FROM OUR REPORTER IN BASEL.
Will the old world encounter the new world ?
The watches ginned our time since always, early traces were founded back in the wreck of a Greek ship sailing towards Rome about one century BC. With the discovery of a complex mechanism of 82 pieces with among other gearings, the remains of an astronomical machine. An additional proof of the scientific development of the ancient world, particularly in Greece and Rome.
A quite innovative sector who faces up with the coming challenges. The master watchmakers are the architects of our time, and are very well-known for their know-how, inventiveness and creativity. To face the storms of a more fragile and complex conjuncture and be better aware of fighting against the perverse effects of the exchange rate. The sector of the watch-making refocuses itself to its local markets to gain a new breath of life. Thanks also to a cocktail made of flexibility, austerity, surprise, diversification, internationalization and innovations. But nevertheless Jean-Claude Biver stays confident, head of the watch division at LVMH, feeling that this 2016 edition of “Baselworld” will by far be the best for its brand.
At last will the old world of mechanical and automatic timekeeper be catch up by the new world of connected watches ? Or are these two types of watches addressing to different customers ? Have the global brands the desire to enter the dance, and so set up new tendencies ? These are indeed questions that only the next months and the future can give answers. But a begin of answer is maybe to find to Frederique Constant of Geneva. Which is a traditional brand from Geneva which adapted itself in 2015 by revealing its ” Horological Smartwatch “, an of course a connected watch. A watch developed in collaboration with her sister brand Certina. And also “Tag Heuer”, which has an experience of 150 years in luxury watchmaking craftsmanship tries to converge with the unlimited power of the connected technology. With a connected watch engineered with Intel Inside and powered by Android Wear.
The trend of the “vintage” watches is always on the agenda, here are a few examples. Such as with the Slazenger brand and its “Retro 2016” collection or the “Eterna-Heritage” which is a special and limited edition to celebrate the 160 anniversary of the brand. And the “Hamilton-Skeleton” an automatic timekeeper revealing its movement. Also the “Longines-Railroad” inspired by a timekeeper of the 1960s, a perfect tribute to the adventure of the railway. The factory supplied of course watches to employees of numerous companies worldwide, a watch with a sober and distinctive aesthetic. The Ceo of Longines, Walter von Kanel, spending most of his career alongside Nicolas Hayek and motivating his teams by telling; ” never neglect local markets” and remembering Nicolas Haek’s professy: “stay in the valuable segment going from 1000 to 3000 €uros and you will be then the leader in your category”.
Quoting Sir Winston Churchill: ” My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best “.