When all balance springs were metal, Swatch Group's Nivarox enjoyed a virtual monopoly. The most widespread alternative, patented silicon technology, is also the property of a handful of manufacturers. However crucial it may be, mechanically and strategically, the balance spring is about materials science, not horological genius.
With the vintage trend showing no signs of abating, now is the time to pay tribute to the iconic watches worn by late, great celebrities. Brands happily revisit legends from the past while at auction, watches with celebrity provenance are achieving record amounts.
What more evocative allegory for these words from the book of Ecclesiastes, which evoke human "vanity" and the transience of human life, than the skull. An imagery watchmakers have been quick to seize upon.
What do Hermes and Chanel have in common? The obvious answer is that they are all leading luxury brands with a prestigious couture label and a legendary founder. What distinguishes them from their fashion runway cousins, however, is that they are also Swiss watchmakers.
The Clock, winner of the Golden Lion at the 54th Venice Biennale, has catapulted Christian Marclay to the pantheon of the world's most influential people. Time Magazine ranks the artist, a recent guest lecturer at Lausanne University of Art and Design, second in its 2012 Top 100.
"Vintage" has become common parlance when describing horological production today. According to some sources, the word originates in the Old French vendange (grape harvest) which came to refer to an exceptional year for wine. Others claim its etymology lies in the locution vingt ans d'âge which watchmakers use to refer to any timepiece older than two decades (twenty years of age). Given most Manufactures' venerable age, many of their iconic timepieces fall within this category of vintage, and bringing the past up-to-speed with the present has emerged as a major trend in watchmaking.
Crowning its efforts to propose complex mechanical watches for women, the Genevan firm presents the first ever perpetual calendar in its collections specifically for ladies.
During warm summer days, the ocean never fails to cast its irresistible spell on holidaymakers yearning for a taste of sea air and possibly a little spin out on their boats with friends. Once again, watchmakers are at the ready.