The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) makes a major move to incorporate nine fresh names to their roster of luxury watch makers. Up until now, SIHH has included mostly brands that exist under the aegis of The Richemont Group.
While each of the major watch brands is clearly competitive from the outside, internally, there is a lot of talent and skills -sharing that helps the Swiss watch industry survive in a world where their items are no longer sold as necessary tools, but rather as luxury items. Gone from SIHH 2016 is Ralph Lauren watches (which was a joint venture between Richemont and Ralph Lauren) and in their place will be a new hall which will be called the Carré des Horlogers (literally “square of watchmakers”). This is being touted as an “exhibition within an exhibition” because rather than the larger, more elaborate booths for much larger brands such as Cartier, Montblanc, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, etc…, the participating brands within the Carré des Horlogers will be contained together in a larger room with smaller spaces for each. This is actually not entirely unlike where most of these brands are typically formally display at shows like Baselworld (held a few months later in Basel, Switzerland).
The known reality for anyone who has been in attendance at SIHH is that all of these watch brands were, for the most part, already displaying somewhere in Geneva during the SIHH show week each year in January. In fact, for a long time, these “outside exhibitions” were an internal point of contention for the SIHH organizers because they did not like the fact that other brands displayed their products around town in Geneva during the same time period. The mentality being that because SIHH and its participating brands put so much effort and resources into bringing both watch retailers and media to town for the show, it was an unfair infringement of their efforts for other brands to be taking advantage of the presence of key people in watch sales and media who attended the event from around the world.
The Swiss watch industry further faces issues from high retail prices, too much unsold watch industry in the market, and currency fluctuations which tends to strengthen things like trans-shipping and gray market sales, while at the same time, reducing the ability for authorized dealers in certain countries to afford new inventory. There are, of course, a lot of positive things as well, but we are currently facing an economic reality in the watch industry were further consolidation and partnerships are necessary to pool resources and help the key players in the watch industry look out for their mutual interests.
So what are the nine new watch brands that will be a part of the inaugural Carré des Horlogers? In alphabetical order those brands are 1. Christophe Claret, 2. De Bethune, 3. H. Moser & Cie, 4. Hautelence, 5. HYT, 6. Kari Voutilainen, 7. Laurent Ferrier, 8. MB&F, and 9. Urwerk.
Many of these brands are simply going to be making a shift from displaying in a nearby hotel in Geneva to officially at the SIHH. Affording to the SIHH these brands will of course pay their share of the SIHH organization costs, but will pay less since they are taking up less space. Brands apparently pay as a function of the square footage they require at the trade show event. The SIHH also provides other facilities such as a press room, transportation, and, of course, food for the guests.
externe bron door : ABTW/ Equwatch.com -picture ABTW