SIHH is arguably one of the biggest luxury watches trade shows in the world. It has been the go-to trade show for collectors and journalists to check out what’s in store. However, the past few years have not been kind to SIHH as more and more watchmakers are leaving to start their very own trade show. This has prompted the FHH (Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie) to rebrand SIHH to be known as simply, Watches & Wonders.
Moving forward, Watches & Wonders will be split into categories — Watches & Wonder – The Salon and Watches & Wonders – In the City. The Salon will remain at its original location in Geneva where the show has taken place for many years. However, the main difference is that it will grant the public more access as opposed to last year. Its annual dates have also changed from January to late April, with next year’s edition happening from 25 to 29 April 2020.
This includes full access to the shows as well as all the brand booths that will be available. The Salon will also have a heavier emphasis on panel discussions and workshops this year. As it was only available to journalists in the previous years, public attendees will also be able to attend said talks starting next year.
As for Watches & Wonders – In the City, it will be a completely free and open event to the public. This will include activations spread out across Geneva, which will be similar to what Watches & Wonders has done in Miami previously. One of the first participants includes The Patek Philippe Museum, that will be opening its doors to the public during the Watches & Wonders show in Geneva. W&W – In the City will also be bringing brands that have not previously been a part of SIHH.
While this move will divide opinions, it is for the better as luxury brands are leaving such trade shows. SIHH already saw both Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille parting ways with them. And that’s not all of it either; Baselworld were dealt a huge blow when the Swatch Group decided to leave as well.
However, this could work out for the better. In this sense, more independent luxury watchmakers could be making their debut.
All images courtesy of Watches & Wonders.