Ok, so today we officially close the office, put the team on high alert to focus on social media and head off to Geneva for the 2017 SIHH — the 27th edition of the by-invitation-only exhibition, and a show we have attended since it first opened. This year marks a number of firsts for this luxury expo, including the fact that for one day, at the end of the show, it will open its doors to the public (for 70 Swiss Francs) — something never done before. Additionally, this year the exhibition houses 30 luxury brands (see the entire list below), including Richemont brands and independents.
A Look Inside the SIHH Exhibition
While we look forward to seeing so many new watches up close and personal over the week, we also look forward to the exhibition itself. The Manufactures who showcase their products at SIHH do so in grand glory. One can hardly call the exhibition space — filled with cafes and champagne and espresso bars — an exhibition. Instead, it is a luxurious setting wherein each of the main brands open their “doors” to a setting that is a virtual encapsulation of the brand’s watchmaking prowess, artistic craftsmanship or current year’s theme.
Imagine, being inside an Epcot Center, if you will, just for watches. The hallways mimic streets and are lined with windows to peer into, and the exhibition spaces are like miniature cities or counties unto them selves — each reflecting a true message from the brand. Roger Dubuis always creates a special theme in its space that reflect the year’s main product focus, while other brands build around their sports involvements or their sponsorships. Yet others indulge the visitor — treating them to a glimpse inside their watchmaking world.
Cartier, which boasts a great deal of exhibition space for its watches and jewelry, is a master at creating windows that offer an amazing aura of the brand. Last year, I spent a full hour just taking in the beauty of the design of these windows — all created in house by the Maison’s design team.
The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, organizer of the SIHH, these new directions are important as more and more brands relate directly to customers today as not only brands, but also retailers. Additionally, the influx of independent brands showcases the SIHH’s respect for all of the master artisans and watchmakers who are shaping today’s collectors’ views of time.
The major brands exhibiting at SIHH this year: A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Parmigiani, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vacheron Constantin
The independent brands that are showing their creations in the SIHH’s specially designed “Carré des Horlogers” exhibitions pace include Christophe Claret, Grönefeld, H. Moser & Cie, Hautlence, HYT, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, MCT-Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps, Ressence, RJ-Romain Jerome, Speake Marin, Urwerk.
We invite you to follow us on all our social media channels for both ATimelyPerspective and Roberta Naas throughout the week.