Alain Zimmermann joins Digital Luxury Group
Digital Luxury Group (DLG), the independent digital agency for international luxury & lifestyle brands, based in Geneva, Shanghai and New York, announced the appointment of Alain Zimmermann as Managing Partner and Board Member. Zimmermann brings more than 25 years of experience at senior level to the company. He developed his extensive luxury industry expertise and knowledge working for L’Oréal, Cartier, IWC and private bank Julius Bär in different top management functions at an international level. After his assignment as CEO for Baume et Mercier, Zimmermann became the e-distribution Director for watch brands at Richemont, leading strategic digital initiatives including Watchfinder’s and YOOX Net-a-Porter’s integration in the company’s Watch Division.
Each Hublot watch becomes its own certificate
With the Hublot e-warranty, Hublot & KerQuest are fusing materials and ground-breaking algorithmics to revolutionise the user experience. The watch is thus authenticated by the recognition of the specificity of its materials. A first in the fight against counterfeiting. Gone are the days of warranty cards and authenticity certificates; with its new Hublot e-warranty protection and warranty system, the watchmaking Manufacture is simplifying the tracking and tracing of its watches, from their manufacture through to customers, via points of sale. Faithful to its motto “Be first, unique, and different”, the watchmaker, with the Hublot e-warranty, has created a technological first in which the watch itself becomes the key to open up a new world of services.
The biggest European Omega boutique at Zurich Airport
Built with architectural flair, The Circle is the new must-see destination for business and lifestyle at Zurich Airport. Alongside the host of gastronomic, event and shopping venues, the Swiss watchmaker Omega has now opened its biggest Boutique in Europe at The Circle. Spread out over two floors, the store encompasses 8,600 square feet of space dedicated entirely to the Omega universe. Omega has embraced The Circle’s immersive spirit, and has incorporated unique installations, including an exhibition area at the entrance of the store, which will be updated often with themes relating to the brand’s iconic legacy. A special sales area, decorative walls and even a technospace with touch-screen innovation, will all reveal the diversity of Omega’s history and passions.
The Swiss watchmaking’s rate of decline continues to slow
Swiss watch exports continued to decline in October, but at the lowest rate (-7.1%) seen over the last nine months. The annual trend should therefore gradually stabilise. Ten months into the year, the sector has seen exports fall by a quarter (-25.8%), pointing to the sharpest decline ever recorded over the last 80 years. Total volumes (-16.0%) continued to show more marked declines. Watches with an export price of over 500 francs saw their value diminish by 5.8% compared with October 2019. The disparities between the main markets became more pronounced. China continued to grow at a steady pace (+15.1%), albeit more slowly than in the four previous months. The United States (-5.3%) remained close to the global average, as in September. Hong Kong (+3.5%) posted a positive figure for the first time since March 2019. Most of Asia remained in the red, with the notable exception of the United Arab Emirates (+22.2%). The most significant declines were in Europe, especially in Germany (-17.3%), France (-38.6%), Italy (-25.5%) and Spain (-27.6%), and to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom (-8.1%).
Richemont’s six months sales down 26%
Sales for the half year decreased by 26% at actual exchange rates to € 5,478 million. Positive trends has been observed throughout the second quarter, with sales down by 5%, following a 47% decline in the first quarter. Sales in China up by 78% contained the decline in Asia Pacific to mid-single digit, and partly mitigated double digit declines in Europe, the Americas and Japan. Online retail channel sales down by 4% benefited from triple digit growth in online retail sales at the Maisons which now account for 7% of Group sales excluding Online Distributors Jewellery Maisons showed strong resilience with sales in the second quarter growing by 4%, leading to an operating margin of 30.1% for the half year. Group operating profit was down to € 452 million with an 8.3% operating margin and profit for the period down to € 159 million.
Farfetch, Alibaba and Richemont form global partnership
Farfetch, Alibaba Group and Richemont announced a global strategic partnership to provide luxury brands with enhanced access to the China market as well as accelerate the digitisation of the global luxury industry. Leveraging each company’s respective expertise and extensive reach, the partnership will bring luxury retail to the next generation by seamlessly integrating the digital and physical realms. As part of the global partnership, Alibaba and Richemont will invest $600 million in private convertible notes issued by Farfetch. Alibaba and Richemont will also invest $500 million in Farfetch China, taking a combined 25% stake in a new joint venture that will include Farfetch’s marketplace operations in the China region.
Philippe Dufour Simplicity 20th Anniversary Model sold for CHF 1.3 Million
Following the success of the ‘White Glove’ watch auction held by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo in Geneva last season, the highly-anticipated Geneva Watch Auction: XII and Retrospective: 2000 – 2020 achieved a combined total of CHF 38,749,668 ($43,058,631 / €36,273,564). A true highlight of Retrospective, and the first of its kind to come to the market, was the Philippe Dufour Simplicity 20th anniversary model, part of the first ever Limited Edition by the master, number 00 in a series of 20 timepieces. This exceptional watch sold after a fierce five-minute bidding war between several phone bidders for CHF 1,361,000, more than tripling its pre-sale high estimate and setting a new world record for a Simplicity model and a Philippe Dufour timepiece.
Jaeger-LeCoultre presents “Atelier d’Antoine”
Driven by the desire to share its passion for watchmaking with a wider audience, Jaeger-LeCoultre announces the opening of “Atelier d’Antoine”, a new initiative that gives watch collectors, enthusiasts and members of the general public the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of fine watchmaking. “Atelier d’Antoine” will stage a variety of educational programmes that combine academic instruction and practical activities, guided by experts from within the Manufacture. The hub of “Atelier d’Antoine” is a newly developed space within the original, historic Manufacture building in Le Sentier, which has been specially designed for this purpose. In future, it is planned to open physical outposts of the Atelier in flagship boutiques in key international locations, as well as to offer the programme through digital channels. “Atelier d’Antoine” will initially offer two different types of themed programme: Discovery Workshops and Manufacture Visits.
Tiffany and LVMH modify merger price
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, and Tiffany & Co., the global luxury jeweler, today announced that they have concluded an agreement modifying certain terms of their initial agreement to reflect a purchase price of $131.50 in cash and to reduce closing conditionality. Other key terms of the Merger Agreement remain unchanged. Tiffany and LVMH have also agreed to settle their pending litigation in the Delaware Chancery Court. The French luxury group would then pay $15.8 billion for Tiffany, down $430 million.