Moving with the times

Geneva’s top gathering of the luxury watch business showcases the latest, greatest watchmaking creations.

Written by Norman Burns

This year’s event was the most successful ever thanks to the organisers embracing the digital age.

The penny might finally be dropping for the Swiss watch industry, if the latest Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (or SIHH, to most) is any indication. For the last few years, the industry – except perhaps at the most exclusive end – has been in the doldrums, with flat sales and uncertainty in how to handle the rising competition from digital watches.

In the past, SIHH has been “invite only”, for the industry and media. This year, organisers invited more brands to exhibit, opened to the public (albeit for just a day) and focused on “digital” power to spread the message about the wonders of the mechanical watch.

The new approach worked. A record number of visitors (20,000), 400,000 social media posts using the #SIHH2018 hashtag during the five-day show, and an estimated global digital reach of 288 million. One thing remained constant: the sheer craftsmanship and beauty of the watches on show.

 

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