Listen to this article
French actor Gérard Depardieu has lived up to his controversial image by appearing in a Russian television commercial for Cvstos watches alongside the corpse of a deer he claims to have shot with a high-powered rifle. The 50-second sequence shows Depardieu leaning over the dead animal and toying with a spent bullet case as he says, “To smoke a deer you always need to be on time. Thanks to my Cvstos, I was on time — and it was his time.”
Chanel has chosen Baselworld to launch its first watch dedicated to men. The “Monsieur” uses the first Chanel movement to be designed and assembled in-house. Five years in development, the hand-wound mechanism shows the time through a combination of digital jumping hour and retrograde minutes displays.
The Monsieur (around £30,000) will initially be available in an edition of 150 in beige gold and 150 in white gold. Until now, male Chanel fans have had to make do with the more masculine versions of the ceramic J12 which, says the house, has always been presented as a “unisex” model.
Jaermann & Stübi, the niche brand that makes golf-inspired mechanical watches incorporating special shock absorption systems and stroke counters, will use day one of Baselworld to tee up a new series dedicated to the golfer Ian Woosnam. It will feature cases made of metal recycled from the irons used by the 58-year-old elshman to secure victory at the 1991 US Masters.
Jaermann & Stubi will also unveil a watch designed to mark the inclusion of golf in this year’s Olympics; it will be the first time the sport has featured in the games since 1904.
Not that Apple watch
Raymond Weil has made what its chief executive Elie Bernheim describes as a “major investment” in signing a deal with Apple Corps — not the tech company but the multimedia business formed by The Beatles in 1968.
The deal will enable the independent, family-owned brand to associate itself with The Beatles, use images of the Fab Four in advertising campaigns and produce Beatles-themed watches. The first of these will be launched at Baselworld and is set to be made in an edition of 3,000 examples.
The Mille deal
The McLaren-Honda Formula One team has signed a 10-year partnership deal with avant-garde watchmaker Richard Mille, which dubs its products “racing machines on the wrist”. Richard Mille is expected to reveal the first watches inspired by the collaboration later this year, and its products will now become the public wristwear of McLaren-Honda drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
The brand takes over the role of official McLaren watch from TAG Heuer, which now appears on the engines of the Red Bull team. Bell & Ross recently announced a new partnership with Renault Sport and Casio with Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Start your engines
The LVMH-owned Zenith watch brand is set to further its ties with the automotive world by announcing its appointment as a partner of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, an annual motorcycle event which sees bikers gather at locations around the globe each September to raise money for prostate cancer charities. Zenith will officially launch the partnership at Baselworld on Sunday, March 20, in the presence of Mark Hawwa, a motorcycle fan, marketeer and branding expert who founded the event in Sydney, Australia in 2012.
By last year, the DGR had grown to the point that events were staged in 400 cities, attracting more than 37,000 riders and raising in excess of $2.2 million.
Oil and water
Despite horologists traditionally battling to keep water well clear of their mechanisms, Neuchâtel-based HYT has achieved a surprising degree of success with its “hydro mechanical” watches which indicate the passing of time by pumping coloured liquid around a tiny capillary tube.
Now HYT has announced that it and Preciflex, the company founded to develop the liquid timekeeping technology, have raised a further SFr23m ($23m), which will enable an expansion of the product range during the next three years.
Time to pay
Mondaine, which is well known for supplying the distinctive clocks used at Switzerland’s railway stations, has become the latest brand to incorporate a contactless payment system into a wristwatch. The Mondaine PayChip, which will be demonstrated at Baselworld, can be concealed inside a specially-designed strap or in a universal strap loop. The device uses Near Field Communication technology to enable payments of up to SFr40 ($40) to be made with no more than what Mondaine describes as a “flick of the wrist”. Similar systems are already available on the Apple Watch and the recently-launched Swatch “Bellamy”.