Captivating New Generations with Innovation and Technology
The 29th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) was a major success for the luxury watch sector, with attendance record of 23,000 visitors, plus unprecedented exposure and response in social media. In a digital world where online networking has become the prime form of business, communication and consumption, traditional watchmaking, instead of staying behind in the darkness and uncertainty of old-fashioned mechanics, is thriving with a growing market of new and young customers in the digital era. To reach a larger audience beyond the walls of Palexpo Genève, the venue that hosted the event, the SIHH live-streamed all 30 presentations and used strategies like the hashtag #SIHH2019 with over 380,000 posts in websites, blogs and webzines, reaching almost 260 million people.
“[The SIHH] enables us to really engage with our clients at a deeper level and deliver an uncompromising experience of luxury.”
-Mehdi Rajan, Brand Director at IWC Schaffhausen, Middle East, India and Africa
Notably, a number of celebrities and influencers, as guests and as ambassadors for the brands, were in attendance to support the incredible event. Names like Hugh Jackman, Michael B.Jordan, Daniel Brühl, Bradley Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Nicholas Hoult, Adriana Lima, Dev Patel, and many more, posed on red carpets and stopped by some of the stands to try on the best new models and releases. Also, this year’s use of technology proved a significant advantage to enhance the way audiences experienced the exhibitions, with artificial intelligence and virtual reality as highlighted features. Such technology is an allegory of the innovations the brands are presenting to the world.
The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie is exclusive and only a few brands get to exhibit their new models—brands that have built a history of innovation and prestige. Some of the best timepieces came at the hands of ateliers like Audemars Piguet with the groundbreaking Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar and the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Ultra-Thin, while Girard-Perregaux presented the Laureato Perpetual Calendar, which will become an instant classic. Cartier unveiled the Privé Tonneau collection and Piaget showcased the Altiplano High Jewellery, a stunning piece that sports a beautiful ocean blue dial and diamonds on the bezel, and the Altiplano Tourbillon that features a meteorite dial. The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène is another outstanding timepiece with a white mother-of-pearl dial and rose gold details. For its part, Swiss luxury brand Girard-Perregaux introduced its new collection for women: the Cats Eye Aventurine, the “Majestic,” “Celestial” and “Tourbillon”, each with an oval dial and a set of brilliant-cut diamonds.
These are some of the highlights and only a fraction of the grandeur the SIHH prepared for us this year. With constant new releases by the top maisons, the watchmaking industry is more alive than ever. We can’t wait to see what next year’s edition will bring.
Text: Amura ± Photo: SIHH © 2019 ALL RIGHT RESERVED