Each year, the watch industry has a plethora of exciting events. Almost every month, there’s a different auction or exhibition you can attend. Some are larger and better known, like Baselworld. Others are smaller and more regionally specific, like WatchTime New York. No matter where you live or where your interests in watches lie, there’s likely an event that will suit you. The trouble is knowing when and where these events take place and how to get a ticket. While many events typically take place around the same time each year, the dates change annually. Plus, there are some major changes coming to some of the biggest industry events in 2020. That’s why this year, we’re here to help.
We’ve compiled a relatively comprehensive list of annual watch events and when they’re taking place in 2020. And, we’re going to fill you in on all the big updates to some industry staples. If one of your favorite local events is missing, drop us a line in the comments!
In June 2019, the illustrious LVMH group announced that they’d be hosting their own exhibition beginning in 2020. The first ever LVMH Swiss Watch Manufactures Exhibition will take place in Dubai from January 13-15, 2020. The event will include LVMH’s top four watch and jewelry houses, Bvlgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith. Here, each of these brands will introduce their latest novelties for the year.
Watches and Wonder
Watches and Wonders Miami is an annual exposition that typically takes place in the month of February. Together, the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Miami Design District Associates have created an event featuring new product introductions and other interactive programming. Past exhibitors have included brands like Audemars Piguet, Cartier, IWC, OMEGA, and Panerai. The 2020 exhibition will run from February 12-14.
Windup Watch Fair
For those looking for a more accessible and free option, head to the Windup Watch Fair. This three-day long event features a range or curated micro brands as well as accessories. Past exhibitors include a mix of established brands, like Oris and Hamilton, as well as up-and-comers, like Brew Watch Company and Lorier. Whether you live on the east coast or west coast, there’s a Windup for you. The San Francisco event is set for March 27-29, 2020. WindUp will announce the New York City dates later this year.
Horological Society of New York
In 2020, the Horological Society of New York will celebrate their monumental 154th Gala and Charity Auction on April 1. Christie’s presented the 2019 auction of extraordinary timepieces, exceptional experiences, and other horological treasures. Past lots include a session with one of A. Lange & Söhne’s master watchmakers, dinner with Hodinkee Editor-in-Chief Jack Forster and Managing Editor Stephen Pulvirent, and a trip to the Audemars Piguet workshop in Switzerland. All of the proceeds from the event go toward the HSNY’s educational programs.
SIHH and Baselworld
One of the major changes in the watch event space for 2020 is for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Like Watches and Wonders Miami, the SIHH is an annual event put on by the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie. For a new approach and more consistent branding, the SIHH is now Watches and Wonders Geneva. This monumental change comes on the 30th edition of the exhibition. With the new name, there will also be a new format for the event. It will feature “The Salon” for industry guests and “In the City” for the general public. In addition, the 2020 event will take place at an entirely new time of year. Watches and Wonders Geneva will directly precede Baselworld from April 25-28, 2020.
In tandem with the changes for the SIHH come changes for arguably the biggest watch event of the year, Baselworld. In 2020, the most highly anticipated watch industry event will follow Watches and Wonders Geneva from April 30-May 5. Other than the change of season, Baselworld will largely stay the same. Here, you’ll continue to find some of the leading brands in the industry. This includes those from the LVMH group and others like Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Breitling, and Bell & Ross.
Similar to the Windup Watch Fair, MicroLUX is a free event that celebrates independent watchmakers and micro brands. First launched in spring 2019 in Los Angeles, MicroLUX quickly expanded to Chicago by the end of the year. In 2020, you can still get in on the ground floor of this exciting new exhibition. MicroLUX will announce new dates and cities in the coming months. Some of 2019’s 35 exhibiting brands included Oris, Aloha, and G-Shock.
WatchTime is the largest luxury watch event held in America, hosted by WatchTime Magazine. Here, collectors, enthusiasts, and industry members come together to marvel at new timepieces and enjoy educational panels and seminars. WatchTime is an important destination for product launches, some of which are exclusive to the U.S. market. Some of the 2019 exhibitors included Breguet, F.P. Journe, Jaquet Droz, Maurice Lacroix, and Montblanc. In 2020, WatchTime Los Angeles will take place from May 29-30. Stay tuned for the dates for WatchTime New York later this year.
Madison Avenue Watch Week
Madison Avenue is notorious for its high end shopping. What you may not know is that Madison Avenue is also the largest fine timepiece marketplace in North America. In 2020, the famed street will celebrate its tenth annual Madison Avenue Watch Week. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to view a wide array of timepieces from the industry’s top brands, many of which are making their American debut. Past participants include brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Hublot, and more. Stay tuned for Madison Avenue Watch week to announce the official dates for 2020.
Grand Prix D’Horlogerie
After a late summer and early fall break, the industry events resurface in early November 2020 with the Grand Prix D’Horlogerie (GPHG). The GPHG first established in 2001, and it’s the only globally recognized international award event for watchmaking. Think of this as the Academy Awards for watches. Like the Oscars, the GPHG nominates and awards watches in an array of different categories. The competition is open to all brands within the industry. However, each particular model entered must meet a certain set of criteria. The 2020 GPHG is set to take place on November 12.
Though Dubai Watch Week has been around since 2015, it has risen in prominence in the past few years. In addition to the main exhibition featuring brands like Rolex, Chopard, and Panerai, there are a number of other experiences for patrons to enjoy. The Horology Forum features exclusive panels and Q&A sessions. The Creative Hub offers topic-focused discussions. In addition, there are Masterclasses on everything from the mechanical watch movement to painted dials. Last but not least, Christie’s presents the Auction Room. Dubai Watch Week has yet to announce their official dates for 2020, so stay tuned.