Intimately bound up with Blancpain's identity, two emblematic red gold timepieces from the Villeret line - the Quantième Complet and the Ultraplate - are now available with blue dials.
In the wake of the First World War, Swiss watchmaking underwent a period of profound crisis, resulting in a State-led reorganisation of the sector. This rescue operation took the form of cartel agreements that remained in place until the 1960s. Part one: the 1920s and 1930s.
Audentes fortuna juvat, fortune favours the bold, we are told. Machiavelli, however, observed that fortune exerts its power where virtue is unable to resist. If we are to be audacious, better then that we affront adversity and engineer our conquests with the "virtue" of strength of character, steeped in sagacity, prudence, culture, honesty, morality and clairvoyance.
Greubel Forsey entrusted their timepieces to John Simonian as U.S. distributor and one of its retailer. Owner of the influential Westime boutique in Los Angeles, Simonian already had a lot of experience with high-end brands.
While a number of brands have chosen meteorite for certain of their dials, Antoine Preziuso has gone one step further. He is the only watchmaker to also use meteorite for cases, hands, buckles and crowns. Star quality indeed.
René Weber, a financial analyst with Vontobel, forecasts that growth in the Swiss watch industry's export markets will slow over the second half of 2010 and progress by 8% for the year overall.
A handful of firms dominate the Swiss market for synthetic jewels for the Fine Watch sector, with production of some 300 million per year. One, Pierhor, is an independent firm working at the high end of the market.
Very few men achieve such high iconic status in their own lifetime as that of Nicolas G Hayek. His pivotal involvement in the reconstruction of the Swiss watch industry will be studied, analysed, and emulated as an example to which many may aspire but only a very select few can achieve.