• Swiss watch exports for 2007 should increase 9 to 10 percent, “which can be considered extraordinary,” predicted Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH, in an interview with a Swiss paper in December. He said 2006 was “an excellent year [and a] record year in terms of value [of exports].” He expected the total value of the 2006 exports to top 13 billion francs (about $10.7 billion).

  • Award-winning luxury brand DeWittin January moved its Swiss operations from Vandoeuvres, Switzerland, to Vernier, near the Geneva airport. The new facility has five times the space of the old one and will allow the watchmaker to “accommodate a steady momentum of growth,” it says. There will also be a significant increase in watchmaking staff. The company had been in Vandoeuvres since it was begun in 2003 by watchmaker Jérôme de Witt.

  • Swiss luxury brand Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest watchmaker, held a special benefit concert in the presence of Queen Sophie of Spain in Madrid recently to aid the Queen’s Alzheimer’s Foundation. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra played, directed by the young Spanish conductor Inma Shara. More than 400 guests attended, including Spain’s minister of education, Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, Princess Miriam of Hungary, fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, and members of the Spanish royal family. At a cocktail party afterward, guests viewed the timepieces of Vacheron Constantin’s Platinum Excellence Collection as well as a selection of its historical watches.

  • Swiss haute horlogerie watch brand Jean Dunand is now represented in the United States by Luxury Watch Distribution Inc. Founded in 2006 by Steven M. Holtzman and based in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., LWD is the exclusive distributor of Jean Dunand timepieces in North, Central, and South America as well as at the Wynn Resort in Macau. Jean Dunand is jointly owned by Christophe Claret, a leading Swiss inventor and constructor of complicated movements, and Thierry Oulevay, watch designer and marketing expert. The watch brand was launched in 2005. Each Jean Dunand timepiece is a pièce unique, making the luxury brand one of the most exclusive in the watch market today. For more information, contact Luxury Watch Distribution at (570) 270-6160 or e-mail:

  • Wealthy American consumers rate the Swiss-made IWC as the most prestigious watch brand, followed closely by Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, said a new survey by the Luxury Institute, based in New York. Respondents called IWC watches “the ultimate in a watch, not garish or gaudy, [with] workmanship and quality [that] is unquestioned [and] craftsmen [who] are artisans of time itself,” said the 2007 Luxury Brand Status Index survey of luxury watches. Thirty-one upscale and luxury brands were evaluated. A nationally representative sample of American consumers, with a minimum household income of $200,000 and a minimum household net worth of $5 million, were surveyed online. The Luxury Institute is an independent research organization that focuses on the top 10 percent of America’s affluent. It surveys them on luxury brands in many categories, to measure “the value and equity of leading luxury brands to wealthy Americans.”