While the world’s biggest watch and jewellery show, Baselworld, remains the subject of conjecture, smaller regional shows like SIAR and SalonQP continue to go from strength to strength, attracting high calibre exhibitors, prestigious sponsors and an increasingly discerning customer. This last point holds true for the SIAR in particular, since in the few years I have been attending the event I have witnessed knowledgeable customers and collectors coming to look for the latest collector’s pieces, ideally to take home with them.
This is partly down to the Mexican’s tendency for impulse luxury purchases and watch brands have become wise to the fact that if they don’t have the model available for purchase then they may lose the customer not to another watch brand but to a sports car manufacturer such as Ferrari. It speaks volumes, for example, that the show always has a prestigious automobile sponsor taking the prime spot at the entrance to the St. Regis Hotel where the exhibition is held.
Bulgari is not at all new to minute repeaters, with a brand portfolio that contains a plethora of basic to exceptionally complex chiming minute repeater along with sonnerie watches. It is, hence, not at all surprising that Bulgari continues thinking up impressive musical timepieces from the pursuit of creating the world’s thinnest. It is actually interesting because, a few years ago, nobody would have imagined Bulgari to be one of the leaders in high-end mechanical watches – and yet, now they create some of their very best stuff.If you remember, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo collection also includes the world’s thinnest tourbillon watches, with the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon that surfaced along with the Bulgari Octo Finissimo set back in 2014. Now a couple of decades after, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater continues that tradition. It helps that the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is equally contemporary and stylish and being traditionally appealing.In sandblasted titanium, this almost industrial finish isn’t what most men and women expect from a luxury luxury watch.
So what can the discerning customer expect at SIAR 2017? First of all, before we even get to the watches, they can expect to do more than brush shoulders with the likes of Jean-Claude Biver of LVMH and Guido Terreni of Bulgari, who will be on hand to help their local retailers clinch those big-ticket sales. But they can also expect some special watches developed just for the Mexican market, which will be launched at the show. Bulgari will be launching a strictly limited series of just 20 watches and Mr Terreni may well be wearing the unique-piece Octo Grande Sonnerie (since the world’s biggest collector of minute repeaters just happens to be Mexican). Louis Moinet will also be presenting a watch at the show for which there can only be one customer.
Montblanc is once again using the show to present a limited-edition 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter with a bronze case and salmon-coloured dial that is limited to just 100 pieces for the Mexican market. You can read all about it later this week in an extensive article by Brice Lechevalier.
The SIAR 2017 goes ahead despite the devastating earthquake that ravaged the country one month ago. The Tiempo de Relojes awards, which were scheduled for the 19th October, the one-month anniversary of the earthquake, have been cancelled as a mark of respect and the 35 exhibiting brands have all agreed to donate a percentage of their sales to the Mexican Red Cross for the relief effort.