January 31, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
In September of last year, the charismatic Jean-Claude Biver confirmed that he was stepping away from his operational duties as the President of the LVMH Watch Division. It was a sudden announcement, and one that is widely believed to be triggered, in a large part, by Biver’s health problems. The more pressing issue, however, was the question of who could replace Biver. The man tasked with this unenviable task was one Stéphane Bianchi. Don’t worry if you have never heard of him; Bianchi isn’t from the watch industry. He has spent most of his career at the Yves Rocher Group, a family-owned conglomerate that manages mostly cosmetic and beauty brands. Find out more about the man who will be heading LVMH’s watch businesses via the link below.
Source: The New York Times
Watches are fascinating to me for several reasons, design being one of them, along with engineering and the technicalities and complexities of watch-making. After all, horology, lest we forget, is the study and measurement of time. And time is the indefinite continued progress of existence, and events in the past, present, and future. Think about what that encompasses for a moment. Another thing that draws me to watches is the stories associated with them. And as far as watch stories go, this one, which involves a couple of pretty special F.P. Journe watches, is one of the best I’ve read.
Source: Watches by SJX
I know we are traditionalists here at aBlogtoWatch, but this is pretty big news in the world of smart watches. Apple is presently the runaway leader in the category, for good reason. They manage both hardware and software, and have successfully created a compelling product that many find useful, or at least intriguing. Google, on the other hand, is struggling with its WearOS, mostly because they rely on partners to integrate WearOS into their products, and some partners, like Samsung, do not necessarily have experience in creating watches. This could change after Google reported spent $40 million acquiring secret tech from Fossil. Although it can be argued that $40 million is chump change for Google, it is a substantial sum for Fossil, and I’m eager to see what will arise from this.
Source: The Verge
When it comes to Swiss-made movements, ETA and Sellita rule the roost. Many brands rely on either or both of them for movements to have the right to display the magic words “Swiss Made” on their dials. While their movements are reliable, there are a couple of downsides to using them. Supply can be iffy — ETA has been reducing its supply to brands outside of the Swatch Group. And then there’s cost; Swiss-made movements are pricey. Therefore, for smaller brands, acquiring them can be a challenge. Fortunately, there is no shortage of alternatives today from elsewhere. We take a look at common alternatives to ETA and Sellita movements from Miyota, Seagull, and Seiko.
One of the most surprising pieces of news is this report from Bloomberg which suggests that Patek Philippe could be put up for sale. Patek Philippe is watchmaking royalty, so this is obviously big news. Furthermore, the company has been owned by the Stern family for over eight decades, and the general consensus is that the Sterns are highly committed to the brand. However, there are rumors that all is not well within the family, but who can say for sure? If it comes to be, there will be no shortage of bidders for the brand. Analysts believe that Patek Philippe could fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion if the company were to be put up for sale.