The Good Design Award 2008 is Japan’s only comprehensive design evaluation and commendation system. It was first established in 1957. Casio’s G-Shock watch (G-SHOCK AWG-500-1AJF) was one of the winners of the 2008 Good Design Long Life Design Award.
Oakley’s watches seems to lowered its entry level price point after their acquisition by Italian eyewear maker Luxottica Group purchased it in an all cash deal of $2.1 billion. There were rumors at Basel world that things may change in terms of product design in order to reduce the cost of production after the departure of founder James Jannard, however I can’t confirm this.
The October 2008 issue of Wallpaper has an article on the new Tag Heuer’s new luxury phone, Meridiist that reveals a little more about how Tag is currently positioning itself.
In the article, Jean-Christophe Babin, President and CEO of Tag Heuer is quoted to have said that ten years ago, they were “only known for sports watches. Now in ten years time, they’ll be the luxury technology design brand of the 21st century.”
It also reveals that Tag has also launched it’s own hard drives and usb sticks but have limited the launch to just the Japanese market. This, in addition to their limited edition concept car and the luxury phone.
The most frenzied bidding at a recent auction at Antiquorum that netted a total of $9.8 million collectively in sale was the for the “Einstein Watch,” a Longines wristwatch that belonged to the world-famous physicist Albert Einstein. The watch sold for $596,000, more than 2,000 percent its estimate, and a world record for both a time-only and a Longines wristwatch.
It wasn’t long ago when I spotted Jacob Arabov, better known as Jacob the Jeweler at Dubai airport getting on a plane after a recent real estate splurge, and now he’s going to jail for two and a half years. Jacob was convicted of lying to federal agents about owning jewelry seized from a major cocaine trafficker. At his sentencing, he told the judge that he felt ashamed that he broke the law of the country that had been so good to him and his family.
Arabov was also indicted in 2005 for allegedly helping the “Black Mafia Family” and its principals Demetrius and Terry Flenory launder $270 million in drug money. His plea agreement does not require him to testify against other defenders, but he did agree to forfeit $2 million to the government.
In an interview to City Magazine in 2004, he spoke of how he pushed himself to financial success:
“I went to Brazil, I went to Africa, I went to Russia to buy diamonds. Some go to Brazil [only] to the diamond office. I went to the worst places, where it’s dangerous. If you don’t put yourself through tests, you cannot really appreciate this life.”
What started out as a short collaboration for an event has now evolved into a full blown relationship. Michael Young who had previously designed the Zen SV27-1 for O.D.M to commemorate the ten year anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China is rumored to be designing some more for O.D.M. There is nothing to show yet but stay tuned.
While on the road to repositioning itself in the marketplace, Raymond Weil caught its $20 million dollar investment, Charlize Theron cheating on them on the red carpet. She was snapped wearing a Montblanc and a Dior at two seperate events and now the Swiss timekeeper has brought in the lawyers to prove she broke her contract by wearing another brand between the agreed period of October 2005 and December 2006.
A great way to gain exposure by signing a large celebrity and then getting your money back if you ask me.
Another company to take advantage of the current economic crisis in the United States is the Italian watch and jewelry company, Binda Group. Binda, who’s stable includes Breil, D&G among others has purchased Advance Watch Co. which is also known publicly as Geneva Watch Group and the license holder for Kenneth Cole, BCBG and others. This deal was made possible because GWG had sold itself to the US private equity fund Heritage Partners who decided it was time to let it go and should allow Binda to firmly establish itself in the American market.
Binda group was established in 1906 and has 3 main business units: watches, jewelry and leather. It produces and distributes its own brands, such as Breil Milano, Breil Tribe, Wyler Geneve and Details, and brands under license such as D&G Time and Jewels, Moschino CheapandChic Watches and Jewels, Ducati and Ducati Corse Watches. It also distributes the brands Seiko, Lorus, Paris Hilton watches in Italy and Glam Rock in Italy, USA and Canada. It is currently headed by the brothers Marcello and Simone Binda, the grandsons of the founders.
On the other hand, Geneva Watch Group has two business units – Status and Advance. Status produces and distributes licensed brands (Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Tommy Bahama, Betsey Johnson, BCBG Maxazria, Ted Baker London, Mexx and Speedo) and its own brand Freestyle. Advance instead serves major retailing chains in North America.
Earlier today, I posted news that Ventura had gone bankrupt and while it had been news for me, I later learned that it shut down last year in November and little had been written about it except for a few forum posts scattered over the web.
Ventura set itself up for the fall when Pierre Nobs, the self styled design entrepreneur behind the brand decided to forge deeper towards its goal of establishing a luxury digital brand by repositioning the company outside of the 1000-5000 Euro segment. In order to do this, they need capital and so they took on some outside investors. The company’s capital stock was upped from CHF500k to CHF900k, but when sales fell sharply the new investors bailed out and auctioned off the assets. (more…)
Rumor has it that Swiss digital watchmaker, Ventura has gone down like the Zeppelin and filed for bankruptcy. Ventura was known for overpriced luxury digital watches and if there is any truth to the rumors, then I would love to see someone buy the company and make the watches a little more affordable since its price was its achilles heel.
Update: This news has been confirmed. I wonder if Ventura is going to become a collector’s item now. You can purchase one from the remaining stock from here.
If you’ve been following Seiko for the past few years, you’re probably aware that they’ve decided to go a little high-end, but if you didn’t, the following is what their 2008 collection would look like if they were ever called in for a police line-up.