Collector finds the oldest known Longines Watch
Longines has recently discovered the oldest Longines watch known to date. Its owner, an American collector of Japanese descent, went to the headquarters of the brand to authenticate his piece. Thanks to its small serial number – 183 – and to the indications inscribed in the archives registers, preciously preserved, the brand’s historians and watchmakers can attest that this pocket watch was manufactured in 1867, the year the Longines factory was created to replace the original counter founded in 1832. Housing a mechanical wind-up movement, this “savonnette” type silver pocket watch is characteristic of the pieces created by Longines at that time. Emblem of the brand since the very beginning, a winged hourglass is engraved on its movement and inside its cover.
Richemont’s first half net profit rose by 131%
In the six month period, sales at Compagnie Financière Richemont SA increased by 21 percent at actual exchange rates and by 24 percent at constant exchange rates to 6,808 million euros. Excluding the acquisition of YNAP and Watchfinder, the company said, sales for the period increased by 8 percent at constant exchange rates, with most regions posting higher sales led by double-digit progression in the Americas and in Asia Pacific. The Group’s directly operated boutiques saw double-digit growth, both in jewellery and watches. Wholesale sales were 1 percent higher compared with the prior year period. Profit for the period rose by 131 percent to 2,253 million euros reflecting the 1,378 million euros post-tax non-cash accounting gain on the revaluation of existing YNAP shares.
French Open partnership sees Rolex complete Grand Slam
Having been a loyal partner to the tennis world for the last forty years, Rolex will become a Premium Partner of Roland-Garros in 2019 and the Official Timekeeper for the Roland-Garros tournament in Paris. Already a partner of The Championships, Wimbledon in London since 1978, the Australian Open in Melbourne and the US Open in New York, Rolex now enjoys a close relationship with all four of the major tournaments on the international circuit, which together make up the Grand Slam. The Geneva-based company is now directly associated with each of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments. It also sponsors some of the world’s top players, many of whom have triumphed on the famous clay court in Paris, such as Chris Evert, Björn Borg, Jim Courier, Justin Henin, Ana Ivanović, Li Na and Roger Federer.
Omega raises its warranty on all watches to 5 years
Omega announces that it is officially extending the warranty on all of its timepieces to 5 years. The decision follows progress within the company over the past several years, including the arrival of Master Chronometer certification, which has established a new industry benchmark for precision, performance and magnetic resistance. Along with the enhanced quality of Omega’s watches, it has been just one year since the brand opened its most modern industrial factory at its HQ site in Bienne, Switzerland. As well as assembly, the site provides new testing and quality control facilities. The new 5-year warranty will take effect from November 2nd, 2018 and will also be applied to any OMEGA watch purchased since July 1st, 2018.
Wempe cuts ties with Nomos in protest
Germany’s biggest luxury watch retailer, Wempe, which also has a flagship store on London’s Bond Street, has terminated its relationship with Nomos. The decision was taken in response to Nomos appointing secondary watch market specialists Chrono24 and Chronext as official partners. “Supplying products to Internet platforms that have not been licensed to date, and that primarily draw their product range from the gray market, is contrary to our marketing strategy,” said Wempe CEO Kim-Eva Wempe to WatchPro. Nomos appointed Chronext and Chrono24 this summer, a signal that significant brands see these global digital platforms as a route to market for new as well as pre-owned and grey market stock.
“Baselworld needs to be aligned with SIHH”
Patek Philippe’s president Thierry Stern has called on the organizers of global watch exhibitions, Baselworld and SIHH, to work together to align the dates of their respective shows. Baselworld is traditionally held towards the end of March, while Geneva-based SIHH takes place early in January. Baselworld is currently facing mounting pressure on the back of high profile companies like Swatch Group, Raymond Weil and Maurice Lacroix withdrawing from its 2019 exhibition, but Stern still believes that the show can play a key role in the future. In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, he insisted that the show is still an important platform for Patek Philippe to meet retailers and journalists, “but the dates need to be aligned with the Geneva watch fair [SIHH], that is key to the show’s future success.”
Louis Vuitton appoints Catherine Lacaze Head of watches and jewellery
Louis Vuitton has confirmed that Catherine Lacaze has been roped in as Director for jewellery and watches. She would be reporting to Anthony Ledru, Executive Vice President global commercial activities at Louis Vuitton. Lacaze steps into the position vacated by Hamdi Chatti, who left the business after serving the company for nine years. Before joining Louise Vuitton, she was vice president marketing with Tiffany & Co., and was earlier associated Harry Winston as global VP marketing and communications jewellery and Cartier as assistant VP of jewellery marketing in New York as well as assistant vice president marketing in North America.
Richemont will expand its Bellevue headquarters
The luxury group Richemont will be able to expand its headquarters in the Geneva municipality of Bellevue. The Geneva Grand Council has agreed to modify the zone boundaries to allow Richemont International SA to build an additional 13’000 m² of office space. Outstanding trees and heritage buildings will be preserved. The deputies were sensitive to the fact that the extension of Richemont’s headquarters goes along with job creation. They also estimated that this expansion is taking place in an area close to public transport, to the airport, and consistent with the development of Bellevue municipality center.
Swiss watchmaking drops in September
Swiss watch industry exports have reported their first monthly fall since April 2017. Their value was 6.9% lower than in September 2017, at 1.7 billion francs. This variation is explained in part by the fact that there was one less working day in the period than last year. However, it is too soon to view this as a significant trend change. After nine months, growth remains strong (+7.5%), in line with forecasts. The main export markets reported varying performance in the month of September. Hong Kong (-3.5%), which had experienced no weakness for nearly one and a half year, saw its value diminish by a few points while remaining on a very sustained trend. The United States (-3.0%) also fell slightly. China (+17.3%) confirmed the strong upturn observed in August, while the United Kingdom was 2.0% lower.