Tick, tock goes the clock of time as we watch light arise over the horizon. The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) has officially announced that “Watches & Wonders”, will take place this upcoming Saturday, April 25th. As a response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and enforced social-distancing guidelines, FHH has embraced the mission of providing the entire watch community with a digital platform, to gather together virtually and enjoy one of the many reasons to keep on ticking.
What was once known as “SIHH” - (Salon de Haute Horlogerie) is no more. The writing was on the wall and many might say they saw it coming. It was a question of time (pun intended). But, who knows how long sponsors would have lingered on with regular attendants succumbing to seasonal habits, if not for COVID-19. It took a worldwide pandemic to finally usher an event reluctant to embrace modern trends, of an evermore digital society, definitively into the past.
It was no secret that the “times they were a changing”. The first cracks in the veneer of what otherwise would be considered historic hallmark events, celebrating a luxury market, renown for exuberance and wealth, were more than confirmed by several brands departing from Baselworld earlier this year.
Now from the ashes of SIHH, we witness the rise of W&W - Watches & Wonders. It was meant to take place in the Palexpo convention centre in Geneva. But, due to the relentless wrath of the coronavirus this event inevitably will have to occur exclusively online. In total this convention will gather over 30 of the world’s leading fine watch brands, which will be presenting their latest novelties for 2020.
For the first phase of Watches & Wonders, the site will feature dedicated pages for each brand, where visitors will have the opportunity to discover their respective universes, including the newest timepiece releases for 2020. They will also view up-to-the-moment social media content, and connect directly to the brands’ own sites and channels.
Starting at noon CET, on April 25th, Watches & Wonders, opening day will feature a series of new product launch presentations where executives from participating brands will showcase their novelties through 10-minute streaming videos, which will then be permanently accessible on the site.
In collaboration with participating brands, the FHH is also curating a broad range of expert and educational content for the site, including product analysis, trend forecasts, technological innovation and in-depth explorations of design, artistry and craft, as well as business talks and commentary from industry notables.
The new watchesandwonders.com platform has been designed to remain a key destination for watch enthusiasts and the industry overall, beyond this first phase at the end of April, after which it will continue to be updated with new content over the longer term. Later this summer, a second phase will commence with additional product launches, along with strategic e-commerce partnerships, which will enhance the platform’s appeal for watch lovers, conceived to bring further value to participating brands.
All this is part of a new ‘global ecosystem’ created by the FHH, which is aiming to fulfill the needs of its watch brands, while becoming a permanent flagship of fine watchmaking excellence alongside several physical events, among which will be Watches & Wonders Geneva in April 2021. For more up to date information visit their official website: www.watchesandwonders.com. And don’t forget to join us all online this upcoming April. 25th, 2020. Hope to see you all there!