Technology is eating the brand world
Interbrand released tis Best Global Brands 2019 Report, the 20th edition of the world’s first brand valuation survey, showing that Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft continue their success as the world’s four most valuable brands worldwide. The top growing sector for 2019 was luxury and retail with 15 brands making the top 100; this sector sees the highest average brand value growth rate year-over-year at 11%. The most successful brands in the luxury space are those that have adapted to rapid changes in the global marketplace, including catering to a younger consumer base. Gucci (#33) was emblematic of the luxury sector’s success, showing a 23 percent increase in brand value. Venerable brands Louis Vuitton (#17) and Chanel (#22) saw a 14% and an 11% increase, respectively, since last year’s report.
Only Watch 2019: € 38’593’000 raised
Saturday 9th November was the apex of a journey on which the watch industry has embarked on with Only Watch. A journey which started on July 1st by unveiling the names of the participating watch brands. This was followed by the world tour exhibition. Only Watch held its 8th auction of unique timepieces in Geneva led by Christie’s in a packed and dynamic saleroom. The sale took over two hours as interest in each lot was overwhelmingly high and concluded with a record-breaking result of CHF 42,452,300 / € 38’593’000. The auction included a Patek Philippe lot (28) that was auctioned for the historic amount of CHF 34,100,000 / € 31,000,000.
Alphabet Is in Talks to Buy Smart Watch Maker Fitbit
Alphabet, owner of Google, is in talks for a potential acquisition of smart watch maker Fitbit, a move that could bolster its hardware business while also increasing antitrust scrutiny. Google is under investigation for anti-competitive behavior by both the U.S. federal government and a collection of state attorneys general because of its online advertising and data collection practices, making any acquisition the company does likely to come under strict scrutiny. At the same time though, the internet giant is looking to bolster its hardware business, which includes smart home speakers and devices, laptops and the Pixel line of smart phones. Fitbit could give Google a leg-up in the smart watch and health tracker space.
Hublot on the planet Mars in 2021
After having invented underwater drones to assist divers at the Antikythera archaeological site in Greece, Mathias Buttet, head of R&D at Hublot, will allow the manufacture to take part in the ExoMars project, developed by the European Space Agency. The watchmaker has just received his official certificate of “technical and scientific collaborator” for this space expedition which should take off in July 2020 in the direction of the planet Mars. “We have managed to provide in three months the calibration chart of the camera that will be installed on the rover,” says Mathias Buttet in the Swiss daily 24 Hours. Developed for this mission, this 4×4 vehicle will have to take samples to a depth of 2m in the Martian soil to look for traces of present or past life. Scientists do not know if the atmosphere on Mars will be red or blue. Through the eye of the camera, this chart will help them determine the true colors.
LVMH makes $14.5bn Tiffany & Co approach
Europe’s richest man Bernard Arnault made a $14.5bn bid to buy Tiffany & Co, the jeweller famed for its extravagant engagement rings and white diamond necklaces worn by the likes of Audrey Hepburn for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Arnault’s €194bn LVMH luxury goods empire, which features brands such as Louis Vuitton , Dior and Moët & Chandon, announced it had made a $120-a-share offer to buy the US jeweller, which was founded by 25-year-old Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837. Tiffany said it was carefully reviewing the proposal, but said it was not in discussions with its Paris-based suitor, which it mistakenly referred to as LMVH in its statement. Tiffany employs more than 14,000 people, and operates about 300 stores around the world including its flagship store next to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Swatch Group splits up with Calvin Klein
After more than 22 years of exclusive licensing collaboration, Swatch Group has decided to let the licensing agreement with Calvin Klein end at its date of expiration (in the near future). The decision has been taken due to the recent turbulence and uncertainties at the management level of Calvin Klein Inc., New York. According to the Swatch Group webs site, the US designer Calvin Klein and the Swatch Group pooled their talent in 1997 to create “cK watch”. A new type of watch was born: the fashion accessory watch. The brand offered over 200 different models, available in more than 60 countries. 2004 saw the launch of the brand’s jewelry collections: ck Calvin Klein jewelry, with a pure, and refined aesthetic. Calvin Klein, which sells perfumes, underwear and glasses, belongs since 2002 to the American group PVH, which also holds the mark Tommy Hilfiger. Earlier this year, PVH announced a restructuring of Calvin Klein.
Swiss watch exports: Return to growth in September
Swiss watch exports benefited from an additional working day and a favourable base effect in September. The net result for the month increased sharply, to CHF 1.8 billion (+10.2%). The value of exports after nine months is CHF 15.9 billion, an increase of 2.8% compared with last year. Watches priced below CHF 200 (export price) fell a little less rapidly but continue to decline sharply, while the CHF 200-500 range grew slightly. Watches priced over CHF 3,000 saw particularly strong growth, at +17.1% by value. Most markets grew, with some performing very strongly. The United States topped the ranking for the third time this year, with an increase of 14.7% in September. While exports to Hong Kong remained negative (-4.6%), other markets in the region recorded very strong growth, notably in China (+26.0%), Japan (+31.6%) and Singapore (+20.5%). Europe (+6.5%) was influenced by stability in the United Kingdom (+0.6%) and strong performance in Germany (+14.4%), France (+15.6%) and Italy (+7.2%).
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.