Some bending and some trending
First off, apologies for not being alive and well for several months now. But needs must. Just before Christmas, I had to make a choice. Either keep writing for my humble watch blog daily and not make any money or put the blog on ice for a bit while I did the paying jobs. It was, quite unfortunately, an easy decision to make.
But a few months away from my own voice, not the bought and paid for squeak, has been refreshing.
So first up, is Baselworld 2017.
Was it momentous? – Nope. Revolutionary? – Nope. So, maybe evolutionary? – Nope but maybe yes in some cases.
To put it in regular Joe speak, the world is buying less watches now. Which means less money to play around with on new ideas or to take risks. Most of everyone made a watch that was well made, reliable and if there was a surprise, it was the sheer number of relatively affordable prices for these new pieces.
I say relatively because I was asked if we could now buy a Patek Philippe for the price of a Casio G-Shock? That’s just taking the piss! Relative means what it means: relative. To continue with the Geneva moguls at Patek, they could’ve rolled out USD100,000 pieces across their 2017 collections but they didn’t. This year, we had USD50,000 pieces or thereabouts. And likewise, the rest of the brands, both little and large did not push the economic envelope.
Like I said, the good people of planet Earth are just not buying many watches at the moment.
Share and share alike
And the ability of the industry to adapt to adversity is being showcased. One great example at this Baselworld
was the cross branding/ sharing by Breitling and Tudor. After a few arranged meets between the heads of the watchmakers, there was the idea to trade movements. So in the Tudor Black Bay Chrono, you will find a Breitling 01 masquerading as the MT5813. Breitling had to change several bits to make it a Tudor spec movement but it’s essentially a Breitling 01. And in the Breitling Superocean Héritage II 42 and 46 models, you’ll find the Tudor MT5612 which is a brilliant movement. It’s called the Manufacture Calibre B20 in this piece though. Likewise, Tudor had to make several tweaks to make the engine a Breitling spec movement.
And the result? Two very handsome watches and in both cases, the price has stayed below USD5,000.
Oddly not lonely
Did everyone follow script at Baselworld 2017? Nope. Hublot is still Hublot. Bling and then some!
I won’t get into the specifics in this short-ish note but you can read all about each piece here in the coming days and weeks. Not everything seen in Baselworld 2017 is immediately available now in Asia. So let’s talk about it when it gets here.