Omega opens its new Museum
Omega opened its new Museum at “La Cité du Temps”, the Swatch Group/Omega campus in Biel/Bienne Switzerland. Located in a beautiful light-filled building designed by award-winning architect Shigeru Ban, Omega’s stunning new Museum is a space worthy of a brand with extraordinary stories to share. The Omega Museum in Biel/Bienne Switzerland was the first museum to be dedicated to a single Swiss watchmaker and has long been the guardian of Omega’s history. However, given the length and depth of the brand’s legacy, it was inevitable that a new Museum would eventually be required, as illustrated by this brief snapshot of history.
The GPHG creates a sensation in Mexico
After Sydney and Bangkok, the 84 watches pre-selected by the jury of the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) were on show in Mexico at the SIAR – Salón Internacional Alta Relojería – the largest watch show in latin America. “For watches lovers enjoying the pieces selected for the GPHG on live is a dream, explains Carlos Alonso, Publisher and Chief Editor of Tiempo de Relojes and Director General of the SIAR. It is a recognition for the passion that this country has for Haute Horlogerie but also a way to promote nominated brands were never present in LATAM before.” After Mexico City, the pre-selected watches – competing for the famous “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix or one of the 18 prizes rewarding watchmaking excellence – will travel to Puebla in Mexico before returning to Geneva, where the 19th GPHG prize-giving ceremony will be held on November 7th.
16% revenue growth in nine months for LVMH
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded a 16% increase in revenue, reaching € 38.4 billion in the first nine months of 2019. Organic revenue grew 11% compared to the same period of 2018. In the third quarter, revenue was up 17% compared to the same period in 2018. The United States and Europe saw good progress in the third quarter, as did Asia, despite the difficult context in Hong Kong. In the first nine months of 2019, the Watches & Jewelry business group recorded organic revenue growth of 4%, driven by jewelry. Bulgari enjoyed an excellent performance, especially in its own stores. After Beijing in 2017 and Tokyo in 2018, this summer, Chaumet presented its new exhibition in Monaco; “Chaumet in Majesty. Jewels of Sovereigns since 1780”. In watches, TAG Heuer continued to focus on its iconic lines and Hublot made solid progress.
HYT joins Mr Porter
Avant-garde watchmaker HYT recently landed at Mr Porter, the online luxury menswear retailer, with a curated selection of six timepieces from the brand. Fans of (very) limited editions can also head for the SIAR fine watch fair in Mexico City, October 15th-17th, where HYT is showing three unique variations of the H²0.
The Rolex "fantastic four" in Geneva
Phillips’ upcoming sale in Geneva, November 9th and 10th, will be an exciting time for collectors. Among the 200 lots crossing the block at Hôtel La Réserve, auctioneers Aurel Bacs and Alex Ghotbi have announced “exceptional examples of the ‘fantastic four’, a group of mythical non-professional models. These include a stunning example of the very elusive stainless steel reference 4113 (the only Rolex split-seconds chronograph model), an original and extremely well preserved pink gold reference 6062 “Stelline” with star-set numerals, possibly the finest stainless steel reference 8171 known within the collecting community, and an attractive and rare triple calendar chronograph Ref. 6236 Dato-Compax.”
Richemont acquires Buccellati
Richemont has acquired 100% of Buccellati Holding Italia S.p.A., the owner of Buccellati, the renowned Italian jewellery Maison, in a private transaction with Gangtai Group Corporation Limited, a privately held conglomerate. Buccellati was founded in Milan in 1919 by Mario Buccellati. The Maison has a rich history and patrimony. Its jewellery creations are renowned for their highly distinctive look and feel evoking silk, damask, tulle and linen. All jewellery pieces are handcrafted with techniques dating back to the Renaissance, in Buccellati’s four in-house workshops, all located in Italy. Buccellati is also active in the fields of watchmaking and silverware.
Watch design: welcome to the Club
A watch designer with more than 15 years’ experience and founder of the independent Swiss watch brand DWISS, Rafael Simoes Miranda is the winner of numerous international awards. On October 1st, 2019 he is launching a club for enthusiasts and collectors who want to be part of a unique team experience to create a timepiece and, with it, win a design award. The project will last for almost a year and will bring together around 200 people. Each member of the Club will be actively involved in the creative process to successively imagine the case, dial, hands, strap, buckle, etc. of the future watch. An initial prototype should be presented in Basel in May 2020, with production scheduled to begin between June and September. Members will receive a special Club edition in November. The watch will be entered in several international competitions. Registration is open now.
Swiss watch exports: what’s up?
Swiss watch exports were average in August. The value of exports was 1.5 billion francs, an increase of 1.5% compared with August 2018. The sector therefore remains on a slightly upward trend, in a still relatively challenging context, depending on the market. Eight months into the year, growth is at +1.9%. Performance varied widely across the main markets. In the United States (+14.8%), growth continued to increase regularly, making it the top export market in August. In Asia, Hong Kong (-12.7%) continued on a downward trend, but avoided another sharp fall, as had been feared. China (+13.7%) again produced strong growth, while Japan (+34.5%) soared. Europe (-2.7%) saw an overall decline.
Make a date with Swiss watchmaking heritage
Take a rare, behind-the-scenes look at watchmaking, its manufactures and specialist professions at the Biennale du Patrimoine Horloger, November 1st, 2nd and 3rd in La Chaux-de-Fonds, home of Swiss watchmaking. This ninth edition is a special one, as it is ten years since La Chaux-de-Fonds and neighbouring Le Locle were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their urban planning, designed to facilitate watch production. The full programme for the three days is online from September 24th.