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Time for luxury

By Sun Yunqing | China Daily | Updated: 2015-10-23 08:14

Time for luxury

[Photo provided to China Daily]

Despite an economic slowdown, Asia's affair with high-end timepieces goes on. Watches & Wonders 2015 saw 20,000 visitors, a 25 percent jump from last year. Sun Yunqing reports.

The third edition of Watches & Wonders, Asia's version of the Geneva haute horlogerie exhibition, came at a challenging time this year, when the Asian market was reporting weak sales for months.

But it returned, bringing a momentum it had generated in the previous two years.

Watches & Wonders 2015 opened on Sept 30 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in the presence of leaders of the 12 exhibiting maisons.

The brands on display included major names from luxury giant Richemont-Cartier, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre-as well as independent watchmaker Richard Mille.

Despite the economic challenges in the region, the return of Watches & Wonders is testimony to the industry's confidence in Asia, said Fabienne Lupo, chairwoman and managing director of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, the organizer of the exhibition, at the opening ceremony.

"While sales of the year's models is obviously part of the equation, the exhibiting maisons are also concerned with meeting people who are eager to learn about watchmaking, and who form a particularly important clientele," she says.

A spinoff of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie that is held in Geneva every January, Watches & Wonders, which ended early this month in Hong Kong, has been striving to distinguish itself from the former.

While SIHH is more of a private trade fair for professionals and journalists, Watches & Wonders opens its doors to all admirers and collectors of technical and precious watches, says Lupo.

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