Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair – The eighth World Brand Piazza

The eighth World Brand Piazza

Swiss watch exports made further gains in July 2017, growing 3.6% to CHF1.7 billion as compared to the same month in 2016. This was the third consecutive month of growth for Swiss watch exports, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Swiss watch exports had been on a long and steep decline for some 21 months before achieving a recovery in March 2017 with the 7.5% growth to CHF1.59 billion as compared to the same month in 2016. Watch shipments to Hong Kong in March 2017 recorded a positive growth of 18% after 25 months of consecutive declines.

Swiss watch shipments to Hong Kong were still down by a quarter or 25.4% from January to July 2017 as compared to the same period in 2015. However, between January 2017 to July 2017 vis-à-vis the same period in 2016, Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong rose 2.9% to CHF1.4 billion. For the month of July 2017 alone, watch shipments to Hong Kong rose 16.8% to CHF204.8 million as compared to the same period in 2016. Analysts have cautioned that such data may not be entirely accurate due to seasonal effects and that inventory that has been “bought back” are not taken into account.

Nonetheless, such a positive economic backdrop for Swiss watch exports may bode well for the eighth World Brand Piazza hosted by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2017.

The eighth World Brand Piazza

World Brand Piazza entrance © Timmy Tan

Held from 5th to 9th September 2017, the World Brand Piazza has been organised by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company since 2010. It showcases important timepieces from major international brands. For the 2017 edition, the eighth show for Prince Jewellery & Watch Company, thirteen watch brands are participating: Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, Corum, DeWitt, Franck Muller, Glashutte Original, Jacob & Co., Jaquet Droz, Juvenia, Montblanc, Piaget and Zenith. With Swiss watch exports back into positive territory, thirteen may not be such an unlucky number after all.
This variant bears the strongest resemblance to the original from 1964, but with the inclusion of an inner bezel in matching gold around the coin to increase the dial diameter to a more contemporary 43mm. This in turn provided space for your business branding to be etched near 12 o’clock without altering the coin face itself, omitting the floating emblem used on the different models in this season’s Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watches lineup. The hour indices are stretched from the outer bezel into the gold interior bezel, which makes this the most despicable of this three models.The gold model is also noteworthy for utilizing 3N or 22ct yellow gold, which is unusual to get a watch case. This caliber of gold is 91.6% pure, rather than the more common 18ct tier that uses 75% gold and 25 percent alloying metals. As a result, the event of this Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watch is a richer color of yellow than most other gold watches available on the current market, but it is also significantly softer and more prone to scratching. The crown is likewise made of 22ct gold and is set with a 0.17 carat diamond. Gem-setting in this a soft metal could prove somewhat lumpy, and I’d avoid heavy use of the crown to prevent deforming the alloy and potentially losing the diamond.The hour and minute hands on this watch are thin, baton-shaped, and black lacquered, giving very good legibility without obscuring the opinion of the coin face. The fitting black alligator leather strap completes the attractive black-on-gold vintage aesthetic, and includes a more durable 18ct yellow gold tongue buckle. All 3 watches comprise a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective therapy along with a thin 7.60millimeter instance, making them well-suited for dress watch duties. The cases are ranked to 1 ATM / 10m water-resistance, so wearers should be careful to prevent any exposure to water beyond a mild sprinkle.The next model from the Corum Heritage Artisans Coin Watches lineup is the silver reference C082/03059, which features an American Silver Eagle one-dollar coin. The coin depicts a heraldic eagle with shield on the watch face and a walking Statue of Liberty on the caseback. The coin and watch case are made of 925 sterling silver, yet another odd material in watchmaking due to silver’s tendency to tarnish over time. Perhaps the sapphire crystal over the dial will provide a sufficient seal to protect against the watch face from darkening, or at least reduce the rate of oxidization sufficiently to keep it legible between providers.

The key highlights for the World Brand Piazza are unique timepieces, namely the Billionaire Tourbillon Watch that is being retailed at HKD160 million (around USD20.4 million) and the Astronomia Solar Tourbillon priced at HKD2.8 million (around USD357,800), both of which are from Jacob & Co.

Jacob & Co.’s Billionaire Tourbillon Watch features 239 emerald-cut diamonds, including one single three-carat stone, with the total weight amounting to a whopping 260 carats. The Astronomia Solar Tourbillon Watch has a 3D model simulating the Moon’s revolution around planet Earth.

The eighth World Brand Piazza

Billionaire Tourbillon Watch by Jacob & Co. © Timmy Tan

Founded in 1984 by Dr Jimmy Tang, Prince Jewellery & Watch Company’s first retail shop was located at Hankow Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong. In 2016, in the midst of all the doom and gloom facing the watch industry, especially in Hong Kong, Prince Jewellery & Watch Company had in July 2016 officially opened two new branches in the shopping hub of Yuen Long. The shops are located in Yuen Long Plaza and Yuen Long Castle Peak Road in the New Territories. Prince Jewellery & Watch Company currently has 16 branches across Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macau.

The eighth World Brand Piazza

Dr. Emily Tang and Dr. Jimmy Tang © Timmy Tan