Since Richemont stopped participating in BaselWorld, the consequences are numerous and surprise us at every edition.
More and more similar events take place during the SIHH week… It makes sense.
Because the Swiss watchmaking, 95% French-speaking, embarks on an illogical transhumance toward the German-Switzerland every spring.
The wish to relocate was real, but there were no coordinator and no site to do so.
For its third edition, the GTE gradually becomes a must-attend of the Genevan “Wonder week”.
This year, the GTE moved into the Espace Hippomène. This site, which hosts the Watch Days in November, is located in the Quartier des Charmilles in Geneva, and is easy to get to from the Cornavin train station or from the Cointrin Airport.
If this site is farther from the SIHH via public transportation, the drive time is equivalent. But what the Espace Hippomène loses in terms of accessibility from the SIHH, it gains in terms of comfort, room and quality.
The spanking new Espace Hippomène, recently renovated, contrasts sharply with the 70’s look (worthy of a James Bond movie) of the GIGC. Roomier, brighter, this site is far more suitable for discussions, meetings, for watch advertising as well as for photography. Because if the CIGC is a superb conference room, its constrained surface area could not keep up with the growth and the enthusiasm surrounding the GTE.
For those who attended the Watch Days at the Espace Hippomène, well, forget what you saw.
The layout of the aisles of the GTE takes after that of the previous editions, but two times larger.
If the place is more suitable for exercise, refreshments were not forgotten: so, if you are starving, you will find “The Caviar House” and “Nespresso” located in the middle of the exhibition.
It is also a first for WatchOnista, or even for the overall web of watchmaking.
It is, to my knowledge, the first time a Website has a booth to welcome the other bloggers, with a Mac. to access to watchonista, but above all sofas to sprawl out on, rest, have a drink and discuss the magic of this Genevan “wonder Week”.
As the GTE opens on Sunday, one day before the SIHH, it was a watering hole for the big lions of the web of watchmaking, administrators, moderators and bloggers assembled in an informal way before the Monday morning rush.
The show is intended to become an all-Genevan event, as was obvious the night of the award-ceremony.
Large trade-shows like the SIHH or BaselWorld are totally international events, where globalization prevails.
The GTE is Swiss-French speaking (aka “coherent” French).
Akin to the EPHJ, it is also a true oasis for watch-related meetings, one of these rare places where one can see on the same stage Jean Marc Wiederrecht, Eric Coudray and Karsten Frasdorf, three of the most brilliant watchmakers of our time.
The reason why I mention a stage is that, like all the previous editions, the best exhibitors were awarded.
This year, two exhibitors were bestowed the GTE “Super Watch Award”.
Following the acknowledgement speech by Florence Noel Kameloni given to the numerous GTE partners, the jury held the award-ceremony.
The panel was made up of big wigs from the watchmaking journalism world as well as from the watchmaking industry: Elizabeth Doerr (journalist), Axel Kufus (professor of watchmaking), Geoffroy Ader (Sotheby’s), Anders Modig (Plaza Watch) and of course Jean Marc Wiederrecht (Agenhor).
Cabestan received the “Design Award” for the new version of the famous “Cabestan Tourbillion”, with a simplified winch, but featuring a wider and streamlined watchcase.
For the “Tensus”, Heritage Watch Manufactory was presented with a well-deserved “Super Watch Award”, a prize they had not received at the previous edition of GTE.
The Tensus is a chronometer watch featuring a series of constant force devices, all along the energy chain.
It is certainly the first of a long series of trophies.
Indeed, the Tensus revolutionizes the classic chronometry, all while respecting its standards, most notably through its large 16mm balance.
This first practice-run was also an opportunity to hold informal conversations with the exhibitors of exotic creations.
As an indication of the increasing momentum of the GTE, there was a large number of Asian buyers, watch lovers and journalists, on the very first day of the show.
Watches @ GTE : GTE - Geneva Time Exhibition - Accueil
This two first day portends great things for this 2012 edition. Somes Watches taken @ the GTE: