The shortest possible answer to the above question is in French—Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie; SIHH is an exposition for all things watch. With watchmakers from around the globe presenting their best pieces, it’s a festival of new innovation and discovery in time engineering. The event is essentially the same as Baselworld, but takes place outside of Basel Switzerland in Geneva—arguably ground zero for premiere watch invention. In recent years both SIHH and Baselworld have been dipping in popularity. To combat this dip in turnout both events are going to be held back-to-back in April 2020 (albeit 158 miles apart from each other). SIHH is ringing in its 30th anniversary with a major name change. Watch enthusiasts have already been buzzing about the newly labeled “Watches and Wonders Geneva”. Taking on a much more pared-down title, and renaming it in English, is likely an attempt to give SIHH a broader international appeal. Though it could be seen as a high-society luxury event, SIHH is trying to bring this showcase to as broad of an audience as possible—while still highlighting the most prestigious maisons in watchmaking.
Watches and Wonders
SIHH began in 1990. It used to coincide with the Baselworld festival in the month of April, until a few years later when it was moved to January. This has led to some frustration for industry professionals—due to the doubled travel costs of visiting both events during any given year. But no more! Watches and Wonders Geneva is taking place from April 26-29. Baselworld will then begin the following day on Apr. 30th (ending May 5th).
Among plenty of other watch groups, there are select brands that will likely dominate the SIHH showcase. These brands include Cartier, Jaeger-Lecoultre, and Vacheron Constantin (all “Richemont” brands). With their combined history of mechanical watch engineering, their moves continually influence watchmaking globally. Each of their announcements/premiers will likely have a high retail value. In that regard, one could criticize the event for advertising only prestige and unattainable timepieces—concerning everyday consumers. However, for enthusiasts of all walks, it’s an opportunity to imagine the future of timekeeping. Furthermore, it’s a chance to glimpse into the minds of watchmaking’s top engineers.
What Will We See?
Here at TimesTicking we look forward to the new releases that come from both the SIHH and Baselworld. Unique timepieces will certainly abound—like last year’s Spiderman watch from Romain Jerome (which we happily covered). While we are admiring from afar, the news that comes out of both SIHH and Baselworld will always hit close to home. Whether its something new from a long-running Swiss watchmaker, or a new contender in the ring, we’ll do our best to remain apprised of the latest in haute horological design.
We just learned here at TimesTicking (right before posting this blog) that this year’s Watches and Wonders Geneva has been canceled—due to public health concerns over the Coronavirus. Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, the group responsible for putting together Watches and Wonders, made an official announcement for the press at the end of February 2020. What’s more, Baselworld has also been canceled. It is an unfortunate turn of events but is predicated on the responsible decision making of both events’ organizers. Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s press statement (which is published multiple places online) reads, “…in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all our guests, press, partners and teams, the decision has been taken to cancel the upcoming edition of Watches & Wonders Geneva”. With both the former SIHH and Baselworld canceled, the watch world is losing its two largest trade shows this year. Continued international watch trade will hopefully reveal fresh updates from both events’ featured watchmakers.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.