About Joe Thompson

Joe Thompson, WatchTime’s editor-in-chief, has covered the global watch industry since 1977. Joe is one of the leading watch journalists worldwide and respected as a global authority. He is frequently consulted by the mainstream media on watch matters and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Newsweek International, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The International Herald Tribune, Sports Illustrated and numerous other publications. During Joe's tenure WatchTime has won several awards and nominations.

Which Watch Brands Spent the Most on Advertising in 2014?

Rolex Ad

More big spenders are spending more. That’s the situation with watch advertising in the U.S. market. Watch companies here spent an estimated $535.36 million on advertising in 2014, according to … [Read more...]


The Art of The Dial: Exploring Cartier’s Maison des Métiers d’Art

Cartier Lion - dial

In its new Maison des Métiers d'Art in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Cartier creates artisanal dials for manufacture watches. WatchTime was among a group who were the first visitors to the new … [Read more...]


Buyer Beware: The Rise of Counterfeit Luxury Watches on the Internet

Confiscated Counterfeit Watches

Looking for cheap watches on the internet? Better think twice before making that purchase. In this in-depth expert advice article we explore how sales of these counterfeit watches are hurting both … [Read more...]


Vacheron Constantin Announces “World’s Most Complicated Watch:” Here’s a Glimpse

Vacheron Calendar dial

On Sept. 17 in Geneva, at a celebration marking its 260th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin will present what it calls “the most ingenious and sophisticated mechanical watch ever made.” Ahead of … [Read more...]


Jaeger-LeCoultre Hosts WatchTime and Friends At Miami Design District Boutique

Jaeger-Lecoultre event - guests

Around 30 WatchTime readers in the Miami area, plus their spouses or significant others, were the guests of Jaeger-LeCoultre North America at the company’s boutique in Miami’s bustling Design … [Read more...]


Cartier Gets Serious: The Evolution of Cartier Men’s Watches

Cartier Geneva Seal movement

In recent years Cartier, the king of haute joaillerie, has begun storming the bastions of haute horlogerie. In this full-length feature WatchTime's Joe Thompson explores the intriguing origins and … [Read more...]


Family Values: Patek Philippe’s Thierry and Philippe Stern

Thierry and Philippe Stern of Patek Philippe

Geneva’s Stern family has owned and operated Patek Philippe for nearly 80 years. When it comes to making watches, they say, family matters. Scroll down to read WatchTime editor-in-chief Joe … [Read more...]


RGM Watches: Roland G. Murphy’s American Way

Roland G. Murphy of RGM

Making a watch movement in Switzerland is one thing. Making one in the USA is quite another. Just ask Roland G. Murphy, founder of RGM Watch Company. We spoke with Roland Murphy and took an in-depth … [Read more...]


Baselworld 2015: 21 Tidbits About Basel

Basel Muenster Cathedral

In March, 150,000 people will flock to Basel, Switzerland, for the world’s largest watch show, Baselworld. Our gang, of course, will be among them. Because of the frenzied pace of the show, most … [Read more...]


Skeleton Crew: Exploring Armin Strom

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The story of the Armin Strom brand goes back nearly half a century. WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Joe Thompson takes us back in this feature article. … [Read more...]


The Apple Watch: Pros and Cons

Apple Watches

More than eleven years ago, after Bill Gates personally introduced Microsoft smartwatches at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I wrote a column in WatchTime entitled “Honk If You Want a … [Read more...]


A Look Back: The 3 Biggest Surprises at SIHH 2014

Baume & Mercier Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon

I know, I know, you are supposed to expect the unexpected. Even so, I did not expect what Baume & Mercier, Greubel Forsey and Cartier unveiled at this year's watch fair in Geneva. Here is a look … [Read more...]


Audio: DeWitt CEO Viviane de Witt

Viviane de Witt

In the November-December 2014 issue of WatchTime, on sale November 18, we profile Montres DeWitt and how founder Jerome de Witt's wife, Viviane, rescued the troubled DeWitt watch brand. In this bonus, … [Read more...]


Audio Exclusive: Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek Talks Smartwatches

Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek

The new Apple Watch smartwatch is now a reality, but is it the wave of the future for the watch business? The September-October 2014 issue of WatchTime, on sale September 16, features editor-in-chief … [Read more...]


WatchTime Q&A: Seiko Watch CEO Shinji Hattori on Seiko’s First U.S. Boutique

Seiko CEO Shinji Hattori

Seiko Corporation of America has opened a boutique at 510 Madison Avenue in New York between 52nd and 53rd Street. The official opening was August 19. Seiko has many boutiques in Asia but this is its … [Read more...]


Breguet Sponsors Louvre Restoration

Room Gilbert and Rose Marie Chagoury

Montres Breguet S.A. held a gala dinner at the Louvre Museum in Paris on June 17, highlighting its role as a major sponsor of the restoration of the museum’s Department of Decorative Arts rooms and … [Read more...]


Audio: Excerpts from WatchTime’s Exclusive Interview with Breguet’s Marc Hayek

Marc Hayek CEO of Breguet

WatchTime's March-April 2014 issue, on sale March 18, features a cover story on Breguet, and its groundbreaking Classique Chronometrie 7727 watch, by editor-in-chief Joe Thompson. The story includes … [Read more...]


SIHH 2014: Piaget Altiplano 900P – Updated with Live Photos

Piaget Altiplano 900P - front

For more than half a century Switzerland’s Piaget has specialized in manufacturing ultra-thin mechanical watches and watch movements. Now it has produced what it says is “the thinnest mechanical … [Read more...]


Swatch Group & Comco: 10 Key Moments

ETA 2892 movement

As we reported in October, Switzerland’s Competition Commission (Comco) has announced a decision to allow the Swatch Group, Switzerland's dominant producer of mechanical watch movements, to … [Read more...]


Why Did Patek Philippe Create its Own Quality Seal?

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Patek Philippe, the most prestigious firm in the watch world, has thrown down a gauntlet to the Swiss watch industry. After 123 years, the Swiss brand replaced the Geneva Seal with a higher-standard … [Read more...]


COMCO: Swatch Group Can Stop Mechanical Movement Sales in 2020

Swatch Group logo

Switzerland’s Competition Commission (COMCO) has approved a plan allowing the Swatch Group to reduce gradually sales of mechanical movements to companies outside the group over the next six years, … [Read more...]


In Surprise Ruling, COMCO Halts Swatch Group Escapement Cuts

Swatch Group logo

Switzerland’s Competition Commission (COMCO) has ruled that it would be “premature” to allow the Swatch Group to reduce supplies of assortments (i.e. the regulating organ of a mechanical … [Read more...]


Million Dollar Club 2012: Watch Advertising at All-Time High

Top Four Watch Advertisers 2012

In an exclusive report in the upcoming May-June issue of WatchTime, we reveal which watch brands are spending the most on advertising in 2012, a record year for watch-company ad spending, and we … [Read more...]


Hermès Dressage

Hermes Dressage watch

La Montre Hermès has updated its Dressage watch for men, expanding the diameter of its traditional tonneau case by 1.5 mm to 40.5 mm. The big news for Hermès is what’s inside: the firm’s first … [Read more...]


Rolex Romps 7 Million Chronometers in a Decade

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Watch enthusiasts know that when it comes to producing Swiss chronometers, there are the Big Three Brands – Rolex, Omega and Breitling – and then there’s all the rest. Just how big the Big Three … [Read more...]


Who are Switzerland’s Top Chronometer Producers?

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Rolex, Omega and Breitling once again lead the list of Switzerland’s top producers of chronometer watches. Data recently released for 2009 by Switzerland’s official chronometer testing agency, … [Read more...]


Timex to Close Vincent Bérard

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The Timex Group’s grand foray into the high reaches of the luxury mechanical watch market is ending. Swiss media are reporting that Timex is shutting Vincent Bérard S.A., the La … [Read more...]


Nayla Hayek Named Swatch Group Chairwoman

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Nayla Hayek has been named chairwoman of the Swatch Group Ltd., succeeding her father, Nicolas G. Hayek, who died of heart failure at Swatch Group headquarters in Bienne, Switzerland on June 28. She … [Read more...]


Switzerland Mourns Its Watch “Messiah”

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Switzerland has responded to the sudden death of Swatch Group Chairman Nicolas G. Hayek on June 28 with a rare outpouring of grief, praise, and appreciation. Hayek, 82, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, … [Read more...]


Watch Sales Down Again for Japan’s Big Three

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Results for the fiscal year ended March 31 show that watch sales at Japan’s Big Three watch firms slumped for the second consecutive year as the Great Recession continued to suppress demand for … [Read more...]