“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Swiss fine watchmaking events – Part 2

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The Poinçon de Genève (Geneva Seal) is originally the official seal of the City and Canton of Geneva. In horology it is a certification reserved for wristwatch movements made in the City or Canton of Geneva. This dedicated certificate is a significant quality hallmark for mechanical movements with its very precise specifications.

As the fine watchmakers consider Poinçon de Genève the sign of excellence, the global watchmaking industry acknowledges Geneva as one of the most important hubs of Swiss watch traditions.

In January, Geneva hosted two of the world’s most prestigious watchmaking events:  the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie and the GTE (Geneva Time Exhibition).


The SIHH is organised by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH). The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie was established in Geneva in 2005 to promote Fine Watchmaking internationally. Together with its 30 partners, the Foundation has three major goals; to inform and educate about fine watchmaking, to train fine watch professionals and to affirm its role as a Think Tank of the fine watch industry.

The event made its debut in 1991, with the participation of 5 exhibitors – Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Piaget, Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth. By 1998, 10 companies represented themselves which increased further in 2002 to 18 brands, who showcased their novelties within the framework of the SIHH.

The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie convey one of their key aspirations via this event which is to support the culture, traditions and values of fine watchmaking. In November 2007, the Foundation’s Council voted to convene an SIHH Exhibitor Committee. Each of the exhibiting brands is represented by its CEO. The Committee decides on the strategy, evolution and organisation of the SIHH.

Over these twenty years, the SIHH has matured into an event that is dedicated to the promotion of Fine Watchmaking and to serving an elite circle of distributors. The concept of SIHH is holding a private event for fine watch professionals who have been invited by the exhibiting brands and registered with the FHH. The SIHH remains the ideal environment for brands whose exclusiveness is equalled only by the complexity of their watch movements.

In 2013, 16 exhibitors welcomed the new year of fine watchmaking at the grand venue, spread out over 30.00m2.

Beside the professional activity, each year, the SIHH hosts its traditional fundraising cocktail gala.  In 2013, the KidsAmazing project of the Artères foundation will be honoured by the SIHH.

GTE (Geneva Time Exhibition)

Founded by Florence Noël and Dominique Franchino, GTE is the Fair to visit to discover the latest in Haute Horlogerie: cutting-edge designs of bold, exclusive, top-quality watches.

GTE is a fair exclusively reserved for members of the watchmaking industry and private collectors, and is open to the general public on only one day.

It was held for the fourth time in 2013 at a brand new location in the heart of Geneva:  the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices.  The building which functioned as a factory in the 19th century has grown to become a cultural venue nowadays, lending a stylish setting for the unique exhibition. On the fourth day of the event, the general public could also gain access, to marvel at the latest novelties of fine watchmaking and the pioneering brands.

„GTE offers a new approach to the luxury sector, giving top watchmaking brands the opportunity to meet their clients in an exclusive setting supported by extensive international PR.”


Photo credits: Florence Noël, Luxeco&Partners.
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