Not known for architectural swagger, Swatch Group has cut the ribbon on the new Swatch headquarters. The snake-like building is like nothing ever seen before in the branch. For Nick Hayek, it's about sparking the emotions and arousing curiosity.
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It's not every day you meet a mountain-climbing, free-diving, Alpine-horn-loving watchmaker. David Candaux carries on not just a family tradition but that of the region he calls home, giving a fresh twist to the heritage that runs through Vallée de Joux. Introducing the newest member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI).
Originally a saddlemaker, Hermès prolongs this expertise within its watchmaking division with some of the finest leather straps in the business. The heart of this activity is in Biel, where La Montre Hermès opened in 1978.
The Geneva brand is showing no signs of slowing in 2017, with the opening of a boutique inside Harrods, London's temple of luxury, a partnership with Pirelli and another with Italdesign. Roger Dubuis is playing the "disruptive" card to full effect, with customer experience now part of the deal.
Earlier this month, the Le Brassus watchmaker hosted an official ceremony to lay the first stone of its future museum. This futuristic building – a half-buried glass and concrete spiral with roof garden – will be joined, on the other side of the Manufacture, by the brand's second project: a luxury hotel, currently under construction.
The brand has digitised records of every watch it has made since it was established in 1832. This Herculean task is proving to be a silent but no less powerful asset for the brand's communication.
Designer Eric Giroud and MB&F founder Max Büsser were both at Dubai Watch Week, where they revealed that a passion for timekeeping isn't the only thing they share. Even at the height of crisis, they rank high on the horological happiness scale.