After the International Salon of Haute Horlogerie, which was held in Geneva in January, and before the opening of Baselworld, April 25 in Basel, sifting news and shopping tips.
Source Le Figaro Magazine
No crisis in sight. In 2012, the turnover of Swiss watch exports set a new record by reaching the sum of 21.4 billion Swiss francs, according to localtimezone. An increase of nearly 11%! France is no exception: the 14 million watches that were sold last year in France, are the models to more than 3,000 euros have won the bet with a 10% increase in volume and 17% in value …
Knowing that these precious timepieces are not all flown to Chinese tourists cuffs, here are some tips to remember before getting pleasure. As such, opening this month in Paris Bucherer, the largest watch store in the world (where the collections of twenty-three international brands are presented on 2,200 square meters), should make the choice more Cornelian. Follow the guide.
1 – A smart sports model you will choose
“Like athletes, watchmakers have too doped sporting their pieces with sizes of hypertrophied cases, unlikely materials …” notes an industry expert. Saturated by oversupply – which has not launched its chronograph in the late 2000s? – The sports watch market goes back into a direction that he should never have left: offer real technical functions in terms of timing, impact resistance, reliability. The 2013 target? Focus on substance rather than form, which amounts to more urban proportions with housings rotating about 42 millimeters. The idea is to design issues that can withstand the most extreme conditions.
Like Omega (Swatch Group), which has just announced the creation of the first truly non-magnetic movement. The Co-Axial caliber 8508 can endure – without blinking – higher magnetic fields to 15,000 gauss, soundly beating the resistance level of any existing model to date. It should be launched this year.
In hyperpointu register, Richard Mille has multiplied finds the last SIHH. RM such that the colors of the Jamaican runner Yohan Blake whose housing, asymmetrical, responds to a perfect aerodynamics. Or the new RM designed for the tennis player Rafael Nadal, a minimontre of just 19 grams, the movement suspended microcables cash setbacks. A large scale, TAG Heuer (LVMH) manages to offer high-precision chronographs – up to 1/1000 or 5 / 10,000 of a second, in a racing universe of its own as evidenced by the Carrera line, which celebrates its half -century this year.
2-In your peers you will distinguish yourself
Opting for an independent creator who book only a few tens or hundreds of watches per year, is not the only solution. Remember that a “production” minimum often leads to a stratospheric price. After the announcement effect, some of these timepieces are in the prototype stage, while others are born without walking properly. To avoid this kind of odd, go for watchmakers who have proven themselves even if they remain unknown to the general public. A singular design is not enough originality rating must be taken into account.
Roger Dubuis (Richemont) meets these specifications. That is if his aesthetic, medium, deceive, models (4500 pieces per year) are high-flying, all stamped with the Geneva Seal. The latest, the Quartet Excalibur shows around the dial-four rockers spiral that instantly correct the effects of gravity. As a bonus, a song of cricket replaces the usual ticking … Singular also the annual 900 pieces designed by François-Paul Journe. This original Marseilles is known collectors for the neoclassical beauty and virtuosity of its models. His new perpetual calendar with instantaneous jump provides optimum readability counters of calendar data.
In another style, Parmigiani Fleurier, which manufactures 5,000 watches a year, offers not devoid of originality calibres. Like this whirlwind, Tonda Woodstock, whose wood marquetry dial is a look at the music beat.
3-Correct time zone you will find
Boom travel requires, brands are rushing into this promising sector by offering models that can display one or more time zones. This useful function – indicate the time of his destination while keeping that of his country of origin – a sin often unreadable display or rough and / or too complicated setting.
Fortunately, in the last generation of GMT calibers, several stand out. Besides Cartier and Breguet who launched it two years ago, ingenious subjects arrives Rolex. When the giant of the luxury sports watch tackles the time zones, they apply the recipe for what makes its success: readability of the dial, ease of use, robustness and reliability of the movement. The Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, who was the subject of 14 patents, simply turn the bezel up a notch for the watch shows the date and second time zone. Child’s play. Well as view the Transocean Unitime Breitling. Equipped with the B05 caliber, the model says “to universal time” simultaneously gives one of 24 time zones and has the advantage to adjust very easily. His trick? The city disc has been linked to the movement to facilitate the display of time to the chosen destination.
Finally, Seiko Astron GPS with innovates Solar, the solar model that captures the time anywhere in the world. With this piece, the inventor of the quartz watch revolutionizes the lives of frequent travelers by allowing them to have, in less than 30 seconds, the time of the place where they are … In Kilimanjaro as Saint Malo.
4-Timeless day of shows you will choose
Influence of Chinese buyers fond of round mechanical models, not too big, with a gold case and three needles? Or is it the return to more elegant watches, civil in form, easy to live in the background, and requested by a Western clientele weary of the excesses of the past years? Both probably. In fact, the new watchmaking classics combine the mode of the blueprint. Translation: less is more. It shows the green bean lines, like Piaget Altiplano and the thinnest automatic movement in the world of 2.35 millimeters thick; monochrome dials with subtle shades (taupe, ink, ivory, etc.); leather bracelets, preferably crocodile.
To avoid the pitfall of boredom, even banality, prefer a sure value in the luxury Swiss watch (a Patek Philippe Calatrava, a Captain Central Second Zenith Elite, a Chopard LUC Slimline of; a slimline Reverso Jaeger-LeCoultre, a Jules Audemars Audemars Piguet, etc.). Among the newcomers include the harmonious Clifton Baume & Mercier, red gold, three hands and date. And vintage Chargé d’Affairs of Corum, an alarm watch inspired by a model from 1956.
5-Complications will seek you
No matter what the naysayers, the tourbillon (invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801 to eliminate errors caused by walking gravity on the movements of pocket watches) remains the most popular model amateurs. “It is the queen of complications because its visual impact produced by the rotations of this tiny cage, is unparalleled. The magic every time, “says Jerome Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre (Richemont), who gave a spectacular release in January in Geneva. This Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee features a flying tourbillon that incorporates a pulsating spherical spiral as a living organ. And its chronometric performance is extra. This model also integrates a digital chronograph display of instant playback.
In a very poetic style, Cartier Rotonde book a luxurious double whirlpool mysterious mechanism in which the little twirls in the air and is freed from his chains cogs … more pointed, minute repeaters that sound the hours to keep demand their audience, like split-seconds chronographs, ultracomplexes topics argue a handful of international collectors. Like the 5204 reference P Patek Philippe. Presented at the last fair in Basel, this split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar are 496 components of which 42 exclusively associated with split-seconds mechanism. It boasts technical innovations developed by Patek to improve the accuracy and stability of this model jansenist devil.
6-The money away do not you will cast
Finding a Swiss watch with an automatic or mechanical movement for a few hundred or even thousand euros is possible. Especially if one pick in the clutches of the Swatch Group portfolio. Unlike its competitors, the world number one Swiss watchmaking, who built his empire on a quartz plastic watch, Swatch, has never abandoned its input brands and midrange. With an output of over 3 million watches a year, Tissot covers the spectrum of major traditional watchmakers genres at a reasonable price. Like this watch Luxury Automatic Powermatic 80 whose movement has a beautiful 80-hour power reserve (€ 625).
In the same group, Hamilton built its offer of watches more demonstrative in terms of design and story-telling but also affordable. In the medium range, Longines, leader in the models between 900 and 2500 euros, offers excellent craftsmanship chronographs which celebrate its 180 years of history. Known for its excellent value, the general and independent Swiss Oris revisits a model 1930 This Artelier Small Second Pointer Day indicated by a central hand the day of the week (1600 €). Do not forget that because Tudor sister Rolex continues to improve its lines with sports models, lively, nervous, short, ultracontemporains. JeanRichard, finally, has also overhauled its collections. This brand Girard-Perregaux (PPR) now offers automatic watches cut for adventure, between 2600 and 3000 euros.