Looking Backward —
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