The City of Geneva will be hosting Watches and Wonders from March 27 to April 2. Nearly 50 Maisons and watch manufacturers will be exhibiting their latest creations at the gala.
The first few days are reserved for business visitors. Unlike last year, the doors are open to the general public for a full weekend (April 1 and 2), when they can embark on a journey into the heart of time.
Far more than just a trade fair, the event aims to be an immersive experience that can be enjoyed in person and online via watchesandwonders.com. For the first time this year, Watches and Wonders will also take place ‘In the City’ — collectors, enthusiasts and inhabitants of Geneva will be invited to the experience at the heart of a Salon, designed as a charming village with its squares, alleys, restaurants and watchmaking worlds.
Visitors will have access to specially-organised talks over the weekend; around six talks and discussion panels will be held each day in the Auditorium. Experts will be discussing watch trends, explaining what adds value to a watch or how to start a vintage watch collection. Such topics as the metaverse, NFTs, blockchain and circularity will also be covered.
The concept of time will lie at the heart of the event. The past will be highlighted by focusing on objects that are carefully crafted while keeping centuries-old traditions in mind. The present will be touched upon with timepieces that are revolutionising the art of watchmaking. The future will be discussed in the LAB, an area dedicated to innovation and new technologies, driven by projects from exhibiting Maisons, who hope to introduce the future to the heart of watch movements.
Visitors will have the opportunity to explore several fascinating exhibits, including Karine Bauzin’s ‘What time is it?’ The Swiss press photographer’s exhibition is an investigation of our relationship with time and how we perceive it. Her ethnographic work spans over a decade. She asked people she met in 20 different countries a single question: ‘What time is it?’ The answer can be provided with one hand gesture — the same one that can be seen all over the world and which watchmakers themselves resorted to when they invented the wristwatch.
While the Salon is the main event, the pulse of the entire city will be ticking to the sound of watches. The major watch stores on Rue du Rhône and Rues Basses will also open their doors to the public: special designs, ornate pieces and rare watch complications will be unveiled during an orchestrated rally. Additionally, the participating brands’ boutiques will plan curated activities for visitors.
On Thursday, March 30, from 5 pm to 9 pm, a special evening event, dedicated to watchmaking, will be held in Rues Basses. It will be a wonderful chance to venture deeper into the world of watchmaking; there will be concerts and performances by well-known artistes and street performers.
If visitors wish to prolong the experience, they can attend the talks on ‘Geneva and watchmaking’ at the Pont de la Machine. This venue will also serve as an information centre throughout the week.
The 13 new brands that will be exhibiting include Alpina, Beauregard, Bell & Ross, Charles Zuber, Charriol, Chronoswiss, Frederique Constant, Grönefeld, Hautlence, Hysek, Kerbedanz, Pequignet and U-Boat. Only Armin Strom and H. Moser & Cie. have left the show after joining the 2022 edition.
Watches and Wonders is a not-to-be-missed event, whether you are an amateur, an expert or an enthusiast. Online ticketing opens on February 1 at noon on watchesandwonders.com.