Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog
2018-01-31

International watch brands seem to have their attention focused squarely on the American market. This year, for the first time ever, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) is bringing its "Watches & Wonders" exhibition to the USA. Previously held in Asia, the Watches & Wonders show will be held in conjunction with the Miami Design District and is open to the public.

More than 21 brands will be exhibiting at the Miami Design Center over the President's Day weekend (February 16-19), and visitors will be marveling at some of the recently unveiled timepieces seen at the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) earlier this month. Mind you, the watches previewed at SIHH are not yet available in the US market, and when they are, they will be featured in our showcases. For now, visitors to Watches & Wonders may be able to see and touch some of them.

In addition to showcasing the newest trends, the Watches & Wonders show is also promoting a host of exciting programs, events and speakers, who will offer interesting takes on watches, jewelry and design, in general. Expect to see pop-up structures, too, from independent brands, such as Armin Strom, Romain Jerome, Roman Gauthier, Kari Voutilainen, F.P. Journe and Ralph Lauren.

Organized in partnership with Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Miami Design District, this four-day event will run concurrently with the 30th annual Miami Yacht Show and the Miami Design District Concours exotic car show.

2018-01-17

As we mentioned last week, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is taking place in Geneva this week — with more than 30 brands showing at this spectacular by-invitation-only exhibition. The show opened officially on Monday, and is in full swing, but here we bring you an insider's look at three key trends stealing the limelight thus far, and that we can expect to see coming into the market later this summer.

Chronographs and chic, sporty watches. There is a renewed interest in split-second timing this year, and many brands are unveiling sporty, chic chronographs that can measure distances or speeds related to one or multiple events. Generally, chronographs have two pushers to operate their time-tracking functions, but we are seeing some wonderful new Monopusher (single pusher) chronographs coming to fruition that are sure to offer a sleeker appeal in a nice contrast to the bulkier, bolder sport watch.

Vintage inspirations and anniversary collections. You just can't get away from the retro styling and vintage inspirations we are seeing at this exhibition — nor would you want to. In fact, the vintage accents run the gamut from 20th century hands and stylized numerals, to silver and parchment dial colors that recall the early 1900s. Some brands are even implementing historic logos on their dials as a nod to their rich past. This year also seems to be an important one for many watch brands, some celebrating 10 years, and other celebrating centuries. Additionally, some brands are paying homage to particular lines or collections that have anniversaries in 2018.

Women's watches. We have been talking about the women's watch market as a growing segment for at least a decade now. Every year, we witness more brands unveiling timepieces geared for women — and often including automatic and mechanical movements, as well as coveted complications. Moonphase and calendar watches remain a favorite for women, but this year we are witnessing a few more complexities, including tourbillons and repeaters. Make no mistake, though, there are still a grand number of women's decorative watches — sporting three-hands and diamonds or other designs — making their way to the forefront.  And, for women, color will be key this year.

We will bring you more in-depth news and product reports from the brands after the show concludes.

2018-01-10

With the new year upon us, we breathlessly anticipate a series of world-class watch exhibitions, including what promises to be one of the best shows of 2018: Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Opening on Monday, January 15, and running through Friday, January 19, this by-invitation-only Geneva watch exhibition is always packed with surprises.

This year, 30+ brands will showcase their newest timepieces at the Geneva Pal Expo space. This includes all of the Richemont brands, as well as Hermes, Audemars Piguet, Parmigiani Fleurier and a host of 17 independent watch brands. Each of these companies will unveil watches that they have spent years working on. For a fine watch to get from concept and design to development can take anywhere from a couple of years to 10, depending on the brand and the complexity of the watch. These designs introduced at SIHH are the ones that will grace our wrists for the coming year.

In addition to the brands exhibiting at the SIHH, a host of others will be showing their latest designs at different venues throughout the city of Geneva, with some independents up in the watchmaking cantons also opening their doors. A veritable Geneva watch week, this promises to be an exciting time, and we look forward to bringing you news of the latest watches from the brands we carry. Stay tuned.

2018-01-03

Welcome to the new year. We expect it to be an exciting one in the world of watches, so this is a good time to get started planning your newest watch wardrobe. Yes, that's right, a watch wardrobe. If you haven't already begun paying close attention to the watch you wear, this is a good time. Watches make a great statement about you and your interests. Lucky for us, this year promises to be a good one — especially since we see so many watch brands jumping on the best colors of the season. Let's face it, color is the ultimate expression of creativity and attitude.

The Pantone Color Institute recently issued its color trends for the winter season — which began late in December and runs through the next few months. The most prominent color on the list — not just for winter but for all of 2018 — is the divine Ultra Violet, Pantone Color number 18-3838. According to the execs at Pantone, this is an optimistic and empowering color — with a hint of rebellion in it.

Additionally, light, bright and intense colors — often with a pearlized or translucent look — come into play. These include celery or leafy greens (an extension of Pantone's Greenery color of 2017), bright yellow, rose, pink and berry hues, and a bit of blue. Black and gold continue to be strong and metallics are still important, but in a more neutral tone (taupe, almond, white) this winter.

So, when planning your watch wardrobe, take a look at the many different colored straps, dial accent colors and even yellow gold-and-black combinations on the market. We are sure you will find the right look to help you battle the winter doldrums.

Credits: PHOTOS COURTESY OF PANTONE COLOR INSTITUTE.

2017-12-27

As you enjoy the festive season and anticipate your New Year's celebrations, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays. May the new year ring in good health, success and happiness for each and every one of you and for those you love.

We look forward to a new and exciting year, as well. For those who are lovers of watches like we are, rest assured that in the new year, we will be bringing you a host of exciting new watches from all the brands we carry. Some of those pieces have been years in the making and are highly technical, while others are all about style and design. From the sporty to the chic, the new year will a very special time.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Joyful New Year!

2017-12-14

There is definitely truth in the statement, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” That’s why watchmakers offer so many variations on diamond timepieces. The gemstones appear in many forms, from the subtly understated to the fully embellished. Diamond watches can be found at any price range — thanks to the variety of diamonds used in timepieces — and are offered today in gold and platinum lines, as well as those crafted in steel, titanium and high-tech materials.

For those who like a discreet shimmer, take a look at watches that simply have diamond markers on the dial. These stones are usually set into the dial replacing just the key numbers (12,3,6,9) or all numbers.

Want something more than a shine on the dial? Many watch brands offer timepieces with diamond bezels, as well, that surround the dial and gleam brightly. These pieces easily go from day to night, without looking overly "decked out" for work. Generally, diamonds set into bezels are round brilliant-cut stone positioned closely together so that no metal shows through. Some higher-end brands also offer bezels with baguette-cut diamonds, but these are always more expensive.

In fact, there are a host of different types of settings used in watchmaking, and some brands have even created their own settings. The most-used settings, though, are invisible (no metal showing), pavé (a fully pavéd look), channel (perfect rows of square or rectangular gems) and snow setting (where the stones seem to be set randomly, but are actually complex in their arrangements).

Looking to dress to the nines, many luxury timepieces offer dazzling diamond watches that feature complete pavé diamond dials, diamond bezels, even diamond cases and bracelets. Sometimes they mix in a few colored gemstones for added appeal. There is something for everyone, it is just a matter of "glitz" and budget. There are even diamond-adorned watches for men. Stop in any time to see our selection of diamond-adorned watches.

2017-12-05

While we are all for buying new watches, sometimes owning a little piece of Americana can be thrilling. If you are so inclined, this Thursday at Christie’s “An Evening of Exceptional Watches” auction in New York City, an array of pretty impressive watches are going up for sale. The auction has a segment devoted to American icons, and among the featured items are watches belonging to legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio and to pioneer female flyer, Amelia Earhart. There is also a watch up for sale that once belonged to jazz musician Billie Holiday.

The Joe DiMaggio watch is a Patek Philippe (Reference 130) timepiece that the baseball player bought in 1948. It is an 18-karat yellow gold chronograph, Lot 5 in the auction. The watch is signed “Patek Philippe & Co., Genève, Ref. 130, Movement No. 867’276, Case No. 653’346, Manufactured in 1947." It is accompanied by an original strap, a confirmation from the brand’s archives of the purchase date (December 12, 1948), and a receipt from the last time the watch was sold at auction (May 2006). The estimates on this manual-wind watch: $150,000 to $300,000.

For slightly less, one may want to look at Lot 9. This is an unusual Cresarrow Watch Co. silver travel watch that belonged to Amelia Earhart. Documentation says the manual-wind watch that can double as a small table clock was created circa 1932 and sold by Tiffany & Co. The outer case is silver and the back is engraved: “To Amelia, In Sincere Admiration, Amy.” It is being offered with the original presentation box and three original photos of Earhart. The lot is expected to fetch between $60,000 and $120,000.

Alternatively, stop in our store anytime to invest in a new timepiece and start a legacy of your own.

2017-11-28

The Fall Geneva watch auctions held earlier this month by Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, have come to a close with the tally totaling $24,081,105. The back-to-back auctions on November 11 and 12 netted the highest result for any of the auction houses this season.

One entire day was devoted to the "Heuer Parade: The Crosthwaite & Gavin Collection." The thematic auction dedicated to Heuer (of TAG Heuer) saw 42 lots come up for sale.

A reunion of sorts for influential Heuer collectors from around the world, the "Heuer Parade" witnessed the sale of every single lot. The sale exceeded the estimate of $1.1 million and accomplished just under $1.5 million. It was a rare "perfect sale," with 100 percent of the lots selling and 100 percent-plus of the estimated value achieved.

Five of the lots sold for more than $50,000 each. At the close of the auction, the last watch to sell was a special TAG Heuer Autavia charity watch created for Jack Heuer's 85th birthday. It sold for $37,500 and all of the proceeds went to the Save the Children charity.

The second  auction held during the two days was the Geneva Watch Auction: SIX, with 151 of the 153 lots being sold, and achieving 99 percent by value. The auction totaled $22.624 million. Patek Phllippe was, as usual, at the top of the earnings with two lots selling for more than $2 million each. Another highlight was an Omega Tourbillon wristwatch that broke the world record for any Omega sold at auction: $1.434 million.

Other interesting standouts included a Vacheron Constantin Ref. 43045 rare limited-edition perpetual calendar watch with moon phase that sold for higher than its estimate at $57,500, and an Audemars Piguet rare stainless steel watch from 1974 that sold for double its estimate at $50,000.

According to Aurel Bacs of Phillips, the interest in pre-owned, vintage watches and buying at auction continues to grow — attesting to the value of investing in new timepieces for future sale.

2017-11-22

With Black Friday just a few days away, you may be getting ready to sprint out to the stores to make some purchases. However, before you start shopping, we would like to bring to your attention three important things...

Watches make a wonderful gift. If you are planning on buying a watch, you already know this. But if you are not even thinking of a watch as a gift, this is a good time to consider it. To begin with, giving a watch is like giving the gift of time, and – better yet – it is timeless. With every glance at the wrist, he or she will remember you and the effort you put into finding the right watch to match your loved one’s personality. Also, in today’s world of experiences and narratives, you will have a story to tell when you gift a watch – about all of the things you thought of about that person when making the selection. What's more, a watch may be proudly worn for generations to come.

Consider the person before you buy. Once you have your mind set on a watch, we suggest you take some time to really think about the person you are buying for. What sort of interests or hobbies do they have? Are they sports enthusiasts, hikers, divers, swimmers, runners? Do they like cars, planes, boats? All of these answers will help guide you in the right direction when it comes to buying a watch. Sometimes a person doesn’t have any of those interests, so you may want to consider their style, taste and color preferences. Consider the person’s age, as well. Would they like a simple, easy-to-read dial, or one with some added functions and indications?

Set a budget. Before you get into the store and start your search, have an idea of just how much you want to spend. You can find a great watch for a few hundred dollars, a few thousand dollars or a few hundred thousand dollars.

While we said we were bringing you three things to think about for your holiday shopping list, we want to toss in these two tidbits:

• Be sure to buy from a reputable, authorized source for that watch so that the manufacturer’s warranty is valid.

• You don’t have to go it alone. We have a great, knowledgeable staff that can help you find the perfect gift.

2017-11-16

Every year since 2011, the Swiss watch industry has celebrated its best and brightest with the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) awards, which are designed to promote the concept of fine watchmaking. Many would refer to the GPHG awards as the red carpet of the watch industry. This year's event was held last week in Geneva, with awards given to watch brands for watchmaking excellence, innovation and more.

Exactly 72 watches competed in the final phase of the judging, with 15 earning prizes. Those winning watches will be on display this week in Dubai at the Dubai Watch Week, which is open to the public.

Here, we bring you a quick look at those top winners at this 17th award ceremony. We are proud to carry a number of these brands in our store, and we invite to you stop in any time to see the brands and watches that won.

2017 PRIZE LIST:

“Petite Aiguille” Watch Prize: Tudor, Black Bay Chrono

Sports Watch Prize: Ulysse Nardin, Marine Regatta

Men’s Watch Prize: Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Automatic

“Revival” Prize: Longines, The Longines Avigation BigEye

Ladies’ Watch Prize: Chanel, Première Camélia Skeleton

Chronograph Watch Prize: Parmigiani Fleurier, Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

Tourbillon and Escapement Watch Prize: Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton

Calendar Watch Prize: Greubel Forsey, QP à Équation

Travel Time Watch Prize: Parmigiani Fleurier, Toric Hemisphères Rétrograde

Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Vacheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

Innovation Prize: Zenith, Defy Lab

Ladies’ High-Mech Watch Prize: Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Papillon Automate

Jewellery Watch Prize: Chopard, Lotus Blanc Watch

Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: Voutilainen, Aki-No-Kure

“Aiguille d’Or” Prize: Chopard, L.U.C Full Strike

Special Jury Prize: Suzanne Rohr and Anita Porchet