Tur­bu­lent Times

As the Sa­lon In­ter­na­tional de la Haute Hor­logerie kicks-off this year’s watch launches, nu­mer­ous eco­nomic fac­tors are chal­leng­ing the sta­tus quo, writes but the time­pieces re­main very im­pres­sive. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by and

Hong Kong Tatler - - Watches | Style -

Sean Li,

Char­lene Co

he week be­fore the Sa­lon In­ter­na­tional de la Haute Hor­logerie (SIHH) is usu­ally spent watch­ing weather fore­casts, as there have been oc­ca­sions when the fair has been af­fected by snowre­lated flight de­lays. This year, though, the talk was cen­tred on a very dif­fer­ent mat­ter: the Swiss Na­tional Bank’s sud­den re­moval of the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, which had been in place since 2011. On the day the peg was set aside, the value of the Swiss franc rose by 30 per cent against the euro, much to the con­ster­na­tion of the watch in­dus­try.

With price lev­els around the world a con­tin­ual puz­zle for watch brands and their re­tail part­ners, such a sud­den move meant any pric­ing dif­fer­en­tial be­tween mar­kets was hugely am­pli­fied, mak­ing watches in Switzer­land much more ex­pen­sive for tourists, while mak­ing shop­ping in the rest

Em­i­lie Yabut-ra­zon

of the eu­ro­zone very at­trac­tive in­deed. In the longer term, though, it means the cost of pro­duc­ing watches in Switzer­land will in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly, which means that, par­tic­u­larly with high-end me­chan­i­cal watches, the brands have a chal­lenge when it comes to de­liv­er­ies and pric­ing of this year’s new in­tro­duc­tions.

So as SIHH opened its doors, hav­ing had just one week­end to di­gest the im­pli­ca­tions of the cen­tral bank’s ac­tions, the im­pact on the sa­lon it­self was dif­fi­cult to gauge; bear­ing in mind that SIHH is very much trade­ori­ented, with deal­ers from around the world go­ing to Geneva to place or­ders, much of the pric­ing that had been pre­pared would need to be re­vised.

As the sa­lon pro­gressed, though, there was less and less talk about the Swiss franc, and the fo­cus shifted back to the col­lec­tions un­veiled and the gen­eral state of the in­dus­try. A num­ber of fac­tors, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.