Luxury watchmaker Richard Mille has decided to leave the SIHH watch and jewelry exposition in Switzerland. They will display their booth and showcase products this January for the last time. It seems this is becoming too common as we just heard a month ago the Swatch group withdrawing from Baselworld. In addition to RM, Audemars Piguet will also join RM and depart after this upcoming show. In my eyes, they want to do things on a more personal level and diminish grey market discounting by only selling through their own boutiques or highly trusted authorized dealers throughout the world.
News broke out today that Movado Group based in the USA is planning to purchase the ever so popular fashion watch brand MVMT. The surprising thing is that an established group which contains brands such as Movado, EBEL , Concord, Lacoste, Hilfiger. A little background on MVMT - The brand was created by two individuals in their mid 20s out of California on a mission to provide affordable watches to millenials. They certainly have done so with sales reaching an incredible $71 Million last year combining all four quarters of the year. I do have to give it to these two, they know how to market, and reach their end customer efficiently to generate sales. Now MVMT is not what I would call a “Good Watch”. These are cheap fashion watches which are marketed through Instagram, YouTube influencers, and generally shilled everywhere. The watches themselves are the same watches made in China you can buy for around $5-$10 wholesale without branding. In other terms, they are pure junk, the designs are horrid with non functional sub dials, short hands, and just bad design. Im here to give my real thoughts on the brand unlike the other paid marketing schemes they pull. Having said all this, I do admire people who put together a plan, and execute it with outstanding result, and they have certainly outshined any other fashion brand besides Daniel Wellington. Movado is making a mistake though...this is a trend and will fade out quickly...kind of like Tomagachi’s back when I was a kid. Movado even offered extra compensation based on performance which can equal up to another 100 Million dollars for the MVMT company.
Baselworld is the place where the largest and smallest watch brands meet each year to make deals, speak with potential dealers, and exhibit their new products. Unfortunately, for the Swatch group which is the largest exhibitor at Basel will no longer be present for 2019. Swatch group owns numerous brands and sets up some quite extraordinary booths, spending millions of dollars doing this. Some popular brands include Omega, Longines, Swatch, Breguet, Blancpain. CEO Nick Hayek JR was just not seeing the excellent results that were expected at Baselworld and found a different route to go down by doing International road shows, with far better results. It is also Rumored that the new CEO of Breitling plans to leave Baselworld as well. Well, what does this mean for us watch geeks? We will not see the extensive coverage at Basel of new watches and innovative technology immediately when Basel opens its’ doors next year, and that is kind of a letdown. Instagram, blogs, and other social media definitely play a role in this departure as most releases can be seen worldwide online, in an instant. In this declining era of watch sales and new customers, I assume companies are taking caution in their spending unlike the glory days of the Swiss watchmaking industry.
Steve McQueen's Rolex Submariner reference 5513 will hit auction at well known worldwide auction house Phllips. Before I continue, let me say there is no evidence that this watch was actually a daily wear for Steve himself, but he did purchase the watch which was later given away to Janes. Janes and McQueen collaborated on many hit movies since 1958 such as The Thomas Crown Affair, and the Getaway. If we flip the watch over it does have the following words "LOREN, THE BEST DAMN STUNTMAN IN THE WORLD - STEVE". Most of us can assume by now that this watch was indeed purchased by McQueen and later gifted to his partner Janes. This still means that it actually was a watch owned by Steve himself though. If we look to previous auctions of McQueen watches, one Rolex 5512 was sold for a whopping $234,000 by Antiquorum in late 2009. The interesting part of this watch is the history and what it has actually survived. This watch was with Janes through the wildfires in California that burnt down his home, BUT under all the rubble was this submariner, still intact. The watch was then sent to Rolex for repair and refurbishing where the dial may have been replaced but nobody really knows the exact time it was. A few months later, the watch was purchased by powerhouse real estate broker Michael Eisenburg and now he will auction the watch off in October, right here in New York City at Phillips auction house for an estimated $300,000-$600,000. The hype around this watch can get intense as we saw with Paul Newman's Daytona which sold for a staggering amount last year in New York as well. We will just have to wait and see what happens, but this is certainly a watch to follow and speculations about price are already being talked about amongst the underworld of high end expensive vintage sought after Rolex watches.
Baselworld opened doors today March 21st and many new watches have been unveiled. This is one of the most exciting days for watch collectors and enthusiasts worldwide as they can strategically plan their next piece for their growing watch collection. There was some surprises with Rolex as many anticipated a “Coke” GMT, but Rolex did otherwise.
ROLEX GMT MASTER 2 “PEPSI” Stainless Steel Ref. 126710 BLRO
Yep, it is here! The crowd predicted a Coke GMT on a Jubilee but looks like we will have to be satisfied with a Pepsi GMT in a modern oyster case equipped with the new Rolex Jubilee previously seen on the new Datejust 41 watches released at Basel 2017. Although, Rolex did add a fold over safety to the jubilee which is needed on a sports watch for extra security. The original Rolex GMT Pepsi released back in 2014 was only available in solid 18K white gold and was unattainable for many, now with a steel version this gives the fans a chance to own a classic sought after vintage Rolex in a modern iteration along with modern materials. Perhaps the biggest upgrade is the addition of the new Rolex Calibre 3285 which is new to the Rolex GMT line. This movement boasts a 70 hour power reserve compared to the previous 48 seen in older GMTs. The watch also features a 5MM extension for on the fly bracelet adjustment, 100M of water resistance, a new small Rolex crown in between “Swiss” and “Made” if you look closely at the 6:00 position. The pricepoint is $9000 USD and this is sure to sell out quick and have people going nuts!
Tudor went ahead and released a Black Bay GMT “Pepsi” model similiar to the Rolex Pepsi GMT in a way. This is an all around good move for Tudor as the Rolex is certainly not in everyones budget at 9000 USD. The new Tudor Black Bay GMT features a 41MM diameter, red snowflake GMT hand, rivet style bracelet as well as other strap options. The movement is an in-house Tudor GMT calibre very similiar to the in house Black Bay Calibre but only with a GMT function added. The nice Pepsi Bezel looks very vintage in terms of aesthetic and I think it came out amazing. This watch will fly off the shelves in my opinion and offers great value for money. The price is 3400 CHF on the strap and 3700 CHF with the bracelet option.
Movement: Manufacture Caliber MT6552
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second timezone
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Frequency: 4 Hertz
Certification: COSC Chronometer