By 2018, Bloomberg was tacking stock of a new kind of direct-to consumer watch “industry” that has been thriving outside of the traditional distribution: What’s Behind the Huge Groundswell of Small, Independent Watch Brands? (paywall). Every two weeks a new Diver or tool watch is being launched on the market. Buyers line up for the thrill and the fun, but also because even if there is a small depreciation, the scarcity and affordability of these watches makes them perfect collecting material.

Image source Watchuseek

A grassroots movement has made collectible watches more affordable than ever and it has even rejuvenated creativity amongst incumbent brands.

The analogue watch is a product category that has greatly benefited from cost reductions in the last twenty years. Firstly, expensive manufacturing technology become more affordable every 15 year or so. Production methods that were reserved to high-end watches 45 to 60 years ago are now accessible to cheaper watches as well.

Secondly, globalisation and progress in transport and communication from around the turn of the century have lowered the entry barrier for watch brands.

As a consequence, in two…


Image via Good Housekeeping

In 2015 I began answering questions about an impending doom of the luxury watch industry brought on by smartwatches on Quora.com, a knowledge sharing platform. Everyone held it as self-evident truth that smartwatch were the future of wristwear. I begged to differ, and 6 years down the road we are still waiting for this radical shift, which looks less and less likely to happen on a broader scale than the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has established its dominance over the sector (Singh, 2020), but it is not quite disruptive to succeed in selling more mass produced items than luxury…


Between 2010 and 2020, rose gold has come back with a vengeance and is now used across all the decorative Arts: architecture, furniture, fashion and jewellery. To better understand rose gold, the author invites to look at its origins, its cultural meaning and speculates about on of the possible reasons for its comeback.

WHAT IS ROSE GOLD?

Gold is called a noble metal because its atoms do practically not bind with other materials. That makes it biocompatible and untarnishable, which is perfect for objects intended to be worn in direct contact with the skin.

In its purest form, at 99.99 % or 24 karat (24/24), gold is extremely ductile: you can gently hit an ingot with a hammer and it will keep flattening and stretching without tearing.

In order to make gold less ductile, goldsmiths either add silver or copper when they melt it. Silver will make the resulting alloy look whiter, white…


Business management as it has been taught during the 20th century uses relocation as the universal solution to improving the bottom line. It only focuses on three of the five cornerstones of running a successful business:

  1. Increasing sales
  2. Improving the bottom line
  3. Giving the shareholder a good return on investment

However this picture is leaving out two other critical aspects:

4. Securing quality
5. Retaining competence

But time after time, this method has shown to create three long terms problems:

  • Firstly, premium material require qualified workers. Qualified workers are retained by creating a decent workplace and offering decent wages. When…

Compared to the competition, Apple pushes manufacturing quality to the limits. However, given the relatively short lifespan of its wearable products (measured in years as opposed to decades for traditional watches) it makes one wonder if the means are well suited to the end.

With more than 125 million units sold to date and prices ranging from USD 279 for the SE up to USD 1,399 for the Hermès in December 2020, the Apple Watch is a marvel of consumer electronics engineering. However the Cupertino company announced in June 2020 that its latest OS release watchOS 7 would officially drops support for the Series 1, which brings the life expectancy of an Apple Watch between five and seven years.

As a professional of the watch industry, I can’t help to wonder why Apple uses cutting edge metalware (which can easily last decades) on a…


On paper, the future of wristwatches would be unobtrusive tech concealed within a regular looking watch. There is the technology and there are the brands that can rally consumers, but the two haven’t been put together yet…

Imagine a watch that doesn’t require attention but is always on time whenever you pick it up, no matter how long you have left it standing still.

It always shows the correct time and date (even daylight saving time), and if you travel to another location, it notices and automatically switches to the matching time zone.

We are halfway there.

Image source Brandfield.com

The Astron from Seiko keeps itself charged via a photovoltaic cell integrated in the dial. It’s the closest thing to unobtrusive tech.

You don’t need a smartphone. You don’t need a charger. …


There has been a measurable drop in the amount of watches exported by Switzerland in 2015 (the year when the Apple watch was launched), causing many to speculate on an impact on Smartwatches on the future of traditional luxury watches.

Image source: SwissTime.ch

Even if we pretend that there has not been a Great Recession that caused a rift in most of the markets after 2007, there are two factors that are still worth taking into consideration.

Price Increase

Firstly, luxury watchmakers have been raising the price of watches. Here is a chart from a 2018 article Price Watch: Rolex Price Evolution — ATELIER DE…


I was recently asked if wrist watches were possibly becoming “useless” or “doomed”. There are several layers to the subject, but I honestly think that they are neither.

The first reason is that Consumer Electronics and Computer Science are moving so fast that they might be moving too fast for the good of smart watches.

At the moment, tech giants are focused on miniaturising a computer to put it on the wrist. The current Apple Watch has significantly more processing power than the computer that was used to send men on the moon (Your Mobile Phone vs. Apollo 11’s Guidance Computer | RealClearScience). But smartwatches themselves might become obsolete once that it becomes easy to enable always-on Internet access on wrist devices.

Moon walk, image credit NASA.

In 1980 IBM believed that the…


In the 20th century, Belgium holds the record for the longest time after universal suffrage without a formal government. The linguistic borders have been set into stone in the 1960s, and that is the root of many political disagreements in the country: over the decades, Flemish communes have seen more and more French-speakers moving in and “having the audacity” of expecting everyone to speak French with them.

BACKGROUND

For the backstory, 2,000 years ago no one in Belgium spoke neither Flemish nor French. There was a distribution of Celtic and Germanic languages.

The Romans came and left Latin, which evolved into…


If you are of a quiet temperament, if you like blending with the crowd and if you don’t mind being on the giving and sometimes on the receiving end of tax, Scandinavia is the place for you.

TEMPERAMENT

I have been living in Sweden since 2015, and prior to that I lived in Belgium, Canada, the UK, Italy and Switzerland. I could not put my finger on it until I came across Erin Meyer’s maps of cultures in terms of expressiveness and confrontation: Swedes in particular, and to a lesser extent other Nordics, are deemed to rank relatively low on expressiveness and confrontation:

If you are an introvert, or the type of person who hates to ruffle feathers, you will have a great time in the region.

If you like speaking your mind and are not afraid…

Francis Jacquerye

Luxury Industry professional, former Head of Design and Competitive Research at the Longines Watch Company

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