Corders column

CORDER’S COLUMN: My pride at launching WatchPro Awards in New York City

WatchPro Awards are now established in the United States and the UK as the big night of the year for the watch industry.

My co-founder Daniel Malins and I have a few scars of battle from our 12 years working together since launching WatchPro together in 2012, but it all seemed worthwhile during a warm September day in New York City last year when the doors were about to open for the very first WatchPro Awards in the United States.

I was sitting in the late summer sun outside Cipriani, arguably New York’s most spectacular event space in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, when a deep sense of pride snuck up on me about how far we have come with WatchPro.

Cipriani’s venue is inside a historic building that used to be the headquarters and booking office for Cunard (no jokes about the Titanic, please). It is a stone’s throw from Wall Street, the epicentre of global capitalism.

Inside, Cipriani is like a temple, with 60 foot high vaulted ceilings that we lit up with a spectacular laser show before the awards ceremony began.

Hundreds of guests spent thousands of dollars to fly in from all across the United States including retailers from California, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Washington, Texas, Georgia, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

They were delighted to come together with US executives from the world’s biggest brands for a night to reflect on the American watch market’s most successful year ever.

As we have always done in the UK, Award finalists and winners were chosen by the industry itself, with retailers voting for the brands they have most admired that year, and brand executives voting for retailers that have most impressed.

But competitiveness was set aside for that spectacular night, as the hugely impressive crowd just wanted to celebrate together.

I was reminded of that evening last week when Daniel and I travelled to our ITP Media Group headquarters in Dubai for our annual kick-off meeting that also includes internal awards that recognise best-practice across the group.

WatchPro USA Awards won the trophy for best event of the year. Given that ITP employs over 400 people and held over 250 events in 2023, some of them with seven-figure budgets, we were delighted to be recognised.

We will be back with bigger and even better WatchPro Awards on both sides of the Atlantic in 2024 and I look forward to welcoming the brilliant people who make our industry tick.

Diary dates for you to note are the 2024 WatchPro Awards in London on October 31 and in New York on September 4.

Raffles owo
This year’s WatchPro Awards will take place at The OWO by Raffles hotel.

In New York, we are returning to Cipriani for the Awards, but in London we are moving to The OWO (Old War Office) by Raffles, the most exciting hotel to open in the capital for many years.

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