The number-one destination for Swiss watch exports is battling against the strong Swiss franc, falling tourism and China's economic slowdown. The Hong Kong watch federation has even written to Swiss manufacturers asking for a drop in prices.
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In a tense geopolitical climate, with customers more likely to think twice before they buy and as inventory accumulates, watch brands are playing safe with classic, functional and consequently more affordable products. The smartwatch "event", meanwhile, has so far turned out to be not so much a bang as a fizz.
Cvstos saw out 2014 in Moscow, in the company of Gérard Depardieu, for the official presentation of its "Proud to be Russian" watch. The brand hopes to sell between three and four hundred of this new model, which is reserved for the Russian market, over the next five months.
Parmigiani Fleurier has sent an atypical and loquacious watchmaker to the Russian capital. Born in Normandy, France, Maxime Rius has set up the Manufacture's workshop in the city, where he has sole responsibility for servicing and repairing the watches brought to him by his Russian and Kazak clientele. Meet the man.
Officine Panerai opens its second boutique in Moscow, in the renowned shopping center Berlin House, on Petrovka street, 5.