swiss watches

Claude Meylan, Watchmaker and Sculptor of Swiss Heritage

Claude Meylan, Watchmaker and Sculptor of Swiss Heritage

There are hundreds of watchmakers producing their watches in Switzerland. Some brands are for sure more outstanding than others and a few brands have an interesting story to be told. Claude Meylan is a hidden gem in the history of Swiss Watchmaking. Expert in the savvy technique of skeletonisation the Swiss manufacturer will sculpt the Swiss heritage as a leightmotiv to innovate and surprise the watch aficionado. Each year, Claude Meylan crafts its watches in ways that only an artist would care for his precious creations. This year more than never, Swiss heritage is at honor. From Swiss icons to Swiss traditions, Claude Meylan creates an original and endless universe. The Skeleton Watch Art by Claude Meylan A skeleton watch is a mechanical watch, in which all of the moving parts are visible through either the front of the watch, the back of the watch or a small cut outlining…

MIDO Commander Big Date: Celebrating 100 Years of Quality, Innovation And Design.

MIDO Commander Big Date: Celebrating 100 Years of Quality, Innovation And Design.

When Georges Schaeren founded MIDO one hundred years ago, he set the principles that would allow the Swiss watchmaker to evolve through the years: impeccable quality, always-on innovation philosophy and perfect design. To start this year of celebrations, MIDO launched a Commander Big Date. It reflects the spirit of the company as an international benchmark in terms of watchmaking. MIDO Commander Big Date, the very best of MIDO. One hundred years is a great anniversary and MIDO decided to make things BIG. With the launch of the Commander Big Date, the Swiss watchmaker capitalized in the great design codes of the Commander and added something new. This new line adopts the codes that have given the Commander its legendary status: a sunray satin-finished dial, protected by an elegant round case in satin-finished stainless steel and enhanced by a polished bezel. The Commander line is a true hymn to iron, to the curves…

SIHH 2018: Cartier Is A Master Of Mystery

SIHH 2018: Cartier Is A Master Of Mystery

With the opening of SIHH this year, Cartier is revealing 2 great timepieces: the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon and the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night. These two watches represent a deep understanding of watchmaking with a over-the-top sense of aesthetics. For sure these are quite exceptional watches. The Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon This watch is built on the base of the one presented back in 2013. Here we have a very striking watch made in a 45mm platinum watch case and a good 12.4mm thick. We have the traditional blue hands and the blue sapphire in the winding crown. Cartier became a true expert in hiding secrets of manufacturing. Here is the video from the one back in 2013:  The principle remains intact. At six o’clock we can see a double axis tourbillon rotating in an aperture without any visible support. All the magic comes…

SIHH 2018: Audemars Piguet Celebrates The 25th Anniversary Of The Royal Oak Offshore

SIHH 2018: Audemars Piguet Celebrates The 25th Anniversary Of The Royal Oak Offshore

This year, Audemars Piguet has a strong inspiration to be revealed during the Geneva SIHH. It is the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore. The Royal Oak became one of the icons of modern watchmaking. Distinctive and highly qualitative, it signs with golden letters the reputation and the style of the brand. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak range, timeless and iconic For over a century, Audemars Piguet has devised endlessly inventive horological masterpieces. Throughout the years, Audemars Piguet watchmakers have surpassed technical and theoretical boundaries to craft ever more demanding mechanisms. Audemars Piguet is the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Since 1875, the company has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie, including a number of world firsts. In the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, numerous masterpieces are created in…

Baselworld 2017 – 5 great watches you need to know.

Baselworld 2017 – 5 great watches you need to know.

With 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…

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

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

Baselworld 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…

Baselworld 2017, Press conference

Baselworld 2017, Press conference

3, 2, 1… we declare Baselworld 2017 opened. The international Watch fair starts with the traditional Press conference. After a 2016 business year quite tough for the Swiss watch industry, Everybody expects to see a better incoming year. Swiss Watch brands are ready to take the challenge.  Facing all difficulties there is only one answer: Innovate, Create and be brave. 2016, a battlefield with severe losses The environment confronting the Swiss watch industry remained dif cult throughout the year 2016. Swiss watch industry exports fell for the second year in succession. Their value stood at 19.4 billion francs, 9.9% lower than in 2015. With this result, the industry has returned to its 2011 level and seen an end to the growth of 15% achieved between 2011 and 2014. Here are some key interesting charts with details of how 2016 concluded. Representing two-thirds of export sales, watches priced at over 3,000 francs (export…

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

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

With 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 ?

For 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.

On 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…

Friday Chronicle #23: Swiss Watchmaking says no to the crisis

Friday Chronicle #23: Swiss Watchmaking says no to the crisis

Crisis, Crisis, Crisis… We hear this since 2008. It is now 8 years that China is not delivering the growth it was expected, that European countries are struggling with economic development and that the US has up and downs. India and Brazil? Indian poor distribution and Brazilian importation high taxes kills it. Nevertheless, the Swiss watch industry has never been better. Exports are currently at CHF 22billion, which is more than twice as we used to have back in 2008. Naturally some brands have had some challenges but which industry does not? This health did not happen by miracle or by chance. It happened because Swiss watchmakers dare to change, to adapt and above all to blow your mind with true amazing ingenuity. “In moments of crisis, you must innovate or die” This year, more than never, Swiss watch makers decided to stand up in front of the crisis colossus…

Friday Chronicle #13: Everybody is launching a smartwatch, so it is not cool anymore!

Friday Chronicle #13: Everybody is launching a smartwatch, so it is not cool anymore!

Since Apple announced its Apple Watch, there was an acceleration in the smartwatches market. While Samsung, Peeble and Motorola were driving the way, there was little incidence in terms of watch-making trends. Since Apple brought to live its project, all watch brands are going crazy about the theme of digital watches. During the SIHH and soon at BASELWORLD, we will see dozens of brands launching their smartwatch. From Montblanc, to Kenneth Cole, Frédéric Constant, Tag Heuer, Swatch or Vector… all launching their connected watch. Well it is not that cool anymore. Apple Watch, the hurricaine in the tech world In the world where wearables are multiplying like flies, is a smartwatch still something cool to do? My feeling is that Apple brought a certain doubt in the minds of watchmakers in terms of competition and success. Based on their reputation in how they enter the market place (remember their mobile…

Hublot Palace, the place to be in Rio de Janeiro

Hublot Palace, the place to be in Rio de Janeiro

While the heart of Football aficionados is beating faster than never, Hublot is celebrating the Brazil world football cup as we would expect: in a very unique way. For that, they revealed the Hublot Palace hotel ob Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. Hublot loves football As you know, Hublot is the official timekeeper of FIFA event and as official timepiece ambassador, well Hublot loves football! This is actually the name of the current campaign that the Swiss watch-maker is rolling-out during the competition. Hublot initial contract with FIFA covered South Africa (2010) and Brazil this year. In order to maintain its commitment to the round ball, Hublot extended the contract towards Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. It will be a 12 years engagement, which is more than honorable. In order to materialize Hublot passion for football, the Swiss brand launched a special watch in partnership with the…

Victorinox Swiss Army new Infantry GMT. Invitation to Travel.

Victorinox Swiss Army new Infantry GMT. Invitation to Travel.

Victorinox Swiss Army is an amazing watch brand. It always find unlimited resources on its heritage in order to create future and modern new timepieces. Here it is the case of the Infantry line. This year the Swiss brand is launching a very elegant GMT version. It is a true invitation to Travel.   According to Victorinox, GMT is the ideal complication for long- distance travelers. The Infantry GMT is equipped with a quartz movement and available with a steel mesh bracelet or an ecologically tanned leather strap. This new version of the Victorinox Infantry is completely aligned with all the great characteristics that made the worldwide success of this watch. Clean design Practical Functional Innovative elements The watch division of the Makers of the Swiss army knife has always a great story to tell and to remind us of the amazing Swiss ingenuity of the little red object. In…

SIHH 2014, Boldness was never so elegant.

SIHH 2014, Boldness was never so elegant.

Timepiece lovers start well the year thanks to the SIHH in Geneva. In deed, Christmas is still not far away and we can already keep dreaming of amazing creations by Cartier, Piaget, Montblanc or Roger Dubuis among others. Here are some highlights of what you will be able to discover next week.   CARTIER – Tank MC Skeleton Pink Gold Some Brands play the Skeleton concept in showing as much as they can the mouvement inside. This exercise is basically using a almost non-existing dial with a transparent back. In the case of Cartier, the entire 9611 mouvement was developed on this purpose. The Bridges were made in the shape of Roman numbers, so it serves the purpose of the dial. The result is a magnificent aspect of technicity and design.  For the 2014 SIHH, Cartier will reveal a new rework of the Tank MC Skeleton. This time the entire timepiece…

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