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Issue 1 2021

CROWN is an informative and relatable magazine for the modern watch lover. Discover the latest trends and insights from the watchmaking world, get up to speed on the technical and design innovations, and be engaged with CEOs and creative directors from the top brands that matter.

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Highend Pte Ltd
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
editor’s note

“Ten minutes, bro,” a friend told me once. “Usually, when people first meet you, and they learn what you do, they would talk about watches for, maybe, 10 minutes max. Right?” “Right…” “It’s different for me,” he continues. “They could spend the whole night talking to me. Because what I do impacts their lives for real, bro. Life choices, money, investments, roofs over their heads.” I’ll leave you to guess his profession (not a banker, in case you are wondering). Anyway, I must have expended my annual Zen quota in that moment. But really? I wonder. Ten minutes? People who work in the watch trade are under no illusions. The CEOs of the most respected watch companies have established that timepieces are, especially in these times, wants and not needs. Watches don’t save lives.…

1 min
riding the storm

Watchmaking conglomerate the Swatch Group’s financial report for 2020 paints a picture of an organisation battling hard to overcome challenges caused by the global pandemic. The Group reported a drop of 28.7 per cent in net sales compared to the previous year, amounting to about CHF 5,595 million. And where it reaped in net income of CHF 748 million in 2019, 2020 saw the Group taking in a net loss of CHF -53 million. The figures would have been even more grim, if not for the Chinese market, which registered double-digit sales growth, as well as the US, which performed above expectations for the month of December. The knock-on effects of lockdowns and travel restrictions were evident in the areas of production and retail. Component production for third-party clients experienced ‘below…

1 min
tome time

Here’s a serious read worthy of one of the world’s most famous watches. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso, the legendary timepiece with the trademark reversible case, celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2020. Besides the slew of new Reverso models that most certainly will be dominating the shelves this year, there is also this impressive 200-page tome for collectors and fans of the watch. Published by Assouline, a company famed for producing sophisticated and luxurious coffee table books, the Reverso book is a deep dive into the history and evolution of the watch. Besides exploring the technical and design journey of the Reverso over nine decades, there are also intimate stories shared by over a dozen collectors who have customised their Reversos in deeply personal ways. The book can be ordered online at Assouline.com…

1 min
precious conduct

It’s an uncomfortable fact that luxury products are often muddied by questions on ethical sourcing in the use of precious metals and gemstones. That’s why it’s worth celebrating luxury brands that go the extra mile to ensure that the glamorous and glittery accoutrements that they have created actually come from the right place and are done in the right spirit. Jaquet Droz is the latest brand from the Swatch Group, besides Omega and Harry Winston, to get certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) that proves the brand is adopting the right environmental, social and ethical practices in its acquisition of precious metal and gemstones for its products. The certification was awarded after an independent external audit. A non-profit organisation, RJC’s objective is to set the right standards for a global…

1 min
peak potential

The past few months at Montblanc saw the departure and arrival of new personnel at the upper rung of the luxury marque, suggesting that significant changes will be afoot for new product roll-outs. In December 2020, Laurent Lecamps joined the company as managing director of Montblanc’s watch division, replacing Davide Cerrato, who oversaw the division’s major product realignment exercise over the past six years. Lecamps, who brings years of experience at the top management of CF Bucherer, and a watch enthusiast himself, will be seeking to fortify the synergy between Montblanc’s refurbished watch collections, as well as continue to push the message of integration between the company and the Minerva manufacture, the specialist movement maker which has been co-opted into Montblanc’s watch production. More recently in February this year, Montblanc announced the…

1 min
tong chee wei

My journey into the watch trade truly started 20 years ago. That was when I first met Carlos Rosillo, the founder of Bell & Ross. His passion towards the brand was really infectious and inspiring. I was so intrigued by his gentlemanly demeanour in sharing his passion. It was so polished and refreshing. It was something very rare at that point of time and that lured me in and made me want to find out more. My experiences with him gave me new perspectives on horology. Communicating with clarity and honesty is important. The most painful but valuable lesson I’ve learnt from working in the watch business is that people may not perceive things the same way you want them to, or take away the message you want to convey. Every watch…