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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Timepiece Tuesday: A new section that focuses on new products releases, events and important issues in the world of watches


Highlights for this week are:

* Swatch to reexamine its procurement of exotic leather;
* Global market for watches and clocks expected to reach $36B;
* Audemars Piguet Sponsored Golf Team Wins Ryder Cup;
* Piaget opens boutique in London;
* Seiko marks a milestone;
* New Italian Sports Watch;
* High-tech watch for the world traveler;
* Bollywood star launches watch line


Swatch and exotic leather controversy
Swatch Group acted quickly following a Swiss Television report on the deplorable conditions associated with the procurement of exotic animal leathers, particularly in Asian countries. The world’s largest watch company said it will reexamine its exotic leather sources to ensure they meet company criteria for “acceptable social and environmental conditions.”

“The Swatch Group FEPS (Far Eastern Procurement Service) Division will immediately attempt to determine if leather from the Far East is used and, should this prove to be the case, will undertake on-site inspections of all sources,” the company said in a statement. “Products from such doubtful sources as those described by Swiss Television have no place in the Swatch Group product offering.”

Emerging Markets to Drive Growth for Timepieces
The global market for watches is forecast to reach $31.5 billion, while Clocks market is projected to touch $5.2 billion by the year 2015, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Growing demand for watches & clocks in the developing world, particularly the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and increased acceptance of luxury watches and watches with fashion statement are fueling the growth.

Europe remains the world’s largest market for watches and clocks followed by the United States, according to the report. The fastest growth is seen in Asia-Pacific region. The fastest growth product segments are in watches for under $50 and luxury watches over a $1,000. After a decline in 2009, the European and U.S. markets are expected to slowly regain lost ground, according to the report.

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Audemars Piguet Celebrates Ryder Cup Victory
The European golf team, comprised of four Audemars Piguet ambassadors— Graeme McDowell, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood (pictured from top)—has won the 2010 Ryder Cup, bringing back to Europe the prestigious trophy it lost on the other side of the Atlantic two years ago. Europe beat the American team by 14.5 points to 13.5.


Piaget opens Bond Street boutique
Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweler, Piaget opened its UK Flagship at 169 New Bond Street, London W1. The two-story store, designed by French architect, Gérard Barrau includes perpendicular horizontal and vertical lines of the showcases and furnishings, a simple coloring scheme and discretely lit wall paintings. The store displays a full range of Piaget watch and jewelry collections. It’s Piaget's 71st boutique launch worldwide and is the first stand alone Piaget boutique.


Grand Seiko 50th Anniversary Collection
Japanese watch brand Seiko will launch of a series of six limited edition timepieces to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Grand Seiko watch range. The Grand Seiko Anniversary collection includes spring drive, quartz and mechanical watches. Each timepiece features the Grand Seiko lion emblem on the dial (pictured), as well as the inscription “50th Anniversary 1960-2010.’ The spring drive and mechanical models include an 18-ct. gold lion emblem on their oscillating weights.


Parmigiani Fleurier Gets Sporty
Swiss luxury watch brand Parmigiani Fleurier has launched a sports watch in a limited series of 17 watches with a platinum case. There are 17 watches in the series because Bugatti produced 17 models of the Coupé Atalante between 1934 and 1940.

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World Time e-ink watch
This curved, ultra-thin watch from Phosphor contains electronic ink, the same technology used for e-book readers, for its curved display, which shows the time in two time zones (home and away).

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Bollywood star launches watch line
Bollywood star Salman Khan has launched a limited range of luxury watches named after his “Being Human” charitable foundation. Salman reportedly designed the 24 models himself and the money from their sale will support education and healthcare initiatives.

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