With leading horological fair Watches & Wonders shortly to unfurl in Geneva, watch connoisseurs are turning their collective attentions to the goings-on in Switzerland… Surprising, fabulous, and oh-so-secretive, it’s like waiting for all our birthdays rolled into one to arrive…
March 16, 2023
All the fun of the fair
A tangible spirit of optimism, creativity and possibility permeates the watch industry this year, and at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, we couldn’t be more thrilled. We, along with our clients, are turning our curious and excited attentions towards Geneva this March 27 to April 2, with a sense of heightened horological anticipation to discover just what marvels and delights will be unveiled at the 3rd edition of this ground-breaking fair.
Over the last few years, the watch industry and its trade shows – along with the rest of the world - experienced significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic that compelled brands to rethink their marketing and production strategies.
For Watches and Wonders, the crisis came at a pivotal moment, with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) announcing a bold new vision for Watches and Wonders to build on the established Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) to elevate the concept of presenting watches to trade and specialists, building an immersive, inclusive and future-thinking ‘phygital’ experiences.
A big vision indeed. But it’s succeeded.
The ‘phygital’ moniker has stuck – the idea of bringing together a physical in-person experience alongside virtual meetings for those who cannot attend, has evolved to become a standard hybrid for many brands when it comes to presenting their novelties. What else has stuck is a newly vibrant, more open approach to introducing luxury watchmaking to the world.
This year, building on that sense of absolute anticipation, the 49 brands coming together at Watches and Wonders have retained an almost palpable sense of Swiss-like secrecy, so we’re on tenterhooks to reveal the latest and greatest from Geneva.
We’re going to be keeping a close eye on the ‘teasers’ coming out of Geneva over the next few days and weeks. With some big announcements expected from some of our partner brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Hublot and MB&F, suffice to say we’re on tenterhooks. Will a 70th-anniversary Submariner steal the show? With the mood ebullient, will colourful dials and gemstones grace the new arrivals? We feel that, considering the pace of rigorous research and development, that this could be a particularly exciting year in terms of audacious invention – did a few years of subdued isolation and hunger for excitement result in a explosion of daring creativity?
With technology taking a lead role in other industries, we also predict that digital innovation will be big news in watchmaking. Some of it might be apparent in the watches themselves, but perhaps more will be seen in the ways that brands reach out to their clients and partners.
Reflecting a general sentiment to open up the watch industry to a wider audience, this year, Watches and Wonders will be open to the public and for the first time, will also take place ‘In the City’, with leading watchmaking boutiques preparing to welcome an influx of visitors alongside those attending the fair.
Highlights of the fair include the ‘What time is it?’ photographic exhibition by Karine Bauzin, as well as the extended activity in the city of Geneva itself. Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is travelling to Geneva en masse – so follow our social media channels to ensure up-to-the-minute news as it happens. See you soon!