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ReLuxury in Geneva breaks down barriers between new and pre-owned luxury watch worlds

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There are just nine days until a brand new event dedicated to the circular economy for luxury watches and other pre-owned goods opens in Geneva.

ReLuxury is run by Fabienne Lupo, a legend of the Swiss watch industry due to 15 years at Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, where she was president and CEO of the institution that was responsible for SIHH and its relaunch as Watches and Wonders.

She left FHH in 2020, saying at the time: “It is time for me to develop new projects”.

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Ms Lupo’s peerless contact book and experience at the apex of luxury Swiss watchmaking brings instant credibility to ReLuxury, which aims to unite the sometimes conflicting worlds of new and pre-owned luxury goods.

Fabienne Lupo before departing FHH in 2020.

She strongly believes that the conflict needs to end, and the focus for luxury watchmakers should be on promoting the sustainability of their timepieces, which will work for decades and can be handed down from generation to generation or traded between enthusiasts and collectors.

“I fundamentally believe in the circular economy and the second life of luxury products that are sustainable, durable, timeless and amazing quality,” Ms Lupo tells WATCHPRO.

“My daughter, who lives in London, says it is ‘so yesterday’ to buy new,” she laughs.

Events for trading pre-owned watches are nothing new, but they are typically un-glamorous; closer in style to glorified flea markets.

Ms Lupo is bringing something very different. ReLuxury will not be on the scale of the Watches and Wonders show she helped create, but it will have the same prestigious feel.

Its location, Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, is one of the city’s most prestigious venues (Bulgari hosted its closing night event for this year’s Geneva Watch Days), and the line up of participating exhibitors are determined to put on a spectacular show.

President Wilson Hotel Geneva.

eBay is a founding partner. As WATCHPRO has reported over the past few years, the secondary market platform has been bringing a new level of trust to the pre-owned sector with its Authenticity Guarantee for all watches sold for more than $2,000.

WatchBox, a main partner for ReLuxury, has been elevating the buying and selling of pre-owned watches to the level of a luxury authorised dealer. It is bringing one of the largest collections of F.P. Journe and De Bethune watches every presented to the event, with every watch available to buy.

Rendering of WatchBox’s lounge in New York, demonstrating a new level of luxury being brought to the pre-owned watch sector.

Richard Mille, which is embracing the circular economy for watches by running its own certified pre-owned programme with its own boutiques in cities including Las Angeles and London, will be offering advice and selling its ultra-scarce watches.

Zenith is presenting its Icon collection of vintage watches and ChronoSwiss will show a range of pre-owned pieces.

The three day event, which runs from Friday, November 4 to Sunday, November 7, has 30 Swiss and international partners and exhibitors.

It is open to members of the trade and the public, who will be invited to three distinct elements at the event: Salon will host over 20 exhibitors selling premium pre-owned watches, jewellery and fashion such as handbags; Clinic is home to experts and artisans demonstrating how to restore and repair items; and Lab is a space exploring the future of the circular economy.

Clinic will show how restoration and refurbishment of luxury watches extends their life for decades.

Across the three days, there is a seminar programme with experts discussing the pre-owned luxury sector and how it is becoming a vital extension of the luxury watch industry for brands and customers alike.

“Luxury and pre-owned luxury are not unique and distinct. They are part of the same circular economy. ReLuxury will take the DNA of luxury products and show how pre-owned is enhancing them,” Ms Lupo promises.

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