Girard Perregaux began in 1791 and has a history of more than 200 years. As one of the very few high-end brands still insisting on making their own movements, Girard Perregaux represents the tradition of the Swiss watch industry, and its history reflects the changes of the high-end watch industry.
There are fewer and fewer true Swiss people in the Swiss watch industry, but Michele Sofisti, born in Italy, is well qualified to give an opinion on this industry. He has served as the Swatch Group worldwide. President for 5 years. Since 2010, he has been the CEO of Gucci Group Watch Jewellery and the CEO of Swiss Sowind Group, which owns two high-end watch brands Girard-Perregaux and Jean Richard. On November 9th, Michelle Sofisti appeared in Beijing to unveil Girard Perregaux Macau. He told this magazine: ‘For all high-end watch brands, China is the most important market, not only in China. , Even in Europe, many of the watches we sold were bought by the Chinese. ‘On the opening day, Girard Perregaux and the’ post-80s ‘Chinese artist Sun Xun launched a limited series of 1966 watches. The white enamel dial was painted into a dragon with ink At the moment of the pattern and the ink droplets, a strong Chinese style is highlighted. In Michele’s view, the maximum value of making only eight Sun Xun limited series with a price of 338,000 yuan is not commercial, but it shows that Girard Perregaux attaches increasing importance to the Chinese market. ‘2012 is the year of the dragon in China. With this watch, Girard Perregaux also expressed our respect and understanding of Chinese culture.’ Michelle said.
Girard-Perregaux was born in 1791. It was originally a watch factory founded by watchmaker JF Porter, and has changed hands twice since then. In 1856, watchmakers Constant Gillard and Mary Perrigo took over. , Founded the Girard-Perregaux brand. In 1970, Girard Perregaux launched the first high-end quartz watch in Switzerland. When the Japanese quartz watch hit the Swiss watch industry, it had shocked the entire industry. ‘Although we no longer produce quartz watches, Girard Perregaux created a quartz core with a frequency of 32768 Hz, which is still the norm in the quartz watch industry,’ Michel told this magazine. A 35-year-old young technician and began to participate in tourbillon production. Girard Perregaux’s tradition will be passed on by the younger generation. ‘In 1992, Girard Perregaux was acquired by Sowind Group in Italy, and became the two leading brands of the group with Shangweisha. In 2008, Gucci’s parent company, PPR Group, bought a 23% stake in Sowind Group. Three years later, PPR formally controlled Sowind with a 50.1% stake, thereby including Girard Perregaux and Shangweisha. It is widely believed that Girard Perregaux’s ability to make movements on top watches is the biggest reason for PPR Group to make this acquisition.
In Michele’s view, the production process of a complex craft watch is quite similar to that of haute couture. He explained: ‘Girard Perregaux’s three-gold bridge tourbillon undergoes 140 days of polishing and carving, and I am proud to Since 1791, the tradition of hand-made high-end movements has never changed. ‘Whether Girard Perregaux or other top watch brands, the brand stories of these century-old stores all begin with the workshop of a master watchmaker, and their family traditions vary. Similarly, some brands are eventually included in the multinational luxury conglomerate. Most of Hermès, Chanel, Dior, etc. have entered the watchmaking industry since the 1970s. Initially, they started with quartz watches, focusing on design elements, and then gradually acquired Swiss watch factories with strong financial resources to establish a complete watchmaking industry chain to truly enter the high-end. Watch industry. Bulgari has successively acquired three old Swiss watch companies since 2000, and has since independently developed and manufactured movements; Hermès bought a 25% stake in the Vaucher movement factory in 2006, and acquired more than 125 years of history in 2011. Joseph Erard, a famous Swiss watchmaking company; At the same time, LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, announced the purchase of the Swiss La Fabrique du Temps watchmaking workshop, which has long focused on the development and production of high-end movements. And the minute repeater is quite powerful. Through a single acquisition, the luxury goods group has gradually consolidated its position in the fine watchmaking industry.
Compared with old-fashioned high-end watches, perhaps Gucci, Hermès, Bulgari and Chanel still lack historical accumulation, but sales figures prove that luxury goods groups have become a new force in the high-end watch industry. According to the financial report, Hermes sales in 2011 were about 3.78 billion US dollars, an increase of 18.3%, a record high, of which the watch business grew the most strongly to 23.2%; LVMH Group sales in 2011 increased 16% to 31.2 billion US dollars, including watch and jewelry The fastest growth is 23%, which is mainly due to the successful acquisition of Bulgari in 2010. The investment in high-end watches and clocks has brought rich returns to luxury goods groups. Although the European economy is turbulent and the global economic recovery is still slow, the Swiss watch and clock industry has ushered in adverse growth. Data from the 2012 Basel Watch Show showed that Swiss watch exports again rose strongly by 19.2% in 2011 to reach 21.07 billion US dollars, and the total number of watches exported was 29.8 million, an increase of 13.8% over the previous year. Hong Kong, China and the United States and Mainland China are the top three Swiss watch export markets. Among them, sales in Mainland China rose by 48.7%, which was the fastest growing market. As Michele Sophisti said, China has become a must for all high-end watch brands.
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