CEO, Les Ambassadeurs watch retailer, Zürich
What trends are you watching?
I see two trends. One goes towards the very reduced and simple, and yet on the other hand we see demand for complications such as a mechanical alarm, chronograph and perpetual calendar, to name just a few.
Why are you at Basel?
Along with Geneva, it’s our biggest buying market. Of course we also spot upcoming trends at other fairs in Vincenza, Hong Kong and the likes, but we spend here.
What are the brands to watch?
Urwerk is coming out with some amazing novelties, MB&F is continuing to fascinate the collectors, de Bethune is just plain beautiful and Vulcain keeps developing to be an interesting alternative to well established brands. Keep an eye out for a very young brand called Ressence, very reduced, very interesting.
What are some of the most interesting developments in technology?
Who would ever have thought of diamond coated silicium, AlTiN, Zalium, and Niobium in an industry that is based on traditional values? Today’s watchmakers combine hi-tech with tradition and are thus creating very emotional products. On the other hand, it’s interesting to see all of a sudden materials used that were considered inferior, such as bronze and silver. These low tech materials give a warm and down-to-earth feeling.
Have things recovered from a pre-recession level?
In Switzerland we were in a special situation over the past couple years. We not only had a pretty stable economy but tourists from all over the world come here to buy watches – especially from Asia. We are in a good position, yes.