November 27th to 29th in Paris, Belles Montres watch fair opened its doors as part of the Salon de l’Homme. After the attacks on the city, the atmosphere was tense but there was hope of a fresh start and a new dynamic for the show.
In the now lengthy list of watch fairs, Salon QP in London runs the gamut from established names to rising stars. Also on show: new brands, new watches and plenty more to feast the eyes.
Innovation was at the centre of discussions during Dubai Watch Week. For certain of the independent watchmakers in the spotlight during the event, an exclusive timepiece is as much a demonstration of horological tradition as a quest for innovation.
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They make, at most, a few hundred watches a year, travel with them to the four corners of the globe, and are convinced that "new watchmaking" is the way ahead. Ten "rebels" met during Dubai Watch Week, giving power to the belief that man and mechanism are one.
"Geneva at the Heart of Time – The Origin of Swiss Watchmaking Culture" opened in Beijing at end April. With 350 exhibits on loan from the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire in Geneva and Vacheron Constantin, it is already one of the major events of the watchmaking year in Asia.
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, where Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus is kept, is until June host to The Mastery of Time. Presented side by side, these masterworks in horology and Renaissance drawings reflect the multiple facets of human invention.
Coinciding with the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and China, the Capital Museum in Beijing is hosting, from April, an exhibition from the Geneva Museum of Art and History in partnership with Manufacture Vacheron Constantin. Titled "Geneva at the Heart of Time", it traces Swiss watchmaking culture back to its origins.
Switzerland and Japan are this year celebrating the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between their two countries, a bond that was further reinforced in 2009 by a free trade agreement.