SWISSTIME - Trendspotting as Swiss watches count down to Christmas!


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Trendspotting as Swiss watches count down to Christmas!

A watch is the ultimate accessory.  The very fact it is so close to our hearts makes it the instrument for standards, trends, innovations, functions, personalities and values.  Our wrists come under constant scrutiny and the few millimetres that adorn them have big ambitions. Marketing is well-honed; watches have been playing in the major league for a long time now.  Their secret is to be distinct with timepieces that work trends for lasting appeal.   The models for this Christmas are no exception.  Enter a world where time never stands still…

It keeps them on their toes, yet brands don't seem put out by fashion, taking each new whim in their stride.  There's never a lull in activity at Swiss watch firms - eloquent proof of the creativity that's always in action there.  Keeping pace with the calendar is a full-time job when watch fairs bring everyone's wares under one roof, inviting comparisons and confirming the trends that year after year stake their claim.  At last Christmas brings some well-earned respite.  Brands are free to present the models of their choice, whether they have graced the covers of magazines, dazzled the crowds at Baselworld, or are putting in a special appearance for the festive season.  The one trend is that there are (almost) no trends.  This is a time for making a statement and standing out from the pack, as the many limited editions confirm.  Yet there is no denying that 2012 has a style of its own.  We look back at some of the most significant aspects…


VINTAGE VALUES
Watchmakers have been shining the spotlight on vintage for a few years now, brought up to speed with modern tastes.  Watches that brought fame and fortune to Swiss brands lend an air of déjà vu to our wrists.  Designs are a study in simplicity, cases often ultra-thin, functions serve a purpose, and comfort is a must.  Aficionados of fine timepieces can acquire a model they will enjoy for years to come without (necessarily) having to splash too much cash.  Vintage is also brands' opportunity to celebrate an anniversary year, from a few decades to over a century of activity.  Having vanished from the scene, sobriety returns with instruments that take their style cue from a bygone era.  Colours are all of a shade or a subtle two-tone match of black, white or silver.  Vintage is also about keeping things in proportion, shaving a few millimetres off cases along the way.  Another consequence of the vintage revival is to put craftsmanship centre-stage.  Dials are legible at a glance, while their delicate openworked or skeleton faces have nothing to hide and everything to reveal.  The automatic movement sweeps the board and willingly accommodates additional modules of all kinds.


THIS SPORTING LIFE
Whether a new take on a classic or contemporary through and through, a watch is a world of its own.  And sport – the more extreme the better – is a world that never ceases to inspire Swiss watchmakers.  Aviation, aeronautics, diving and motor sports, the race is on!  In a similar vein, military-inspired watches are all the rage.  In their sprint for the finish line, watchmakers push back boundaries and snatch new records.  The shorter the better seems to be the new rule of timekeeping, and while counters still come in threes, they now accommodate precision mechanics.  Seconds give way to quarter seconds and even tinier fractions.  This trend for precision clearly echoes the return of practical functions.  Today's watches serve a purpose.  One, two or three time zones, a GMT function is cut out for globetrotters who can take their pick from 24 cities.  Travel was never easier.  The world's capitals are there for the taking; a simple adjustment sends us round the world!


WINNING FEMALE HEARTS
Watchmakers have always put ladies first.  Some opt for softer styles that match mother-of-pearl with diamonds.  Others are of the opinion that women appreciate intricate mechanisms too, and propose models at the cutting edge of technology.  All are convinced they must conquer women's hearts.  The ideal watch doesn't exist – or has yet to be created.  Thus watchmakers continue to propose timepieces that will appeal to this moving target.  Trends suggest a preference for coloured dials and straps, diameters ranging from 28mm to 32mm, and watches that double up as jewels.  But women will happily raid a gentleman's wardrobe… which is where the headaches begin.  What exactly do women want?  Some brands have put masculine and feminine together and blurred the distinctions between his and hers.  The unisex watch is born!


ECONOMY: THE MARKET KEEPS ITS MOMENTUM
Despite a gloomy economic climate, the Swiss watch segment steers a steady course.  Exports were up in August and, according to latest statistics from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (fhs), the first eight months of the year saw exports of Swiss-made watches gain 16% on the previous year, already a record.  More than 23 million watches set out to export for a value in the region of CHF 13 billion.  Fine Watches were undoubtedly the driving force behind this boom as they progressed by 21.5%.  Asia accounts for more than half of exports in value terms and is still the biggest market, with Europe and the United States hot on its heels.  After a two-month downward slide, China is back in the black, but only just.  Taken overall, figures for the first two-thirds of 2012 remain most encouraging, and we can expect these positive results to continue throughout the remainder of the year.

Trusting this round-up of trends will be of interest to you and your readers, we hope you enjoy discovering everything Swiss watchmaking has to offer thanks to our Newsletters and our Media Kit.  May we take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the holiday season, and we look forward to being in touch again in the run-up to BASELWORLD 2013.

As always, we are on hand to answer any queries and provide additional information.

Sincerely,

The team at Darwel


Darwel SA • Agence de presse | Yves Vulcan - Directeur | Avenue de la Gare 5 - CP 429 • 
CH-1001 Lausanne | Tél : + 41(0)21 329 00 39 | Fax : +41(0)21 329 00 42 | Email : yvulcan@swisstime.ch

 
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Armin Strom – Armin Racing Carbon	
Blacksand – Continuity Sea Turtle		
Blacksand – Uniformity Joaillerie
Catorex – C’Vintage	
Celsius X VI II – LeDix Furtif	
Clerc – Hydroscaph L.E. Central Chronograph	
Cuervo Y Sobrinos – Historiador Retrogrado
Borel – Chrono Collection
Ernest Borel – Royal CollectionErnest 	
Frederic Jouvenot – Tour de Force	
Hamilton – Khaki Navy Pioneer Edition Limitée	
HYT – H1 Black DLC
Longines – The Longines Avigation Watch Type A7	
Louis Moinet – Jules Vernes Instrument III	
Maurice Lacroix – Pontos S
Maurice Lacroix – Masterpiece Lune Retrograde	
Maurice Lacroix – Miros Date Lady
Movado – Cerena
Oris – Challenge International de Tourisme 1932
Philip Stein –Prestige Round „Skeleton Heart“
Pierre DeRoche – TNT Royal Retro Sapphire
Reconvilier – Hercules Classic
Reconvilier – Hercules Golf Master
Saint-Honoré – Royal Coloseo
Strom – Agonium Collection - Angelus
Tudor – Pelagos
Tudor – Heritage Black Bay
Ventura – Ventura SPARC  MGS
Victorinox Swiss Army – Night Vision
Zeitwinkel – 273°