Official Richard Mille pre-owned boutique in London
Ninety is a new luxury concept located in the heart of Mayfair, London – officially affiliated with Richard Mille, as the first exclusive designated pre-owned retailer within Europe and the Middle East. From a boutique at 90 Mount Street, Ninety will be offering an extensive collection of pre-owned Richard Mille models: specialising in those that are particularly rare and sought after, and often discontinued from the current collection. Alongside its capacity for official servicing and authentication, Ninety is positioned to be the only destination for serious buyers and collectors. Whilst Richard Mille sits at the heart of Ninety identity, its offering encompasses the broader luxury market: housing important signed jewellery, rare objets d’art and specialist watches.
Swiss watchmaking stabilizes its monthly decline
The trend in Swiss watch exports in September was identical to the previous month, with China continuing to stand out from other markets. Switzerland exported the equivalent of 1.6 billion francs, a fall of 12.0% compared with September 2019. Cumulative results after nine months therefore saw a decline of 28.3%, to 11.4 billion francs. Although slightly less marked than previously, the fall in volumes was still significant, at -25.2% compared with September 2019. Watches priced at less than 500 francs (export price) recorded the sharpest declines in September, falling by 23.9% by value and 30.5% by number of items. The 500-3,000 francs category saw an increase in value of 2.7%. Although modest, this is the first sign of growth in one of the main price segments since January. At the same time, watches priced at over 3,000 francs saw their value fall by 13.5% compared with September 2019. Swiss watch exports remain heavily focused on China, to the detriment of other markets. Exports to China leapt by 78.7% in September and fell sharply almost everywhere else.
Significant improvement for LVMH in the third quarter of 2020
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton recorded revenue of 30.3 billion euros in the first nine months of 2020, down 21%. Since the start of the year, LVMH has demonstrated good resilience in an economic environment severely disrupted by the serious health crisis. Revenue was down 7% in the third quarter on an organic basis, reflecting a marked improvement in trends compared to the first half, notably a return to growth in Cognac and Fashion & Leather Goods. The Watches & Jewelry business group saw its organic revenue decline by 30% in the first nine months of 2020. The rebound in China was observed in the third quarter but did not prevent the overall activity from dropping by 14% in the period.
IWC talks about sustainability with Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett, renowned actor and producer has been an IWC brand ambassador since 2006. The two-time Academy Award® winner joined IWC CMO Franziska Gsell, who is also the chair of the brand’s sustainability committee, for a discussion via video conference. Cate Blanchett said: “It is more important than ever for brands to review their environmental footprint and take concrete steps towards sustainability. The notion of transparency is key because clients want to know how a luxury product is manufactured.” During their conversation, they discussed the importance of protecting the environment through purchasing renewable energy. They also talked about reducing waste, responsible sourcing of raw materials and IWC’s certification to the 2019 Code of Practices of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
A “Swissified” jury for the GPHG 2020
Made of up more than 350 players from the main watchmaking sectors, the international Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) Academy was founded at the start of 2020. In early September, it nominated for the first time the 84 timepieces that will continue competing to win one of the 18 prizes which will pay tribute to contemporary watchmaking excellence. A 30-member jury from the Academy will meet in Geneva behind closed doors in early November to physically evaluate the 84 competing watches. In order to ensure the physical presence of all the jurors in the current public health circumstances, the 2020 jury is composed of Swiss and foreign personalities residing in Switzerland. Members of the entire Academy will also take part in the second round of voting via the secure digital platform, with the result of the Academy’s vote being added to that of the Jury to determine the final list of awards. The 2020 list of awards will be announced on Thursday, November 12 at the 20th GPHG awards ceremony.
Cartier joins The Lion’s Share Fund to tackle global nature crisis
Cartier has joined The Lion’s Share Fund, an award-winning and groundbreaking initiative that unites brands, conservationists and consumers to tackle the crisis in nature, biodiversity and climate. Led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a coalition of businesses and UN partners, the innovative Fund aims to raise over $100 million per year within the next five years to halt biodiversity loss and protect habitats by asking brands to contribute 0.5% of their media spend every time an animal is featured in their advertisements.
Urwerk’s founders receive the Gaïa Prize
On September 17, 2020, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, Urwerk’s cofounders, received the Gaïa Prize for entrepreneurial spirit from Régis Huguenin, curator of the International Horological Museum of La Chaux-de-Fonds and chairman of the jury. The evening also saw the award for craftmanship and creativeness go to independent watchmaker, Antoine Preziuso, fellow member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI). Denis Savoie, the historian, was also honoured for his work. “We are especially honoured to receive the Gaïa Prize this evening, because it is regarded as one of the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious, prize for watchmaking,” said Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of the Urwerk watch company. “For Martin Frei and me, this award acknowledges the lucky star under which we met for the first time at a New Year’s party in 1995.”
The recovery of Swiss watchmaking slowly continues
While the trend in Swiss watch exports is still down, the initial shock is gradually being absorbed as sales have recovered over the last few months. In August, the sector shipped the equivalent of 1.3 billion francs abroad, 11.9% down on the previous year. Eight months into the year, watch exports are 30.5% lower than for the same period in 2019. In August, the number of exported watches fell by 31.4%, to 1.1 million units. Overall, and in terms of exports, the markets were difficult for Swiss watchmaking, except for China (+44.9%), which grew very strongly for the third month in a row. The recovery can be explained in part by an increase in domestic purchases, as fewer items are bought abroad. The corollary is that purchases have continued to fall in Europe and several Asian markets, with watch exports declining by 20.5% in Europe and 24.5% in Japan. The Middle East also stood out in August. Swiss watch exports grew by 8.3% in the United Arab Emirates and by 26.5% in Saudi Arabia. Of the main direct destinations for watch exports, the United States saw a slight fall of 4%, after a stable month in July.
IWC offers customised guided virtual tours
An exciting new virtual experience will enable watch enthusiasts to explore IWC’s headquarters from their own homes. Via a live stream from Schaffhausen, visitors will be able to take a customised tour of the museum and manufacturing centre, as well as observe first-hand a watchmaker at work, using the Swiss company’s innovative new Cyberloupe technology. Offering the same insight enjoyed on the ever-popular in-person tours, each virtual journey will be adapted to the specific interests of guests and narrated in real-time by knowledgeable guides. The new virtual tours will be available from September 28th, via IWC.com.