The Inevitability of Change
The SIHH implements a new formula in hopes of change
The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie or SIHH, the invitation-only trade show put on by the Richemont Group in collaboration with a few independent luxury brands, marks the beginning of the new calendar from the world of watchmaking. It’s the first fair of the year, which sets the scene and previews the trends for the twelve months to come. It’s also a fabulous showcase with no equivalent anywhere in the world, as much for its prestigious exhibitors as the quality of its infrastructure. For its 2018 edition, SIHH continued to enjoy successful and carefully managed growth. With thirty-five exhibitors (including no fewer than six new arrivals), a day for the general public (carrying on from last year’s success) and the launch of a unique networking and content hub at the heart of the fair, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie continues to gain in size and scope.
Change is Constant
Watch maisons are becoming increasingly drawn to the SIHH formula and continue to opt in. Whereas the salon had 16 exhibitors three years ago, that number has now risen to 35, with this year’s edition seeing the arrival of six new prestigious maisons. Hermès has become the 18th historical maison, while Armin Strom, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, DeWitt, élégante by F.P. Journe and Romain Gauthier are joining the “Carré des Horlogers” that now comprises 17 brands.
On top of that, everything has been completely rethought by the organizers to ensure that the demands of an ever-changing environment continue to be met. For instance, the first new feature is that the reception areas have been redesigned to facilitate access and improve security with the large entrance taking on a theatrical aura in terms of its sheer size and enhancing visitor flow.
Another significant new element is the “SIHH Live” area at the heart of the Designed like an actual TV set, it aims to provide a communications platform for brands with product presentations, debates and other events, while also creating content that will be available via SIHH’s communication channels. Mind you, this is open to all visitors seeking to spend a few minutes here to listen, set up an appointment, obtain information, or just enjoy a quiet moment. This connected set will provide images that will notably be broadcast live on the SIHH2018 App.
The offical app—intended to be a convenient and easy way of keeping in sync with the salon in real time—has been substantially optimized this year and plays the role of an interactive guide for visitors. As well as providing useful general information, transport timetables and a map of the show, this app offers the visitor a chance to view what is going on in the auditorium.
“The SIHH is the major annual rendezvous for fine watchmaking stakeholders. It simply has no equivalent. This year, the major new introduction is the creation of a new place conducive to encounters and open to all-comers, which will serve as a platform for all the exhibiting maisons,” said Fabienne Lupo, the President and Managing Director of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. “The Salon thus actively fosters ties and generates content.”
IWC’s booth at the SIHH Opposite page SIHH’s ambiance; CEOs of the watch maisons