Swiss watchmaking in Asia : What should be remembered from the past quarter 11.11
Rewards and tough choices
With the autumn frost comes reunion time for watchmaker juries. The objective of their mission: to agree on the most significant watches of the year which will be awarded during prestigious evenings, like the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix – GPHG. For 2011, one might have feared that classical pieces and the reinterpretation of historical models would reign victorious, given that the majority of the year’s innovations were sober and reassuring for the clientele. Hermès’ Arceau Le Temps suspendu, which won the Men’s watch Prize at the GPHG and the 2011 Watch of the Year Prize from Montres Passion magazine, disproved the prognosis while indirectly becoming the cause of an amazing change. Refined and distinguished, this model offers a different vision of masculine watches. By allowing the hands to stop and start at will thanks to a button, users may choose to dispose of their time as they wish rather than seeking to measure it as accurately as possible. The award of the GPHG Grand Prix “Aiguille d’or” prize to De Bethune should also be mentioned. An avant-garde brand that seeks to reveal the science of futuristic-style watchmaking, De Bethune thus becomes a member of the limited club of brands that matter on the market. The autumn is also punctuated with many watchmaking fairs – both big and mid-sized. Be it the International Alta Relojeria Fair in Mexico, the QP Fair in London, or Belles Montres in Paris, all offer the public a chance to discover the most recent innovations of the brands and to meet their representatives. Promoting exchanges, these bridges connecting the public to the brands create a certain number of problems for some of the latter, mainly the smaller ones. Due to their limited funds, such brands are naturally obliged to make selective choices of the trade fairs in which they take part, whereas all are in fact legitimate in terms of their geographic location.
Culture and sailing
Thanks to the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, watch lovers now have a key reference work that retraces the history of time measurement from its beginnings to the present day. Written by Dominique Fléchon, ex-Director of studies and research, “The conquest of time” makes it possible to see and discover how man progressively succeeded in normalising time in a manner that is both educational and beautifully illustrated. Meanwhile, the first races in the America’s World Cup Series, preliminary regattas for the famous America’s Cup which will be held in September 2013, are taking place under the Californian sun. The watch brands have already become involved, with TAG Heuer on Oracle, Corum on Energy Team and Omega on Emirates Team New Zealand.