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SIAR 2020 - Time For Resilience

SIAR 2020 Time For Resilience

This phrase resumes the spirit of the first big watch fair that happened in the “new” world. (Part 1 of a 2-part report)

Mechanical watchmaking essentially depends on the resilience of metals, that property of a piece returning to its original shape and, in doing so, returning as much as possible of the energy that was used to deform it at the beginning. This principle powers the watches and clocks thanks to the energy accumulated in the main spring and also turns the oscillating balance into a rotating pendulum when the balance spring accumulates energy and releases it to complete the oscillation. Watch people know about resilience. 

This year has been one of great challenges due to the temporary closure of operations due to the coronavirus that infected much of the world and the consequent drop in sales as distributors are closed to the public. The crisis was inevitable; That is why undoubtedly one of the best news is that SIAR (International Salon of Haute Horlogerie Mexico) finally happened.

Time for resilience

DB28 Yellow Submarine © De Bethune

The world situation regarding events open to the public is not yet the best due to the circumstances that we all know. The organization tasks became more complicated than they normally are, but the excellent sanitary management of the Hotel Saint Regis Mexico City made it easier for it to take place. The hotel's sanitary protocols were applied in full compliance with the city government rules and the SIAR was thus controlled in this regard. The brands affiliated to this project, 34 in total, showed their confidence by bringing their most recent novelties to Mexico, many of them rarely seen by the public and several of them never before as the other important watchmaking fairs in the world have been cancelled; besides many novelties created exclusively for the mexican market. The message that SIAR sent to the industry is that it is time to be resilient, like a mainspring; As if that were not enough reason to go forward with the SIAR, in 2020 celebrate 75 years of trade relations between Mexico and Switzerland.

Together with the Swiss ambassador to Mexico, Eric Mayoraz, Carlos Alonso, CEO of SIAR, emphasized that health should come first, but is not the only thing; economic activity also needs to heal and this is an important step to achieve it. 34 watch firms opted for the event; even Jean-Claude Biver had confirmed his presence, which he had to cancel at the last minute for having been in contact with people who tested positive for Covid-19; However, Mr. Biver is well and from his home in Switzerland he connected to the inauguration ceremony giving a message with the optimism and long-term vision that characterizes him. He mentioned that there was inevitably going to be a concentration at all levels of the watch business and the figures on the second day of the SIAR are giving him the reason.

Time for resilience

DW5 Cempasúchil © De Bethune

The event started with some doubts, but quickly turned to an optimism that we did not expect to see this year. Being a sales event through local retailers, the activity was immediately noticeable; Talking with the representatives of the brands, the sales were higher in high-priced pieces and Hublot even told me that during the first day of SIAR 2020 they sold the same as in the three days of the 2019 event, a comment that reflects the sentiment of many of the big brands; even some smaller firms that did not yet have distribution in Mexico achieved some sales and the possibility of finding local retailers.

We saw incredible pieces like the De Bethune DB28GS “Yellow Submarine” that shows off the firm's talent for treatments on titanium, with a similar appearance to bronze but with a unique tonality, in addition to the mechanical micro generator system that takes power from the main barrel. and allows to power an LED lighting system without betraying the watchmaking tradition.

The DW5 Cempazúchil is a unique piece from the Dream Watch, decorated with motifs allusive to the “Day of the Dead” –undoubtedly the most Mexican holiday that exists– handcrafted in various shades of gold and purple accents; however, the piece did not even make it to the showcase as it was quickly acquired by a collector. Something similar happened with the unique piece "Icons of Mexico" Opera Zapata by Jacob & Co. that could hardly be seen as it also found a home immediately.

Time for resilience

Opera Zapata © Jacob & Co.

Watch out for the second part of this report, coming next week.

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