Thursday, May 30, 2013

Swiss Watch Industry News: Swatch VS Cartier, Tag Heuer, Cie, and others.

Watch industry news from Switzerland reveals that big Swiss watchmaker Swatch is pushing to reduce the number of movements and parts it sells to rivals.

Rivals include big luxury brands like Cie, Cartier and Tag Heuer, who use Swatch components in some of their most exclusive products. Swatch, on the other hand, is known for its playful plastic watches that are incredibly reliable and well-made. It’s almost as if these other brands are taking the best parts of Swatch and refinishing them in higher-end materials.

From the sound of it, Swatch is effectively subsidizing the competition by shouldering research-and-development and production costs for the rest of the industry. While Swatch makes itself profitable due to intense market penetration, they are still losing out in comparison to other companies due to the incredibly low price in which they have to offer their components. In some cases, rival companies can turn around and resell those same components for a profit.

"We are in a ridiculous situation that would be like having BMW supply all the engines for Audi and Mercedes," says Nick Hayek, Swatch's chief executive and the son of the company's founder. "In no other industry do you have one company supply all the critical parts to the people who then compete directly with it."

Undoubtedly, Swatch has made a strong case for themselves. And the good news is they aren’t planning to completely eliminate its supply of components to other watchmakers, but merely to reduce supplies and name their own prices.

If they win their lawsuit, smaller watchmakers could go out of business or be forced into the arms of larger companies like Audemars and even Swatch.

Whichever way the court rules, the Swiss watch industry will remain innovative and perhaps the market will see amazing new ideas as companies are forced to respond creatively to this news.

Read the full article here on The Wall Street Journal.

Gray and Sons carries the finest in pre-owned Cartier watches, used Audemars Piguet watches, and Like New estate jewelry. Visit us at for more information.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

This Year, Invest In Diamonds

The month of May brings us fascinating news from the gem market. Famous diamonds are going for 30 to 40 percent more than their previous going rates.

This trend has led to the highest sales ever recorded by the legendary Christie's, Sotheby's, and jewelry auctions around the world.

Certain gems have even made the front page of newspapers for those in the know.

First was the beautiful pink diamond nicknamed "Princie", which sold for $39.3 million to a telephone buyer at Christie's April auction.

Christie's announced another diamond for their May auction expected to bring in $20 to $30 million. The buzz about this diamond has created quite a stir to see who buys "Absolute Perfection", the pear-shaped diamond nearly the size of a golf ball. Gem aficionados are dying to know how much "Absolute Perfection" will rake in.

Sotheby's has also posted some impressive pieces for their May auction. One item that is attracting much press coverage is Gina Lollobrigida's coveted diamond necklace and emerald earrings. Her pearl earrings sold for $4.9 million, smashing Liz Taylor's record.

So, why the rise in diamond prices?

Simply put, they are an attractive way to store wealth.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Diamond prices often climb when stocks are falling and vice versa. But the long view on diamond values is reassuring, jewel and art experts say: Last month, the average asking price for a one-carat diamond among gem dealers was roughly $10,500, up 31% from a one carat's going rate six years ago, according to the RapNet Diamond Index, which tracks diamond prices among 12,000 gem dealers around the world."

We at Gray and Sons specialize in luxury watches and estate jewelry and we have a large selection of 1+ carat diamond jewelry, which you can find here, but if we had a diamond such as the Absolute Perfection in our showroom, it would be difficult to let go!

We, along with the rest of the world, eagerly await the outcomes of the next auctions. 

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