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Editorial - Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Editorial Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Impressions of my "first" watchmaking salon

After five days of hard work (and some play!), the second edition of Geneva Watch Days took its final bow. The event allowed me — a newcomer to this realm — to experience watchmaking on a new level and to better understand the future of this industry.

Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Breitling Top Time Chevrolet Corvette and Top Time Ford Mustang © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

“First”? What’s that about? To make a long story short, I started in this field just two years ago. You may as well know, it wasn’t the best timing — digital interactions were starting to become the rule and physical ones the exception. I therefore experienced both editions of Watches And Wonders Geneva from behind my computer monitor. That said, I did have the opportunity to take part in the first edition of Geneva Watch Days, which was a physical event. As the first edition of anything always comes with its teething problems, we might say that the 2020 edition was a kind of practice session for the more intense 2021 edition (which explains my use of quotation marks).

Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

The work of the founding brands, namely Breitling, Bulgari, De Bethune, Girard-Perregaux, H. Moser & Cie, MB&F, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk, has been praised on numerous occasions, both by the media and by other watch brands. The format of decentralised (but closely located) venues is very interesting and allows the event to be fully absorbed. Certainly it’s more enjoyable to have presentations in small groups and to go from one hotel (or boutique) to another, with the chance to walk around in the open air, with the summer sun on our skin, than to remain cooped up in an exposition hall in the middle of winter or at the beginning of spring like a battery chicken. Perhaps these two formats are complementary. After all, who am I to say for sure? That said, it's a great opportunity to see and touch so many watches in such a concentrated time frame, but still take the time to savour the moment. (If you missed anything, don't worry, as WorldTempus has created short video recaps of the first two days, as well as days three, four and five).

Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

Geneva Watch Days was as enjoyable as it was tiring. I had been warned that watch shows were physically exhausting, but I really understood the magnitude last week when I experienced it. As I write this, I am pretty much wiped out. However, my level of exhaustion is proportional to the amount of happiness I have felt. Indeed, I glimpsed a different side of the watch industry's "personality", often presented as superficial. Those who still think so need to think again, as the industry has its ethical beacons in place. During this busy week, a number of round-table discussions were held in the official Geneva Watch Days Pavilion. Our editor in chief Suzanne Wong spoke about the place of women in the watch world, presenting the movement she co-founded on social networks: Watch Femme. Our editor at large Sophie Furley spoke about sustainable development with Oris. On the note of sustainability, Greubel Forsey announced they would stop using leather for their watch straps, switching fully to vegan materials instead.

Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph and Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

In other words, these Geneva Watch Days 2021 were a real eye-opener for me because, even though watchmaking is a traditional business (at least in the mind of the average person), the companies are doing their best to move forward with the times and the issues of today. In addition to these few themes, I think we should mention another: the credibility of Youth. Obviously when we start out in a field, there are many things to learn. However, we need to be supported and feel included. Don't get me wrong, I know exactly where I fit in the watchmaking food chain: I am around the same level as plankton. We may have less experience and less knowledge, but it is the responsibility of the more experienced to include us in the discussions as full members, because at the end of the day, we are the next generation and we’re all in it together.

Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Watch World In Action!

Urwerk UR-100 Electrum © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

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