From News

Brilliant Omega Commercial

Even though wristwatch brands are infamous for being in bed with marketing, they surprisingly aren’t known for great advertising, so i would to take this moment to commend Omega on this beautifully animated commercial. Well done. (click here if the video doesn’t show) related links Omega

China drives Baselworld 2011

One of the things I noticed about this year’s fair was the amount of classic models. I chalked it up to recession and the demands of buyers for something more discreet, however, a reuters article shed further light: “But the watch industry is also being pushed into redeveloping classic models, encouraged by Chinese demand. As a result, many brands are re-fashioning old models such as Tag Heuer which last year launched a new version of its classic Carrera model, endorsed by actor Steve McQueen, which starts at 2,000 euros. “Chinese prefer classic watches, watches with a heritage,” Guy Semon, Tag…

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…

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…

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.

Ventura is back

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…

Scott Wilson keeps his word

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…

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

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 Baselworld

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.…

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…

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…