July 29, 2016
The HH Journal is an online publication covering watchmaking news in all its forms and is published by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) which was created in 2005. The FHH aims to raise awareness and promote the values of fine watchmaking on an international basis. The HH Journal is written by twenty journalists located throughout the major global markets and takes a comprehensive approach to watchmaking, including technical as well as economic, historical, and human aspects. The HH Journal is dedicated to exceptional products with a daily update of its written or multimedia content. See some examples of recent HH Journal content below, and click on the headline to read the full article.
Telling stories: the Rolex Air – King
With a Rolex Air-King sitting snug on your wrist, you may well be singing “Highway to the Danger Zone.” Luxury giant Rolex surprised many at Baselworld 2016 by bringing back their Air-King model which had previously been dropped two years before. The reintroduction is just one example of a storytelling trend which is taking off. Originally created to honour pilots and their bravery during WWII, the Air-King was a simple yet robust model which then later sparked Rolex to design a whole new family of watches in the “Air” collection. The story behind this treasured watch has no doubt created a strong identity and emotional attachment.
The Ultimate Military Chronograph
Before we entered the digital age where watches became our new robot friend, a super sophisticated and mechanical watch sat on the military scene. The Lemania Two-Pusher Royal Navy Chronograph is a minimalist, rugged timepiece that demonstrates complete, high quality. Issued only for two years in the mid ’70s, it was the last chronograph from Swiss designers Lemania to be used by the English armed forces – a model which retains the purity of the English design ethos. Thus, it’s no surprise that it certainly sits at the peak of the English school of military/pilot’s chronographs and is indeed one of the greatest aviation designs.
Taxing times for Swiss watchmakers in China
It’s sad to say that Swiss watchmakers are feeling the heat from the dragon’s roar in China. In April, China instituted a 60% import tax on luxury goods – up from 30%. Ouch… Like a moth to a flame, China was once the place where luxury flocked to. But now in the wake of an anti-graft campaign and a faltering economy, Swiss watchmakers have unfortunately hit a wall. So much so that Swiss watch exports show that shipments to china dropped by 4.7% while exports to Hong Kong sunk 22.9% in 2015. And now? It’s gone from bad to worse. All are waiting to see whether China decides to step up their border controls, so for now it’s hard to predict the consequences Swiss watch brands may face.
Kari Voutilainen, from Môtier with love
His house mirrors Narnia – except a wardrobe is replaced by moss and tangled ivy. An imposing manor, cloaked in silence is the home of Finnish artisan watchmaker Kari Voutilainen. His workshop lives behind an unassuming door, a place where art happens. He’s a man who values his independence and freedom – a man who tells himself to “stay small.” With an eye for fine craftsmanship, elegance, and refinement, Kari focuses on his own watches, ensuring they’re beautifully decorated and finished with care. His aesthetic variations and exclusive creations define his works as utterly unique. An expert eye will always recognise the hand of Kari Voutilainen…
This summer, planet Earth has lived and breathed football fever for Euro 2016 – and so did watchmakers. Why? Well it kicked off on the eve of the competition with a friendly organised by Hublot who united legends Pele and Maradona amongst other legends of the game. The beautiful game is no longer a guilty pleasure. It’s beautiful in terms of luxury watchmakers who are asserting a presence on the pitch. Watchmakers have jumped on the bandwagon of lads popping down the pub to have a few Stellas whilst screaming their lungs out at the screen. TAG Heuer has followed Hublot’s footy footsteps by placing bets on Cristiano Ronaldo, and Breitling has had tie-ins with brand Beckham. Thus, the Euro 2016 was obviously the perfect place for advertising as football appeals to emotions and thus appeals to everyone.
Ceramic takes the plunge
At a time where all eyes have been glued to Euro 2016, Omega are here to remind us that summer is more than just kick about. Summer is, after all, all about making a splash. What perfect timing – Omega have released a new range of dive watches, marking Omega as one of the truly legit brands in underwater watches. The new extension consists of a Chronograph, a GMT and an Auto. Moreover, the brand has hit the waves with the new Seamaster Planet Ocean “Deep Black” collection, signifying an evolution in ceramic watchmaking. This is just the beginning for Omega – watch this space.