WatchTime - - Editor’s Letter - — Roger Rueg­ger Edi­tor-in-chief —

— Last Jan­uary, the 28th edi­tion of the Sa­lon In­ter­na­tional de la Haute Hor­logerie (SIHH), the first of the two ma­jor in­dus­try shows in Switzer­land, marked an im­pres­sive start into the watch­mak­ing year 2018 (make sure to check for our ex­ten­sive cov­er­age from the show, and ex­pect an ex­ten­sive SIHH spe­cial in the next is­sue). Some of the ex­hibit­ing houses in­tro­duced new, more ac­ces­si­ble col­lec­tions tar­geted at broader au­di­ences, like the 1858 from Mont­blanc, the Po­laris from Jaegerlecoul­tre or the Fiftysix from Vacheron Con­stantin, while other man­u­fac­tur­ers used the show to high­light their ex­per­tise in com­pli­cated watches, like A. Lange and Söhne’s Triple Split, Greubel Forsey’s Me­chan­i­cal Nano or the thinnest per­pet­ual cal­en­dar from Aude­mar­spiguet.

Speak­ing of thinnest: shortly be­fore SIHH, Pi­aget had in­tro­duced the thinnest au­to­matic wrist­watch, re­claim­ing the ti­tle from Bul­gari’s Octo Finis­simo Au­to­matic, which was pre­sented only a cou­ple of months ear­lier in Basel. You will find these two brands rep­re­sented in omas Wanka’s se­lec­tion of record-break­ing watches in this is­sue of Watchtime. But they are also a great ex­am­ple show­ing that the ap­par­ent bat­tle be­tween the two Swiss watch fairs is heat­ing up. SIHH, now boast­ing an im­pres­sive 35 brands, is not only con­tin­u­ing to at­tract new ex­hibitors, the show is also be­com­ing more ac­ces­si­ble to end con­sumers, thanks to the pub­lic day on Fri­day. e much larger Basel­world, on the other hand, most likely will con­tinue to have a more im­mi­nent im­pact as a trend­set­ter with power brands, such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, LVMH and the Swatch Group, but it may have to find new ways to fur­ther el­e­vate the event ex­pe­ri­ence for both vis­i­tors and ex­hibitors.

For a lot of col­lec­tors, the vast num­ber of nov­el­ties launched in Basel, Geneva or through­out the year of­ten means that other watches have to be sold first in or­der to make room. In the early days of the web, this role was re­served for news­groups and clas­si­fied ads; to­day, the pre-owned seg­ment has evolved into an or­ga­nized, multi­bil­lion dol­lar busi­ness that could be “10 to 20 times the size of the mar­ket for new watches,” ac­cord­ing to Aude­mars Piguet’s CEO François-henry Ben­nah­mias. e sec­ondary mar­ket also rep­re­sents a chance for the in­dus­try to in­crease con­trol over a prod­uct through­out its life cy­cle, and is a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity for new play­ers, as you will see in our ar­ti­cle about the pre-owned watch mar­ket in the dig­i­tal age.

Also in this is­sue, Justin Mas­tine-frost tells you ev­ery­thing there is to know about watches made for the Bronze Age, and Roberta Naas met with Pa­trick Pru­ni­aux to talk about Ulysse Nardin’s lat­est in­no­va­tions. Lo­gan Baker in­ter­viewed Julien Tornare from Zenith, and Mark Bernardo in­tro­duces you to the ex­ten­sive 150th An­niver­sary Ju­bilee Col­lec­tion from IWC. We also tested watches from Oris, Longines and Tu­dor, and vis­ited Bovet in Switzer­land to learn more about what it means to build a watch man­u­fac­ture (and buy a cas­tle) in an im­pres­sively short time. Last but not least: meet An­toine and Flo­rian Prez­iuso, the fa­ther and son duo be­hind cre­ations like the “Tour­bil­lon of Tour­bil­lons,” a watch with three tour­bil­lons in­ter­act­ing on a re­volv­ing plate. It’s def­i­nitely one of the show­pieces that make ev­ery watch show worth at­tend­ing, whether it’s SIHH, Basel­world or Watchtime’s own show in New York (Oct. 26-27, 2018).

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