With an increasing reliance on smartphones from all generations as the principle method of time management, some have made predictions that the wrist watch may become obsolete in the future. When compared to other technological devices such as the camera or computer, the watch has been left behind. It is hard to deny that many modern watches do not look considerably different from their original models.
The process of how we have come to recognise and record time has rapidly evolved from the tradition, precision and modernity of skilled French craftsmanship. In fact, France has been hailed as the land of the clock and watch makers for over seven centuries.
Historically, revolutionary and exquisitely designed time pieces were developed for the Kings’ Court, which grew to France becoming the key birthplace of the European watch and clock industry. Interestingly, the word ‘clock’ originally comes from the French word “cloche” meaning bell.
As Michel Herbelin is proud to be founded upon this rich heritage, we look back at some of the greatest names in French timekeeping.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
When Jean-Claude Herbelin took over the reins of his father’s company in the early 1980s, one of his key objectives was to launch a new line which would embody the company’s core values and watchmaking heritage. The line was to become the company’s most enduring and identifiable collection.Drawing on his own love of sailing, Jean-Claude Herbelin created NEWPORT, a range of timepieces that took its inspiration from the America’s Cup and the race to Newport, Rhode Island. NEWPORT stood for a love of the outdoors, a spirit of adventure, freedom and ultimately the pursuit of happiness.
Michel Herbelin stockists are a special breed. As we select only one store in each area to solely stock our brand, our preferred partners are quality independent jewellers who put the same personal touch into their sales and after care as we do as the distributor.
Now run by the fourth generation of the Clark family – David Clark, W.E. Clark & Son has a rich history in Lewes, where it all started back in 1819. Today, the Lewes showroom has been magnificently refurbished and their second showroom, in Eastbourne, has been beautifully modernised. 2012 was very much the year that W.E. Clark & Son brought their jewellery stores up-to-date without losing the special feel of heritage within the business.
The watch and jewellery trade is a uniquely specialist industry. Knowledge is often passed down from generation to generation, with the second or even third generation taking over the reins from original family members. Often with the family name above the door, many jewellers take pride in continuing traditions by offering a first class service. Retailers like these often have loyal lifelong customers who trust the familiar faces behind the counter.
After the excitement and anticipation of its opening, Baselworld, the watch and jewellery industry’s premier trade event has just closed it doors to the 2013 show. Bigger and better than ever before, the new 1.5 million sq ft building designed by Herzog & de Meuron took three years to complete and accommodated a massive 1,460 exhibitors. As a result of the sleek newly designed halls, approximately 1,000 exhibitors invested in new stands to showcase their brands – and Michel Herbelin were no exception.
With “BRILLIANCE MEETS” – BASELWORLD 2013 World Watch and Jewellery Show just around the corner, all the world’s major watch brands will shortly be unveiling their latest innovations and creations. The media will be scrambling to compile edits of the main trends, to be the first to reveal what the latest hot styles and materials are.
In recent years we have seen across the board trends such as oversized watches for women, the use of new materials such as ceramic and the revival of yellow and rose gold watches.
As trends in the fashion industry are closely reflected in the watch and jewellery industry we are expecting to see the current trend for monochrome in full force with black IP treated steel and black and white ceramic watches being launched by many brands.