Watches

SIHH 2015, the first impressions!

SIHH 2015, the first impressions!

The International Watch show in Geneva has just started and from what we heard it is going to be a good year for Swiss Watchmaking. There are definitely challenges, like the Swiss Franc exchange rate that is skyrocketing the costs. But Brands have been doing an amazing job by focusing on their strength and new emerging markets will contribute to the industry growth. SIHH, a place for the best and the unique The first impressions we get in the corridors is that 2015 will be a challenging year but a good year for Swiss Watch-making. Naturally we will need to wait Baselworld in March to get a full scope but the 16 brands presented this week in Geneva are already making their annual business. By the end of the week we will have a more solid prediction but we can say that our Swiss Brands are stars in the sky…

SIHH, la crème de la crème in watchmaking meet in Geneva

SIHH, la crème de la crème in watchmaking meet in Geneva

Next week, Geneva will beat at the rythmn of beautiful timepieces. The 25th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH)will open its doors and some of the most amazing Watch manufacturers. 16 brands will exhibit their new creations in a very luxury environment, that only happy fews will discover as it is on invitation only. A House full of (beautiful) cards The SIHH is Christmas after Christmas for the Watchmaking professionals. every year it is the first big appointment in all diaries. From the 16 brands presented in the Salon, 12 belong to the Richemont Group: A. Lange & Sohne Baume & Mercier IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Piaget Ralph Lauren Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels Outside the Richemont Group, there are guest brands that are also incredible legendary watchmakers: Audemars Piguet Greubel Forsey Parmigiani Richard Mille Last year, the 2014 SIHH was an amazing edition. With 14’000…

Girard Perregaux The Blue Hour. Understated and refined style.

Girard Perregaux The Blue Hour. Understated and refined style.

Girard Perregaux has a very distinctive style. The Swiss Brand has an amazing balance between watchmaking know-how and contemporary design. This equation made possible one of the most iconic collections of the brand, called 1966. And today, Girard Perregaux is revealing a new model called the Blue Hour. This new timepiece reminds us the beauty of the 1966 collection and the art of Swiss watchmaking. Girard Perregaux 1966 collection, simply iconic Here is a little bit of history. Back in 1960’s, Girard Perregaux was one of the single brands to invest a lot in research and development. In 1966 the Swiss watchmaker launched a collection called “1966” and featured the first high-frequency movement. With this technological breakthrough, Girard Perregaux considerably improved precision in watch-making. In the following year, 1967, 73% of all chronometer certificates awarded by the Neuchatel observatoire were given to Girard Perregaux. The 1966 collection pays a beautiful…

2015 Pre-SIHH, what to expect from Geneva watch show next january

2015 Pre-SIHH, what to expect from Geneva watch show next january

Every year, Geneva SIHH gathers some of the most iconic and beautiful watchmakers in the world. The Richemont group as well as some invited brands reveal their new creations to an audience of professionals buyers and the press. The next edition will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the trade show. 40’000m2 and 16 watchmakers will constitute the 25th SIHH in January 2015. Here is a sneak peak of what await us next january. Cartier, no Skeletons in the closet. Cartier has developed since the 60’s a true know-how in Skeleton watches. The concept of a Skeleton watch is an interesting challenge for watchmakers. All of the moving parts are visible through either the front of the watch, the back of the watch or a small cut outlining the dial. True ‘skeletonization’ also includes the trimming away of any non-essential metal on the bridge, plate, wheel train or any other mechanical part of the watch, leaving…

Richard Mille Pre-SIHH 2015: RM 33-01 Automatic watch

Richard Mille Pre-SIHH 2015: RM 33-01 Automatic watch

Richard Mille is a brand about true watchmaking. Before Christmas we have a little window over the 2015 new collections and here is the review of the RM 33-01 automatic watch. Richard Mille, a story of watchmaking After some marketing studies in Besançon- France, Richard Mille joined a small company called Finhor in 1974. It was his debuts in watchmaking. In 1981, the company was bought by Matra and Richard Mille became the manager for the watch business. After a while, Matra’s watch activities were sold to Seiko and Richard Mille decided to quit the company in 1992 with the idea of building his own brand.   After a short passage by Mauboussin, in which he built its watch business, it was in 1999 that Richard Mille SA was founded. And in 2001 the first model was launched: the RM001. What describes Richard Mille know-how? We could define it as…

Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie Geneva, our best.

Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie Geneva, our best.

At the end of October, The Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève rewarded the excellent work some watchmakers accomplished this year. The ceremony is always a moment of great expectation as since 2001, the Grand Prix is one of the most prestigious prize you could get as a watchmaker. It is the equivalent of the Oscars for the movie industry.  LuxuryActivist wished to highlight 3 major creations among all the laureates. Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève, the best of watchmaking Created in 2001 and intended as an annual salute to the excellence of worldwide watchmaking creations, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève fosters the reputation and influence of this art and its values around the globe. Values that are shared by the main partner of the Foundation of the GPHG, the Edmond de Rothschild group, which since 2011 has regularly rewarded the best young student at the Geneva Watchmaking…

Zenith Watches, the star is in the horizon

Zenith Watches, the star is in the horizon

Certain brands are forever and some of them shine bright like stars. It is the case of Zenith Watches, one of the rare authentic “Manufactures” that produces its movements in-house since 1865.  Here are some key dates, iconic creations and a snapshot on the Company activities. Zenith, a piece of history like a star crossing time. Zenith is one of the leading Watch-makers in Switzerland with a worldwide aura. It was founded in 1865 by visionary 22 years old man, Georges Favre-Jacot in Le Locle (Neuchatel Canton) who dreamed to create the first manufacture capable of making the most reliable and accurate watches ever imagined. Georges Favre-Jacot chose the city of Le Locle to found a manufacture named “Fabrique Billodes.” At this time, large numbers of watchmakers worked at home in various scattered workshops with no direct links to each other. Thus, it was the first to build on the territory of Switzerland spacious…

The Geneva Hallmark, the future is already here

The Geneva Hallmark, the future is already here

This week, Timelab with the strong support of some of the amazing Geneva Watch brands like Vacheron Constantin, revealed a new technology that would refresh the Geneva Hallmark, le Poinçon de Genève. It is about nano-technology and the aim to maintain the Hallmark very strong. The event took place at the Société des Arts headquarters at Palais d’Athénée in Geneva. The Société des Arts is the most ancient cultural society in Geneva founded in 1776. The interesting highlight of this place is that Société des Arts created the Horology school in 1824 and founded the Chronometry society in 1924. So it was a very symbolic place for the Swiss watch industry. You can read more about Société des Arts ici: http://www.societedesarts.ch A tradition since 1886 The Geneva Seal (English), Poinçon de Genève (French), or Genfer Siegel (German) is the official seal of the City and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. When…

One month power reserve: Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier and CSEM launch Genequand regulator

One month power reserve: Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier and CSEM launch Genequand regulator

Vaucher Manufacture and CSEM launch an innovative mechanical movement with one month power-reserve. Devised by Pierre Genequand, a Flextech specialist employee of CSEM now in retirement, this technology revolutionizes the escapement and allows to increase drastically the power reserve from around 40 hours to 30 days minimum. The best prototype tested had 53 days performance ! 7 years of development were necessary to achieve this revolutionary project. This mechanism produced by CSEM will replace the Swiss lever escapement and will sign the end of the “tic-tac” sound of traditional mechanical watch. Using flexible articulations made by silicon micro manufacturing reduces the level of friction, energy consumption and finally increase precision. A multidisciplinary team of 20 people overcame many challenges adapting such an innovation to the scale of a wristwatch and resolved one by one manufacturing problems. Definitely, this is a good example of Swiss transfer of technology, from a research…

Vacheron Constantin opens its first store in Japan.

Vacheron Constantin opens its first store in Japan.

Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin opens its first store in Tokyo. The Swiss company picked up one of the most prestigious address right in the middle of Ginza district – Chuo Street. Vacheron Constantin is opening its first ever store in Japan. Until now the Swiss watch-maker had only point of sales via its commercial partners. It is about 24 point of sales around the country, from Tokyo to Hiroshima, Kyoto, Aichi, Osaka or Kanagawa among others. In Tokyo several distributors were keeping the brand presence in high-standards, from sales to Service centers. By opening a owned-store in the heart of the luxury area in Tokyo, Vacheron Constantin reinforce its aim to take good care of the Japanese market. This presence will also highlight the importance of Japanese customers as well as commercial partners. It is a great investment for the Swiss brand and their determination places their ambition quite high….

Apple Watch, unfortunately it was made by Apple

Apple Watch, unfortunately it was made by Apple

Yesterday, it was the big day for Apple. Not only every WWDC is by definition a big event but yesterday Apple was extending its territory to a new product category: watches. For a well established brand like Apple, extending your product segments is always a tricky question. Why should you do it, why do you need it and most important: why my customers should buy it. We could build a full list of questions and the answers would determine the future success of such new product. With the Apple watch, the Cupertino company stepped into a complex matter. Not sure what is going to be the output of it. Apple WWDC, a worldwide super-show While Steve Jobs created his own legend by his famous “keynotes” during Apple WWDCs, the Californian company established a multi-annual rendez-vous with its fans and collaborators. There are more than 9 million Apple developers in the…

Apple Watch, who is going to lose the battle?

Apple Watch, who is going to lose the battle?

This week Apple is boosting the buzz around the iWatch. Switzerland is looking into this launch with a very close eye. The entire Swiss watch-making industry wonders what and how Apple is tackling the wearable market. When the Timepiece industry lost 2/3 of its employees after the “Quartz crisis” end of the 70’s, it is a nightmare that nobody wants to revive again. The smart-watch segment is not new, but the speed in which several high-tech brands are moving forward now, let Swiss Watch-makers a little concerned. For the moment, Samsung, Peeble, Motorola and others Nike or Suunto, never succeeded to build a convenient watch. All of them were just an electronic device you would use on your wrist during certain occasions in certain contexts. Now, all eyes are turned to Apple. Will they succeed where everybody failed? The Apple Watch will not replace your beautiful watch Why do we…

Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate, essential luxury in 3.37mm.

Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate, essential luxury in 3.37mm.

Blancpain is one of the golden names of Swiss Watch-making. Over the years, their complete mastery of the creation and production control provided to the brand a comfortable freedom of creation. One of the fruits of this freedom was the creation of an ultra-slim mechanism, 3.37mm only. You can find it in the Villeret Ultra-plate. Villeret, a piece of history and a great watch collection Villeret is the name of Blancpain home-town. Placed in the middle of Joux valley, the watchmakers valley, Villeret developed partially thanks to Blancpain and the complementary activities. Founded in 1735 by Jean-Jacques Blancpain, Blancpain is the oldest Swiss Watch brand. Several generations of the Blancpain family successfully established the brand throught time until 1932, where the Blancpain lignee stopped with Frédéric-Emile Blancpain death. Employees of the company proudly took over until they sold the brand to Jean-Claude Biever and Jacques Piguet in 1983. It is…

Never Apologize For Owning A Luxury Watch

Never Apologize For Owning A Luxury Watch

It’s your money–do what you want with it! In the next few paragraphs, I am going to present a few good reasons why you should never apologize for owning a luxury watch. But this is probably the best one: It’s your money. You acquired it legally (I hope). You have to answer to no one for how you spend it. It brought you satisfaction for your own reasons. In fact your reasons need not be good ones. There are no bad reasons for owning a luxury item. Apology is from a Greek word meaning defense. You don’t need a reason. You don’t have to defend yourself. It’s your money. No one has a right to challenge what you do with it. Philosophically speaking, there is no better way to spend your money. Consider my generalized definition of luxury: It is a good or service with a cost or value above…

Victorinox Swiss Army new Alliance mechanical

Victorinox Swiss Army new Alliance mechanical

Victorinox Swiss Army launched this year a new timeless classic, the new Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance mechanical.  Watchmaking is about details and quality. With the new Alliance, it is all about details and the greatness of them. Victorinox Swiss Army is the Watch division of Victorinox, the makers of the legendary Swiss Army Knife. This year they celebrate their 130th anniversary and the 25th anniversary for the watch division. The new Alliance has for the first time a mechanical version that highlights all the sublime of this timeless range. Every detail is amazingly elegant and clever. Ealier during the year, we already reviewed the new beautiful Infantry GMT. An authentic look, between modernism and classicism The new Alliance has a strong signature look. The white or the black dial will offer you all the beauty of a classic elegant watch with subtle modern elements. Let’s have a close look into…

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