According to Digital Luxury Group’s WorldWatchReport, and Luxury Society, overall online interest in Haute Horlogerie – luxury — watches advanced by 16% in Q3 2014. The 18 brands tracked in this particular category now capture 16% of global online searches for luxury watches.
“We have witnessed an explosion in terms of interest and awareness on five continents,” Aurel Bacs said recently as he discussed the overall health of the Haute Horlogerie sector. “Today, awareness of fine watches has grown beyond our wildest expectations.”
Many of these watches will be exhibited at the SIHH, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Geneve, in Geneva this month.
As a tribute to Japanese culture, Van Cleef & Arpels presented Carpe Koï, a timepiece in the shape of a stunningly life-like carp. Rendered in yellow sapphires and garnets set on yellow gold, the carp rests on waves crafted of tourmalines and white diamonds, has a tail that houses the clasp mechanism, and a mouth that opens up to tell the time.Part of the house’s high jewelry collection, the Carpe Koï watch bracelet is set with a total of 8,000 colored stones and took than 3,450 hours of intricate work to complete.
Christie’s Announces Record Art Sales of £5.1bn in 2014
Christie’s has announced record global art sales for 2014 of £5.1 billion, an increase of 12% ($8.4 billion, up 17%) on 2013. According to Christie’s, the record figure is the result of an increase in activity across all geographies and particularly strong sales in the Post-War & Contemporary Art, Impressionist & Modern Art, and Jewelery departments.
Patricia Barbizet, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s said: “Christie’s sales grew by 12% during 2014 and the team has succeeded by focusing on the art and connecting it to a growing global audience. The top end of the market grew during the year as evidenced by the 48% increase in works sold above $10 million.”
In 2014 Christie’s achieved auction sales of £4.2 billion, up 10% ($6.8 billion, up 15%); Private Sales of £916.1 million, up 20% ($1.5 billion, up 26%); and eCommerce sales of £21.4 million, up 54% ($35.1 million, up 60%).
Harrods Announces World’s First Virtual Reality Property Tour Pop-Up
Along with designer handbags, high-end fashion and expensive jewelry, shoppers at London’s luxury department store Harrods can now splash out on a new home.
A pop-up shop at the famous Brompton Road store is offering shoppers the chance to buy one of the capital’s most luxurious available properties.
And like every other department in the store, customers can try before they buy, with a 3D virtual tour of the capital’s most luxurious available properties using augmented reality Oculus headset.
It will offer the finest properties available for sale and rent to the estimated 75,000 visitors who pass through the store each day.
Davos : Game On
The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland begins this week and is projected to include more than 2,500 participants from 140 countries. According to organizers, they meet to “address key issues of global importance,” in a small skiing village, replete with snow and armed guards. A compelling combination!
The attendee list for the 45th edition of the event is full of the politically famous: French President François Hollande, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi are some of the 40 heads of state and government are coming,
Jack Ma of Alibaba, Mary Barra of General Motors, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Eric Schmidt of Google are among the more than 1,500 business leaders attending.
Other names include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and musician Pharrell Williams.
Why Pharrell? A Live Earth music event to demand action on climate change will be held on June 18 across seven continents, including Antarctica, former US vice-president Al Gore and pop star Pharrell Williams announced on Wednesday. Seven concerts will be held in cities across the world, including Paris and New York in what will be the largest event of its type ever staged, Mr. Gore said.
The theme is “The New Global Context. ” WEF founder Klaus Schwab said recently, he hopes “The World Economic Forum serves the international community as a platform for public-private cooperation. Such cooperation, to address the challenges we all face, is more vital than ever before. But it requires mutual trust. My hope is that the annual meeting serves as the starting point for a renaissance of global trust.”
Some 280 conference sessions will discuss topics around four themes: crisis and cooperation, growth and stability, innovation and industry and society and security.
Hilton Paris Opera Hotel Opens After A $50M Renovation
Hilton Hotels & Resorts announced this week that Hilton Paris Opera has officially opened, following the extensive renovation of one of Paris’s most historic grand hotels.
Located in the heart of the Right Bank’s Opera district, a short distance from the Champs-Elysées and French boutique shopping experiences at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann, the hotel was originally the vision of architect Juste Lisch. Having first opened in 1889 to welcome visitors of the Exposition Universelle, the hotel has undergone a $50M refurbishment.
This historical centerpiece of the hotel is the majestic Le Grand Salon, which, along with 268 guest rooms and suites, several bars and restaurants, plus meeting and event space have all been transformed under the close supervision of design firm Richmond International.
Highlights of the property include the elegantly appointed 900 square-foot Maria Callas Suite, the hotel’s master suite.
Hilton Paris Opera offers a selection of other suites, 29 in total, some with private French balconies.
Luxury Society disclosed their major 2015 trends predictions recently. Each is fascinating and will be worth watching as the year progresses:
1. Travel retail will be a hotbed of new luxury goods investment
Luxury brand owners are cottoning on that airports are places where affluent tourists have time on their hands (between clearing security and boarding planes). As a result, we will see a big increase in airport retail investment, especially in the designer apparel and luxury accessories categories.
2.There will be strong new investment in high-end “smart fashion”
Innovative wearable technology is a good way to get people talking about a brand, and is trendy to boot. We expect to see a lot more of it in the luxury goods market in 2015.
3. There will be a new surge in digital innovation in luxury goods
From virtual stores to live streaming of fashion shows, luxury brands will drive up investment in digital technology. The e-commerce functionality of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook will become much higher profile.
4.Internet sales of luxury goods will generate their strongest annual growth ever
The number of people shopping online is soaring by the month, and affordable luxury goods will be increasingly on their radar. The over-60s are the fastest-growing demographic for internet connectivity, and will be a key target of online marketing.
5.Luxury electronic gadgets will be the industry’s fastest-growing category
This will be driven by an insatiable global appetite for smart phones. Even in markets where disposable income is falling, aspirational consumers will still want to get their hands on the latest luxury gadgets. They will down trade instead in consumer goods categories where “status” credentials are low.
6.The global renaissance in whisky will continue, driving up sales of luxury spirits
US period dramas Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire have made whisky “cool” among the Millennials. It is not all about Scotch, though. The big innovators have been American, Irish and Japanese whiskies. For them, the next key phase will be growth of super-premium formats.