Earlier this year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) announced that in 2020 it would be moving from its traditional January dates to April, to coordinate with Switzerland’s other major watch fair, Baselworld. Today, the Foundation Haute Horlogerie (FHH), which runs SIHH, announced even bigger changes to the 30-year-old salon, which will have a new format, a new concept, and even a new name.
For its next staging from April 25th – 29th, 2020, the SIHH becomes Watches & Wonders Geneva, a new “global concept” that will be associated with the City and Canton of Geneva. (Watch industry followers will recall that the “Watches & Wonders” name has been in use for other FHH-managed events in Hong Kong and, more recently, Miami.)
The event, which is designed to attract not only journalist, retailers, and other watch-industry professionals but also other segments of the public, will be divided into two distinct components. The Salon, held at Geneva’s Palexpo convention center, will resemble the SIHH of the past, hosting 30 watch brands and inviting journalists and other VIPs for exclusive previews and presentations of the year’s new timepieces. For the first time, the general public may also attend all the days of this event for an entrance fee of CHF 300. According to the FHH, the revamped Salon “will have an increased emphasis on conversation and content. There will be CEO presentations, panel discussions, workshops and expanded opportunities for learning and content creation.”
The new “In the City” component will take place throughout the city of Geneva and welcome the general public free of charge. The FHH promises “exhibitions, walking tours, invitations to watchmaking and visits to manufactures, along with boutique presentations, museum open houses, conferences, conversations with industry players and more” in order to achieve “a truly inclusive and immersive event.” Significantly, according to the FHH, watch manufacturers that have not participated in SIHH in the past will take part in the expanded Watches & Wonders Geneva: Patek Philippe will open its legendary museum to attendees, for example. As part of this new initiative, the FHH plans to move its offices to the city center of Geneva.
“Because it’s about more than watches, we chose a name that conveys a sense of wonder, excellence, openness and discovery,” FHH Chairwoman and Managing Director Fabienne Lupo said in a statement. “Watches & Wonders becomes the focal point for the exceptional talent, creativity and infinite innovation of the world’s leading watch and jewelry maisons.”
For more information, visit www.watchesandwonders.com.