Geneva Watch Days is in full swing

By Debbie Hathway
From left_Maximilian Büsser, MB&F founder, Delphine Bachmann, Councillor of State, Jean-Christophe Babin, Bvlgari CEO

The fourth and largest edition of Geneva Watch Days, featuring exhibitions by around 40 watch brands, is on until Saturday, 2 September 2023, having opened on 29 August 2023 with a live auction by renowned watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin, in collaboration with Ineichen Auctioneers

Lots included the Smilodon Watch, a limited-edition timepiece inspired by the prehistoric sabre-toothed tiger; the Time-Eater Watch Set, a collaboration with Louis Erard featuring one-eyed Wristmons in two design variants; a prototype of Chaykin’s Kolobok, a new Wristmon and the first in the Russian style; and the extraordinary Joker watch coffee table, masterfully crafted by the talented metal artisan Pedro Costa. The hammer price on the Kolobok was CHF37 000 (around R775 646), with the table fetching CHF60 000 (around R1.2m). A Tourbillon 55 Table Clock and Joker Five watch were among the top-selling lots, fetching CHF46 000 (about R964 555) and CHF60 000 (about R1.2m) respectively.

Intended to celebrate refined watchmaking with industry professionals and the public, Geneva Watch Days has gone from strength to strength since it was established by Breitling, Bulgari, De Bethune, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie., MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk in response to cancellations of two of the world’s major watch fairs in 2020. “Geneva Watch Days was born in 2020 after the cancellations of Baselworld and Watches & Wonders due to the pandemic. New rules for a new world: decentralised, inclusive, agile and open to the public. Today, more innovative than ever, the Salon continues to celebrate high horology in its cradle – Geneva,” says Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari. 

Geneva Watch Days caters to retailers and members of the press and public and is held in partnership with the Canton and the City of Geneva, with the support of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services. This year, the watch brands will exhibit at a common space, Rotonde du Mont-Blanc pavilion on Lake Geneva, as well as various hotels, manufactures and boutiques in the centre of Geneva. The 2023 event brings together the following brands: Alpina, Angelus, Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Artime, Bausele, Bianchet, Breitling, Bulgari, Byrne, Konstantin Chaykin, Claude Meylan, Corum, Czapek & Cie, De Bethune, Doxa, Frédérique Constant Group, Girard Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Hautlence, HYT, Jacob and Co, Krayon, Laurent Ferrier, Louis Erard, Massena Lab, Maurice Lacroix, MB&F, H. Moser & Cie., Oris, Perrelet, Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo, Raketa, Reservoir, Ressence, Singer, Trilobe, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk. On Wednesday August 30 at 11am CET, H. Moser & Cie. and MB&F will unveil the H. Moser x MB&F Streamliner Pandamonium, their unique piece created for Only Watch 2023. 

From left_Georges Kern, Breitling CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin, Bvlgari CEO, Patrick Pruniaux, Ulysse Nardin CEO

The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) will participate in Geneva Watch Days for the first time. The Salon will open with the GPHG’s announcement of the 90 timepieces nominated by the GPHG Academy – made up of 840 members – to compete in the 15 categories of the GPHG 2023. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 9 November.

Meanwhile, visitors can register for daily free guided tours beginning at the pavilion and travelling to various brands’ boutiques and showrooms, or make their way to the Pont de la Machine to admire Karine Bauzin’s photo exhibition “What Time Is It?” initiated by the FHH. The pavilion is also the venue for free symposiums with watch industry experts hosted by Wei Koh, founder of Revolution and Grail Watch. 

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