Swiss watch exports made further gains in July 2017, growing 3.6% to CHF1.7 billion as compared to the same month in 2016. This was the third consecutive month of growth for Swiss watch exports, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Swiss watch exports had been on a long and steep decline for some 21 months before achieving a recovery in March 2017 with the 7.5% growth to CHF1.59 billion as compared to the same month in 2016. Watch shipments to Hong Kong in March 2017 recorded a positive growth of 18% after 25 months of consecutive declines.
Swiss watch shipments to Hong Kong were still down by a quarter or 25.4% from January to July 2017 as compared to the same period in 2015. However, between January 2017 to July 2017 vis-à-vis the same period in 2016, Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong rose 2.9% to CHF1.4 billion. For the month of July 2017 alone, watch shipments to Hong Kong rose 16.8% to CHF204.8 million as compared to the same period in 2016. Analysts have cautioned that such data may not be entirely accurate due to seasonal effects and that inventory that has been “bought back” are not taken into account.
Nonetheless, such a positive economic backdrop for Swiss watch exports may bode well for the eighth World Brand Piazza hosted by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2017.
World Brand Piazza entrance © Timmy Tan
Held from 5th to 9th September 2017, the World Brand Piazza has been organised by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company since 2010. It showcases important timepieces from major international brands. For the 2017 edition, the eighth show for Prince Jewellery & Watch Company, thirteen watch brands are participating: Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, Corum, DeWitt, Franck Muller, Glashutte Original, Jacob & Co., Jaquet Droz, Juvenia, Montblanc, Piaget and Zenith. With Swiss watch exports back into positive territory, thirteen may not be such an unlucky number after all.
The key highlights for the World Brand Piazza are unique timepieces, namely the Billionaire Tourbillon Watch that is being retailed at HKD160 million (around USD20.4 million) and the Astronomia Solar Tourbillon priced at HKD2.8 million (around USD357,800), both of which are from Jacob & Co.
Jacob & Co.’s Billionaire Tourbillon Watch features 239 emerald-cut diamonds, including one single three-carat stone, with the total weight amounting to a whopping 260 carats. The Astronomia Solar Tourbillon Watch has a 3D model simulating the Moon’s revolution around planet Earth.
Billionaire Tourbillon Watch by Jacob & Co. © Timmy Tan
Founded in 1984 by Dr Jimmy Tang, Prince Jewellery & Watch Company’s first retail shop was located at Hankow Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong. In 2016, in the midst of all the doom and gloom facing the watch industry, especially in Hong Kong, Prince Jewellery & Watch Company had in July 2016 officially opened two new branches in the shopping hub of Yuen Long. The shops are located in Yuen Long Plaza and Yuen Long Castle Peak Road in the New Territories. Prince Jewellery & Watch Company currently has 16 branches across Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macau.
Dr. Emily Tang and Dr. Jimmy Tang © Timmy Tan
The watch we’re looking at today does have an El Primero, but it’s not the A273. It’s the new Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer limited edition. It’s closely inspired by that A273, of course, but it is not a reissue or a new version. Instead, it takes a leap forward, and not only in terms of the movement as we’ve made subtle updates throughout the watch. Let’s take a close look at the Timeless Chronomaster Heritage Chronometer and learn more about both its predecessor and the limited edition.The aesthetic heart of any watch is its dial. Almost everything that defines a model as a unique, distinctive piece can be found there. For this watch we wanted to use a dial that was extremely understated and clean, yet never boring. That meant removing almost everything that was superfluous. I find that the need for simplicity is greatest in chronographs, and other watches with intrinsically busy dials. This watch, therefore, would have no date and it would have no “El Primero” or “36,000 VPH” writing on it. It had to be reduced to the essence of what a chronograph must have while nonetheless balancing some of those traits that defined its ancestor.