With the curtain now fallen on the third Munichtime, the German watch fair can stake its claim as one of the city’s foremost events. Just six weeks ahead of Christmas, it provided the world’s leading brands with the ideal opportunity to present their fabulous gift ideas. In three years, the opening reception, which was held on the Thursday evening, has grown into a veritable who’s who of watchmaking. For nothing in the world would journalists, brand representatives and guests have missed this informal gathering, in the sumptuous setting of the Bayrischer Hof banqueting hall, where autumn’s new models were displayed. Numerous watch companies – all the Richemont brands alongside independent names such as Ebel, Girard-Perregaux, Chronoswiss and Bulgari to name but some – took advantage of the media that had descended on the Bavarian capital for the occasion to present their collections in the surrounding galleries and in the hotel itself.
Rudi Kreuzberger, director of the family firm which also coordinates the pioneering Viennatime, ran into huge difficulties when preparing this year’s Munich fair. With just weeks to go before the opening, the Swatch Group withdrew all its brands. Other firms spontaneously accepted to replace the original exhibitors and, despite the albeit slightly disconcerting absence of Omega and Breguet, the consequences weren’t as dramatic as feared. The fair played host to 88 brands in all, an increase on last year, in 1,300 square metres of exhibition space on two levels.
Joining the renowned German and Swiss manufactures for the first time were numerous small independent watchmakers, together with suppliers of straps and movements who drew crowds of interested visitors. Munichtime was open to all from Friday November 5th to Sunday November 7th. Admission was free meaning the public came in droves to spend a leisurely hour or two surrounded by luxury watches, benefit from friendly expert advice, and take advantage of an exceptionally diverse offer, with no obligation to buy.
Traditionally, the fair’s visitors vote for their favourite watches. All the exhibitors entered their best models and more than 160 timepieces, shared between different categories, were presented in sumptuous displays at the centre of the fair. The winners will be announced at Viennatime and on www.munichtime.de. This year, a special area was set aside for the Bayrische Meisterschule für das Uhrmacherhandwerk in Würzburg, and the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie organised a press conference for its fifth anniversary.