Watch Stops 2011: Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH)

For much of January you have heard us refer to the SIHH as the first trade show of the year, as the world’s premiere luxury watch show and as THE place where many of the world’s foremost brands showcase their newest inventions. Additionally, we have been bringing you pre-SIHH news and products, as well as at-show information. Now, we will be bringing you in-depth post-show news, products and even interviews in our Moment in Time section with watch brand executives and with celebrities we met with during the fair.

However, before we do that, we would like to bring you a glimpse of what it looks like at the SIHH. This is no ordinary show, with simple countertops and display counters – with watches inside the displays. No, at this show, each brand exhibits in a grand manner – with a complete  building that reflects its core message and brand  identity. This year, since IWC is celebrating the Portofino watch, the company brought the romantic seaside village to Geneva – complete with a gelato cart, an outdoor café, a movie theater and more. Similarly, Baume & Mercier, which this year unveils its new Life’s Special Moments campaign all built around the Hamptons beach living theme, built an entire Hamptons beach mansion – complete with a backdrop of ocean and beach, outdoor bar and patio, and indoor upscale ambiance. Roger Dubuis brought in a casino gaming table and opulent chandeliers to bring its casino line to life; Cartier, in traditional elegance, used its signature Red for its décor and in a separate room brought in an entire historical collection to recreate a museum. Ralph Lauren used rich woods and full-wall murals, leather chairs and all stylistic accents indicative of the brand. Vacheron Constantin brought in a watchmaker to demonstrate his trade, and Panerai created an entire dark room with touch technology to light up and magnify watch parts. Indeed, the minute one enters any single brand’s “booth,” one immediately captures the tone and spirit of the brand’s message.


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