SIHH: The Most Luxurious Trade Show You’ve Never Heard Of
With all the hand-wringing inspired by the recent economic news coming out of Switzerland, it’s easy to forget that the country’s watchmakers are still hard at work. This week Geneva plays host to the 25th annual Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first major event of the year for the wristwatch industry. It’s the most luxurious trade show you’ve never heard of.
Only 16 brands show at the invitation-only event, the 13 owned by luxury conglomerate Richemont and three high-end independent brands that opt for the gentility of SIHH over the more democratic chaos of the more popular Baselworld show that takes place each March. While there are more accessible watches by such brands as Montblanc and Baume & Mercier, SIHH is also where the likes of A. Lange & Söhne and Greubel Forsey show off their most insane creations.
Unlike most trade shows, the retailers, journalists, and collectors who attend are not relegated to devouring sandwiches on a few free square feet of floor space. You want fois gras or sushi for lunch? No problem. You’d prefer truffle risotto and a glass of champagne? It’s on the house. The swag on offer is much more likely to be a tablet than a tote bag. (Editor's note: Bloomberg doesn't accept swag.) It’s nothing short of a shock and awe campaign to make sure that when you think of luxury, it’s these brands that come to mind.