Watchmaking in the USA

Chicago’s Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

May 2024

Chicago's Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

Described by one participant as “the equivalent of an amusement park for fine timepiece enthusiasts”, the show attracted more than 1,000 people during its two-day celebration of watchmaking last April. Nearly 50 brands, including Cimier, Christopher Ward, Perrelet and Rado, unveiled their latest creations.


he Minutes + Hours Show (formerly MicroLUX) returned to ArtSpace 8 on Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile, drawing a crowd of over 1,000 horology enthusiasts for its two-day celebration of watchmaking on April 6th and 7th.

Nearly 50 prestigious brands, including Cimier, Christopher Ward, Perrelet, and Rado, unveiled their latest creations, demonstrating the dynamic synergy between watchmaking’s storied heritage and its embrace of modern technological breakthroughs. The show provided the perfect platform for connections to be forged over shared passions, with conversations flowing freely among collectors, brands, and enthusiasts.

Chicago's Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

The venue’s thoughtful design encouraged rich interactions, creating an atmosphere where like-minded individuals could immerse themselves in the world of fine timepieces. Scott Denham, a long-time collector, expressed his delight, stating, “I truly enjoyed the show. It was my first ever watch event I’ve attended in almost a decade of collecting!” The overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants reflected their satisfaction and anticipation for future events. Jeffrey Cole aptly described the experience as “the equivalent of an amusement park for fine timepiece enthusiasts.”

Chicago's Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

Auditory Artistry: Christopher Ward’s Bel Canto

One of the must-see watches at the show was Christopher Ward’s Bel Canto, a remarkable timepiece that not only displays the time but also melodically chimes the hours. This innovative model, celebrated for making the minute repeater complication more accessible, captivated attendees with its sophisticated mechanism and affordability.

Mike Pearson, North America Brand Director for Christopher Ward, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This was the first time that Christopher Ward had ever been a part of Minutes and Hours (Microlux) and the energy from the attendees was matched only by the excitement from our fellow vendors and the professionalism of the team who organized the event, headed by Rich Park, Scott Baitinger, and Neil Willenson. Christopher Ward celebrates 20 years of business this year and there’s no better way to mark that milestone than to meet as many of the watch community as possible and this event brought people from all over Illinois and the greater Midwest area to see and feel the quality of our brand first hand. We could not be prouder to have been a part of Minutes and hours.”

Chicago's Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

Cimier’s Centennial Celebration

Cimier celebrated a century of watchmaking with the unveiling of the 711 Heritage Chronograph. This model, revealed at an exclusive 100th anniversary breakfast, incorporates an innovative layout with chronograph counters positioned at 11 and 7 o’clock, reminiscent of the brand’s 1960s “Cimier Sport” designs. It also features a telemetric scale on the outer edge and a tachymetric scale at the center, offering a blend of vintage appeal and modern functionality.

Chicago's Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

Rado’s Collaborative Ingenuity

Rado, known for its innovative use of materials, introduced the True Square x Kunihiko Morinaga, a product of collaboration with Japanese fashion designer Kunihiko Morinaga. This watch features a photochromic dial that changes visibility with light exposure and is equipped with an automatic Rado calibre R734, showcasing a high-tech ceramic case and a dynamic dial that offers an engaging interaction with the wearer.

Chicago's Horological Heartbeat: Highlights from the Minutes + Hours Show

Perrelet’s Signature Turbine Watches

Perrelet displayed its expertise with their signature turbine watches, which combine meticulous craftsmanship with a modern aesthetic. These watches are particularly admired for their unique rotor designs that create a visually engaging effect on the wrist.

A Promising Future for Horological Celebrations

The event successfully bridged the historical art of watchmaking with contemporary innovations, offering a comprehensive view of the industry’s current landscape and future directions. Richard Park, the founder of Minutes + Hours, expressed his pride, stating, “I was extremely proud of our partner brands and the amazing turnout of passionate watch enthusiasts that came together and created great dialogue. I’m excited about what the future of watches will be as a result of open communication. The Chicago watch community is truly amazing.”

Looking ahead, the Minutes + Hours Show is set to remain a pivotal event for the horological community, especially in Chicago, Austin, and Los Angeles. With its blend of educational content, innovative showcases, and community engagement opportunities, the show is poised to continue as a key date in the global watchmaking calendar, celebrating both the traditions and innovations of brands both big and small.

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