Landscape at Dawn and Dusk

Landscape at Dawn and Dusk
Flanerie Barcelona: Pathways at Dawn and Dusk © Maryhelen Jones-Raciti

Thursday, January 24, 2019

No More Numbered Walks -- Just "Now" Content and HBR's CEO's

It's been a long time since I published on this blog. Ironic how "long time" is subjective to us all.

As I walk again, I am more interested in the "Now" which author, Richard A. Muller has aptly described in his 2016 book, NOW: the Physics of Time. 

So as Now begins the New Year, it's important to recap that at the end of the previous year, The Harvard Business Review  (HBR) published it's annual list of the world's top CEO's, i.e. "The Best Performing CEO's in the World."

So what's HBR's approach to its calculated rankings? It's primarily based  on financial returns over a CEO's entire tenure with the company and how the company itself rates on what HBR calls "ESG" issues -- Environmental, Social and Governance.

Important to the international luxury watch industry is that in the Top Five are two well known CEO's:

At #3 -- Bernard Arnault who started in 1989 with the ever expanding and fascinating LVMH where he had been at the helm for 29 years. Bulgari, Chamet, Dior, Hublot, TAG Heur and Zenith.

At #4 -- François-Henri Pinault who started in 2005 with Kering,  Kering can be said to be LVMH's acquisition's arch rival conglomerate. As CEO,  Pinault has stayed the course for 13 years. Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Gucci, JeanRichard, and Ulysse Nardin are in Kering's luxury watch industry sector.

As 2019 gets underway, it will be fascinating to see how these two CEO's manage their conglomerates and build the Now factor into their long term growth strategies.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Walk Number 24: Hong Kong's Swiss Watch Market Eclipsed by US (September 11, 2016)

Take a walk along Hong Kong's Causeway Bay which used to be one of the most expensive shopping districts in terms of rents -- it's slowly losing its clientele. In the past, Hong Kong has been called by the international Financial/Lux Press Corps, China's "Great Mall." Well, that's changed as of last week when it comes to its retailing share of the the Swiss watch market.

Today, the Financial Times' South China correspondent Ben Bland reported that "the Chinese Territory was overtaken by the US as the world's biggest market for Swiss watches after eight years in the top spot." The displacement news for Hong Kong came just before the beginning of the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair which ran for a week and ended yesterday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 2016 Bench #5 -- When a Website is a Plethora of Good Reads

I'm back temporarily sitting on another bench after a summer respite --ready to resume my blog walks for the Fall. However, before my strolls return on September 1, I have an extraordinary website, Designers & Books created by Steve Kroeter, the website's editor and chief to share with you. As Steve explains in his introduction to his website, it is an advocate for books as an important source of inspiration for creativity, innovation, and invention. The main way we do this is by publishing lists of books that esteemed members of the international design community identify as important, meaningful, and formative—books that have shaped their values, their worldview, and their ideas about design."

The website indeed lives up to this goal! It has 2,000 books from 178 designers on the site---and well over 200 contributors including writers, editors, curators, and critics who have sent in lists.  One of the ones I discovered is Chris Bangle, a car designer living in Italy who is the principle of Chris Bangle and Associates. I think his book recommendations are important for anyone who loves watches from a mechanical as well as artistic viewpoint. He also has initiated The Big Bench Community Project, another reason to appreciate his book choices and design philosophy.

And if your autumn strolls take you to New York in November, do visit the Designers & Books Fair 2016™ on Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 2016 Bench #5 -- Zachary Petit

As you may have noticed, during May I've been a bench sitter (i.e. no walks posted). However, reading is not slouching.

So here we are at the end of the month and I've got an important read to share with you, especially if you are a blogger. It's Zachary Petit's book, The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work, & Thrive On Your Own Terms (Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 2015).

Taking it personally, "on my own terms" includes not intending to freelance (at least not yet), yet planning to keep blogging about wristwatches. In order to do this, I need to discover, research and write intriguing content. Petit's term for this activity is Ideation.  In the book, he offers 14 snappy, general categories for such discoveries including considering anniversaries,considering holidays, and haunting archives. I have unknowingly used his guidance in creating posts for my sister blog, Wristwatch Redux (see my post, Still Dialing Through at Twenty-Two to get a thematic sampling).

Thanks, Zak --now let's start walking again!   

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016 Bench #4 -- Barry J. Marcus and Julie Campisi

Sit back on April's Bench. Rest. Check the time.

Watches are not just objects, they are companions in many of life's varied activities. Watches carry a silently shared narrative with the people who wear or carry them. It's their owners who can give them special voices when we are in a position to listen.

That's the poignant, personal message Barry J. Marcus gives us in Watches I Have Known (Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2014). This is Mr. Marcus' posterity-driven memoir of his sixty-eight-year career as a master watchmaker. Written lovingly in conjunction with his daughter, Julie Campisi, this book allows us the privilege of sitting next to Mr. Marcus at his watchmaker's bench, listening to the stories told by an incredible cast of characters who he has met through his working on time.

Jardur Watches President, C. C. Shermer sums it up beautifully on the book's back cover, "From Belleau to Omaha Beach, watchmaker Marcus sends readers back in time to experience tales of heroism, intrigue and love. A great read." And indeed it is.      

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Walk No. 23 It's About Time: Two Strolls Taken Together (April 17, 2016)

Fashion complements function. Function complements fashion.  You have the duality of choice -- as well as the unity of choice -- in Isochron Media LLC's, glossy publication, AboutTime; Function and Fashion for the Wrist. 

I discovered this publication when it was advertised in Abbeville Press' Wristwatch Annual 2016: The Catalog of Producers, Prices, Models, and Specifications.  AboutTime covers an often overlooked niche of watch enthusiasts, some of whom are luxury-minded aspirational and others that just love affordable watches as functional pieces and/or fashionable accessories.

For me, one of the best things about the publication is that it makes the world of watches understandable and accessible. I now read other horological publications such as Watch Time and Watch Journal with greater confidence and  comprehension. AboutTime's articles and product highlights are helping me to learn the descriptive vocabulary I need to enrich my own writing. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Walk No. 22 Taking Indépendants' Paths (April 14, 2016)

What a sunny April surprise to discover an international organization dedicated to supporting a rigorously selected, amazingly talented group of wholly independent watchmakers! 

This is the Académie Horlogére des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI). Based in Zurich Switzerland, the AHCI is composed of 34 Members who have been chosen for their extraordinary horological artistry and engineering craftsmanship. 

Among AHCI Members are Vianney Halter,often called the Picasso of Watchmaking and Kari Voutilainen, winner of the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genéve's (GPHG) Artistic Crafts Watch Prize for his Hisui.

The AHCI has a Circle of Friends open to watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide who want to support and follow this important community of Indépendants.