The Salon QP watch exhibition rolls into London this month with brands from around the world and a very special British theme. Discover what to see and what’s new at the Saatchi Gallery showcase from today until November 10.
Salon QP sets up shop again this month, with its fourth London watch exhibition. This year it returns to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea with more than 50 deliciously diverse brands.
While the great and good of the watch world will be familiar with many of the timepieces on show, Salon QP will also offer up new launches, events, talks and special presentations. There will be an array of brands on show, from major league players such as Harry Winston, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget and TAG Heuer, through to exciting independents such as Speake-Marin, Schofield, Nomos Glashutte and Ressence.
The Star Players of Salon QP
With almost 1,000 timepieces on show at this year’s Salon QP, every watch will have its talking point. But among those timepieces will be some special guests: new launches, special edition models or timepieces never-before-seen in the UK. Head to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s stand at Salon QP to catch what was dubbed “best in show” at SIHH in January: the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Sphérotourbillon, which boasts a dual-wing design using two separate power sources – one for timekeeping and one for regulation/complication. Meanwhile, TAG Heuer’s Mikrotourbillon S will be a show exclusive – arriving in the UK for the very first time. The timepiece offers the precision of 1/100th of a second with the accuracy of a tourbillion, and is being touted as a Kodak moment at the show. The playful, rotating Opus 12 will also make an impression at Harry Winston. The timepiece was launched earlier this year, with the brand describing it as reinterpreting time. It features an intricate complication based on the notion of Copernican revolution, by which the earth rotates around the sun, while rotating itself. On a similarly technical front, Urwerk will bring its UR-210 to the Saatchi, and is sure to get the crowds moving with its intuitive complication that lets the wearer know when they need to move about to wind the timepiece.
Witness the Britishness
This year, the same in which we have been celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the UK watch market has focused heavily on Britishness and what it means to be a British watch brand, a concept that is key as we hit a period in which luxury British goods, whether clothing, cars, accessories or watches, are taking centre stage. Enter Salon QP, paying tribute to British watches with a host of leading brands, technical greats and new names. Bremont will make a return to Salon QP, showcasing its Victory timepiece, the model that pays homage to Admiral Lord Nelson, alongside Nelson’s own 18ct gold pocket watch. English watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin will bring his eponymous timepieces to the show – a collection of measured, elegant watches that, while made in Switzerland by Speake-Marin, remain very true to Speake-Marin’s English roots. “The time I spent in Piccadilly remains the most influential period of my working career,” Speake-Marin explains, referencing his time working with antique watches in the Piccadilly Arcade in London. English Chronometer company Thomas Mercer will also make an appearance, as will Graham London with its sportier collections including divers’ models and rugby-inspired timepieces.
Strapping Young Brand
British watch brand Schofield, founded by Giles Ellis, officially launched at Salon QP in 2011 and returns to the show in 2012 having grown successfully over the past 12 months. The English watch brand will showcase its Signalman timepieces, alongside two special collaborations; this year the brand has teamed up with Cherchbi to create a collaborative leather watch wallet and teamed with Ventile and Millerain for a collection of straps made using high-end British fabrics. Schofield’s appearance at Salon QP is not just about the accessories, however. It will also reveal the Schofield Tide Time, a new project that will lead to the launch of a new timepiece, the Tide Time, in 2013. Ellis is also set to present a talk, titled Designing in Circles, as part of the show’s seminar series on Saturday November 10.
A Meridian Mystery
A new British brand called Meridian is set to launch at Salon QP with a collection of wristwatches and pocketwatches. The brand has worked hard to keep the launch as elusive as possible, with only a few stories focused on military commissions leaked to hint at what we can expect, and certainly no images. A release from Meridian says: “The watches are intended to be worn, knocked about and enjoyed: the straps grow to the individual contours of your wrist, and the case has been designed to handle a lifetime’s exposure to the elements, both in England and abroad.” And as a little something extra, each timepiece will be packaged with a passport holder from Smythson. No doubt its inauguration into the market is sure to bring crowds to its stand at Salon QP.
Daniels on Film
A film about the late George Daniels, creator of the revolutionary co-axial escapement, will be specially previewed at Salon QP. The film, called The Watchmaker’s Apprentice, will pay tribute to Daniels and his watchmaking legacy, focusing on the relationship between him and his only student, Roger Smith. The film features interviews with Daniels and Smith, and access into Daniels workshop and home. Smith will be present at Salon QP to introduce the film.
The Time Machines
Sailing into Salon QP on the wave of two timepieces – the HM4 Thunderbolt and the striking MoonMachine – will be avant-garde watch house MB&F. The quirky Swiss brand’s founder Max Busser will also make an appearance at the show to talk visitors through the MB&F models on display, including the HM4RT which is a limited edition of 18 pieces in 5N red gold, titanium and sapphire. The brand’s MoonMachine, launched earlier this year, is a collaborative timepiece made with Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva and a new version of its Frog horological machine. It features a rotor is decorated to mimic the stars in the Northern sky, with each star laser-pierced allowing light to reflect from the movement underneath.
Record Breakers and History Makers
Piaget will be among the luxury watch brands showcasing new models to the UK market, so expect technical feats, slimline designs and retro twists. Piaget will bring its Altiplano Skeleton Ultra-Thin model to the show; a timepiece that boasts a double world record for being the world’s thinnest self-winding skeleton model at 5.34 mm, housing the world’s thinnest self-winding skeleton movement at 2.40 mm that has taken 50 years to realise. The brand will also have its Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Automatic Ultra-Thin timepiece, which set a new record for the world’s thinnest self-winding tourbillon watch measuring a mere 10.4 mm, on display at the show.
Finally, Don’t Miss…
British watchmaker Robert Loomes will showcase a brand new collection of women’s timepieces, the Robina, as a follow-up to its Robin collection.
The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie will bring its exhibition, titled The Mastery of Time, to Salon QP. It will feature timepieces and artefacts based on the book by esteemed historian Dominique Fléchon, tracing the inventiveness of man in marking time.
Jaeger-LeCoultre will once again hold its watchmaking masterclass, allowing visitors to see the intricate art of constructing a timepiece led by watchmakers from one of the most renowned manufactures in horological history.
Maria Doulton, the watch expert and writer behind The Jewellery Editor website, will host a talk dedicated to diamond and jewellery watches during Salon QP. Visitors will be able to spend the afternoon getting hands on with dazzling luxury timepieces from brands such as Bulgari, Chopard, Dior, Piaget, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Head to Bell & Ross for a closer look at its Vintage WW1 Chronographe Monopoussoir, dubbed a true ode to the past for its design based on the first wristwatches used by pilots in the 1920s.
This preview was taken from the November issue of WatchPro magazine.