Yesterday, Watches of Switzerland revealed that it was pantsed by Coronageddon. Today, Richemont – the world’s third largest luxury goods conglomerate – reported their progress. How goes the battle for A. Lange & Söhne, BAUME, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Montblanc and Watchfinder & Co.? There are two key takeaways . . .
It was my first Baselworld. Not wanting to miss anything, I arrived early. Standing in the middle of the growing crowd, all I could see was the first booth inside Hall 1: a metal-clad honeycomb structure illuminated by a warm orange glow. The name BVLGARI loomed large, the backlit logo placed high atop the other branding. When the doors opened, the crowd made a break for Bulgari, trying to get a glimpse of the record-breaking Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT . . .
I recently counseled readers to ask for a big discount on a new watch this week, before Big Brother’s banhammer came down. If you haven’t cut a deal by now, it’s too late. All the bricks and mortar watch dealers are either closed or closing. And now the good news . . .
Yes, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Am I a bad person for thinking that it’s a good time to buy a watch? Maybe so, but it’s a fact. Authorized dealers can see the writing on the wall – a sales drought like none before. And just like you and me, they need cash to pay their rent and people. So are they ready to offer [otherwise] insane discounts? Yes. Yes they are. The real question . . .