Excerpt: In sub-zero temperature, Geneva became the hotbed of haute horlogerie. This was also the first time the exclusive, invitee-only fair opened its doors to the public on the last day, to experience the pleasure of fine watchmaking. And yet, surrounded by chicly-attired attendees (the cold seemed to bother no one, in fact the wardrobe worked it’s magic in stunning layers), the watches sparkled and shone in all their new glory. Perhaps the mood was a bit muted, perhaps the markets are not what they used to be, but the will and passion burned bright. A big take-away is IWC coming up with a sophisticated and dedicated line (Da Vinci) for the ladies… (we wished and you heard us!) Sonam Kapoor as brand ambassador was a ballsy move to pull in a big chunk of the unexplored market for the brand. Here’s a recap of our Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2017 journey (Snapped from Insta Live).
The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Geneva, is considered the crème de la crème of watch fairs, with it’s invitee-only entry, extremely selective offerings and some of the world’s most exclusive watch brands in attendance.
Systematically designed with country-based media slots to watch the unveiling of the year’s novelties, even the bracing cold (rumoured to be the coldest SIHH ever) could not dispel the passion emanating from the warm recesses of the Palexpo fair area, even though the hallways held whispers of the fair being a milder version of it’s earlier glory.
The booths may have been cookie-cutter for most part, but the window displays were innovative and some were just breathtaking in their intricacy. The presentation that took the cake, however, was hands-down the Audemars Piguet virtual reality tour of their manufactory with the humour, wit and infectious enthusiasm of the CEO François-Henri Bennahmias, that made even the sleepiest journos wake up at the fag end of the day.
This year saw a new lot of 9 independent watchmakers presented in a separate Carre des Horlogers section, some with some standout pieces. After 25 years, this year, SIHH saw 24 exhibitors and a museum display ‘Square of Clocks’.
Meanwhile, our evenings remained busy with cocktails at the A Lange and Soehne booth, the Jaeger-LeCoultre gala affair to celebrate 85 years of the Reverso watch with a mesmerising live installation and a Christian Louboutin pop-up, and the ever-elegant Cartier dinner. Not to mention, an exclusive première of the exhibition Breguet, A Story Among the Greats, at Cité du Temps.