EPHJ Trade Show 2020 Cancelled

Yes sports fans, the other-other shoe has dropped and today the EPHJ announced that their event was cancelled owing to the continued ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.Oh, and just in case you thought that they were going to stick it to the companies who had stuck with them and showed faith?  I encourage you to read this excerpt from their announcement: Following the Swiss Federal Council’s decision to extend the ban on events with more than 1,000 people to 1 October, we have had to cancel the 2020…

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When the Music Stops – Reality Pays a Visit to Lucerne

Word reached the North Shore offices of Tempus Fugit this AM via Watch Pro and confirmed by some other outlets such as SWI (swissinfo.ch), that mighty Bucherer has told up to 370 loyalists to sling their hooks and take it on the heel and toe. In the age of COVID-19, this is to be expected. For Bucherer (and let’s be honest, nearly every other tourist focused retail store in Lucerne), it is going to be some time before the very, very large groups of Chinese tourists are roaming the city streets, credit cards in hand. [embedded content] But closer to home, the purchase of Tourneau is probably starting engender more than just a wee bit of buyer’s remorse.  Tourneau, to their credit, have made a half-hearted attempt at online sales.  But truth be told, a quick browse of the Tourneau website, it is just that, half-hearted. For better or worse, it is no longer a question of whether or not the future of watch retail is online.  The PRESENT of watch retail is online.  In the words of that other great commentator on the watch industry – Billy Beane as played by Brad Pitt in Moneyball -“Adapt or die.”

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The 80th Anniversary, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation by Bulova

“Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Courtesy of Bulova
I became somewhat obsessed by the life, works and words of Frank Lloyd Wright in my late 20s while working in Finland. That has continued on to this very day as in the midst of re-designing our Adult Education center at NSCAP this past month, I have frequently referred back to Mr. Lloyd Wright’s Larkin Building – [embedded content]There have been a lot of attempts to create jewelry, home furnishings and other sundry items to commemorate his work, but many have been disappointing. But judging from this offering from Bulova, it appears that there is finally something that lives up to the work of the man who inspired it!
Courtesy of Bulova
Now as luxuries go, this one is affordable (at least by watch collecting standards) and is offered at $475 US.
Courtesy of Bulova
Limited to 500 pieces, this one is a bit special.Here are the pertinents -Technical SpecsCase Material:Stainless SteelCase Diameter:
35 mmCase Thickness:
10 mmFunctions:
3 Hand – Hours, minutes, secondsCrystal:
Curved Mineral CrystalWater Resistance:

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When You Reach Your Star – Wordy Rappinghood Part the Second

A rap rap here and a rap rap thereHere rap, there rapEverywhere a rap rap Lyrics to Wordy Rappinghood courtesy of Tom Tom Club So it seems that I might have hit a nerve yesterday with my remarks about Zenith’s now trending tagline, “Reach Your Star”.  Some commented that I was being a “grammar cop”, others that I clearly had no imagination, and one very sincere email from someone who said that a non-native English speaker should not be held to an unfair standard. All of these opposing points of view are absolutely…

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Wordy Rappinghood

What are words worth?What are words worth? WordsTom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood So I thought it might be fun to look at two of the tag lines and catchphrases from two big brands. Now while this is not intended to be an exercise in sarcasm, some of these are just a bit odd. Time To Reach Your Star – ZenithI have absolutely no idea what that means. You can’t really reach a star (at least the gaseous type that acts as the furnace of our solar system), because you will be incinerated – at least if science  is to be believed. In fairness there was that cult favorite Japanese cartoon series (Space Battleship Yamato) –
Shamelessly Borrowed From My Youth
But I am not even sure if they actually set-down on a star.  Now even if we discount the notion that they literally mean a “star” but rather are indirectly making reference to the brand name, it is still a bit janky.  

Now I realize that I say this again, and again, and again, but language is not always universal in translation, and “reach your star” makes just about zero linguistic sense.  Reach for your star?  Sure!  Hold on to your star?  Why not?  Reach your star?  It starts to remind me of what happened when the life clock ran out in Logan’s Run and those who had timed out had to proceed to “Carousel” –

Shamelessly borrowed from the world-wide infoweb

Born to Dare – TudorHand to God, I am still not sure I really understand that one either.  In visiting their site not so long ago, it seems to have morphed a bit.  Apparently, David Beckham was “Born for a purpose”.  I leave you to ruminate over what that purpose is. No offense to Becks, the man could hit a free kick like nobody else. So, free kicks and tattoos aside, I feel quite confident that there’s more, but Tudor’s wordsmiths have left it somewhat vague. Because when you get down to it, depending on your spiritual views, weren’t we all born for a purpose?

And good news sports fans, you can also “Dare to live the moment with David Beckham”.  The big risk or “dare” here is the time you will spend reading about his winter jaunt with an Olympic snowboarder.

Lady Gaga apparently “dares to be vulnerable”.  Fair enough.  I am more of a crying on the inside kind of guy, but I can relate.

Jay Chou, it would seem, “dares to discover”.  

Beauden Barrett “dares to challenge himself”.

And in truth, the irony in all of this is that Lady Gaga is putting it out there in very real ways with her Born This Way Foundation. David Beckham works with Malaria No More among others, as well as his work for UNICEF.  and I have no doubt the others have real, interesting, relatable things and accomplishments that would show even more “daring” than those that are contrived by the marketing office. 

What are words worth?What are words worth? Words

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Geneva Watch Days – Denial Over Common Sense

So with the end of the Swiss Watchmaker’s holidays a slew of invitations and reminders found their way into the Tempus Fugit mailbox this AM bubbling with excitement about the upcoming Geneva Watch Days.  And I was reminded, yet again, that apparently in Watch Town, it is still all about perception.  Who can have the most celebrity partners?  Who has the most talented footballers, or the fastest F1 drivers?  Who laughs at fear and tweaks the nose of danger?  And in this instance?  Who does not have the basic common sense that we all were born with?
Now if you think I am being unreasonable, let’s review what attending this potential super-spreader will entail for anyone outside of France, Italy, Germany or Switzerland. And keep in mind, Hercules himself managed 12 labors, so I guess the folks choosing to attend are getting off a little bit easier, they only have 10 –
1. Get on an airplane.
2. Get in a taxi or Uber or shuttle 
3.  Check into a hotel
4.  Hop into more public/shared transportation 
5.  Eat in restaurants
6.  Attend a “welcome” cocktail
7.  Attend a group dinner
8.  Attend a group party 
9.  Attend one or two private dinners
10.  Visit at least 16 brands (maybe more)
Now even those hailing from the Cantons will still have to face 9 out of these 10 challenges.  

Now let’s consider some other realities –
Travel into Switzerland from North, Central and South America in most instances does not seem likely until September or October at the earliest, and even that is starting to look more and more doubtful as COVID-19 has become the latest participant in Urban Flight and is now embracing the heartland of the US. Some other interesting realities –
Infection rates are trending up in several European countries, and I realize that here in the US we are the big winners in the COVID-19 sweepstakes as we just passed 5 million cases, but the point here is that COVID-19 is clearly not yet under control.
Listen, I love going to watch shows. I like seeing old friends, and sparring with brand owners who think I’m full of shit. It’s fun! But I would ask any brand to really consider this, it is one thing if the CEO or owner wants to put themselves in a giant Petri dish and go to Crazy Town. That’s a solo trip and they are taking the risk themselves. It is something completely different when their staff are required to potentially put themselves at risk. As far as the press and clients are concerned, I suppose that in fairness that comes down to taking personal responsibility. This guy is staying put on the North Shore for the foreseeable ; )

We all want COVID-19 to be in the rearview mirror. We all want to return to normal. But what COVID-19 and the world’s handling of it have laid bare, is that we are probably unlikely to ever be fully back to the way things were. 

The one constant in life is change, and it really doesn’t matter whether we like it or not, believe in science or not, vote liberal or conservative, prefer independent watch brands to big groups. We are here, now. And no amount of denial is going to change that.

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The X Tempomat

 From Juvo –

Courtesy of Juvo
Available in a very respectable brown, or my personal favorite – French Blue.  The perfect roll for your Lip and Pequignet watches ; )

Courtesy of Juvo
Holds three of your best friends all in one place ; )

Courtesy of Juvo
Here are the pertinents, straight from Juvo –
• Compartmentalized case holds up to 3 watches • Textured calf leather exterior • Fabric camouflage interior • Snap button closure • Hand made in Spain • Pillow Dimensions: 5 x 7 x 3 cm • Case Dimensions: 23 x 9.5 x 8 cm

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The Royale Manuelle

From Pequignet –

Courtesy of Pequignet
As that other great commentator on the watch business, Frank Costanza (as played by Jerry Stiller) once proclaimed – “it’s a Festivus for the Rest of Us!”
Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all tend to get a bit worked up over watches with manufacture movements.  The challenge, of course, is that jacks the price up typically to a level that most mere mortals who pay they mortgages and have stable marriages can’t afford. Some of the other, more “industrial” news outlets will often wax on about the “value proposition” which is, if we’re being completely honest, a backhanded compliment.  
Pequignet does make some extremely complex, very expensive watches.  But what is nice about this one is that they have created a beautifully simple time only model and priced it accordingly. 
Here are the pertinents –
MOVEMENTEMP02 Movement – Manual Calibre Royal21600 
Vibrations/hours (3Hz)Power reserve of 100 hoursSapphire crystal with anti reflectionCASE316L Stainless steelWater resistance 100 metersSapphire crystal with anti-reflectionDIALSunray Opaline dialSmall seconds at 6.00BRACELETBlue leather strap produced in France2 850,00€

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The RALLYE automatic chronograph

 From Lip!

Courtesy of Lip
Now a note of 100% transparency, I am currently working with Lip of Besançon to help bring Lip watches to North America. So you are going to just get the facts. But I will take pains to say that Lip bringing out a mechanical chronograph is proof positive about just how seriously Berards are taking their roll as the new caretakers of the Lip legacy.

But let’s get back to the matter at hand. 

Courtesy of Lip
So yes, I did get to see some of the early prototypes when I visited last November, and it has not been easy to keep quiet to help save the surprise.  But now it is official.

Courtesy of Lip
This is a limited edition, and it is available for pre-order.  

Courtesy of Lip
Here are the pertinents –
Watch reference671820Case316 L stainless steel
42 mm diameter 
316 L stainless steel back 
Chronograph pushers at 2 and 4 o’clockDialSilver, silver stick indexes, silver minute graduations and red Arabic numerals
Date at 6 o’clock
Counters at 3 and 9 o’clock
Silver and black hour and minute hands
Silver and red second handCrystalsapphireStrapBlack perforated calfskin leather
20 mm lug widthBuckleStainless steel folding claspMovementMechanical automatic SEIKO NE86Water resistance50 metersWarranty 
2 yearsMade in France – Besançon

Should you wish to order, here is a link:

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