ed­i­tor’s let­ter

GQ (Australia) - - GQ WATCH - DAMIEN WOOLNOUGH

In an in­dus­try fo­cused on time, there’s a sur­pris­ing de­gree of panic about the down­turn in the Swiss watch in­dus­try. While pes­simists wait for the sky to fall, the ma­jor watch com­pa­nies, which have ex­pe­ri­enced much more se­vere prob­lems in re­cent decades, are get­ting on with busi­ness, de­vel­op­ing new mod­els and styles and work­ing harder than ever to get your at­ten­tion. The slow­down hasn’t reached our shores, where the Aus­tralian ap­petite for time­pieces con­tin­ues to grow un­abated – im­ports of Swiss watches ris­ing by 11 per cent in the past two years. Un­less you have shares in the heavy-hit­ters, the real im­pact to watch out for is on your wrist. In trou­bled times, com­pa­nies feel nos­tal­gic for what has worked in the past, and this is true to­day. Tiffany & Co. is look­ing to the fu­ture un­der the guardian­ship of Ni­cola An­dreatta, de­vel­op­ing its watch busi­ness with his­tor­i­cally in­flu­enced styles such as the ‘CT60’, which looks back to the Roo­sevelt era (p156). Pi­aget is play­ing it safe by re­viv­ing the iconic ’80s favourite ‘Polo’ se­ries in stain­less steel with the Pi­aget ‘Polo S’ (p168), and many of the best new watches re­leased at Basel­world 2016, are clas­si­cally cool. If any­thing, the con­tem­pla­tive mood has toned down some of the look-at-me bravado of brands that seemed geared to­wards an ag­gres­sive Asian mar­ket. Now we have an in­ter­na­tional ap­proach bor­der­ing on re­straint, with a hefty dose of el­e­gance, ex­em­pli­fied by thin­ner and smaller pieces. Stop look­ing at the sky and start think­ing of it as the slow­down we had to have, es­pe­cially when it comes to style.

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