It would be fair to say that autumn is watch season. There are new releases, auctions, trade shows, and boutique events galore. Even during a pandemic, which has made in-person gatherings and press events extremely challenging if not outright impossible, there is still something exciting to read in watch news every day. If you happen to be in New York or Geneva, the opportunities are even more plentiful.
Capping off the season before the holidays is Dubai Watch Week – an enchanting week of horological events involving over 50 brands from around the world. Chrono24 will be there for the whole week, sharing live updates on social media and via Chrono24 Magazine, so our readers won’t miss a thing! As we prepare to pack our bags for Dubai, we thought we’d take a look back at a few of the exciting events that have already come and gone this fall.
Geneva Watch Days
Once upon a time, the entire watch industry gathered at a little watch and jewelry tradeshow called Baselworld. The show had been the pinnacle of the horological calendar every year since 1917 but had struggled to draw exhibitors and guests back into its hallowed halls in recent years. In 2020, COVID-19 managed to do what even two world wars could not, and the show was postponed for the first time in its history. In its absence, the 2021 Geneva Watch Days offered a glimpse into the latest activities of the Swiss watch world. With releases from H. Moser & Cie, Oris, MB&F, and many others, we think it’s safe to say that many a watch enthusiast’s Christmas list grew by quite a bit.
WatchTime 2021 & WindUp Watch Fair
Two exciting watch events happen simultaneously in New York City each year: one downtown at Chelsea Market and the other uptown at Gotham Hall. To call the two events “trade shows” would do both of them a great disservice. Windup is a gathering of smaller, mostly independent watch brands and micro-brands that show off their latest offerings at humble tables. It’s a wonderful and intimate event that provides an opportunity for personal interaction with up-and-coming watchmakers.
A few blocks uptown at the famous Gotham Hall is WatchTime NYC, which offers a far more glamorous setting for luxury and high-end watchmakers to show off their latest and greatest curiosities. Everyone from A. Lange & Söhne to Greubel Forsey gathers and gives folks a unique opportunity to handle some of the most magnificent timepieces that money can buy. With champagne in hand, attendees are also treated to a series of compelling panels featuring industry insiders and experts. This year’s highlight was the topical, “What is a woman’s watch in 2021?” – a panel about women and their representation in the watch world.
Watch auctions are the closest thing that horology has to sporting events. This year has been particularly compelling as both Phillips and Christie’s auctioned off some truly historic Rolexes, the latter of which caused a significant amount of controversy. But that isn’t where the headlines end in terms of auctions this year. The equally headline-breaking Only Watch Auction, a charity auction featuring unique timepieces from some of the world’s top watchmakers, shattered records in the name of a good cause – namely, research to treat and cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève
The GPHG is often described as the Oscars of the watch world, which is a perfect description. The event involves a jury comprised of 30 of the most influential and experts in the watch industry. But what makes the jury particularly compelling is that it’s not merely a collection of 30 watchmakers; instead, it includes everyone from journalists to collectors, artists, and yes, a few watchmakers you might have heard of (Philippe Dufour, for example). Numerous watches are selected from a plethora of categories like best Ladies’ and Men’s watch, Ladies’ and Men’s Complication, Dive Watch, and the coveted Aiguille d’Or, or the best overall watch. This year, that honor was bestowed upon none other than Bvlgari for their Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar.