With the economy back in business and exports on the rise again, brands are newly inclined to show off their capacity for innovation and imagination. Here are some of the watches from the stream of recent releases.
Xi Jinping’s call for “common prosperity” sent shudders through the stock market. This new policy, which portends a drop in purchasing power for the wealthiest Chinese, pushed down luxury share prices, which includes watch brands. What implications does this have?
We've heard and read a lot about China of late, the country every luxury name has in its sights - watch brands no less than any other - and the driving force for this economy worldwide (Chinese tourists account for 30% to 50% of sales in Europe and the US). The People's Republic is on a spending spree that the gloomiest predictions of rocky roads and even ruin cannot curb.
The price of exported watches varies from one market to another, often significantly. A look at what the figures reveal…
Exports of finished Swiss watches for the first quarter 2012 grew 17% overall in value to CHF 4.3 billion and 4% in volume to 6.8 million units, an increase clearly driven by fine watches.
Sotheby's breaks with tradition by leaving its usual evening slot for a day sale on Tuesday May 15th. Geoffroy Ader will present a maximum number of lots which again give precedence to some fine pocket watches. Total estimate: CHF 10 to 12 million.
As is traditional, Antiquorum will raise the curtain on the Geneva sales on Sunday May 13th, when 469 lots come under the hammer (compared with 603 last November). The highlight of the day will be fifty Royal Oaks in honour of the 40th anniversary of Audemars Piguet's legendary timepiece . The sale carries a total estimate of CHF 5 to 7 million.
This coming May 13th, 14th and 15th, some 1,260 timepieces will change hands for tens of millions of Swiss francs, at Christie's, Sotheby's and Antiquorum.