Swiss watch exports made further gains in July 2017, growing 3.6% to CHF1.7 billion as compared to the same month in 2016. This was the third consecutive month of growth for Swiss watch exports, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Swiss watch exports had been on a long and steep decline for some 21 months before achieving a recovery in March 2017 with the 7.5% growth to CHF1.59 billion as compared to the same month in 2016. Watch shipments to Hong Kong in March 2017 recorded a positive growth of 18% after 25 months of consecutive declines.
As a mental exercise, think of all of the watches you can that are not round but are also timeless. After that, think of all the watches that have non-round cases which just did not work despite best efforts. If you understand your watches, you’ll realize that the ineffective ones clearly outnumber the ones that are successful. So when it comes to non-round watches, there is great risk, but also great reward when the brand gets its right. In my view, the Glashutte Original Pocket Watch Replica Seventies, although not entirely mainstream in its allure, has the makings of a classic.In a way, it’s already a modern classic. Even though the modern version came out only a couple of years back, Glashütte Original didn’t simply name it “Seventies” since it loosely reminded them of this age. Rather, this particular collection, which includes models on various straps and three different dial colours, is directly based on watches that the brand released in the 1970s. That meant a lot of experimentation with colors and case contours. Nevertheless, the nation was quite liberal with its designs, and it was a golden age of design that the Glashütte Original brand of today frequently brings inspiration from.
Swiss watch shipments to Hong Kong were still down by a quarter or 25.4% from January to July 2017 as compared to the same period in 2015. However, between January 2017 to July 2017 vis-à-vis the same period in 2016, Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong rose 2.9% to CHF1.4 billion. For the month of July 2017 alone, watch shipments to Hong Kong rose 16.8% to CHF204.8 million as compared to the same period in 2016. Analysts have cautioned that such data may not be entirely accurate due to seasonal effects and that inventory that has been “bought back” are not taken into account.
Nonetheless, such a positive economic backdrop for Swiss watch exports may bode well for the eighth World Brand Piazza hosted by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2017.
World Brand Piazza entrance © Timmy Tan
Held from 5th to 9th September 2017, the World Brand Piazza has been organised by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company since 2010. It showcases important timepieces from major international brands. For the 2017 edition, the eighth show for Prince Jewellery & Watch Company, thirteen watch brands are participating: Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, Corum, DeWitt, Franck Muller, Glashutte Original, Jacob & Co., Jaquet Droz, Juvenia, Montblanc, Piaget and Zenith. With Swiss watch exports back into positive territory, thirteen may not be such an unlucky number after all.
The key highlights for the World Brand Piazza are unique timepieces, namely the Billionaire Tourbillon Watch that is being retailed at HKD160 million (around USD20.4 million) and the Astronomia Solar Tourbillon priced at HKD2.8 million (around USD357,800), both of which are from Jacob & Co.
Jacob & Co.’s Billionaire Tourbillon Watch features 239 emerald-cut diamonds, including one single three-carat stone, with the total weight amounting to a whopping 260 carats. The Astronomia Solar Tourbillon Watch has a 3D model simulating the Moon’s revolution around planet Earth.
Billionaire Tourbillon Watch by Jacob & Co. © Timmy Tan
Founded in 1984 by Dr Jimmy Tang, Prince Jewellery & Watch Company’s first retail shop was located at Hankow Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong. In 2016, in the midst of all the doom and gloom facing the watch industry, especially in Hong Kong, Prince Jewellery & Watch Company had in July 2016 officially opened two new branches in the shopping hub of Yuen Long. The shops are located in Yuen Long Plaza and Yuen Long Castle Peak Road in the New Territories. Prince Jewellery & Watch Company currently has 16 branches across Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macau.
Dr. Emily Tang and Dr. Jimmy Tang © Timmy Tan