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Buying in Switzerland: Lisa’s Blog Part VI

January 20, 2010

Bonjour,

We just finished our first full day in Geneva. It’s amazing how different this fair is from Vicenza. This show, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Geneva, is all about high end watch brands. The Vicenza show had hall after hall full of jewelry. This show, on the other hand, has exponentially fewer manufacturers, but exponentially larger booths. This fair is specifically focused on displaying new merchandise. Each brand is excited to show off their new innovations in design and technology.

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph

IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph

The booths are unbelievable! IWC’s booth was themed to go along with the latest additions to their Portuguese collection. Apparently, all of the watchimages for this year were taken on a particular yacht so the whole booth was nautical themed. There were wood floors with cleats, a ceiling that looked like it was a collection of sails, and a front desk shaped like the bow of a boat (they were just missing an anchor). There was no doubt which watch was being highlighted. Their watches are beautiful and clean. One of their watches, the “Da Vinci”, is made of both ceramic and titanium to make it light weight and durable. What a great combo!

I found interesting to see that Ralph Lauren has created a watch brand. They just began selling their pieces a few months ago. The established fashion brand has paired with Richemont (owners of Cartier and Piaget) to create a real luxury watch brand. The merchandise was beautiful, I’m curious to hear more about the line.

Baume and Mercier continue to make a clean, elegant watch. They are narrowing the number of watches produced to create a more streamlined collection. The new selection of watches needed to be chosen today, so Peter had to make the decisions. We are going to label them “Peter’s Picks” and he is responsible for their eventual success. Sorry Katie!

Panerai 339

Panerai had a cool new innovation in watch cases. One of their new watches, PAM00339, has an aluminum oxide case. To make this durable case, it is first stamped out of aluminum and then is dipped in a special mixture that includes oxygen molecules. The oxygen atoms join the compound and create a case that is harder than ceramic. Innovation never ceases to amaze me.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Europe and we only have a few more appointments to attend. I know that tomorrow will bring something else interesting, so I can’t wait to see what else is creative and different out there.

Bon soir!

Lisa

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