According to BusinessWeek, Cartier watches is working on a prototype that will cut down on the need for watch maintenance by half, which will have very important consequences for the luxury watch industry. Bernard Fornas, the CEO for the Geneva-based brand, expects to introduce the new technology within the next three years and compared this development to the difference between cars with fuel-injection and those with carburetors.
Some of the new Cartier watches being released this year include the $117,000 Astrotourbillon and a new Captive line for women. Like most other Swiss watches, these luxurious timepieces need to be adjusted and maintained every three to five years, which can cost about $775 each time. Developing a watch that only needs adjustment every six to ten years will be a major improvement. Many owners of high-end watches are not happy with the additional costs and service delays that regular maintenance incurs.
While the new ID One concept timepiece is still in the prototype state, it was displayed at the International Salon of Fine Watchmaking in Geneva. This spirit of innovation has helped restore needed optimism for Cartier Watches, which still sees the U.S. market as an “unsure environment”. Cartier is enjoying a surge in Asian sales, however, and could have as many as 65 boutiques in China within the next five years.
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