Switzerland has been the cradle of watch making for centuries. The fascinating surroundings of Jura Mountains and Alps have given home for the masterminds and the precise hands of horology. Company conglomerates and small manufactures are breathing the same air and sharing the same passion for timepieces. Opened in 1910 in Geneva, Picard Cadet was one of the family watch businesses that made a good name among enthusiast in the 50’s in Switzerland and later internationally. Unfortunately, the company passed away with its founder in the late 60’s and until the new Millennium Picard Cadet was only seen in vintage collections. We are witnessing the revival of the brand as they introduce new collections on GTE and on BASELWORLD in April.
On the lead picture a Picard Cadet watch with Tonneau shaped steel case and black alligator leather strap from their Ladies collection.
In fine watchmaking the expression “cool” to describe a watch is used as often as “reserved” is used for a Koenigsegg. The Quinting Street Art limited edition watches grabbed my attention at the stand immediately – they are cool! Quinting watches embed special movements, leaving the inner circle of the dial open for standing and rotating transparent sapphire discs. This architecture allows the company to create more interesting everyday pieces as well as to let the imagination fly and distill in unconventional artistic motifs on the discs. The limited Street Art Collection – most of the pieces have already sold – has been decorated with graffiti using an enamelling technique. The diamonds around the indications on the collection member Nanjing Road piece make the story even more funky.
Heritage Watch Manufactory
Another remarkable independent new brand that proudly produces a limited number of highly sophisticated watches a year, Heritage participated GTE also in 2012. And if they were there, they took the Superwatch Award of the exhibition with Tensus. The classical chronograph has a delicate movement with several fine adjustment mechanisms and with a special escapement that solves the problem of decreasing mainspring power. The Heritage Firmamentum is another master piece of the firm. It shows the Earth’s rotation around its own axis, the visible movement of the Sun and stars making it more a greatly complex observation and navigation instrument than a wrist watch. Heritage intentionally does not target a wide market, but they focus on customers who value such dedication to precision. With their new CEO, Didier Decker, I’m pretty sure they will find the proper target segment.
As one of the watchmakers well defined, the Geneva events are more for the enthusiasts and collectors, while BASELWORLD attracts the wider market and the media. This might have been a good reason why GTE looked to me more like a family get-together than a fair. That might also explain why new formations, such as Antoine Martin or Heritage as well as re-launched brands, like H. Moser & Cie or Picard Cadet come to the GTE to gain their first feedbacks on new collections from the connoisseur audience.
The articles of the series:
GTE – Luxury underground, Part 1
GTE – Luxury underground, Part 2
Photo credits: Quinting, Heritage Watch Manufactory, Loupiosity.com.
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