ABTW: Do you serve mostly locals or tourists, or is it a good mix? Also, what percentage of your customers would you call "knowledgeable watch collectors?"
Stephen Forsey: My first grail watch was John Harrison’s H4 “Sea watch.” Personally signed by the celebrated watchmaker, it was a one-of-a-kind piece produced in 1759. It was also the world’s first portable precision timekeeper and winner of The Longitude Prize.
If taken literally, the advice from Mr. Bennahmias would be that watch brands should take careful note of all those little stories, details, and qualities which help people emotionally connect to their products and brands, and then cleverly dispense them via a series of marketing campaigns designed to create a close relationship with a customer. This rarely happens. What does end up happening is sort of ultra-consolidation, where all the allure of a company, its products, and history are distilled into a few simple messages or images. They frequently fail to properly communicate with people who are eager to understand a brand and develop a relationship with them.
Against this, they have blued indices and a blued handset, which appears to be beveled. In the photos we have seen, this does look to provide the appropriate level of differentiation against the movement, allowing for you to read the time. Given the bevels on the handset, those should help catch the light, further assisting in the one job a watch actually has. On the rose gold model, the handset is in a dark grey, of which I am less certain of the ease of readability.
We cannot stress how important the Hong Kong watch market is to the watch industry on a whole. Already, we mentioned that Hong Kong alone accounts for roughly 20% of the entire Swiss watch exports in terms of value. And Hong Kong is so vital that the Richemont group even started a watch and jewelry show just for them, called Watches and Wonders. Right now, as I’m sure some of you might be aware, pro-democracy protests are taking place in Hong Kong, and it is worth pondering just what kind of implications this could have on the entire watch industry.
A. Lange & Söhne is setting themselves up for a long line of Datograph Perpetual watches (down the line) with this 2015 version in a 41mm wide 18k white gold case and matte gray dial. Of course, the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual doesn't have the sublime simplicity of the original Datograph or more modern Datograph Up/Down, but it does increase the ante by adding the various calendar complications. This isn't an entirely new movement either, but rather adapted to the needs of bringing a bit more to the popular Datograph collection.
To kick off October, I’m happy to say that our Editor-In-Chief has finally had the opportunity to handle and try out the Apple Watch for himself. And even though many things have been said about it, you don’t want to miss our extensive coverage of what is quite possibly one of the most eagerly anticipated products in the history of technology and horology.
The left dial includes information such as the date, phase of the moon, power reserve of the battery, and the sun rise and sun set times. Again, this information is mostly actually useful, and relatively elegant in its display. It is odd to have such a technologically focused watch dressed with a traditional design. I also don't think watchmaker F.P. Journe will be particularly happy with Hoptoff borrowing his brand slogan, "Invenit Et Fecit" (invented and made), which is on the dial.
ABTW: Any special high points and low points in running the business over the years that you are now comfortable to share?
Kari Voutilainen: I think one of the most beautiful watches today is Urban Jürgensen perpetual calendar in rose gold. I had been dreaming about it, and I was able to purchase it as a gift to myself on my 50th birthday.
The reaction to the Apple Watch among the watch community has been interesting, but not unexpected. In further discussion of how smartwatches will effect the watch industry I asked the question of how screwed the watch industry is because of the Apple Watch here. Aside from denying it "watch status," they have referred to it as everything from ugly to useless. Once again, this is a sentiment often associated with items that may compete with one's passion or interests, or when an item or company enters a new space. Skepticism is the norm in such instances and whereas traditional watch lovers have more-or-less ignored most smartwatches to this point, they have given the Apple Watch a huge amount of attention - even if has been both bad and good attention.
What happens if you get a text message on the Apple Watch? Apple has developed not only a list of canned responses such as "OK" or "I understand," but it learns from the user and will suggest common responses that you use, with the people that you use those responses with. What the Apple Watch does more so than any other Apple product before is attempt to learn from the user, and strive to customize the experience for them – although its should be noted that this new learning feature is in line with what the new iOS 8 keyboard offers, which has been available in Android for a while. This "learning" not only applies to the responses you make to people in messages, but also in regard to who you call and your activities. While many of these features could have technically been available on an iPhone, for whatever reason, Apple has chosen to integrated them into the Apple Watch.
In the watch industry, Swatch watches are also seen as one of the few timepieces you can wear to any brand that they won't get upset about despite it being one of their watches. No, Swiss watch makers aren't at all competitive... Those who don't know might also find it interesting that in order to not look as though he is favoring one brand or another, Swatch Group Chairman Nicolas Hayek almost exclusively wears Swatch watches (often one on each wrist) while making public appearances and during major watch industry events such as Baselworld.
Special precautions should be taken by those determined to pursue a private trade. In general, trades with another owner should be undertaken between existing acquaintances and in person. Watch collector clubs, close friends, and regular associates are good candidate trading partners. But even trusted trading partners should be engaged to trade in public locations and, if possible, in the company of friends who know watches and can vouch for the original terms of trade should the need arise.
But even he or she knows that expecting technical progress from a device that has been obsolete for the better part of 40 years is a bit backwards – and yet, it is possible in the amusing world of high-end watchmaking. Ultimately, Lange delivers on its claims by making the A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual an extremely refined, thin, and yet highly functional perpetual calendar watch with some notable unique features – offering us a lot to do discuss here, so let's begin with a few words about the base model.
ABTW: With Watchuseek moving to new ownership, can you tell us about the buyer and why you feel they will maintain your mission. What changes might people expect?
The Latin American buyers at SIAR stumped even the most educated brand sales person on many occasions with their questions. From wanting to know about how screws were made to the angles at which watches are tested, I became very curious about why so many were interested in what seemed to be rather obscure information. Most people approached booths already educated about their products, and at least some watch makers even became annoyed with the talkative enthusiasts. "Ariel, you have to help me get this guy out of here. He comes every year and talks and talks, and does not leave. He will take my entire day."
The Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver also features an internal bezel which is rotated via a crown at 2 o’clock. It rotates smoothly in both directions, and the crown is very easy to grasp, even while on the wrist. I like this feature a lot, and it’s well-executed. It helps to make this watch stand out from the hordes of divers with external bezels. The crown features a black ring at the base which adds to the style and also makes it easier to grasp.
What Apple has yet to announce is the full spectrum of Apple Watch pricing, as well as little (but important) things like battery size and life, as well as the hardware specs. At the end of the day people simply want their electronics to work, and don't want to have to charge them more than once a day or so. We can only hope that by announcing the Apple Watch now, Apple is confident that it will be ready for mainstream consumption by the time it is released for sale next year.
I have had several different Gavox models cross my desk over the last year or so, and I have to say, the Gavox Squadron is definitely a big step up in terms of what the brand is offering (both in looks as well as functionality). When it comes to those looks, you do have some options as, aside from the aforementioned straps, you can opt for the stainless steel finish (as we have shown here), or go for a black PVD (and for that, the bracelet has the coating applied before assembly, for thorough coverage). With pricing coming in at 0 (for the stainless) or 0 (for PVD), this is an attractively-priced option for those looking for a mil-spec watch – or just a cleanly executed chronograph with some welcome extra functionality. gavox.com
The Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition uses Chopard's 03.05-M automatic chronograph movement which features a fully integrated design, flyback capability, a column wheel and COSC certification. The 03.05-M is built by Chopard's in-house Fleurier Ebauches workshop and has 45 jewels and runs at 4 Hz, with a power reserve of 60 hours. Chopard is no rookie when it comes to racing chronographs, and the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition's movement is the real deal and even boasts some eye-catching skeletonized finishing.
Cindy Livingston: There was nothing that reassembled a Happy Diamonds timepiece. You immediately recognized the design.