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?
While 2009 took some of the heat off the battle that rages around supplies of watch parts, this was no doubt just a break in the hostilities that are building up between the Swatch Group and its clients. Fighting talk from Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman of Swatch, and Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of TAG Heuer.
The year 2009 will go down as a year of crisis in the history of luxury goods companies, all of which experienced sales and margin declines. Leather goods producers (Hermès, LVMH), however, suffered to a lesser degree than watch and jewellery makers (Swatch Group, Richemont, Bulgari). Positive signs already emerged in 4Q09 and continued in 1Q10 (+16,6%) owing to the easier comparison base.
Counterfeiting has grown to unprecedented proportions. Global trade in counterfeit goods could go from $5.5 billion in 1982 to almost $600 billion in 2010, equivalent to 10% of world trade according to the former French budget minister Eric Woerth.
Vianney Halter, founder of Janvier Manufacture, came to this year's Baselworld with no new products but the same deep-seated conviction that watch "creators" should have their say, even if people don't like what they hear. Interview.
After numerous collaborations, Peter Speake-Marin has decided to work for himself. The result is the Marin 1, driven by the Calibre SM2. The first movement to be entirely designed and made by Speake-Marin, it will be the starting point for future complication models.
Not everyone would agree that 2009 was one of the worst years Swiss watchmaking has ever known, beginning with Kari Voutilainen, a Finnish watchmaker based in Môtiers. He even allowed himself the "luxury" of coming to Baselworld with nothing to sell. Interview.