The UK’s premier exhibition for watch collectors, SalonQP, returns to the Saatchi Gallery under new ownership on 22-24 November, with an array of fine and rare timepieces from some of the world’s most renowned watchmakers. With watch exhibitions globally struggling to make the impact that they used to, WatchPro explains what to expect at this year’s event and why it’s still the hottest ticket in town.
Much has changed since last year’s SalonQP exhibition. Against a backdrop of uncertainty in the global watch industry, highlighted by the seemingly endless exodus of brands from next year’s Baselworld, SalonQP has defied the odds and returns to the Saatchi Gallery on 22-24 November.
Since its last instalment, QP, as a business, which includes both SalonQP the watch exhibition, as well as QP the watch magazine, has been sold by Telegraph Media Group to consumer publishing giant, Hearst.
Although many of the personnel remained, there was a new energy and drive to make a real success of SalonQP in 2018. Hearst instantly quashed rumours that the exhibition was leaving the stunning Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, its home since 2011 (the first two instalments were at One Marylebone). Slowly but surely, brands have signed up, speakers have been confirmed, and the layout of the new-look show has been revealed.
The combination of QP’s journalistic and horological expertise (James Buttery, James Gurney and Chris Hall are three of the most respected watch aficionados in the business) and Hearst’s events/publishing clout (with literally millions of readers across all of its core titles) should result in a truly memorable and beautifully curated event.
The SalonQP organisers have put a lot of emphasis on ‘themes’ for this year’s exhibition, with three of the four ground floor galleries dressed accordingly.
One will be an Atelier Gallery in association with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (the organisers behind the annual SIHH global watch exhibition in Geneva), with live watchmaking demonstrations, photography of the watchmaking process, and select exhibitor showcases.
Another will be the Adventure and Aviation Zone, which will celebrate 100 years of the pilot watch and showcase some of the best adventure watch brands available.
Finally, the Bazaar Salon Gallery will be hosted in conjunction with Hearst’s very own Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and will focus on fine, enameled and jewelled watches and other luxury lifestyle elements, such as leather goods and jewellery.
The following list of exhibitors are confirmed, and Hearst has told us to expect more confirmations in the next fortnight or so.
- Andersen Genève
- Atelier De Chronometrie
- Birchall & Taylor
- Cyril Brivet-Naudot
- Czpaek & Cie
- David Candaux
- Emile Chouriet
- Favre Leuba
- Konstantin Chaykin
- Matthias Naeschke
- Meccaniche Orologi Milano
- Sinclair Harding
- Swchartz Etienne
- Urban Jürgensen
- Vacheron Constantin
On top of this, high-end multiple high street jeweller Bucherer, which is the official retail partner of the event, will showcase its Bucherer Blue collection in the Atelier Gallery.
The following schedule of talks was accurate at the time of going to press, but Hearst has told us to expect confirmation of additional speakers in some of the key talks between now and the show itself.
Military Panerai – James Dowling, watch expert, explains the development of the original divers’ watch, created by Panerai for the Italian Navy during World War Two.
In conversation with Pen Hadow – Arctic explorer Pen Hadow shares his mission to protect the wildlife of the North Pole’s international waters.
What makes a watch fine? – Gregory Gardinetti of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie delves into everything that makes a watch valuable.
Good Year/Bad Year – Watch journalist Simon de Burton and Kristian Haagen discuss the year in watchmaking. Who caught the eye and what needs to change?
Designing Time – What makes good watch design? TAG Heuer designer Christophe Behling and Marco Borracino of Geneva’s HEAD in conversation.
How to Collect – Inside Vintage – Vintage experts Adrian Hailwood and Justin Koulappis examine the recent rise in interest for vintage Heuer, Longines, Breitling and Omega watches.
How To Collect – The Dirty Dozen – The Dirty Dozen were produced to a War Department specification. The watches that resulted define the idea of a military watch.
In conversation with Inge Solheim – Polar guide and adventurer Inge Solheim discusses adventure as a metaphor for the strategic and personal challenges we all face.