I apologise if you think you have recently read the headliner before. Maybe because you recently read an article or press review of the new Piaget Polo S. A new watch that is named precisely that: The Game Changer. But what is a game changer in the watch world? Well, Piaget calls their new Polo S a game changer. Not only because it is their first watch of steel in decades. But also because the Polo S is priced very compatible compared to…well, pretty much any watch from Piaget the last ten years or so.
I guess you have heard it already. The Swiss watch exports are suffering. Hong Kong and Macau are paralyzed and the Swiss manufacturers are stunned by export numbers that are as low as they were in midst of the financial crisis in 2009. The novelties on offer at Basel World 2016 did reflect on the slump and several of the luxury watch brands offered more steel watches that before.
A paralysed Russian currency, record low oil prices and the endless wars in the Middle East. All this and other world problems seem to not really bother any of the watch brands presented on the luxurious Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. Champagne was poured, smiles were big and parties were held for the carefully selected members of the world press and retailers.
Recently, it has been said and read that products that flash the makers' logo in big fonts and repeatedly on their products are facing a grim future. A new generation of influential shoppers seems to have had enough walking around like human billboards - which for certain brands sounds like bad news. But not for the makers of really iconic products. The Hermès Birken bag is easily recognized metres away, but would anyone recognise a Louis Vuitton bag without the LV-logos plastered all over it?
Smartwatches command acres of news these days. Die-hard collectors of traditional watches say no, open-minded collectors of fine timepieces would consider wearing them on the other wrist, and kids love them. Personally I am somewhere in the middle. But you will not see me in a sleeping bag outside the local Apple store with the first movers and tech bloggers, once the Apple smartwatch is ready for sales in my part of the world.