iW Magazine
SIHH 2016

LWR Retailers Rate SIHH 2016

We asked members of iW’s Leading Watch Retailers to tell us what they saw, liked and didn’t like during their recent visit to Geneva for the SIHH. In part I of a multi-part report, below are responses from Ian Smith (IS) at Astwood Dickinson, Bermuda; Rick Moore (RM) at Bellusso Jewelers in Las Vegas; Leon Adams (LA) from Cellini in New York and George Mayer (GM) from Govberg Jewelers in Philadelphia. We’ll be back with additional LWR Reports in a few days.

What is your top brand pick from SIHH 2016? Which watch blew you away?

I loved the Jaeger-LeCoultre Laboutin collection and we’re excited to have that in the store. The IWC booth was great but Jaeger-LeCoultre won it for me. (IS)

This year I was blown away instantly in my first appointment by the A.Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase Lumen, a limited edition of only 200. What a special piece! We ordered it and were told that chances of delivery were slim. Within 24 hours we sold it. One of Bellusso Jewelers lucky VIP clients had to have it! (RM)

The Debethune Blue DB 28 tourbillon is the piece. I think the most exciting brand that we saw this year was HYT. They had many beautiful new introductions. (LA)

Either the Audemars Piguet 41mm Royal Oak Open-Worked Double Balance Wheel or the F.P. Journe Octa Divine. The finishing on the Audemars Piguet Skeleton Royal Oak is incredible, and I like how the double-balance wheel escapement is in gold so as to show that something different is going on there. Meanwhile, the Octa Divine from F.P. Journe has a perfectly spaced, asymmetric dial layout with a seconds disc instead of your typically seconds subdial, which captures your eye to the point that you have a hard time stopping from watching it rotate. (GM)

Were you on a fact-finding mission to acquire any new brands during the show?

I was interested in viewing the Audemars Piguet pieces and Panerai’s collections for the future. (IS)

I have to keep the brand name a secret for now as I still have my fingers crossed it will happen! (RM)

We are always looking for new brands and products. I was happy to sit with Kari Voutilainen and Laurent Ferrier. (LA)

We continue to strive to be the best watch dealer in the world. We always want to pay attention to the latest trends and emerging brands in the industry to make sure we can cater to our customers the best that we can.(GM)

Which brand surprised you the most?

Greubel Forsey, which had gorgeous pieces. (IS)

I would have to say that IWC offered me the best surprise…not that each year hasn’t offered surprises, but this year with the new Timezoner I was blown away. Finally a brand made operating a timezone watch easy. (RM)

Parmigiani Fleurier with the new monobloc escapement that will operate for 72 days on a single wind with a normal mainspring. This is revolutionary for the entire industry. (LA)

Definitely Greubel Forsey.  Their watches are outrageously beautiful, and I found both their Signature 1 and Double Balancier pieces to be stunning. (GM)

What do you believe were the various brands’ strongest marketing arguments at this years show?

Cartier has impressed me again with continued newness and their new Men’s releases. (IS)

I believe the strongest marketing any of us can do is just to offer the greatest experience you can. At the end of the day, we are all customers to someone. What brings us back is high quality and excellent customer service. (RM)

Everyone is making a push with social media of course. I believe many brands should utilize videos more moving forward as a method to better promote their watches. I also think it is wise for brands to market limited-production or limited-edition watches and emphasize that they are not looking to make more watches, but rather better watches. (GM)

How do your selections differ from last year?

We have bought to a slightly higher ticket value, as that is where we have found our sales leading us. (IS)

I think the biggest difference is that the brands didn’t try to be too many things this year. The new offerings just made sense. Cartier however did launch two new lines, Drive and Hypnose, and we are very much looking forward to adding them to our Cartier area. In fact, we are enlarging our Cartier space considerable at the end of this month. Just in time to accommodate two new lines. (RM)

A more conservative approach. No urgency to buy. (LA)

I remember the watch of SIHH 2015 being the PAM616 Carbotech from Panerai. This year’s show had a lot less people and energy than last year’s. (GM)

Can you describe this year’s show in one word?

Inspiring. (IS)

Exceptional. (RM)

Lackluster. (LA)

Refining. (GM)

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