Weekly Roundup March 21: Maurice Lacroix, Romain Gauthier, Speake-Marin, Patek Philippe, Habring2, Hermès, Christophe Claret and more.
* Maurice Lacroix announces a three-year partnership with FC Barcelona as its official watch partner. Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona is considered one of the world’s most prestigious “footie” clubs and boasts an emotional global fan base of over 300 million admirers and 100 million social media followers.
An affordable “fan” watch will provide an entry-level opportunity for Swiss timepiece ownership. For lovers of mechanical timepieces or for those wishing to make the big jump, a stunning “player’s” watch and a sophisticated “executive” model will also be sold in all FC Barcelona boutiques and in the extensive worldwide network of official Maurice Lacroix retailers. www.mauricelacroix.com
* Just ahead of Baselworld, Romain Gauthier announces the Logical One Secret, an extremely artful model that fuses both technology and craftsmanship. A gorgeous red gold hinged cover hides the fascinating mechanics of the boutique brand’s intelligent chain and fusee mechanism providing constant force to the movement when closed.
Not just practical, the cover is also beautiful as it illustrates the art of luxury gem setting. All told, the cover, case and strap lugs boast 181 invisible-set, baguette-cut diamonds (6.9 ct.).www.romaingauthier.com
* Antiquorum’s March 16 Geneva auction raked in more than 3,3 million Swiss francs. The top lot was a Rolex Ref. 6200 Explorer Dial, which sold for CHF 183,750. The rare Patek Philippe pendulette dome clock called Poissons des Caraibes with cloisonné enamel panels and a unique solar-powered, electro-mechanical movement attained CHF 105,750. mycatalog.antiquorum.com/lotsprice.html?auctionid=281
* Speake-Marin’s new Magister Tourbillon displays all the elements that are quintessentially Speake-Marin: an aesthetic tourbillon, delectable tempered hands, the traditional Piccadilly case, the easy-to-grip fluted crown and a beautiful, finely finished movement wound by a platinum micro rotor. www.speake-marin.com/collections/j-class-collection/magister
Additionally, the boutique brand, which you can find in Hall 1.1 at Baselworld next week, launched a sleek new website that is more than worth a peek. www.speake-marin.com
* Konstantin Chaykin announces a competition among its Instagram and Facebook followers, which lasts until March 26: you must correctly describe the unique features of a new watch using only a given sketch. The first person who answers correctly or gives the closest possible answer wins. “We expect not only the right but also creative answers!” was the challenge. www.konstantin-chaykin.com instagram.com/p/lpDQQywHc9 www.konstantin-chaykin.com
* Habring2, though not exhibiting at Baselworld, announces the advent of a new model: Time Pilot. Available in three dial colors (black, blue and gray), this time-only timepiece was inspired by the Jumping Second Pilot, a winner at the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Powered by Caliber A09 as either hand-wound or automatic, it is available in a matte stainless steel case (€ 2,850 through € 3,550), while a titanium case is available upon request. www.habring2.com
* ADVA Optical Networking of Munich, Germany acquired Oscilloquartz from Swatch Group, a specialist company in the fields of time and frequency. Founded in 1949, Oscilloquartz designs, manufactures and installs precise frequency sources and synchronization systems supplied to telecommunication integrators as well as public and private network operators in more than 90 countries. Headquartered in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the company with approximately 70 employees will remain in the region. www.oscilloquartz.com www.advaoptical.com
* Hermès has released a charming and playful new film that allows the viewer to “travel” back in time to the origins of the brand’s timepieces, beginning with the Porte-Oignon of 1912. Characteristically inventive, it allows the viewer to pass a few pleasing moments reminiscing about a Paris not known in our lifetimes. Well worth viewing on your lunch break to take a mini vacation.
* Porsche Design and Eterna have ended their licensing agreement regarding the development, production and distribution of watches. Porsche Design will announce its new strategy toward the middle of the year, while Eterna, now owned by Haidan and thus a “sister” brand to Corum, will be present at Baselworld with new products such as the Military Heritage, new Kon Tiki, Grace, Tangaroa and the Legacy, which pays homage to Eterna’s number one invention: the ball bearing. www.eterna.com
The Porsche Design group simultaneously announced continued growth for the 2013 fiscal year with a plus of more than 45 percent, a turnover of € 116.2 million and 50 new points of sale across all categories. www.porsche-design.com
Margot by Christophe Claret
Christophe Claret will present two new models at Baselworld: Maestoso, which features a pivoted détent escapement, constant force mechanism and cylindrical balance spring, and Margot, the brand’s first ladies’ watch, which boasts an entirely new romantic complication based on the game “He loves me, he loves me not.” www.christopheclaret.com
Maestoso by Christophe Claret