A few months ago, watch manufactories and other representatives of the industry could not have imagined that on the appointed date for the opening of the Watches & Wonders salon they would have to meet not in the luxurious pavilions of the Palexpo exhibition complex, but in a completely different format. The FHH Fine Watchmaking Foundation and watch brands have done everything to make the watchesandwonders.com digital platform available on April 25, and to provide retailers and journalists with complete - and very long-awaited - information about new models.
Guests were greeted by Fabienne Lupeau, Chairman and Managing Director of the Fine Watchmaking Foundation. In her video message, she once again thanked the leaders and teams of all brands, who managed to prepare the content and technical part without leaving home. The pages of participating brands contain materials about new collections with detailed descriptions, short videos from social networks, as well as greetings from heads of companies.
Cyril Vigneron (Cartier) called 2020 “the Year of unexpected”: “Now that everything has stopped, and even the passage of time has become calm, it is very symbolic to talk about watchmaking”. Vacheron Constantin's L'Imaginaire universe was presented by the house's director of heritage and style, Christian Selmoni. Christoph Granger-Herr (IWC) recorded his message at the Schaffhausen manufactory: "We will deliver a new watch from our home straight to your home." Nicolas Baretzky (Montblanc) presented the new chronograph 1858 in an impromptu interview with the editor-in-chief of the German Robb Report - the speakers were at a safe distance.
The Insiders Watches and Wonders section includes short video interviews with industry insiders and newsmakers. Watch designer Eric Giroud, founder of Revolution magazine Wei Koch, watch consultant Manuel Emsch and other connoisseurs of watchmaking answer questions about business in a pandemic situation, about their relationship with time, about watches on their wrist.
For the first time in almost 30 years, the watch salon received the English name Watches & Wonders, before that it was held under the French name Salon International de La Haute Horlogerie. It was a closed event for representatives of the press and retail - clients at Palexpo began to be admitted only on the last day of the exhibition (a new rule was introduced in 2017). Now the platform is open to everyone without exception. This means that watchmaking goes to people. While virtually - without the much-needed tactile contact Feel & Touch.>