Hublot to help protect the rhinoceros
Hublot has joined in partnership with Kevin Pietersen and SORAI (Save Our Rhinos Africa and India) to protect the rhinoceros, which is facing extinction. The ex-international cricket star, and Brand ambassador, is now able to dedicate himself entirely to a cause very close to his heart: saving these huge herbivorous mammals, found in Africa and in Asia, now a matter of urgency for the planet and our future generations. To seal this collaboration, the watch Manufacture has developed a watch which will be unveiled very soon.
A Patek Philippe building bought by Rolex
Rolex bought an industrial building owned by Patek Philippe in Perly-Certoux, near Geneva for CHF 27 million. The building covers 53,819 square feet and offers space for 200 employees. At the same time, the luxury watchmaking giant is expanding its site in Chêne-Bourg, near Annemasse, highly appreciated by workers from neighboring France. In the autumn of 2015, Patek Philippe, the fourth Swiss watch brand, announced an investment of CHF 500 million at its Plan-les-Ouates site. The brand in hand of the Geneva family Stern did not specify the reason for this real estate sale to Rolex.
The biggest Chopard European boutique is in London
After several months of renovation and a major expansion of its spaces, the Chopard boutique reopens on the prestigious Bond Street. Installed at number 12-13, it becomes the largest boutique in Europe of the Swiss House. If Chopard has 160 points of sales around the world, it is with its London setting that it wishes to position itself in the world of high luxury. Felt atmosphere, old parquet floors and velvet armchairs, the “guests” are welcomed in a cozy setting thought like a family home.
Cartier attracts crowds to Beijing
In two months, 500,000 visitors have crossed the gates of the Forbidden City to admire the jeweler’s treasures. Cartier had already shown part of his jewelry collections ten years ago in Beijing. But this time, in the heart of the Forbidden City – now limited to 80,000 visitors a day – Cartier wanted to give back to Cesar what belongs to him. All these exceptional creations are shown alongside traditional Chinese pieces. The exhibition “Beyond Boundaries” also presents the women who did honor Cartier in the Roaring Twenties by wearing ornaments with Chinese motifs, such as Barbara Hutton or Mrs. Wellington Koo. The exhibition also recalls how Cartier was the exceptional jeweler of the kings and queens of the last decades, while continuing his watchmaking activities.
Smartwatch sales soar by 44% to 12.4 million units in Q2
Swiss watchmakers report they are seeing little effect, no effect or a positive effect from the rise of Apple’s Watch, depending on who you ask. Almost nobody in the premium space thinks that the smartwatch is killing luxury timepieces. In fact, the youth appeal of Apple Watch is rearing a fresh generation of potential customers that are one step closer to become mechanical watch customers. Statistics support this theory. Since the launch of connected watches, the value of Swiss watch exports has risen from CHF 19.5 billion in 2016 to 21.2 billion in 2018. However, this optimism continues to be tested, with sales of Apple Watch and its rivals continuing to rocket. According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartwatch shipments grew an impressive 44% annually to reach 12.3 million units in the second quarter of 2019.
First High Jewelry line for Gucci
With nearly 200 “electrical” pieces, Alessandro Michele made his first entry in the world of Hight Jewelry, presenting his collection Place Vendôme in Paris. Already very involved in Gucci fine jewelry, whose campaigns inspired by tarot games or sessions of spiritualism bare his signature, Alessandro Michele sets himself a new challenge by taking Gucci on the pavement of the Place Vendôme. A daring bet for the artistic director who had already extended his fantasy in lifestyle decoration, food or travel with his “Gucci Places”, not to mention a beauty line with parfums and lipsticks.
World Tour for the 84 watches of the GPHG 2019
Every year in autumn, the watches pre-selected by the GPHG jury travel the world for a series of exhibitions, offering an international audience unique opportunities to discover the recent technical and artistic achievements of an industry that combines tradition and innovation, passion and know-how. The 2019 travelling exhibition will present 84 watches by some 50 brands. It will begin in Asia in partnership with The Hour Glass, which will host the GPHG first in Sydney (September 27th to 29th), and then in Bangkok (October 3rd to 5th). The watches will then fly to Mexico City, where they will be guests of honour at the SIAR – Salón Internacional Alta Relojería (October 15th to 17th). Also in Mexico, they will then be presented in Puebla at the Museo Internacional del Barroco (October 18th to 20th), followed by a presentation at Torres Joyas (October 22nd and 23rd). Back in Geneva, the 84 timepieces will take up residence from November 1st to 14th in the palatine rooms of the city’s largest museum, the Musée d’art et d’histoire (MAH).
Return to growth of Swiss watch exports in July
Swiss watch exports returned rapidly to growth following the downturn in June. The value of exports was 1.9 billion francs, an increase of 4.3% compared with July 2018. The main contribution to the increase in total value came from watches made from precious metals, which saw turnover from export sales grow by 11.5%. Volumes continued to fall for the twelfth consecutive month as the downward trend worsened, with 390,000 fewer items shipped overseas. Watches priced at over 3,000 francs (export price) were the only segment to grow. Hong Kong (-1.3%) remained in the red but performed significantly better than it had in June. The majority of other markets saw an increase in July. The United States (+6.1%) maintained a steady pace. In Asia, there was strong growth in China (+16.3%), Japan (+23.4%) and Singapore (+17.9%). The situation in Europe (-0.8%), however, was less satisfactory. The United Kingdom (-0.4%), France (-12.0%) and Germany (-3.6%) all declined. While Italy’s monthly performance improved (+1.9%), the medium-term trend there still showed a marked decline.
Record sales at Sotheby's
Sotheby’s International Watch auctions reached $ 12 million in July, driven by exceptional results including George Daniels timepiece Masterworks of Time for $ 10.1 million and Omega Speedmaster sold for $ 1.2 million. These sales closed one of the most successful seasons in Sotheby’s Watches’ history. Since the beginning of 2019, the company’s watch auctions have reported a total of $ 59 million, an increase of 54 % over the same period in 2018 ($ 38.2 million). These results were fueled by record prices, live auctions, and online sales growth. During this season, nearly 40 % of the lots sold exceeded the highest estimates, and twelve timepieces were sold for more than 500,000 dollars.