidian opens the doors wide for us on this market, a market for which our offer seems quite well adapted, as much because of the medium size of our watches as for their style, a style that is classic, very watchmaking, which corresponds to the expectations of the Chinese consumer. The price has also been well calculated, with mechanical ETA movements starting at CHF 2,200, and going up to CHF 3,900

ES: But hasn’t Eterna also had a problem over the last few years with its products, with a lack of visibility and recognition?

ES: Eterna, the mechanical jewel, equipped with quartz?

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table brand strategy. With the opening of the Chinese market, then Asia, we expect a great increase in growth and we therefore must attend to our own needs first. We will see later what happens, how the situation evolves. ES: You yourself have been named officially as “CEO ad interim.” This interim, will it last? PK (smiling): We agreed upon a period of transition and evaluation. Today, six months after the acquisition, there is still a lot to discuss. Let’s leave it at that… For more information, visit the Eterna website (, which has been relaunched to coincide with the start of BaselWorld 2012. O PK: I might remind you in passing that quartz has always been an intrinsic part of the history of Eterna, which, along with ETA, developed an analogue quartz movement. In 1980, the brand introduced the Museum watch, a world record at 0.98 mm in thickness, including the case. In the 1980s and 1990s, Eterna enjoyed considerable success with its quartz offer. We are thus not going against our history but with it, with our entire history. In parallel to the development of small complications and useful mechanical complications, we are going to offer new quartz models, watches that are high quality, but with a very affordable price, in a wide range of models for both men and women. We want to re-conquer the entire mid-range.

guished by a display or by a small additional complication, such as a power reserve indicator, large date, or something else. One example is the Madison 8 Days model.

For more information about Eterna click on Brand Index at

ES: And for Porsche Design? PK: The strategy is the same. For example, you will find the highly technical model of the Porsche Design P'6910 Indicator equipped with our Eterna Calibre 6036 automatic movement that, with its 800 component parts, is the most complicated movement in the world to be manufactured in series. And, this is a watch that sells for CHF 110,000. But, in the same collection, you will also find an Indicator timepiece, featuring less functions and driven by a Valjoux movement, that sells for CHF 9,000.

ES: How will this new offer be structured? PK: The various levels of the offer can perfectly co-exist within the same collection. We can also have a quartz product, a standard mechanical watch, and a timepiece with an in-house movement all together in the same collection. In the latter case, it will be distin-

ES: And an issue that risks to become volatile in the near future—is Eterna ready to deliver mechanical movements to third parties? PK: We do not exclude anything, but for the moment, our priorities are elsewhere. We want to strengthen the brand and construct a veri-


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A first glance at Seiko’s 2012 collections RPierre Maillard 36,000 In its turn, Seiko has moved to the high frequencies that are, decidedly, one of the musts of the watch year (Zenith comes to mind, of course, but so do Montblanc, de Bethune and TAG Heuer, the champion of the high frequency in all categories—see our article in this issue). What is at stake in this race to the heights? Answer: Mechanical chronometry that one can pursue in many ways. The path chosen by Seiko for its new Grand Seiko Special Edition Hi-beat 36,000 model— named for its frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour—involves an automatic movement introduced in 2009. The principle innovations and improvements in this movement were the barrel spring made of the in-house alloy called Spron, new pallets and a new escape wheel. This provides more force and better efficiency of the balance thus affording greater chronometGRAND SEIKO SPECIAL EDITION HI-BEAT 36,000 In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Grand Seiko GMT, the brand has launched two limited-edition models with a blue dial—the first time this colour has been used on a Grand Seiko GMT model. These two models also have a blue titanium oscillating weight and a gold-coloured GMT hand. Calibre 9S66, self-winding with manual winding capability, 28,800vph, 72-hour power reserve, 39.2mm diameter stainless-steel case, sapphire crystal, stainless-steel bracelet with tri-fold pushbutton clasp. Limited edition of 700 pieces. (Also available on a blue crocodile leather strap as a limited edition of 1000 pieces).

ric stability, plus a remarkable power reserve of 55 hours. The master watchmakers at Seiko, grouped together in the premises of the Shizukuishi Watch Studio, have concentrated their efforts on this movement in order to improve its performance even more. Each watch has been entrusted to a watchmaker who selects and tests the most suitable balance spring and then meticulously adjusts the timepiece. This has resulted in a gain of delta of two seconds— the Grande Seiko Special Edition achieves a -2 to +4 seconds variation per day, compared to a variation per day of -3 to +5 seconds for the current model. Stylistically, the Grand Seiko is very classic with its well-designed 38-mm case in rose, yellow, or white gold, mounted on a crocodile leather bracelet with a gold tongued buckle.

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Kumadori In the Ananta line, which draws from the codes and skills of Japanese artisanal traditions— the mastery of working in iron and steel as well as the secrets of lacquer—the new model is called Ananta ‘Kumadori’ Chronograph. The inspiration for this timepiece is both aesthetic and theatrical, since “Kumadori” is an extremely well-defined art form of make-up for the actors in traditional Kabuki theatre—a make-up that is very elaborate and dramatic, made up of strong lines and vibrant colours. We find these forms and colours—black and red—on the dials that have been individually hand-lacquered by Isshu Tamura, a master of the Kaga Makie style. On a background of intense black lacquer, the strong red lines that emphasise the counters are drawn and lacquered by a thin brush, forming an expressive relief effect. Driven by the well-known Calibre 8R28, a split-seconds chronograph featuring a column wheel and vertical clutch, the Ananta ‘Kumadori’ Chronograph comes in a blackened steel case, available in a limited series of only 800 numbered pieces.

Sportura As recent as it is, Seiko’s foray into the world of European soccer has been quite fruitful. The FC Barcelona team, of which Seiko is a watch partner, won almost everything in 2011—the


Spanish national championship and the UEFA Champions League, plus a third Ballon d'Or awarded to one of its star players, the Argentine Lionel Messi. With hopes that 2012 will also be a good year for the club, Seiko has introduced a new model in its Sportura collection, the 2012 Sportura FC Barcelona Chronograph. This quartz chronograph offers high readability, easy manipula-

tion on the wrist, and great comfort to the wearer, as well as a slightly retro appearance. Other new introductions in the same sporty line include the Sportura Aviation Chronograph, an attractive instrument drawing on a long history of aviator watches dating back to the 1970s, as well as a new collection of feminine sports timekeepers, among them a very nice chronograph that combines ceramic, diamonds, and mother-of-pearl. O For more information about Seiko click on Brand Index at

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The Omega Seamaster celebrates 50 years of James Bond films RPaul O’Neil

J James Bond has worn an Omega Seamaster Professional diver’s watch in every Bond film since GoldenEye (1995). It is perhaps for this reason that the legendary “Bond watch” has maintained its original design, characterised by its patented screw-and-pin steel bracelet, within the Seamaster collection for the past seventeen years, while other models, such as the Aqua Terra and Planet Ocean lines, have evolved around it. This year marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond films and the 23rd instalment in the hugely successful EON Productions franchise, Skyfall, will be launched in autumn 2012. To celebrate half a century of the suave spy regularly saving the world, Omega has produced special limited editions of Bond’s watch of choice in ladies’ and gents’ sizes. Both models feature a black dial with the 007 monogram and a red “50” on the ceramic insert of the rotating bezel in commemoration of this important anniversary. The gents’ model has a 41mm diameter case, while the ladies’ model differs only through its smaller size (36.25mm) and by the fact that a single diamond replaces the hour marker in the 7 o’clock position in tribute to the most famous of the “00” secret agents. Omega’s chronometer-certified calibre 2507 with the company’s proprietary co-axial escapement powers both models. As its name suggests, the Seamaster Professional is a true diver’s watch. In addition to water resistance to a depth of 300 metres, the watch also comes equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel and a helium escape valve that can be used

during decompression by professional divers. Purists, however, may not have expected to see a small sapphire crystal aperture in the middle of the screw-on case back. Bond fans, on the other hand, will be delighted at the bullet decoration on the rotor that is visible through it—and framed by the unmistakable graphic used at the opening of every Bond film, which is engraved on to the case back.

With Omega’s annual production creeping towards the one-million mark, limited editions take on a different dimension. Production of the 41mm model is limited to 11,007 pieces, while that of the 36.25mm model will not exceed 3,007. These numbers mean that the watches are far from exclusive, but die-hard Bond fans can take solace from the fact that they offer sixteen different possibilities of having the coveted 007 at the end of their limited-edition number. O For more information about Omega click on Brand Index at

the elements of Danish Design

Skagen Slimline® More than a Decade of Ultra Slim Design. Skagen Americas + 1.800.791.6784 · T + 1.775.850.5500 · F + 1.775.850.5530 · E Skagen Europe, Middle East, Africa T  + 45.4588.3460 · F + 45.4588.5690 · E Skagen Asia Pacific T + 852.3568.8769 · F + 852.3568.0877 · E Watches include a Limited Lifetime Warranty. Visit for more information Featured watch is the 233XLCLB

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Longines: 180 years young

RKeith W. Strandberg


In an industry where new brands are constantly introduced, reaching 180 years is a big deal. Born in the Swiss village of Saint-Imier in 1832, Longines is celebrating its 180th anniversary throughout 2012. Longines started its life as a watch assembly operation, opened by Auguste Agassiz, in the village of Saint-Imier in the Jura mountains. At that time, Agassiz had a network of suppliers

working from home, and the watches were assembled in the company headquarters. From Saint-Imier, Agassiz sold his watches around the world, with North America being a prime market. In the 1850s, Ernest Francillon, Agassiz’s nephew, took over the operation of the company, with a goal to modernise and improve the manufacturing methods. He wanted to group all the operations involved with making a watch into one facility, then he would complete the assembly and finishing of the complete watches in the same facility. To make this plan come true, Francillon purchased two adjacent plots of land on the right bank of the river Suze in the Saint-Imier valley in 1866 – this area of land was called “Les Longines” and the watches produced in the new facility bore the name Longines. At BaselWorld, Longines is introducing the Saint-Imier collection, models that celebrate Longines’ long history with exclusively mechanical movements throughout the range. “These models pay tribute to Saint-Imier, the village where Longines was founded,” says Walter von Känel, worldwide president, Longines. “The company has established close links with this village, where Longines has developed and both have grown together. So

this collection perfectly embodies Longines’ historical values.” In addition, Longines will introduce some other pieces dedicated to the 180th anniversary. “We believe in a long-term strategy, in consistency and continuity in product and marketing concepts and pricing structures,” says von Känel, explaining how Longines has been able to be so successful for so long. “We have noticed that the demand for automatic watches and classical models in different sizes is constantly increasing. So we always try to offer different sizes for the same model.” The Saint-Imier collection comes in a variety of sizes and complications, including a basic three hand, a chronograph and a Retrograde Moon Phase version. Business has been very good for Longines, with its strongest markets being Greater China, Europe and the USA. “Our strategies in the fields of product development, marketing and pricing are matching the needs of the customers in these regions,” von Känel details. “The momentum of Longines is here; don’t miss the opportunity!” O For more information about Longines click on Brand Index at


SINCE 1985

8th - 15th March 2012 Please meet us at : Charolaise conference room Ground Floor Radisson Blu Hotel Steinentorstrasse, 25 CH-4001 Basel Switzerland Phone: +41 61 2272727 +971 56 6038082

For more information

82 SWATCH GROUP europa star

Hamilton in buoyant mood for anniversary

chronometers. We produced 14,000 marine chronometers for the US Navy starting in 1940. What we have as a result is not just a watch, as the concept integrates the box as well to make it a table clock. The beautifully-decorated hand-wound movement has special 120th anniversary engraving, as well.”

RKeith W. Strandberg


Hamilton has become one of the shining stars of the Swatch Group. Under the direction of president Sylvain Dolla, Hamilton has had record growth for the last few years, each year outdoing the last, even in the face of the worldwide economic crisis. “What I’m most excited about is the spirit of the people in the Hamilton company,” Dolla says. “I feel that the entire Hamilton company is excited about the 120th anniversary this year [Hamilton was founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA]. I think we will have a great year in 2012. The trend is tremendously good, with double-digit growth. We are going up and I don’t think anything can stop us. The positioning is right and the new products were accepted very well by our partners. We have a perfectly balanced collection.”

Showcase piece: Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer Limited Edition The showcase piece for this anniversary year is the limited edition Khaki Navy Pioneer, which is a nod to Hamilton’s rich history as a supplier to the US Armed Forces. In the 1940s, Hamilton was a pioneer in the volume production of marine chronometers, which were clocks on gimbals for use in navigating on the high seas. The Khaki Navy Pioneer is a watch that doubles as a table clock, or vice versa. This 46.55mm hand winding mechanical watch is mounted in a marine chronometer-like case for delivery, and the internal frame of the box can be taken out to function as a table clock, then the watch can be taken out and put into an innovative and secure wristwatch casing for the owner to wear. Limited to 1892 pieces, the Khaki Navy Pioneer is a beautiful watch and a great piece of history—vintage and modern at the same time. “I am really excited about the Khaki Navy Pioneer limited edition, because it summarises the history of the brand,” Dolla says. “We were looking for an idea that would be a tribute to the history of Hamilton and to the marine

A year of refinement This year, Hamilton worked on refinements to its existing product range, focusing on the small details that do not add to the cost, but make the product much more special. Alexandre Gannac, head of product for Hamilton, explains: “There are two basic ways to enhance the perceived value of a watch: put money into the product, but this is not the way we pushed, as we want to remain in our price range,” he says. “The other way is to use other rules of technical construction—one example is the white line of the gasket under the bezel of a watch. Doing the construction in a different way, we were able to hide the gasket. It doesn’t cost more, but it is a better look. For another example, one of the weaknesses of the Jazzmaster was the integration of the bracelet into the case, as we had a lot of lines crossing. I worked on the case and lug architecture to modify the integration to have a very clean integration. We changed the way we build the watch, so we can increase the perceived value. O For more information about Hamilton click on Brand Index at

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Tissot’s 2012 watchmaking medley CLASSIC GENT


RPaul O’Neil


Among the four million watches that Tissot expects to sell worldwide this year will be no less than nine new models that will be presented at BaselWorld. The newcomers are a balanced mix of classic elegance and sportiness, showcasing Tissot’s watchmaking prowess and its sports credentials as a brand that is heavily involved in sports sponsorship, from basketball to car and motorbike racing. In October last year, a Tissot watch equipped with the “Le Locle” calibre 2824-2 won the classic watch category in the International Chronometry Competition, with a score of 794 points out of 1000. A new Le Locle automatic chronometer edition pays tribute to this victory and is fitted with a COSC-certified selfwinding movement in a classic round stainless-steel case with see-through case back.


A Classic Gent Gold model complements the Le Locle chronometer with a self-winding movement in a stainless-steel case with an 18-carat rose gold bezel and a discreet small seconds counter located between the centre of the dial (available in silver or black) and the minute track. Both of these models are available with a leather strap, with additional executions in rose gold or two-tone PVD coatings available for the Le Locle Chronometer. The T-10 and T-12 models for ladies continue the heritage of Tissot’s T-Collection, which was launched in 1999 as the brand’s first collection exclusively for ladies. The rectangular T-10 model in polished stainless steel features clous de Paris decoration in the centre of the

dial, which is available in white, black, two-tone or mother-of-pearl.The T-12 has a round case in stainless steel with a PVD bi-colour version and a fully integrated stainless-steel bracelet.A total of 79 Top Wesselton diamonds are set on the case with a further four stones set on the dial. Both of these ladies models feature a Swiss Made quartz movement, domed sapphire crystal and a pushbutton butterfly clasp.


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Heritage PR 516

The nostalgic Heritage PR 516 model perfectly bridges the gap between classic and sports, between historical and modern. It is a re-designed version of a 1960s classic that bears strong design elements from the world of the automobile. The rotor on the self-winding movement, visible through a transparent case back, takes the form of an old three-spoke steering wheel, with holes drilled into the spokes. The same theme recurs on the stainless-steel bracelet, whose large holes confer a distinctive lightness upon the design. It is available in stainless steel or as a PVD yellow-gold version with a black, blue or silver dial. The Titanium Chrono Quartz is one of three quartz chronographs added to Tissot’s sports offering this year and features a particularly pure design with an all-over brushed titanium look that is complemented by matching hands, hour markers and chronograph counters on the dial (which is available in silver, dark blue, black or anthracite). A matching titanium bracelet, or rubber strap, complete the elegantly sporty look. Two limited-edition quartz chronographs celebrate Tissot’s affiliation with motorsport. For ladies there is the T-Race Danica Patrick Limited


ates the femininity of the piece, whose production is limited to 4999 pieces.


Edition, which bears the logo of the NASCAR driver (the first woman to win an IndyCar race in 2008) on its case back. Despite its feminine design, it nevertheless bears all the usual T-Race motorsport traits, with the white ceramic bezel, whose magnification lens for the date also recalls brake callipers on a ceramic brake disc. The white dial is set with twelve Top Wesselton diamonds as hour markers and is complemented by a matching white silicone strap. Its polished stainless-steel case further accentu-

A second T-Race model is dedicated to Tissot’s association with the MotoGP series, which dates back twelve years. This limited edition of 8888 pieces in stainless steel features the MotoGP logo on the case back, a black carbon dial and black bezel with a striking black and yellow silicone strap. Tissot’s most exclusive model is the T-Race MotoGP C01.211 limited edition, which features a similar design to the quartz MotoGP model but with the self-winding C01.211 calibre visible through the spokes of a stylised motorbike wheel that form the case back. It comes in a MotoGP presentation box with a watch winder and is limited to 2012 pieces. With this broad base of new models Tissot is firmly on track to hit its multi-million target for watch deliveries this year. O For more information about Tissot click on Brand Index at

88 GALLERY - LADIES’ WATCHES europa star

DAMOISELLE ROSA by Damoiselle D Eight interlaced petals surround the bezel of the Damoiselle Rosa to form a perfectly symmetrical rose. 18-carat whitegold case, Swiss Made quartz movement, petals set with diamonds and onyx, hammered silver dial, blued-steel hands, black satin strap with leather lining, diamond-set buckle. Total diamond weight : 118 VVS diamonds for 0.82 carats.

CARROUSEL BLACK ATTITUDE by Peter Tanisman The sparkle of two diamonds (0.07 carats) from the unique rotating cylinder sets this watch apart from the crowd. Rectangular case in black PVD-coated stainless steel, 41 x 30mm, E01.701 quartz calibre, carrousel at 6 o’clock in sunburst guilloché steel set with two diamonds, black sunburst guilloché dial with black satin strap lined with red leather and steel pin buckle.

9388 by Lois Hill The new 9388 chronograph carries the signature Lois Hill floral motifs on the dial and bracelet. While the case is in stainless steel, the bracelet is in hollowed-out 925 silver. ETA quartz chronograph calibre, white dial, bracelet with granulated links and folding clasp.

DIOR VIII by Dior Despite its small case size, this Dior VIII model glistens with a total of 203 VVS diamonds for approximately 0.82 carats. White ceramic case, 28mm diameter, with snow-set diamond bezel, quartz calibre, white mother-of-pearl dial, central ring set with diamonds, white ceramic bracelet with steel folding clasp.

SEARAMIC by Atlantic A subtle integration of ceramic into the bracelet links to match the dial offer a refined touch of elegance to the Searamic. Stainless-steel or PVD gold-plated case, 20x24mm, Ronda 763 quartz calibre, white or black dial, stainless-steel or gold PVD-treated steel bracelet with white or black ceramic inserts.

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PRESTIGE COCKTAIL by Philip Stein This watch doesn’t just tell the time; a special metal disc inside it emits “well-being frequencies” that interact with the human energy field to reduce stress and aid sleep. Stainless-steel case set with 112 diamonds (0.45 carat), two ETA E01.001 quartz calibres offer two independent time readings on two separate dials, white mother-of-pearl dial set with 32 diamonds (0.07 carat), red merino double wrap around strap.

CONTINUITY WHITE SEA TURTLE by Blacksand Blacksand draws attention to an endangered species by featuring stylised pink-gold sea turtles as surrounds for the jumping hours at 12 o’clock and three Top Wesselton diamonds around the sapphire dial. 18-carat pink gold case, bezel set with 80 TW VVS diamonds (0.6 carat), BS calibre 1999 self-winding movement, 28,800 vibrations per hour, white satin strap with 18-carat gold buckle.

BM29050T by Bijoumontre The design of this piece is inspired by the strength of the bond of love between Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor, the only monarch to have voluntarily abdicated in order to marry his love. Stainless-steel case, 33mm diameter, set with Top Wesselton diamonds (0.73 carat) and topazes (5.35 carats), mother-of-pearl and agate dial with twelve diamond hour markers, quartz movement, black satin strap with buckle.


FEE CELESTE by Mira The dial of Mira’s first ladies’ collection features a sumptuously decorated swan set with 84 diamonds (0.26 carat). A further 80 diamonds (1 carat) adorn the case, the lugs of which are set with four topazes and the crown with a solitaire. Round 43mm stainless-steel case, self-winding movement, orange or violet alligator leather strap with folding clasp set with a solitaire.

ADORE by Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin An unusually shaped TV-style case with imposing spheres located at each corner forms the setting for this new piece by Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin, which has a bezel set with 129 diamonds (1.39 carats). Stainless-steel case, 40mm, MRC200 quartz calibre, black mother-of-pearl dial with two independent time zones, black alligator leather strap with stainless-steel folding clasp.

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Century’s sparkling ballet

RPaul O’Neil


Century, based in the small town of Nidau, just next to the major watchmaking centre of Bienne in Switzerland, serves up two new models for ladies whose designs could not be more different. Yet both of these models that will be presented at BaselWorld mix the brand’s signature sapphire crystal with gemset dials and sultry hues on the bracelet and dial to point out their watchmaking trend for 2012. Sapphire crystal is used in watchmaking to provide a hard, light, tough and scratch-resistant (it can only be scratched by a diamond)

cover to a watch’s dial. But Century takes things a step further by making entire bezels out of the same material, using their own patented processes. All of Century’s sapphire crystals are cut and polished in-house by hand and their facets have become a distinguishing feature of the bezel on the brand’s watches.

New ladies’ models The first of the two new models for this year is a new reference in the Elegance collection that perfectly captures the trend towards classic designs, with a round stainless-steel case and a round Century sapphire crystal bezel with 48 individual facets. It is also Century’s first ladies’ watch to use a mechanical movement. The grey-toned mother-of-pearl dial with its sun-ray effect radiating out from the centre marries beautifully with the palladium radiance of the sapphire crystal and is further


enhanced by 11 diamonds (approx. 0.033 carats) set on the dial as markers for the odd hours, with the even hours being indicated by applied Arabic numerals. The Elegance ladies’ timepiece is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement and is available with either a matching stainless-steel pin-and-link bracelet or an alligator leather strap in the same colour tone as the dial.

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Century offers a more fanciful piece with the new Ballerina watch, which is inspired by the poetry of movement found in the world of ballet dancing. An unusual pear-shaped sapphire crystal bezel with 50 facets forms the centrepiece of this watch, beneath which the 18-carat whitegold case is set with 87 diamonds (approx. 0.311 carats) in a glistening snow setting on pointed sweeps that follow the contours of the case. A further 41 diamonds adorn the sunbrushed slate-grey dial as hour markers, with the indications for 12, 1 and 2 o’clock following the elongated shape of the dial. An additional diamond is set into the slightly off-set crown below 3 o’clock. The new Ballerina is powered by a quartz movement and is available with a matching alligator leather or satin strap.

A new Century material Century has also launched a new GMT version of the Elegance Chronograph for men,

which was featured in the pre-Basel galleries in the previous issue of Europa Star. This model, in 18-carat red gold, has a large 44mm round case with a bezel consisting of a Century sapphire with 48 facets cut and polished by hand. It is powered by a COSC-certified chronometer movement and has an alligator leather strap with deployment clasp. Century will also launch a new line of secret pendant watches at BaselWorld and the brand is keeping its trump card for the fair itself, since it will be presenting an entirely new Century material.

Expansion and own-name boutiques Century celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Tokyo subsidiary Century Time Gems Japan in style last year with a new boutique in Tokyo’s prestigious Ginza district that was developed in-house, from the choice of materials to the design of the furniture. The brand plans to

open further own-name boutiques and shopin-shops in prime locations worldwide. “We will continue to apply our philosophy, which is to value all of our retail partners by considering each one to be unique—just like our watches,” says Century’s CEO, Philip W.A. Klingenberg. “As one of the last Swiss familyowned, independent companies, we hope to enjoy long-term relationships with our retail partners.” “Our strategy is to increase our retail presence at prestige locations in capital cities and to expand our distribution network by working with additional established distributors for strategic and important markets.” It is clear that Century will have plenty to talk about with visitors to its stand at BaselWorld. O For more information about Century click on Brand Index at

92 LADIES’ WATCHES europa star

David Yurman – Classic, ceramic and red gold RKeith W. Strandberg


Iconic American designer David Yurman’s son, Evan Yurman, is in charge of watches for the company and he has been doing a phenomenal job. The introduction of the David Yurman Classic collection really put watches on the map for the famous brand, and this year sees the Classic introduced in a ceramic version for

ladies. Yurman’s classic cable design, a signature for the brand, is integrated into the case design, and ceramic, steel and diamonds combine for an elegant and sleek timepiece.

In addition, David Yurman will introduce a new Steel and Rose Gold Classic at BaselWorld. “We are looking to continue creating fine Swiss timepieces with a modern American design aesthetic,” says Evan Yurman. “We always focus on design and quality, ultimately offering consumers a product that is current yet timeless.” “As we’re still quite new to the timepiece market, we look forward to making our mark on the industry, much like we did with our jewellery,” he continues. “We have a fresh point of view and obsessively focus our energy on product design; each and every minute detail. I am happy to say, we’ve received a strong response overall to our watches and business is great.” O For more information about David Yurman click on Brand Index at


GVA’738 by Yeslam The Côtes de Genève decoration on the upper surfaces of the movement in the latest piece from Yeslam create a distinctive dial that recalls the view usually seen through a transparent sapphire crystal back. Round 41.5mm titanium case, Technotime TT738.04 self-winding calibre, 120-hour power reserve, retrograde date and power reserve indicator, visible balance at 9 o’clock, black buffalo nubuck leather strap with stainless-steel buckle. Limited edition of 30 pieces.

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY BIG ALARM by Alexander Shorokoff This model is both an elegant wristwatch as well as a handy alarm clock, since its hinged case allows it to be used as a clock on a table. Round 44mm stainless-steel case, hand-engraved 2612.AS calibre with gold and rhodium-plated bridges, alarm function, leather straps available in different colours.

RENAISSANCE BLACK TORNADO by Aerowatch The ultra-light construction of the skeleton movement and its bridges allows the wearer to marvel at the minute activity taking place beneath the sapphire crystal of the Renaissance Black Tornado, from the oscillations of the balance spring to the turning of the gear wheels. Round 45mm case in stainless steel with black PVD treatment, manually-wound Unitas 6498 calibre, 18,000 vibrations per hour, 42-hour power reserve, black leather strap with black PVD buckle.

MASTERPIECE LUNE RETROGRADE by Maurice Lacroix The Masterpiece Lune Rétrograde is fitted with a new, 100 per cent in-house movement featuring moon phase and retrograde date displays. Round 43mm stainless-steel case, exclusive Maurice Lacroix ML 192 self-winding manufacture calibre, 18,000 vibrations per hour, 52-hour power reserve, solid 925 silver dial with deep blue sunbrushed finish, largescaled black crocodile leather strap with black calfskin lining and blue top stitching, stainless-steel buckle.

M3 MONOPUSHER CHRONOGRAPH by Gergé The new M3 model by Gergé is a logical continuation of the series that includes the M1 and M2 models. The M3 refers to the three Ms of the collection name, Metropolis, the mechanical movement and the monopusher chronograph. Round 45mm titanium and 18-carat red-gold case, Concepto 2021 self-winding chronograph calibre with COSC chronometer certification, 46-hour power reserve, black alligator leather.

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Carl F. Bucherer – staying strong RKeith W. Strandberg


The Carl F. Bucherer brand is riding high, having experienced its best year since the founding of the brand. “Business is amazing,” says CEO Sascha Moeri. “We had our best year ever last year—not just the highest turnover, but the best bottom line.Asia is really booming, we are quite strong in Europe, and the US is coming back.” “For this year and beyond, the direction is to focus on the legacy and the history of the brand which dates back to 1919,” he continues. “The history of Carl F. Bucherer is deeply rooted as one of the world’s best retailers and also a watch manufacturer. There is so much that has not been publicly communicated, and this is what we have to do. There are so many brands who have to create their stories, but we have a real story in-house. It’s a three generation family business, the grandfather started the business, and there are so many stories to tell.”

Patravi DayDate Continuing the use of its in-house, peripheral rotor movement, the CFB A1001, this year at BaselWorld Carl F. Bucherer introduces the 42.5 mm Patravi DayDate, using a big date and a day of the week indication. A great looking watch, in a round case, the Patravi DayDate is not only classical, but also modern and highly functional. “Last year, we saw the trend towards classicism and we are very lucky because these elements have always been in our brand,” Moeri says.“Last year, we sold 42mm and 43mm very strongly, so smaller sizes are coming back.”

Patravi TravelTec 4X The Patravi TravelTec has always been a head turner, with its bold combination of a large size (46.6mm), very masculine layout and three

time zone readability, and this year Carl F. Bucherer introduces the TravelTec 4X, using four materials—titanium, ceramic, rubber and now red gold—for a bold statement watch. The red gold contrasts nicely with the black, red and grey, and the tinted see-through dial gives a glimpse into gearing of the decorated automatic movement. “The TravelTec 4x is a sign of continuity for our brand,” Moeri says. “The Traveltec is an amazing piece that we developed and this new piece is a way to keep the link with what has gone on before. We haven’t changed everything—

and we have so many good things in-house.” Carl F. Bucherer is looking to add retailers in strategic areas of the world. “We already have 350 doors and we will add retailers prudently,” Moeri details. “We will never say no to a good partner, but we have to be able to deliver watches to our retailers. This year we made 15,500 pieces and we want to go up as fast as possible up to 20,000 while keeping the same quality.” O For more information about Carl F. Bucherer click on Brand Index at


Epos – a family affair

RPaul O’Neil


Tamdi Chonge, together with his wife Ursula, took over the Epos watch factory in 2002 from Peter Hofer, who had originally established the brand in 1983. Hofer had been developing mechanical complications for twenty years but with an emphasis on private label production until the 1990s. Thinking of the future for his children, Chonge wanted to turn Epos into a genuine brand that could last and in which distributors would want to invest. Ten years on, Epos remains a family firm, with the majority of the company’s small workforce consisting of relatives of Mr Chonge. His wife is the guardian of the company’s know-how in movements; his daughter is responsible for purchasing and logistics; his son looks after

finance and his son-in-law is responsible for the creative side of things, designing both the watches and the company website. “All our design work is done in-house within the family,” Chonge says. “My son-in-law is a doctor but he loves design and he works on the designs once we have discussed them among ourselves in the family. He works on the aesthetics. We try to keep all the important know-how within the family. When you are a small company, any fluctuation in staff could mean that you lose that knowledge, so we try to keep it within the family. Then we do our own modifications on the movements, such as our jumping hours, we do a big date on the Unitas movements ourselves, we also have power reserves, moon phases and regulators.” The first of Epos’s novelties for BaselWorld this year recalls one of the private label models from the brand’s past, using an ETA 2892 base calibre with a Dubois-Dépraz moon phase module. The traditionally-styled 3391 has a 41mm stainless-steel round case with a strik-

ing royal blue dial. The innovative design of the dial is a credit to the family team. White dots on the royal blue give the impression of a night sky, with the day and date appearing in windows that cut across the dial at unusual angles. The moon phase display at 6 o’clock is very clear and the date is indicated by a central hand. A finely decorated Unitas 6497 calibre is used as the heart of the company’s second new model, the 3412, which is available as a limited edition of 888 pieces. The engraved and circular-grained movement with its blued-steel screws is visible through a transparent back. The 42.5mm stainless-steel round case with a red-gold PVD coating bears the individual number of the limited edition engraved in the 3 o’clock position, with the winding crown located below it at 4 o’clock. The otherwise classic dial, with gold-plated applied Arabic numerals, is hollowed out at 12 o’clock to show off the balance, a signature feature used by Epos since the birth of the brand in 1983.

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The 3412 is also available with a yellow-gold PVD coating and a white dial with Roman numerals or with a stainless-steel case with a grey dial. Uncertainties about the movement situation mean that Epos will be focusing on strengthening its existing markets at BaselWorld, as Tamdi Chonge explains. “It is no secret that there will be problems with movements, so we cannot be sure whether we will be able to supply new markets. It is more important for us to be able to meet the needs of our existing distributors who are doing a lot of promotion for the brand.” Nevertheless, Epos will be able to count on its stock of old movement blanks for some time to come, says Chonge, “We still have a lot of

movement blanks in stock, such as the Peseux 7400 and the A. Schild 1726, which we can use. Because Epos was one of the few companies back in the 1980s to be producing purely mechanical watches in the mid-range price segment, the former owner Mr Hofer bought a considerable amount of movements.” Although the company is relatively small in size, it is already present in some 2,000 points of sale worldwide. But because of its history as a private label producer the brand is less well-known in Europe than in its historically strong markets in Asia, Russia and the Ukraine. For the same reason, you will not find Epos sponsoring any major events, although some partnerships have been entered into at local level, for example, with the sponsorship of the Mercedes-Benz Golf Trophy in Malaysia. But


the brand is pinning its hopes on its sole ambassador, Switzerland’s Mike Schmid, who won the gold medal in Ski Cross at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. “We have been sponsoring Mike Schmid for the past two years,” says Chonge. “We are happy with this because the next Olympic Winter Games are in Sochi and if Mike takes another gold medal this will be very important for us in the Russian market.” Mike Schmid also represents the sports watches of the brand, which are just one of eight different lines of gents’ models alone that Epos produces, in addition to ladies’ models and traditional pocket watches. O For more information about Epos click on Brand Index at


Frédérique Constant – and the heart beat goes on RKeith W. Strandberg


Frédérique Constant, under the direction of owner Peter Stas and his wife Aletta, is one of the true success stories of the modern-day watch industry. Created to provide more accessible fine watches, Frédérique Constant has grown by leaps and bounds, including its own dedicated manufacturing facility and a number of manufacture movements.

Double Heart Beat Black Beauty One of the key pieces for Frédérique Constant, designed to highlight Frédérique Constant’s commitment to mechanical movements, is the Heart Beat, introduced in 1994. This year, Frédérique Constant introduces the Double Heart Beat Black Beauty, mixing mechanical artistry with the beauty of deep black motherof-pearl. In addition, a portion of all sales of Double Heart Beat watches is donated to charity by Frédérique Constant.

Vintage racing - Panamerican style For many years, Frédérique Constant has been involved in vintage auto events, with Austin Healeys and vintage rallies and races, and the brand is the sponsor of the La Carrera Panamericana race, which dates back to 1950, when the Panamerican Highway was completed. Then, it was a five-day race across the country organised by the Mexican government and ran almost entirely along the new highway, which crosses Mexico from north to south for a total distance of over 3,300 kilometers. Today, La Carrera Panamericana is one of the most emblematic classic car rallies in the world and has become a true legend, a stage rally

that hosts hundreds of drivers and co-drivers and millions of classic car aficionados. To celebrate this race and the brand’s sponsorship, Frédérique Constant is introducing two new timepieces, both available in a limited edition of 1888 pieces for each dial version. Housed in a 43mm diameter polished stainless-steel case, the new timepieces are powered by the new FC-435 hand-wound calibre with small seconds. These two new limited editions display the original logo of the race on the dial and on the decorated movement. This collection is entirely inspired by the magical universe of classic and vintage cars, and the watches are available with stainless-steel hand-applied indexes or with rose gold plated hand-applied indexes. O For more information about Frédérique Constant click on Brand Index at

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Ernest Borel – Classic, romantic, timeless ROMANCE SERIES III

RKeith W. Strandberg


Founded in 1856, in Neuchatel, Ernest Borel has weathered the storms of more than 150 years by remaining true to its mission—to manufacture high-quality Swiss Made timepieces with classic styling. The fact that the brand remained classical certainly has helped it in recent years, while having one of its main markets being Asia was another reason for Ernest Borel’s success. "Ernest Borel collections cater to the medium to high-end markets, offering a wide range of products, in particular romantic couple watches," says Nathalie Boillat, general manager, Ernest Borel. "Alongside these classic and fashionable timepieces, Ernest Borel also produces sports models and a superior range of complication watches as well as certified chronometers recognised via the official seal of the COSC.” BOREL CHRONO COLLECTION

Steady growth Having succeeded in Asia, and becoming quite a well-known brand there, Ernest Borel is expanding into other parts of the world in 2012. “Today, Ernest Borel—guaranteed Swiss Made for over 150 years—is set to pursue its long-term development throughout the world, with its focus on success and harmony,” Boillat details. “In 2011, Ernest Borel returned to the United States, which is historically an important market for the brand. We are expecting good results in the USA in the coming years and believe our brand has good opportunities in this market. Europe and the Middle East also remain important markets to us.”


BaselWorld products There are several key collections being introduced at BaselWorld. First off is the Borel Chrono Collection, a diamond-set automatic chronograph with big date display and small seconds. Next is the Romance Series III, which features diamond-set gents and ladies models fitted with automatic movements, or a mother-of-pearl version called the Romantic Love Edition. Also to be introduced at BaselWorld is the Jules Borel Collection, designed to honour the founder of the company. The distinctive feature of this new two-tone (pink gold and steel) automatic Jules Borel upgraded version is the power reserve indication set with natural diamonds. O For more information about Ernest Borel click on Brand Index at





r Jiro Miyagawa, President & CEO of The ORIENT WATCH Company, is very clear on his company’s product strategy. “In response to shifting contemporary trends, ORIENT has continually introduced numerous new products to the market,” he says. “Its consistent focus, however, has been the development of mechanical watches. While it provides quartz watches with the high level of quality and multiple functions that overseas customers typically expect of Japanese manufacturers, it also continues to focus on its core products, mechanical watches, in defining its corporate identity.”


The cornerstone of ORIENT’s mechanical offering is the ORIENT STAR collection, which was first launched back in 1951. The retrograde model, which has been on sale in Japan since 2008, is now offered with a new retrograde hand for the day of the week. The calibre 40A50 self-winding movement drives this model, offering a circular date counter at 9 o’clock, a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock and the retrograde hand for the day of the week at 6 o’clock. A GMT model was presented late last year in the ORIENT STAR collection. It features a new movement, calibre 40P50, a self-winding movement with a 24-hour GMT hand and a power reserve indicator at 11 o’clock. The collection is completed by the “OPEN HEART” model, which reveals the workings of its 40R53 calibre self-winding movement through an opening on the dial at 9 o’clock. All models in the ORIENT STAR collection have a stainless-steel case and bracelet, a sapphire crystal and see-through


case back and are water resistant to 100 metres. Their self-winding movements operate at 21,600 vibrations per hour and offer a power reserve of 40 hours. ORIENT has also announced that it will launch a new ORIENT STAR Skeleton model in the summer of 2012, featuring a hand-wound mechanical movement with a 50-hour power reserve that has a dual-layer dial that elegantly shows off the workings beneath. In fact, most of the left-hand side of the dial is left entirely open to show off the balance oscillating almost in splendid isolation. Nevertheless there is still room for a blued small seconds hand at 6 o’clock and a power-reserve indicator (also with a blued hand) at 12 o’clock, in addition to the blued hour and minute hands.

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In spring 2012, Orient will also present a new model in its M-FORCE sport collection (the “M” standing for mechanical). The M-FORCE 200m inherits the features of the model that was first released in 1999 and the new model has already been dubbed “The Beast” by aficionados of the brand. It is a true diver’s watch, water resistant to a depth of 200 metres and with an imposing 52mm by 47mm case with a distinctive guard that surrounds the bezel. Naturally, it also has a screw-in crown with protection, but it is unusually located in the left-handed 9 o’clock position. A simple red indicator on the crown that lines up with a red marker on the lower protecting element also allows the wearer to see at a glance “DISK”

whether the crown is screwed in or not—a simple yet highly practical feature. The M-FORCE “New Beast” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock (for a power reserve of at least 40 hours) and has a clearly readable dial (available in black, navy blue or red) with luminous hands and hour markers. A pushbutton tri-fold clasp on the stainless-steel bracelet completes the allimportant diver’s watch features. The youthful Disk line enhances the brand’s “STYLISH & SMART” collection with an original way of displaying the hours by means of a rotating disk with a small opening that points to the hours and changes colour as the disk rotates, while the minutes and seconds are indicated using a conventional hand. The vibrant colours behind the disk that are revealed through the opening as the disk rotates give a high level of readability against the background of the black dial and the black-coated stainless-steel case. ORIENT’s calibre 48743 self-winding mechanical movement powers the DISK series and is visible behind a transparent case back that is tinted blue or yellow, depending on the model (blue representing water and yellow representing the sun). The movement operates at 21,600 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 40 hours. These models cover a wide variety of styles, from classic elegance and contemporary function to robust sports watches and fashion pieces. And the mechanical movements powering all of them show that ORIENT is serious about following the vision of its CEO.

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Vulcain – The Cricket conquers RKeith W. Strandberg


Vulcain has a long heritage of fine watchmaking, best known for the Cricket movement. Featuring a long and very audible mechanical alarm, the Cricket has graced many different watches during Vulcain’s history. This year at BaselWorld, Vulcain revisits two famous Cricket models. 50s PRESIDENTS’WATCH

Cricket Nautical Heritage Vulcain was one of the first diving watch pioneers when the company introduced the Cricket Nautical in 1961. Already famous for its Cricket, the Le Locle-based watch manufacture succeeded in making a watertight watch (down to 300 metres) that divers could hear underwater. To allow for the gaskets and to provide for a special triple case back (for the resonance of the alarm), Vulcain increased the size of the watch to 42mm, a size unheard of at the time as the average case size then was 30mm.

Vulcain was ahead of its time back in 1961, so this year the brand has decided to reissue the Cricket Nautical in a limited edition with exactly the same design as when it was first introduced. The Cricket Nautical was in the brand’s line when it was relaunched in 2002, with some updates and slight design changes, but this year Vulcain has gone back to the past for a watch that is both vintage and modern, with all the elements that made it groundbreaking back in 1961. “I am a diver and I have tested it myself and it is spectacular,” says Bernard Fleury, president of Vulcain. “The idea of having an alarm underwater and a system to allow the user to use it with the decompression tables was really innovative and Vulcain took up this challenge and succeeded.” The new Nautical Heritage Limited Edition is limited to 1,961 pieces for the world.

Cricket Presidents


Staying in the vintage realm, Vulcain this year also introduces the Heritage Presidents’ Watch limited series, an identical re-edition of the 1950 model (except enlarged one millimetre from the original). The Cricket was given to a series of American presidents, all of whom wore the watch, so the model became known as the Presidents’ watch. This 39mm watch comes in

steel or rose gold and steel, limited to 500 pieces in each execution. Another Presidents’ model, the Vulcain 50s Presidents’ Watch, is also being introduced at BaselWorld. Based on a design from the 1950s, this timepiece comes in a two-tone 18-carat rose gold/steel version (with silver-toned or anthracite dial) or in steel (with a choice of silvered, anthracite and smoky grey dials).


At the heart of both of these Presidents’ models is the famous Cricket hand-wind alarm movement with two barrels – one for the timekeeping and the other to power the alarm which sounds for a full 20 seconds (the V-11 Cricket powers the 50s Presidents’ Watch, while the V-10 is the movement in the Heritage Presidents’ Watch). O For more information about Vulcain click on Brand Index at



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Graham London – Oversize and on the right track CHRONOFIGHTER OVERSIZE


RKeith W. Strandberg


The past few years have been tough ones for Graham London, but the company has emerged from challenging economic times and uncertainty into the sunlight, poised for growth with some spectacular product. Eric Loth, co-owner and founder, Graham of London, explains: “This year, we have been doing very well. Between 2009 and 2011, there were some shaky times. It was the global crisis, and we had internal issues between owners, so changes were made, and now everything is back running well. We now have a much clearer shareholder structure and I have the full control of the company, so I can plan for the future without interruption or interference. The brand has to stay independent and free to move quickly. “I feel really good about where the brand is going – I’m more excited than ever, it’s like a

new life for me and for the brand,” he continues. “After 15 years of hard work, building up Graham from nothing, now we are restarting and I am better at managing the brand now. We make 6,000 watches a year and we can grow to 15,000 in two years without sacrificing our quality and control.”

Two key introductions – just an appetiser Graham London this year is introducing two watches, the Chronofighter Oversize and the Silverstone Stowe Racing. The 47mm Chronofighter Oversize is a column wheel chronograph with bi-compax display, along with a black and orange colour scheme, and the 48mm Silverstone Stowe Racing brings the Graham colours, black and yellow, into the timepiece collection. “These two products are just an appetiser, extensions of existing lines,” Loth says. “The Silverstone Stowe Racing takes the hallmark of Graham, black and yellow, and this is the first time that we really do a watch that uses the colours of the brand. It makes it a little wild, but I like it very much. Colours play a big

role in our strategy, because you can make the best complication, use the best materials, but colours finish the watch. “We have created a new kind of Chronofighter with the Oversize, which is so British in style and so Swiss in technique,” he continues. “This version is very elegant and extremely classic, and we are clearly targeting clients who can’t wear something too sporty, but want to have something different. I think we found a very nice way.” BaselWorld is an important show for Graham London. “We want to be a significant brand to our retail partners,” Loth concludes. “The US is very strong for us right now, and also Latin America is extremely good. We have gotten fantastic returns from the Emirates and we have great expectations with our new models in China. Chinese customers are not yet in the segment of very sporty and big pieces, and we think with the new pieces, we will be able to bring in the Chinese buyers, finally making some sales there.” O For more information about Graham click on Brand Index at


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Unit 3704, 37/F, AIA Tower, 183 Electric Road, North Point, Hong Kong Phone : +852-2219-7833 Fax : +852-2219-7811

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Keeping time the Chinese way RKeith W. Strandberg


For many Swiss watch companies, China has been the strongest market. It seems strange that the Chinese have embraced fine Swiss watches, while relatively ignoring the homegrown Chinese watch manufacturers. After all, China has a rich history of domestic horology, and for the decades that China was isolated from the West, Chinese companies supplied the watch needs for the country’s huge population. With an intriguing concept—Chinese watches made by Chinese with a European focus on details and high quality—Adrian Choux, the brand manager for The Chinese Timekeeper, hopes to honour the Chinese timekeeping heritage while at the same time bringing Chinese horology to the forefront of people’s minds. “Over six dynasties spanning a thousand years, some of the most influential Chinese scholars spent their lives developing mechanical timekeeping devices,” Choux says. “Although in the early days, the conquest of time was driven by the pursuit of astrological knowledge rather than the precise measurement of time, China was among the first of all civilisations to be able to measure time accurately. Following in the footsteps of these prestigious ancestors, The Chinese Timekeeper is embracing China's history to create the first exclusive Chinese watch collection.” One of the earliest methods of keeping time was Chinese, a system dividing the day into

100 “Ke” (quarters) equivalent to 14 minutes and 24 seconds.There were no dials nor hands to display the time, but rather each quarter was embodied by a wooden statuette, which became the keeper of time for 14 minutes and 24 seconds. Thus the name The Chinese Timekeeper for this brand.

China made Based in Hong Kong, all of the watches by The Chinese Timekeeper are 100% Made in China. Though this doesn’t have the cachet of “Swiss Made”, Choux wants people to associate his watches with the highest quality, and linking his timepieces to the illustrious history of China is the first step in that direction. “My watchmakers and designers are based in Hong Kong, and we work with manufacturers who are all in China,” Choux explains. “The movements are from Sea-Gull or Hangzhou, and everything comes to Hong Kong. In a way, it’s quite a peace of mind, because it’s all

supervised by Hong Kong people, for quality standards.” “My movements are either small dates or small seconds, which are not so complicated, and the quality is very good,” he continues. “We buy Grade A movements and we test them all. Consistency is still the weakness of Chinese movement manufacturers, so we have to test every movement when it comes in. I have quite strict standards. We are a Chinese brand, so I have to be very careful so every movement is tested for accuracy and power reserve.” The logo of The Chinese Timekeeper is a depiction of the scholar, Su Song (1020–1101 AD), “who was a statesman, astronomer, cartographer, horologist, pharmacologist, mineralogist, zoologist, botanist, mechanical and architectural engineer, poet, antiquarian, and ambassador of the Song Dynasty,” Choux details. “He was, therefore, the natural choice for Emperor Zhe Zhong to create the most advanced astronomical device possible. After

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Armillary Sphere Another element worth noting on a The Chinese Timekeeper lies in the construction of its unique buckle. Chinese astronomers, to understand the heavens, used a tool known as an armillary sphere. The construction of an armillary sphere, or celestial sphere, consists of a series of nestled rings, also named Circles of Heavens, that rotate on a single axis around the Earth. The Chinese Timekeeper’s buckle is inspired by this armillary sphere.

six years of research and hard work, Su Song succeeded in building Kaifeng’s famous clock tower, equipped with a water-driven astronomical clock.”

Using the Kaifeng water clock as inspiration The first collection from The Chinese Timekeeper is the CTK, a watch that has design elements inspired by Su Song’s water clock. All CTK watches are powered by a Chinese automatic movement and there are several limited editions. A hallmark of the CTK watches is that the number ten is written in Chinese, ? , in red, on every watch. So far, sales have been promising. “To date, our sales have been 50/50, Chinese and nonChinese buyers,” Choux says. “Being French, it’s easier for me to sell to Europeans, but when we go to Beijing and Shanghai for exhibitions, we sell to many Asian customers. The Chinese are buying the watches because they are

Su Song Clocktower The shape of the CTK’s case has been engineered to respect, first with an oversized diameter of 44mm, the round and impressive shape of the Great Driving Wheel of the water clock. Secondly, the other central piece in Kaifeng’s clock tower was the five-storey pagoda from which bystanders could hear and see the display of time. Based on the architecture of this, the case of a CTK is composed of four rings made of stainless steel 316L, which are held together by four large screws on the bezel and four smaller screws on the case back. The visibility of the screws calls to mind the roughness of the construction of the old towers.

made in China, and they are proud of Chinese watches. Many experts have said that Chinese will never buy Chinese luxury products, but I am sure this is not true. If you offer a product of quality, the Chinese customers will like it. “I am working with Ace Jewellers in the Netherlands, and Ace is the only retailer I have in Europe so far,” he continues. “I am working with a retailer in Hong Kong and one in Beijing, but I would like to work with distributors in key territories. The Chinese Timekeeper really has the potential to grow big. We are not just another Swiss brand, we bring something different to the market—a new story, a new design, and the new collection we are going to launch is gorgeous.” The price range for The Chinese Timekeeper watches ranges from €1800–2100, excluding VAT. O For more information about The Chinese Timekeeper click on Brand Index at

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CHRONOMAT 44 GMT by Breitling This new version of the Chronomat has a slightly smaller case and a rotating bezel that allows a third time zone to be read on the 24-hour scale. Round 44mm stainless-steel case with bi-directional rotating bezel, Breitling 04 manufacture chronograph calibre, COSC certified, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 70hour power reserve, choice of straps in Barenia leather, crocodile, Ocean Racer rubber, Diver Pro rubber or Pilot steel.

CHAMPION V by Eberhard This is one of several new models that Eberhard is introducing in the brand’s 125th anniversary year. Round 42.8mm diameter stainless-steel case, ETA 7750 self-winding mechanical chronograph calibre, leather strap with personalised buckle.

HYDROSCAPH LIMITED EDITION CENTRAL CHRONOGRAPH by Clerc The original chronograph display on this limited edition shows the hours and minutes using two central hands, with counters at 3 o’clock for small seconds and 9 o’clock for day/night indication over 24 hours. Round 43.8mm stainless-steel case with black DLC coating, exclusive self-winding CO608 calibre, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 44-hour power reserve, black dial with luminous hour markers and hands, black “Hornback” crocodile strap with steel or black DLC folding clasp. Limited edition of 500 pieces.

C2 CHRONOGRAPH BLACK & WHITE by Concord A pair of black and white models, representing the yin and yang, whose bezels are set with the corresponding colour of diamond, are served up by Concord for BaselWorld this year. Round 43mm stainless-steel case, self-winding mechanical movement, 28,800 vibrations per hour, matching black or white alligator leather strap.

HYPERCHROME by Rado This new chronograph from Rado is true to the brand’s elegant designs in hightech ceramic with its extra-large case. Black polished high-tech ceramic case, 51 x 45mm, ETA 2894-2 self-winding chronograph movement, 42-hour power reserve, sapphire crystal case back, three-row black polished high-tech ceramic bracelet, titanium tri-fold clasp with black ceramic pushers.

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Bremont – taking on the world

RKeith W. Strandberg


For this year’s BaselWorld, the English boys, brothers Nick and Giles, are introducing the ALT1-WT world timer watch. Originally developed for C-17 Boeing Globemaster crews around the world, the timepiece was so well received that Bremont decided to make it in a civilian version. “It took a good 12 months of development to get the dial and the new case for it,” explains Nick English, co-owner of Bremont. “The Globemaster crews wanted something different to wear, but they wanted it to be a fine watch and chronometer certified.” “The way it was done exclusively for them, they have 24 bases they fly out of so we listed the airline codes for their bases; we redesigned it for the civilian version,” he continues. “For the military version, this was a watch which we took beyond boundaries. Many companies

just take an existing watch and stamp their name on the dial, and we designed it for them. It has a retro look to it and I love the clarity. It is really robust—it has a great inner bezel on ball bearings which click around. You can set the watch to GMT and just call off the time zones from the bezel.”

Into the future Bremont had a busy 2011 and the brand is looking to continue its success in 2012. “Business is really going well,” Nick English says. “America has really picked up for us, the Caribbean as well. England is very special and doing very well. With the military, we are doing well—we delivered to another six squadrons

in December and we are doing the same in January 2012. “We are definitely looking for more retailers,” he continues. “In America, we are in about 30 retailers and we could easily be in 100. We are in Hong Kong, but China is a very costly market to enter. There are a lot of countries we are not in yet. A lot of tourism hits London and Hong Kong, so people from all around the world are buying our watches. We deliberately went into America and Asia (except for China) first, but we still have to expand our presence in Italy, Spain, France.”O For more information about Bremont click on Brand Index at

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Victorinox Swiss Army – Light in the dark RKeith W. Strandberg


Victorinox Swiss Army is best known for its Swiss Army knife variations, but watches are a growing part the company’s turnover. “If we look at 2011, the business was quite good,” says Alexander Bennouna, CEO, Victorinox Swiss Army Timepieces. “The first half was excellent, the second half also had a good result. We almost quoted double-digit growth, which given the circumstances, was very good. “Globally, the group has scored quite a good result, especially in the knife and travel gear division,” Bennouna continues. “As we look at the future, one of the main strategies is to act more and more as a global brand. Victorinox Swiss Army is not a watch brand but a Swiss brand making watches. Whatever we do, whether it is timepieces or luggage or apparel, we have to articulate the value and success of the Swiss Army Knife. This is the direction we NIGHT VISION

have taken, since a couple of years ago, and I think it will be enforced substantially.” Victorinox Swiss Army has repositioned its collection by giving it more Swiss substance, Swiss functionality, and that has contributed to a higher average price. “Our objective is to stay where we are now as much as possible,” Bennouna adds. “We do have to reflect the cost of living, but there is no reason to increase our prices. It is very important for us that a consumer who goes into a Victorinox Swiss Army store can afford all our products, not just fragrances.”

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New for Basel There are two main Victorinox timepiece releases for BaselWorld—the Night Vision and the Officer. The Night Vision is a relaunch of a model that was introduced in 2003. A best seller for the brand, the new 42mm Night Vision has been subtly redesigned with a more open dial and subtler bezel, while still keeping the low consumption LED light modules for dial illumination, flashlight and strobe functions. Three dial versions are available: charcoal grey dial with silver ring and steel bracelet; silver dial with dark grey ring and steel bracelet; and silver dial with dark grey ring and brown “aviator” leather strap with beige stitching and buckle. “The original Night Vision was developed in 2003 with a very specific module, which contained the low consumption LED lights that could transform the watch into a flashlight,” says François Nunez, product director, Victorinox Swiss Army. “The current product we will show in Basel is the third generation of the line. The built-in light is an innovation linked to the Swiss Army Knife, but it also showcases our multifunctionality. We wanted to make this more like a watch, the previous versions were more like flashlights. This watch has a very


Swiss approach – clean, straight to the point and subtle.” Nunez goes on to talk about the new Officer watch, which for the first time is being paired with a Swiss Army knife. “We wanted to develop a knife that would have a connection with the watch and we were reluctant to link it like using the knife to set the time or adjust the bracelet,” he continues. “It took 20 years before we decided to do it, and the way we decided to do it was to have the watch inspired by the Officer Knife, so we are using the pattern on the knife on the dial of the watch. We rarely do blacks or whites in Victorinox Swiss Army, so we developed exclusive colours and the knives that come with the watch are not sold individually – three shades of grey, and two different shades of grey for the knives (char-

coal grey and medium grey). After 20 years, we were mature enough to make the connection. The shape of the knife is the same as the vintage knife which was issued to Officers in the Swiss Army (in 1961). “When I joined VSA, I was obsessed with the knife, which is the iconic product,” Nunez adds. “I don’t believe that our customers expect a direct translation of the knife to our timepieces, but they do want the idea of functionality, durability and reliability. It is extremely hard to build in multifunctionality without being gimmicky. To be relevant today is a tricky thing, and I think we have succeeded with both of these introductions.” O For more information about Victorinox Swiss Army click on Brand Index at

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Linde Werdelin – Skeletonised spidos

RKeith W. Strandberg


When Morten Linde and Jorg Werdelin got ot together to form their watch company, the he underlying concept was a standard watch ch that could be transformed into an instrument nt for climbing, diving and more by the addition on of a module on top. That concept still holds, but Linde Werdelin is finding that people are buying the watch for the watch, and these are a separate group of customers from the ones buying the instrument. “Many people just buy a watch alone, which is fine with us,” says Linde. “We know that customers’ needs are very personal.”


LLosing weight

“Our customers are between 30 and 50, and they are often watch lovers,” adds Werdelin. “Some people want to have the different instruments, but it’s more about the watch than the two together. It’s the idea and the instrument is the icing on the cake, but it’s not something people wear every day.”

The two watches being highlighted at BaselWorld, the SpidoLite II and the SpidoSpeed, the company’s first chronograph, were created to meet a specific customer need. “The inspiration was because of a group going to Mount Everest, which split in two, one that wanted to climb with exactly the same equip-

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ment as the original climbers, and the second that used as technically advanced products as possible,” recalls Linde. “They asked us for a light watch and so we developed one. I looked at sports cars which go onto the racetrack, and for this purpose, they take away as much as possible without impacting the strength of construction, which is what we did with the watches. This gives us the architecture of both watches. We reduced the weight by 40 per cent. The solution lies in the problem – we needed a light watch and the result was a unique and iconic product.” The skeletonisation is quite complicated and the dial uses a two-layer construction. “We played with the finishing of the surfaces, with Geneva stripes on the SpidoLite II and circular graining on the SpidoSpeed, then another skeletonised dial on top,” details Linde. “We

do sports watches and sports instruments, so when you look at the SpidoLite II and the SpidoSpeed, they are for all sports above sea level. Then, it is about fighting gravity and reducing weight. If it’s skiing, you want to have light equipment. If it’s climbing, it’s the same. As soon as you go underwater, gravity is not a problem anymore. The design of our watch changes completely for underwater use—it has to be robust, it’s a bigger case, the dive computer is much bigger and easier to read. It’s really about looking at where the watch is going to be used and designing it for this environment.”


Selling Linde Werdelin

shops, ski retailers and more. “We would obviously like to work with more specialty watch retailers in more markets,” Werdelin says. “With the retailers we have, we are very successful. In Singapore, we are selling well and things are going well in the US. I am happy that the retailers we have are selling through. We have to work with each of our partners, to educate the customer and our retail partners. They need to be able to explain the concept and they need to convince customers that what we do is unique and we have a good story to tell. People really like to connect with us and meet with us and understand why we do what we do. We are going in the right direction, because we are growing.” O

Business is good for the brand, as the watches are sold in normal watch retailers, as well as sports shops, mountain climbing stores, dive

For more information about Linde Werdelin click on Brand Index at SPIDOLITE II

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Hanhart – 130 Years of real history

RKeith W. Strandberg


This year, Hanhart is celebrating 130 years of quality watchmaking, something that not many companies can claim. It all started back on 1 July 1882, when an announcement from watchmaker Johann A. Hanhart appeared in the Anzeiger am Rhein newspaper “respectfully informing the worthy residents of Diessenhofen and surroundings” that he had purchased a business and its premises there with the intention of opening a watch shop. With this business, he laid the foundations for the Hanhart watch manufacture. Johann Hanhart, who was born in Diessenhofen, went on to serve as mayor of this small town located on the Rhine for a number of years before relocating his business in 1902 to Schwenningen in

southern Germany, a stronghold of watchmaking. The artisanal and retail business proved to be extremely successful and soon became the largest of its kind in the region.

Celebrating the past “When you celebrate an anniversary, you can’t just create something that has no link to the past—we wanted to build a bridge between the past and the present, and the result is the Pioneer Stealth 1882,” explains Thomas Morf, president, Hanhart. “We took the legendary pilot’s watches from Hanhart, which is where it all began, and put a modern, state-of-theart touch on them, with black DLC coating, while maintaining the vintage groove. We are using the larger size (45mm), we have the removable aviator band, and we have the aviation elements. The Pioneer Stealth 1882 might fly under the radar with its all-black treatment, but the SuperLuminova used makes it highly visible in the dark. “The dial offers practical tachymeter and telemeter scales, with designs reminiscent of the traditional Hanhart ‘Tachy Tele’

model from 1939,” Morf details. “We use the Twindicator movement and we have added a flyback complication, which came from aviation watches. We wanted to make an aviation watch that linked the past to the future.” One particular feature of the Hanhart Twindicator layout is that the subdials have been enlarged and moved farther out from their traditional position on most chronographs, making them more prominent and easier to read (the subdials are 8.8mm from the central axis, and they are 12mm in diameter). “The Twindicator layout is truly something unique because no one else has it that way,” Morf points out. “For us, it’s really doing something different to do something special.” The Pioneer Stealth 1882 model is a limited edition, 130 pieces with flat bezel and 130 pieces with a fluted bezel. The module for the flyback chronograph is made in-house, in Hanhart’s German manufacturing facility (the headquarters for Hanhart are in Switzerland, while production of modules and stopwatches, and the assembly of Pioneer watches, is in Germany, just over the Swiss border).

Looking into the future Morf is cautious about the industry as a whole, but is bullish on the future for Hanhart. “I think for the entire industry, it’s going to be slightly more difficult, because everyone made huge growth in China and Asia and replicating that growth will be a challenge,” he says. “I think it will still be ok, but it won’t be as enthusiastic as 2011. With Hanhart, we have so much room to grow. There is so much pressure from the big groups that retailers are looking for independent brands with potential. We are looking for retailers all around the world, when they are appropriate and they can support the brand and commit to it, seeing the potential.” O For more information about Hanhart click on Brand Index at

Cal. 3540.D – Chrono 1⁄ 10 Sec., Date

Cal. 3520.D – Chrono, Date

Cal. 3540.D – Chrono 1⁄10 Sec., Date

Chronos 10 1⁄ 2 x 11 1⁄ 2’’’ – One movement for small to big watches NEW Series 3500 –

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Alpina – Retelling the pilot story

RKeith W. Strandberg


Alpina made quite a splash with its welldesigned and extraordinarily-priced pilot’s collection introduced last year.A unique mixture of a vintage feel in a contemporary watch, the collection has been very successful for the brand, which is beginning to come out of the shadow of its bigger brother, Frédérique Constant. This year at BaselWorld, Alpina is continuing the pilot watch direction, introducing the Heritage Pilot. Alpina comes to pilot’s watches honestly, having been a specialised manufacturer and official supplier of military and pilot watches in the past. The Heritage Pilot is inspired by original Alpina Pilot watch designs from the 1920s and 30s and design details of

the modern watch closely match the original timepieces from the Alpina archives—the hand wound pocket watch calibre, the hinged case, as well as the Alpina applied brand logo and indexes on the dial. Certainly, many things have been updated to bring the watch into the realm of the modern day, including a stainless-steel case, water resistance and improved accuracy. Though Alpina was only recently relaunched by Peter Stas, it was an important watch brand, having been registered in 1901. At one point,

Alpina was sold at nearly 2000 outlets all over the world and was considered one of Europe’s leading watchmakers. The new Heritage Pilot from Alpina looks to recapture the glorious past and also celebrate the bright future the brand has. The Heritage Pilot is limited to 1883, the year that Union Horlogère, the company that registered the Alpina brand name, was founded. O For more information about Alpina click on Brand Index at

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HERCULES GOLF MASTER by Reconvilier On the back of the golf Master’s all-black case, which can be reversed, is a digital golf computer that can display (in metres or yards) distances to the front or centre of the green using an in-built GPS receiver. Round 44mm titanium case with black DLC coating, ETA 2892A self-winding, COSC-certified chronometer calibre with integrated digital module for LCD display, black dial with orange hour markers and hands, matching black strap.

GRT 001 LE MANS by NOA The GRT 001 Le Mans marks the beginning of a series of five limited editions by NOA that are dedicated to some of the world’s most famous motor racing circuits. The last two digits of the year in which the first race was held at the circuit are placed in the 2 o’clock position. Round 44mm diameter black PVD-coated titanium case, ETA 251.272 quartz chronograph calibre, vulcanised rubber strap with folding clasp in black PVD-coated steel. Limited edition of 200 pieces.

CO152 QUARTINO by Cover A distinctive elongated octagonal case in black-plated stainless steel and a technical Clou de Paris design on the dial and pushers define the lines of the new Quartino chronograph. Ronda 5040.D quartz calibre, luminescent hands and hour markers, natural grey rubber strap, leather strap or stainless-steel bracelet with folding safety clasp. Available in a variety of colours and materials.

CHRONOSCOPE 47mm by Ernst Benz For BaselWorld 2012 Ernst Benz has introduced the black DLC coating to its collection. Round 47mm stainless-steel DLC-coated case, self-winding Valjoux 7750 chronograph calibre, copper dial with luminous hands and numerals, brown leather strap.

VELERO POWER RESERVE by Davidoff With the Velero Davidoff offers a classic chronograph design that can be worn on any occasion with a no-fuss polished case and a simple and clearly legible dial. Round 45mm diameter stainlesssteel case, ETA 2892-2 self-winding chronograph calibre, 42-hour power reserve, black caflskin strap with carbon fibre pattern.

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RALLYE PILOT CHRONOGRAPH by Davosa This motorsport-inspired chronograph is a limited edition of 333 pieces that comes in a wooden box with an Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 model car. Round 42mm diameter stainless-steel case, Valjoux 7750 self-winding chronograph movement, black calfskin strap with holes, red contrast stitching, pushbutton folding clasp.

SUB 4000T PROFESSIONAL by Doxa This new Professional model in the SUB 4000T collection has a unidirectional rotating bezel and indicates compression stops in feet for divers. Round stainless-steel case, 46mm diameter, self-winding mechanical movement with 42-hour power reserve, helium valve at 9 o’clock, power reserve indication at 7 o’clock, stainless-steel bracelet with extension for wearing over a diving suit. Limited edition of 200 pieces.

FLAGSHIP CHRONOGRAPH by Swiss Military-Hanowa This new chronograph version enhances the classic Flagship collection from Swiss Military Hanowa. Round 42mm stainless-steel case, ISA 8171/202 quartz calibre, blue, white or black dial with luminescent hands and hour markers, blue, white or black leather strap or stainless-steel bracelet.

PROFESSIONAL EDITION by Aviator After testing by professional pilots, the Professional Edition has found a place on the instrument panel of the Russian MiG-29 "Fulcrum" jet fighter. The all-black wrist chronograph version is, however, also available to those who do not happen to own one of the Russian fighters. Black PVD-coated stainless-steel case, ETA 7750 self-winding chronograph movement, case back engraved with four MiG-29 jet fighters, black leather strap with black PVD buckle or black PVD steel bracelet and folding clasp.

OD MILITARY 3041 by Luminox Strong olive-green tones give this robust new piece from Luminox a decidedly military allure. Toughened carbon case, 44mm diameter with toughened fibreglass rotating bezel in olive green, Ronda 515 HH6 quartz calibre, black nylon strap.

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Gc – Swiss automatics, high water resistance and new matte finishes RKeith W. Strandberg


Gc is celebrating its 15th year in business in 2012, and the growth the brand has experienced is phenomenal. “Our Gc brand is very new and yet we have come a long way in our fifteen years to become one of the top ten Swiss Made watch brands in terms of units sold,” says Cindy Livingston, president and CEO, Gc. “What makes our brand special is that everything we do, we do with passion and a belief in our brand and in our desire to offer ‘Smart Luxury’ to our customer.”

Speaking of watches Here are the three big introductions from Gc for this BaselWorld:

Gc Sport Class XL-S Glam Matte Gc is introducing this all black ladies’ timepiece with case and bracelet in high-tech ceramic with a matte finish. The XL-S Glam is a fashionable timepiece with a 36 mm case, equipped with a Swiss Made movement, including two counters indicating the date at three and the day at nine o’clock. The unique bezel design with metallised black crystal inserts between the 10-minute markers offers a tone on tone contrast for added interest and a deep sheen to the all-black matte look. GC SPORT CLASS XL-S GLAM MATTE

Cindy Livingston

Gc Classica Automatic With the Gc Classica Automatic, Gc expands its offering of Swiss Made mechanical timepieces for men into an integral part of the Gc Classic Collection. The Swiss automatic movement can be admired through a refined crescent-shaped dial opening between six and nine as well as through its transparent case back. The 42mm Gc Classica Automatic is available in a variety of different colours and material combinations ranging from polished, brushed, black PVD coated or rose gold PVD accentuated 316L stainless-steel cases combined with soft crocoGC CLASSICA AUTOMATIC


embossed Italian leather straps with a folding clasp or a smooth stainless-steel bracelet with a double pushbutton folding clasp.

Gc-3 Aqua Sport Colour Boost Gc’s first watch water resistant to 300 metres, the Gc-3 Aqua Sport Colour Boost, combines bold design and colours with Swiss Made precision. This 44mm timepiece is available in five different executions with tachymeter rings, numerals and indices in blue, yellow, white, green or red.

The future 2012 and beyond looks good for Gc. “We are pleased to say that our Gc business is strong and planning for continuing growth over the next five years,” Livingston details. “We had record results in 2011 and we have big plans for Gc over the next 5 years, with great ideas for product and new categories—along with a major expansion for our boutiques. I believe we can double our business before the decade is over, which will certainly position us as a major player in the Swiss watch industry.” O For more information about GC click on Brand Index at


The art of the wood

FRANCE Z.I. Rue le Corbusier 39800 POLIGNY Tél. : 03 84 37 11 78 Fax : 03 84 37 05 43

USA 590 Madison Avenue, Suite 2100 New York, N.Y. 10022 – USA Tél : + 1 201 521 4214

SUISSE 14, rue du Rhône 1204 – Genève Suisse Tél : +41 22 81 91 216

124 DESIGN WATCHES europa star

The rise and rise of Ice-Watch RPaul O’Neil

worldwide distribution thanks to a highlymotivated distribution network. ES: And what is your forecast for 2012?


After only five years in operation and three years of distribution, Ice-Watch has become a dominant force in the fashion watch segment. Last year the company sold the equivalent of seven of its colourful watches every minute, making it the number one fashion brand in numerous countries. Europa Star talked to the CEO of Ice-Watch, Jean-Pierre Lutgen, about his company’s rapid rise to the top of the tree. Europa Star: You sold over 2 million watches by the end of 2010. How do last year’s figures compare with that? Jean-Pierre Lutgen: We sold 4.2 million watches last year and we are now present in around 10,000 points of sale worldwide. We have grown from under 100,000 fans on Facebook to 417,000 in one year and to give you a comparison, Rolex has 398,000. In the UK we are the number one fashion watch.

J-P. L: All the signs for this year are good because the number of watches sold per point of sale is constantly increasing. Each new point of sale takes time to get to know the brand and some of them opened during the year, so as we start our first full year with 10,000 points of sale I’m sure there is still scope for improvement. We aim to deliver between five and six million watches this year. Jean-Pierre Lutgen

ES: You had 3,700 points of sale in 2010 so you have almost tripled this number and the brand only started in 2007. How do you explain this staggering increase? J-P. L: We registered the brand in December 2006 and it is based on a concept that rests on two values: the first is the social value of change—associated with the fact that our pricing allows customers to change their watch frequently, creating a collector effect; the second is the functional and aesthetic value of our packaging, which gives the brand a strong identity and visibility. We also had immediate

ES: What can we expect from Ice-Watch at BaselWorld? J-P. L: A confirmation of our leading position in the fashion watch segment, new collections, flagship store openings, presence on airlines. In addition to the new collections we will be presenting in Basel, we will also be announcing substantial improvements in quality. Our production is moving to 10 ATM water resistance, the watches will have screw-on case backs and we will start to use polyamide instead of polycarbonate, which allows us to increase resistance but maintain a certain level of flexibility.

europa star


lections – we have already launched over 400 different watch models. We set the trends in terms of different colours in order to be in phase with the seasons. ES: With such a fast rotation in your collections, what does creation mean to you?

ES: Why the name Ice-Watch? J-P. L: The word “ice” is a symbol of purity and transparency for us (our first watches were transparent) and “watch” is simply a generic term that distinguishes us from other products (for example you have the ICE train in Germany). We signed an agreement with the Swatch Group on 20th May 2008 confirming that we would write the name as two words to avoid any possible confusion with Swatch. But we have clear evidence that the customer does not confuse us with Swatch, or indeed any other watch brand. This is important for us because people thought that we were getting our inspiration from Swatch or even that we were trying to copy them and we were not. Also, with Belgian design, Japanese movements and Chinese assembly I think we distinguish ourselves quite clearly from our competitors.

ES: Although you do not have the same concerns for your movement supply as the Swiss watchmaking industry, you do sell over 4 million watches per year, so do you have a guaranteed supply of movements?

J-P. L: I believe that we need innovation and creation in order to survive. Innovation is the capacity to change reality and creation changes your perception of reality. We were very strong in establishing the 10 basic colours in our collection, by giving them a value and by adding a visual and functional importance to our packaging. So we provided a new perception of reality and revived the lethargic plastic watch sector. ES: How important is price for you?

J-P. L: We buy our movements from Miyota in Japan, so we did suffer last year because of the tsunami. In the meantime, however, we have managed to start building up a small reserve of movements.

J-P. L: The large majority of our watches cost €59-€99 and we have seen that customers are very sensitive to this. If you move above this price you limit the possibilities for renewal, which is important for us.

ES: What are the main challenges in the price segment that you are operating in?

ES: What are your most important markets?

J-P. L: We are in a segment that is much more fashion-oriented so the rotation of a collection is a lot shorter than it is in high-end watchmaking, where a collection will be around for years. So we have to be extremely creative and maintain a very fast rotation of our col-

J-P. L: Europe is the most important region for us, headed by Belgium, France and Germany, closely followed by the UK, the Netherlands and Spain. Beyond this we are present in more than 90 countries. In certain countries where we have motivated distributors we are also doing very well, for example in Colombia, Lebanon and Israel. ES: Will you be looking to extend your distribution network in Basel? J-P. L: There are some markets that we need to develop, such as the USA, Russia, China and India, which are top priorities for us for the future. O For more information about Ice-Watch click on Brand Index at

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CHET BAKER LIMITED EDITION by Oris This limited-edition piece is a tribute to Jazz musician Chet Baker and features subtle musical allusions on the dial in the form of a treble clef at 12 o’clock and the notes from Baker’s famous “My Funny Valentine” tune printed around the minute scale. Round 40mm stainless-steel case, self-winding Oris 733 module on Selitta SW200 calibre, black crocodilepattern leather strap with steel folding clasp. Limited edition of 1929 pieces.

THE AUTOMATIC by Nixon First introduced in 2006, the Nixon Automatic has been redesigned this year and given a slimmer and more streamlined case and bracelet. Round 44mm stainless-steel case with tungsten bezel, Swiss Made mechanical movement with day and date, stainless-steel bracelet.

GUCCI COUPE by Gucci The softer edges of the rounded square case give these new variants in the Gucci Coupé collection a decidedly retro look. Brushed steel case, 40x40mm, quartz movement, anthracite or brown dial, beige or grey calfskin strap with double-bladed folding clasp.

REFLEX by Drops The quirky Reflex bracelet has a flexible snap-and-curl design with an easy-to-read LED display for the hours and minutes, plus a date mode. The silicon strap is available in a variety of colours.

VINTAGE by Mondaine An already classic design is taken to the next level with this new vintage version of the watch derived from the legendary station clock of the Swiss railways. Round 41mm brushed stainless-steel case, ETA 2801-2 self-winding calibre, silvertoned, vertically brushed white dial with raised hour markers, black leather strap with stainless-steel buckle.

DS MULTI-8 by Certina The classic design of this watch belies the numerous functions available to its wearer from the multifunction quartz movement. Brushed and polished round 42mm stainlesssteel case, ETA E49.351 quartz calibre with interchangeable analogue hours and minutes, two digital second time zones, sound and vibration alarm, timer, day, date, week, month, year, chronograph with memory and backlight, brown leather strap with steel safety clasp.

LUXE PACK Monaco hall Diaghilev DC5 BASELWORLD 3-2 D10


DV ONE CRUISE LIMITED EDITION by Versace This unique piece is worn by Donatella Versace herself, while the DV One Cruise collection is available as a limited edition of 99 pieces. Black ceramic case, 43.5mm diameter, ETA 2840 self-winding movement, 21,600 vibrations per hour, 48-hour power reserve, red enamel dial and silver hands with blue insert for the minute hand and purple for the hour hand, blue and purple rubber strap sections with black-coated steel folding clasp.

STELLA by Fossil Multifunction watch in purple aluminium with matching dial and bezel. Quartz calibre with day, date and 24-hour hand.

POEMA by Salvatore Ferragamo The Poema creates the effect of a night sky on a dial fully paved with blue sapphires that is dotted with individual diamonds to represent the stars. Round 34mm stainless-steel case, diamond-set bezel, onyx cabochons on the crown and four lugs, self-winding Swiss mechanical movement, blue alligator leather strap.

MILANO by Jacques Lemans This model in the new Milano collection from Austrian watch brand Jacques Lemans is on trend with its purple dial and graduated purple bezel. Stainless-steel case, hardened Crystex crystal, purple silicone strap. In addition to the classic three-hand model shown, the Milano collection also comprises chronographs and multifunction alarm-chronographs.

PURESTYLE TUTTI COLORS by Erick J. Exertier An explosion of colours surrounds the distinctive case of the Purestyle Tutti Colors watch. Rectangular curved case, 45 x 35mm, in Alumod and stainless steel, ETA 2678 self-winding movement, 28,800 vibrations per hour, 38-hour power reserve, solid bracelet in Alumod/stainless steel with different-sized links, coloured to match the case.

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Retailers have their say RKeith W. Strandberg


As we head into BaselWorld and the new watch year, Europa Star contacted key retailers around the world to find out what issues are at the forefront of their minds, what brands are the most popular, whether they are planning to add or cull brands this year and much more. Here is what they had to say:

Alon Ben Joseph, CEO of Ace Jewellers Group (Amsterdam, The Netherlands): Although 2011 was turbulent, we had a great year. Offline retail has almost shown doubledigit growth and online retail has shown triple-digit growth last year, and we started off 2012 rather strong. So we are satisfied. Looking at 2012 from a macro-economic view, we have to say we are worried about when things will “calm down”, but are confident that things will consolidate and we can finally all say the financial crisis is behind us. For the watch industry, I think it will be another great year of growth. And, for us we expect to grow again, especially with our full-on multichannel retail strategy. In December 2011 we launched a completely independent ecommerce website and expect it to peak this year. We are most excited about the brands that innovate, are positive, invest in after-sales service and support their retailers. Taking this into account, we are very excited about: Omega, IWC, Breitling, TAG Heuer and Baume & Mercier. Our biggest concern heading into 2012 is on a global level that there will be peace

and economic balance. For the watch industry, it’s supply and stock management. It seems the watch industry is getting overheated (again). We will be watching several trends that have been going on for quite a while already: the ETA evolution and rush for watch brands to become manufactures, the growth of watch case sizes, ceramic trend/style and after-sales service in our industry. We try to add a young independent watch brand every year to our portfolio. In 2008 it was Carlo Ferrara, in 2009 it was Itay Noy, in 2010 Parrera and in 2011 The Chinese Timekeeper. We are currently still negotiating with a new brand for 2012.

2011 was a fantastic year for us. Our watch business has been consistently strong. In America, the importance of owning a great watch is really growing and with it the love of fine mechanical timepieces. I see a very similar year to last year with perhaps a slightly stronger return to more classic styles. The brands that have really caught my eye are Hublot and Bremont. Both have created such

amazing buzz and become more of a "lifestyle" brand with clear messaging and a consistent approach that can be trusted. In Basel, the must-see brand has to be Hublot. Every year they introduce extraordinary, creative and original pieces that are consistent with the brand’s DNA. And every year they present their products in a new, innovative and spectacular fashion. We have a few strong-selling watches. The Bremont MB-II has sold very well. It is such a compelling watch with a unique construction and a legitimate purpose. Also the Bell & Ross BR01/03 collection has been very strong. The BR has an iconic design that is instantly recognisable. And of course, any Hublot Big Bang or Audemars Piguet Offshore. I have the same concerns as I did in 2011. The exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Swiss franc could hurt sales of some brands as prices keep rising. Most concerns are centred on the state of the global economy; in particular, the precarious Euro zone and the risk of a downturn in China. We are seeing a return to classic styling, albeit at a "new" classic proportion. The oversize watch of 10 years ago (40-42mm) is the classic watch of today. We are also seeing a consumer who is more educated about watches

Ace Jewelers Group

Jeremy and Missy Oster

Jeremy Oster, co-owner, Oster Jewelers (Denver, Colorado, USA):

Alon Ben Joseph

europa star

and desires authentic and compelling products to which they can personally relate. The brands we currently offer are all performing well and each offer something unique. Basel is always interesting as there are usually some changes that occur within the industry and some exciting opportunities. After 20 years in the industry I know who the people are that can make a brand a success. I follow the people that are proven, long-term. I also look for genuine innovation, passion and legitimacy. I keep away from brands who are hoping that their next product launch will be "their" day in the sun. We are only interested in the trend-setters, never the followers.

Paul Sheeran, owner, Sheeran Jewellers (Dublin, Ireland): Business is better than last year but not by much, a strong finish pulled things back on a bad start to the year. If we can sustain this run, Irish eyes will be smiling! For 2012, it’s hard to predict anything in these current times but we seem to be over the worst in Ireland so we are predicting small growth this year! We have just launched three in-house watch boutiques—IWC, TAG Heuer and Breitling— Paul Sheeran

Denis Asch

with more to follow this year and we are very happy with the interest in them. We also have had great sales in Jaeger and Zenith so it's easy to get excited about all of my watch brands at the moment and when I see the new product I'm rubbing my hands together with glee! Hublot, TAG Heuer and, of course, Patek, are must-see brands in Basel. Zenith is the one to watch. IWC and TAG Heuer are our best-selling watches – they just continually hit the spot at all of their price points. As far as trends go, classical seems to be a strong direction with our customers in Ireland. We are always open to take on the right brands but our direction is to do more with the brands that invest in us. Partnerships are key and the figures prove it.

Denis Asch, owner, L’Heure Asch (Geneva, Switzerland): Overall, business is very good, and it was excellent over the last quarter, largely thanks to my loyal customers. I think 2012 will be a year of humility, but I can nevertheless see strong demand for rare pieces for connoisseurs. Economic uncertainty means that more and more people are looking for rare and topquality watches. L’Heure Asch


I am excited about the following brands, in alphabetical order: De Bethune, Greubel & Forsey, Richard Mille and Vulcain. In their style and in their particular area, they have all managed to stand out from the crowd and remain creative and original. They all have a strong identity. You can’t go to Basel without seeing Kari Voutilainen. Vulcain is my best selling watch brand, because they have a complete range, it’s a brand known for its in-house alarm movement, which is always a safe bet. There are more and more people collecting watches like they would art and paintings. Increasing demand from women should not be neglected. Watches are becoming a safe haven for investors.

Robin Levinson, co-owner, Levinson Jewelers (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA): The year ended well and ahead with the numbers, which is the most important thing, but the energy was different than years in the past—not as lively and festive. We can only hope that 2012 will be positive and steady. It seems to be off to a good start. I like to explore all of the brands in Basel. Robin Levinson

132 RETAIL WORLD europa star

That’s what makes the show so exciting—to see what’s happening across the spectrum. A trend we are seeing is that more classic and smaller cases seem to be the direction. Also a bit thinner. We will be adding an amazing brand in the very near future.

Mark Gold, owner, Mark Gold Jewellers (Johannesburg, South Africa):

competitor and how could you continue to buy from them? Difficult indeed.

Laurent Picciotto, owner, Chronopassion (Paris, France): Business is not so bad, but it has been complicated—we have had a hard time getting some pieces (delivery, monobrand shop exclusivity, etc.). The customers are still worried, but anyway we did have a good year in 2011. I am most excited about MB&F, Greubel Forsey and Urwerk. The watch I was anticipating most was the Greubel Forsey GMT, which we sold the day we received it. The next in my mind is the Key of Time from Hublot. The Hublot Big Bang is our best seller, because we have the Hublot shop, along with Panerai, which has been a daily sale for some years. Both these brands seduce the customers quite quickly.

Business is OK although there certainly is a difference from three years ago. The lesson is to adjust one’s business to the market by watching overheads and deleting unproductive expenses or staff from one’s space. I think 2012 will be much the same as 2011. The most exciting brands certainly are the ones showing innovation, flair and consistency in quality of production. This whole retailer vs. brand story makes for an interesting debate as there clearly are two sides, however, in our experience it simply does not pay to be at the mercy of the brand if they retail their own goods as they are your supply line and therefore dictate to you. A retailer’s business is very relationship-based and if your supplier tries to lure your customer to their boutique, they would be considered a

This has been an incredibly busy year for us. We just finished a major remodel of our store and we’re thrilled about the results. We had our soft opening in September and our grand opening this year extending into the week


Laurent Picciotto

Levinson Jewelers

Russell Caplan, president, Topper Jewelers (Burlingame, California, USA):

before Valentine’s Day. Redoing our store has definitely caused us to take a very close look at our product mix and carefully structure what we do and project where our future lies. We had to let go of a brand because they wanted an amount of linear space that was incompatible with our product mix. That said, we now have a gorgeous Omega shop in shop as well as a private viewing room. We are now carrying Glashütte and Bremont and have installed shop in shops for Glashütte, Zenith, Longines and Ball. Our watch product mix is rounded out with Bremont, Anonimo, Ernst Benz, Rado, Ebel, Michele, Philip Stein and Hamilton. While we are always on the lookout for great new things (Bremont for example) we are viewing this coming year as a business building one and are not planning on adding a lot of new product. We are really quite happy with our product mix and are projecting a very positive 2012. We had nice growth in 2011 and without having the store be a giant pile of rubble are expecting a much better 2012. The watch brand I’m the most excited about in 2012 is Omega. Their upgraded product introductions and reduction in distribution has left us in a position where we are feeling great not just about our current business, but are very excited about the future. Having carried the brand for essentially forever the transition from how are we going to sell it to how are we going to get enough is a huge positive change. Largely because of their partnership our physical layout of our store is going to help us grow far into the future. The other two brands I’m anxious to see in Basel are Glashütte and Zenith. When you add a new brand obviously you always worry about whether you are making a good decision and with Glashütte that has been an unreserved yes! Zenith over the last three years has gotten back to the core values of being a classic manufactured watch line. O

International Fair for the Watch and Jewellery Supply Industry Organised by MCH Group, the maker of Baselworld



Brands use digital to make an impact at the big watch fairs RTamar Koifman & Faaria Baig, Digital Luxury Group


The first major watch event of the year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva was a star-studded show featuring the Haute Horlogerie elite. The 18 brands unveiled their finest pieces in an extravagant setting, with lavish boutiques, world-renowned celebrities and champagne bars to match. However, the champagne was not the only thing that kept flowing; non-stop tweets and numerous Facebook posts were going round the clock creating a huge buzz. These, along with other digital initiatives, formed an integral part of the brands’ marketing strategies for the event. Here are the key digital highlights from the SIHH, surely a taste of what’s to come at BaselWorld.

fair. Their blog on Tumblr ( featured numerous posts about the exclusive collections, videos and recaps from the event.

Getting in front Even though the event was closed to the public, Vacheron Constantin’s online forum, The Hour Lounge (, offered their members a chance to attend an exclusive gettogether in Geneva which included a private dinner party, visit to the manufacture and VIP access to the SIHH.

This marketing strategy ensured that the brand would receive exclusive online exposure in the lead up to and during the event. Furthermore, Jaeger-LeCoultre was the only brand to use Google AdWords to promote its presence at the SIHH.

Tweets go flying Favoured by the WIFI coverage at the SIHH, Twitter was the digital platform of choice as it proved to be a very convenient and engaging way for brands to communicate the happenings directly from the event. DLG recorded the activity on Twitter during the time period of the SIHH (see table 1), and as expected, most of the brands experienced very positive results—with a notable increase in the number of followers. In particular, Roger Dubuis and IWC fuelled the topics of conversation—this proactive approach allowed these brands to record a higher increase in the number of followers than the average of the exhibiting brands. Twitter regular Jaeger-LeCoultre was the most active brand sending out over 100 related tweets, gaining the greatest volume of brand mentions during the event. Baume & Mercier also gained a significant number of mentions on Twitter during the event, anticipating the noise that would be created by aggregating all the tweets that were published in connection with the SIHH on to one platform, This initiative was a successful way for Baume & Mercier to increase their exposure.

Behind the scenes with blogs IWC paid significant attention to their digital communications, ensuring fans did not miss out on all the action from the watch

Key insight – Although they don’t have an official account, Richard Mille caused a stir on Twitter, with over 470 mentions of the brand. This was the highest number out of all the brands and

Jaeger-LeCoultre employed a very strategic search engine advertising campaign on Google. For SIHH-related searches, the JaegerLeCoultre ad featured in the top position.

A.Lange & Söhne also provided highlights from the event on their blog (, with a collection of photo galleries and videos showcasing their cocktail event, interviews and the making of new timepieces. These blogs serve as an interactive and engaging way to provide fans with recaps of events, allowing them behind-the-scenes access to bring them into the brand’s world.



643 Park Avenue New York City


Twitter Activity of Haute Horlogerie brands during SIHH 2012 (Table 1)

© Digital Luxury Group, January 2012

likely due to hype surrounding the launch of their bold new timepieces. It will be interesting to see if this positive outcome pushes the brand to create a presence on Twitter in the near future. The five most popular posts on the leading social network The usual suspect, Facebook, was certainly alive with news from SIHH. Brand pages were flooded with content from the event featuring pictures and videos of their showrooms, new collections, and famous ambassadors who appeared at the fair. Taking into account all the activities on the platform, DLG identified the five most popular SIHH-related posts on Facebook (Table 2).

IWC and Cartier dominated Facebook with the most engaging content, notably featuring only watch models. IWC’s post, ‘Take my breath away’ displays its Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun. ‘Cartier craftsmanship’, posted on Cartier’s Facebook page, shows their Santos-Dumont XL watch with a horse motif. Also worth mentioning regarding Facebook use are Vacheron Constantin and Montblanc, who created dedicated tabs on their Facebook page to make the SIHH updates more interactive. These are just some of the many digital initiatives that brands implemented to increase their awareness at the SIHH. It will be interesting to see what is next on the cards for all the brands involved at the watch event of the year in early March, BaselWorld. O

The 5 most popular Facebook post during the SIHH 2012 (Table 2)

© Digital Luxury Group, January 2012


WorldWatchReport 2012: China overtakes, Omega closes in on Rolex and other key findings RTamar Koifman & Faaria Baig, Digital Luxury Group Background Since 2004, the WorldWatchReport™, published by the Digital Luxury Group in partnership with Europa Star, has provided the industry with an exclusive analysis of the interests and preferences of luxury watch consumers around the world. Based on a methodology utilising Digital Luxury Group’s proprietary technology, the report identifies and analyses over 1 billion watch-related searches and translates them into client intentions related to brands, models, distribution, replicas, price, and accessories. The study tracks 40 of the most renowned luxury watch brands in the top 20 markets across the globe: A.Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Dior Watches, Ebel, Roger Dubuis, Jaquet Droz, Harry Winston, Hermès, Richard Mille, Franck Muller, Frédérique Constant, Girard Perregaux, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Louis Vuitton, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Omega, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Rado, Raymond Weil, Rolex, TAG Heuer, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Zenith Market dynamics With a visibility across 20 countries, the analysis tracks which markets have the highest affinity for luxury watches and how they change over time. For the first time since the study launched in 2004, China overtook the USA as the country exhibiting the highest demand for luxury watches, representing 23 per cent of all watch-related searches. In fact, most of the global demand was fuelled by the East. Beyond China, Japan, India and Russia saw increases over last year, while most western markets experienced significant market share drops, especially the US, Germany and Italy.

Brazil, often described as a fast-emerging luxury market, remained stagnant this past year, neither gaining nor losing market share in comparison to other luxury watch markets. Demand strong in China Coming of no surprise to those working for luxury watch brands is the continued strength of China in driving overall watch demand. Composed of three major regions and 56 ethnic groups, China’s diversity requires an in-depth understanding of local culture and clientele preferences, and this is no different when analysing the interest for luxury watches. Coastal China, represented by major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Dalian, represented 57 per cent of the nation’s demand for luxury timepieces, highlighting that the luxury markets in central China are still to be developed, a potential opportunity for brands. In addition to differing levels of demand across China, the interest for particular brands is stronger in some regions over others. Omega and Longines hold the top two positions in most Chinese provinces, but the people of Guangdong province have a preference for Rolex, Cartier is much stronger in Shanghai than anywhere else, Patek Philippe ranks highly in Beijing and Vacheron Constantin does comparatively well in Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Most popular watch models Among the 1,300+ individual watch models tracked by the WorldWatchReport, the top 10 models alone account for 30 per cent of the worldwide demand. Unchanged for the last three consecutive years, Omega’s Seamaster, Rolex’s Submariner and Rolex’s Daytona capture the greatest model-level interest. Noteworthy are TAG Heuer’s Carrera and Cartier’s Tank, which continue to remain strong in the lexicon of luxury watch models.


DEMAND FOR LUXURY WATCHES IN CHINA | REGIONAL SEARCHES. Share of searches by administrative division




Omega gaining ground on Rolex Taking a closer look at the interest expressed in search engines for the two industry leaders shows that the gap Rolex held over Omega in 2009 is quickly closing in. In this year’s study the difference between the two is only a few percentage points. Accelerated by sponsorship activity at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Omega’s development in China has been

swift. In 2012, this Swatch Group brand became the most searched for brand in the country, with 20.2 per cent of total luxury watch related searches - against Rolex’s 10.5 per cent. It’s hard to predict what the upcoming year(s) will show, but if the trend persists we might see a dethroning of Rolex by 2014.


© Digital Luxury Group, 2012

Counterfeits less interesting for the Chinese Research shows that global searches related to counterfeits and replicas experienced a relative decrease, representing 1.85 per cent of total luxury watch searches compared to 4.5 per cent last year. Amongst the 40 brands analysed, sport watches seem to be the most at risk for counterfeit interest, with Hublot, Rolex and Breitling receiving 4.5 per cent, 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively of total searches for their brands linked to replicas – more than any other brand. In the case of China, last year’s study showed that 2.1 per cent of

luxury watch searches were related to replicas, whereas this year that figure has dropped to 0.51 per cent. This shows evidence of a potential reduction in counterfeit watch sales in China a trend noticed across other luxury industry segments and confirmed by a recent study published in The Economist… good news for the industry! For more information about the WorldWatchReport™, published by Digital Luxury Group in partnership with Europa Star on an annual basis, please visit O




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Editorial & Advertisers’ index A Académie des Horlogers Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) 57 Aerowatch 94 A. Lange & Söhne 34, 134, 138 Alexander Shorokoff 63, 94 Alpina 24, 116 Anonimo 132 Anson Group 143 Antoine Martin 58 Antoine Preziuso 46 Antopi 117 Arcad 22 Ateliers de Monaco 24 Atlantic 88 Atokalpa 18, 61 Audemars Piguet 20, 22, 60, 136, 138, COVER IV Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi 36 Aviator 120 B Badollet 24 Ball 132 BaselWorld 8, 20, 33, 38, 42, 52, 57, 65, 74, 80, 84, 90, 95,

97, 99, 109, 112, 116, 122, 124, 130 Baume & Mercier 72, 130, 134, 136, 138 Bell & Ross 70, 130 Bijoumontre 89 Blacksand 89 Blancpain 59, 138 Bonetto 129 Borgeaud 24 Boucheron 8 Bovet 44-45 Braun 71 Breguet 19, 34, 138 Breitling 108, 130, 131, 138, 140 Bremont 109, 130, 132 Bulgari 58, 138 C Carl F. Bucherer 25, 95 Carlo Ferrara 130 Cartier 18, 19, 136, 138, 139 Century 27, 90-91 Certina 126 Chanel 6-7, 36-37, 138 China Haidian 72, 73 China Watch & Clock Fair (CWCF) 142

Chopard 22, 42-43, 54, 138 Citizen 75 Clerc 108 Codex 72 Concord 108 Corum 21 Cousins 142 Couture 137 Cover 118 Cross 83 Cuervo y Sobrinos 59 Cyma 60 D Damoiselle D 88 Davidoff 118 David Yurman 92 Davosa 120 De Bethune 26, 76, 131 de Grisogono 38 Devon 53 DeWitt 46 Digital Luxury Group (DLG) 10, 134, 136, 138-140 Dior 88, 138 Doxa 120 Drops 126 Dubey & Schaldenbrand 59 Dubois Dépraz 18

E Ebel 132, 138 Eberhard 108 Ebohr 72 Ellicott 24 Emile Chouriet 67 EPHJ 141 Epos 96-97 Erick J. Exertier 48, 128 Ernest Borel 55, 99 Ernst Benz 118, 132 ETA 18, 19, 72, 73 Eterna 72-74 Eva Leube 56-57 F Festina 18 Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) 8 Fortis 152 Fossil 128 Franc Vila 46 Franck Muller 138 Frédéric Jouvenot 24 Frédérique Constant 24, 98, 116, 138 G Gainerie91 127

Gc 122 Geneva Time Exhibition (GTE) 8 Gergé 94 Girard-Perregaux 8, 136, 138 Glashütte 132 Graff 48 Graham 104 Greubel Forsey 54, 131, 132 Gucci 8, 126 H Haldimann 46 Hamilton 82, 132 Hanhart 114 Harry Winston 40, 138 Hautlence 24 Hermès 17, 18, 22, 26, 60-62, 138 Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 145 Hublot 20, 22, 64-65, 130, 131, 132, 138, 140 HYT 52 I Ice-Watch 103, 124-125 Ingersoll 49, 148, 149 Itay Noy 130 IWC60, 130, 131, 134, 136, 138

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Editorial & Advertisers’ index J Jacques Lemans 128 Jaeger-LeCoultre 4-5, 60, 131, 134, 136, 138 Jaquet Droz 138 Jordi Swiss Icon 58 Joseph Erard 22 K Kari Voutilainen 131 L Ladoire 24 La Fabrique du Temps 22 Lajoux-Perret 18 Lancel 18 Lansa 144 Lausannetec 133 Linde Werdelin 112-113 Lois Hill 88 Longines 72, 80, 132, 138 Louis Vuitton 13, 19, 22, 138 Luminox 120 LVMH 18, 19, 20, 22 M Maîtres du Temps 24 Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin 48, 89

Maurice Lacroix 94, 138 MB&F 132 MCT 24 Michele 132 Milus 24, 72 Mira 89 Miyota 105 Mondaine 126 Montblanc 18, 26, 76, 138 Moscow Watch Expo 150

24, 28-31, 131, 138 Pequignet 59 Peter Tanisman 88 Philip Stein 89, 132 Piaget 19, 24, 136, 138 Pierre de Roche 23 Porsche Design 72-74 PPR 8 Profusion 22 Promotion SpA 93

N Nivarox 18 Nixon 126 Noa 118 Novi 22

R Raboud Group 146-147 Rado 108, 132, 138 Raymond Weil 14-15, 22, 24, 138 Reconvillier 118 Richard Mille 39, 131, 134, 138 Richemont Group 16, 18, 19 Roberto Coin 24 Roger Dubuis 134, 136, 138 Rolex COVER II, 1, 18, 19, 22, 32-33, 57, 124, 138, 139, 140 Romain Jérome 24 Ronda 115 Rossini 72 Rudis Sylva 24, 58

O Omega 19, 78, 130, 132, 138, 138, 139, 140 Orient Watch Company 100101 Oris 126 P Panerai 19, 132, 138 Parmigiani 18 Parrera 130 Patek Philippe COVER I,22,

S Salvatore Ferragamo 128 Sandoz Family Foundation 18 Sea-Gull 106 Seiko 76-77, 86-87 Sejac 123 Sellita 18 SIHH 8, 65, 134 Skagen 79 Snyper 24 Soprod 18 Speake-Marin 50 Staib COVER III Swatch 19, 125 Swatch Group 16, 18, 19, 22, 28, 72, 125 Swiss Military – Hanowa 120 T TAG Heuer 11, 18, 19, 26, 66, 68, 76, 130, 131, 138, 152 Technotime 18, 54 The Chinese Timekeeper 106107, 130 The Watch Avenue 151 Timecrafters 135 Time Module 119, 121 Tissot 35, 72, 84-85 Titoni 41, 72

Tudor 138 Tutima 47 U Ulysse Nardin 57, 138 Universal Genève 60 Universo 19 Urwerk 132 V, W Vacheron Constantin 4-5, 19, 134, 136, 138 ValFleurier 19 Van Cleef & Arpels 18, 138 Vasto 48 Vaucher Manufacture 18, 61 Venus 51 Versace 128 Victorinox Swiss Army 110111 Vulcain 102, 131 Westar 81 Y, Z Yeslam 94 Yonger & Bresson 69 Zeitwinkel 59 Zenith 9, 19, 24, 26, 76, 131, 132, 138

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Seeing is believing Just before Christmas I received an email entitled ‘An Invisible Wristwatch’. Presuming that it was some sort of shaggy dog story, I placed it in my ‘Jokes’ file on my computer. Going through the file this morning I discovered that it was from the Gevril Group and I opened it to discover, to my disappointment, that the wristwatch was an ‘art watch’ called Frisson designed by Rolf Sachs for Fortis. What is special about it is the ‘ finish on the mineral glass crystal resembles an iced vodka glass just out of the freezer.’ It has been designed to ‘encourage the wearer to physically interact with the watch by wiping a wet finger over the dial or breathing on it to get a clearer view through the frosted glass.’ The text continues, ‘This breathtaking [no pun intended by the company] design literally changes in appearance every time you touch it. The moisture of your breath brings clarity to the dial for just a moment, before it returns to being semi hidden by a veil of icy frost.’ Licking one’s finger prior to being able to read the time may appeal to some, but when you consider the places the average digit may have been since the last time you checked the time, it would be wise to think twice before actually doing it. Personally, I’d prefer the iced vodka and a normal watch, but then I belong to the old school that believes a quick glance at your wrist should suffice. Be that as it may, much to my chagrin, the ‘invisible wristwatch’ is not invisible, merely bewildering. Nevertheless, I love the idea of an invisible watch. Can you imagine going along to say TAG Heuer and telling Jean-Christophe Babin, the CEO, that you’ve invented an invisible wristwatch. “Can I see it?” asks Babin. “No,” “Why not?” “Because it’s invisible,” you say as you push up your sleeve and show him a naked wrist. “So what time is it?” he asks. “I don’t know.” “Why not?” “Because invisible means you can’t see it!” “So why have one?” “Because time is no object.” “Well one thing’s for sure, you’re wasting my time.” “But time is money!” “And how will that make money for TAG Heuer?” “The watch is not expensive to produce.” At which point you’d be thrown out quicker than TAG’s new Mikrogirder can notch up two thousandths of a second! The invisible watch concept is a little like the story about the nurse who

rushes into the doctor’s office and says, “Doctor, there’s an invisible man in the waiting room.” “Tell him I can't see him.” “But you don’t have another appointment at the moment.” “Right, but I can’t see him.” “Why not?” “Because he’s invisible Nurse.” “But I’ve just seen him.” “No you haven’t.” “Yes I have, otherwise I wouldn’t be asking you to see him would I?” “Nurse, it’s a joke, don’t you understand? It’s a play on words, I can’t see him, you can’t see him if he’s invisible, right? “Well I don’t think it’s funny. He might be ill.” “All right, show him in.” “I think he left. I can’t see him.” “How do you know he left if he’s invisible?” “There’s a note on the chair.” “I hope it’s not in invisible ink. Can you read it?” “It says, ‘Can’t wait. Licked my watch and discovered an untapped source of iced vodka!” And speaking of doctors, did you hear about the man who hadn't been feeling well and went to his doctor for a complete checkup. After the doctor had carefully examined him he sat the patient down and with a rather grim look on his face said, "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you’re dying and you really don’t have much time.” "Oh no, that's terrible. How long have I got?" the man asks. Looking at his watch, the doctor says, "10..." "10? 10 what? 10 months, weeks, what?" he asks desperately. "9...8...7..." Well, you’ve got to laugh haven’t you.

D. Malcolm Lakin Roving Editor

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