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Editorial - On the up

Editorial On the up

Baselworld will be a continuation of SIHH as far as trends and business are concerned.

Having read the press release from the Swiss Exhibitors Committee at Baselworld, which was sent out on Valentine’s Day, it looks like we can expect a continuation of the trend already seen at the SIHH for more classic watch designs pitched at more affordable prices.

Echoes I have heard from other brands over the past couple of weeks would appear to substantiate this. Corum had a great year last year, although the brand was admittedly starting from a low base, and Carl F. Bucherer did well, too, and has seen a very positive evolution over the first few weeks of 2017. The Lucerne based brand is also building on a trend for champagne coloured dials that emerged last year, as seen on its first Baselworld 2017 preview model, the Manero Flyback. Official export figures for January, scheduled to be released by the Federation of the Swiss Watchmaking industry tomorrow, will show whether this trend can be extrapolated to the industry as a whole.

David Chokron’s interview with Cartier’s Marketing Director Arnaud Carrez, reveals how the brand is adapting its product and marketing strategies, targeting its core female clientele as part of a general refocusing of its activities. Read the interview for the full story.

Later this week, Olivier Müller kicks off a mini-series of articles on dual-time watches. Inspired by a discussion we had during the SIHH, which was triggered by a brand that wished to differentiate between its universal time display and a world time function, the first article looks at the different types of time zone functions and displays. The second article in the series, which will be published next week, will take a more pedantic approach, looking at the difference between two apparently similar, yet intrinsically different abbreviations: GMT and UTC.

Time as we know it is, of course, an artificial construct that mankind invented to simplify our everyday lives. Our 24-hour days and 60-minute hours are conveniently close to time as the fourth dimension of the space-time continuum. But what is good enough for most people is not sufficient for astronomers, who use sidereal time, based on the Earth’s rotation, in order to locate celestial objects. Vacheron Constantin has pioneered a new “tropical gear train” that can display sidereal time either poetically, as is the case with its Copernicus artistic crafts models, or scientifically, as on the Celestia Astronomical. Tomorrow I take a closer look at the technology behind this. Bovet also presented an astronomical watch with similar functions, but implemented using another, equally innovative approach. Find out more in my article later this week.

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Bovet 1822

The Bovet Manufacture upholds the tradition of decorative art applied to finely cut and hand-painted dials, thus passing on the unrivalled knowhow that has been gracing the Firm’s collections and...

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Carl F. Bucherer

Watches of technical perfection and beauty, through tradition and the force of innovation. Carl F. Bucherer is an independent Swiss watchmaker with expertise in the production of precious...

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Cartier

Characterised by audacity and inventiveness, Cartier’s watchmaking history reflects a unique state of mind: “jeweller of kings and king of jewellers”. Its renown is bound up in the tradition of...

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Vacheron Constantin

An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the...

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