Weekly Roundup: 17 January 2014
* GREAT Britain, a new campaign staged by the British prime minister David Cameron, includes a unique timepiece by Roger Smith. The products featured in the campaign will tour key global markets over the next two years and showcase the very best of what Britain has to offer. The platinum case of the GREAT Britain watch has been handmade in the best George Daniels tradition and hallmarked with “London.”
The manually wound movement is a true treat: the gold-plated, frosted-finish three-quarter plate is topped by a raised barrel bridge that has been hand-engraved with a floral pattern. A hand-engraved balance cock holds the free-sprung co-axial escapement in place. And, naturally, a little Sterling silver plaque proudly exhibits the Celtic triskelion symbol, which is the mascot of the Isle of Man where Roger Smith is based.
* Arnold & Son released a new stainless steel reference of the interesting Time Pyramid first seen at Baselworld 2013. Its hand-finished, uniquely skeletonized, pyramid-shaped Caliber A&S1615 is treated with an NAC grey plating for an interesting contemporary look. Its retail price in the United States is just under $30,000.
* At tennis’ Australian Open, where play commenced on Monday, Seiko launched its new partnership with top player Novak Djokovic, previously an Audemars Piguet ambassador. Shinji Hattori, President of Seiko Watch Corporation, was in Melbourne to announce the agreement in person and to present Djokovic a Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch.
* After conducting an extensive trial against companies having infringed on Audemars Piguet watch design, including Swiss Watch International, which operates the worldofwatches.com website, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found Audemars Piguet’s trademark rights in the Royal Oak watch design were validly infringed by sales of the Swiss Legend Trimix Diver. The court awarded the full amount of the defendants’ profits, tripling them for bad-faith conduct and allowing Audemars Piguet to apply for an award of its attorney’s fees and court costs. It also entered an injunction forbidding the defendants from further dealings in the infringing watch products.
Furthermore, National Jeweler reported that this was not the first time Audemars Piguet had gone to court to protect the Royal Oak’s unique design. “The Swiss watchmaker settled a trademark infringement suit with Tommy Hilfiger USA, Inc. and Movado Group, Inc. in October over Hilfiger’s Eton watch. Movado produces and distributes Tommy Hilfiger-branded watches through a licensing deal. In addition, according to court papers, fashion brand Michael Kors took an allegedly infringing watch off the market after being confronted by Audemars Piguet.”
* Glashütte Original is once again a main partner to the Berlin Film Festival, which begins on February 6. The Glashütte-based, Swatch Group-owned brand also supports the section called “Perspektive Deutsches Kino” with a € 15,000 award singling out young German screenwriters and directors. Glashütte Original announces two winners at the upcoming festival: Sandra Kaudelka for “Intershop” and Sebastian Mez for “274.”
* Hollywood was once again host to the Golden Globes award ceremony on Sunday, and several A-list Hollywood stars doubling as presenters wore quality timepieces: actor Matt Damon wore the Piaget Altiplano 40 mm in white gold, while rapper Sean Combs (P. Diddy) wore the Altiplano 41 mm fully set with 577 diamonds. Ironman Robert Downey Jr., a known aficionado of Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, wore the Master Hometime Aston Martin on stage.
* As Anthony DeMarco reported on Forbes.com, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting an exhibition of Marc Newson-designed objects, which, for the first time thanks to a private collector, includes timepieces designed for Ikepod and Jaeger-LeCoultre. The exhibition runs until April 20.
* The DKSH Luxury & Lifestyle group, which already owns Maurice Lacroix and Bovet, has now announced control of the distribution of Glycine in Europe. This follows the full takeover of the Zurich-based niche brand last year.
* Eterna welcomes Bruno Jufer as its new vice president of marketing and sales. Jufer is an experienced manager in the watch industry, having held positions at Zenith, Carl F. Bucherer, Maurice Lacroix, and Jaquet Droz. His last position was CEO of Antoine Martin. Bruno, the son of a watchmaker, thus returns to his hometown Grenchen to strengthen the team of this 158-year-old company whose best claim to fame is the use of ball bearings in the Eterna Matic rotor.
* German magazine Wirtschaftswoche has ranked A. Lange & Söhne at number one among German luxury brands. This top 30 listing ranking German luxury brands is published every two years, and A. Lange & Söhne has dominated the listing the last four times in a row, even beating out world-famous automobile marques such as Porsche and Mercedes.
* On January 14 at the Tourneau TimeMachine in New York City, JeanRichard honored brand ambassador and American hero Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in order to commemorate the fifth anniversary of him miraculously landing Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, thus saving the lives of its 155 passengers. At the same time, the Swiss watch brand introduced the special edition 208 Seconds Aeroscope timepiece. The “208 Seconds” in the watch’s official title refers to the length of the spectacular landing making headlines around the globe, which took place on January 15, 2009. The titanium watch retails for $5,400 and profits go to two charities: the American Red Cross and the Rory Staunton Foundation. For more information, see Elizabeth’s Forbes.com article.
* Also on Forbes.com, Ariel Adams presents 5 smartwatches introduced at the 2014 CES. Perhaps not a luxury topic, but certainly an interesting one that is bound to influence all of our futures.