The first edition of the WatchTime Los Angeles show launched at Hudson Loft in downtown Los Angeles last weekend, marking the West Coast’s first two-day luxury show dedicated solely to wristwatch enthusiasts. The event kicked off on Friday, May 4, with a VIP cocktail party and a first look at the latest watches from 27 renowned international watch brands and continued Saturday, May 5, with a day-long celebration of timepieces and related panels and presentations. With the launch of WatchTime Los Angeles, WatchTime Magazine, together with longtime event partner Watch Anish, took its popular WatchTime New York event series bi-coastal for the first time, joined by West Coast retail partner Bhindi Jewelers and additional supporting partners The Hollywood Reporter and WatchBox. When all was said and done, more than 500 collectors and wristwatch enthusiasts attended the first edition of WatchTime Los Angeles.
The annual WatchTime New York has been held for four consecutive years in midtown Manhattan, and will return for Year Five on October 25-26, 2019. As attendance surges year over year, buzz and demand has only grown, prompting the launch of WatchTime Los Angeles. The event was modeled on the New York show’s winning formula and caters both to watch enthusiasts and brands with a unique direct-to-consumer event format tailored to the U.S. market. Neither trade show nor traditional exposition, WatchTime Los Angeles invites the general public and WatchTime Magazine’s long-established network of wristwatch collectors and enthusiasts to an informal social meet-up and trunk show exhibition that is equal parts educational forum and industry hub.
WatchTime Los Angeles kicked off with a luxurious VIP cocktail party on Friday, May 4. Watch lovers came from near and far to get coveted hands-on time with the latest timepieces from 27 exhibiting brand large and small, including Greubel Forsey, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Grand Seiko, Romain Gauthier, HYT, and more. Many of the timepieces on display had never been seen in the United States before and arrived fresh from their worldwide debuts in Switzerland for the occasion. Attendees sipped on premium beverages and enjoyed charcuterie while mingling with fellow watch lovers and enjoyed the chance to interact with watchmaking icons, high-profile designers, watch experts, Hollywood influencers, and WatchTime editors.
WatchTime Los Angeles continued Saturday, May 4th with a full day of curated presentations and panels geared to watch lovers of all levels, from established watch collectors to budding enthusiasts. The show opened on Saturday, October 27, with a pre-event panel entitled “Inside the Atelier: Meet the Independent Watch Brands.” The Q&A session offered guests the chance to hear insights into the careers and creative process of favorite independent watchmaking stars including Kari Voutiliainen, Romain Gauthier, Roland Murphy of RGM, Armin Strom watchmaker Claude Greisler, and Chronode founder Jean-François Mojon.
The weekend’s keynote panel, presented in partnership with The Hollywood Reporter, convened a diverse group of entertainment-industry watch enthusiasts and Hollywood influencers who spoke on the topic of “Hollywood Watch Collecting.” The panel included actor and director Fred Savage, noted L.A.-based collector Morgan King, red carpet stylist Jeanne Yang, and UTA talent agent David Park, and was co-hosted by The Hollywood Reporter watch writer Degen Pener and WatchTime Senior Editor Mark Bernardo. Later that afternoon, WatchTime Los Angeles guests were treated to a fascinating presentation on “The Chronograph 101” by renowned watch collector and longtime WatchTime event partner Jeff Kingston.
“This is amazing. I’m like a little kid in a candy store,” said Mayans MC actor, watch enthusiast, and WatchTime profile subject Antonio Jaramillo, who visited the event on Saturday. “It’s great to see all of these amazing watches and watchmakers in one room. I discovered wonderful independent brands like Christophe Claret and Czapek and had the pleasure of meeting Roland Murphy, who’s done so much for American watchmaking. I am geeking out right now.” Gary Getz, a well-known watch collector, added, “I think [WatchTime L.A.] will become a fixture on the calendar of West Coast collectors. It’s great to have an event like this where watch enthusiasts can see old friends, meet new friends, and interact with old veterans as well as people who are new to the hobby. The panels were fun and there was an excellent variety of exhibiting brands. I saw some watches here that I didn’t get to see at the major shows.”
“WatchTime’s inaugural show in L.A. immediately set a new benchmark for multi-channel event platforms in the luxury watch industry,” said WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger. “With WatchTime’s combined reach in print and online, the show provides the ideal opportunity to connect watch brands with collectors and enthusiasts on the West Coast.” WatchTime publisher Sara Orlando added, “WatchTime Los Angeles exceeded all our expectations and we can’t wait to return next year!”