SalonQP Watch Fair 2011, London
If SIHH and Baselworld aren’t on your annual calendar then a visit to SalonQP at the Saatchi Gallery in London will provide you with a good horological fix. Showcasing over 40 brands, the fair, in its third year (and 45% larger than last year), now attracts so many heavy weight brands (Cartier, Bulgari, Vacheron Constantin, Bell & Ross to name a few) that the organisers have relocated to the larger Saatchi space in order to accommodate all the exhibitors.
With no pressure to buy, the fair offers the opportunity for some dedicated browsing, with over-views of current collections originally launched in Basel or Geneva, debuts of timepieces never before seen in London, launches of new watch brands, and a sprinkling of watch making know-how and gentle education.
Highlights are a plenty; some of our favourites include Bulgari’s mirrored Kaleidoscope, a film sequence split in kaleidoscope form of the internal and external workings of the Grand Sonnerie watch (first launched at Baselworld this year), and for those wanting a hands-on approach, a master class in watch making by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Tying in with the 80th anniversary of the Reverso, visitors will be taught how to assemble and dissemble the famous Grand Date Calibre 875 by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s craftsmen, temporarily relocated from their workshops in La Vallée de Joux.
Meanwhile, Harry Winston, new to the exhibition this year, is marking the occasion by previewing a brand new launch, the Ocean Sport (pictured above), as well as offering a retrospective of the most recent Opus series for those keen on extreme complications, and a selection of high jewellery watches. And those seeking out the next generation of watch makers should check out a display of the finalists and winning entry of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers student design competition, ’Picturing Time’.