Frédérique Constant were the first to announce and launch a Swiss smartwatch, which recently received a huge thumbs-up in a first test by our contributor Olivier Müller. Now you have the chance to win one in our latest monthly competition. As usual you just need to answer three questions on the brand.

“Tests up in the air and new collections that are down-to-earth”

Paul O'Neil

Watch brands have very recently started to reap the rewards of plans made during the good years, inaugurating new factories with improved capacity. In the case of A. Lange & Söhne it was more a question of necessity, as the previous premises were increasingly unfit for their purpose, whereas for Hublot it is more about doubling its production capacity for in-house movements. It is also an opportunity for brands to embrace more innovative and environmentally friendly solutions for power generation (geothermal energy for A. Lange & Söhne and solar panels for Hublot). I will offer a more detailed overview of the new buildings later this week. In the meantime, Olivier Müller takes a broader look at corporate social responsibility in the watch industry today.

Although two watch brands almost simultaneously announcing zero-gravity tests on their watches and movements is probably more coincidence than trend, the tests and their subjects reveal some interesting insights. There is some advanced research and exciting prospects behind them, in addition to giving young entrepreneurial CEOs the opportunity to float around briefly in weightlessness. I explain the tests and their implications in more detail tomorrow.

Watches & Wonders has brought us another fine autumnal harvest of watches, with a continuation of the recent trend to launch not just new watches, but entire collections. Within weeks we have seen the arrival of Louis Vuitton’s brand-new LV Fifty Five collection, and Bovet’s 19Thirty collection with no less than 18 different references. These two new collections are both positioned at the base of the pyramid. It’s a term that may come across as pejorative in the luxury watch industry, but it’s where the brunt of sales are made and it’s where mere mortals often find their entrance into the world of fine watchmaking. So all in all it’s good news for brands and customers alike.

Last but not least, we will review all the major launches from Watches & Wonders in more detail over the next couple of weeks and continue our GPHG round tables, sharing our thoughts this week on the Calendar and Chronograph categories.

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