The first edition of the We Love Watches watch show took place on Thursday October 12 at the Electric Paris center located on rue la Fayette. Organized at the initiative of Swiss Made Watch, this event was a great success, meeting the expectations of many watchmaking fans. It is true that they were all impatient to rediscover the taste of watch fairs because unfortunately, this kind of concept had disappeared from the Parisian radar screens for many years. It’s a real paradox. While Paris was at the forefront on the subject with the Belles Montres show created more than 15 years ago and which emphasized the meeting between brands and end customers, over time the situation evolved in the wrong direction. meaning and the disappearance of Alain Faust’s salon, no more projects followed it. There are many reasons for this absence, but one of the most important was the attitude of brands who preferred to invest their marketing and communication budgets in promoting their stores and organizing events dedicated to their own end customers.
The show was organized around two 3-hour time slots:
There have been attempts in recent years to recreate such shows but ultimately it was Swiss Made Watch who was able to realize his approach through a compact format of a day structured around two 3-hour time slots, in the afternoon and the night. People who visited the QP show in London remember this method which was not that of Belles Montres. In the case of the We Love Watches show, the establishment of time slots and a numerus clausus was obligatory in order to regulate traffic and when I discovered the crowd present during the evening session, I easily understood that it was the best solution.
There were therefore more than forty brands operating in reasonable price segments, almost all (but not all) distributed in Swiss Made Watch’s physical store, Ochrono (located rue de Rivoli). Each floor of the Electric Paris center was dedicated to a theme: iconic brands, independent houses and the trends lab. The distribution of brands was well done and I found it coherent. Each brand had a small space and you sometimes had to use your elbows to be able to approach the table and see the latest creations. But very quickly, the difficulties linked to the compact and enthusiastic crowd were swept away by the simple pleasure of finding themselves in the context of a watch fair in which amateurs and collectors could exchange ideas with each other and with representatives of the brands, most of the time the own creators of these brands.
The brands were spread over 3 floors:
I know that for Swiss Made Watch this day was a test. After so many years without a show, it was difficult to understand how the public would react to this proposal. The choice of a weekday could be surprising, as could the length of a single day. But the Swiss Made Watch team did not want to skip ahead and they wanted to gauge whether the amateurs would respond. The answer is clear: there was a strong wait and many were disappointed not to be able to go to the show given the numerus clausus. The message from the organizer at the end of the show was not long in coming: the promise of a future edition was made.
Fervor and discussions around tables and windows:
In this context, it will be necessary to develop certain areas for improvement. The weekday organization makes the presence of provincials difficult. Three-hour slots are too short when the field consists of almost 50 brands. Finally, it may be necessary to think about additional services such as a specific room for taking photos in order to improve communication and attract brands in terms of visibility. Because the brands in question, except some on the ground floor (iconic brands such as Oris, Citizen, Hamilton) are constantly looking for increased exposure and will always be ready when an event brings them a spotlight (if the price is of course reasonable).
One of the new products presented at the show, the Yema Yachtingraf Tourbillon Maréograph:
In short, everyone wins if the show finds its rhythm and becomes a regular event. In any case, I welcome Swiss Made Watch’s initiative because it constitutes the first step in the return of a watch fair to Paris, which is excellent news after these lean years.