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WorldTempus Newsletter
Editorial - 1969

Editorial 1969

A look back to the past shows that there is hope for the future.

Having made my feelings about Baselworld pretty clear ahead of the show, I won’t go back over them here, save to say that the new management deserve praise for the what they have accomplished and, more important, for their openness and positive attitude. In 17 years of attending the show it was the first time I was greeted almost on a daily basis by Mr Loris-Melikoff or his right-hand man, Chief Operations Officer Cédric Eggen. It may seem a small detail, but multiplied by over 3,000 media representatives and 500 exhibitors present at the show, it can make a big difference. 

After seeing all the major new watch launches at Baselworld, it struck me that 1969 was a pivotal year in the watch industry. The lunar landing that propelled the Omega Speedmaster to fame was a momentous occasion, but earlier the same year the world’s first automatic chronograph was presented (the classic Speedmaster is manual) and towards the end of the year Seiko presented the world’s first quartz watch. Watch industry history shows how significant that news was. 

But 1969 was prefaced by a year of revolution around the world in 1968 as populations rose up against authoritarianism and imperialism. The Civil Rights movement spread in the USA and “The Troubles” started in Ireland and would last for 30 years. One of the biggest expressions of civil unrest was in France, where students joined mass strikes lasting over a month. I cannot help but see parallels with the world of today, with divisive politics in the USA and the UK and similar protests as 51 years ago in France. Let’s hope that, at a macro scale rather than just for the niche industry phenomenon of Baselworld and the watch industry, that the 50th anniversary of this great reversal is just going to be a year late. 

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

8 April 2019
zahab Walid
And was the year i was born - man i feel old
8 April 2019