Watches: Baselworld 2012 Brings Proprietary Movements & Materials

Declarations of ­IndependenceFor stakeholders in the watch business, the mantra at this year’s Baselworld fair went something like this: “It’s a special year because we’re introducing our first in-house movement,” said Luc Perramond, CEO of La Montre Hermès, referring to the brand’s big introduction, the Dressage watch, a 9-year-old model redesigned for 2012 and fitted with a new proprietary movement, the H1837, named for the year the house was founded.Over the past century, most watch brands have assembled their timepieces using movements and parts manufactured by outside specialists. Lately, however, scores of assemblers—like Hermès—have introduced proprietary movements into their collections, designed and manufactured either in-house, in sophisticated high-tech factories, or by suppliers in whom they own a stake.Eager to prove their technical expertise to collectors

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