Rikki from UXXV Media was lucky enough to visit the annual SIHH watch show this year. He sent us back this video report including some amazing images of watches to look out for in 2018.
SIHH 2018 – Watch Show Report
SIHH (SALON INTERNATIONAL DE LA HAUTE HORLOGERIE) is the “other” watch making show that takes place annually in Switzerland. Generally overshadowed by the larger and longer running Baselworld, SIHH stands on its own two feet by showcasing a completely different range of manufacturers and boutiques than those found in Basel each March – including the likes of Audemars Piguet, IWC, Richard Mille, F.P. Journe, JLC, Panerai, Uhrwerk and MB&F to name but a few.
What is SIHH?
Now in its 28th year, SIHH only opened its doors the general public in 2017 and continued this in 2018 which enabled watch enthusiasts from across the globe the opportunity to visit and bask in the splendour of the latest in fine watchmaking. Although to some a trip to Switzerland for a day could seem an extravagance thankfully for us in the UK there are many ways to plan a day trip at very low cost. In fact, for our visit on Friday 19th January, we left from Edinburgh airport at 6.30am and were through customs in Geneva and walking the short 200-metre road from the airport to the Palexpo exhibition centre by 10 am Swiss time. A very capable day trip indeed and with flights from the UK via EasyJet for around £100 return and show entry at only £50, a fairly inexpensive one all things considered.
The show itself is extremely well presented and put together, featuring an entry system that rivalled that at the airport just an hour previously. Sniffer dogs and full x-ray machines for entrants and their belongings make sure that nothing untoward will happen within the show, and with multi-million dollar watches on display which you can handle (yes even mere mortals on the public entry day) you can understand why.
With the gates opening at 11 am and show close at 6 pm you have more than enough time to peruse all the items on display plus talk with the top people at the different brands including watchmakers and technicians. Thankfully everyone that we encountered on the day spoke perfect fluent English so there were no language barriers to overcome and from a hobbyist perspective, it was thrilling from start to finish.
New Watches at SIHH 2018
The biggest names in the world were on hand showcasing their new releases and getting to experience first hand all these wonders in physical form was a treat, beating any photos or video found online. The staff at each manufacturers display area were also humble and didn’t care if you dressed like Mark Zuckerberg or Alan Sugar, everyone was treated equally and fairly – something some ADs here in the UK could learn from when judging a book by its cover.
We don’t need to go into minute detail on what new releases were featured as there have already been a thousand other articles, galleries and videos posted detailing just that but we do have a gallery of photos of not just the pieces themselves but also the booths, boutiques and spectacle of the event showing just how much care and attention each brand invests in making a lasting impression on those who visit.
If you are used to visiting dealers and boutiques with maybe a handful of brands on show behind glass cabinets then having such a wide array of manufacturers, products and specialists on hand in the one place will blow your mind. Being able to physically handle movements, peer inside and view through loupes is also something that gives you an extra dimension to horology and left us with a very warm feeling of being more inside the hobby than ever before. As you will see from our video getting to tinker with Roger Dubuis movements with an expert watchmaker on hand to explain and answer any questions is something to behold.
The next stop is following close behind as it’s not too long at all until the 2018 Baselworld arrives and we will be heading over to see what all the other manufacturers including Rolex, Omega, Zenith, Blancpain & Hublot have been busy concocting over the past 12 months, so keep an eye out for more photos, video and a summary of everything of interest at the tail end of March.
Visit SIHH 2019
If you’d like to see for yourself just how amazing an experience SIHH is then set a reminder in your calendar to visit https://sihh.org/ towards the end of the year when public tickets become available and then book a day off work plus your flights. We set off at 4 am and were home and in bed for 1 am the following day. That’s how you do a trip!