If you stopped by the Saturday session of WatchTime New York 2017, you may have attended one of our numerous panels and seminars throughout the day.
For early risers, we hosted a conversation between true horological rockstars that was moderated by noted collector Jeff Kingston. Kari Voutilainen, Roland G. Murphy of RGM Watch Company, Romain Gauthier, and Claude Greisler of Armin Strom spent over an hour discussing the industry at large and how independent brands are able to flourish in today’s constantly shifting marketplace.
Greisler believes that independents can thrive today thanks to the development of 3D modeling and technology such as CNC machines becoming more accessible.
“Back 20-30 years ago there were huge teams of engineers that had to draw all the drawings by hand,” he explained. “It was much more technically complicated to build your own movement.”
Voutilainen credited a growth of interest in horology as a whole as one of the reasons for the success of his brand. In that, he recognized the role of the press and the development of watch forums and blogs where like-minded collectors could gather and discuss their interest as a way people have maintained their passion.
“Thanks to the press there has been a revolution due to the amount of information available,” he said. “It opened the doors for the collectors and customers to learn more and study the industry.”
Later in the afternoon, WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger moderated a lively conversation between modern watch experts such as Ruediger Albers, President of Wempe USA; Gabriel Benador, a private collector; Matt Hranek, author of the new book A Man and His Watch; Nicholas Manousos, President of the Horological Society of New York; Jeremy Roizin, Managing Partner of Watch Anish; and Josh Shanks, Managing Editor of Watchonista.
The dialogue went back and forth for more than an hour and jumped between the desires of modern collectors and what the future of the industry may look like.