watches

The Story Behind the Favorite Watches of Designers and Executives

The Story Behind the Favorite Watches of Designers and Executives

Alessandro Sartori, creative director, Zegna

Alessandro Sartori

Giacomo Bretzel

Favorite watch: “My green Rolex Submariner, which is known as the Hulk. All three of my watches are Rolex. The first one I bought when I was 20, and it took all my savings to buy it.”

A green Rolex Submariner

Backstory: “I got it during a special, emotional birthday, and it was the present that made that birthday so special. I remember the birthday, the age and the watch, and this was when I turned 50.”

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The appeal of watches: “I really have a lot of feelings with the things I wear: my ring, my watch, my bracelet. They are part of my outfit. I don’t feel fully complete and myself if I don’t have my timepiece. It’s part of my style and part of my personality. Also, I have never in my life decided what I’m going to wear the day before. I like to put together pieces depending on my feeling. When I travel, I need my watches. I need two or three photos, and I need my music. Then it feels like home.”

Benoit Pagotto, cofounder, RTFKT Studios

Benoit Pagotto’s avatar.

Favorite watch: “My grail time piece is my Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked, Ceramic Black.”

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked in Ceramic Black.

Backstory: “The Openworked to me has always been a dream to get, as it shows all the inner work and wizardry the Audemars Piguet craftsmen put into the watches. When you look at your wrist for time on this watch, you truly are taken into their world and have the real impression to have a ‘time machine’ on your wrist. When you look at the dial, you really feel you are diving into years of expertise and engineering, almost like it’s a magical artifact. The black ceramic on the case and bracelet is also mesmerizing, with the polishing and hand-cut ceramic. It’s truly a material that makes you feel like you have a kind of majestic piece of master work with you.”

The appeal of watches: “I’ve always been fascinated by Audemars Piguet, and how they managed to keep incredible tradition and craftsmanship, while being such an influential force in the culture.”

Ryan Goldston, co-chief executive officer and cofounder of APL — Athletic Propulsion Labs

Ryan Goldston of APL — Athletic Propulsion Labs.

Favorite watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Nonantième

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Tribute Nonantième.

©

Backstory: “I’ve always loved Art Deco design, and this one celebrated the watch’s 90th anniversary. I actually received the watch the day my brother Adam and I launched our ‘Inspires Greatness’ campaign with Rolls-Royce so it takes on a special significance for me.”

The appeal of watches: “I already take so much time to create and it’s such artisans that create the movements, the components design and, again, like the way that we thought about designing shoes, there’s only so much headspace on the forefront of this watch. You had to be so creative and innovative with a small amount of space and I think with watching the same thing give us such a small amount of space to show your creativity and it’s just really cool to see something that is technical in nature, but yet so beautiful.

Samuel Ross, founder and creative director, A-Cold-Wall

Samuel Ross wearing the limited-edition timepiece he developed with Hublot.

Courtesy of Hublot

Favorite watch: “The one I developed with Hublot. It follows a lineage of luxury sporting watches that I’ve been quite obsessed with for some time. The Rolex rose gold Yacht-Master with an Oysterflex bracelet, which was released in 2018, was one of my first luxury watch purchases. And it was this idea of producing a watch with the language of an industrial designer and artists. It wasn’t about copious amounts of gold, it was about how materials can work together to produce a solution.”

The Big Bang Tourbillon that Samuel Ross designed for Hublot.

HUBLOT

The appeal of watches: “I appreciate most the craftsmanship and the idea of a functional tool. The idea of carrying a tool. For me, the wristwatch carries the same importance as the handbag. It offers that same level of signaling and security as a Birkin. I have around seven luxury watches at the moment. I’m looking at a new one at the moment, as well as vintage watches. I’m looking at a Cartier Tank on a leather strap. There’s just something quite discerning about having a watch for all scenarios.”

Ian Rogers, chief experience officer, Ledger

Ian Rogers

Courtesy of Ledger

Favorite watch: “I bought my first Tag Heuer Connected watch in the Madison Avenue Tag Heuer store the week it was released, seven years ago, just after I’d joined LVMH as chief digital officer. I’ve been updating the watch when the Tag Heuer team updates the product, which is often. The most recent update, announced last summer, comes with the ability to add NFTs you own to the watch face.”

NFTs are now available on Tag Heuer watches.

Backstory: “Back in the summer of 2021, I told Bernard Arnault, ‘You have a limited-edition watch. I am going to have a limited-edition watch face.’ This year we did it. Tag Heuer added the ability to add an NFT from your digital wallet. Since then I have been matching the face of my watch with an NFT that fits my mood, my day, and my outfit. I love it. Most of what I put on the watch face is a one of one, so it is not just a limited-edition watch, it’s a one-of-a-kind, the only one like it on the planet.”

The appeal of watches: “Let’s be honest, watches are jewelry for men. I love them. I love my Zenith, my Tag Heuers and my Hublot/Ledger collab watch for both the craft as well as the style. But my Tag Heuer Connected is a great combination of style and functionality. It looks great, is personalized by me, and I rely on it for notifications (so I can look at my phone less, in fact), weather, running, etc.”

Guram Gvasalia, creative director, Vtmnts

Guram Gvasalia wearing his Patek Philippe 5970.

Dirk Bruniecki

The appeal of watches: “I fell in love with watches when I was 12 years old. I read an article about this guy, who was a big watch collector. I was so impressed by it, and said that one day I will become one as well. Being a refugee kid from Georgia, trying to find a way in Europe, it was a sweet dream. When I was 15, I worked the whole summer every day multiple shifts in a restaurant to buy my first vintage Rolex, an Airking model from 1972. I still have that watch. I still have every single watch I ever got, as they all define a certain period of my life. I keep and cherish them to one day pass them to my kids.”

A Patek Philippe with an extremely rare salmon dial, of which there are only four pieces in the world.

Favorite watch: “At a certain stage, I got obsessed with Patek Philippe watches. There is one particular reference 5970, that is for me one of the most beautiful watches Patek has ever created. I managed to get this watch in every metal it exists, I even managed to get this reference with an extremely rare salmon dial, of which there are only four pieces in the world, but the most important watch I have is the unique reference of 5970 made for Eric Clapton. The watch collector I read about, who inspired me back when I was 12, was Eric Clapton.

“Important is to say that another watchmaker, Audemars Piguet, plays an important role in my heart. I have many beautiful pieces from them, but there are a few one-of-a-kind references I‘m waiting for that might take that first place one day.”

Heron Preston, founder

Heron Preston

Jason Leiva

Favorite watch: “The Audemars Piguet Openworked ’50th Anniversary’ 16204ST in stainless steel, which is the original material and finish that AP started to release their watches in, goes back to history. My existing watches have been rose gold up to this point so it was time to give gold a break and look at the origin of the company. This model is one of the most beautiful releases from the 50th anniversary collection and I received it a few weeks ago from the AP team straight out of the boutique.”

Audemars Piguet Openworked “50th Anniversary” 16204ST in stainless steel.

Backstory: “I’ve always been fascinated with the Openworked series AP has done; it’s unique and special to their range of watches. Ever since I’ve set eyes on it, I knew I had to get one.”

The appeal of watches: “I appreciate the craftsmanship and how long it takes to make a single watch. There is only one dedicated watchmaker per watch, it’s not really passed to anyone else. The love and care combined with the level of detail and craftsmanship in watch collecting itself is something I appreciate. It’s like wearing a piece of art.”

Casey Cadwallader, creative director, Mugler

Mugler’s creative director Casey Cadwallader.

Zhong Lin

Favorite watch: “I’m really into more antique watches now, as in really old Audemars Piguet watches, which are gorgeous. And I really love the 1920s Patek Philippe, they’re my obsession at the moment, the really clean minimalist ones.”

A Patek Philippe early yellow gold Art Deco square tank watch from 1923.

Backstory: “It’s funny because I own one watch, but I’m very watch obsessed. I have a file on my phone of just watches because I look at a lot of auctions. I have an old Rolex because my parents bought it for me when I was graduating from college. They bought it used from the jewelry store that I used to work at when I was young and they dealt in vintage Rolexes. I like them, but I find them to be the Cadillac of watches, the stable, middle, good-quality thing.”

The appeal of watches: “I’m a psychopath for proportion and detail. So I don’t like big crazy watches that have all kinds of stuff on them. I like really pure proportions and so clean they look like a polished stone, where they’re so calm, that brings me peace to look at them. That’s what’s so cool about watches, it’s that everything is so refined and so tiny.”

Christopher Kane, founder and creative director

Christopher Kane

Favorite watch: “I love my Cartier Tank watch that was given to me recently from my partner for my 40th birthday. It’s such an iconic design classic that I have admired on many famous wrists like Muhammad Ali and Andy Warhol.”

A Cartier Tank with a black leather strap.

Backstory: “It’s so special to me because it’s from my partner, Massimiliano, and it highlights an important time in my life. Turning 40 is a milestone, and to receive something I will cherish forever and pass on to family is priceless.”

The appeal of watches: “When you think of Cartier, you instantly think of prestige. It’s a discerning and discreet item of jewelry that I love to wear.”

Giordano Calza, cofounder and chief executive officer, GCDS

Giordano Calza

Courtesy of GCDS

Favorite watch: “My favorite watch and the one I regularly use is the 1980 Cartier Santos Galbée. It is a timeless style, one for those who don’t want to show off too much but have a watch suitable for every occasion.”

Cartier Santos Galbée

Courtesy of GCDS

Backstory: “I bought it in a vintage shop in the Marais district in Paris. I love to negotiate and the negotiation for this watch lasted about 45 minutes, until the owner of the shop gave in smiling and telling me that my extreme interest and passion for that object was tangible and he was happy that I was the one to purchase it. I’m not very attached to objects, I don’t like the idea of ​​being a slave or dependent on them, but perhaps this watch is more of a good luck charm than just a timekeeper. Time for me is a precious asset: like a scale, it marks the weight I give to the people I share it with as well as to the projects I dedicate it to.”

The appeal of watches: “I like the idea that an object can live over decades, acquire value with time, be handed down and remain a timeless design product.”

J.J. Martin, founder, La DoubleJ

J.J. Martin

Mariela Medina/Courtesy of La DoubleJ

Favorite watch: “I have this wonderful piece from the 1960s that a friend of mine, shoe designer Alvaro Gonzalez, found at a vintage flea market and gave me for my 40th birthday. What I love about it is that it looks like a piece of jewelry, like this magnificent Egyptian bracelet with lapis and emerald (but, of course it’s just made of crystal, there are no actual precious stones in it). So this over-the-top band makes the watch look like this ornate, gorgeous, luxurious, decorative object.”

J.J. Martin’s vintage watch.

Courtesy of J.J. Martin

Backstory: “I started La DoubleJ by selling my vintage collection of clothing and jewelry. I spent years going in and out of every vintage boutique, fair, church charity shop in America and Europe. In Italy, my partner in crime was Alvaro, so he knew my tastes back and forward. And of course, he gifted me with the most perfect wristwatch, it was really so sweet.”

The appeal of watches: “What’s so funny about wristwatches is that they’ve become such a rare commodity, nobody wears them anymore. So when you are wearing one it’s gotta have something special. I think banal, basic wristwatches are kind of pointless now that we all have an iPhone and a computer with a clock on it. We don’t technically need them anymore, so when I want to wear one it has to be a beautiful object in and of itself. And I love it when it has some sort of deeper connection, either to where you got it or to whomever gave it to you. It’s a very personal object, a wristwatch.”

Sarah Doukas, founder, Storm Model Management

Sarah Doukas

Courtesy of Jermaine Francis / Storm

Favorite watch: Gold Ballon Bleu de Cartier

A gold Ballon Bleu de Cartier

Backstory: “I bought it at the airport in Barbados. I was on route to Mustique with my husband Timothy. My daughter Genevieve’s gorgeous friend Sophie Caulcutt, the cofounder of the Voyager Club, says that ‘often the greatest luxury is time.’ She encouraged me to buy it and my husband was initially horrified, but I love it and wear it every day.”

The appeal of watches: “The Cartier Ballon Bleu is a beautiful and timeless piece; it’s very chic.”

Zach Moscot, chief design officer, Moscot

Zach Moscot

Favorite wristwatch: My Bremont Pilot’s Watch

The Bremont Pilot’s Watch

Backstory: “I was gifted it during a family trip to London. This watch, more than others, holds significant value to me as it represents a culmination of major milestones in my life. I’d definitely say it’s more than just a timepiece, but a piece to signify the time spent working with my dad and continuing to build the family business. My fascination with watches started from an early age and only continued to develop as I learned the importance of craftsmanship through my studies of product design.”

The appeal of watches: “I’ve spent much of my time focusing on the importance of craftsmanship, and watches are one of the other few accessories that represent timeless, quality design. I really appreciate the British heritage of my timepiece. I think the story is critical as oftentimes a watch is about what it means to you; it may be an heirloom — something that is generational. As a designer, I am quite into the timeless aesthetic of timepieces as well as their durability and reliability. I’ve always thought about time differently as the fifth generation of a 107-year family business, and looking down at my wristwatch reminds me of more than just the time of day, but also the importance of continuing a legacy that started long before me.”

Inside the Renovation of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue Mansion

Inside the Renovation of Cartier’s Fifth Avenue Mansion

Luxury brands are rethinking the role of the modern boutique, and legacy timepiece and jewelry maker Cartier is no exception.
The brand has renovated its legendary Fifth Avenue boutique — the 28,772-square-foot, Neo-Renaissance landmarked building that has been Cartier’s home in Manhattan for more than a century — to serve both a modern client and reaffirm the location as a place in New York City’s history.

“The project was certainly about modernizing it from a visual and technological perspective, but it was also about challenging traditional notions of the retail space and creating an environment that’s both welcoming and luxurious, both practical and inspiring,” explains Mercedes Abramo, president and chief executive officer of Cartier North America.

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It, of course, serves as a sales floor, but the CEO pointed out the motivation was to “firmly position the mansion as a cultural destination — more than just a transactional space — in the greater New York City landscape” and the balance of heritage and innovation is seen throughout the boutique.

Inside the Renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue mansion.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

The client’s journey begins on the ground floor, where windows were opened up to “bring more of the city’s energy into the space,” Abramo says, a first step in deepening the dialogue between the mansion and Manhattan. Previously, the entry floor housed core collections — Love, Ecru, Juste un Clou and others. Now it holds a wider breadth of the French brand’s assortments, including small leather goods, handbags, fragrance, eyewear and jewelry and watches.

Interior designer Laura Gonzalez linked the space to the organic parts of the city — its parks — by introducing lush green hues into the space, seen in the furnishings throughout and the carpeting that ascends the grand staircase. “I simply think that green represents vegetation, nature,” she explains. “Fifth Avenue is very close to Central Park, and I needed to include all these elements in the project to create an oasis, a peaceful beacon in between classicism and the building’s history.”

The second floor, known as the Grace Kelly Salon, houses the hidden world of high jewelry. Kelly is still a presence — the seal of Monaco can be seen on the walls, and pictures of her can be found in viewing salons — but the space has been updated through Gonzalez’s lens. “We wanted to pay tribute to Grace Kelly’s beauty and femininity but also to take it elsewhere, express the French Riviera, the sea, this art de vivre we can find in the South of France,” she explains of the subtle sea life details.

Emblematic of the brand, the Panther is seen in various salons throughout the mansion — on the second floor, it’s found in a striking piece in stone marquetry by artist Hervé Obligi.

Inside the Renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue mansion.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

The third floor is dedicated to love, “in its many permutations,” Abramo says, with the addition of the Engagement Salon and Wedding Bar. The third-floor landing provides several avenues for personalization and customization by way of innovation. The Set For You landing houses an interactive counter with educational content on Cartier’s diamond standards, plus a means for clients to experience the diamond selection process.

”I see it as a way of using technology for good,” Abramo says. “It establishes a very intimate way for clients to select their perfect stone and setting in a very high-tech format.”

Bold artworks throughout the space underscore the boutique’s continued conversation with the city and its history. For example, guests entering on 52nd Street are greeted with a striking large-scale ceramic wall sculpture in a white matte finish with golden touches by New York artist Peter Lane, inspired by the now legendary story of how Cartier came to own the landmark.

Inside the Renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue mansion.

Lexie Moreland/WWD

In 1912, Pierre Cartier — the grandson of Cartier’s founder — started searching for a flagship location in New York City. He searched for five years for a location that was on par with the brand’s Paris flagship on rue de la Paix. Legend has it that when the mansion became available, Pierre Cartier knew he had found the ideal place. In 1917, he proposed a trade with its owner, businessman Morton F. Plant. In exchange for the mansion, Pierre traded $100 and a Cartier necklace.

Today, the mansion’s fourth floor is dedicated to hospitality and service, with a space that includes a coffee area and bar, salons for care consultations, and hidden-away spaces for in-store events.

While the masion preferred to quietly debut, forgoing any large events, there are exclusive creations that mark the remodeling: a Tank Asymétrique; a Juste un Clou — the signature design by New York City-based Aldo Cipullo — and four stationery designs.

“Our treatment of the mansion is very similar to our overall approach as a maison — it’s a balance of remaining true to our heritage while embracing innovation,” Abramo says.

Bucherer Partners With Sotheby’s on Pre-Owned Program

Bucherer Partners With Sotheby’s on Pre-Owned Program

Luxury timepiece retailer Bucherer Certified Pre-Owned is linking up with Sotheby’s, a global destination for art and luxury, to bring its certified pre-owned timepieces to a global stage with Sotheby’s online marketplace.
“The partnership journey started in May 2020,” explained Stav R. Martens, Bucherer head of CX, CRM and commercial partnerships. “And we are pleased to join forces again to continue to engage our global luxury community and cater to new audience of art and fashion collectors. With the introduction of Bucherer Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) on Sotheby’s Online Marketplace, we are excited to present a curated collection of CPO timepieces next to one of the most impressive selection of art and luxury goods.”

“This monumental milestone marks a logical extension of our partnership, celebrating our independencies and our leading expertise within our respective industries. Building on a common vision of trust, authenticity and passion for pre-loved icons, we strive to share our story and those of our timepieces with a global audience of collectors,” Martens said.

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Over the last five years, the watch pre-owned category has come into sharp focus, with a mix of digital retailers and legacy players leading the charge. Customers who once might have shied away from making a huge purchase online are now digitally savvy, and see online shopping as a viable option to find rare and unusual timepieces.

Sotheby’s marketplace offers more than 10,000 items across watches, jewelry, contemporary art, collectible sneakers, designer handbags, decorative objects, furniture and more, with international shipping to more than 70 countries.

Watch collectors worldwide can now purchase certified pre-owned watches, which have been authenticated, inspected and certified by Bucherer’s watch experts on the Sotheby’s marketplace.
“We’ve seen explosive growth in our watches category in the last few years, thanks in part to a new digitally native generation of global collectors, who are increasingly more comfortable purchasing online,” explained Josh Pullan, Sotheby’s head of Global Luxury Division. “Watches was one of the first categories we introduced to our online marketplace 18 months ago and we’ve continued to see demand at high price points in this format that are consistent with our core auction business. Our partnership with Bucherer allows us to continue to expand the depth of property offered and presents our clients with access to one of the largest collections of authenticated and guaranteed pre-owned luxury. As we continue our pursuit of creative and innovative ways to serve our clients, it’s particularly exciting that every Bucherer CPO timepiece comes with a two-year warranty — a next level of service and certification that no global auction house currently offers.”

Before the watches can be certified, the in-house watchmakers from Bucherer’s special team of experts open every single one and inspect it: Is the model an original? Are the technical parts still flawless? Are there any hidden defects? If necessary, the experts then maintain or repair the watches. In the final step, the watchmakers then attest to their work with their signature and Bucherer guarantees a two-year warranty.

Bucherer has 36 exclusive locations in Europe. In 2018, Bucherer took over the U.S. luxury watch retailer Tourneau, adding 32 stores in the U.S. market.

U.S., Europe Help Drive Resilience of Luxury Goods Market

U.S., Europe Help Drive Resilience of Luxury Goods Market

MILAN — The luxury goods market continues to show resilience and is expected to reach revenues of between 360 billion and 380 billion euros by 2025.Despite the challenges and disruptions that took place in early 2022, from the war in Ukraine to inflation and the zero-tolerance COVID-19 restrictions in China, the midterm direction of the luxury market remains unchanged, according to Bain & Company, which on Tuesday presented the spring update of its Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study 2022, “Rerouting the Future” in collaboration with Fondazione Altagamma.
The study presents two scenarios. An optimistic one that sees the growth path experienced in the first half of 2022 continuing throughout the year, closing 2022 with revenues of around 320 billion to 330 billion euros, growing 10 to 15 percent over 2021. Another scenario forecasts a slower recovery of mainland China and challenged spending in mature markets caused by inflationary pressure and a macroeconomic slowdown, with sales reaching 305 billion to 320 billion euros by the end of 2022, growing 5 to 10 percent over 2021.

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“Luxury goods brands started this year showing especially strong growth while also playing a leading role in the world’s ongoing sustainable and digital transformation,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain & Company partner and lead author of the study.
After its worst dip in history, the personal luxury goods market in 2021 experienced a V-shaped rebound, reaching 288 billion euros in value and it registered “a remarkable performance” in the first quarter of 2022, growing by 17 to 19 percent at current exchange rates or 13 to 15 percent at constant exchange rates over the same period in 2021. The appreciation of currencies compared with the euro and a very strong Chinese New Year as well as a successful vaccination campaign also boosted the first quarter.
The U.S. and Europe led the growth in the first quarter of the year, with a surprising recovery of the latter, admitted D’Arpizio, underscoring the “enormous potential of local consumers,” which were likely neglected by luxury brands before the pandemic, and are now enticed by more marketing initiatives, events, promotions and communication.
The market benefited from a “flamboyant” 2021 holiday shopping season across the regions, said D’Arpizio, with a 7 percent increase over the same period in 2019. Additionally, China continued to see double-digit growth last year and the U.S. maintained momentum, even after the end of the federal stimulus. China’s local consumer appetite remains strong and will potentially lead the country to recover between late 2022 and early 2023, she offered.
The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has so far been restricted to local markets, showing limited consequences on global luxury customer sentiment and spending. The weight of Russian and Ukrainian spending is around 2 percent so it did not really impact business, and “compared to other crises, it’s as if consumers got used to turbulence,” said D’Arpizio, although “there’s been a lot of reaction to the war, but there’s also been a strong desire to return to life,” she said characterizing this trend as YOLO — the “you only live once” effect.

While she admitted there may be a recession in the second half of the year, Europe is accelerating its recovery, despite the war. The region is on the path to recover 2019 levels of sales one year before expectations, thanks to booming local demand driven by a fierce “back to normal” attitude and a rebound in intra-regional tourism.
The U.S. is “tapping into the power of diversity and inclusion” discovering an expanded American customer base and second-tier cities.
South Korea is undergoing a profound transformation, increasing its size and cultural relevance, defined as “the new Japan,” by the study, replacing in the last two years tourist spending with local demand.
In terms of categories, iconic bags are driving the accessories segment, and high jewelry is at its peak. A recovery of social life and a return to the office are pushing new formalwear.
The virtual world is offering new opportunities for luxury brands, including the metaverse, social media and gaming. By the end of 2030, the estimated weight of digital assets and the metaverse will account for between 5 and 10 percent of the luxury market. “There are 3 billion people involved in gaming and 300 million in luxury, and the potential connection for luxury brands is huge,” D’Arpizio said.
The growing relevance of direct-to-consumer channels and responding to the call of sustainability are also key, she said.
“In the last few months, luxury brands have been forced to reroute their futures,” said Federica Levato, a Bain & Company partner and coauthor of the report. “Winners will rapidly embrace the changes, ensuring they fully understand the implications of new geopolitical dynamics and cultural trends for all of their stakeholders: consumers, investors, employees and society at large. Those that come out ahead will take advantage of the opportunities presented by the virtual world, the sustainability transformation and preferences of younger generations.”
Matteo Lunelli, president of Altagamma, and Stefania Lazzaroni, general manager of the association, also presented an update of its Consensus 2022 study. The year 2021 saw a post-COVID-19 recovery, and 2022, despite the impact of the war and the lockdowns in China, began with a very positive first quarter, showing a 17 to 19 percent growth compared with the same period in 2021.

“The confidence of American and European consumers is solid,” Lazzaroni said. As per the update, Europe is seen growing 12 percent in the year compared with a Consensus forecast of 8 percent made in November. North America is expected to grow 10 percent compared with a 7 percent growth estimated in November. Asia was expected to grow 9 percent, but the update forecasts a 5 percent gain. The Middle East is expected to grow 10 percent compared with the 7 percent gain forecast in November. Hard luxury is the category seen growing the most, up 9 percent, driven by branded jewelry, while watches have slowed down, seen growing 6.5 percent.
Lunelli said the “long-term trends remain somewhat constant” and, while admitting the existence of “strong macroeconomic uncertainties,” he said that the Consensus estimates an average 9 percent growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the companies in the segment, driven by a strong demand of the American consumer and an acceleration of Europe.

Vacheron Constantin Celebrates the Artworks of Four Great Civilizations With a Special Watch Collection With the Louvre

Vacheron Constantin Celebrates the Artworks of Four Great Civilizations With a Special Watch Collection With the Louvre

The Métiers d’Art series of watches pay tribute to great civilizations. Photo: Courtesy Vacheron Constantin
It was a night at the museum to go down in history. This week, special guests were delighted with a private tour of the Louvre in Paris. The occasion was the reveal of four Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art watches stemming from a partnership with the Louvre and inspired by great civilizations of Antiquity—Egypt, Persian, Greek, and Roman. Years in the making, the limited-edition timepieces (five per theme) featured a miniature interpretation of a historic artwork representative of one of the four eras on the dials. Created in the form of gold appliqués is the Great Sphynx of Tanis from the Ancient Egyptian Empire (2035—1680BC); the Lion of Darius from the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids (559—330BC); the Victory of Samothrace from Hellenistic Greece of the Antigonid dynasty (277—168BC); and the Bust of Augustus from the Roman Empire of the Julio-Claudians (27 BC—68AD).
Following an haute cuisine buffet lunch at the private men’s Automobile Club—open to all Vacheron Constantin invitees for the occasion, guests retired to their rooms at the Crillon hotel where, notably, Lebanese architect Aline Asmar d’Amman collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld to renovate its most exquisite suites. After changing into gowns and black tie, guests reconvened at the Louvre—again exceptionally void of people save for a quartet playing mystical music composed for the evening. After walking through the grand courtyard, past flag bearers, guests entered the I. M. Pei.-designed pyramid and descended for a dinner prepared by three-starred Michelin chef Frederic Anton.
Aligned with the theme, each of the four dishes was inspired by one of the aforementioned great civilizations. Green asparagus, poutargue, candied lemon, virgin olive oil with elder flower, and caviar was a nod to Egypt. Seabass, fennel salad, mariniere sauce, and truffle savings was inspired by Greece; Bresse rousted poultry, Roman style artichokes, curry powder and greasy juice pointed to the Roman empire; while honey, light mousse, crunchy sugar, grenade sherbet, and raspberry coulis was inspired by Persia. Adding heightened drama to the soirée, each dish was preceded by a musical highlight also touching on one of the four civilizations. After dinner was served, a curtain dropped, and a full orchestra revealed itself to the enchanted crowd. The Swiss maison offered a gala evening very much aligned with its ethos of niche and authenticity; undeniably, this night was one of not many.

A closer look at the inspiration and processes behind the four new timepieces:

The Buste d’ Auguste looks back at th Roman Empire of the Julio-Claudians (27 BC – 68 AD). Photo: Courtesy Vacheron Constantin
The Ancient Egyptian Empire (2035-1680 BC) is honored with a timepiece that depicts the Grand sphinx de Tanis. Photo: Courtesy Vacheron Constantin
The vibrant art of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids (559 – 330 BC) comes to life via the Lion de Darius. ​Photo: Courtesy Vacheron Constantin
As a tribute to Hellenistic Greece of the Antigonid dynasty (277 – 168 BC), Vacheron Constantin presents the Victoire de Samothrace ​. Photo: Courtesy Vacheron Constantin

Gucci Celebrates 50 Years of Timekeeping With Second High Watchmaking Collection

Gucci Celebrates 50 Years of Timekeeping With Second High Watchmaking Collection

GENEVA — For Gucci, let the good times roll — again.After celebrating its centennial with its first high watchmaking collection, the Florentine fashion house is marking 50 years of Swiss-made timepieces with a second iteration, presented this week as the Gucci Wonderland, a fun fair of horological creations.
“Half a century ago, in 1972, Gucci Timepieces presented the world with a new horological design proposition — watches combining unparalleled Swiss technical know-how with the best in Italian design,” wrote president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri in an email to WWD.
In keeping with the idea that “the world of Alessandro Michele is a world of wonders,” a fun fair theme runs through this “kaleidoscopic universe where refined complications shine alongside rainbow-like gems and celestial wonders” in which “each watch is as thrilling as a roller coaster ride,” according to the executive.

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Among the highlights of this anniversary lineup are the Gucci 25H Skeleton Tourbillon, a fully recycled-gold piece with a slimline 8mm case and see-through dial, which reveals a new flying tourbillon caliber; the G-Timeless Planetarium, featuring a rotating halo of 12 princess-cut gem stones; two variations of the transparent cushion-shaped jumping hour Grip Sapphire timepiece, and the G-Timeless Moonlight, with a natural meteorite dial and the “Dancing Hours” movement that follows the 29.5 day moon cycle and will only need adjusting every 360 years.

The Gucci high watchmaking timepieces.
Courtesy of Gucci

But as technically complex as they are, it’s a sense of delight that the brand intends with these colorful designs. “When you have three kids, like I do, you end up reading to them ‘Alice in Wonderland’ quite a lot: in the beautiful confusion of the book, time is always magic,” Bizzarri continued.
To extend the journey for those in need of a fresher course on the past five decades, an exhibition highlights some of the house’s memorable pieces, from watch diaries from the 1950s and handbag timekeepers from the 1960s, to semiprecious stone bangle watches from the 1970s and futuristic-looking steel models from the 1990s.
Other highlights will include fine jewelry designs, including the Link to Love series of rings set with baguette-cut green tourmalines and rubellites; the Gucci Flora rose gold necklace, set with white diamonds, and the Interlocking G design, this time featuring princess-cut blue topazes.

15 New Timepieces That Combine Meticulous Craftsmanship with Style

15 New Timepieces That Combine Meticulous Craftsmanship with Style

In the world of luxury watches, there’s plenty to get excited about. The new novelties from houses like Chaumet, Chanel, Cartier, and Boucheron combine meticulous craftsmanship and impeccable style for pieces that are a cut above the rest. From Chopard’s Happy Sport The First to Gem Dior, the watches feature brilliant diamonds and iridescent mother of pearl.
From left: Chanel, Valentino, Giorgio Armani
A beautifully crafted timepiece pairs particularly well with SS21’s exquisitely tailored haute couture offerings – think chic suiting and dresses courtesy of Chanel and Giorgio Armani.
Click through the gallery above for our edit of some of the best new luxury timepieces.
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Holding image: Federal Studio/Courtesy of Chopard

You Will Want to Treasure These Jacob & Co. Jewelry Pieces and Watches Forever

You Will Want to Treasure These Jacob & Co. Jewelry Pieces and Watches Forever

Photo: Courtesy of Jacob & Co.
Captivating the world of jewelry and watchmaking for more than 30 years, Jacob & Co. continues to demonstrate exquisite craftsmanship with every new collection. Starting off exclusively in high jewelry, the New York-based brand has built an empire that thrives on innovative design. The brand is known for its collaboration with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry like Virgil Abloh, brands like Supreme and Bugatti, as well as professional footballer Leon Messi. Jacob & Co. is also one of the few luxury brands that creates a special line of jewelry for Ramadan.

For its latest collection, Jacob & Co. offers timepieces meticulously set with gems. Mastering the flying tourbillon mechanism, the Caviar Flying Tourbillon Collection combines high jewelry design with sophisticated watchmaking. The timepieces feature dials set with gemstones, the vibrant colors behind each case inspired by the rich translucence of caviar. The Brilliant Flying Tourbillon Arlequino also features gem-setting artistry and high horology, while the Brilliant Deco is an elegant watch in 18ct gold and diamonds.

Capturing the essence of nature, the Papillon Collection blends the elegance of butterflies with an array of stones in the form of earrings. They dazzle with green topaz, tangerine citrine, and white diamonds. Emulating the deep greenery of nature, the Colombian emerald sapphire diamond ring coupled with emerald and diamond drop earrings create a breathtaking ensemble. Inspired by coastal villages in the South of France, the yellow diamond Riviera necklace and ring sparkle with brilliant-cut white diamonds set in 18ct yellow gold. Featuring more than 100ct of morganite, a stone symbolic of “divine love,” Jacob and Co.’s Morganite earrings are designed for every romantic.
Jacob & Co. jewelry and watches are available at the brand’s boutique at The Dubai Mall and on Ounass.com
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Exclusive: Cara Delevingne Models Dior Jewellery’s Latest Collection Made of Natural Minerals

Exclusive: Cara Delevingne Models Dior Jewellery’s Latest Collection Made of Natural Minerals

Cara Delevingne for Gem Dior. Courtesy of Dior Jewelry

Cara Delevingne is the star of Dior Jewellery’s latest campaign for its new Gem Dior collection. Designed by Victoire de Castellane, Gem Dior 2021 marks the first time for the creative director to create a collection of watches and jewelry together. The line is made up of seven watches and 11 pieces of jewelry featuring various gemstones and minerals in an abstract form. Delevingne, who is the face of Dior Jewellery, as well as its muse, models the stunning new pieces against clean, gem-toned backdrops.

In an amalgamation of nature and couture, the collection is inspired by natural minerals and the manner in which Christian Dior would pin fabric swatches for his haute couture creations on sheets of paper. The result? Pieces in yellow, rose, and white gold punctuated with malachite, lapis lazuli, carnelian, pink opal, and tiger’s eye in asymmetrical shapes. “I wanted to design a collection of watches and jewelry that wasn’t figurative,” shares de Castellane. “The spirit of this collection is modern, it’s a style I would describe as abstract organic, an organized commotion that proved a true technical challenge for our ateliers.”
Courtesy of Dior Jewelry

The design signature of the collection is stacked, offset links of varying lengths featuring on claspless watches, bracelets, rings, and earrings. Some links are swapped with ones adorned with brilliant diamonds while others are set with vibrant gemstones and minerals. All of the seven watches have octagonal faces reflecting the natural shape of rough tourmaline, while the dials are also set with a gemstone or mineral, including white mother-of-pearl, onyx, lapis lazuli or malachite.
Courtesy of Dior Jewelry

The maison has also released a film showcasing the exceptional craftsmanship behind the Gem Dior collection. The craftsmen can be seen bringing the delicate gouaches created by the studio to life by shaping the metals before meticulously placing the dazzling gemstones on them.
Courtesy of Dior Jewelry

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MadaLuxe Group Gets Into Licensing

MadaLuxe Group Gets Into Licensing

MadaLuxe Group, a distributor of luxury fashion and timepieces, has formed a unit focused on acquiring the worldwide exclusive licensing rights for all fashion categories from global luxury brands.
The licensing arm will be led by Steven Barbery, who has been promoted from senior vice president of timepieces to president of licensing and timepieces, a new position at MadaLuxe. The company plans to produce and distribute the licensed products, beginning with handbags and small leather goods, and will outsource the manufacturing.
“Steven Barbery has continually proven his skill and vision by building our timepieces business to its current position as the largest distributor of luxury fashion Swiss-made watches in North America,” said Adam Freede, chief executive officer of MadaLuxe. “He has been promoted to continue leading that growth and to oversee all operations of our MadaLuxe licensing arm in addition to MadaLuxeTime.com, our full-price e-commerce channel for timepieces, which will grow into a multicategory full-line business.”

MadaLuxe is a family-run, New York and Los Angeles-based company that distributes luxury goods to off-pricers, luxury timepieces to regular-priced retailers and operates its own high-end off-price stores and web sites. The launch of the licensing arm is MadaLuxe’s most recent expansion move. In September, the company launched SLS Journey, an investment arm led by the group’s cofounder, Sandy Sholl. The investment division focuses on emerging companies at the intersection of wellness, beauty, fashion and technology.
Barbery joined MadaLuxe in 2017 to establish a watch division when the company acquired the exclusive distribution rights for Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versus Versace watches. He created a distribution strategy that paralleled the parent brands’ strategies and expanded distribution into Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and various fine and luxury watch stores. In 2019, MadaLuxe acquired the North America distribution rights for Fendi timepieces.
Barbery most recently served as vice president of luxury brands at Fossil Inc. Before that, he served as Fossil’s vice president of retail sales for North America.

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