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March 8, 2011

Louis Vuitton takes on Bulgari


What happens when you are a luxury wristwatch and jewelry brand and your CEO tries to save money during a recession by not polishing their $10,000 wristwatch product to save a few cents and then is smart enough to show the dull underside to a New York Times reporter?

You end up selling your controlling stake to a larger company hoping that they will turn it around which is what Bulgari ended up giving to French luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in a deal worth about 3.7 billion euros.

LVMH had also recently built up a 20.2 per cent stake in Hermes which prompted an internal rebellion by family members within that company. LVMH hoped that this Bulgari deal would show Hermes that it can work well with family controlled business even though I think the only reason Bulgari caved was because they had run out of ideas.

related links

LVMH to acquire Bulgari for 3.7 bln euros
LVMH shows that it can work with family businesses
Bulgari’s PR Blunder

Filed under: Adnan @ 5:23 am , Comments (0)

June 29, 2010

Nicholas Hayek dies at 82

Nicholas Hayek is no more

Nicholas Hayek Aka Mr. Swatch, the animated man behind the Swatch Group, the world largest wristwatch company that single handedly saved the Swiss watch industry is no more. He passed away while at work. The Swatch Group brand stable includes such brands as Breguet, Blancpain, Calvin Klein, Certina, Endura, Flik Flak, Jaquet Droz, Glashutte Original and Union Glashutte, Hamilton, Leon Hatot, Longines, Mido, Omega, Pierre Balmain, Rado, Swatch, Tiffany and Co. and Tissot among others.

related links

Hayek and the future of the wristwatch industry
Mr. Swatch’s interview with Time TV
National Jeweler: Swatch Group founder Nicolas Hayek, 82, dies

Filed under: Adnan @ 5:26 am , Comments (1)

March 22, 2010

Baselworld 2010 again


Hamilton hung a plane from the ceiling at the Basel train station


Nixon at Baselworld

It’s that time of the year again and as usual, I packed my bags for my annual pilgrimage to Baselworld. Over the next few days, I’ll posting up press photos, news and a little bit of gossip.

Filed under: admin @ 8:18 am , Comments (1)

December 18, 2009

Ventura is back

Ventura V-Tek Sigma MGS

3 years ago, Pierre Nobs lost his wristwatch brand, Ventura, to a fire sale. (You can read the entire story here) He tried to win it back at the auction but someone else won the bid. What was worse was that Swatch group, the owners of the trademark Ventura in the U.S. (it’s the name of a Hamilton model), filed an injunction against the winner claiming that their contract of co-existance ended with Ventura when Pierre declared bankruptcy. Thus, not only did he loose the company but Ventura was now stuck in limbo hell.

Pierre tried to move on. He launched a luxury belt but he couldn’t shake Ventura from out of his mind and with the help of his partners and friends, he was finally able to re-purchase Ventura’s assets and relaunch the company.

related links

Ventura is back

Filed under: Adnan @ 7:10 am , Comments (9)

December 17, 2009

Scott Wilson keeps his word

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson


Back in 2008 Scott Wilson, the designer behind the Nike Presto watches gave a presentation at the Hong Kong watch and Clock fair where he showcased his work and also revealed that he was developing his own line of luxury watches under his agency name, MNML. This was before the recession hit.

Cut to late 2009 and he is launching (To be accurate, he’s co-founding) Uncommon, an on-demand fashion brand that allows consumers to print custom graphics (whether its your own design or from another artists from their artist gallery) on to any customizable accessory. This includes ipod cases, iphones and in the future, macbook cases and Yes, WATCHES – Fashion watches that allow consumers to easily upload their own design and order a custom edition for their own personal use or to make their design available for a 5% royalty fee on each design sold.


The process is being branded as 3D TATT (Thermo-active transdermal techonlogy) so I don’t know how exclusive the process is to Uncommon. The brand plans to donate 2% of all profits towards the pursuit of the arts and arts education and its nearest competitor, atleast in the wristwatch segment is France’s Wize & Ope.

The Nike Presto had an innovative packaging that could be reused as a plant pot

The Nike Presto had an innovative packaging that could be reused as a plant pot

Scott had wanted to release a custom in-mold graphic design version of the Nike+ Amp but it never happened though it let to the development of his own brand, Uncommon

related links

Wrist Fashion coverage of Scott Wilson’s keynote at HK2008
Mocoloco interview with Scott Wilson
Cool Hunting’s feature on Uncommon Cases
Uncommon Main website

Filed under: Adnan @ 6:15 am , Comments (5)

October 19, 2009

All of Marc Ecko’s bases are belong to Timex

Pardon the title of this entry, it’s a reference to a hilarious internet meme. Anyway, Recession has been good for Timex. Marc Ecko, having incurred $170 million in debt, moved out of his $9 million office and sold his brand’s wristwatch license to Timex’s subsidiary, Callanen International.

This move was further encouraged by Callanen’s previous experience with Guess where Fossil tried to snatch the license away from them.

related links

Ecko puts his HQ on market

Filed under: Adnan @ 6:34 am , Comments (0)

March 25, 2009

Baselworld 2009: Dead on Arrival?


Just a heads up, I’ll be covering this year’s Baselworld fair. However, it’s been predicted that this year that the recession is going to take a toll on the fair in terms of business and visitors. In any case, 1952 exhibitors are exhibiting.

related links


Filed under: Adnan @ 9:39 pm , Comments (0)

February 27, 2009

Gucci abandons Bedat to Malaysian Company


The Gucci Group claims they never thought of Bedat as a strategic asset. The brand never took off for them unlike their other acquisitions – notably Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and stakes in Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. So, given the financial climate, they decided to cut it loose and unloaded it on to a Malaysian brand management group named Luxury Concept.

Bedat was founded by a Christian Bedat and his mother, Simone in 1996 but they left the company ten years later after disagreement arose between them and executive at the Gucci group. Three years later, they dumped the brand.

related links

FWD: Gucci Group Relinquishes Bedat Watch Company

Filed under: Adnan @ 5:28 am , Comments (1)

January 6, 2009

Movado Group Founder passes away


Movado Group founder, Geladio “Gerry” Grinberg has passed away at the age of 77. He was born in Cuba and became the exclusive distributor for Piaget and Corum watches for the Americas. Later, after establishing a $30 million business, Grinberg decided to concentrate on building his own portfolio of brands by first purchasing Concord and then Movado in 1983. The company has seven additional brands including Coach, Tommy Hilfiger watches, Ebel, ESQ, Hugo Boss watches, Lacoste watches and Juicy Couture Timepieces.

Gerry was successed by his son, Efraim Grinberg who is now the chairman of the group.

related links

Movado Group Inc
Watchtime Article about Gerry Grinberg
National Jeweler: Movado’s Geladio ‘Gerry’ Grinberg dies

Filed under: Adnan @ 2:12 pm , Comments (1)

December 8, 2008

Bulgari’s PR Blunder

So What do you do when your 125 year old company’s profits drops 44% in the last quarter and your stock isn’t looking so good? If you work in the luxury market, You cut costs without risking harming the brand’s image of opulence as in the case of Bulgari who has been renegotiating existing leases, pressing suppliers for better deals, introducing lower-cost boxes and bottles that may be cheap but customers may not know the difference.

NOT do something stupid like stop polishing the $10,000 wristwatch to save a few cents and then show the dull underside of your expensive product to a New York Times reporter that then uses it for the opening sentence of his article on your company.

Also, something to note in the article – Mr. Bulgari mentions that he would sell a stake in his company if he has to. I wonder if LVMH is interested.

related links

NYT: When the Lavish Cut Back (via Gawker)

Filed under: Adnan @ 2:05 am , Comments (0)



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