The latest Deloitte study of the Swiss watch industry* highlights renewed optimism among executives, for whom the strongest growth prospects are still in Asia. For the vast majority, smartwatches are not perceived as a threat and digital is seen as an opportunity to develop sales.
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The Expert's View
“Navigating my way to new horizons. Contrary to popular belief, the sky is NOT the limit; it is merely the beginning of something bigger.” This quote was posted by Georges Kern on July 18 to announce his arrival as CEO of Breitling. Bigger?
Manufacturers are at pains to incorporate features of a mechanical watch in their smartwatches, including analog displays and even movements. These hybrid products raise the question of what defines a wristwatch today?
While Longines advocates elegance as a way of life, this hasn't prevented it from implementing a strategy more akin to a battle plan, conquering fourth place among Swiss watch brands in the process. Still leading the troops after 48 years, Walter von Känel has his sights set on the next rival in line.
Two seasoned industry professionals, neither of them involved with any brand or group, have teamed up to develop a watch that might give some food for thought to the big players.
HYT's hydromechanical watches take us back to ancient water clocks, yet the Neuchâtel brand chooses not to build on this early form of time measurement, with its rich implications, in its communication. Wrongly so?
Hermès' "L’heure impatiente" complication confronts us with another, more philosophical complexity: the distinction between time as we experience it and time measured by clocks.
The curtain has come down on the 27th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, marked by a record number of exhibitors that proved themselves well able to adapt their products to a mixed environment.