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Watches & Wonders  - Four Top Highlights of Watches And Wonders Miami

Watches & Wonders Four Top Highlights of Watches And Wonders Miami

Throughout the entire four days, the unveiling of new watches and a host of activations by different brands made for an exciting and interactive weekend.

When the Fondation Haute Horlogerie (FHH) announced late last year that it would be sponsoring Watches & Wonders Miami over President’s Day Weekend, and working with the Miami Design District (MDD), there was some skepticism – especially in America. It is no secret that many of the watch boutiques at the MDD are experiencing slow traffic in their stores, and so the concept of having to dress up boutiques, bring in new product and attract a crowd was daunting. However, the event, which took place from February 16 through the 19, was a definite success.

In total, 21 brands participated in Watches & Wonders Miami (WWM), 15 of which have boutiques in the Palm Court area (see the list below). Another six brands (Armin Strom, Ralph Lauren, Romain Gauthier, Romain Jerome, Kari Voutilainen and F.P. Journe) opened pop-up boutiques on the third level of the Palm Court space to show off their watches. Many of the brands with permanent boutiques added special installations including art, activities and mini museum-like collections in their stores. All of the brands brought in timepieces never before seen in the United States – including those launched at the recent SIHH. Additionally, some brands even unveiled all-new watches at the show.

Four Key Highlights From WWM

One of the brands that unveiled new product at WWM was Parmigiani Fleurier, which showed off the new Tonda Annual Calendar watch and the Tonda Squelette. The Tonda Annual Calendar has both the retrograde annual calendar and a precision moon phase on the same dial. Housing the PF339 complex caliber, which uses the PF331 movement as the base, the new caliber has a module developed by Michel Parmigiani for the astronomical complexities. The automatic movement offers 50 hours of power reserve thanks to a series-mounted double barrel. The 40mm stainless steel Tonda 1950 Skeleton, also unveiled for the first time at WWM, is an ultra-thin watch with fully skeletonized dial. Because the new caliber PF707 is so thin already, finishing of the angles had to be done completely by hand so as not to weaken the components.  Each of the 18 angles on the bridges and mainplate are meticulously hand finished to the tune of about two weeks’ time by a master artisan. 

Four Top Highlights of Watches And Wonders Miami

Tonda Annual Calendar © Parmigiani Fleurier

Ralph Lauren, which displayed its timepieces in the pop-up boutiques on the third floor of MDD’s Palm Court, also elected WWM to unveil its newest Automotive Collection watch: the Automotive 45mm Skeleton Steel. Boasting – for the first time an Automotive Collection watch has done so-- a steel bracelet. Making it even more alluring is the fact that the bracelet is easily interchangeable, and the watch – with signature amboyna wood bezel -- is also sold with a brown alligator strap.  IWC’s F.A. Jones mechanical movement that is customized by Val Fleurier, and meticulously decorated powers it. The RL1967 caliber offers 45 hours of power reserve.

Four Top Highlights of Watches And Wonders Miami

Automotive 45mm Skeleton Steel © Ralph Lauren

Other brands exhibiting at WWM set their sights on intriguing collectors and watch lovers with special in-store exhibits and experiences. TAG Heuer, for instance, launched its Museum in Motion – a traveling exhibition that showcases the brand’s history and design expertise. With more than 50 watches on display, about half of the collection came from the brand’s La Chaux-de-Fonds museum, and the other half belonged to collectors who allowed TAG Heuer to display them as part of the exhibit. 

Four Top Highlights of Watches And Wonders Miami

TAG Heuer Museum in Motion © WorldTempus / Roberta Naas

Hublot also had a unique boutique design and concept, showcasing limited-edition timepieces from around the world.  It also showcased for the first time in the USA, the new Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph, and to underscore the brand partnership, had an interactive Ferrari Driver exhibit, wherein guests could test their peripheral vision and be rated much like racecar drivers, by taking the Batak challenge. 

Four Top Highlights of Watches And Wonders Miami

Hublot Ferrari Driver exhibit © WorldTempus / Roberta Naas

*List of brands that participated in WWM, which have permanent boutiques at MDD, are A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Bulgari, Cartier, Hermès, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Vuitton, Panerai, Parmigiani, Piaget, Tag Heuer, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels.

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