SIHH 2012, preview of highlights

A look at the new models unveiled at the 2012 Salon International de Haute Horlogerie the annual luxury watch show in Geneva.


From the 16th to the 20th January the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) opens its doors for its 22nd edition at the vast Palexpo exhibition centre alongside Geneva airport. And of course, I will be there to take in all the show has to offer and will probably see some 300 watches, drink too much coffee and end up with very sore feet.

For a week, a 3,000m2 hangar, more normally associated with the Geneva International Motor Show is converted into a graciously appointed series of showrooms where 18 top end watch houses show their latest horological creations to retailers and press.

The event attracts 5,000 retailers, agents and distributors, representing around 2,000 points of sales around the world as well as some 1,300 journalists making it the main selling and press event of the year for the exhibitors. Thirteen of them are Richemont Group brands amongst big names such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai and IWC and the remaining independents include Girard Perregaux, Richard Mille and Parmigiani. There is even room for niche brands such as Greubel Forsey and Roger Dubuis.

The show started as a group of breakaway brands decided to leave the BaselWorld watch and jewellery show and set up an elite enclave of tip top horlogeres. Today it is the luxury watch show of the world and all Geneva is a flutter with flags and banners advertising the new arrivals.

Here is a first look at the men's models from the new collections. Difficult to gauge trends from just this selection but it does look like another fairly conservative year - look at the traditional lines of the Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier and Girard-Perregaux to get a flavour of the grown-up looks. But as we all know, the brands keep the best until the very last minute so I will keep you posted on all I see. Follow me on Twitter (TheJewelleryEd) for up to the minute coverage of things horological from the SIHH starting Monday 16th. A Geneve!



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