Much like the larger event in Basel, Switzerland, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, otherwise known as SIHH, is a luxury trade fair in Geneva that has underwent a vast amount of change since 2016. The difference is not so much like Baselworld – which has been in the news lately dealing with a massive decline in exhibitors and attendance. SIHH, on the other hand, has been proactive and without controversy.
The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie is known as the most exclusive of the two main Swiss timepiece trade fairs and is also considerably more enjoyable. Since 2016, SIHH has invited more exhibitors, attendees and press and it has seen its fair share of exhibitors leaving the show but it is more because of changing distribution channels as opposed to problems with the fair itself. Van Cleef & Arpels will not be attending this year stating that it does very little business with retailers and distributors. Two other luxury timepiece brands, Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet, are also exiting the scene next year for similar reasons, as prestigious timepiece companies are dealing more directly with consumers nowadays.
However, SIHH is not experiencing a permanent decline in exhibitors; luxury Swiss timepiece brand, Bovet, known for their handmade timepieces with artistic finishes and highly complicated movements will be exhibiting at SIHH for the first time in 2019. Additionally, Breitling and Bucherer have recently become members of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, otherwise known as FHH, which manages SIHH. This is most likely a first step in the replacement of Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet for 2020.
In total, there will be 35 exhibitors at SIHH 2019, 18 of which are historic watch brands, with the majority being owned and operated by the Swiss luxury goods holding company, the Richemont Group and 17 highly exclusive and in some cases experimental independent watchmakers. These companies are as follows:
|Historic Maisons||Carré des Horlogers|
|A. Lange & Söhne||Armin Strom|
|Audemars Piguet||Christophe Claret|
|Baume & Mercier||Chronométrie|
|Girard-Perregaux||élégante by F.P.Journe|
|Hermès||H. Moser & Cie|
|Richard Mille||Romain Gauthier|
A good many of the watchmaking companies have also revealed some of the timepieces that they will be unveiling at SIHH 2019. While most of the timepiece brands will unveil their best pieces during the show, there are some noticeable early trends that include a focus on case shapes as well as different variations of celestial themes. What follows in the next segment are some of the timepieces that will be unveiled at the trade show.
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