Our Sunday watch news roundup starts with Rolex’s lawsuit against laCalifornienne. Rolex was none-too-happy with the Rolex modder’s modifications. watchpro.com reports that Rolex won their suit against the husband-and-wife owners for trademark violation. Will Rolex take on the other modders, such as Wildman, Blaken and Mad Paris? Rolex’s victory may also have implications for . . .
Vortic, the Denver watchmaker locked in battle with Hamilton for “up-cycling” pocket watches into wrist watches. As we reported – and no one else – if Hamilton wins, it’s lights out for Vortic. No decision on that case yet.
TAG Heuer’s New Kid in the Block
It remains to be seen if TAG Heuer’s new $2500 Connected watch is a smartwatch too far. The job of making sure it doesn’t fall through the cracks now falls to its new CEO, 25-year-old Frederic Arnault. Bienvenue à votre troisième année dans l’entreprise, mon ami!
A Sly move? Fred’s the fourth son of luxury group LVMH founder Bernard Arnault to enter the family firm. The PR spin is that Fred’s doubling down on digital, as young people are wont to do. Maybe the silver spoon-fed whippersnapper should post more on Instagram, n’est-ce pas?
Meanwhile, Dad’s threatening to bail on LVMH’s $16.2b deal to acquire Tiffany & Co. – no doubt trying to lower the price set before Coronageddon and looting shuttered shops. Nepotism aside, I’m sure France’s richest man knows what he’s doing.
Richemont Fires HR Chief After Compensation Scandal, Italian Factories Strike
Richemont owns Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron Constantin, Officine Panerai, Piaget – to name a few members of their horological hit parade. Coronageddon whacked the group hard.
So Richemont slashed executive salaries by 20 percent and cut their annual cash bonuses by 25 percent. And increased the Senior Executive Committee’s compensation by 36 percent, to $43m. Wait. What?
Richemont’s head of Human Resources, Sophie Guieysse, arranged the pay raise for the seven-member Senior Executive Committee. The fact that the two-million-dollars-per-annum woman was on the Committee is pure coincidence. After the story broke, Ms. Guieysse fell on her sword, then cried all the way to the bank.
Businessmontres reports that unnamed Italian factories (plural) have gone on strike to protest their owners’ financial hypocrisy, disparity, greed, whatever you want to call it. And get some of that sweet high horology hay for their family. Money? It’s a gas.
Looters Empty-Handed at NY Rolex, Watches of Switzerland
The New York Post posted fake news last week, citing police claims that looters made off with $2.6m worth of Rolex from their NYC boutique. Turns out affirmative shoppers five-fingered precisely no watches, as a Rolex spokesman politely informed the Post.
The same misinformation surrounded the looting at Watches of Switzerland’s Soho digs. No watches were stolen, but the store was heavily damaged by aspiring collectors.
Bernstein Analyst – Apple Watch Could Make MORE Money
“Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi reiterated a Market Perform rating and $285.00 price target on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) on the belief that the Apple watch market opportunity could be 10x larger than it is today,” ped30.com reports, “if the company begins to offer reduced but focused functionality at a lower price point.”
Yes, well, Apple Watches outsold the entire Swiss watch industry’s annual output in the first quarter – and can’t physically produce ten times more Apple Watches without hiring the rest of China at slave wages. So thanks Toni. We’ll get back to you.
Apple Watch Rescues Arizona Man
Watch news stories about the life-saving benefits of wearing an Apple Watch – specifically its heart rate monitor and fall detection apps – are all over the net. “And who has heart attacks and dies?” Toni Sacconaghi supporters demand. “Who falls, breaks their hip and dies? Old people!”
This week, a Chandler, Arizona man’s Series 4 Apple Watch Fall Detection saved his proverbial bacon when he passed out.
“He would never have been able to provide us his location or any information on what was going on,” dispatcher Adriana Cacciola told KTAR. “He wasn’t even aware that any help was coming until we were already there.”
Funny thing: none of the dozens of news reports mention the victim’s name, age, possible pre-existing conditions or whether his condition was life-threatening. Sigh. No matter what the background, the story’s another major hit on the traditional watch’s future prospects.
John Oates Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Auctions for $6k
Despite racking-up six number one hits, depite being inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (why not Little Feat?) the musician’s timepiece only fetched six grand for MusiCares, his chosen charity.
For those of you keeping score, that’s $350 below retail. But then it was pre-owned.
More watch news next Sunday. Have a great week ahead.