Weekly Roundup: 31 January 2014
While it is certainly hard to focus on events outside the SIHH in the world of watches this week, rest assured that the globe continued to revolve and there were other happenings. Here is a summary of some of them.
* F.P. Journe globally launched its very first collection dedicated just to women last week in Geneva. Called Élégante, it is uniquely powered by an electro-mechanical movement in 4N rose gold – including an engraved and decorated battery bridge – outfitted with two rotors that offers 8-10 years of unbroken energy when in use and can be put in standby mode for up to 18 years.
It turns itself off when not worn after 30 minutes; as soon as it is put on, it automatically sets itself to the correct time thanks to a micro processor and a motion detector, which is visible at 5 o’clock on the dial. “Today the Élégante features the only electro-mechanical movement conceived and created for the luxury market and offering a true vision of luxury,” said François-Paul Journe.
It comes in a titanium, red gold or platinum Tortue-style case and features an interesting luminescent dial reminiscent of the Timex Indiglo. View this short Paris-set film (with a cameo role by Monsieur Journe) to understand. www.fpjourne.com
* During the SIHH, the Digital Luxury Group revealed the results of the haute horlogerie category of the tenth annual World Watch Report, which divulges market research in the luxury industry with publishing partner Europa Star and the support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). Some of the most interesting elements found this past year are the recovery of the U.S. and U.K.; a 12 percent growth among haute horlogerie brands; Patek Philippe continues to be the undisputed leader of this segment; and Glashütte Original and Vacheron Constantin showed the strongest rise in interest within watch forums. www.worldwatchreport.com
* Bremont announced its support of the British School of Watchmaking, a particularly good fit since this young brand with the big ideas is located just outside of London in Henley-on-Thames. It joins Rolex, Patek Philippe, and retailer Watches of Switzerland in nurturing home-grown horological talent this way.
“We are delighted that Bremont has joined the ranks of supporters of the BSoW going forward, and as a British brand, it is a natural fit for the school, and I am sure, will be beneficial to both parties,” said Mark Hearn, director of the watchmaking school. www.bremont.com
* Luxury brands continue to enlist celebrity ambassadors. This week Carl F. Bucherer announced the arrival of supermodel Lisa Haydon and Indian model/actress Puja Gupta as the Swiss brand’s latest “friends,” while Montblanc boasts real Hollywood star power with Hugh Jackman, who now represents the German brand everywhere but in the United States. www.carl-f-bucherer.com, www.montblanc.com
* On that same note, this week JeanRichard announced becoming the long-term global partner and official watch of famous English football club Arsenal FC – something that ought to delight many of our male readers. www.jeanrichard.com
* The third edition of Breguet’s interesting house publication Le Quai de l’Horloge is now available for free download on the iPad in Apple’s app store.
* Angular Momentum of Switzerland proudly announces the launch of its Manu Propria writing instrument collection on February 1, which features the unique use of urushi lacquer. Quill & Pad congratulates artist and owner Martin Pauli on this one-of-a-kind collection. Click here to view
* As the Australian Open drew to a close, tennis and timepiece specialist Miguel Seabra reported the “duel of the watches” between Audemars Piguet “friend” and tournament champion Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Mille ambassador and world number one Rafael Nadal in his typically convivial way. Click here to read Miguel’s report
* The team at the Prodigal Guide didn’t attend the SIHH this year, so the Fool and Straight Six “followed” the fair through Twitter. What they saw was partially accurate and partially hilarious. Worth a look if you aren’t into taking watches all too seriously (especially riveting is QP director James Gurney’s Tweet concerning the SIHH Bingo! game that the British press insisted on playing between presentations. Click here for a light-hearted but insightful view of the SIHH by The Prodigal Guide.