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Time for luxury

By Sun Yunqing | China Daily | Updated: 2015-10-23 08:14

Time for luxury

A watchmaker demonstrates his skills under magnifying cameras that simultaneously displayed the handwork on a digital screen.[Photo by Sun Yuanqing/China Daily]

SIHH is a major occasion where watchmakers debut their new collections and take orders. But they are now developing exclusive pieces for Watches & Wonders, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre's Geophysic collection and A. Lange & Sohne's limited special 1815 model.

Some 20,000 visitors, including 700 journalists, from all across Asia, attended the event this year, a 25 percent rise from 2014.

This year, the event tried to upgrade the visitor experience with a smartphone application that guided the visitor through the exhibition based on five different themes-Astronomy, We Love Asia, Precious Time, Extreme and Iconic.

There were also workshops, where enthusiasts could get their hands on and reassemble mechanical movements. They could also attend lectures on themes like design, history and economics. A personalized tour could be booked at each brand's booth.

Some maisons invited their watchmakers to demonstrate their skills under magnifying cameras that simultaneously displayed the intricate handwork on a digital screen.

The exhibition 24 Hours in the Life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock, organized by Geneva University of Art & Design, challenged students to innovate on the classic cuckoo clock.

"The principal objective of Watches & Wonders isn't to sell watches. For the maisons, it is first and foremost about sharing a cultural platform of fine watchmaking with an audience which represents their most important clientele internationally," says Lupo.

The Swiss watch industry has grown robustly for the last decade, powered by the emerging economies in Asia. Hong Kong, in particular, surpassed the United States to be the top export destination for Swiss watches in 2008, absorbing about one-fifth of Swiss watch production.

Swiss watch exports experienced double-digit growth for three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012.

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