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12,000 Chinese congregate for first physical Watches and Wonders show

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More than 12,000 visitors were welcomed into Watches and Wonders Shanghai over the weekend, making it the largest gathering of the industry since Baselworld 2019.

The physical event hosted only 19 watch brands, but the presence of Rolex, Chopard and Tudor alongside Richemont-owned brands including Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and IWC, was enough of a draw for Chinese enthusiasts and trade executives.

Independent watchmakers H. Moser, Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Ferdinand Berthoud and Purnell also took part.

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The Shanghai event followed directly after the online Watches and Wonders, which had 38 exhibiting brands unveiling around 400 new watch collections to 110,000 unique users who logged in on watchesandwonders.com.

A drone display lit up the Shanghai skyline to promote Watches and Wonders in the city.

“After more than ten days devoted to innovation and creativity, Watches and Wonders 2021 comes to a most encouraging conclusion. In an ultra-connected world, digital proved it is a powerful and effective tool for taking watchmaking excellence to enthusiasts all around the world. It creates new opportunities for the industry as a complement to an in-person fair,” organizers say.

A digital audience of 110,000 compares favorably with a typical crowd at Baselworld of 70,000 over a week but falls well short of the sort of the numbers that media specialists like Hodinkee and aBlogtoWatch attact.

Hodinkee.com has around 3 million visits per month, according to web traffic measurement tool Similarweb, while aBlogtoWatch.com welcomes around 2 million watch enthusiasts.

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