Frédéric Arnault, the new CEO of TAG Heuer
LVMH announces the appointment of Frédéric Arnault to the role of CEO of TAG Heuer from 1 July onwards. His position as head of the company will see him play a role in supporting innovation and accelerating the development of TAG Heuer, as he has done with the launch of the latest Connected watch after piloting the entire design phase. The Maison will continue to maximise the value of its iconic ranges Carrera, Monaco and Aquaracer, all the while cementing its status in the industry with its third generation of smartwatches. Stéphane Bianchi will assume the role of CEO of the Watches and Jewelry Division from 1 July onwards. This will see him take the reins of jewelry Maisons Chaumet and FRED, in addition to TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith.
Ulysse Nardin takes the leap in e-commerce
Starting June 3rd, 2020 Ulysse Nardin opens its collections online beginning with the UK and USA markets. Evolution in customers’ buying experience has changed, and brands need to make more of an effort to go to their clients and be present where they currently shop and find inspiration. E-commerce transactions have surged spectacularly due to the lockdown imposed by the health crisis. In response to the current e-commerce boom Ulysse Nardin accelerated its digitalization process. By 2021, Ulysse Nardin plans to open its online store to more countries and add a few more tools to improve the customer buying experience.
Breitling supports healthcare professionals
In April this year, Breitling introduced the Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition during the brand’s first-ever Summit Webcast. The Summit audience saw its rainbow-inspired design elements as symbols of hope and optimism, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback led Breitling to launch a second edition, this time with a blue dial, limited to 1,000 pieces. Part of the proceeds from the watch are being donated to charities supporting the frontline healthcare workers. Breitling is also donating an additional CHF 1,000 to these charities for each of the first 100 watches sold via its website. In total, Breitling will donate CHF 500,000.
Geneva Watch Days: the project is confirmed
This initiative launched in March by several luxury watch brands will take place from August 26th to 29th with the support of the State of Geneva. The event will be held in Geneva city center hotels, as well as in the boutiques and watchmaking workshops of the participating brands. This operation will bring together a diverse group of brands with very different profiles, enabling retailers and media to discover a wealth of products. This initiative was launched by a pool of luxury brands including Bvlgari, Breitling, De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk.
Swiss watch exports stopped in their tracks in April
Swiss watch exports were extremely low in April as a direct result of the standstill in production, distribution and sales, causing them to collapse by 81.3%, to 328.8 million francs. The details of this widespread decline are not particularly interesting – except for China – insofar as it reflects an exceptional situation rather than a trend in demand. All groups of materials fell by 75% to 90%, by both value and number of items. Performance was similar across all price segments, from highest to lowest, in both value and volume terms. China was the only country to buck the trend in April. Exports there fell by 16.1% in April following an increase in March, illustrating the recovery in the Chinese market. As a result, China accounted for a third of Swiss watch exports last month. All other markets contracted sharply.
Omega Official Timekeeper of the 36th America’s cup
Dating back to 1851, the America’s Cup is renowned as the oldest trophy in international sport. The Swiss watchmaker Omega is announcing its role as the event’s Official Timekeeper. This will mark the third time in history that Omega has served in the prestigious sailing role, ever since the brand begun its partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand in 1995. The moment will also provide another chance for Omega to celebrate this 25 years old partnership. With this announcement comes the release of the brand-new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 6th America’s Cup Limited Edition. The 36th America’s Cup is set to take place in March 2021 across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour in New Zealand.
Watch auctions against the Covid-19
Urwerk is extremely pleased to announce that the weekend auction of the UR-100 “Fight C-19” attracted a top bid of 96,500.00 Swiss francs (excluding tax). The generous purchaser of “Fight C-19”, an Iranian national based in Liverpool, England, has selected the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) association as the beneficiary of the funds raised. The winning bidder explained, “As the first institution in the world dedicated to research and teaching in tropical medicine, LSTM plays a key role in fight against COVID-19. It is also a symbol of the city’s past where Liverpool was a prominent port city which carried on an extensive trade with overseas regions.” Urwerk will also buy and donate Personal Protective Equipment to the most vulnerable people living in Switzerland via a donation to the Swiss Red Cross.
De Bethune launches its Certified PreOwned Collection
This new platform is the brand’s official website for clients and fans who wish to modify or complete their collection, acquire, sell or exchange their timepieces in an engaging and completely secure environment. Since the creation of De Bethune in March 2002, no more than 2,570 watches have left the Manufacture’s workshop at L’Auberson. With an average production of just 150 timepieces per year, the watch vintages are by definition quite limited, exclusive and quickly coveted by collectors near and far. Carefully curated and updated on an ongoing basis with pieces that have been professionally revised, tested and then certified by expert watchmakers at the De Bethune Manufacture in Switzerland, the De Bethune Certified PreOwned Collection is the official platform for authenticated and uncompromisingly refurbished timepieces.
Baselworld finds an agreement with exhibitors
The MCH Group and representatives of the exhibitors at Baselworld have reached agreement on the settlement for the cancelled Baselworld 2020. In collaboration with the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, an amicable solution has been drawn up, unanimously approved by the Comité Consultatif and also supported by industry associations. “I welcome the constructive attitude of the representatives of the MCH Group, which has enabled us to find a balanced solution”, says Hubert J. du Plessix, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee. “I would also like to thank Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chanel, Chopard, Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer, who, in a spirit of solidarity with the sector as a whole, have agreed to a lower refund so that the other exhibitors can benefit from better conditions.” The MCH Group has taken the decision not to hold Baselworld 2021 that had been planned for 28 January to 2 February 2021.