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.
IWC attains RJC’s new level of certification
IWC Schaffhausen has become the first luxury watch brand to meet the new 2019 Code of Practices (COP) standard set by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). By attaining this certification, the Swiss manufacturer reaffirms its commitment to the responsible sourcing of precious materials and a new benchmark of sustainability for the industry. Since it was founded in 2005, the RJC has provided a clear Code of Practices (COP) for members within the watch and jewellery sector, from mining to retail, to ensure ethical, social and environmental responsibility. IWC first joined the leading global standards organization in 2012, gaining the 2013 COP certification in both 2014 and 2017.
The Geneva watch fair could bring in CHF 120 million
The future Geneva watch fair scheduled for April 2021 could represent a financial impact of 100 to 120 million francs, according to State Councilor Pierre Maudet, who hails “a breath of fresh air” for the canton. About ten days ago, five of the most important brands exhibiting at Baselworld announced their departure from the event to organize a new fair in Geneva. The four brands of the LVMH group followed, also eager to join the Geneva event planned in collaboration with Watches & Wonders, the Salon organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). Pierre Maudet wants the name of Geneva to be associated with that of the future show, wishing “a public dimension” for the meeting.
Gradual reopening of Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux
Kering Watches Manufacture was one of the first to take part in the fight against COVID-19, making the decision to close all Ulysse Nardin and Girard Perregaux production sites in Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds on March 17, 2020. The transition to home office work was made wherever possible, notably for the marketing, human resources and commercial departments in order to reduce risks and to ensure the security of our employees, suppliers, partners and clients. Today we are proud to announce a progressive return to activity and the reopening of the workshops of both brands as of April 27, 2020 after six weeks of suspended production and shipping.
Did you know?
Built in the fifteenth century, the Prague astronomical clock has two dials, both with automata. The upper dial, which measures 3.10 metres in diameter, displays astronomical information and is divided into two periods of 12 hours. Indications include the length of day and night, solar, Bohemian and sidereal time, the signs of the zodiac and the apparent movements of the Sun and Moon. The dial underneath shows an ecclesiastical calendar. Legend has it that the maker of the clock, Hanus, had his eyes gouged to ensure he would never replicate his masterpiece elsewhere.