Swiss watchmaker Frédérique Constant Genève announced a 52 percent growth in sales for the first six months of 2007. It cited a return to sales growth in North America and continuing strong growth in Western Europe, Russia, and Asia. Over the past 10 years, Frédérique Constant has had an annual growth rate of 25 percent to 30 percent. It produces 60,000 timepieces annually.
Fiftieth-anniversary limited-edition Omega Speedmasters sold for twice their estimates at a July charity auction in Germany, at Berlin’s famed KaDeWe department store. The event was organized by Antiquorum, a leading horological auctioneer. The four Speedmasters were a white gold (which sold for $63,000), a pink gold ($48,000), a yellow gold ($48,000), and a stainless-steel model ($21,000). Proceeds from the Speedmaster 50th Anniversary auction went to children’s charities.
A stainless-steel Rolex moonphase calendar wristwatch sold for $201,600, a new world record for the model, at Bonham New York’s watch auction in June. Other highlights included a Rolex 18k Oyster version of its moonphase calendar ($98,400), two 1978 versions of Rolex’s Daytona ($39,000 and $27,600), and two steel Rolex GMT models from 1959 and 1960 ($28,800 and $13,200, respectively).
Narrowstep, a leading supplier of Internet TV series, and TheTimeTV (www.thetimetv.com), a global Internet TV channel devoted to watchmaking, have posted interviews with Nicolas G. Hayek Sr., chairman of the Swatch Group. TheTimeTV offers its own reports, interviews, and films; videos provided by watch brands; and the newsmagazine 360.
Luxury watchmaker Gérald Genta, known for its complication watches, has opened its first boutique, in Paris, on Rue de la Paix , one of the city’s most prestigious shopping streets. Gérald Genta also plans to open boutiques in Geneva and Shanghai, China, before the end of 2007. Additional outposts in most of the world’s major cities will follow over the next three years.
On the Move
Some watch organizations recently changed their addresses:
Bertolucci S.A. moved from Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to Geneva. With the move, it also unveiled a new tag, based on its heritage: “Mediterranean inspiration, Swiss craftsmanship.” Bertolucci S.A., Case Postale 1113, 1211 Genève 26, Switzerland.
Maurice Lacroix North America moved its U.S. headquarters from California to New Jersey. The relocation is one of a number of changes moving the brand into the higher level of the luxury market. Maurice Lacroix North America, 401 Hackensack Ave., Hackensack, NJ 07601.
Kaiser Time Corp., a consulting company to the watch and jewelry industries, relocated its New York office this summer. Kaiser Time Inc., 149 Madison Ave., Room 710, New York, NY 10016.