To close October, we are turning our attention to the city of Hong Kong, which is surely one of the most significant market for watches. Hong Kong, as some of you may know, is the single largest market for watches. It continues to the lead the world in terms of value for Swiss watch exports. Last year, it imported over 4.1 billion CHF worth of Swiss watches, nearly double that of the United States. And along with neighboring China, it’s also one of the world’s largest exporters of watches. So this month, we decided to check out the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and also Watches & Wonders 2015. Check out what we saw in this month’s round-up below.
Our visits to Hong Kong aside, we also look at new watches from SevenFriday, Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Omega. Finally, we check out Greubel Forsey’s deceptively simple-looking Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision to find out how much work actually goes into the watch. And, still on the subject of high-end watches and finishing, we examine Romain Gauthier’s Logical One to learn more about just how difficult and laborious it is to hand finish components in a watch.
1. Our Look Inside The 2015 Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair And The Industry Behind It
Hong Kong is not only the world’s biggest market for watches, it is also one of the largest exporters of watches. Hong Kong, along with neighboring China, exported nearly a billion timepieces last year. While the majority of these are cheap quartz pieces, there are players who make quite exquisite tourbillon and even double tourbillon pieces. In fact, many of the boutique watch brands that you love have their designs made by these companies in Hong Kong and China. To get a deeper understanding of the kind of watches that they make, we paid a visit to the 2015 Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair. To say that we were quite amazed by what we saw would be an understatement!
2. SevenFriday V-Series Watch Review
Thanks to clever marketing and unique designs, SevenFriday has come out of nowhere to become one of the most talked-about and popular brands for watches in the price range of around $1000 to $2000. The company recently released a brand new collection called the SevenFriday V-Series, which as you might have guessed, also features a dial design that is unlike any other in the market. Just look at the photo above, can you tell the time? As it turns out, reading time off the SevenFriday V-Series requires a bit of mental arithmetic. To find out how to tell time on the SevenFriday V-Series and our thoughts on the watch, hit the link below.
3. Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC PAM629 ‘California Dial’ Watch Hands-On
Panerai recently unveiled two new special edition pieces at Watches & Wonders 2015 and the one that has been getting a lot of attention is the PAM 629 Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio. Why? Because it is the first time Panerai has put a California-style dial in a Luminor watch case. Up until the Panerai PAM 629, California dials have only appeared on Panerai’s cushion case Radiomir watches. California dials in Radiomir watches are, according to Panerai traditionalists, at least, more historically accurate. I’m all for historical accuracy, but I also think that the new Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Titanio DLC PAM 629 is also rather refreshing in the sense that Panerai is bold enough to disregard tradition to come up with a design that could potentially alienate hardcore collectors. To see more of the watch, hit the link below.
4. Wearing The Thinnest Mechanical Watch In The World: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette
Along with Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the masters of ultra-thin mechanical watches. Last year, the brand showed off the epic Hybris Mechanica 11 or Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon, which packs a minute repeater, flying tourbillon and automatic winding mechanism into a case that is just 7.9mm thick. And this year, Jaeger-LeCoultre snatched the title of thinnest mechanical watch in the world from Piaget with its new Master Ultra Thin Squelette watch. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette is just 3.6mm thick, a mere 0.05mm thinner than Piaget’s Altiplano 900P – which just goes to show just how extreme the business of designing ultra-thin watches is. Here is a closer look at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Squelette and its diamond set variants.
5. Watches & Wonders 2015 Recap & Setting The Tone For The Luxury Timepiece Industry In Asia
Hong Kong, as some of our readers may know, is the single largest market for fine Swiss timepieces. It’s so important that the organizers behind SIHH decided to have a dedicated show called Watches & Wonders just for the Hong Kong and Chinese market. And don’t be mistaken that this is just a watered down version of SIHH, brands actually do release all new pieces at Watches & Wonders that they think will appeal to watch lovers in the region. However, demand has slowed quite dramatically in region for the past two or so years. So how are brands adapting to this change? Find out this and more as we offer our thoughts on the recently concluded Watches & Wonders show in Hong Kong.
6. Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition James Bond Watch Hands-On
The modern-day James Bond is synonymous with Omega, and to mark the upcoming release of the latest James Bond film, Spectre, Omega has released a new limited edition watch. Called the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition, this watch is essentially a slightly tweaked version of the awesome Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial watch from last year. The main changes here are the lollipop-style seconds hand and the 12-hour bezel. The changes might be subtle, but they have a profound effect on how the watch looks and its functionality. Fans of Bond should definitely hit the link below for a closer look of this watch. Hurry though, it’s limited to just 7007 pieces.