Dispatch From Paris: Winter 2015

Since Haute Time has gone global, we’re bringing you a snapshot from our worldwide markets. Here, our local Paris-based editor Victoria Townsend recaps Paris’ hottest watch news.

Champion free diver Gianluca Genoni teaching breathing techniques at a Paris hotel pool.

Blancpain Pushes The Limits With Blancpain Ocean Commitment
Blancpain has taken the oceans seriously since its release of the first modern diving watch, Fifty Fathoms, in 1953. To share its passion for diving and the exploration and preservation of the oceans, Blancpain has established the Blancpain Ocean Commitment, a series of initiatives to heighten awareness of the marine environment with scientific projects, oceanographic explorations, underwater photography, support of the World Ocean Summit, public exhibitions, publications and a dedicated website. Among the initiatives are Blancpain’s partnership with the Fondation Albert II de Monaco to support the Pristine Seas project established by the National Geographic Society, the creation of the Hans Haas Fifty Fathoms Award that rewards various scientific marine projects, and the support of multiple free diving champion, Gianluca Genoni, who has contributed to medical science with different depth and static apnea experiments. Genoni now shares his respect for the sea with youth around the world, and recently provided static apnea lessons to journalists in Paris.
Parallel to these initiatives, and to pay tribute to the Fifty Fathoms, Blancpain has launched a 250-piece, limited- edition Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback, donating €1,000 to partner projects for each watch purchase.

Jerome Lambert
Montblanc CEO Jérôme Lambert

One-on-One Interview with Montblanc International CEO Jérôme Lambert
Jérôme Lambert recently shared some insights with us in Paris about his mission since arriving as CEO at Montblanc International two years ago. With the objective to bring Montblanc back to the forefront, “not by changing its DNA, but by bringing a new strategy,” Lambert’s keyword is audacity: with new designs for watches and writing instruments, a new retail concept for boutiques, and new communications with ambassadors Hugh Jackman and Charlotte Casiraghi. Lambert is building upon the current 160 watch references from eight collections “not in quantity, but by adding substance into them, reducing the variation of dials and materials, and bringing more movements, more functions, and more style.” Automatic movements represent 85 percent of total sales, with 80 percent for ladies who represent only 35 percent of Montblanc customers. “The introduction of new complications for ladies, such as the recently-launched Bohème Moongarden collection, with a new, in-house complication made in the company’s Villeret Manufacture, is part of the whole strategy today,” concludes Lambert. “It is about extracting the essence of the Villeret Manufacture into all our watches: technical content, inventiveness, creativity, attention to detail, tradition and quality of craftsmanship.”

BR-X1 Tourbillon Gold Watch 2015
BR-X1 Tourbillon Gold Watch

Bell & Ross Unveils Haute Horlogerie BR-X1 Chronograph Tour
Guests joined Bell & Ross CEO Carlos Rosillo and Creative Director Bruno Belamich on Sept. 17 at the Hotel National des Invalides in Paris to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Bell & Ross iconic BR 01, while discovering the stunning additions to the aviation collection. Reputed for being reliable, readable and precise, the square-shaped collection, launched in 2005, has developed to encompass a wide range of materials, sizes and functions. Following the launch in 2014 of the BR-X1 Hypersonic Chronograph, the latest top-of-the-range model—the BR-X1 Chronograph Tourbillon—combines the robust and sturdy look of the BR-X1 with the highest watchmaking technical refinements of haute horlogerie. Presented in four versions of 20 pieces each, 18-karat rose gold or Grade 5 titanium—with or without diamonds—this Skeleton Tourbillon Mono-Pusher Chronograph with 45-millimeter case is powered by the BR-CAL.283, hand-wound movement with a four-day power reserve and functions of hours and minutes, a 30-minute timer, a 60-second timer and a power reserve indicator. Hands and indexes are filled with Superluminova® and Superluminova® inserts.

Ladies Lacoste Open Celine Hamelin Photography
Christie Kerr at the Lacoste Ladies Open De France.

Richard Mille Timepieces Swing At The Lacoste Ladies Open De France Golf Tournament
For the second year running, Richard Mille has sponsored the Lacoste Ladies Open de France from Sept. 24 to 27. Exhibited on the Lacoste family domain of the Golf de Chantaco in Saint- Jean-de-Luz in southwest France, the LLOF is one of 23 official tournaments of the Ladies’ European Tour. Two of the world’s top players at the event were ambassadors of Richard Mille. Miami-born Cristie Kerr (USA) turned pro at the age of 17. With Richard Mille for her second year, she loves to wear her RM 007 Titanium Ladies’ Automatic on the golf course. “I don’t even feel it,” she says, and in the street, “people recognize it.” Of being chosen by the brand to wear its watches, she says she is “thrilled.” Born in Rome and pro since the age of 19, Diana Luna (Italy) also vaunts the merits of the RM 007, with its “curved case and great fit…and see how light it is?” she exclaims. “Richard Mille is a genius!” Luna is ravished with Richard Mille as a partner, and is looking forward to being team captain for Italy at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next August.

Women entrepreneurs honored at Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Ceremony.

Cartier Shines The Spotlight On Women Entrepreneurs At The Ninth Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Ceremony In Deauville
Cartier rewarded seven outstanding ladies representing six start-up companies from six regions around the globe at the Ninth Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards on Oct. 15 in Deauville, France. Created in 2006 by Cartier and the Woman’s Forum, in association with INSEAD business school and management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., the Awards attribute a $20,000 grant, coaching for one year, networking opportunities, media visibility and an exclusive trophy designed by Cartier to the winning entrepreneurial projects and business plans, that this year, included social assistance through technology, ecological engineering and natural-ingredient cosmetic products. Selected from 1,700 applications, the 2015 laureates are: Komal Dadlani from Chile for Latin America; Alexandra Greenhill from Canada for North America; Ciara Clancy from Ireland for Europe; Mouna Abbassy in Dubai, originally from Morocco for MENA (Middle East North Africa); Chinwe Ohajuruka from Nigeria for Sub-Saharan Africa and co-founders Hannah Chou & Momo Huang from Taiwan for Asia-Pacific.

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