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WorldTempus Newsletter
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First quarter results from the main groups coincide with Swiss bank Vontobel’s report on the industry but the most important figures of the year are yet to come, as the Apple Watch finally starts shipping this week.

The report into the Swiss watch industry published each year by Vontobel Equity Research offers a handy breakdown of the luxury watch segment (for export prices above 3,000 Swiss francs). For 2014 the podium of individual brands remains unchanged, with Rolex closely followed by Omega and Cartier. Richemont captures nearly a third of the overall market for luxury watches, but Rolex alone accounts for one in five luxury watches sold – the same market share as the entire Swatch Group combined in this segment!

“Jean-Claude Biver is a genius of the industry who rightly merits a biography”

Paul O'Neil

In the price segment below 3,000 francs, however, the situation is reversed, with the Swatch Group accounting for 40% of sales and Longines alone taking a quarter of the market with the 3.5 million watches the brand sold last year. How do they do it? Find some answers to this question next week in our interview with the brand’s CEO Walter von Känel.

Figures released last week showed that China’s GDP for the first quarter of 2015 dropped to a six-year low. This is not the best news for the Swiss watch industry, but it may be soon be forgotten as the industry looks to sales results from the Apple Watch, which finally goes on sale this week. Check our Facebook page later this week to see how WorldTempus will be “celebrating” the Apple Watch launch on 24th April.

In the meantime, another Swatch Group executive, Marc A. Hayek, today presents developments at the three luxury brands he oversees within the Swatch Group (Breguet, Blancpain and Jaquet Droz) to our readers. Later this week, we will be reviewing some highly affordable watches from Gucci as well as a new gadget that we put to great use during Baselworld.

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