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Editorial - Win the Alpina Seastrong Horological Smartwatch

Editorial Win the Alpina Seastrong Horological Smartwatch

The countdown to Baselworld 2017, a whiff of petrol and a brand-new Alpina smart watch to be won.

As we start the month of March on Wednesday, the countdown to Baselworld 2017 begins in earnest. It may just be coincidence, but March is also the month in which the long decline in Swiss watch exports could be reversed. The January export statistics published by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry last week were in line with expectations, with the decline in Hong Kong slowing and both China and the USA, the second and third biggest export markets respectively, both growing. Analysts at Vontobel predict similar figures for February ahead of positive growth in March.

A couple of weeks ago I wondered how many new smart watches we were likely to see launched at Baselworld and noted the efforts of Frederique Constant and TAG Heuer to in-source the know-how required in this field. This week we get to hear exactly what Peter Stas, who initiated the Horological Smartwatch project at Frederique Constant and cannily spun off MMT, the unit responsible for it, before his group was sold to Citizen, thinks about the future of the market. You can read the full interview tomorrow and the announcement of a new smart strap from MMT you will see on the site this week gives you a good idea what to expect from Frederique Constant at Baselworld. As early as next week we might have some exciting news from TAG Heuer with a new shift in the paradigm.

Winning at social media
TAG Heuer clearly signalled its intention to target “millennials” last week by announcing Bella Hadid as its new brand ambassador, at the same time bidding a discreet goodbye to Cara Delevingne. “We need to start with Millennials,” explained TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver. “Although they cannot buy now, they will be buying later. If you don’t talk to them now, how can they dream about you later?” One of the deciding factors for choosing Bella Hadid was her huge Instagram following of 10.7 million. Less buzz was made, however, about another major signing by TAG Heuer the following day, when Colombian singer J Balvin was also announced as a new brand ambassador. The deal resulted from a chance meeting with Jean-Claude Biver in a Colombian hotel, but it brings double benefits: J Balvin actually has even more Instagram followers (14.7 million) than Bella Hadid and opens up the entire Latin American market to the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds. Laurie Kahle was at the announcement for WorldTempus. Read her report here.

Win the Alpina Seastrong Horological Smartwatch
As a diver’s watch fan, I noticed considerable enthusiasm for the Alpina Seastrong Diver model on social media ever since its launch at Baselworld last year. This popular model has now undergone the horological smartwatch treatment to make it “smart” without foregoing any of its robust diver’s watch charm. And with the quartz movement it’s an unbeatable 595 Swiss francs. But you could even get one free of charge if you enter our March competition!

Revving up
A new partnership between Roger Dubuis and Italdesign will be announced next week at the Geneva Motor Show (you will find the information later this week on WorldTempus), with more watch-related announcements expected on the press days.  But there’s already a whiff of petrol on the site this week as we review the Baume & Mercier Shelby Cobra Limited Edition and the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli models today, plus news of a new partnership. But we will also look at some gem-set beauties and the artistic craft models presented at the start of the year, as well as the second in Olivier Müller’s series decoding the different interpretations of time zones. Next week, we will really start to burn some rubber.

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