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 76 years. When it comes to making watches, they say, family matters. Click here to read WatchTime editor-in-chief Joe Thompson's up-close-and-personal profile of Philippe and Thierry Stern from our December 2008 issue. … [Read more...]

Tech Talk: Montblanc’s TimeWriter II Chronographe Bi-Fréquence 1000

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If three watches constitute a trend, then measuring milliseconds, or 1/1,000s of a second, is a trend. Two watch brands, each with high-speed horological histories, have launched mechanical chronographs claimed to be capable of accurately measuring 1/1,000s of a second. Last year, TAG Heuer debuted its Mikrotimer Flying 1000 Concept Chronograph, followed this year by the even faster Mikrogirder. At SIHH this year, Montblanc launched its own millisecond-measuring marvel, the TimeWriter II … [Read more...]

A. Lange & Söhne CEO Wilhelm Schmid: The WatchTime Q&A

ALS CEO Wilhelm Schmid

Wilhelm Schmid came aboard as CEO of the German luxury watch brand A. Lange & Sohne in January 2011 after eight years in senior sales and marketing positions at BMW. Recently, WatchTime sat down with Schmid at the New York City offices of Lange's parent company, the Richemont Group, for a conversation about his growth plans for Lange, his passion for watches, and the challenges of keeping the brand's flagship Lange 1 model fresh while retaining its classical look. … [Read more...]

Stephen Forsey to be Keynote Speaker at AWCI 2012

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Fans of both classical and modern horology, take note: the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) will be hosting its 2012 Convention and Educational Symposium on August 1st - 5th at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Colorado, and this year's headliners represent two generations of high watchmaking. Stephen Forsey, co-founder with Robert Greubel of the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based haute de gamme watch brand, Greubel-Forsey, will be the keynote speaker, and Archie B. Perkins, a … [Read more...]

Panerai Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso Revives Historic Case Design

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Vintage looks were a hot trend among the exhibiting brands at this year’s SIHH watch fair in Geneva, and Panerai was no exception. However, unlike so many of its contemporaries, whose vintage-style models are characterized by smaller dimensions and thinner cases, Panerai’s are even bigger than some of its modern watches. Case in point: the new Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso 47 mm Special Edition. … [Read more...]

2011: The Year in Review Quiz, Part 1

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It's December, and you know what that means. It's time to look back. Have you been paying attention for the past 12 months? You knew there would be a quiz, right? Say goodbye to 2011 with this little test the focuses on some of the most (and least) important stories of the year. As always, the answers appear at the end. Good luck! … [Read more...]

Richemont Specialist Watchmaker Sales Up 34%

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At its Annual General Meeting held today in Geneva, Richemont announced that its overall sales for the five months ended August 31 increased by 29% at actual exchange rates. At constant exchange rates, sales increased by 35%. The Specialist Watchmakers saw an increase of 34% at constant exchange rates, and 28% at actual exchange rates. … [Read more...]

EU Probes Watch Manufacturers Over Parts Supply Policies

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European Union (EU) antitrust regulators have announced that they will investigate claims that luxury watch manufacturers are refusing to supply spare parts to independent watchmakers and repairers, a breach of EU competition rules. The European Commission did not identify the companies involved in the probe, however Swatch Group has confirmed that it is one of the targets. … [Read more...]

Richemont Reports Strong Results for the Fiscal Year Ended March 31

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Richemont saw strong sales growth across all segments and geographic regions for the year ended March 31, with the specialist watchmakers posting record sales and profits despite the stronger Swiss franc. The group reported record cash flow from operations of €1.696 billion. Operating profit increased by 63%, double the rate of growth of sales, to €1.355 billion. … [Read more...]

North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking Celebrates First Graduating Class

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The North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking celebrated its first graduating class on April 2. The Class is comprised of students who have completed a two year program and will receive a North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking Watchmaker Certificate. … [Read more...]

TechnoMarine Appoints Jacques-Philippe Auriol CEO

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The Board of TechnoMarine SA has announced the appointment of Jacques-Philippe Auriol as Chief Executive Officer of TechnoMarine SA with immediate effect. Since 2007, Mr. Auriol has been developing consulting business specializing in luxury goods strategy and distribution. … [Read more...]

Claude-Daniel Proellochs Passes Away

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Sources in Switzerland are reporting that former Vacheron Constantin CEO Claude-Daniel Proellochs died in his sleep in Neuchâtel this past Sunday evening following a short battle with cancer. Proellochs headed Vacheron from 1988 until his retirement in 2005. Under Proellochs, Vacheron's annual production increased from 3,500 to more than 15,000 pieces. … [Read more...]

2010: The Year In Review Quiz, Part II

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Once again we look at the biggest and smallest stories of the year. Were you paying attention? As always, the answers appear at the end. Good luck! … [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 are in chronometer production becomes startlingly clear when you analyze Swiss chronometer output by brand over the past decade. … [Read more...]

30 Minutes with Lutz Bethge Montblanc’s CEO discusses the brand’s high-watchmaking ambitions.

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When Montblanc unveiled its Metamorphosis watch at the SIHH watch show in Geneva in January, many believed it would be years before the exotic new chronograph would be ready for market. After all, the watch, with its 567 components, seemed hopelessly complex. The prototype on display was kept behind glass: it didn’t work well enough for a live demonstration. … [Read more...]

Richemont Reports Strong Sales Results

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Richemont has announced that its sales for the five months ended August 31 2010 increased by 37 percent at actual exchange rates. At constant exchange rates and excluding the impact on sales of the acquisition of Net-a-Porter.com in April 2010, sales increased by 22 percent. The Group acknowledges that its results reflect, in part, low sales figures for 2009. … [Read more...]

Cartier Sues Online “Flash” Retailer HauteLook Over Watch Sales

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Cartier has sued HauteLook, Inc. in federal court in Manhattan alleging the Los Angeles-based retailer falsely claims to offer new Cartier goods at deep discounts based on a special relationship with the brand. Cartier's complaint states that it has no relationship with HauteLook, and that the retailer is selling secondhand Cartier watches and other goods as new. … [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, but grew up in Switzerland and spent his entire professional life there. Hayek has been a prominent public figure in the country for four decades and one of the country’s most famous and, ultimately, beloved figures. … [Read more...]

Ulysse Nardin, Audemars Piguet Raise Eurozone Prices as Sales Rebound

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Reuters correspondent Silke Koltrowitz interviewed Ulysee Nardin President and CEO Rolf Schnyder and Audemars Piguet CEO Philippe Merk at the Global Luxury Summit in Paris earlier this month. Both men said their sales are increasing, and each has raised Eurozone prices as the Swiss franc strengthens against the euro. The franc has risen about 4.6 percent against the euro this year. … [Read more...]

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Watch Company Financial Results for 2009

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For the most part, the Great Recession of 2009 pretty much mugged corporate sales and profits. In the watch sector, for example, the Bulgari and Movado groups reported red ink for the year. But there were exceptions to the battered sales and profits syndrome. Fossil, for one, had its most profitable year ever. Here’s a survey of the full-year results of publicly traded firms who are watch industry players. … [Read more...]