Swiss watchmaking recovery continues
Swiss watch exports in May reached 1.8 billion francs (+174.2% compared with May 2020), the same as in April. Compared with the 2019 baseline, this represented a decline of 11.9%, primarily because of a negative base effect. The fall seen a year ago (-67.9%) was thus not fully offset but the sector can nonetheless envisage an earlier return to normal than had been expected at the start of the year. The cumulative result for the first five months of the year was slightly down (-3.0%) compared with January to May 2019. Watches valued at over 3,000 francs (export price) matched their 2019 volumes, with a slight decline in value. As in April, China (+17.4% compared with May 2019) and the United States (+16.6%) recorded steady growth. The United Kingdom – the sixth-largest market for Swiss watch exports – also saw a marked improvement in its result (+8.3%). Most of the other main markets recorded significant declines, reflecting the ongoing difficulty of their local situation as a result of health measures and travel restrictions.
Richard Mille’s pre-owned retail partnerships
Richard Mille is happy to announce that its pre-owned watch distribution network now covers all major markets across four continents. Anyone eager to purchase a pre-owned Richard Mille can do so with absolute peace of mind via any of our certified partners – ‘NX One’ in Japan, ‘The Value of Time’ in Singapore, ‘Westime’ in the US or ‘Ninety’ in London, UK. Any pre-owned watch acquired in one of the stores cited above will have been evaluated, authenticated and restored by our own in-house watchmakers. Trained at the Richard Mille Manufacture, they are committed to subjecting each and every timepiece to the most rigorous quality controls through servicing, repairs and refurbishments.
Grand Seiko opens up New York City Boutique
Grand Seiko announces the opening of its SoHo Boutique, fully operated by Watches of Switzerland, located near the corner of West Broadway and Spring Street in New York City. After the successful Nature of Time pop-up experience, Grand Seiko and Watches of Switzerland decided to take a major step forward by opening a stand-alone boutique. The SoHo location will be the fullest representation of the Grand Seiko brand in downtown New York and will feature its Masterpiece, Elegance, Heritage, and Sports collections. Located at 154 Spring Street, the new boutique will serve to educate both local and international customers in the neighborhood about the art of Grand Seiko and the uniqueness of Japanese watchmaking.
Handcraft’s masterpieces exhibition at Patek Philippe Geneva
From June 16 to 26, 2021, in its historic headquarters on Rue du Rhône, the Genevan manufacture is exhibiting over 75 Rare Handcrafts treasures that reflect superb artisanship. Visitors can discover the complete Rare Handcrafts collection from 2020 (more than 70 timepieces) that were not on display last year and have been carefully curated by Patek Philippe for this new event. They are complemented by the first exhibits of the 2021 collection. It is a unique opportunity to see these creations at a single location and to admire the artistry of craftsmen as well as their venerable artisanal skills.
Second edition of the Geneva Watch Days at the end of August 2021
The success of Geneva Watch Days 2020 has encouraged its founding and associated brands to organise the event again in 2021 with a very similar format: phygital, global, decentralised, self-managed and open to the public. Scheduled on approximately the same dates as last year – from August 30th to September 3rd – it will bring together a group of some 20 brands representing the art of horology in various hotels, manufactures and boutiques in the world’s watchmaking capital. Founding brands: Bulgari, Breitling, De Bethune, Gerald Genta, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk. Associated Brands: Arnold & Son, Czapek, Doxa, Ferdinand Berthoud, Frederique Constant Group, Maurice Lacroix, Oris and Reuge.
Blancpain celebrates World Ocean Day 2021
Blancpain presents the United Nations World Ocean Day 2021 as a partner. On June 8, 2021, our attention will be focused on the oceans and the essential role they play in our lives. Exploration and preservation of the world’s oceans is core to Blancpain. Thus, was born the Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC). For the past several years, the BOC has demonstrated consistent support for oceanographic initiatives and partnerships with leading organizations. To date, the multiple activities passionately pursued by Blancpain in support of exploring and preserving the oceans have led to tangible results, notably contributing to significantly extending the surface of marine protected areas around the world.
Back to normal for Swiss watch exports
Swiss watch exports performed well in April 2021, to reach 1.8 billion francs. This represents growth of 2.0% compared with the baseline set in April 2019 and confirms the return to normal that began in March. So far, the cumulative level since the start of the year is identical (-0.4%) to the performance of two years ago. The total number of watches exported was well below the level achieved two years ago. Only watches priced at over 3,000 francs (export price) increased compared with April 2019. Other price segments again saw a marked decline, particularly those below 500 francs. Performance varied significantly in the main markets. Compared with the 2019 baseline, the United States (+14.6%) showed strong growth. Worldwide, performance was mainly bolstered by China (+75.0%), which continued to combine growth in the home market with domestic sales of goods previously purchased abroad.
Carlos Hank Guerreiro, new Richard Mille’s partner
Carlos Hank Guerreiro is the fourth partner to join the Richard Mille family in an equestrian discipline, show jumping. Carlos grew up in Mexico City, and at age 10 he moved to California to continue refining his skills. In 2016, he won gold at the North American Young Rider Championships, and two years later he won the Under 25 Grand Prix in Palm Beach. In 2019 Carlos nabbed Top 10 finishes in both the Brussels Masters 5-Star Grand Prix, and the Queen Elizabeth II 5-Star Grand Prix in Calgary. Today, Carlos divides his time between Belgium and Florida, competing in show jumping’s most prestigious competitions on two continents.
A new exhibition at the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet
Audemars Piguet inaugurates its new temporary exhibition “Extraordinary Friendships”. Since its inception, Audemars Piguet has continuously looked beyond Haute Horlogerie for inspiration, notably in the realms of pop culture, sports, art and the entertainment industry. This interactive exhibition presents nine talented personalities who have contributed to growing the brand recognition around the world. The highlights include T-800, the mythical robot of the Terminator movies, who embodies the long-standing friendship between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Audemars Piguet; recipes from 3-Michelin-starred Chef Emmanuel Renault as well as a recreated locker-room featuring some of Serena Williams’ belongings.