With 27 successful editions, SIHH has confirmed itself as an outstanding and exclusive watch show.
Five exhibitors – Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Piaget, Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth – left Baselworld to set up the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva and, in doing so, create an exclusive and private gathering for Fine Watchmaking.
This first edition took place over five days and 4,500 square metres at Palexpo.
Extended to a full week, the SIHH continued to organise talks and round tables, initiated the previous year, addressing subjects relevant to the future of Fine Watchmaking and the luxury industry.
The fair welcomed such guests of honour as the former Chancellor of West Germany, Helmut Schmidt, and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar.
Now in its fifth year, the SIHH almost tripled in size to 11,000 square metres. Alongside other new features, the fair staged its very first exhibition, Two centuries of Fine Watchmaking: the French watch from 1580 to 1780, setting a precedent for future editions.
There was a change in the group of 6 exhibitors following Franck Muller’s departure, and the return of Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth to join Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Piaget and Alfred Dunhill.
After a brand-new decor introduced in 1996, followed a year later by the inauguration of an Espace Luxe for Alfred Dunhill, YSL Collection and Montblanc, the SIHH continued to grow as Vacheron Constantin and Parmigiani Fleurier joined the group of exhibitors.
In this fiftieth anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the SIHH welcomed ten exhibitors. They included a number of independent watchmakers such as Antoine Preziuso.
This edition was marked by a further extension of floor space to 18,000 square metres. The event took on a new dimension and incorporated 8 new brands, including independents Audemars Piguet, Bovet, Breguet, JeanRichard, Girard-Perregaux and Perrelet.
In the year that the Euro became the single currency of 11 European countries, the SIHH opened its doors to 17 exhibiting Maisons.
As brands became concentrated within the major watch groups, the group of exhibitors changed again in 2001 and 2002. Breguet, now part of Swatch Group, Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta, both acquired by Bulgari, left the SIHH. They were replaced by A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Van Cleef & Arpels, recently integrated into the Richemont group.
In 2002, the year of the fourth Earth Summit in Johannesburg, there were 18 exhibiting Maisons, a number that would vary little over the coming decade.
For its 15th edition, the SIHH shed its old skin and settled into a new decor, dubbed “La Cité du Temps”. Imagined by the architect and designer Giampiero Bodino, it spread across 24,000 square metres.
The SIHH increased in scale each year. By 2005, attendance had grown to reach almost 10,000 people.
In a year hit by fallout from the American subprime crisis, the SIHH announced a major change: for reasons imposed by the calendar of events at Palexpo Genève, the SIHH would henceforth take place in January.
For the first time ever, and despite a difficult economic climate, the number of media representatives broke through the 1,500 mark, offering an incomparable window on the world to an event that now signalled the start of the watchmaking year.
Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelery Co made its debut at the SIHH, now with 17 exhibitors.
For its 20th edition, the SIHH played host to two major exhibitions: the first given over to masterpieces from the Sandoz Collection, and the second a series of conceptual photographs of watches.
Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille joined exhibitors, bringing the total number to 19 in a year when Swiss watch exports reported a significant upturn, ending the year on a record 22% increase.
On the heels of another buoyant year for watchmaking, the SIHH continued its expansion. Exhibition space grew again to 30,000 square metres. The number of exhibitors remained unchanged at nineteen.
Record attendance for this pre-anniversary edition which followed a period of spectacular growth in the watch sector (annual growth averaged 13% between 2010 and 2013). Visitor numbers reached almost 15,000, of which 10% were journalists.
The SIHH welcomed Horology, a Child of Astronomy, the second thematic exhibition to draw on research conducted by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.
The number of exhibitors totalled 16, following the departure of Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard, acquired by Kering, and Alfred Dunhill.
These same 16 Maisons are celebrating in 2015 the 25th anniversary of the SIHH, which over the past quarter-century has established itself as the foremost event for Fine Watchmaking in the world.
This was a year of change for the SIHH, which introduced a fresh interior design concept for a more contemporary mood. This 26th edition also saw the launch of the Carré des Horlogers, along with an original exhibition titled 24 Hours in the Life of a Swiss Cuckoo Clock. At 24 exhibiting Maisons, this was a fair on an unprecedented scale. Despite a difficult economic climate, some 15,000 visitors came through the doors, a high level of attendance that confirms the SIHH as a foremost international event.
Bigger, more open… the 27th edition marked a new direction for the fair. Girard-Perregaux, Ulysse Nardin, and five independent artisan-creators joined SIHH to give a total of 30 exhibitors, a record number. And for the first time ever, the fair opened its doors to the public on the last day. Increased attendance, despite a difficult economic climate, confirmed SIHH’s attractiveness on an international scale.
A breath of fresh air blew through SIHH in 2016, which went from 15 to 24 exhibitors within a fully revamped setting. Joining the historic Maisons, nine artisan-creators and independent workshops took up residence inside the new “Carré des Horlogers”. The show reaffirmed itself as a major event and highlight of the watchmaking year.
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SIHH celebrated its quarter century by training the spotlight on the very essence of the watchmaker’s art, as visitors were given the chance to take apart then reassemble a mechanical movement. These guided workshops introduced an original approach to the culture of watchmaking for this 25th edition, which concluded on a positive note.
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This year’s SIHH highlighted the cultural foundations of the watch industry with an exhibition curated by the FHH – “Horology, a Child of Astronomy” – which explored the infinitely vast that watchmakers, by ever more ingenious means, contain within a movement. Visitors and journalists came to the show from all over the world, to take in these five days of exciting discoveries and new encounters.
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The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, wh The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, which held its 23rd edition at Palexpo Geneva, came after another anotherrecord year for the Swiss record year for the Swiss watch industry, which for the first time ever is expected to post exports in excess of CHF 20 billion.
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