Wristwatch Annual 2014: The Catalog of Producers, Prices, Models, and Specifications

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9780789211484: Wristwatch Annual 2014: The Catalog of Producers, Prices, Models, and Specifications
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The definitive guide for the collector of mechanical wristwatches, with complete information—including prices—on over 1,400 models made by more than 130 international brands

The sixteenth edition of this watch-industry mainstay features more than 1,400 of the world’s most luxurious wristwatches, providing a color photograph and complete specifications for each one. With Wristwatch Annual, collectors have a wealth of information close at hand: the book is arranged alphabetically by producer, and within each producer’s section are complete details for each watch, including price, materials, movement, special features, complications, case, dial, band, and available variations of a particular model. A glossary and pronunciation guide help acclimate the reader to the world of fine timepieces, and, for prospective buyers, the addresses of all featured producers are listed together.

The elegant photography and layout will encourage people to peruse the year’s offerings for aesthetic appeal as well as technical features. The range of styles, from classic to modern, reflects the inclusive nature of this book, which watch collectors around the world will find both a handy reference and required reading.

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About the Author:

Peter Braun is editor-in-chief of the German wristwatch magazine Armbanduhren.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpt from Wristwatch Annual 2014:

Dear Reader,

In spite of large fortunes spent on market research, the true wellspring of individual taste remains something of a mystery. First of all, it is personal and hence subject to the vagaries of upbringing and cultural and social environments. Second, it can be affected by all sorts of external factors, some controllable, like brand communication, but most uncontrollable, like the economy. This may explain why a sort of back-to-the-roots movement has been making its way through the watch industry rather than producing lots of stuff for idealized consumers, many brands have started looking carefully at their own lineage and putting out more organic pieces.

And why not? The industry as a whole is in good shape and can afford to evade the constraints of target groups.” That must be a relief after the somewhat obsequious enthusiasm for Chinese consumers who, over the past years, have become fairly cosmopolitan in their taste. Besides, the world is a big place, and there's still some horologically virgin territory to conquer.

So in Switzerland, where watchmaking accounts for many well-paying jobs, the brands have been focusing on their capacities, recruiting frantically, and coming up with plans and strategies to train a new generation of workers. In 2013, for the first time the number of people employed in the industry has topped the 1974 figure, that is, before the quartz crisis.”

But the sword of Damocles of the past recession still hangs, and that has led to a changing landscape. Some companies, like Cartier or Ulysse Nardin, continue to verticalize by increasing their portfolio of in-house movements. There is also the monobrand boutique phenomenon to enhance the customer experience and concentrate communication. Other brands are terminating models that have turned into dust collectors or closing doors or streamlining their distribution. Increasingly, groups are growing or forming for protection and synergies. And from the halls of the SIHH and GTE in January to the vast spaces of Baselworld, one hears the words classic,” conservative,” vintage,” DNA.” In terms of external communication, brands have to be careful to avoid seeming patronizing or fawning. The key may be in an observation from the past. In his Essay On Taste the eighteenth-century French writer and philosopher Montesquieu tried to describe what our soul” likes: symmetry, for one thing, because it is spared pain, it soothes it, it cuts its work in half,” and surprises for another, because the new is exciting. And, he writes elsewhere, there is the invisible charm, a natural indefinable gracefulness that we have been forced to call a je ne sais quoi.” For the watch brands, this translates as an exhortation to create and surprise and above all be authentic.

Watch Colors
The rest is a question of continuing to do quality work, avoiding corner-cutting, and setting the bar high. In digging through their attics, metaphorically speaking, watchmakers have rediscovered the potential in the socalled métiers d’art, crafts like enameling or marquetry. Some brands still overwhelm with precious stones, while others use them as subtle spices. Across the board, though, colors have been edging out the bling. From the Tondo by de Grisogono to the Artist’s Collection of Chronoswiss, passing by Baume & Mercier’s collection of straps and ArtyA’s phenomenal creative explosions, visual exuberance is on the rise. At times that means just a touch of red on a dusky background; at others it allows for striking objects priced in the four-digit segment, which has been gaining ground in our more austere times.

This edition of Wristwatch Annual, as every edition, tries to do justice to the aesthetic and technical happenings in the industry. The future comes first: Elizabeth Doerr (p. 12) gives us an expert summary of the independent scene, with such avant-garde pieces as the Type 3 from Ressence or HYT’s second model. In our A-to-Z section, you will find many old friends and some new ones. Rolex’s own Tudor has returned to the United States with its own fan club. Juvenia, too, is making a comeback in the Occident after spending time in Asia. And we welcome two outstanding independents, Christiaan van der Klaauw and Peter Speake-Marin, who joins such brands as Christophe Claret, Urwerk, Maîtres du Temps, and MB&F. U.S. brands continue to be well represented, with new selection from Kobold, RGM, and Montana.

Our resident watchmaker Bill Yao, CEO of Mk II, is back this year to explore crowns (p. 252). Watching out for your watch is the subject of the Do's and Don'ts at the end of the book (p. 374), just before the Glossary. Mavericks and Masters (p. 26) looks at some special pieces, such as a watch to save lives and, slipped in right before going to press, MB&F’s much anticipated Legacy Machine No. 2. Finally, there is more to fakes than just a low price. Wristwatch Annual would not be possible without the help of the contributors mentioned above and many others. My thanks, therefore, go to Peter Braun for his preparation of the German edition. Many thanks to Ashley Benning for meticulously proofing the English copy, catching many errors, and keeping perfect order and hundreds of files. Please note that all prices given are subject to change. Any comments or suggestions are welcome, as they will help us improve the book next year. In the meantime, enjoy reading.

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