By Rebecca Doulton
Even the freak torrential downpour, which flooded the city and collapsed a couple of the exhibitors’ tents, did not deter the official opening of SIAR Madrid (Salón Internacional de Alta Relojería). Exhibiting in the garden of the Palacete Miguel Ángel - the palatial venue rented from the March family - the SIAR watch salon is held from 11-14 June.
Now in its second edition, SIAR Madrid offers journalists and the public a chance to see 600 watches from some of Switzerland’s finest haute horlogerie brands. An independent watch salon in the spirit of Salon QP in London, SIAR managed to attract 13 top-echelon Swiss brands, including Vacheron Constantin watches - the world’s oldest watchmaking company, which will be celebrating its 260th anniversary on 17 September this year. Models from the new Harmony collection are exhibited in Vacheron’s rooms.
For Paneristi, the latest Radiomir and Luminor Panerai watches are on show in Panerai's booth, with Audemars Piguet watches bringing along the recently released Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher - a watch designed exclusively for timing multiple laps.
Independent watchmaker F.P. Journe is also in attendance, offering a chance to see the Nouvelle Octa Lune model, which will appeal to purists of watchmaking art, and the Elegante collection of ladies’ watches.
At the other end of the spectrum, Bell&Ross watches showcases its collection of aviation-inspired timepieces and a great vintage-style WWI tourbillon, while MB&F offers visitors a ride in outer space on board its brand new HMX spaceship.
Overlooking the garden with an enviable veranda, Cartier watches exhibits some of its high jewellery panther timepieces, plus models from the new Clé de Cartier collection.
Once again, Jaeger-LeCoultre watches has moved into the March family’s wood-panelled library to both display its models and impart courses on watchmaking. IWC, Montblanc, Piaget, De Bethune - with the lovely DB25 Quetzalcoatl snake watch - plus Chopard watches are also participating at SIAR, which is open to the public on 13 and 14 June in the Palacete Miguel Ángel, calle Miguel Ángel 27, Madrid.