THE GODFATHER - Nicolas G. Hayek (1928 – 2010)

Take a look at your watch. If it bears the words ‘Swiss’ or ‘Swiss Made’, you have the late Nicolas G. Hayek to thank. The former co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Swatch Group was routinely referred to as the Godfather of the Swiss mechanical watch industry. And for good reason: he more or less single-handedly rescued it from the brink of obsolescence amid the quartz crisis.

Published in In Depth

The naked ambitions of several watch brands appear to have been recalibrated of late. Once niche, skeleton watches now enjoy mainstream popularity. Today, they feature prominently in both regular collections, as well as hyped-up ‘star pieces’. Not overwhelmingly so, we hasten to add, but enough to suggest that skeleton timepieces are finally showing some long overdue commercial potential.

Much of it has got to do with their recent ‘modernisation’. Before, skeleton watches were classical and ornate; sought after, we imagine, by collectors who favour Mozart over Maroon 5. Today’s variants, though, tend to exhibit minimalistic and muscular qualities. They brandish a mix of industrial chic and sculptural form, which lend themselves equally well to both boardroom and club.

Published in Blancpain Articles

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