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Alas, the End of Cremona Violin Making is official


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5 hours ago, Dimitri Musafia said:

GeorgeH, I'm curious, and you seem to be in the know. So let me ask, did the Swiss actually lead the market for lower and middle-priced watches as well? 

While the global demand for watches grew dramatically over time, the %share of the global production for Swiss watches dropped from almost 60% to under 10%. 

I don't know how that how that breaks out into the lower and middle-priced categories. 

Share-of-Swiss-watch-production-in-globa

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My compliments, GeorgeH, excellent research. 

It's worthy noting that the production of 1982 is still above what it was in 1949; it would seem (IMHO) that the Swiss catered to the luxury end all through this time and that they managed to maintain it, while the market itself branched off into different directions. 

If more recent data were available it would be interesting to see how things went after 1982. I would imagine that most established luxury brands have seen a general increase paralleling the increase of wealth of the famous top 1%.

Be that as it may, I can state with authority that since 1982 the number of luthiers established in Cremona has increased four fold since 1982. Anyway thank you. 

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This information just supports that a high quality / high end and low production (exclusive) based business is still sustainable. You can't be competing with the mass producers anymore that just won't work.

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23 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

 You can't be competing with the mass producers anymore that just won't work.

If one could prove to become just a little thorn in the side of the big boys one could be bought out just to be kept out of the way.

I'd think not plausible with violin making yet.

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1 hour ago, Dimitri Musafia said:

Be that as it may, I can state with authority that since 1982 the number of luthiers established in Cremona has increased four fold since 1982. Anyway thank you. 

You're welcome!

How many luthiers are established in Cremona today?

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2 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

How many luthiers are established in Cremona today?

When I graduated in 1982 there were about 35 established shops in town. Today various sources put that number at about 140-150, likely not counting employees. For a city of 71,000 people, it's rather astonishing actually, although only time will tell if it is actually sustainable in the long run. 

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34 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

I don't want to talk too much about the watch market but here is the Deloitte report from 2020 on the swiss watch market https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ch/Documents/consumer-business/deloitte-ch-en-swiss-watch-industry-study-2020.pdf

That's a very interesting report, Shelbow, thank you for posting it. I believe that numerous parallels may be drawn between the Swiss watch market and the high-end contemporary violin market. First and foremost: "Our legacy is our future". Brilliant. 

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1 hour ago, Shelbow said:

This information just supports that a high quality / high end and low production (exclusive) based business is still sustainable. You can't be competing with the mass producers anymore that just won't work.

Unfortunately only violin players buy/appreciate violins and the fashion component changes with the speed of the continental drift. 

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4 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

Unfortunately only violin players buy/appreciate violins and the fashion component changes with the speed of the continental drift. 

Actually, if one goes by physical displacement over time (e.g., purfling width, stop length, etc.), plate tectonics is speedier.  :lol:

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19 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

Unfortunately only violin players buy/appreciate violins and the fashion component changes with the speed of the continental drift. 

Well at the higher end there are a lot of investment driven sales, but I guess this probably isn't related to new making.

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What happened to Swiss auto watches was the quartz revolution, what happened to the quartz revolution was the Audermas Piguet Royal Oak. design by Gerald Genta , released in 1981, it was what turned the Swiss watch lull around, a bold move charging more for an all stainless watch than many solid gold watches of the time. 

Most high end watches today are status symbol jewelry used for investments, something threatened by the most un-honorable Chinese forgery factories that are producing virtual exact replicas of all the high end watches.

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2 hours ago, matesic said:

I finally got around to watching the video. Forget the title added by the SCMP - surely it's a promo made in Cremona!  

Yep, it is undoubtedly a sly promotional video from the Cremona violin makers consortium (a private association), the Colombian who appears at minute 2:30 is the president, the Frenchwoman at minute 2:00 is on the board of directors, the old Maestro Istvan Conia is now a simple member but in past years he was also a member of the board of directors . I have never liked their way of approaching the market and their pricing policy (very different from what is indicated in the video) , which is why I have never joined this association, in fact I am quite against it, just to be clear.

 

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On 7/26/2021 at 11:04 AM, Violinjon said:

Dmitri, the SCMP is not a Chinese government newspaper. It is a private newspaper in Hong Kong with a long history as Hong Kong's flagship English newspaper.

That doesn't excuse the quality of the reporting, of course. The reporting rather hilariously misses the point. 

I'd also note that Mr. Conia is one of the most popular and well known Cremona-based makers sold in Hong Kong (which is a city crazy about Italian violins). 

Seems pretty clear to me too.

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I happen to be of the opinion that contemporary Italian or Cremonese, or chinese violins can be all over the map, no more or less than violins from other regions.

If one wanted to search out the best of contemporary Cremonese makers, my opinion is that Sora would  rank quite high on the list,.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I happen to be of the opinion that contemporary Italian or Cremonese, or chinese violins can be all over the map, no more or less than violins from other regions.

If one wanted to search out the best of contemporary Cremonese makers, my opinion is that Sora would  rank quite high on the list,.

Thanks David:)

Aside from the kind mention of my name, I can only agree with what you say. Given the current globalization of violin making, good violins can be found almost everywhere in the world, and the same goes for bad ones.

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