Phillips achieves CHF 25.8 million in The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE
Phillips in Association with Bacs &jRusso achieved a market leading sale result this weekend, as The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE realised CHF 25.8 millions ($25.5/€22.7). Held over two days, the auction surpassed its pre-sale high estimate, with many of the 216 lots flying well above their high estimates, including several record-breaking watches. With clients joining the auction from 73 countries around the world, Phillips saw record participation for any watch auction in company history. Almost 1,000 online bidders registered online, and almost 900 watch enthusiasts gathered in the saleroom over the two days. The star lot of the weekend was a magnificent and historically important pocket watch by George Daniels (lot 34), considered by many as the father of independent watchmaking, eventually selling for an impressive CHF 2.4 million ($2.4/€2.1), the highest result achieved by any watch sold at auction this weekend.
Smartwatch business is booming
Smartwatches might still not be as essential as smartphones, but the market is growing, and it’s not just the Apple Watch that’s benefiting. According to Counterpoint’s Q1 2019 global smartwatch shipment data, overall smartwatch shipments have grown 48% year-on-year. Apple, as you might expect, continues to be number one, with a 35.8% market share. But that’s only up a tiny bit from its 35.5% share this time last year, while some other companies – most notably Samsung – have seen a much bigger growth in share. Samsung’s smartwatch market share currently stands at 11.1%, up from just 7.2% the previous year, and elevating it from third to second place. With impressive wearables like the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and Samsung Galaxy Watch – the latter of which sits at first place on our best smartwatch ranking – it’s no wonder Samsung is doing well. Fitbit and Huawei have also seen substantial gains this year, though they still lag well behind Apple and even Samsung overall, with 5.5% and 2.8% market shares respectively.
GPHG: The 2019 edition gets under way
The Foundation of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève has opened registration for its 19th edition. The independent and international jury of the GPHG is partially renewed each year. Responsible for saluting – through two rounds of voting and 19 prizes – the excellence of contemporary watch creations, the 2019 jury notably includes the following new members: Jasem Al Zeraei (influencer, collector / Kuwait), Aldis Hodge (actor, watch designer / USA), Pierre Salanitro (CEO of Salanitro / Switzerland), Jiaxian Xu (collector and founder of SJXwatches.com / Singapore), Jessica Yu (founder of Hantang Culture / China) and Pascal Raffy, owner of Bovet, winner of the 2018 “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix. In addition, new prizes are joining to the 2019 prize list: The Iconic Watch Prize and the Diver’s Watch Prize. The 2019 list is also once again welcoming the Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize, as well as the Horological Revelation Prize.
LVMH confirms its participation for Baselworld 2020
The LVMH Group has confirmed its participation for Baselworld 2020 within the current framework for its Bvlgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith brands. Baselworld will support each LVMH brand in the design of innovative exhibition formats for their presence in 2021 and beyond. The purpose of these new formats is to let each house express its creativity and provide an outstanding brand immersion. “This is a creative and completely open process with no constraints or thought restrictions, that we are tackling together,” says Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld. “Our concept for the Experience Platform is precisely that: enabling brands to flexibly present themselves to their various target audiences.”
SalonQP cancelled for 2019
One thing that SalonQP did not expect to contend with was its long term venue, Saatchi Gallery in London’s Chelsea, forcing them to give up the dates of the 2019 show. SalonQP and its associated magazine brand QP were acquired by magazine group Hearst last year and managed to put on another impressive show in 2018 that looked certain to be a stepping stone to returning the event to its former glory. Hearst, which also owns huge luxury titles including Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar and Men’s Health, attracted over 16,000 watch-loving consumers to the event and immediately announced that the show would run again at the Saatchi Gallery in October 2019. However, last week that plan was scuppered by the gallery telling Hearst it could no longer have the October dates, leaving SalonQP homeless. The event will be deferred until 2020.
Slight increase in growth for Swiss watch exports in March 2019
The export growth posted by the watch industry at the start of the year gained some momentum in March to stand at +4.4%, with a value of 1.7 billion francs for the month. The first quarter has therefore passed the 5 billion francs mark, an increase of 2.9% on January-March 2018. Watches costing less than 200 francs (export price) saw a particularly sharp decline, with the number of pieces down by 29.9%. At the other extreme, timepieces priced at over 3,000 francs reported a marked increase (+13.2% in value). Growth in the main markets varied considerably from country to country. Exports to Hong Kong were 2.5% higher and those to the United States 5.9% up on March 2018. China (+17.3%) saw a substantial rise, as did Japan (+21.8%), which proved particularly dynamic during the first quarter. The United Kingdom (+76.4%) was a special case once again because of stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit. The other European markets continued to lose ground.
Revenue growth of 16% in first quarter 2019 for LVMH
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading high quality products group, recorded revenue of 12.5 billion Euros for the first quarter 2019, an increase of 16%. Organic growth was 11% compared to the same period of 2018. The trends observed in 2018 continued throughout the first quarter. All geographic regions are experiencing good growth. The Watches & Jewelry business group recorded organic revenue growth of 4% in the first quarter of 2019, driven by the performance of its jewelry. Bulgari made strong progress in its own stores, driven by its iconic lines Serpenti, Divas’Dream, Lvcea and its new Fiorever collection. The innovative products presented by LVMH’s watch brands at the Baselworld Watch & Jewelry Fair were very well received, including Hublot’s Classic Fusion Ferrari GT watch, Bulgari’s Serpenti Seduttori and Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic watches, TAG Heuer’s connected watch model for golfers, and Zenith’s new Defy Inventor and Defy El Primero 21 Carbon models.
Baselworld 2020 without Breitling
Breitling announces that it will focus on its own independent communication format, the Breitling Summit. Accordingly, Breitling will not be exhibiting at the Baselworld watch and jewelry trade fair in 2020. “Despite a successful Baselworld in 2019, we have decided to concentrate on our global Summit format with subsequent local roadshows in 2020. The decisive factor is the timing of Baselworld at the end of April, which cannot be reconciled with our scheduling. The Summit platform, which has already been introduced, allows us to be flexible regarding where and when we inform our target groups about new brand developments and product launches. We will continue to focus on this platform as it enables us to respond personally to customers, media representatives, sales partners, and collectors. For this reason, we will not be exhibiting at Baselworld in 2020,” Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, commented on the decision. “We will decide whether we will return to Baselworld from 2021 onward at a later date.”
The 4th Dubai Watch Week to take place in November 2019
The 4th edition of Dubai Watch Week will take place from 20th – 24th November 2019. The theme of this year focuses on ‘Innovation & Technology’. The event maintains its commitment to showcasing ingenuity and creativity of the watch industry, providing enthusiasts, collectors and visitors with yet another exciting and immersive platform in which to learn more about the horological world. This event celebrates the intersection of radical thought with technical ability; whether it relates to disruptive messaging, sophisticated complication, research & development or transmission of knowledge, it champions all ways that innovation & technology have been applied to watchmaking. At the heart of every interaction will be the experience provided by the brand at Dubai Watch Week’s signature exhibitions that allow visitors to access our themes through various touchpoints. The 2019 edition will also include popular events such as Masterclasses, the Creative Hub and the return of the renowned Horology Forum.