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Geneva Watch Days Returns For 2023

James Gurney 2 Minute Read
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Geneva Watch Days is the lower key autumn alternative to the razzamatazz of Watches and Wonders. While it was set up with a lot of help from BVLGARI the concept is intended to allow smaller brands a moment in the sun without the shadow of the big beasts of the watchmaking jungle looming over them. Inevitably the watches on show tend toward the more demanding in design terms, but there’s a refreshing breadth to the forty or so brands that take part. It’s also a chance for industry players to share ideas hatched over the summer break and bring some of that vacation energy to the discussions and forums that take place in the lakeside pavilion.

Talks covered everything from retail innovation to brand building as well as highlighting some of the emerging stars. But when the talking stops it’s the watches on show that are the message and this year saw a really confident set of launches. We cover BVLGARI and Ulysse Nardin elsewhere but here are some the highlights:

MB&F are the epitome of what independent watchmaking is about. An ever-shifting coalition of designers, engineers, watchmakers and specialists in everything from sapphire crystal production to dialmaking. This year they were showing HM9 SV (for sapphire vision), so called because the incredibly complex double-escapement movement is even more visible thanks to the crystal makers mastering a new technique to produce the shaped sapphire case elements.

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H.Moser&Cie are frequent collaborators with MB&F but its main launch couldn’t be more different in style: two new models of the Endeavour series, a Centre Seconds and a Tourbillon, that feature Vantablack dials. The ultra-light absorbent coating uses nano-technology to stop virtually all (99.965%) reflection from the surface. The effect is that the hands and other elements seem to float in space.

In another vein altogether is Girard-Perregaux who showed both a new Constant Force watch and accomplished new additions to the Laureato family. The Laureato Absolute 8Tech features a case made from a novel composite of carbon-fibre and titanium. As light as it is strong, the surface is reminiscent of Damascus steel in the way that different parts reflect or absorb the light. It joins a new ceramic case addition to the Aston Martin collection, but the star is a radical new watch that’s under embargo until later this year – stay tuned!

Jacob & Co. are usually the loudest brand on show, but this year chose to launch a watch that is a masterpiece of restraint by their standards and with a surprisingly heart-warming back-story to boot: it’s a stylish and beautifully executed dual time zone watch that takes grateful inspiration from the watch given to the brand’s founder, Jacob Arabov, as a child by his father.

Lastly, Breitling have supported Geneva Watch Days from the start and chose the event to showcase something very special indeed – but more information on this will be revealed from the 7th September…

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