For most, SIHH (Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie) is a trade fair, an opportunity to catch up with old and new in the watch business, see the latest editions, plan the years' inventory and, at a guess, plan to part with six figure numbers in the process.
GTE ( Geneva Time Exhibition), on the other hand, is the independents' watchmaking exhibition with a somewhat different spirit, but at the same time I am sure if the truth be told hoping to achieve the same goals as my last statement regarding SIHH.
SIHH has been covered extensively on various fora and blogs. I can't offer nothing new because whilst I was physically was there, I didn't get across the barrier, owing to a registration glitch. However, I met and hung out with plenty of watch mates who kept me fed with press hand outs and happy watch conversation. From what I did get to see, the show is a trade delight, with every request beckon and every facility laid on. This is not a show for the faint hearted, no half measures, but then again what would you expect from the Richemont Group.
Literally minutes down the road from the SIHH trade fair is Geneva exhibition centre and GTE. First impressions were good. The building hosting the event on the inside not looking to dissimilar to the inside of the Sydney Opera house, and as such, had more design style over that of the Palexpo's aircraft hanger sized event.
Split into two main areas, walking around the show felt comfortable and relaxed, with a coffee bar placed in the centre of the hall to supply all with caffeine and provide a pit-stop conversation area.
I attended GTE to visit and meet Peter Speake-Marin, but along the way I saw these horological offerings.
Ressence, offering a beautiful simplistic design dial - sorry for not getting a pic of the watch, but I loved seeing these glowing orbs.
The new HD3 Slyde, a couple of variants and the Black Widow catching more than a little attention.
Snyper just for men - hmm best they not see the film Black Swan ;-)
Louis Moinet using creative use of materials embedded within the case.
Various shots of the PSM stand and his variants ;-)
Laurent Ferrier making classic smooth lined watches.
The Da Vindice Tourbillon-Barometer. As I heard a mate say - "for when you can't drive your Bugatti into the restaurant, this is what one would wear!"
This is an incredible beautiful piece measuring measuring 100mm by 50mm at least!
Photos from the Gala evening and Expo :
Some of the true greats of independent watch making were walking around the Exhibition, and it was such a pleasure to just bump into someone you recognised or by casually introduced a known legend (one whom you know the name and not the face) This was a true meeting place of artisans.
I've only touched upon a handful of makers here out of some 60 entrants, but hopefully it gives you a taste of want the expo is about.
For me, not being there for business, this was a complete pleasure and one I'd wittingly venture again. As I tweeted on the Gala night I only wish more of my SLT were with me ;-)