Author: Arsene Wargas

Baselworld 2017 – 5 great watches you need to know.

Baselworld 2017 – 5 great watches you need to know.

Reading Time: 4 minutesWith Baselworld 2017 starting, all the Swiss watchmaking industry will be celebrating the best creative minds and extraordinary watches. Last year was not the greatest year of all for the Swiss Watchmaking industry. Thanks to a good holiday season, Swiss watchmakers ended up the year at -9.7%. It could have been much worse. The segment of +CHF 8’000 were responsible for the biggest part of these negative results with -11.6%. Watches between CHF 500 to CHF 3’000 only decreased by 3.9%. The total exports for 2016 is at CHF 19.4 billion. So there are big expectations for 2017. Here are 5 great watches that show that the Swiss watch industry has a strong future. Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Astorite Astorite dial, white mother-of-pearl center, 18K red gold applied ring. 18K red gold case set with 232 diamonds, total of 1.23 carats. Self-winding mechanical movement. Power reserve of 68 hours. Diameter 35…

Exclusive Interview with Jean-Marie Schaller – CEO of Louis Moinet

Exclusive Interview with Jean-Marie Schaller – CEO of Louis Moinet

Reading Time: 10 minutesThe spirit of a luxury house is often represented by the personality and the charisma of its leader. Louis Moinet’s CEO Jean-Marie Schaller translates this idea. LuxuryActivist had the opportunity and privilege to meet Mr Schaller in the heart of Baselworld effervescence. We wanted to know more about him and this magnificent watch brand. Louis Moinet was one of the greatest watchmakers ever – his inventiveness, passion and willingness to pass on his wisdom mean his contribution to horology is immeasurable. His spirit lives on thanks to Jean-Marie Schaller who, as founder and creative director of the Louis Moinet brand, revived the prestigious name of the inspirational master watchmaker. Louis Moinet pursuits its path of greatness and loyal to the spirit of Mr Moinet, the Swiss brand perpetuates the legacy of exceptional timepieces. LuxuryActivist wanted to meet Mr Schaller for an exclusive interview that you can read here: LuxuryActivist (LA): How did you get…

Manufacture Royale, new launches 2017 – Freedom of creation is priceless.

Manufacture Royale, new launches 2017 – Freedom of creation is priceless.

Reading Time: 7 minutesBaselworld is finished and we must confess it was a nice edition. At LuxuryActivist we discovered or rediscovered great watchmakers. With the creation of the new space called “Les Ateliers”, Baselworld celebrate the high value of independent creators and Manufacture Royale is for sure one of the best. Manufacture Royale, great heritage that builds the future. In 1770, French philosopher Voltaire supports the establishment of watchmaking workshops in Ferney-Voltaire near Geneva and Manufacture Royale is established. It is then an important producer of timepieces and the famous Jean-Antoine Lépine, clockmaker to the king, is one of its watchmakers. Manufacture Royale also made objets d’art such as table watches. The Manufacture gently disappeared from the news but was revived recently in 2010. In its modern era, Manufacture Royale produces modern watches with great Haute Horlogerie complications, manufactured in-house. Currently they also produce and manufacture watches elements for several other brands, showing a strong in-house…

Hermes Baselworld 2017, new watches you need to know.

Hermes Baselworld 2017, new watches you need to know.

Reading Time: 4 minutesBaselworld has more than 1’000 brands represented in the fair. It is by far the biggest international watch event. Some watchmakers are legends and some watches became iconic. Hermès has for the past 30 years adopted a high-qualitative position by taking care of each single detail of their watches. Each Baselworld is a surprise and generally a good one. Before starting the watch fair, Hermes has released 2 amazing incoming creations: Hermes Cape Cod Hommes Hermes Slim Quantième Perpétuel Platine The history of Hermès watches is not new. It already started back then in the beginning of the 20th century when Jacqueline Hermès would wear a pocket watch for which Hermès would built a wrist bracelet. This was back in 1912. This definitely shows the earlier interest of the Hermès family for wrist watches and a very innovative approach. From the 1920’s and especially from 1928, Hermès officially started selling wrist…

Baselworld 2017, a new year of hope. 

Baselworld 2017, a new year of hope. 

Reading Time: 6 minutes2016 was a tought year for the Swiss watchmaking. With a negative growth, things became quite complicated for some established brands. SIHH 2017 is over and we can see that things went pretty conservative. Probably the bad mood from the end of the year was still present. With Baselworld, brands already started by activating themselves and everybody hope that the business will re-start growing again. What should we expect from Baselworld 2017? Here somme interesting facts. The Swiss Watchmaking Federation, 2016 facts and figures Last year was not the greatest year of all for the Swiss Watchmaking industry. Thanks to a good holiday season, Swiss watchmakers ended up the year at -9.7%. It could have been much worse. The segment of > CHF 8’000 were responsible for the biggest part of these negative results with -11.6%. Watches between CHF 500 to CHF 3’000 only decreased by 3.9%. The total exports…

Exclusive interview with Ricardo Guadalupe – CEO of Hublot

Exclusive interview with Ricardo Guadalupe – CEO of Hublot

Reading Time: 7 minutesPour la version française, cliquez ici. Behind great brands are great men. Hublot  is not an exception. This week, the LuxuryActivist team had the privilege to obtain an exclusive private interview with Mr Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot’s CEO. We met a determined man, very passionate for what he does and definitely the engine of Hublot’s current success. His strong experience within the Swiss watchmaking industry gives him a clear vision on where he should lead Hublot and he has the entire trust and support of his team. His speech is very inspiring and should be a lesson to many people. Swiss watchmaking is a leading force and the men working very hard behind the scenes are the number one inspiration of this success. Mr Guadalupe is an important person worth listening. LuxuryActivist (LA): You started in 2012 as Hublot’s CEO, what is your recipe that guided you all the way to accomplish…

SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre – “Simplexity” at its best.

SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre – “Simplexity” at its best.

Reading Time: 6 minutesWith the 27th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie – 2017 SIHH, opening we can see amazing new creations that will rhythm the year of all watch passionate people. One timepiece to highlight is the new Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre. Simple and complex, a true beauty for the eyes. For other 2017 launches you can read our previous article here. Parmigiani Fleurier – It is all about the love of watchmaking Parmigiani is a contemporary story of watchmaking. One that deserves to be told as only a few watchmakers dared to launch a new brand, in the middle of the Quartz crisis. In 1974, Michel Parmigiani had only recently graduated when the watchmaking industry was confronted with an unprecedented crisis caused by the massive influx of quartz movements from Asia. Within a decade, what would later be referred to as “the Quartz Crisis” saw the loss of 90,000 jobs and affected whole…

SIHH 2017, what to expect ?

SIHH 2017, what to expect ?

Reading Time: 8 minutesFor this 27th year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) will present several new interesting topics to note. For the past 27 years, SIHH has given visitors a 360° view of horological expertise. Spotlighting each brand inside a thoughtfully designed setting, it remains true to its fundamental vocation as an important and exclusive rendezvous for the sector. Visitors can discover the latest collections, meet other professionals, spot future trends, and exchange with the 17 historic Maisons and the new wave of independent artisan-creators inside the “Carré des Horlogers”. Last year, 24 exhibiting Maisons were at the 2016 SIHH. This was one of the two major innovations at this 26th edition, which welcomed nine independent workshops and creators to join the 15 established Maisons that have made the SIHH the first key gathering of the watchmaking year. These nine contemporary brands, which these past years have imposed their own style and…

Pre-SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier at its best.

Pre-SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier at its best.

Reading Time: 3 minutesOn May 29th 1996, the brand Parmigiani Fleurier is founded. It is born from the trust woven between Michel Parmigiani and the Sandoz Family Foundation who have acknowledged his talent as a watchmaker. 20 years later, the Fleurier watch-maker is keeping with innovation and know-how. SIHH 2017 starts and Parmigiani is presenting amazing creations, all highlights of what Parmigiani does at its best. Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Galaxy Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Meteorite Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe With these new launches Parmigiani displays the in-house high-end know-how in dials and the luxury ultimate aspect of its watches. The Tonda 1950 Galaxy showcases a magnificent Aventurine glass dial. It procures a glittering glass made in high-temperature and low-oxygen environment. When you look to the watch, you have the feeling to see the sky and the universe with its stars. The brand added 84 diamonds ti the bezel and a very beautiful…

Pre-SIHH 2017: Rotonde De Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton

Pre-SIHH 2017: Rotonde De Cartier Mysterious Hour Skeleton

Reading Time: 3 minutesCartier has created some of the most iconic watches in the history of Swiss watchmaking. One of them is the Rotonde de Cartier. In 2017, the luxury brand will release a Mysterious Hour Skeleton variant that will delight all SIHH 2017 visitors. The Rotonde de Cartier watch showcases the most sophisticated movements in Fine Watchmaking: a central chronograph, flying tourbillon, and astrorégulateur. The design of the Rotonde de Cartier offers a flexible and modern shape that would allow Cartier to reinvent the model all the time. Combinations are unlimited and its design will communicate a timeless modernity. With the first launch of the collection in 2006, it became quite fast  true icon of design for the Cartier brand. Cartier’s art of watchmaking is always an astonishing one. They will bring such a level of detail to the creations that you can only be amazed by it. They have enough talent to not…

Pre-SIHH 2017: Piaget and the 60th anniversary of the ALTIPLANO

Pre-SIHH 2017: Piaget and the 60th anniversary of the ALTIPLANO

Reading Time: 4 minutesOne of the remarkable things with watchmaking is the ability watchmakers have to perpetuate traditions. When great creations become iconic, even several decades later, they are still relevant. In a world where economic crisis changes the deal, focusing on  one brand’s strength is a great strategy. 2017 SIHH will be an amazing stage to celebrate Swiss watchmaking.  During the International watch show, Piaget will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its iconic collection ALTIPLANO. 2 versions: one 43mm Automatic movement and another one 38mm manual movement. Piaget is for sure the king of ultra-thin movements It was in 1957 that Piaget created the extraordinary 9P Caliber. Only 2mm thin and for that time (and still today) it is a technical lifetime achievement. At that time there was no modern technology to help achieving this challenge. Some of the components were as thin as the human hair! And it took Piaget only 3…

Pre-SIHH 2017 – IWC reinvents the Da Vinci Collection

Pre-SIHH 2017 – IWC reinvents the Da Vinci Collection

Reading Time: 4 minutesIWC is probably one of the best story tellers in the Swiss watch industry. Collection after collection, the Schaffhausen company takes its inspiration from amazing stories and heritage and translate them into beautiful and unique timepieces. During SIHH 2017, IWC will reveal its new variation of the Da Vinci collection. A true celebration to one of the most brilliant minds of human kind: Leonardo Da Vinci. In the late 1960s, Leonardo da Vinci’s revolutionary way of thinking inspired IWC to introduce a watch named after him. Even that very first Da Vinci model surprised watch lovers with a special quality that has remained typical of the family to this day: that of always being a little ahead of its time. Many trailblazing innovations have first been developed for use in a Da Vinci. Never before in an IWC wristwatch had a gear train converted the enormous distance travelled by the escape wheel into a single movement…

Louis Moinet is officially the inventor of the Chronograph.

Louis Moinet is officially the inventor of the Chronograph.

Reading Time: 10 minutesAfter the best part of six months of procedures and thorough investigations, Louis Moinet has become the official holder of the title of “First Chronograph”, awarded by the official Guinness World Records organisation. In bestowing its Guinness World Records award, the worldwide authority brings further recognition of a fact already widely acknowledged in the world of watchmaking: the chronograph was first invented by Mr Louis Moinet in 1816, with his “Compteur de Tierces”. Chronometer versus Chronograph: What is the difference? According to Thesaurus, a watch is an apparatus fo measuring and recording the progress of time. Obviously in the past 300 years watches have become more than just timekeeper objects. Several watchmaking complications joined the field of possibilities. Chronometer: A name that is given to only watches with the highest precision standards. These watches have passed rigorous testing of the Swiss Official Chronometer Control which consists of 15 days under…

Manufacture Royale: A Ray of Light in Swiss Watchmaking.

Manufacture Royale: A Ray of Light in Swiss Watchmaking.

Reading Time: 5 minutesSometimes we feel that we have seen it all, especially in Watchmaking. Well you are wrong. In Switzerland you can discover true marvels, small treasures in the serious business of Watchmaking. When it comes to Luxury watches, Manufacture Royale is like a ray of light providing bright, luxurious watches aligned with a strong heritage. Thank you very much Mr Voltaire! It was all about Voltaire and his free spirit François-Marie Arouet, also known as Voltaire (his writer name), was a French writer, historian and famous philosopher of the 18th century. He believed in freedom of religion, freedom of speech and separation of church and state. Definitely not an easy position to maintain, especially in France. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was…

Hautlence Playground Labyrinth by colette – Time to disconnect

Hautlence Playground Labyrinth by colette – Time to disconnect

Reading Time: 4 minutesThe great thing about collaborations is that 1+1= 3. This means that when the partnership is good, the end result is more than simply an addition of efforts. This is the case with the amazing partnership between Hautlence and Colette. In one side we have a beautiful watch-making statement. In the other hand, Colette is the temple of trends and naturally all it-products are there. So the combination between these two brands bring something even more outstanding. It is not only about the product, it is a state of mind, a manifesto against the down-sides of modern society. Please welcome the new Hautlence Playground Labyrinth Limited Edition by Colette. Now it is definitely the time to disconnect. The Playground Labyrinth, daring is the only way Sometimes we feel that everything was already invented. All watch complications were created and basically the game is done. Until you realize that there is always…

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