Friday, April 17, 2015

What MONEYBALL Could Teach the Watch Industry

As we swing into the next phase of the year, JCK beckons.  Several SWATCH loyalists were cut loose during BaselWorld, and those still hunting for brands to represent will be prowling like would be pimps at the Transit Authority.

A few brands have made good decisions and are trying new things - but for too many it's the same thing, again and again, and then shock and dismay when the get the same poor result.

To quote Michael Lewis in MONEYBALL -

"The inability to envision a certain kind of person doing a certain kind of thing because you've never seen someone who looks like him do it before is not just a vice.  It's a luxury.  What begins as a failure of the imagination ends as a market inefficiency; when you rule out an entire class of people from doing a job simply by their appearance, you are less likely to find the best person for the job."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Time for Renewal is Here

Enter the Carousel -

In one of the briefer tenures experienced lately, Wolfgang Sickenberg will be moving on from Christophe Claret.

Not long on "warm and fuzzy" here is the scoop straight from the source -

Dear partners,
Mr. Christophe Claret announces that Mr. Wolfgang Sickenberg, CEO of the Christophe Claret brand, will leave the company late April 2015 to explore new managerial responsibilities within the watch industry.
Mr. Wolfgang Sickenberg has contributed to the development of the Christophe Claret brand over the last 18 months, during which time he has worked with professionalism and commitment to the development of the brand, improving global distribution, and reorganizing the company's internal structure.
On behalf of all the Christophe Claret team, Mr. Christophe Claret would like to thank Mr. Wolfgang Sickenberg for his contribution to the brand and wishes him all the best in his professional career.
Mr. Christophe Claret will take over as CEO, with Mr. Nicolas Gigaud managing commercial operations.
Christophe Claret SA

Now it is entirely possible that this was always going to be a "temp" gig and that Mr. Sickenberg was called upon to reorganize things and move on.  And it also might be that he has been lured somewhere else even more "notable" - so we shall wait and we shall see.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A New Reference for the Instrument DTE

That's Double Tourbillon Escapement ; )  A limited edition of 28 pieces

Courtesy of Arnold & Son
This is the latest from Arnold & Son.  Dual tourbillons and a dual time function.  

Each time zone indicator offers both hours and minutes, and they can be sent independently of each other with two separate crowns located at 8 o'clock and 2 o'clock.  90 hours of power reserve are ensured by the double barrels of the watch.  The two mainsprings are wound using the 2 o'clock crown.

Each of the watches two dials are of a silver Opaline, one at 12 o'clock, the other at 6 o'clock with blued hour and minute hands.  The escapements are decorated with vertical Côtes de Genève stripes that are plate treated in NAC grey.

The watch itself measures 43.5 mm in diameter and is of 18-carat with gold, the crystals are sapphire front and back to reveal the movement.

Courtesy of Arnold & Son
Here are the specifics -


Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical double tourbillon movement, hand-wound, 42 jewels, diameter 37.3 mm, thickness 8.35 mm, power reserve 90 h, double barrel, 21,600 vibrations/h


local hours and minutes, GMT hours and minutes, double tourbillon

Movement decoration:

nickel-silver movement, NAC grey treated with superlative Haute
Horlogerie finishing: hand-chamfered bridges and polished edges,
fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, plate dial
side with Côtes de Genève, circular satin-finished wheels with
hand-chamfered and polished edges, screws with bevelled and
mirror-polished heads
Tourbillon: 18-carat white gold bridges, satin-finished and mirror-
polished surfaces with hand-chamfered and polished edges
Hand-chamfered and mirror-polished tourbillon cages


silvery Opaline


18-carat white gold, diameter 43.5 mm, cambered sapphire with anti- reflective coating on both sides, see-through sapphire case back, water-resistant to 30 m 


Hand-stitched black or brown alligator leather

Limited edition: 

28 timepieces



Monday, April 13, 2015

And some Feedback from a Reader

As we believe in fair and equal time, this comment came in this morning.  The grammar's a bit hinky and it reads as if it came from Tag Heur (or someone working there) but anyway, in the interest of an
exchange of ideas, here it is -

TH doesn't not sign Mr. Lin due to Linsanity but for the toughness Mr. Lin displays when dealing with some many basketball irrelevant stuffs that other big names don't have. "Don't crack under pressure" is the message TH tries to deliver but not "basketball superstar".

I'm not exactly sure what "many basketball irrelevant stuffs" means exactly, but if we're talking about not "cracking under pressure" then I'm afraid the PR team at Tag Heuer are about a few years late.  As I said in my earlier post, the time when Mr. Lin was NOT cracking under pressure was when he was with the Knicks, and for a heartbeat with the Rockets.  On an extremely inept Los Angeles Lakers team he is average.  I am sorry if that seems mean, but put in another context - he is NOT the basketball equivalent of Ronaldo.  And given his own coaches opinion, I do not get the sense that Mr. Lin is the stuff that typical Tag Heuer marketing plans are made of.  Sorry to sound mean, but I'm calling bullshit.  Mr. Lin started to "crack" as soon as he was let go by the Knicks.  

Or to put it another way - Ball Don't Lie.

The Classico Kruzenshtern

From Ulysse Nardin -

Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin
Joining the ever-expanding fleet of nautical themed, enameled dial Classico watches this is the latest offering - the  Classico Kruzenshtern.

And here are the particulars -

Limited Edition to 30 pieces, available in white or rose gold.
The movement is UN's 815 which is self-winding and certified as a chronometer from our old friends at the COSC.  The case measures 40 mm in diameter, and is water resistant to 50 meters should you be unfortunate enough to fall in the water while wearing it.  

The big point of this watch is the enamel dial which Ulysse Nardin describes as - Enamel cloisonné, "Kruzenshtern" motif.