WatchTime New York, America’s largest luxury watch event for collectors and enthusiasts, wrapped up the show’s third year at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall yesterday. The two-day event began with a sold-out VIP cocktail on Friday, October 13, followed by a full day of educational panels, seminars, tours, and events on Saturday, October 14.
In its third year, WatchTime New York has established itself as a hub for the watch industry in the United States and a launchpad for new products. WatchTime New York opened its doors on Friday, October 13th with guests crowding around Longines’ special 185th anniversary Heritage Exhibition to hear a few words of introduction from WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger as well as Ruediger Albers, President of Wempe USA and WatchTime New York partner.
Over the course of the luxury watch show, WatchTime New York welcomed more than 1,200 collectors, influencers, brand representatives, and notable industry personalities to kick off the show with cocktails and an exhibition featuring 30 of the world’s most fascinating watch brands. The exhibitors included internationally renowned watch brands Omega, Longines, TAG Heuer, Zenith, Baume & Mercier, Breguet, Blancpain, A. Lange & Söhne, Wempe, Grand Seiko, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and more, each of which displayed the newest and most interesting timepieces in their current collections.
The two-day event was hosted by WatchTime Magazine and co-hosted by event partner and media platform Watch Anish for the third consecutive year, with support of additional partners including: SWISS Airlines, Phillips auction house, Wempe, acoustic instruments maker C.F. Martin & Co., watch and jewelry winders and case makers WOLF, haute leather-accessories atelier Linea Luxe, Four Roses bourbon, and Modern Art with Vintage Parts by Berd Vay’e, along with additional media partners Watchonista and Robb Report.
This year, many watch brands took the opportunity to debut new models and collections to the United States public for the first time, exclusively at WatchTime New York. Graham unveiled an 8-piece limited edition Orrery Tourbillon, RGM launched a 222-RR Railroad watch with enamel box car dial, and Romain Gauthier debuted its Insight Micro-Rotor with limited-edition models never seen before. Morritz Grossman unveiled its ATUM Pure Skull exclusively at the WatchTime New York Show. Bremont also launched its limited-edition Bremont 1918. In the brand’s first showing at WatchTime, Chronoswiss also unveiled a new blue-dialed version of its limited-edition skeletonized Sirius Flying Grand Regulator Skeleton watch. Longines also introduced its new Longines Avigation BigEye to the public for first time, along with a special Heritage Exhibition celebrating the brand’s 185th anniversary.
The show opened on Saturday morning with an opportunity for guests to “Meet Watchmaking Stars” Kari Voutilainen, Roland Murphy, and Romain Gauthier, plus Claude Greisler of Armin Strom. In this panel moderated by Jeff Kingston, these notable watchmakers shared how and why they started their careers as watchmakers. The event was followed by a panel of experts discussing the state of the industry, featuring experts Ruediger Albers (President Wempe USA), Nicholas Manousos (President, Horological Society of New York), Matthew Hranek (author, photographer, director, and Condé Nast Traveler men’s style editor) Gabriel Benador (private collector), Jeremy Roizin (Managing Partner of Watch Anish), and Josh Shanks (Managing Editor, Watchonista), moderated by Roger Ruegger, WatchTime Editor-in-Chief.
Following the panel, author Matthew Hranek welcomed guests for a meet-and-greet and preview of his new book, A MAN AND HIS WATCH: Iconic Watches and Stories from the Men Who Wore Them, published by Artisan Books, available November 1, 2017.
Guests packed the floor for two sold-out tours of the WatchTime exhibiting brands, led by noted collector and consultant Jeff Kingston. The annual tours have become anticipated highlights for show guests, as well as his Inside Basel Geneva presentation later that day. While exploring the fascinating watches on floor of Gotham Hall, guests were treated to coffee and prosecco served out of custom, luxury leather trunks, crafted in Morocco by up-and-coming haute leather accessories atelier Linea Luxe, and Four Roses Bourbon also hosted a whiskey tasting for WatchTime guests. The final event of the day offered a fun and informative presentation on “James Bond’s Watches: Six Decades of Memorable Timepieces from Printed Page to Silver Screen,” hosted by WatchTime Digital Media Editor Mark Bernardo.
WatchTime New York’s guests included notable international watch collectors, authors, timepiece enthusiasts, journalists, social media influencers and tastemakers, including luxury watch collector Rich Pinto, who remarked, “This year, the show is busier, happier, with many interested collectors. It feels to me we are seeing an influx of new technologies being premiered.”
Regarding the brand’s first time exhibiting at WatchTime New York, Zenith CEO Julien Tornare remarked: “WatchTime New York presents a fantastic opportunity to meet clients and watch aficionados and to share our passion. Thank you to the whole team of WatchTime New York.”
The 2017 edition of WatchTime New York’s expanded lineup of 30 watch exhibitors was matched by sold-out ticket sales. WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Roger Ruegger remarked that “This year, WatchTime New York proved without any doubt that this is the most important event for watch collectors in the U.S. We have brought together relevant brands and an intelligent, educated crowd of high-level collectors and watch enthusiasts. We look forward to what 2018 will bring at WatchTime New York.”