You could be mistaken by thinking the watch industry is in crisis. Early this year the Swatch Group announced they will no longer be exhibiting at Baselworld, which was a shock to many. As the biggest player at the event, many thought it might cause ripples in the industry. Certainly, profits are down and many smaller micro brands have decided to cease trading or have a hiatus. Other larger companies have been bought out by groups and executives are changing teams (or industries) on a musical chair basis. Another contributor is the continued success of Smartwatches and in particular Apple devices. Even interest in crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo is diminishing. However, I am still optimistic about the world of horology and am excited about the future.
In the next few months, my ‘Independent Watchmakers’ book will be released and available worldwide. As well as offerings by Patek Philippe, Greubel Forsey, Richard Mille, Louis Moinet, MB & F, Urwerk etc. there are also many smaller brands. Essentially the book celebrates the positives within the industry (minus the hype and marketing rhetoric). All the selections are based on design merit and illustrate the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the ateliers featured. Overall it was a very enjoyable project and that has really ignited my passion for exquisite horology.
Even though I now write about many other topics like architecture, technology, art, design etc. horology still has a special place in my heart. In general, 2018 has been a really productive year for the watch industry and there are many notable highlights. That is why I have compiled a list of some of my personal favourites. I have listed in alphabetical order and the selection is at different price points (in the interest of diversity).
Armin Strom Dual Time Resonance: Masterpiece 1
Franck Dubarry Crazy Wheel
Konstantin Chaykin ‘Joker’
Happy New Year.