Swiss watch exports collapse by 81.3% in April 2020; Dubai businesses resume work with 50 per cent capacity; Saudi Arabia’s grand plan to ease restrictions


Market News


Swiss watch exports collapse by 81.3% in April 2020

Swiss watch exports were extremely low in April as a direct result of the standstill in production, distribution and sales, causing them to collapse by 81.3%, to 328.8 million francs. The details of this widespread decline are not particularly interesting – except for China – insofar as it reflects an exceptional situation rather than a trend in demand. China was the only country to buck the trend in April. Exports there fell by 16.1% in April following an increase in March, illustrating the recovery in the Chinese market. As a result, China accounted for a third of Swiss watch exports last month. All other markets contracted sharply. Exports to the Middle East dropped by 89.7% in terms of units where UAE recorded -89.2%, KSA 94.2% compared with the same period in 2019.


Dubai businesses resume work with 50 per cent capacity

As of 27 of May, several sectors in Dubai have been given the go ahead to reopen provided the stringent precautionary guidelines laid down by the official authorities. Private sector in Dubai can resume normal operating hours with an increased occupancy ceiling of 50 per cent in common areas. While Dubai malls were given the go ahead to operate from 10am – 10pm but with social distancing restrictions.


Saudi Arabia’s grand plan to ease restrictions

Saudi Arabia has announced it is going to ease some restrictions taken to limit the spread of coronavirus, allowing movement and resumption of some economic and commercial activities, the Saudi Press Agency reported citing an official source at the Interior Ministry. Under the new measures, domestic flights will be resumed while mosques, restaurants and cafes will be reopened. Work attendance will also be permitted but Umrah pilgrimage will remain temporarily   suspended. The easing of restrictions will be carried out in a phased manner.


Company News


BVLGARI launches its e-commerce in the UAE

Bvlgari accelerates its worldwide digital expansion with the launch of a new e-commerce platform in the United Arab Emirates.  Friends of the brand Aseel Omran, Saudi singer and actor, Alanoud Badr, Saudi designer and presenter, Mthayel Al Ali, Emirati entrepreneur and influencer and Nouf Al Tamimi, Emirati influencer participated in the local e-commerce campaign. The secret behind Bvlgari’s e-shop experience? The journey starts with an amazing user experience. The highly specialized and efficient Customer Service team dedicated to the clients’ needs, is the cornerstone on which the Roman Maison has built its online shopping strategy.


Chopard partners with the SBGA on a new project to source gold from Colombian artisanal miners

In conjunction with the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), this will see Chopard sourcing gold from the Barequeros in El Choco, Colombia. El Chocó is Colombia’s second-largest gold producing region but also one of the country’s poorest. The Barequeros are artisanal gold miners of whom 46 percent are women. They use local traditional alluvial mining techniques with hand equipment such as sluices and panning. Their methods use no mercury, thus protecting the region’s biodiversity which is among the most unique in the world. To be legally registered, the Barequeros need to obtain a special permit that allows them to produce manually and sell up 420 grams of gold per year. As part of this programme, the Barequeros will now supply gold as part of a fully traceable and responsible international supply chain.


Maison Boucheron supports the jewelry sector

Maison Boucheron pledges its support to the jewelry industry, which has been hard hit by the current health crisis.  Empathy has always been part of the Maison's DNA and Frédéric Boucheron was one of the original founders of La Haute École de Joaillerie, one of the first jewelry colleges in Paris, and of the Union Française BJOP [association bringing together all parties involved in the French jewelry, goldsmithing, precious stone and pearl industry]. Maison Boucheron has pledged its support for La Haute École de Joaillerie and is actively partnering with it to improve the employability of the young trainees. Maison Boucheron is also providing support to UFBJOP-affiliated French jewelry ateliers who want to apply for the State-guaranteed loan set up by the government. 


Vacheron Constantin unveils its latest talent to join the “One of not many” communication campaign

Yiqinq Yin, a youthful prodigy in the world of Haute Couture, is joining the roster of talents who have chosen to collaborate with Vacheron Constantin. She will epitomise the Égérie collection, dedicated to women and launched by the Manufacture in February 2020. Acknowledged and respected within the select circle of Haute Couture connoisseurs, her universe naturally chimed with that of Vacheron Constantin. Yiqing Yin shares with the watchmakers and artisans of the Maison a concern for detail and a desire for discovery. Ties were thus woven between Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie, two worlds where craftsmanship, expertise and rarity would be nothing without passion and creativity, a vocation that is constantly being challenged and reinvented in step with successive creations. The new Égérie collection symbolises this encounter through the pleated dial and the off-centre aesthetic of its design.


Mauron Musy and The Swiss Red Cross join forces to create a “Henry Dunant” watch

Mauron Musy was founded on extremely Swiss values, which are the very bedrock of the Swiss Crafted label and represent essential precepts upheld by the Fribourg-based Manufacture. It is these shared values that gave rise to the collaboration and development of a limited edition of seven watches, each unique and stamped with one of the seven fundamental principles of humanitarian organisation; humanity, neutrality, impartiality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity. The face of this timepiece reflects this alliance by featuring the names of the Swiss Red Cross and Mauron Musy. It also bears the date of creation of the Swiss Red Cross, 1866, as well as the name of Henry Dunant, founder of the organisation. Proceeds from the sale of six watches in this limited edition will be used to support the “chili” programme aimed at raising awareness among children from an early age about constructive conflict management and teaching them how to resolve their differences in a non-violent manner.


GemCloud brings the Gemstone Industry online

GemCloud technologies - focused on the colored gemstone supply chain – transform gemstone inventories into a shareable digital interactive library, create a unique, secure, vetted and curated online marketplace and enable transparency and traceability. With this intriguing tagline, the dynamic team of GemCloud - the tech company developing products for the colored gemstone industry - has successfully launched their campaign reaching out to hundreds of companies around the globe to help them fast track their digital presence. GemCloud’s cutting edge technology has developed a suite of services that creates value for each individual user and, when used together, become a game changer for the entire industry.


Product Launch


Jacob & Co. introduces the Opera Scarface

Brian De Palma’s Scarface from Universal Pictures had an incredible impact on entire generations of people all around the world. To honor this seminal movie, Jacob & Co. has expanded the Opera collection to include the Opera Scarface, playing “Bolivia” from the movie on the integrated music box. Jacob & Co. worked with Universal Brand Development to create this unforgettable timepiece. Just a press of the pusher at 10 o’clock and the 120-note music box plays this memorable music, while the entire dial rotates 120 degrees under the domed, anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The time display always stays in the correct 12/6 position thanks to an ingenious, and patented, differential system.


Bamford Watch Department & Black Badger unveil their latest collaboration

There is a real fascination amongst collectors of vintage watches when it comes to the tropical dials formed by irregularly faded dials. These start out in production as black, and turn a dark shade of chocolate brown when exposed to sunlight over many years. The BWD X Badgerworks TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 with Tropical Coffee Dial. Each dial has its own unique character. The idea to create this using a recycled source was so irresistible, and that’s how the dial, which is made from ground coffee was conceptualised. Limited Edition of 20 unique pieces.


Krayon releases the Anywhere

Krayon's second watchmaking creation, Anywhere, indicates the length of the day and the time at which the sun rises and sets. Krayon unveils a new interpretation of its hallmark complication, with the degree of hand finishing expected in the world of Haute Horlogerie. Anywhere defines a customised geographical and temporal space. In this way, Krayon adapts itself to the desires and deeply intimate secrets of the wearer. A reconnection with the primeval rhythms of nature. Krayon’s Anywhere indicates the hours and minutes with dedicated hands, placed in the centre of a dial that seems suspended at the heart of the watch. It is surrounded by an annular zone upon which a small sun circulates in perpetual motion, indicating the time over 24 hours. The annular zone has two sectors: day (sky blue) and night (dark blue).


Czapek & Cie unveils Antarctique

The Antarctique combines sophisticated style with an unprecedented in-house power movement pushing the boundaries of the popular sport-chic territory further. The Antarctique is a 40.5-millimeter three-hander, thin enough to slip comfortably under a cuff, and with a carefully-honed, edgy look. The transparent case back reveals the model's beating heart, the powerful, 30-millimeter SXH5.01 automatic caliber, conceived exclusively by Czapek’s concepteur, Daniel Martinez. Special attention was given to both performance and appearance, so the movement's parts are arranged for visual harmony and transparency. The architecture of the movement is also exceptional. At the root is a free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold masselotte weights, which enables the highest level of precision tuning for a mechanical watch.


The new Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic

The Vintage Rally "Healey" limited editions have worked their way into the affections of classic car enthusiasts on account of their constancy. They were created as a result of a partnership between the Frederique Constant Manufacture and the Austin-Healey car brand. The previous edition of the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic dates back to 2018. Now it’s back in the spotlight, thanks to two new three-hand models with date. Putting its tradition of sporty chronographs on hold, Frederique Constant has given the Vintage Rally Healey Automatic a more urban design. Designed for the gentlemen drivers who also appreciate a getaway away from the paddocks, this timepiece allows to casually enjoy a new design imbued with retro charm.


Montegrappa presents Cognac Hors d’Age

For Montegrappa, one of a writing instrument’s greatest luxuries is its ability to slow the passing of time. Cognac production is another discipline that deals in the art of patience. Centuries of tradition regulate its creation and its requisite flavour can only be achieved by aging in oak for a minimum of two years. For the finest blends, achieving the perfect aroma can take a decade or more. In keeping with the traditions of the oldest, rarest cognacs, this new Edizioni release is destined to be owned by very few. Only fifty examples have been produced: each is a cartridge/converter fountain pen with an 18K white gold filigree nib – available in grades of Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium and Broad. A luxurious wooden presentation case is a place to store your rare acquisition and watch it age gracefully.


OMEGA introduces a unique collection of eyewear

The first bright idea has been to pair a retro feminine look with features from OMEGA’s watchmaking past – as seen in the women’s square style. Like the warm goodbye of a setting sun, the metallic frames shine in pink gold, and deliver classically fluted rims as well as the famous Seamaster wave pattern on the temple tips. Sticking with timeless sophistication, OMEGA has also given the popular men’s pilot style its own sharp twist. Whether you’re driving with the top down, or commanding a deck chair by the pool, this pale gold design has a true jet-setter spirit, thanks to the Italian-made construction, Dark Havana inserts, and the typically Swiss addition of OMEGA’s watch crown logo on the temple tips. Finally, the vintage inspiration is complete with a round unisex style featuring smoky lenses and an innovative blend of acetate and metal in shiny palladium and black.


Exhibitions & Events


Geneva Watch Days will take place in August

A fresh new watchmaking event in the heart of Geneva, Switzerland. Several major Swiss luxury watch brands, including Breitling, Bvlgari, De Bethune, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk have united to create the independent Geneva Watch Days on August 26 - 29 2020, with the full support of the city and the state of Geneva. It will be the only significant gathering for the swiss watch community in 2020.


OROAREZZO will be back in 2021

The difficulties caused by the health crisis are persisting for the international markets, with harsh restrictions enforced by some foreign countries of reference and, above all, the uncertainty of regular flight connections from the coming month of July. Under these conditions, there is no guarantee that foreign buyers will be able to travel to Italy and Tuscany and holding Oroarezzo 2020 in the best circumstances cannot be ensured. IEG - Italian Exhibition Group, in conjunction with the sector’s manufacturing and association representatives, has therefore decided to schedule the show only in 2021, since conditions are not yet ripe for offering customers the complete and high standard of international buyers that has always been guaranteed to a highly valuable market for the country.


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