The wonder of watches wows fans
A visitor at the Watches & Wonders trade show at the West Bund Art Center.
Watches & Wonders, a leading trade show for the luxury timepiece industry, began at Shanghai’s West Bund waterfront in Xuhui District yesterday.
Eleven brands, such as Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen and Vacheron Constantin, are exhibiting their latest products and those designed for the Chinese market. The fair runs through Sunday at the West Bund Art Center.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the number of visitors per hour is limited and only guests invited by the brands and organizers are admitted. The event features product launches, talks and panels as well as a workshop to display watchmaking and repair techniques.
This year’s fair was initially scheduled for April in Geneva, Switzerland, but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then later converted to an online format. The event in Shanghai is an extension of the online exhibition, according to organizers.
“The Chinese mainland, especially Shanghai, has done a good job to contain the spread of COVID-19. The economic situation on the mainland is also better than most parts of the world,” said Carson Chan, head of Mission China, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, organizer of the show.
The luxury watches sector has been developing rapidly on the Chinese mainland in the last decade. The knowledge of the consumers has been greatly improved, while the expertise of sales professionals has also reached international standards, Chan said.
Over 30 percent of the products debuted at the fair in Shanghai are specially made for the Chinese mainland, he added.
Some brands also brought entry-level watches with prices of around 20,000 yuan (US$2,919) to attract young local customers, Chan said.
“The foundation will consider hosting future fairs in Shanghai after collecting responses from the membership brands after the event,” he told Shanghai Daily.
The Swiss brand, Vacheron Constantin, unveiled the most expensive watch at the fair yesterday, the Les Cabinotiers which costs 17 million yuan.