SIHH 2017: The time for new paradigms
At the dawn of the year, the watch market is on a quest for renewed momentum. The figures prove that the crisis that weighed it down for a part of last year appears to be nothing more than a bad memory.
Nevertheless, the momentary fright it caused may well result in a lot of change in the markets in the coming months. It was, in the final analysis, quite beneficial, because many brands had been caught up in a furious race to achieve increasingly preposterous goals and so the crisis made them understand that they could not achieve double-digit growth year after year...
The upturn should not, however, conceal the volatility of an industry subjected to the whims of the consumers’ desires, which are often irrational.In some ways, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva is a signpost for the future. We could almost bet that many a luxury brand with a broad-based clientele will be offering collections that include more affordable products. Take Baume & Mercier, for instance, or Cartier, IWC, Montblanc and, probably, Jaeger-LeCoultre.
This salon will undoubtedly give us the opportunity to see whether the industry is playing it safe, or whether it intends to breathe life into the art by tapping into new ideas and beginning a new cycle.Ultimately, however – and this may seem silly – the real question is still whether all the examples of fine watchmaking presented at the SIHH will tickle the fancy of a public that has become reluctant.In order to find out more about the public, it has been invited for the first time in the history of the salon to participate in the flesh in this “high mass” that everyone expects will create a shower of sparks and demonstrate that miracles can happen in watchmaking.
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