The January 2016 edition of the Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) introduced an expanded watch trade show with a selection of new brands that included top-tier independent watch makers. It marked a major shift for the once
"more boutique" Geneva-based timepiece and jewelry industry event that, according to show organizers, was "years in the making" but overall a step in the right direction. At SIHH 2016, we appreciated the energy and excitement that came from the new "Carré des Horlogers" section which was the area set up for the independent watch makers like MB&F, Urwerk, Kari Voutilainen, HYT, and more. SIHH 2017 will see even more new brands added to the show, as well as a day open to the public for the once closed industry-only trade show.
That's right, SIHH 2017 will have its first-ever "public day" on Friday, January 20th, 2017, at the Palexpo convention center in Geneva near the airport. It isn't clear what the show capacity will be, if it will cost anything, or what the details are, but on the final day of SIHH 2017 members of the public will be invited to the exclusive luxury industry show for the first time. The natural comparison, of course, is Baselworld which has always been open to the public (even though you really can't see much unless you have meetings with the brands). SIHH, until now, has been an event exclusively for the watch and jewelry industry including press and retailers. Now, for at least one day, members of the public and watch collectors in general will have an opportunity to check out the newest watches from the participating brands, including all of the brands under the Richemont Group umbrella (including names such as Cartier, A. Lange & Söhne, Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, and more).
Like Baselworld, most of the brand booths don't offer much to physically touch unless the brands personally invite you to handle watches. Most of the viewing for members of the public will be through windows and display cases. With that said, I think it is a very important step for the Richemont Group that will likely benefit from a closer connection to end customers apart from VIP clients that they have been already courting for years.
More direct handling of new watches will likely be possible in the Carré des Horlogers that, for 2017, will comprise of 13 total brands including: Christophe Claret, Grönefeld, H. Moser & Cie, Hautlence, HYT, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, MCT (Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps), Ressence, Romain Jerome, Speake-Marin, and Urwerk. You might see some new names added to that list as compared to last year, including Ressence, Romain Jerome, and MCT. In all likelihood, most of these brands will display their new watches exclusively at SIHH, and no longer have a presence at the Baselworld watch trade show held in March in Basel, Switzerland, a just a couple of months later.
SIHH further grows to include Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin - each under the Kering Group umbrella. Girard-Perregaux is actually a "returning guest" of the show, while this is a new development for Ulysse Nardin. These brands will be given large booths with a presentation on par with that of the other major brands displaying at the event, which include: 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, and Vacheron Constantin. In total, SIHH 2017 will include 30 brands - a record number for the quickly expanding major trade show event that is arguably stealing some thunder from the typically overcrowded (and stressed) Baselworld show environment.
SIHH 2017 will take place from January 16 - 20, 2017, in Geneva. The last day of the show will now be open for the general public, and we at aBlogtoWatch look forward to seeing you there. sihh.org