Month: March 2013

Vontobel Releases Annual Report 2015 Swiss Watch Industry May Grow Zero

After a lot of calls, Vontobel in Zurich has finally released the annual report of the Swiss watch industry which has been eagerly awaited in the industry. The Swiss private bank published the findings of three analysts in a report called ‘Vontobel Luxury Goods Shop-Watch Industry’ and predicted that the Swiss watch industry may face an era of zero growth in 2015.

   Similar to previous years, this survey report reveals the secrets that many brands do not want to make public. After all, watchmakers are often embarrassed when it comes to information about their business, which is not easy to explain. Closer to home, Vontobel’s survey report lists the production and sales of major brands, of course, the figures are only approximate estimates (because of lack of official data, including listed watch companies). However, they can at least serve as a reliable basis, and then speculate on the development trend of the relevant market.
Richemont Group Advantages
   Vontobel predicts that the Swiss watch industry’s total exports in 2015 will be 22.3 billion Swiss francs, which means-zero growth! After two consecutive years of low growth of 1.9% in 2013 and 2014, it seems that the Swiss watch industry will stand still this year, stagnation, and the former glory is no longer. In the midst of misery, the Zurich private bank is still very clear about its preference in terms of stock value. Compared to Swatch Group, it is obviously more inclined to Richemont Group.

   So why? From the perspective of the Richemont Group’s sales and operating profit, jewelry has contributed 30% and 50% respectively, and the Group is expected to continue to benefit from this dominant market business. Moreover, Richemont’s production plants are mostly located in the euro area, and most of its products are sold in US dollars, and the positioning is just right (Editor’s Note: The current euro is in a recession).
   As Vontobel pointed out, Richemont was the second-best performing group of companies in the luxury goods industry in the five previous fiscal years to the end of 2014-with an average annual growth rate of 10.8%, second only to Hermès (13.4%). Last year’s exchange rate fluctuations caused Richemont to lose EUR 686 million, which severely hit the group’s accounts. The year-on-year net profit fell by 35.4% year-on-year, from EUR 2.67 billion to EUR 1.334 billion. Nevertheless, Vontobel is still confident in the development prospects and profitability of Richemont Group, which is consistent with the stock exchange’s attitude towards Richemont.

Top 20 Swiss watch brand sales in 2014 (in millions of Swiss francs)

Efforts of other groups
   If only the timepiece is calculated, according to the data released by Vontobel in 2014, the Swatch Group (19% / 7.6 billion Swiss francs) still holds the world’s largest market share, leading Richemont Group (16% / 6.5 billion Swiss francs) and Rolex (12% / 4.8 billion Swiss francs). Surprisingly, Fossil sold 35 million watches in 2014, exceeding Swiss production (28.5 million) during the same period, with sales of 2.5 billion Swiss francs, occupying fourth place with a 6.3% share. Japanese brands are also not far behind, with sales of Seiko, Citizen and Casio totaling 3.8 billion Swiss francs, taking away one-tenth of the cake.
   In terms of single brand, Rolex led with pole sales of 4.5 billion Swiss francs, far exceeding Omega and Cartier (see chart). The better news for Rolex is that, thanks to the strong performance of the US market last year, the ‘Big Crown’ continued to sing and advance; while Omega and Cartier were more affected by the sluggish performance of Hong Kong and mainland China. According to the 2014 Swiss watch brand sales rankings, Swatch ranked 4 in the Top 10 and Richemont Group in the Top 20.

Vacheron Constantin Vacheron Constantin New Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute Watch

Vacheron Constantin will launch the new Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon minute repeater at SIHH 2017 in Geneva, equipped with Vacheron Constantin’s new 2755 TMR movement, equipped with two minute repeaters and tourbillon. Major horological complications, and original appearance decorated with unique hand-engraved carved patterns, certified by the Geneva Seal.

Vacheron Constantin’s new Traditionnelle tourbillon minute repeater is amazing. This exquisitely crafted timepiece inherits the supreme 18th century watchmaking art and adds another masterpiece to the Traditionnelle collection. The 2755 TMR movement, developed and manufactured by the brand itself, combines the two major clock and watch complications with the minute repeater and tourbillon. This luxurious timepiece is available in rose gold and platinum. This Traditionnelle Tourbillon is a three-question certificate of honorable Geneva mark, which not only highlights the high level of craftsmanship, but also has unparalleled reliability.

Like every Vacheron Constantin timepiece, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute perfectly blends superb craftsmanship and aesthetic essence, witnessing the long watchmaking history of this brand that has never been produced since it was founded in 1755. The new movement introduced this time was developed and manufactured by the brand itself, with two major complex functions. The sophisticated tourbillon can offset the influence of gravity on the timepiece, thereby improving the accuracy of travel time. The minute repeater function is a symbol of the highest watchmaking art, and it is also one of the most highly regarded complex functions. Press the slider lightly, and the gong of the time signal device will sound the corresponding hour, moment and minute. This feature not only requires the watchmaker to master this complex technique, but also has a keen hearing so that the timepiece gong can be adjusted like a calibrated instrument. Vacheron Constantin successfully overcomes the technical difficulties and combines these two complex functions in the same movement to pay tribute to the superb traditional watchmaking skills handed down from generation to generation.

Dial with unique machine-engraved pattern
The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minutes highlights the brand’s expertise in creating outstanding timepieces, sounding a harmonious rhyme that echoes superb skills and aesthetic taste. The platinum version is available with dark rock gray or silver milky white dials; the rose gold model is paired with silver milky white dials. The dial is decorated with exquisite hand-machine engraved patterns limited to the models available at Vacheron Constantin stores. This unique pattern not only reflects the creativity of the brand, but also demonstrates its superb machine-engraving skills-a traditional watchmaking technique that originated in the 18th century.

The rose gold and platinum models are equipped with rose gold or white gold hour and minute hands, respectively, and are offset on the upper part of the dial to reserve space for the tourbillon device in the lower half. At 6 o’clock, you can see the elegant dance of the tourbillon. The low frequency of 2.5 Hz used in traditional watchmaking adds unique charm to it, which can fully show the beauty of the tourbillon’s rhythm. The tourbillon frame uses Vacheron Constantin’s iconic Maltese cross shape and a hand-polished tourbillon bridge. This single part requires elaborate production of about 11 hours.

An original 2755 TMR homemade movement
The Traditionnelle tourbillon is equipped with a new 2755 TMR movement developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. This hand-wound calibre is engraved with the Geneva mark, embodying the highest level of precision timepieces and aesthetic design. Combined with the minute repeater function and tourbillon, it also has the hours, minutes and small seconds display on the tourbillon frame. The 58-hour power reserve indicator-paired with traditional black-oxidized rose gold hands-is specially loaded on the back of the case rather than the front of the dial. Through the transparent sapphire crystal case back, you can admire the movement consisting of 471 parts and 40 gems, as well as the hand-decorated polishing process that meets the most stringent watchmaking standards. The Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute Repeater is only available at Vacheron Constantin stores, and is equipped with a ‘Sound of Time’ resonator to enhance the effect of the minute repeater device and the harmonic resonance.

Technical parameters of Traditionnelle Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Geneva-Certified Timepiece
Movement: 2755 TMR manual winding mechanical movement developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, with a power reserve of about 58 hours, a diameter of 33.9 mm (14¾ ft), a thickness of 6.1 mm, a vibration frequency of 2.5 Hz (18,000 times per hour), 471 Parts, 40 stones, Geneva Seal Certification
Case: 950 platinum / 18K 5N rose gold, diameter 44 mm, thickness 12.2 mm, transparent sapphire crystal case back
Dial: Silver Milky White / Dark Rock Grey 18K Gold Hand-Carved and Engraved Dial
Functions: hours, minutes, minute repeater, tourbillon, small seconds hand on tourbillon frame, power reserve display (located on the back of the case), and a ‘voice of time’ resonator to enhance the effect of the minute repeater device and acoustic resonance
Strap: Blue / Black / Dark Brown Double Mississippi Alligator Leather Strap
Only available at Vacheron Constantin stores