It almost feels like yesterday since last year's SIHH. I will be off tomorrow to visits the years first show and in a week from know you will have my thoughts (for what they are worth) on this blog.
There is no doubt in my mind that this year's Fair will be interesting, not from a horological point of view, but rather to see how the sector has reacted to these last years of "complicated" sales. From the first view at the pre-Fair news, the Tourbillon as a means of generating hype and fast cash is indeed dead. Thank god for that. All those years lost in developing ultra complicated and expensive tourbillons while not really doing much on the lower end of the watch spectrum has simply resulted in diminishing the worth of the lower-end and mid-range watches on the price list. Many resources spend and time lost making 200k watches and developments that in most cases will never see the light on regular production models despite claims like; "... we will install this revolutionary escapement in over 80% of our watches regardless of their price range by the end of 2011...." Well, the cited escapement is today only available on a watch in the 200K range. Looks like the intention to upgrade all their movements will not be, at least for now.
The second "cancer" that is slowly eating away at the industry are of course senseless Limited Editions. There is nothing wrong with Limited Edition yet all within measure and quantity. By that I mean that very few should be made and very few editions should see the light. If this is not carefully revised the sales or regular production/collection items will be increasingly harder if not impossible. Incidentally several brands are already taking steps towards ending this nonsense, or at least this is what they have been saying for the last six months. We will know next week if this is so.
Well, I hope that this years SIHH and Time Exhibition shows are not as "grim" as last year. In any case I will keep you posted once I return.