WatchPro is today firing the starting gun for a brand new event, WatchPro Market, which will bring watch enthusiasts directly together with watchmakers.
The Market is exactly what it sounds like: a relaxed and informal retail space where watchmakers will present their latest collections directly to the public.
“WatchPro Market is the opposite of the world’s oldest, elitist, shows. It is open to everybody, free to attend and aimed at younger people who are early in their journeys of discovery into the watchmaking world,” says WatchPro co-founder Rob Corder.
A maximum of 35 brands are taking part, with around one third of the Market pitches selling before WatchPro even went public with the concept.
WatchPro Market takes place on Saturday, November 7 to Sunday, November 8, at The Old Truman Brewery, a former industrial site in the heart of London’s achingly fashionable Shoreditch — the epicentre of the capital’s millennial hipster movement.
It is hoped that several American watch brands will also be able to take part in conjunction with British partners.
WatchPro will be promoting the Market to its audience of over 300,000 visitors to WatchPro.com every month, plus there will be a targeted social media campaign aimed at London’s watch lovers by WatchPro and participating watch brands.
Truman Brewery, as a location, also brings precisely the right type of people together. It is at the heart of London’s liveliest district that includes Spitalfield Market, the famous Brick Lane, and foodie, craft and vintage markets across the estate.
There have already been several successful events held since retail spaces and markets were allowed to reopen back in June, and footfall to the markets has been rising strongly.
“I have visited the Old Truman Brewery site on at least one Saturday per month in June, July, August and September. It was quieter than usual in the early summer months, but was almost back to normal when I was there last Saturday, September 5. This is the cultural and social heart of East London’s vibrant communities and they have flooded back. That said, WatchPro Market will be following all health and safety protocols that have already proved entirely effective at keeping retailers open over recent months,” explains Daniel Malins, WatchPro co-founder and publisher.
The idea for WatchPro Market came during a visit to New York in 2019, where Mr Corder and Mr Malins attended the Wind Up Watch Fair.
The concept takes inspiration from that fair, with a location that is certain to attract crowds of enthusiasts visiting the show to meet the watchmakers directly, learn more about their watches and buy any pieces that they love.
In the case of the Wind Up Watch Fair, it was held in Chelsea Market, a magnet for people enjoying the food stands and quirky market stalls.
Wind Up Watch Fair hosts events in several US cities, although its schedule this year has been affected by the current health crisis.
Watch brands presenting at WatchPro Market will also be given a permanent digital home on WatchPro.com, with a company profile, picture galleries and a rolling news feed written by WatchPro’s reporting team.
“The plan is to make WatchPro Market a year-round programme of digital and physical events. We are already scouting additional locations in the UK and Germany, where we have a German language edition of WatchPro,” Mr Corder promises. “There are so many brands that sell direct to consumer via their websites and rarely get the chance to have their watches tried on by customers before they buy. These are great brands, and they deserve to be seen by as many people as possible, so we will be introducing them in places like Manchester, Birmingham, Munich and Berlin.”