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Jason Pitsch

Wempe makes cameo on "Billions"

Jason Pitsch

This past Sunday, on Episode 4 of Season 3 of Showtime’s hit show Billions, high-end New York City jewelry store, Wempe, made a pretty significant cameo. The aggressive CIO, Taylor Amber Mason, of fictional hedge fund firm Axe Capital, who is played by Asia Kate Dillon, walks into Wempe on Fifth Avenue and purchases a $164,000 Patek Philippe Reference 5270R Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in rose gold, for full price – without even trying it on! Then in the next scene at a meeting with the primary star of the show, the founder of Axe Capital, Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), sees the 5270R on Taylor’s wrist, to which he says “nice piece!”

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Audemars Piguet's new "AP House" concept

Swiss luxury watchmaker, Audemars Piguet, has created a new retail sales concept in Hong Kong, called AP House, that’s actually a luxury apartment, decorated with the same sophisticated contemporary styling as one of their flagship mono-brand boutiques. Selling to high-end clientele in a more comfortable and less formal environment is not new, but it’s definitely a recent trend we expect to see more of as the retail landscape adapts to suit new consumer tastes and preferences. Material Good, which operates a sumptuous second floor retail store in Soho – selling Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, highly curated vintage timepieces, and jewelry – is one similar example. They are not using a residential apartment, but the interior design is more akin to a luxury home (or penthouse) than a typical brand boutique. Volume luxury watch brand IWC, which has a network of

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Jason Pitsch

Rudy Albers of Wempe reminds you to set your watches forward

Jason Pitsch

In this video, Rudy Albers, the President of Wempe US (located at 700 5th Avenue) reminds you to set your watches and clocks forward one hour at 2 am on Sunday, March 11, 2018. For regions that observe Daylight Saving Time (DST), you simply need to set your watches or clocks ahead at 2:00 am (or before you go to bed), by one hour, to 3:00 am. Sunrise and sunset will be an hour later, meaning there will be more light in the evening. Daylight Saving Time is sometimes referred to as Spring Forward, Summer Time, and Daylight Savings Time. Standard Time beings again on November 4, 2018.

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Jason Pitsch

Analog-to-Digital

Jason Pitsch

The transformation to the digital world we know today took the watch industry a very long time compared to practically any other consumer sector. Understandably so considering the industry is steeped in history that is mostly analog and is still driven by analog technology today. Much progress has been made in recent years but nevertheless one of the most glaring inefficiencies that still exists is related to selling watches online – particularly at the mid to high-end price points. That’s all changing now thanks to a number of factors such as a recent downturn in the watch business and an upturn in luxury sales online. Watch companies and retailers have finally been forced to recognize the fact that ecommerce is a viable sales solution and adapt accordingly. Let’s face it, all retail has been changed forever, largely driven by innovative

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Omega Nato Flag Straps

As the official timekeeper of the Olympics, Omega has announced a new line of nylon Nato straps that are inspired by flags of the nations competing. There are 18 countries available, plus six straps in the colors of the Olympic rings.

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Jason Pitsch

Bucherer Acquires Tourneau

Jason Pitsch

As recently as last week, I was hearing rumors that suggested Bucherer would soon acquire Tourneau. Today, those rumors came true, and Bucherer, Europe’s largest watch retailer, with 33 stores (16 in Switzerland, 10 in Germany, 1 in Vienna, 1 in Paris, and 4 in London), adds Tourneau’s 28 stores (all in the US) to their portfolio. Tourneau has been around since 1900 and similar to Bucherer was the largest watch retailer in their respective market, the United States. However, in recent years, as the business model has shifted, Tourneau has declined and so they had been looking for a suitor, presumably, for a long time. The acquisition makes sense, depending on the price of the deal, as the watch business is going through a serious period of changes right now (namely the adaptation of Ecommerce, the threat of smartwatches,

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IWC Opens Pilot's Bar "Les Aviateurs" in Geneva

Earlier this month, IWC opened the Les Aviateurs bar next to its newly opened (summer 2017) boutique on Rue du Rhône in Geneva. The decor has been designed to look like what IWC refers to as an “exclusive gentlemen’s club” with the same Pilot theme seen around the world at the Schaffhausen-based watchamker’s boutiques. The bar features IWC Pilot’s watch themed cocktails created by high-end department store Globus that has partnered with IWC for this unique retail/bar concept. “The bar was designed by IWC and gastronomy partner Globus in the hopes that it will become established as a meeting place for style-conscious gourmets from around the world. Characterized by dark wood and leather, the interior is reminiscent of the legendary gentlemen’s clubs from the 1920s and 1930s, where pilots spoke of their experiences in the air. The carefully designed furnishings

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Jason Pitsch

Omega announces E-Commerce plans ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Jason Pitsch

The inevitable roll-out of official online sales by luxury watchmakers continues. Just last Monday, likely in anticipation of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the entire weekend of condensed online selling, Omega announced their intentions to move into E-Commerce (exclusively in the United States at launch). Tourneau had actually made the announcement that they were selling Omega watches online a few days before. In addition to Tourneau, at least one other retailer, Manfredi Jewels, in Connecticut, already has Omega watches available for direct purchase online. And all authorized Omega retailers in the US are now allowed to sell online at their discretion. This is very similar to what TAG Heuer has already been doing for years – that is selling on their own site plus allowing authorized retailers to choose if they want to also sell online. With giants such as

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Black Friday: 10 Affordable Gift Ideas

Stefano Bemer Handmade Italian Watch Straps (pictured above), starting at $290. The quality of the straps is on par with the shoes of the same name that can cost upwards of $2500. No machine stitching, everything is made by hand in Italy. Only the best leathers are used – exotic materials such as sharkskin, kudu, elephant, and horse leather are available as an option. If you prefer contrast stitching, quick release spring bars, special sizes, just ask – everything is possible. These are truly bespoke watch straps of the highest quality. We hope you enjoy this curated selection of affordable gift items even if not all are discounted or watch related! Valextra Pebble-Grain Leather Watch Roll $595 Stefano Bemer Brogue Hole Pattern Card Wallets $168 Topo Designs Daypack $169 Frederique Constant Analytics Clip $99 The Wristwatch Handbook $85 Hestra Gloves

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Jason Pitsch

Stefano Bemer Bespoke Italian Shoes, Belts, and Watch Straps

Jason Pitsch

Florentine shoemaker, Stefano Bemer, started his company in 1983 “with a goal no less ambitious than creating the perfect Italian shoe.” Starting by repairing shoes, he eventually taught himself – along with workshops and shoemaking courses – the many techniques required to make fine handmade shoes, and ultimately mastered his own signature technique. After his unfortunate passing in 2012, Tommaso Melani, whose family has owned a leather handbag business, in Florence, Italy (Firenze), based in a Monastery of Santa Croce since 1950, purchased Stefano Bemer, with a goal of maintaining what the founder had built, and further expanding the business around the world. Over the summer, I had a chance to meet with Melani, at his company’s New York City flagship, located in a penthouse showroom in one of the most prestigious sections of the Upper East Side. During our

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