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Life as Usual, Then It Isn’t: Baselworld Impacts Life Even in August!

There I was, sitting at my desk ready to write this blog for you, dear reader, planning to talk about German Excellence, Gucci and Hamilton’s newest watch placement, when Baselworld intruded.

Well, to be exact, the Swatch Group was the culprit, with the announcement that they were pulling out of the 2019 Baselworld, leaving a huge hole where their massive presence was.

Interesting enough, the Swatch Group chose to communicate this in an article in a German-language newspaper on a Sunday – a pretty under-the-radar way to do it.

I did confirm this with a friend at the Swatch Group, who was happy that he and his brand would not have to go to the big show anymore. “We do more business when we visit the markets ourselves,” he said, matter-of-factly.

I think for established brands with wide distribution, Baselworld doesn’t really make that much sense. They see all their customers anyway and have a strong presence in each of the markets. It’s the little guys I feel for, the ones that truly need the exposure that only Basel can bring.

On the upside, this will make the Las Vegas shows more important, I think, which is a good thing. Now, on to other matters.

German Excellence

You know what “Swiss Made” means when it comes to watches, and we all know what “Made in China” denotes. Did you know, however, that “Made in Germany” was originally a British label designed to disparage German-made goods?

Many German companies today use “Made in Germany” as an identifier, and a recent study states that “Made in Germany” is THE most respected “Made in” moniker. There is another, even higher designation, called Meisterkries, “Master Circle” in English, that sets truly remarkable companies apart. Companies like Leica Cameras, Nesmuk Knives, Porsche Automobiles, Steinway Pianos and… Glashütte Original timepieces.

The Meisterkreis is designed to take “Made in Germany” to the next level, focusing on the best companies in the country.

I recently went to Germany to discover the essence of German excellence, wearing a Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite, and I certainly found it. Companies like Leica Cameras, Porsche, Nesmuk Knives and, of course, Glashütte Original are standard bearers of the Made in Germany/Meisterkreis movement, emphasizing German engineering, quality, purity of design and more. After visiting these companies and seeing their operations, I have an increased appreciation for all that goes into German Made products, especially those that have a more artisanal and high-quality approach to their design and production.

Glashütte Original is on the leading edge of German excellence, focusing on its own Saxon traditions while pushing the brand into the future. Check out the cover story on Glashütte Original in this month’s Revolution, out now.

Hamilton in Jack Ryan

There’s no denying that Hamilton is THE movie brand, having appeared in over 450 movies to date. The latest? Amazon Prime Video’s highly anticipated series Jack Ryan. John Krasinski (of The Office fame) stars in this series based on Tom Clancy’s famous character. The series chronicles Ryan as a CIA analyst thrust into a dangerous field assignment for the first time. According to Hamilton, Ryan “uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.”

Throughout the show, Krasinski wears Hamilton’s Khaki Field Auto Chrono in full black on a black rubber strap.  This one-hour, eight-episode series is produced by Amazon with Paramount Television and Skydance Television, and debuts on August 31 on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime Video has more than 100 million subscribers around the world, so, Hamilton, get ready for your close-up!

Going Gucci

In the current issue of Revolution, we have a feature on the philosophy and direction of Gucci watches. In the story, the president and CEO of Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry, Piero Braga, says, “We have to talk to the new generations, ones that are not attracted by watches as a category, because they have the habit of looking at the time on other devices. It’s important to touch the emotional side of consumers, and to offer them a chance to buy according to their emotions. That’s our mission and what our watches stand for.”

One way Gucci is putting this into motion is the brand new #TimeToParr, an Instagram project that presents a portfolio of specially-commissioned work by well-known British documentary photographer Martin Parr. Parr travelled around the world shooting people and timepieces in nine locations that have been designated “Gucci Places” by the House. These all have a significance for Gucci, either as a site where events relating to the House have taken place (often where advertising campaigns have been created or staged), or where Creative Director Alessandro Michele has found inspiration. The Gucci Places featured in #TimeToParr are: Chatsworth House in Derbyshire; Bibo in Hong Kong; Waltz in Tokyo; the Biblioteca Angelica in Rome; Maison Assouline in London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Castello Sonnino in Montespertoli (Florence); the Gucci Garden in Florence; and the Dapper Dan Atelier in Harlem (New York).

The watches included in the pictures are G-Frame models, G-Timeless pieces, Gucci’s new Eryx watches and the Le Marché des Merveilles Secret Watch.

Until next time, enjoy what’s left of summer and see you in September.

About The Author: Keith Strandberg


Keith W. Strandberg ( has written about timepieces in many different publications for the past 25+ years. One of the few international journalists living in Switzerland, he has written for the trade extensively as well as for mainstream publications like Variety, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, United Airlines’ Hemispheres, Men’s Vogue, USA Today, Tennis and many more.

Read more from Keith Strandberg

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