ith a huge proportion of the world’s watch purchases made by its nationals, China remains an essential destination for luxury watchmaking. A new wave of store expansions in China itself has been taking place in recent years for a number of reasons. To succeed, however, it is still necessary to understand what is happening in this market, especially as far as the younger generations are concerned.
Young, enthusiastic and crazy about watches...
A group of Chinese collectors, the Shanghai Watch Gang, started meeting in an informal way a few years ago. The group now counts several hundred members around the world. They are young, enthusiastic and crazy about watches. During their exchanges, an original idea was born: to organise a watch festival once a year in Shanghai. However, it would not be a “traditional” salon, which might risk scaring away the new generations. Rather, it would be a relaxed event, where people could talk about watches, art, cars, gastronomy and so on.
“The first serious watch show by collectors for collectors”
The first edition took place last year. In record time, the organisers of the very first Shanghai Watch Festival convinced brands of the calibre of A. Lange & Söhne, Ulysse Nardin and Urwerk to participate. The event was a success. Our colleague Ariel Adams (ABlogToWatch) made a detailed report, which you can find here.
He wrote, among other things: “Rich with personality and humor, the Shanghai Watch Festival was quite unlike anything I’ve seen before, after having attended countless collector events for more than a decade. (...) I’ve become witness to the first serious watch show by collectors for collectors.”
“Rich with personality and humor, the Shanghai Watch Festival was quite unlike anything I’ve seen before, after having attended countless collector events for more than a decade.”
Europa Star, which will devote its September edition to a major watch report in China, has become a media partner for the second edition of the Shanghai Watch Festival, which will be held over three days from December 6 to December 8.
As a watch publication with a presence in the Chinese market for more than 60 years (see our edition for China from 1958 below), we are delighted to see new initiatives in this ever-changing market.
Registration is now open for watch brands interested in participating in the Festival. Different formats are available, many of which rather unconventional (e. g. displaying watches on famous paintings). If interested, please contact the management of the Festival directly at [email protected].
Here is a gallery of images from the last edition, to give an idea of the atmosphere at the Shanghai Watch Festival.