End of an Era: SIHH Becomes Watches & Wonders Geneva

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.

SIHH 2019
SIHH 2019

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.”

Watches & Wonders Geneva Logo
Watches & Wonders Geneva Logo

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.

FHH Fabienne Lupo
FHH Chairwoman Fabienne Lupo

“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.”

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  1. Frank Figlia

    It’s about time to reunite these two aspects of world wide watch industry. What is at stake is legitimizing this important visual presentation.

  2. Kendall Tull

    This is a fantastic development. The industry cannot survive unless it gets more in touch with the market base and respond to their changes. I have been pleasantly surprised by attempts by the then new CEO of Breitling to reach out to consumers and solicit feedback. Even if that doesn’t factor hugely in the decision making process, it creates a deeper connection to the brand more than mere marketing. I look forward to the evolution of this new concept and will start planning my attendance in the future.

  3. David Bernat

    I’m not sure that a name change and partial refocusing of the event is that much of a big deal in the total scheme of things.

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