The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) has opened in Geneva with 35 watch brands showing off their wares.
SIHHexternal link will run until Thursday, when it is open to the public, who must register and pay CHF70 ($71.20) in advance. It is the first watch fair of the year and important in terms of setting trends, particularly in the luxury segment.
A total of 18 luxury watch brands as well as 17 boutique brands have a stall. Around 20,000 visitors are expected to attend. Apart from the stalls, there will be daily talks on various subjects on fine watchmaking from the in-store shopping experience to social media strategies for luxury goods.
SIHH came into existence in 1991 when the Richemont luxury group decided it was time for a separate platform to showcase its brands besides Baselworldexternal link, the world’s biggest watch fair, which begins on March 21. Since then, SIHH has become an important part of the Swiss watchmaking calendar. It has distinguished itself from Baselworld by focusing more on the high-end side of the watch market.
Its focus on luxury has also attracted independent or boutique watchmakers who make and sell only a few hundred watches a year. These watches push the envelope when it comes to design and materials and can retail for several hundred thousand francs.
From next year, SIHH will no longer have to compete with Baselworld. SIHH has agreed to synchronise its dates with Baselworld to make it easier for distributers, retailers and watch aficionados. In 2020, SIHH will be held from April 26-29 in Geneva, followed immediately by Baselworld from April 30 to May 5 in Basel. This new arrangement will continue until 2024.