Jaeger-LeCoultre asserts that guilloche-style machine engraving can be used for the look of the oceans on the “Earth dial” that is at the middle of their world-time screen disc. It isn’t a particularly useful dial facility, but it is visually attractive and is exactly what some folks feel makes the Geophysic, nicely, the Geophysic. Other Geophysic watch collection themes along that same vein include small points of luminant implemented round the periphery of this dial.On the wrist, so you receive a coherently “actual” tool see with the added allure of decoration together with all the blue lacquer-covered guilloche partial-globe, valuable materials in the platinum case, and needless to say, mechanical exclusivity in the haute horology motion. Of course, this all comes at a cost. Future versions in less valuable metal might cost somewhat less, but the limited edition of 100 pieces mention Q8126420 Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Tourbillon in silver is priced at around $145,000. Bucking the current trend in watchmaking in which ‘old’ is sexy, but ‘too-old’ isn’t, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso spent the entire year celebrating its 85th birthday using the Tribute Calendar announced at SIHH 2016 — a fully modern, yet carefully maintained icon which we recently had a chance to experience in 18k rose gold. Even people a bit more tired of this ubiquitous Reverso will likely realize that the implementation of watches such as this one is precisely why the line has come to define Jaeger-LeCoultre, for better or worse.85 years is a long moment. And in all that time because, the Reverso has largely escaped significant change to its double-sided swiveling event construction and art deco design terminology, yielding one of those impossibly classic watches which simply never gets old — quite literally and figuratively. And while it is awfully easy to drop count of the myriad of versions we’ve seen over the years, 1 thing is certain — the Reverso is a veritable time capsule, precious and readily counted among the ranks of different icons such as the Rolex Submariner, Omega Speedmaster Professional, or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — just this watch predates the aforementioned by multiple decades each.
Today, we received the news that the CEOs of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, and fashion brand Alfred Dunhill (who used to make watches but, I believe, do not anymore) are leaving their respective brands in spring of this year. Philippe Leopold-Metzger of Piaget and Juan-Carlos Torres of Vacheron are retiring while Daniel Riedo of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Fabrizio Cardinali of Alfred Dunhill have “decided to leave” their positions.
Back in November 2016, the Richemont Group began the process of untangling and simplifying a bloated corporate structure by dissolving their CEO & CFO positions at Richemont HQ and appointed IWC CEO Georges Kern as head of watchmaking, marketing, and digital for all the Richemont brands and appointed Montblanc CEO Jerome Lambert as head of operations. The shakeup also came with a warning from Richemont Executive Chairman and controlling shareholder Johann Rupert that “Underperforming brands need to be fixed or sold.”
Chabi Nouri – new CEO of Piaget
Though Richemont had an inarguably bleak 2016, they ended the year with revenues up 6% from the end of 2015 due to a spike in jewelry sales. At SIHH 2017, we saw a significant focus on ladies’ watches and pieces that serve a dual function as jewelry and timepiece, as well as an ever-stronger focus on vintage re-releases amidst brands discontinuing many of their more modern collections. In fact, Cartier’s reintroduction of the Panthere de Cartier is billed as “Jewelry first, timepiece second.”
Jaeger-LeCoultre asserts that guilloche-style machine engraving is used for the look of the oceans on the “Earth dial” that is at the middle of their world-time screen disc. It isn’t a particularly useful dial center, but it is visually attractive and is exactly what some people believe makes the Geophysic, nicely, the Geophysic. Other Geophysic watch set themes along that exact same vein include little points of luminant applied around the periphery of this dial.On the wrist, you receive a coherently “actual” tool see with the added appeal of decoration together with the blue lacquer-covered guilloche partial-globe, valuable materials from the platinum case, and needless to say, mechanical exclusivity from the haute horology movement. Of course, this all comes at a cost. Future variations in less precious metal might cost a bit less, but the limited edition of 100 bits mention Q8126420 Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time Tourbillon in silver is priced at around $145,000. Bucking the current trend in watchmaking where ‘old’ is sexy, but ‘too-old’ is not, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso spent the entire year celebrating its 85th birthday with the Tribute Calendar declared at SIHH 2016 — a totally modern, yet carefully preserved icon that we recently had an opportunity to experience in 18k rose gold. Even people a little more weary of this omnipresent Reverso will likely realize that the execution of watches such as this one is precisely why the line has come to specify Jaeger-LeCoultre, for worse or better.85 years is a long moment. And in all that time since, the Reverso has largely escaped major alteration to its double-sided swiveling case arrangement and art deco design language, producing one of those impossibly classic watches which simply never gets old — quite literally and figuratively. And while it’s horribly easy to drop count of the plethora of versions we’ve seen through the years, 1 thing is sure — that the Reverso is a veritable time capsule, beloved and easily counted amongst the ranks of other icons like the Rolex Submariner, Omega Speedmaster Professional, or even the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — only this watch predates the above by several decades each.
The reception of the new and important (for Piaget) Polo S has been mixed at best…
Going back to November, Johann Rupert said “I want to see less grey men, less grey Frenchmen, as a subcategory,” adding “We have too few women. We don’t have enough diversity.” Keeping this in mind, we see Piaget is to be headed by Chabi Nouri who is their current Marketing Director (her corporate bio states her focus has been on jewelry and the brand’s heritage) and formerly worked as Cartier International Jewelry Group Manager. Her rise to the role of Piaget CEO is likely to send a signal to the markets that, along with the increased focus on ladies’ pieces like the Panthere de Cartier, the “too few women” concern is being addressed as well as the intention to seize on global jewelry sales at Richemont.
…we were surprised to see Vacheron call this the 1860 and yet use what appears to be a simplified movement from Greubel Forsey…
Vacheron Constantin will gain Louis Ferla as CEO, who is also the current Marketing Director at the brand, placing another younger marketing expert at the top rather than some other long-serving watch brand CEO who is likely steeped in the Swiss culture and out of touch with the needs of the brand as it comes to delivering the products buyers want. Previous to being at Vacheron Constantin, Ferla worked as Managing Director, Cartier Middle East and India and then as CEO of Cartier China. Considering Vacheron’s popularity in China, Richemont is probably hoping Ferla’s experience and time spent in the region will recalibrate and strengthen the brand’s position.
…and as successful these vintage inspired pieces from JLC may have been lately, we’d love to see more new (as in: modern) mid-range collections from the brand.
Jaeger-LeCoultre hasn’t announced a new CEO and it looks like Georges Kern is going to serve as interim CEO for the time being. As for Alfred Dunhill, Andrew Maag, who is head of Europe, Middle East, India and Africa at Burberry Group will be taking the CEO role.
Personally, I hope the Richemont Group is able to be flexible enough to capitalize on their various brands’ strengths in the current market while also addressing the needs of the watch-enthusiast community that have been patrons for years. Or maybe boutiques will become jewelry stores with a small watch section in the back, like the men’s section at a luxury department store. richemont.com