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Watch fairs are not dead!


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June 2020

Watch fairs are not dead!

At the height of the pandemic, when all physical events were cancelled, we asked our readers the fundamental question: what format should future watchmaking gatherings take?


e could get used to virtual exchanges such as Instagram Live or Zoom, which have multiplied in recent months. Or we could favour small regional formats, adapted to any local reality. Or even organise all events at the level of individual brands, resulting in a complete “explosion” of the watchmaking scene. It was nevertheless the good old concept of a global meeting of the profession, the “universal” exhibition, that won our short survey, with more than 50% of the votes, ahead of regional, digital and brand events (see below).

The multiple virtual conferences have left us hungry for more. We feel a clear sense of both emotional and intellectual impoverishment across the industry.

Watch fairs are not dead!

Instagram is a formidable tool for the watch industry. The social network has provided a means of maintaining dialogue in these times of lockdown and social distancing. But its much more frequent use in recent months has also revealed its limitations: communities of fans – real or imaginary – that aren’t really listening; messages quickly dispensed and as quickly forgotten; and a multiplication of interventions which, by repeating the same content on different channels, makes the whole experience far from “special” for users, and a lot less exclusive than many brands would like.

“2020 has highlighted both the omnipotence of social networks and their many shortcomings, in particular the fleeting nature of the messages they deliver.”

Through a new edition in the form of a watch fair on paper, we wanted to pay tribute to all the physical meetings that will not have taken place this year. And to the creativity of watchmakers even in times of crisis. In search, therefore, of lost fairs...