As editor of consumer watch magazine QP, James Gurney has one of the most comprehensive little black books in the trade, so when he dared to mastermind the spin off consumer show SalonQP, he could call on the trade’s great and good.
James says: “It was both the logical next step and leap of faith. If people enjoyed reading about watches and collecting watches, surely they would enjoy meeting the people behind the brands and discovering watches and brands they had either not known or not seen in the metal?”
The result has been ridiculously successful. The show has registered a huge hit with drooling watch fans, drawing the full range from horological history geeks to moneyed tech heads to the Saatchi Gallery for its annual outing.
“I think the most important ingredient is the chance to engage with brands directly. You can have a conversation with brands at SalonQP. Second, is that when the constraints of an overtly retail situation are removed, there’s no pressure to keep your interest to watches you can afford now.”
James says the show attracts a fairly broad base of customers. “We set out to be an interesting experience for anyone who enjoys good things, but we also want to make sure the content is rich enough for more serious collectors.”
Of course the very act of getting together the watch brands has a halo of benefits and James says that the highlight for him has been discovering that the well of creativity in the watch industry is far from being exhausted. That, and seeing the emergence of a viable British watch sector and the amazing talents making it happen.
Always looking to move the show subtly onward, James says the 2013 edition is about refining the concept rather than a revolution. “We want a stronger vintage offering and cleverer ways for visitors to interact with exhibitors, and we are also looking to refine the way we present seminars.”
And don’t be surprised if you see the show popping up elsewhere in the world. “We want to take SalonQP to other places. QP has real potential and we want to realise that.”
SalonQP founder and QP magazine editor James Gurney was an Innovator in the WatchPro Hot 100 2013 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here.