Winds of Change


hange is, of course, in­evitable in the watch­mak­ing busi­ness. But even as the Swiss watch in­dus­try picks it­self up after weath­er­ing the ef­fects of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, other de­vel­op­ments ir­re­versibly changes the land­scape. For one, the watch­mak­ing world has lost two in­flu­en­tial fig­ures: Wal­ter Lange, founder of A. Lange & Söhne, and Roger Dubuis, founder of his own epony­mous brand, both passed away this year.

We’ve also seen shifts in top man­age­ment in top brands like Co­rum and Zenith, fol­lowed by the ac­qui­si­tion of Breitling by CVC. This marks the sec­ond ma­jor M&A fol­low­ing last year’s ac­qui­si­tion of Fred­erique Con­stant by Cit­i­zen Group. The after­math of th­ese changes will de­cide the course of the in­dus­try in the years to come—and that’s putting it mildly.

It is, how­ever, quite heart­en­ing to see the in­dus­try open­ing its door ever wider. Case in point, for the first time ever, we see the pres­ti­gious SIHH fair open­ing its doors to the gen­eral pub­lic. At the same time, we’re also see­ing more and more brands in­tro­duc­ing more and more en­try level time­pieces. It cer­tainly paves the way for bud­ding en­thu­si­asts to take their first steps into the world of fine watches.

All that be­ing said, change has al­ways been a part of the watch world; so, per­haps th­ese new de­vel­op­ments shouldn’t sur­prise us all that much. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that, com­bined, th­ese changes will have a rip­ple ef­fect that we will be dig­ging through next year and in the years to come.

And, nat­u­rally, big changes aside, the year has seen no short­age of nov­el­ties to be ex­cited about: From Hublot’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ber­luti to Omega’s al­ready-leg­endary tril­ogy and many more. So, as al­ways, I in­vite you to delve into an­other year’s worth of top notch watch­mak­ing.

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