Baggage claim screens at the airport, billboards and banners on lampposts, even trams zipping through the streets – all heralded WATCHES&WONDERS 2014 in beautiful blue around Hong Kong this week as 13 European luxury Maisons, including their Chief Executive Officers, met with visitors to the Fine Watchmaking exhibit to share their passion and knowledge of the noble craft of creating fine timepieces.
In her opening speech, Fabienne Lupo, Chairwoman and Managing Director of the Geneva-based Fine Watchmaking Foundation, organiser of the event, stressed the paramount importance of the event: “We aspire to send Fine Watchmaking across continents, generations and cultures,” she said, “to transmit our passion, to impart our knowledge, to share all the richness of what we do.” In spite of some disruptive events in Hong Kong earlier, the second edition of WATCHES&WONDERS had an incredible turnout.
In markets of such major importance for Fine Watchmaking as Asia, there had to be a dedicated event. The brands present at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie took up the challenge with the launch of WATCHES&WONDERS in Hong Kong. The fair, which ran September 25th to 28th, was the first exhibition of its kind ever organised on Asian soil. All the Chief Executives of the participating Maisons were present in person to acknowledge the region’s many collectors and connoisseurs.
Already, WATCHES&WONDERS has established itself with this highly successful first edition. Some 16,000 unique visitors, from 750 representatives of the region’s media to retailers, customers and admirers of mechanical mechanisms, enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere throughout. The exhibiting Maisons came to Asia intent on meeting an audience whose enthusiasm for Fine Watches is matched by the desire to understand how they are created. In this respect, WATCHES&WONDERS kept all its promises.