A Look Ahead to 2017
Goodbye 2016, hello 2017.
The start of a new year is full of promise and opportunity so I wanted to look forward and see what to expect during the coming year.
16th Janaury to the 20th Janaury, Geneve
In two weeks, the first watch event of the year will kick off, SIHH or the Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie. For most of the event's history, it has been a Richemont & select Friends event, with a sign on its doors saying "No Swatch group allowed". Last year saw the creation of the Carre des Horlogers or Watchmakers Square. This smaller section of the event was where nine independent brands, could showcase their new designs to press and retailers. What I heard from a few attendees was that these independents were far more enjoyable to visit than their headlining acts. Actual conversations about watches could be had rather than a shell game of new releases shuffling around the table.
The last day of the event is now 'Open Day' as for the first time in SIHH history, members of the public can attend. Baselworld is open to the public but limits access to the booths to appointments only and I imagine that SIHH will do something similar. The SIHH rules still state that photography is prohibited so I wonder how enforceable that will be on Open Day. Everyone will have a smartphone and so will have access to a camera. We'll have to wait and see.
If anyone reading this is going to be in attendance, either invited by a brand or on Open Day, then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear about what the experience of SIHH is like by someone with boots on the ground. Like last year, I'll be writing articles on a few select watches that catch my eye; but don't expect 10 regurgitated press releases posted every hour.
27th February to 3rd March, London and New York
Last year Bremont announced that they would not be displaying their new collection in Baselworld. Instead they have chosen to showcase their new watches in London and New York, from the 27th February to the 3rd March. Withdrawing from the biggest watch event of the year might seem like marketing suicide, but it's probably one of the smartest decisions Bremont has made.
Baselworld is big. Really big. It's easy to get lost between the booths and it's even easier for media outlets to overlook new releases. Bremont guarantees themselves at least one day of constant media coverage by showcasing their watches two weeks before. Withdrawing from Baselworld will also be saving Bremont a ton of money as well as Baselworld booths are expensive. Millions of dollars for the mansion size structures in the main boulevard and as watch sales are at an all time low, it makes sense for Bremont to cut costs.
If this detour from the usual is successful, I would wager that we could see a more brands following Bremont's trail in 2018. I would love to see a Baselworld-on-Thames that is open to all British watchmakers, from Marloe Watch Company to Bremont and all the way up to R.W. Smith.
March 23rd to March 30th, Basel
A hop, skip and jump down the calendar brings us to Baselworld. It's the longest and biggest event with hundreds of brands showcasing their collections. Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux and a few independents have chosen to display at SIHH instead, but the line-up remains mostly the same. Like SIHH, I'll be writing about a few pieces that catch my eye but I'll leave the majority of 'BREAKING NEWS' to those actually there.
Patek Philippe: The Art of Watches
July 13th to July 23rd, New York City
Two years ago I visited the Patek Philippe exhibition at SalonQP (You can see my photographs here, here and here), a unique opportunity to see dozens of historical Pateks. This year Patek is recreating this event in New York City for their Art of Watches exhibition. The highlights of the event include; a film theater, the current collection, a recreation of the Patek Philippe Salon in Geneva, a selection of pieces from the Patek Philippe Museum, a collection of pieces owned by American collectors and lots more.
If things go well then I may be within a short train rides distance of New York City. If that's the case then you can be sure as hell that I'll be there.
Watch Time New York
13th October to 14 October, New York City
Watch Time New York is an open event hosted by the Watch Time Magazine and includes showcases from 24 brands. Everyone from A. Lange & Sohne to Vacheron Constantin will be there and it's a chance to get up close and personal with some industry and Instagram leaders. Tickets prices range from $100 for the opening night to just $40 for the Saturday event.
From what I saw on Instagram, this is event looks like a hell of a lot of fun if nothing else. As someone who unfortunately doesn't get to spend much time with actual collectors, this is one event I'm really looking forward to.
The Year Ahead for Timepiece Chronicle
To put it briefly, more of the same. More articles, more videos (Why not go an subscribe to the Timepiece Chronicle Youtube channel whilst you're here), more interviews and lots, lots more watches. I've started work on the a series of themed articles that will be publishing in April and if these go well then I've got several more ideas rattling around in my brain for future series.
Last year saw the implementation and subsequent removal of Google Ads on the site. I didn't like the randomness of content that it showed and it wasn't doing an favors for my wallet or your viewing experience. I am currently creating a media kit that I hope to woo relevant brands with. When something comes of this, you'll be the first to know and I'll be sure to break down the agreement so you know how it will affect the content here.