Kering announced today it will purchase haute horlogerie watchmaker Ulysse Nardin. Kering is a luxury conglomerate, with brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and watch brands Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard. This deal will open up Kering’s vast distribution network to Ulysse Nardin. On the flipside, Ulysse Nardin brings its significant technical expertise into the Kering stable.
Founded by Mr Ulysse Nardin in 1846 with its roots in the nautical world, the eponymous watchmaking house was taken over and re-launched in 1983 by Rolf W. Schnyder who transformed it into a highly profitable business in a healthy financial position. The company benefits from a very strong brand identity based on its historical expertise in marine chronometers and ultra-complication watches. Ulysse Nardin has long been one of the most innovative independent watchmakers. The brand was a pioneer in the use of cutting edge technologies and state-of-the-art materials like silicium, which today ensures that it has the in-house expertise, particularly in regulating systems, to produce its own components. Its coherent range of watches positioned in price segments that are growing and its efficient distribution network are also major assets. – See more at: http://www.kering.com/en/node/8530#sthash.ehdOHArM.dpuf
The botched roll-out (at least as far as several watch bloggers are concerned — see links below) of the Bremont BWC/01 is quite like that of the self-inflicted drama brought on by the TAG Heuer Caliber 1887 several years ago. While Perpetuelle was quite prominent in covering the TAG Heuer Calibre 1887 story years ago (go ahead, read the lavish praise heaped on me for my thorough reporting on the Caliber 1887 (comments section) ), I must say that this Bremont matter was pure deja vu that only had me putting *hand-to-forehead*.
But the distraction is certainly unfortunate for the young Bremont brand who seems to have a lot of good things going for it right now. I’m not going to hold it against them, and the good thing is that this story will soon be a thing of the past and we can all move on.
But still I am reminded that “Give Credit Where Credit is Due” is generally not a bad maxim to live by. Live and learn.
Oris and Road & Track have teamed up to send one lucky winner and their guest to the 3rd annual Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, TX. The event will take place at the beautiful Circuit of the Americas racetrack from October 31 – November 2, 2014. This extraordinary VIP experience will include:
• Two 3-Day Grandstand Seat Tickets
• Round trip airfare for two
• Hotel accommodations for three nights
• Transportation to and from the event
• $1,000 food stipend
• Tech talk and tour with the Oris team at the paddock
• Photo opportunities with the team and car
Enter to win at www.orisenthusiastsweepstakes.com for your chance to win the trip of a lifetime!!
Horology Trader, a new platform for buying and selling watches recently launched. Horology Trader is a portal to connect buyers and sellers (it does not otherwise take part in the sale of a watch) with ambitions to serve the international market. Horology Trader is UK-based and owned by Swiss WOSTEP trained and BHI watchmakers, you can read more about Founder Paul Brady (who introduced himself to me) and the other owner/operators here.
The website puts forth as one of its selling points that “there aren’t any hidden charges, commission or final selling fees EVER when listing a watch.” Of course this is not a new concept, but for a seller of a watch it can certainly be an enticing one. This applies only to individual Sellers — the site is also open to watch dealers/traders, with various subscription packages ranging from “Bronze” aka free (up to 5 listings at any one time) up to “Platinum” which allows for up to 200 watches to be listed at any one time.
This is similar to the model employed by Chrono24 and others who have buy/sell platforms — this is no surprise to founder Paul Brady who himself is a pre-owned watch dealer whom became frustrated with available options and decided to “build a better mousetrap” with Horology Trader.
As with any new venture of this sort, the challenge is customer acquisition and scaling up. Horology Trader just launched this month and they are trying to get the word out about the site. Right now the site is just starting to build up its listing inventory so if you are interested why not take a look. For buyers, there are already some interesting pieces on offer, for example this Ermenegildo Zegna-branded Girard-Perregaux caught my eye. I wish everyone at Horology Trader well in their new endeavour.