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?
In the second quarter 2010, China eclipsed Japan as the second largest economy in the world and, given the gap in the two countries' growth, is expected to confirm its position for the full year. Despite this, China plays it low-key and acknowledges it is still a developing nation.
China first fell in love with mechanical timepieces in the late 1500s, when Jesuits presented the first clocks to the Imperial Court. Centuries later, this love affair is still going strong and has positioned China top of the league for Swiss watch exports.
Chinese watch firms are investing in Switzerland with the likes of Ebohr, which has launched its first brand; Fiyta, which has taken over Montres Chouriet, and Sea-Gull which is taking a stake in a Swiss movement manufacturer. Their objective is to move upmarket and seduce Chinese customers with the lure of Swiss Made.
Unsurprisingly, my last "In the Air" on the Fine Watchmaking Manifesto sparked quite a reaction. As in all things meteorological, favourable and cross winds blew, though fortunately without serious turbulence. It's never a bad thing to let in some fresh air.
World Expo is not only a fabulous opportunity for the Chinese to apprehend the culture and techniques of each country; it is also a platform for exchange that puts the Chinese on an equal footing with the people of other nations.