Watches and Wonders has gone public with dates of March 30 to April 5, 2022, for its first physical show in Geneva, describing next year’s event as “seven days to celebrate, discuss, discover and bring together the main players in world watchmaking at Palexpo”.
“It is full steam ahead for spring 2022,” a release from the organiser said this morning.
Thirty eight watch brands took part in the online Watches and Wonders showcase this year including half of Switzerland’s biggest brands: Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer and IWC.
The full list of participants was: A. Lange & Söhne, Arnold & Son, Baume & Mercier, Bvlgari, Carl F. Bucherer, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Chronoswiss, Corum, Ferdinand Berthoud, Greubel Forsey, Hermès, H. Moser & Cie., Hublot, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Moinet, Louis Vuitton, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Nomos Glashütte, Oris, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Purnell, Rebellion Timepieces, Ressence, Roger Dubuis, Rolex, Speake-Marin, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith
The list of participating brands in 2022 and the exact format will be communicated at a later date, the organiser says.
It is worth reminding ourselves what a full-blooded Watches and Wonders in Geneva was meant to be.
Publicity ahead of its first outing, planned for 2020, spoke about a festival that would involve the whole city, with retailers and brands hosting a celebration of Switzerland’s greatest export that would be accessible to the public as well as the trade and press.
If brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, IWC and TAG Heuer lined up meetings with their world-wide networks of retailers at the show, it would have guaranteed that all the most powerful stakeholders in the industry would attend.
It is also worth remembering what happens to hotel prices when a relatively small city like Geneva attempts to put on an event on this scale.
A quick look at the website of the famous Beau Rivage Hotel on the banks of Lake Geneva shows regular double rooms available this month for CHF 477 per night in March next year up until the 27th, but there are no rooms available from March 29 to April 2.
La Cigogne Hotel, used in previous years to host esteemed members of the press, has rooms available most of the year for around CHF 270, but prices have already almost doubled to CHF 496 from March 29 to 31.