Another mixed bag of links this week, some of them educational, others simply entertaining, all worth reading.
Interview with A. Lange & Söhne CEO Wilhelm Schmid
First up is a reasonably brief but nevertheless insightful interview with A. Lange & Söhne CEO Wilhelm Schmid, courtesy of the Horophile. The content of their chat focuses primarily on Schmid’s background in the automotive industry and to a degree cars in general – not surprising really given that it took place at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in Lake Como, Italy a few weeks ago. It is well worth a read though, even for hidden little gems like this one:
“I believe where you come from doesn’t play a role. You can be authentic as A Swiss watchmaker, just as you can as a German watchmaker. What’s important is that you do what you tell everybody you’re doing, and that you do that within your brand DNA.”
If only every brand kept that sentiment in mind when designing new watches and creating new partnerships! Head over to The Horophile to read the full article.
Withings Activité Smart Watch
Next up is a French-designed, Swiss-made Smart Watch that has been getting a lot of good press lately, and with good reason. Classically styled the Withings Activité looks the picture of simplicity on the wrist. Inside however is what the brand is calling a “Connected Movement” – a Swiss-made quartz 36.3mm movement – that automatically adjusts to local time when the wearer changes time zones. In addition there is a digital tracker and accelerometer, the recordings of which are output on the sub-dial between 4 and 5 o’clock. It’s all very intuitive and easy to read and certainly flies in the face of the current trends we’re seeing in smart watches (at least from a design perspective anyway.)
Head over to Hodinkee for the full write up.
The Swatch Group
Outside watchmaking circles it’s probably fair to say that most people don’t know (or possibly even care) that many of the world’s most famous luxury watch brands are actually owned by the same groups, despite the fact that in many cases they compete directly with each other for market share. The most well-known of these major groups are LVMH (Hublot, Zenith, Tag Heuer, etc.), Richemont (IWC, Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, etc.), Kering (Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, etc.) and of course, the mighty Swatch Group (Blancpain, Breguet, Omega, etc.) But how did this come to be the case? Well, right now over at Dream Chrono there is a great article that gives some interesting insight into this very topic, starting with the Swatch Group. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have some free time as it’s quite a fascinating story.
You can find the original article here on DreamChrono.
One-Of-A-Kind Kari Voutilainen Observatoire
It’s no secret that I am a sucker for high-end, independent watchmaking and so when I saw that our good friend SJX had got his hands on a One-Of-A-Kind Kari Voutilainen Observatoire I just knew I had to share it with you. According to Mr. SJX, the Observatoire was the first serially produced timepiece from Kari Voutilainen and really put his name on the horological map. What makes this particular piece special however is that it is possibly the only Observatoire ever made with an engraved movement. This unique piece in rose gold with a copper dial and a hand-engraved movement was made for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass back in 2009 and even has the words “Unique Piece” engraved on the caseback. Truly a thing of beauty!
Head over to Watches by SJX for all the details and lots more photos.
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain Hands On
Stephen Forsey (co-founder of Greubel Forsey) was in New York a few weeks ago and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down and have a brief chat with him. Although to be fair, it was less of a chat and more of a schooling, and one which finally helped me put my finger on why I love the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain so much. I’m not going to tell you why here though, you’re just going to have to read the original article in full for yourself to find out!
Click here to do just that.
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