Over 2,000 watch enthusiasts streamed through the bronze doors of Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan this weekend for the annual WatchTime New York collector show – the largest number of attendees to attend the event in its eight-year history.
Collectors flocked to experience the latest timepieces from 36 brand exhibitors, some revealed to the world for the first time live from the show floor. Renowned investor, author, TV personality, and collector Kevin O’Leary also attended the event, describing WatchTime New York 2023 as “Spectacular.” SAG-award-winning actor Aldis Hodge (“Black Adam”, “City on a Hill”) was also spotted at the event on Sunday, October 22.
The event kicked off with a sold-out VIP cocktail event on Friday, October 20, offering the first chance to experience the latest timepieces from the 36 brand exhibitors and the rare opportunity to mingle with global brand exhibitors, fellow collectors, and tastemakers while enjoying light bites and custom cocktails from WatchTime New York sponsor and Fifth Avenue retailer Wempe. Attendees were also treated to a grand reveal by Bell & Ross CEO Carlos Rosillo and Sacha Lakic – who unveiled their Blacktrack Motors collaboration and Blacktrack watch live on the show floor.
Saturday opened with insights from a high-profile collector – Kevin O’Leary, “Mr. Wonderful,” together with WatchTime Publisher Sara Orlando and WatchTime Senior Editor Bilal Khan. The renowned investor, TV personality, author, and watch collector also took time to walk the WatchTime New York show floor, mingling with fellow watch collectors and trying on watches from 36 leading watch brands under the grand dome of Gotham Hall. O’Leary wore two timepieces to the event – one on each wrist, and one timepiece sporting his trademark red watch strap.
When asked what he thought about WatchTime New York, Kevin O’Leary replied: “Spectacular,” continuing: “What I appreciate about this is that it’s a gathering of a global scale. These are brands from all around the world coming together. It’s a chance for collectors like me to see what’s next but also what came before, because some of these brands are displaying some very rare vintage pieces. So, I would never get to see these unless I was here… I think that’s the importance of this: understanding there’s a past to this industry as well as a future. Putting them both together in one show is genius.”
The 36 brand exhibitors this year included Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Bovet, Breguet, Bremont, Carl F. Bucherer, Chopard, Chronoswiss, Cyrus, Czapek, Frederique Constant, G-Shock, Gerald Charles, Glashütte Original, Greubel Forsey, H. Moser & Cie., HYT, Laurent Ferrier, Louis Erard, Massena LAB, MB&F, Moritz Grossmann, Norqain, Oris, Parmigiani Fleurier, Perrelet, Piaget, RGM, Roger Dubuis, Speake-Marin, Ulysse Nardin, Vianney Halter, Voutilainen, and Zeitwinkel. Industry executives on site throughout the weekend included Bell & Ross CEO Carlos Rosillo, Kari Voutilainen of Voutilainen, Xavier de Roquemaurel of Czapek, Roland Murphy of RGM, Oris CEO of The Americas VJ Geronimo, and Emmanuel Breguet.
Throughout the day Saturday and Sunday, attendees enjoyed complimentary tastings from Wolves Whiskey and Vin Fraîche Wine Group in between panel presentations that included “The Return of the Dress Watch,” moderated by Jeff Kingston and featuring Kelly Yoch (Director of Client Relations at Watches of Switzerland), Michael Hickcox, and Ken Koshiyama, (Haute Horlogerie International Sales Manager of Chopard). Saturday closed with “Aviation and Watches: What is a True Pilots’ Watch?”, moderated by Jeff Kingston, joined by Emmanuel Breguet (VP Head of Patrimony).
The show closed its eighth edition with a final day of panels and watch presentations – including “Best alone, best together,” a panel exploring unexpected brand collaborations. The panel was moderated by WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger, and featured panelists including Pascal Ravessoud (FHH), VJ Geronimo (Oris), Carlos Rosillo (Bell & Ross), and Adam Craniotes (RedBar).
The show closed with a panel celebrating indie watchmakers: “Independent Watchmaking on the Mezzanine.” Hosted by Jeff Kingston, the feature presentation highlighted Kari Voutilainen, Vianney Halter, Moritz Grossmann, Laurent Ferrier, Massena Lab, Cyrus, and Zeitwinkel.
Many of the new and notable timepieces on display were exhibited for the first time on North American soil at WatchTime New York. Timepiece highlights included – but were not limited to – the Speake-Marin Openworked Sandblasted Titanium and Red Gold, the Arnold & Son Luna Magna Meteorite in red gold, the Bremont Supermarine GMT S302, the Czapek Quai des Bergues 40.5m, and the new Gerard Charles’ Maestro 8.0 Squelette. Zeitwinkel also introduced its “MAKS” timepiece collection to U.S. collectors for the first time.
“The fact that our WatchTime network of collectors keep returning to this show year after year is a testament to the vitality of the U.S. market and the wholly unique experience our show provides. We have created a forum that brings collectors and brands together to learn, interact, and build connections.”Sara Orlando, Publisher of WatchTime New York
“We are proud to bring collectors and watchmakers together like never before – uniting the global watch community here in the heart of New York City at WatchTime New York.”Roger Ruegger, WatchTime Editor-in-Chief
To learn more, visit WatchTime New York, here.