Watches&Wonders Geneva, the Geneva watch fair which took place from March 30 to April 5, 2022, exceeded all expectations and closed with the best figures.
International brands have once again demonstrated their ability to create and innovate with an exhibition of 40,000 m2 of watches and jewelry and millions of views on social networks. Its first edition dates back to 1991 with five brands installed on 1,000 m 2 on the initiative of Alain Dominique Perrin, then CEO of Cartier. The SIHH, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, was officially renamed Watches&Wonders Geneva in 2020, alongside the introduction of a new formula.
The watch industry has once again shown its strength, managing to bring together 38 brands on stands at the height of their turnover. Under this new name Watches&Wonders Geneva, the Swiss industry has confirmed the strength of its houses which have managed to sell their new products, watches, jewellery, automatons…even before the show is over, leaving a slight feeling of shortage. 22,000 visitors, 1,000 journalists alone ensured 30,000 nights in Geneva. Among the 38 brands, 19 were newcomers, making the week vibrate with extraordinary dynamism with discussions on sustainability, innovation and customer experience. The LAB presented fifteen brand initiatives on new ways of calculating the time and the use of new materials.
The impact of this international meeting was estimated at 350 million people with 800,000 posts mentioning the hashtag watchesandwonders and allowing 2,600 accredited digital journalists (digital journalists) to follow the events from the “live lounge”. Thanks to this “physical and digital” format, face-to-face and on video, the watch industry has demonstrated its ability to adapt to changing mores and its resistance to the threats of Covid, with agility and creativity.
On the trend side, platinum is combined with yellow gold in very popular accords. Titanium is spreading. The basic colors remain blue and green even if the matte or shiny black version is making a remarkable comeback. Orange, coral and red are limited to a few pieces, as are mineral, beige and forest green shadows. While waiting for the 2023 edition, the whole profession is impatiently awaiting the Watches and Wonders Shanghai which is to be held from September 7 to 11, 2022, if a reconfinement is not envisaged.
Van Cleef, under the direction of Nicolas Bos since 2013, with a scenography by Jean-Baptiste Auvray shone with the originality of its stand. Forest and aquatic atmosphere ensured thanks to the work of the 12,000 cast glass pendants by Matteo Gonet, glazier from Arlessheim in Switzerland and Salviati 1859, glassmakers from Murano. The visitor was invited to stroll and get lost in a wood inhabited by a benevolent nature where animals and watchmaking parts and jewelry cohabited thanks to the know-how of a craftsman with perfect mastery who from koto marquetry to the trunks of the trees, which are tufted in pure natural wool from the massif of tall grass or in the perspective of an undergrowth with butterflies, flowers and birds on large tapestries in Aubusson stitch. A dip in a strong and immersive decor respecting the quality level of the brand. For Jean-Baptiste Auvray, “the use of craftsmanship in architecture, even temporary, makes it possible to work with less transformed materials, closer to their state and their natural location and therefore makes the project more sustainable. Less polluting also with elements that will be used as a deposit in the rest of their life cycle.”
Most of the fabrications made will be kept and reused for future operations. » The values of the work of the hand, of the material have been carried for more than 10 years by the agency Faire. They allow him to carry out important projects for beautiful houses that adhere to his vision of architecture and understand the challenges and advantages of working as closely as possible with craftsmen. This is how the Ulysse Nardin brand, founded in 1846, also asked him to do the scenography for its stand, all in glass, gilding and light for watches characterized by the exceptional mastery of silicon. The 45mm Black Ceramic combines titanium and black DLC with a rose gold case. The six screws are visible through a slightly domed sapphire crystal which indicates the hours and minutes in a permanent rotating movement. The black alligator skin or golden calfskin strap is in a limited edition of 75 editions. To mark the stand which no one dared enter, the CEO, Patrick Pruniaux, had placed a surprising metal shark with long teeth.
In the Carré des Horlogers, Trilobe, the very young brand of Gautier Massoneau and Volcy Bloch, DG, presented a crazy Day, a watch with three plates rotating at a height of 10.2 mm, under a crystal globe, a real horological feat. In this stand signed Procept, designer and director of events, which wanted to break the codes of luxury and question certain habits such as reading the time with hands, it is above all the seats, Rock on the Moon, four balls of foams wrapped in textile from Toyine Sellers, (Atelier of Textile and Design) and designed by Fabrice Ausset, which made a public in search of comfort react, on secular rocks to read an innovative time and associate opposite temporalities.
On the Hermès stand, the brand gave pride of place to digital art with a work by the artist Sabrina Ratté. “In this installation, she explains, I wanted to evoke the way in which new technologies such as satellite images are changing our perception of time and space. Laurent Dordet, Managing Director of Hermès Horloger explained about the positioning of the brand: “We try to speak not to one generation but to all generations. We create the objects in which we believe and which make us happy. Innovation, transparency, circular economy and of course sustainable development were at the heart of this Metaverse show.