There are barely two days left to go until the London Watch Show opens its doors to the UK watch industry on Sunday morning.
This will be the first time I’ve been an active participant of the show. When it launched last year I visited as a consumer journalist, eager to see what was on offer at the show and what it could offer that other trade shows couldn’t or wouldn’t. The London Watch Show has been a breath of fresh air, arriving on the scene and providing a complete range of watches from high volume products to exclusive, luxury items.
Unlike somewhere such as Basel where unfamiliar brands rarely get a chance to shine, my abiding memory of last year’s show was discovering a host of new brands for the first time. The format of the show lends itself to this approach, offering equal footing to each exhibitor.
This year’s show expands on that quality in more ways than one. Firstly the range I previously mentioned is wider and more comprehension than ever before. We have fashion brands and sports watches sitting next to tourbillons and watches crafted from precious metals.
The other aspect of the show that has expanded is its geographic reach. In just 12 short months since the London Watch Show’s debut it has grown in stature and is already seen by many around the world as the gateway to the UK watch market. This year the London Watch Show sees exhibitors from across Europe and as far afield as Hong Kong heading to London, many of them for the first time.
With more exhibitors than ever before as well as a greater number of retailers signed up to attend, the London Watch Show is in rude health and will continue to offer the UK watch market a local destination for a global concern.