In recent years, watches shows are experiencing a new youth. Some of the most important watch fairs are in deep crisis, and some shut down permanently, due to the pandemic; however, many small events, in contrast, emerged recently and are doing quite well, attracting more and more audiences and exhibitors. These events involve professional and enthusiast audiences; moreover, in these watch events, micro-brands also find their place alongside established or long-standing watchmaking Maisons. So let’s have a closer look at these events, in chronological order, in 2023.
Inhorgenta Munich is an exhibition dedicated to jewelry and watches, held in Munich in February. The 2022 edition hosted 732 exhibitors from 33 countries, spread over 55,000 sqm. At Inhorgenta, professionals find the latest trends in both jewelry and watches. Alongside the showcase, Trendfactory offers workshops and talks with industry players, to delve into evolving trends. Inhorgenta is the ideal platform to find new partners throughout the watch industry, and to communicate excellence to top international media. Inhorgenta’s offerings are rounded out with the Inhorgenta Award; it goes to the best jewelry, watches, sales concepts, and designers, for a total of ten categories.
The next edition of Inhorgenta Munich takes place at Messe Munich, February 24-27, 2023.
The District Time Watch Show
Loren Sciurba, Editor-in-Chief of The Time Bum watch review site, and Bill McDowell, founder of McDowell Time watches, have organized this annual watch fair since 2016. It is a free, public event and one of only a handful in the United States that is focused on smaller, independent watch brands.
District Time features a wide variety of watches from the U.S. and abroad. For example, Tsao Baltimore, the show’s lead sponsor, and Towson Watch Company hail from their eponymous Maryland cities, and Stella Watch Company will be coming in from New York City. Others, like Formex Watches of Biel/Bienne, Switzerland or Taiwan’s Havaan Tuvali, are making longer journeys. Organizers expect to have about 30 brands represented at the show.
These businesses operate almost exclusively online, and while that affords watch fans a great variety and better prices, it does limit their ability to truly experience the product before buying. Watch fairs like District Time allow customers to see these watches in real life, try them on, and even chat with their designers. Watches will be available for sale at the show, many at special District Time prices, and a few lucky attendees will go home with one of several prize watches and accessories.
As in previous years, the show will be held at the District Architecture Center, 421 7th Street NW. Located in D.C.’s bustling Penn Quarter neighborhood, there is ample public parking in the area and the venue is less than a block from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station.
Watches and Wonders
The 2023 edition of Watches and Wonders Geneva will be held next spring. After five days dedicated to professionals – journalists, retailers, and VIPs – the show opens its doors to the general public. Public days are Saturday, April 1st and Sunday, April 2nd, 2023. Following the success of 2022, the 2023 Geneva edition will host nearly 50 major brands. With most of the major players in the industry gathered to present their novelties during a week of wonders, Geneva confirms itself as the watchmaking capital of the world!
Confirmed participants for the next edition are A. Lange & Söhne, Alpina Watches, Angelus, Arnold & Son, Baume & Mercier, Beauregard, Bell & Ross, Cartier, Chanel, Charles Zuber, Charriol, Chopard, Chronoswiss, Cyrus Genève, Czapek & Cie, Ferdinand Berthoud, Frederique Constant, Grand Seiko, Grönefeld, Hautlence, Hermès, Hublot, Hysek, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kerbedanz, Laurent Ferrier, Louis Moinet, Montblanc, Oris, Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Patek Philippe, Pequignet, Piaget, Rebellion Timepieces, Ressence, Roger Dubuis, Rolex, Rudis Sylva, Speake-Marin, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, Tudor, U-Boat, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Zenith. Also continuing through February 28 is the Hainan edition of Watches and Wonders, running since December 2, 2022.
Let’s meet in Geneva, at Palexpo, from March 27 to April 2, 2023.
The first LAmicroLUX watch convention was held on April 6 and 7, 2019; hundreds of people gathered to celebrate independent luxury watches and microbrands. MicroLUX Chicago was held in Chicago on October 18-19, 2019. Over 600 people had the opportunity to see more than 35+ boutique brands and meet the companies’ founders, designers, and owners. MicroLUX 2020 was virtual, due to the pandemic. LAmicroLUX returned in November 2021, and welcomed more than 1,500 attendees to Grand Central Market. Then microLUX came back to Chicago in April 2022, with more brands and guests than ever before. Austin’s first microLUX was held in November 2022 at the Ao5 gallery, and was attended by more than 1,600 guests. MicroLUX returns to Chicago next spring.
Geneva Watch Days
Geneva Watch Days 2022, now in its third edition from August 29 to September 1st, was well attended by exhibitors and the public. Thirty-three participating brands, 230 watches displayed in 52 showcases, a 1,000-square-meter pavilion in front of the Water jet, 1,200 watchmaking professionals – retailers, agents, distributors, journalists – from all over the world (Europe, USA, Middle East, Asia). The 33 brands set up their showrooms according to their needs in top hotels, boutiques, or in their own workshops or manufactures. On the other hand, the 1,000-square-meter Geneva Watch Days pavilion, set up on the Mont Blanc traffic circle in front of the Water jet, was again this year’s gathering point for the event. Open to the public, the Pavilion welcomed more than 2,500 visitors, collectors, watch enthusiasts and end customers over four days, who looked at 187 watches in 52 showcases. The dates for 2023 still need to be set.
Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair
Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair is an annual trade show, held in Hong Kong since 1982. It is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd., and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd. The expo lasts five days and always takes place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in September. In addition to Hong Kong brands, international brands are also present. Besides displaying high-quality watches, the event offers networking opportunities. One of the exhibition’s highlights is the Brand Name Gallery, where trendy watches from top international brands are on display. Another highlight is the Pageant of Eternity, a collection of high-end luxury watches, highlighting the art of watchmaking and the beauty of exclusive pieces. The next Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair is from September 5 to 9, 2023.
World Time UK
Started by a group of watch enthusiasts who met on Facebook, World Time UK was initially called London Watch Event. Since then, it has grown from 2017 onward, to become a show with 75 exhibitors in 2022. In 2022, the event took place in the Zen Garden at the Sofitel London Heathrow, and the location will be confirmed for 2023 as well, and as long as it will be suitable. The choice of Sofitel London Heathrow depends on logistics. The hotel is modern, with high-security standards and safes in all rooms. It is also convenient for those arriving by plane, thus not having to leave the airport, and for those coming from London, with spacious parking facilities. The date is already confirmed, the last weekend of September, also for 2023.
Windup Watch Fair
Windup Watch Fair is a three-day shopping event dedicated primarily to affordable watches for the general public. It is a fun, free, and open-to-the-public environment that encourages everyone, from experienced collectors to first-time buyers, to take a look and talk about watches. The Windup Watch Fair has become the most popular watchmaking event in America, with annual events in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. In 2022, the New York edition ran October 25-27, in conjunction with WatchTime New York, a more exclusive show featuring much more expensive watch brands, such as Omega or A. Lange & Söhne.
Watches of Italy
The third edition of Watches of Italy, the fair dedicated to watches, movements and calibres made in Italy, took place on October 15 and 16, 2022. More than 4,000 visitors wandered through the booths of the 56e exhibitors, set up inside the Orsi Museum in Tortona. The parterre of the exhibition was studded with great new products, as well as exhibits. A relevant news is that WOI has partnered with Vicenza Oro, the international jewelry show. A delegation of the WOI event will be present at the Venetian city for the upcoming editions of Vicenza Oro. The fourth edition of Watches of Italy will take place in fall 2023 in Tortona, on dates yet to be determined.
Singapore Watch Fair
Formerly part of Jeweluxe, the Singapore Watch Fair has operated independently since 2022 and debuted October 26-30, 2022. Also referred to as The Tent, the Singapore Watch Fair took place in the heart of Singapore’s main shopping district, Orchard Road, and featured more than 30 exhibitors from around the world, in its first edition. Besides being the ideal stage for launching new watches, SWF aims to promote the culture of mechanical watch collecting in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. It is, therefore, the perfect opportunity to discover and purchase quality vintage watches dating back to the 1800s, as well as the trendiest luxury watches. The next edition takes place from October 18 to 22, 2023.
Dubai Watch Week
Dubai Watch Week is a biennial event dedicated to watchmaking established in 2015. It is one of the most significant non-commercial events in the watch industry, dedicated to preserving watch culture and heritage. In fact, the goal of Dubai Watch Week is to create a forum for discussion, knowledge exchange, and dissemination of expertise in watchmaking and technology. To this end, Dubai Watch Week offers special events, curated and designed on an annual basis.
In 2022, for example, the Horology Forum, in New York, took place on September 24-25, 2022. Dubai Watch Week was held from November 24-28, 2021, and hosted more than 50 brands. During Dubai Watch Week, 33 new watches were launched, and 802 special events featuring talks and seminars also took place. In total, there were more than 26,000 registered visitors. The next Dubai Watch Week will be held in November 2023; dates still need to be set.
Masters of LXRY Amsterdam
Masters of LXRY is a luxury event taking place in Amsterdam, involving European and international luxury brands from different sectors. One of the best-known Dutch jewelers, Gassan, directly exhibits the most extensive collection of watches in Europe at Masters of LXRY. It brings Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Omega to Amsterdam. Founded in 2003, the show focuses on the latest trends in luxury. These are antiques, cars, yachts, luxury hotels, and of course jewelry, fashion and interior design. Running for one week in December, the exhibition is also culinary entertainment, thanks to its wide range of gourmet options.
The next edition will takes place from 7 to 11 December, 2023.