Welcome to our dedicated coverage of
High Speed Footage of Blancpain’s High Powered Lamborghini Gallardo
by Kyle Stults on July 31, 2009
Pinit

570 horsepower and 398 lb/ft torque = over 186 mph = AWESOME!

For the third Super Trofeo competition, Blancpain brought its high-speed Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium. Blancpain (title sponsor of the series) President and CEO Marc A. Hayek, racing in the company of co-driver Peter Kox from The Netherlands took third place in the 1st race of this leg.

Here at First In Watches we think pictures are nice, but video is nicer – and so we turned to our friends and partner TheTimeTV.com for their super-sweet video production of the event – which puts you behind the VIP tents and then right in the middle of the high horsepower action!  $20 if you can avoid wincing when you see a couple of these super-sweet Lambo’s sideswipe the wall and spin out!!

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Next up?  The fourth of the six competitions scheduled for 2009 will take place on the Silverstone racing track in UK on August 15th.  Stay tuned!

Battle for the North Sea: Rolex vs. Oris
by Kyle Stults on July 30, 2009
Pinit

Advantage? You decide (leave a comment below)

Check it out – a Rolex DEEPSEA, and the new Oris ProDiver, both at work in the North Sea! I am pretty sure these are two separate occasions, or else we might have seen the clash of these 2 titans unfold before our very eyes :-)

First, here is a video of what purports to be “The First Rolex deepsea to undergo an operational commercial saturation dive. 2000 hrs gmt 25 Nov 2008 from dive support vessel Technip Wellservicer working for British Petroleum. Working depth 125 Meters North Sea”  WARNING: aside from having a Rolex DEEPSEA in it, this movie is extremely boring. Even the footage in which the diver shows off his Rolex (I think that is an official “Rolex #1” diver’s hand signal, right?) is rather lackluster – so just watch between minutes 1:00 and 2:00 - And use your imagination people, this is the North Sea they’re in!

Next we have the new Oris Pro Diver, as worn by Oris “Ambassador” (a perfectly fitting description of this rugged looking fellow) Roman Frischknecht. In these few pictures, Roman is 200km of the north east coast of Scotland – in the 10 degree North Sea – at work as an underwater welder. You can see the massive size of the ProDiver -51mm- but it is probably surprisingly light as it is made of Titanium metal.

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There is also a video by Oris – a bit more interesting than the Rolex production above, but you’ll have to visit the Oris website to view it (click here to watch).

Tale of the Tape

Rolex DEEPSEA Oris ProDiver
Case:  43mm 904L steel

Water resistance:  3,900 meters

Case: 51mm Titanium case

Water resistance: 1,000 meters

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LVMH 1H’09 Watches Review (TAG, Hublot, Zenith)
by Kyle Stults on July 29, 2009
Pinit

Challenging Environment for LVMH Watches; Outlook Still Murky as Consumer Demand Remains Uncertain and Retail De-Stocking Continues

LVMH, a world leader in luxury goods, recently reported its results for the first half of 2009.  In keeping our savvy readers here at First In Watches informed on all things watches (leading luxury and/or high-end watches, that is), we offer here our quick review and analysis of  LVMH’s watch division performance.

As a quick refresher, LVMH is owner of the following watch brands:  Tag Heuer, Hublot, and Zenith.  It also received very limited watch revenue contribution from its jewelry brands, Dior and Chaumet.

First let’s allow the figures to speak for themselves:

LVMH  “Watches and Jewelery” Division Results

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Ouch! LVMH attributes the sales decline primarily to destocking across the retail sector – which is not surprising as all retail has experienced this.  Softer demand is also a factor – remember, Swiss watch exports were -37% in the 1H, with the U.S. market down 57%.  Profit margins are also (and not surprisingly) being crunched.  According to Jean-Jacques Guiony, LVMH  CFO, this was in part a result of order cancellations.  Double ouch!

A closer examination of the figures indicates that some of LVMH’s brands are faring better than others.  LVMH reports (and we read between the lines):

  • Market share gain at TAG Heuer – “successful Aquaracer 500 launch; success of 40th Anniversary Monaco” (read:  although our sales are down we are doing better than our competitors)
  • Good resilience at Hublot – “success of Big Bang line; new manufacture in Nyon”  (read:  Hublot is faring much better than most in this environment; there are high hopes on Hublot’s new movement coming in 2010 (as JC Biver revealed to us in our Baselworld Interview))
  • Zenith – refocus on classic lines (read:  Zenith has completely lost its way and it’s time to get back to basics)

 The outlook for the remainder of 2009 was also very cautious – consumer deman is uncertain, and inventory de-stocking at the retail level is still stabilizing. 

If you have any thoughts of your own on LVMH watch brands, feel free to leave a comment.

Vincent Perriard Gears Up To Transform TechnoMarine
by Kyle Stults on July 29, 2009
Pinit

Question is Not If, but How Perriard & Team Will Remake The TechnoMarine Brand

TechnoMarine is not a brand that interests me.  Mid-range, sometimes tacky, fake-bling, quartz watches.  Right or wrong, that’s what I think of.

Yawn*** Blink***Yawn.      But wait, what’s this?  A new sheriff (cowboy?) rides into town?

His name is Vincent Perriard – you may know him from his former transformation of the Concord brand – and he certainly has the grand ambition and vision to do something for TechnoMarine.  But what will he do?  Surely you remember most recently the Concord C1 Quantum Gravity – a watch with Perriard’s ambitions all over it – and a watch not without some controversy for its radical concepts (love it or hate it, I think) – but a watch that seemed to boldly deliver the icing on the cake of Perriard’s swift, bold remake of Concord.  All in all, his track record speaks of great success; there was the Grand Prix of Geneva award for the C1 Tourbillon Gravity, for example!

One thing is for sure – Mr. Perriard has hinted at GUARANTEED a new era for TechnoMarine.  One of disruptive, innovative and creative watchmaking.  He tells us to “Expect the unexpected.”    He sees that the worldwide crisis brings new opportunities and promises to deliver a surprising brand positioning within the next few months.  There will be new momentum, a new mission as well as a strong vision.

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You have my attention, Mr. Perriard.  I’m most certain you don’t plan to move down market – only one way to go, and that is up, right?  For sure-this is the only way to live life!  Good luck.