Frederique Constant is among the brands that have been sold in the last few years.
The sale of Corum to Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group — formerly known as China Haidian — has been one of a handful of deals in recent years as even established Swiss watch brands have been snapped up by foreign, often Asian, buyers.In 2014, Citychamp spent 27 million pounds, $42.3 million at average exchange, for the Dreyfuss Group, best known as parent company of watchmaker Rotary. Boss Robert Dreyfus has since taken management responsibility for Eterna.Last June saw the surprise sale of Geneva-based Frédérique Constant to Citizen of Japan. Owners Peter Stas and Aletta Bax, an entrepreneurial Dutch couple who created the brand from scratch, had overseen swift expansion — to the extent of commissioning a purpose-built factory in Geneva’s watchmaking heart of Plan-les-Ouates, putting their brand alongside powerhouses such as Rolex, Piaget and Patek Philippe.What prompted the sale of the company, founded in 1988, remains unclear. Rapid expansion may have made the brand, whose very affordable timepieces were deliberately styled conservatively enough for Far Eastern tastes, vulnerable to the Asian, notably Hong Kong, downturn. Others have suggested the cause was estate planning by the founders.Despite its relative youth, Frédérique Constant had pushed output to about 150,000 pieces a year and spawned subbrands Alpina and DeMonaco. Peter Stas even boasted the brand had become a true manufacture with its own in-house movements — though the overwhelming bulk came from external suppliers.Frédérique Constant has by no means been Citizen’s sole Swiss foray. In 2012, the Japanese giant snapped up three smaller Swiss watch or component makers. They included Arnold & Son, a small watch brand, and, above all, Prothor Holding, parent company of, among others, La Joux-Perret, a highly respected movement maker.Most recently, last August saw the sale of Glycine, a small brand founded in 1914, to Invicta, a U.S. manufacturer that had previously acquired TechnoMarine. Glycine’s owner DKSH, a Swiss trading house focused on Asia, had decided to exit watchmaking after mixed results.But DKSH's main watch asset — the much better known Maurice Lacroix brand — has still to find a buyer. Maurice Lacroix has struggled in the tough 1,000 to 5,000 Swiss franc, or $1,005 to $5,027, price bracket, which is dominated by giants such as TAG Heuer and Longines. While Asian — particularly Chinese — interest in Maurice Lacroix has been long mooted, a deal has failed to materialize, suggesting that even potential out-of-town buyers have become much more wary about picking up assets at a difficult time for the Swiss watch industry. Potential acquirers have reportedly demurred because of the price, while the brand now says it is focused on a turnaround to boost its appeal to buyers.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye