Look­ing Back­ward —

WatchTime - - EDITOR’S LETTER -

de­sign based on a dig­i­tal scan of a vin­tage watch, re­gard­less of how great it will look in the end (cur­rently num­ber 3 on my list), may not be the an­swer the in­dus­try needs to give, if it wants to look ahead now and reach a new gen­er­a­tion of con­sumers.

But there is, of course, more to why the watch in­dus­try “is in trou­ble again.” Read about the (many) head­winds and ob­sta­cles the watch in­dus­try cur­rently faces in Joe omp­son’s com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis, fol­lowed by our ex­ten­sive Basel­world spe­cial with a se­lec­tion of some of the many new and ex­cit­ing watch re­leases of this year, some of them al­ready record-break­ers.

Martina Richter was able to test one of the new watches for this is­sue, namely the Sinn EZM 12, a watch that was de­signed to help save lives. And we can also in­tro­duce you to an­other im­por­tant watch that (of­fi­cially) pre­miered this year in Basel, TAG Heuer’s Autavia re-is­sue. In this case, Gis­bert Brun­ner takes you on a trip down me­mory lane with the his­tory of a model that “was not al­ways a wrist­watch.”

We also tested the Oris Cal­iber 111, a man­ual-wind watch with an im­pres­sive 10-day power re­serve; the Glashütte Orig­i­nal Se­na­tor Ex­cel­lence; and a “no­ble speed­ster,” the 2016 Chopard Mille Miglia chrono­graph with in-house cal­iber. Jens Koch, on the other hand, took the IWC Ingenieur chrono­graph “Ru­dolf Carac­ci­ola”on a test drive, while we vis­ited Carl F. Bucherer’s new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Leng­nau and took 12 Watchtime read­ers on an un­for­get­table trip to eight watch brands in Switzer­land.

— Last May, Phillips auc­tion an­nounced an­other recordbreak­ing sale: A to­tal of 220 vin­tage watches re­al­ized $32,578,499, with a new record for any Rolex ever sold at auc­tion and five watches sell­ing for more than $1 mil­lion. Five hun­dred on­line bid­ders (plus ab­sen­tee bid­ders) were com­pet­ing with over 400 bid­ders in Geneva that day. is re­sult can in­deed be seen as a demon­stra­tion “that the ap­petite for ex­cel­lent col­lec­tors’ watches is broad and with depth,” as Aurel Bacs, Se­nior Con­sul­tant at Philips, noted.

A cou­ple of weeks ear­lier, dur­ing the 100th edition of the “most im­por­tant show for the watch in­dus­try,” the im­pact of what Basel­world diplo­mat­i­cally called “a chal­leng­ing phase for the in­dus­try” could be felt and seen. A large num­ber of the new watches on dis­play were ei­ther vari­a­tions of a brand’s best-sell­ing model, or very close lim­ited re-edi­tions of watches older than 50 years, which re­sulted in eight vin­tage-in­spired watches on my per­sonal top 10 list.

ere is, of course, noth­ing wrong with re­mem­ber­ing watches and de­signs from the past, noth­ing more ob­vi­ous (and jus­ti­fied) than cel­e­brat­ing an an­niver­sary with an­other “leg­end re­born” (and, of course, also noth­ing wrong with play­ing it safe and look­ing to the past for in­spi­ra­tion) when it comes to launch­ing new prod­ucts and expanding a prod­uct range. But the in­dus­try also has to keep in mind that there are more and most im­por­tantly also dif­fer­ent types of cus­tomers than those sev­eral hun­dred col­lec­tors bid­ding in the afore­men­tioned auc­tion. A

— Roger Rueg­ger Edi­tor-in-chief —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.