Weekly Roundup 2 May: Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ulysse Nardin And More
* Richard Mille’s team has just returned from Caribbean island St. Barth, where it was the main sponsor of regatta Les Voiles de Saint Barth for the fifth consecutive year. European head of communication Beatrice Giusti reports having experienced fairly extreme racing conditions with tropical rain and wind on the boat owned by Peter Harrison, head of Richard Mille EMEA, which was one of the 70 yachts taking part. The regatta’s Maxi class winner, Alex Shaerer, was awarded an RM 028 Edition Voiles de Saint Barth in titanium. Watch this video by The Watches TV at Richard-Mille-at-the-Voiles-de-Saint-Barth-2014.
* Ulysse Nardin, together with retail partner The Hour Glass, opened a new flagship boutique in Singapore this week at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The look of the 90 m2 boutique resembles the new Baselworld booth and likewise contains a collection of very high-quality, innovative timepieces, including a number of boutique exclusives. The ribbon was cut by Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrik Hoffmann, Dr. Kenny Chan managing director of The Hour Glass, and John Postle, vice president of the Marina Bay Sands. www.ulysse-nardin.com
* Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” character with an exhibition called “Chaplin Forever!” at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which will run until May 4. It was inaugurated in the presence of Carmen Chaplin, friend of the Swiss brand and granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin was also on hand to honor Rob Reiner as the recipient of the 41st annual Chaplin Award, which is annually presented during a gala event. www.jaeger-lecoultre.com
* Sotheby’s New York auction of June 10, 2014 sees a remarkable selection of wristwatches by Patek Philippe going under the hammer, including a unique group of five timepieces commissioned in titanium that includes Reference 5001T Sky Moon Tourbillon, which was previously undocumented and now represents the only known example of Patek Philippe’s coveted Sky Moon Tourbillon in titanium. Sotheby’s estimates it selling for between $1 million and $1.5 million.
Another piece on the block is the legendary 1923 Officier, the first split-seconds chronograph wristwatch produced by the firm (estimate: $800,000/$1.2 million). Ben Clymer of Hodinkee wrote an extensive article documenting these timepieces, which you can read here: http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/titanium-sky-moon-tourbillon-at-sothebys.
* Hublot World Cup ambassador and soccer legend Pelé introduced the official watch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (the Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chronograph) to the United States this week as part of the global “Hublot Loves Football” campaign. This will be the first Hublot timepiece ever to include a bi-retrograde function combined with a central chronograph. It comes in a case replicating a soccer ball that has been hand-painted by famed Brazilian artist Romero Britto. The chronograph was especially developed so that fans can time each 45-minute half of the globally revered game. The “Soccer Bang,” as it is unofficially called, comes in King Gold with a carbon fiber bezel (limited to 100 pieces) or black ceramic with a carbon fiber bezel (200 pieces) and is powered by Hublot’s own Unico movement. www.hublot.com
* The next edition of the International Chronometry Competition officially launches on May 26 during a press conference that will highlight regulation and organizational changes for the fourth edition, which is likely to include a new category for chronographs. Naturally, Quill & Pad will be following this exciting event as it unfolds. For more information on the competition, read Ian’s article on what accuracy means to him: Why-accuracy-matters-to-me-and-why-it-should-matter-to-you-too.
* Premier London-based retailer Marcus announces the launch of a luxurious new website, which it calls “a new global door to the Marcus boutique.” The platform shows off Marcus’ many interesting limited editions and unique pieces, such as those made by Greubel Forsey and Urwerk, and also includes a news section for press clippings and live social media feeds. www.marcuswatches.com
* In a move designed to redefine the identities of its masterful watchmakers, Girard-Perregaux has just published a coffee table book entitled The New Face of Tradition, which highlights not only the lives of these 23 young men and women, but also documents their world tour of last year. It is available in three languages (English, French, Chinese) and in digital format. “With this book, we celebrate a new generation of watch masters,” says Michele Sofisti, Girard-Perregaux and Sowind Group CEO. “We honor their craft and their dynamic lives so as to inspire other young people around the world to pursue the tradition of watchmaking.” www.girard-perregaux.com www.thenewfaceoftradition.com
* The fourth annual Madison Avenue Watch Week begins on Sunday in New York City and goes through May 10. Many participating watch boutiques are holding special events, such as Montblanc demonstrating a watchmaker’s work and Detroit-based Ernst Benz holding a cocktail party at designer John Varvatos’ boutique on May 7 starting at 6:00 pm (the two have collaborated on watch editions). A panel on May 6 at 8:30 am at the Surrey Hotel hosted by Ben Clymer of Hodinkee includes the U.S. presidents of Chopard, F.P. Journe, Montblanc, and Panerai. For more information, please visit www.MadisonAvenueWatchWeek.com.
* Anthony DeMarco published an interesting article on Forbes outlining recent management changes at the Kering Group, which owns Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard and Sowind manufacturing. Kering-reorganizes-to-continue-its-focus-on-luxury-goods/
* National Jeweler gives us the lowdown on the Swatch Group’s trademark battle for the word “tourbillon” in the U.S.: American courts will not grant it the right to register this word. www.nationaljeweler.com/watches/brand-profiles/Swatch-cannot-tradem
National Jeweler also reports a series of disturbing robberies of Rolex retailers in Michigan. Thieves-targeting