IBG 2011 opened in Chicago and Miami with record numbers of participating brands and best-ever attendance. The strong turnout, coupled with the most-ever brands and independent watchmakers at each show, meant moving to larger venues for 2011, making IBG 2011 a true watch fair. Come inside to see more than 30 images from the events, and don’t forget there are four shows still to come with even more brands!
Past years saw the first part of the show styled as a cocktail reception. This year, with the enormous increase in the number of brands present and with the improvement in their displays, the first half of the show is now really a watch fair with cocktails. During the fair, collectors can see and try on the newest watches, including many that are not yet in the stores, while talking with knowledgeable brand executives and fellow aficionados and collectors. Repeat attendees will instantly notice many more participating brands, including for the first time at all six shows Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Zenith, Blancpain, Roger Dubuis, Glashütte Original, Panerai, Peter Speake-Marin, and MCT. Of course, many IBG exhibitors from previous years will be in all six venues with their newest watches, including: A Lange & Söhne, Bulgari, Carl F. Bucherer, Cartier, IWC, Montblanc, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin. To round things out, there are a host of additional brands exhibiting in selected cities. For example, there will be 32 brands in Los Angeles!”
So naturally the show takes place in larger venues this year to give everyone plenty of room – no more being packed in around the tables as in the past. Of course more brands means the watch fair portion of the show has been extended to ensure that everyone has plenty of time to see and try on the timepieces. And speaking of the timepieces, you simply can’t see this selection anywhere else. And unlike the Swiss shows where the watches are locked away in glass cases, the watches at IBG are available to be inspected and tried on. Another bonus: many of the participating independent watchmakers attend the shows themselves. In Chicago and Miami, Romain Gaulthier was there in person. Collectors last year will remember meeting Peter Speake-Marin (who will be back for other events this year). IBG is a rare opportunity to meet these masters in person.
Following cocktails, it’s off to dinner and noted collector Jeff Kingston’s presentation. This year Jeff covers more than 45 brands, presenting the highlights (including some of the wildest pieces) from Baselworld, SIHH, and the Geneva Time Exhibition. The watches and their creators come to life through original still images and HD video shot at manufacturers and on location in Basel and Geneva. One big change this year: eight of the videos were shot on site at the maufactures. So this year there are videos showing the assembly of the Marie-Antoinette Grand Complication; quality control testing; robustness testing; application of perlage and anglage; hand carving of movement bridges, winding rotors and casebacks; finishing of pinions to comply with the Geneva Seal, and much more. At the end of the evening, guests receive gift bags from participating brands.
There are still four remaining shows:
– September 22: Philadelphia
– September 27: New York City
– October 4: San Francisco
– October 6: Los Angeles